Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Traveling Teacup

Oh, how I have looked forward to this new friend's visit!

Welcome Tessa Rose, a lovely teacup
 that has been a very busy traveler!

This pretty teacup belongs to our sweet host
Barbara from the blog Mantle and Table.

If you've never visited her blog
 you are truly missing out.

It is filled with so much beauty!

I am sincerely honored that her lovely teacup visited me.

Tessa Rose is a "morphed" name given to this pretty teacup.
She's been Tessa, and Rosie - so I put the two together.

She has arrived from a wonderful visit with Julie 
at the blog My Wee Abode

Because of her travels TR was a wee bit tired,
 so she politely asked that we simply share a
 pleasant cool respite...
away from crowds and worries-
to just have a quiet and peaceful visit.

So we spent some time in my shady "Zen Room,"
(my DIY backyard-facing covered patio.)

It is my very own special oasis for tea time,
reading, praying and bird watching.

And I LOVE when friends visit here with me!

Even in the unbearable summer heat
I do enjoy my tea hot at tea time. 

Truth be told it wasn't even necessary 
to use my pretty tea cozy though!

(It just wanted to be part of the action.)

Tessa Rose kept me in good company as our tea was steeping 
and I picked some pink hydrangeas from the garden for us.

What a blessing they bloomed just in time for her visit.

She said floral teacups feel right at home near gardens, 
and sitting upon antique white wicker
 feels "just right," to her, too.

I only left a few blooms on the branches.

Next is to fill a vase of daisies!

Prior to Tessa's visit I picked some zukes
 from our vegetable garden and baked some
zucchini bread for our teatime visit.

I have baked a LOT of zucchini bread
 in the last two weeks.

Our garden is yielding 4-5 large zukes
 every other day.

I think I will be baking much more!

(I put my own zucchini bread recipe at end of this post.)

Try it and let me know if you think it is the best, too!

After our teatime and garden visit
she asked to go inside and hear me play piano for her.
I told her my piano was made the same year I was born.
I guess that makes us both very old classics. 

She told me that her owner Barbara
plays and sings quite beautifully. ♫ 

Tessa had a request for me to play "Tea for Two."

As she was my guest, I had to oblige her.

♫ ♪ ♫

We both giggled when I played her "Chopsticks"
on my grand daughter's wee toy piano.

We both agreed it was painfully out of tune!

The day Tessa Rose was here I received some happy mail
from a dear tea society sister-friend from the South;
a beautiful and thoughtfully hand-made card with flowers.

That sweet visiting teacup approved whole-heartedly!
(As did I!)

Isn't getting happy mail so meaningful and special
 during these difficult and lonely times?

As we were on the subject of flowers,
TR mentioned she really admired my most recent painting,
the one with all the colorful flowers.

I told her that I appreciated her flattery,
but I am only a beginner painter and still just learning.

If you have an iPhone and don't have the WATERLOGUE app
you are really missing out.

Look what IT can do:

I showed Tessa Rose my cute little light purple
antique bottle from the Grand Union Tea Company.

It's the perfect size for a single cut Hydrangea bloom.
And the perfect bottle for a teacup to sit near.

I haven't figured out what may have originally been
in the bottle though - possibly a tea elixir of sorts?

Here is a little history about Grand Union.
(credit: Old Main Artifacts)

So as our wonderful day together was coming to an end
we went out back one last time
 to water the hydrangea and daisies-
 so they continue to bless us with beautiful blooms
 a little while longer!

Tessa liked the deep shadow she made
 towards the end of the day
just before the sun went down.

We were relieved once the day ended,
 as it finally cooled off a bit.

I adore you, sweet and beautiful little teacup.
Thank you so much for your visit.

I hope your next trip
 to visit Linda in Gladstone, Oregon
 is a safe one!

Don't forget to visit our host Mantle and Table
to read about all the other visits of this little teacup!

Her blog is chalk full of beauty:
tablescapes, floral arrangements,
tea-scapes, and even has a shop of beautiful items.

Michele's Zucchini Bread
(Makes two large loaves)

3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. clove

3 eggs (room temp performs better)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 tsp. vanilla

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 cups grated zucchini

1.) Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl with a whisk or sifter, set aside.

