Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Relaxing Tea Party

Remember when I talked about tea parties quite a lot? It was back in the month of May and I had been absorbed with this particular tea party...there are quite a few posts about it. Well, I want to tell you about a different tea party. This tea party took place several weeks after the BIG one. And it was completely different.

Our tea party steering committee worked hard during our tea party, so we went in search of a tea party where we could sit down and relax. Have you ever heard of Halls, TN? Maybe not, even if you're from's a teeny-tiny place. Much smaller than Henderson, whose population is 6,600 or maybe a little more. Probably about 37 people lives in Halls and I'm only slightly exaggerating. But! There's a pretty cool place that exists in Halls...Charlene's Colony of Shoppes. It has a tea room (The Just Divine Tea Room - partly made from on old church building. Get it?) and an antique shop and clothing shops and an enormous and very fabulous home decor store. And it's truly out in the middle of nowhere. It's awesome. There's always lots of people's a destination, meaning that a ton of people drive aways to get there...and just to go there.

Six of us on the committee were able to go on the field trip that day and we had a most excellent time. I think the drive was about an hour and a half, so we had plenty of time to talk and catch up on either side of our tea party/shopping time.

That's Sasha (left) and Laurel (right). Sasha and I walk and talk together most weekday mornings and we gather on Wednesday evenings with our husbands after church to watch Psych. I got them hooked. (If you've never watched it, check it out. But only if you like to laugh.) Sasha is very good at crafty stuff, as are all of these ladies, in that I think about it! She especially likes to make jewelry and is learning to sew. 

Laurel is a former First Lady of Freed-Hardeman. She and her husband still stay extremely busy with traveling and raising money for the school. They also have a lovely fig tree in their backyard and when she learned that I had never before tasted a fresh fig, she took it upon herself to bring me a bowl full when they became ripe a few weeks ago. She also invited Sasha and me to harvest some more figs from their tree, which we gratefully did. And now I'm addicted to figs! They're brilliant! (They may get a separate blog post later.) Laurel is also very witty and smart and I'm looking forward to her speaking at our church ladies' day in October.

Ah, yes, and this is when Laurel accidentally put the teapot lid on her cup instead of back atop the teapot. And she reenacted it, a little sheepishly, and let me take a picture. She's a good sport. =)

That's Margaret sitting beside me. She loves the color yellow and books and kittens and fun rainboots and she teaches English at FHU. Very quippy, that Margaret. =)

That's Rhonda - she speaks Spanish (teaches it at FHU, in fact), does a lot of Latin American mission work, and is a creative and hard-working Bible class teacher for the kids at our congregation. She has three adorable blond-headed grandsons under the age of 6 and they love her lots. She's a good one!

This is the Queen Bee - Debbie. She's the starter of our tea party and runs the show every year. Equal parts CPA and crafter, which is pretty amazing in and of itself! We love our Debbie. Her husband is John, who teaches English at FHU - and they have two smart and entertaining sons.

She used to be in plays in college. I'm not sure you can tell. ;) Hee hee.

The special of the day at the Just Divine Tea Room was a Tuna Nicoise Salad (pronounced ni'swaz - and there's supposed to be a little French marking somewhere in there, but I do not know how to make that happen). It was very different and very delicious! I've had a nicoise salad before, a few times in my life in fact - but it had been awhile, so I was due another. (Especially since I cannot make tuna anything at home...Jeremy would run far, far away. Since he jokes about everything, sometimes it's hard to know when he's kidding or not...he had told me about his hate for tuna, but when we were first married, I kinda thought he was exaggerating for comedic effect. So I made a salad one time with tuna in it...he was a good sport by barely choking some of it down before he completely gave up. Bless his heart. We then had a serious conversation about tuna and I've never served it to him since. And I promised I never would. The end.)

Is this salad not beautiful? Very pretty. And the dijon vinaigrette was excellent.

And I'm kinda giving you the recipe right here, just by looking at the picture: a bed of spinach topped with hard-boiled egg wedges, sliced black olives, diced red onion, chopped red bell pepper, tuna and capers. And they're kinda hiding in the back, but there's green beans and chopped boiled potatoes there, too. Cover it all with a lovely dijon vinaigrette and you're set. Pretty healthy!

We all went and shopped for awhile and then went back for dessert at the tea room before we left that afternoon. Rhonda and I shared a chocolate cobbler. Sigh! It was a good day with good friends.

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