Sunday, May 30, 2004

Tea and Memories

I had a friend ask me recently why I named this blog Brown Betty Brew and called myself Cuppa. I didn’t realise that these were not familiar terms to some people.

I do love my "cuppa tea" and have had many a good chat with a friend over a fresh hot “cuppa tea” or “cuppa coffee”. Seeing as my blog is taking on the form of a general email to friends, I thought I would go with the “Sharing a Cuppa With a Friend” theme. Hope you are enjoying a relaxing one right now while you sit and check your email or surf the net for a while.

I think that the old Brown Betty teapot makes the best tea and I wouldn't be without mine. I have purchased other pretty teapots over the years but always go back to my old, trusty, Brown Betty. It is ugly as a tea bag, but I love it!! My mother and grandmother used a Brown Betty too. They were diehard "tea grannies" from way back and really enjoyed their cuppas from morning till night. No coffee for them, just tea.

Ah, sweet memories of all those cuppas I shared with them over the years. Wisdom and love liberally added to the steaming brew as it was poured from the pot.
Many an hour was spent sitting around our square, white enamel, kitchen table sharing advice of all kinds, along with laughter, tears, hopes, dreams, fears. You name it, it was talked about over a hot cup of tea at that big old table.

We had early morning cuppas with breakfast to get us started for the day, and late day cuppas to help us relax in the evening. Funny how the same drink was supposed to wake you up in the morning but help you to sleep at night too. Don’t understand how it worked, but it did. The kettle was put on the stove to boil, for middle of the afternoon pick-me-ups, and middle of the night soothers. The cuppa would be doctored up with lots of milk and sugar if you had a sick stomach or mixed with brandy if you had a cold.

How I wish I could share one more cuppa with my mother right now and tell her all about her grand-daughter’s wedding. She would be so thrilled for her, and would absolutely love her grand-son-in-law too.

These joyous occasions always bring back the hurt of the losses in our lives too, don’t they? Joy and sorrow mixed together, two sides of the same coin. That is life isn't it?

I will miss my mom and dad on my daughter’s wedding day, but I will try to enjoy the celebration all the more, and experience it for them too. I am sure they will both be peeking over the edge of heaven on June the 12th and will take in all the festivities of the day with me from their side of the universe. If there is tea in heaven, they will both have a fresh hot cuppa in their hands and will raise their cups and toast the bride and groom across eternity. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Trial and error?

This is just a test to see if I can follow Anvilcloud's instructions on how to insert a picture into the text of my blog.

I would like to insert a picture of Niagara Falls on the right hand side of this text. I went to the net and found a picture now let me see if I can place it here.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Am I in Kansas Toto?

Hello everyone
How are you all doing today after the long weekend? We, are a bit waterlogged, here in South-western Ontario, let me tell you. Yes, we have had an absolutely terrible weekend, weather wise. Storms swept through our region and just didn't stop.

Now you may not know this, but I like a thunderstorm, and quite often open the windows wide and sit enthralled just watching mother-nature do her thing with thunder and lightening. Not last night though. These storms were so fierce, I felt like hiding in the closet, not sitting by any window!! No kidding. It was frightening.

We were under tornado watches and warnings most of the day yesterday, and they really frighten me. The weather channel didn't lift the alerts until 10pm last night, and by that time I was a wreck. I had all my emergency supplies (water, radio, flashlight, candles, matches, cell phone, etc.) lined up in the basement and I was ready to grab the cat and head down there at a moment’s notice. I posted myself at the front door to watch for funnel clouds while I listened to weather reports. It was a tense time, as the winds and rains buffeted the house, but no funnel clouds appeared and we got through another spring storm without mishap. Whew!

Tornados have touched down in this area quite a few times so I don’t take the watches and warnings lightly. I have spent many a stormy afternoon, over the years we have lived here, crouched in a doorway in the basement waiting for the all clear. The hardest times were when my kids were at school and I couldn’t get to them. I was taking cover in the basement and they were going through the drill at school, crouching on the floor in the hallways. Thanks goodness those days are over.

I was exhausted when I fell into bed last night, and I could only imagine how tired some of my neighbours were after having to deal with their flooded basements all that day and then having to contend with another storm that night. Oh dear what a day!!!

It was still raining when I went to bed around 11, but at least the thunder and lightening was off in the distance and moving further away with each passing minute. The night was pretty quite and I slept soundly – no pie plate bongo drum last night.

We had lots of wind today, but no rain and the sun even peeked through a couple of times.
I wonder what tomorrow will bring? Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Raining Lions and Great Danes

I just made a fresh hot cup of tea and now it is time to sit and relax. Won’t you make yourself a cuppa too and join me for a little visit?

I am counting my blessings today– let me tell you why.

It didn’t just rain cats and dogs last night it rained Lions and Great Danes!!!! Yes, Lions and Great Danes! We were dumped on but good. Loud crashes of thunder and bright flashes of lightening woke me up around 3 am and I couldn’t get back to sleep until 7 am. Not nice that! Usually I find the sound of rain in the night relaxing, but not last night. It was such a bad storm and it lasted for so long, I couldn’t get back to sleep.

Last week we had a demented robin flinging itself repeatedly against our patio doors, and last night one of the foil pie plates I hung up on the deck to keep said robin away, broke off its string. It landed in such a position on the deck floor that the water cascading off the roof during the storm, hit it like a bongo drum. A rather large and loud bongo drum, I might add. When the rain let up a bit, the pie plate drum took up the task of keeping me awake. GRRRRR.