2.) Grate one clean medium zucchini, skins ON
 to get approx 4 cups of shredded zucchini.

3.) Place on sieve / colander with a fine screen over a bowl
 so it can drip/ drain while you do the next steps.

4.) Prepare your pans - two loaf pans or one loaf pan and
mini loaves or muffins. 

I use Pam spray but oil/butter and a sprinkling of flour
will work just as well.

5.) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

6.) Mix eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla in a mixer on medium till well incorporated. 

7.) Now mash your zuke gratings into the sieve (or squeeze by handfuls)
till you get most of the water out. Set aside.

8.) Now SLOWLY on lowest speed of mixer - or by hand - add the
flour dry ingredients little by little and gently moisten. Do NOT
over mix!

Once you have it all mixed, hand fold the zucchini and the nuts in.
Mix gently but well. Spoon half mixture into one loaf pan, then the other.

Bake loaves on middle rack - approx. 45-60 mins depending on your oven.

I have found muffins and mini loaves to bake much faster -
so check around 30 minutes.

Done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Thank you for coming to visit, too!




Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Summertime Touches House Tour

Hello, friends. 

It has been a long while, and for that I apologize.

My last post was right around the time
 Covid-19 went into over-drive...
and I went into a very real funk.


So, today I am attempting to shake it off...
 and say hello and share a few
 summertime touches
 here at Finch Rest.

I do love summer.

 Not quite sure about this

I recently placed a simple bouquet
 of my sister's garden snowball hydrangeas
on our kitchen table.

Right now simple is working best for me.
Because nothing feels very simple right now.

With attempted simplifying, I've added messages
to remind me how life is so very precious.

What I do with my thoughts, words and deeds
matter now more than ever.

It truly IS important
 for our mental state of mind
as we deal with this long-term isolation,
 to be surrounded with things that
 spark joy within us.

I met the lady who made this basket
when I visited Belize last fall.

I tucked in a couple pieces of my mom's coral
and a heart pillow a blog friend made me years ago.

Simple. Joy. Love. Memories.

My orchid is doing well - 
a lovely birthday gift from my daughter two years ago.

We redecorated our dining room
since I last featured it. 

It's been a nice and bright change.

The most recent addition is a new chandy.

I did still love my other one - it just was a bit too fussy
and ornate for this easier style.

I am finding peace in the "less is more" of our decor.

I decorate in nearly all neutral monochromatic tones.

I use about every shade of white, ivory, beige
in varying textures, and use black for contrast. 

The only color I really use in our home is green.

But for this summer I find I am introducing bits of
 a sea glass color of  aqua.

It is a cousin of green.... I can live with that. Ha ha.

I ordered some new quilted bedding in that color
way back in May, but it is back-ordered until October.

Blame Covid.

I hate summer will be over by the time I get it,
but it's worth the wait. I think, haha.

I know pussy willows are for spring
but I liked them so much I kept them out.

(Love it when nature provides the beauty duty!)

A moody dark pic of dining room/ music room
right after a much-needed thunderstorm
right after the sun came out.

I looked for a rainbow!

The cute wood slice birds ornament
 my 3 nieces gave me this past Christmas
certainly brings a smile to my face!

They are three sisters....my three sweet nieces....
three sweet birds.

Ah, and Bob Marley, mon.

♫ ♪ ♫


Rise up this mornin', Smile with the risin' sun, Three little birds Each by my doorstep Singin' sweet songs Of melodies pure and true, Sayin', "This is my message to you." Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a ting, 'Cause every little ting gonna be all right." Singin': "Don't worry 'bout a ting, 'Cause every little ting gonna be all right!"


I pray you are all 
staying home,
 staying safe
 and staying well.

Wearing our masks when out in public
isn't about our rights to wear or not wear them;
it is about doing the right thing
to try our best to prevent the spread of this awful virus.
We each need to be considerate of our neighbor.

Mark 12:31
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Let's all do our parts to try and
 end this awful pandemic.

We are ALL in this TOGETHER.
And so may also be the cure.

Hopeful and virus-free hugs,



Charming Homes and Gardens