Jul 21, 2007

My Favorite Teacup


From "If Teacups Could Talk," by Emilie Barnes

Lord, Grant that our time together
be steeped in serenity, sweetened by sharing,
and surrounded by the
warm fragrance of your love.


Aside from it's beauty and elegance, my "favorite teacup" has a story to tell. It was a gift from Barry– my husband. He had entered the threshold of Hiatt & Peek, in the Long Beach Market Place with a well thought out mission. Aware of my fondness for this shop, he knew he couldn't strike out; however, he wasn't playing it safe. This time he wasn't procrastinating. This time...he intended to bring home something that would say everything.

After being directed to lavish shelves of tea things, he weighed his choices and managed to select the consummate teacup; one he knew I would choose. And he was right. I was smitten. My teacup collection was upstaged. I still admire it daily since it's displayed on my bedroom nightstand, surrounded by seashells that draw out the blue and rose hues of the cup.

Gail Greco was quoted in "If Teacups Could Talk" as saying, "Somehow, taking tea together encourages an atmosphere of intimacy when you slip off the timepiece in your mind and cast your fate to a delight of tasty tea, tiny food, and thoughtful conversation." Formal or informal, alone or with friends– tea is an aromatic escape from the mundane; made even more splendiferous by a beautiful piece of china.

Jul 19, 2007



My boys are home... The roof is bouncing off its shingles! When I've been couped up for awhile, even the simplest "food" image will evoke cravings that can send me accelerating through the concrete jungles of Southern California.

Today, I am craving the Blue Frog Bakery in Orange, California. And, with no connection but still using the frog theme, the Frog's Breath Cheese Store. (I know, the name is jolting, although I can't remember actually smelling a frog's breath.) Both of these stores are located North (cheese shop) and South (bakery) of the Orange Circle.

The Blue Frog Bakery features soups, sandwiches, magnificent French pastries, tarts, cookies, etc. I love everything there, but their soft, plump peanut butter cookies are the best I've ever eaten! The cheese shop is for the cheese gourmand! It has an exquisite inventory of local, national, and imported cheeses.

American cheese was the staple of my formative years. I don't remember being aware of any other type of cheese until my teens, and then it was mostly cheddar. In my adult years, the world of cheese has become an exploration. The pleasures are vast! Since I don't drink, my cheese pairings have more to do with food. Aside from the usual crackers, toast, fruit, vegetables, and pita, my imagination is continually creating new matches. I enjoy tweaking traditional recipes by replacing the cheese with robust, artisanal choices that surprise the taste buds.

I have even begun to keep a cheese diary for future purchases. My 20 year old daughter simply snickered at this revelation. "Dear Diary," she teased, "today I ate some cheese." I chuckled, but when I like something, I want to remember it for future purchases. Likewise, I don't want to repeat something unpleasant. Besides, even the web is full of cheese diaries...

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The hunt for inspiration, new discoveries, sparks that ignite... C'est la vie! Nowadays, my magazines and laptop are partners in crime. I pick up a beautiful magazine, spy something special, and moments later I'm taking a "bask" at it's web site! I suppose I need instant gratification, especially since there is just too much "waiting" in my life. Simultaneously, I will even be listening to a food or how-to channel, or even a podcast. I love saturation and absorption! I'm always wanting to go somewhere I've never been.

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My husband is an Independent Milkman! Yes, they still exist! Actually, in Southern California, there is great enthusiasm in bringing the milkman back to neighborhoods. For most, the milkman represented an era of wholesome living and convenience.

I have fond milk memories...

  • milk deliveries on our back porch (which didn't make sense because the product received early morning sun)
  • milk bottles morphing into milk cartons
  • wonderful drawings of smiling, clean shaven, immaculately dressed milkmen (since my husband is rarely seen, he doesn't look that good)
  • my family– squeaky clean and sharply dressed– walking from our home to the dairy photography truck parked at our curb
and the not so fond...
  • forgetting to bring the milk in before going to school (which did a great deal of sunbathing without sunscreen)
  • putting the compromised milk in the fridge, hoping to pass it off
  • my milk plot being exposed by the odorous stench that immediately slapped the nostrils (but nothing like finding the Brussels sprouts hidden in the Dixie cup behind the couch– 3 months later!)
My dairy delivery now includes having the product brought into the house and placed in my fridge. Well...I am married to the milkman! I'm going to suggest that he leave it on my porch and then drive around the block, just so I can taste nostalgia!

And the winner is...

The randomly magic moment has arrived! The Web-Warming has been a great deal of fun! It attracted good friends and some new souls whom I am delighted to meet!

Many of my friends were discovering blogs for the first time and not quite sure how to navigate and interact with this format. I know that some felt a bit intimidated, but for the most part, they were pleasantly surprised.

I was delighted to read all of the comments. This is my first blog-adventure, so it felt much like having guests into my home! I wanted to take out my best serving platters and offer refreshments!

Well, let's get down to business. There were 23 posts (visitors). I made a list from 1-23 and wrote down the name of each person in the order that they posted. I then went to, choosing to acknowledge the first number that was generated.

The selected number is "11"! And the winner is...Charisse! I know Charisse very well. She is a sweet, life-loving soul who is up-close-and-personal with Starbucks! Congratulations, Charisse! (I know where you live...) Charisse literally did stop by for a cup of coffee!

Thanks again to ALL OF YOU for visiting! This has been great fun! Don't make this your last visit! Adventures await, so please make this a regular stop on your way to other places!

Jul 18, 2007


A morning without coffee is like sleep.
-Author Unknown

This is the last day to participate in my WEB-WARMING PARTY and GIVEAWAY! The winner will receive a $15.00 STARBUCKS CARD! All entries must be received by midnight tonight, Pacific Time. Simply scroll down and post (1) comment on the original WEB-WARMING announcement! The details are listed on that specific post. I hope that we will be visiting often!