I finally got up at 4 am, grabbed a coat and threw it over my head then stormed out into the wild thundering rain to move that blasted pie plate. The air was cold and wet and the wind was blowing at a fair clip. I managed to reach the pie plate without too much trouble, but the string which I had attached to it, was all tangled in the rose bushes. I fought with it for a couple of minutes but couldn’t get it loose, so I finally tucked it down beside the rose bush and hoped it would stay there silently until morning. I ran back into the house cold and wet, only to be greeted by a howling cat. He was convinced it was breakfast time and made it very clear that he would keep me awake with his caterwauling if I didn’t take a minute to dish out his “first breakfast”. I think there is a bit of Hobbit in him, because he likes first and second breakfast. By this time I was wide-awake, damp and cold. Not a happy camper at all.

About 15 minutes after I first rolled out of it, I crawled back into my warm bed and pulled the thick blankets right up to my chin. Brrr, I was cold. I buried my head in the soft pillow and tried to relax and enjoy the sound of the falling rain just outside the window. Maybe it would lull me back to sleep. At least that blankety-blank pie plate drum had been taken care of. Now, if the thunder would just co-operate I should be able to get a few more hours of sleep.

No such luck! The storm continued to build in intensity and got louder. The downpour was so heavy and prolonged, I started to wonder if I should get up and look for those directions on how to build an ark. Goodness, what a night.

Well, the storm finally passed and as it got quieter and quieter I snuggled down deeper a deeper under the quilt and finally drifted off to dreamland once again. I slept most of the morning away and by the time I rolled out of bed for the second time, the rain had stopped completely and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. It was a valiant effort, but not very successful. Looks like more rain now and I think I hear rolling thunder off in the distance.

Once I checked to see what was going on outside I padded down to the basement to survey the damage down there. Whew! Everything was ok. The sump pump had worked perfectly and the little bit of water that did find its way inside was just a trickle in a corner of the laundry room. No damage done at all. Thank goodness.

I was upset at having my sleep so rudely interrupted last night, but when we walked around our neighbourhood after lunch, I counted myself lucky to have a dry basement and to have gotten off so easy. We saw people moving soggy furniture out to their driveways, or stacking up wet boxes outside their front doors. Piles of wet carpet and other odds and ends were everywhere. Our neighbour just two doors down came to her front door and threw a bucket of dirty water out onto the lawn as we walked past. She didn’t look happy at all. Oh dear, lots of people had major flooding.

Yes, I am counting my blessings and have added a few new things to my list today. I am so glad for eaves troughs,and shingles; a house on a bit of a hill; a sump pump; down spouts and drain pipes. All the dull, little thought of, parts of my house that helped me weather the storm last night are worth their weight in gold today.

What can you put on your list today? Is it time for a second cup of tea, while you ponder that one? Talk to you later. Cuppa

Friday, May 21, 2004

Be it ever so humble....

We are back home from our anniversary trip to Niagara Falls and even though it was a wonderful trip I am once again glad to be home and sleeping in my own bed. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. How true that old saying is. I think the Sheraton has a commercial on TV right now about their wonderful beds, but my own is still the nicest one in "the world" and I am sure that is the same for everyone.

We had a room with a spectacular view overlooking the falls and I felt like I wanted to sleep with my eyes open so I could look at the view all night. Seemed like such a waste of time to sleep!!! We did have nice weather - not a lot of sun, but at least it didn't rain - so we were able to walk along the falls and do other sight seeing things in comfort. We stayed away from the main drag in the town, but we did enjoy a drive to Niagara- on-the Lake, a wine tour, a visit to the butterfly conservatory and walks through the fabulous gardens all along the parkway.

What a treat to splurge on such a nice hotel in grand and glorious Niagara Falls, but, this morning I sat in my own family room and looked out over my quiet little garden. What a feast that was for my eyes too. I didn't hear the roar of the falling water, or see the rising plume of mist, but I did hear birds chirping in the linden tree and see beautiful forget-me-nots from grandpa's garden blooming in each corner of my yard. What could be more spectacular than this?

Be it ever so humble. There's no place like home.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

It worked

Hello again. I just went and checked the page and my posting posted. How amazing is that? If I can do it you can too. It only took me a few minutes and I was away to the races. The hardest part was findng a url and display name that wasn't already taken. So, I am all set. Let's go.

We have cold windy weather here today. Sheesh. What is going on? Yesterday it was so hot and humid I had the AC on but this morning I had to turn the fireplace on to take the chill out of the air. Just crazy. Snow out west and hot and humid here.

We went out for a walk after dinner last night and got caught in a major downpour. We were half way around our route when the sky opened up and dumped on us. Actually, at first it was quite refreshing on such a hot humid night, but by the time we got home the temperature had dropped and we were both cold and soaked right through. Brrr. A hot shower and dry clothes were very welcome at the end of that walk.

The neighbours are off to Toronto today to see Mama Mia and we are off to Niagara on Monday. Sure hope it warms up and the rain falls somewhere other than here for the next few days.

Hope you all have a great weekend and are able to get out and enjoy your gardens or a walk in the park. Talk to you all later. Cuppa

Morning Coffee

I am enjoying my first cup of coffee of the day and it is helping me warm up on this cold windy morning in May. MMMM good.

John just sent me the info to set up my own blog so let's see if this works. Stay tuned.