Thursday, June 18, 2020

Tea and Sympathy

My post title is misleading as there's no tea here--I don't drink it, wish I liked it. There may be some sympathy simply because you may understand that my mind is wandering and can't seem to focus lately. Maybe Miscellaneous would be a better title.

One of the highlights of my recent days was watching 1956's Tea and Sympathy starring Deborah Kerr and John Kerr (no relation) on Turner Classic Movies. 

Do you see that kitchen? 

The wall of copper? The wood dresser with white knobs? And there's a curtain under the sink and several other pieces of furniture in the room and pretty china in the cabinets and a darling white stove. 

Deborah Kerr was delightful as the wife of a house master at Chilton--get that? The prep school was named Chilton. I had to Google to see if it was real but no, it was made up just like Rory Gilmore's Chilton was. 

I won't go into much of the plot here but it was timely as to the prejudice there was in 1956 against people who were different as was John Kerr's 17 year old character who was hounded by the other teenage boys and called "sister boy." The house mistress's heart went out to him and she offered tea and sympathy on Sundays to the boy who was more interesting than all the other so called manly boys put together.

And talk about men back in the 1950s not being able to talk about their feelings, her husband is the poster child. But on to other things...

Old movies have been a respite from the news lately and so have family and dear pets. I'll try to write soon about the gift of seeing family again but for today, here are two pictures of new family pets.

Can you believe that head?

Dear Bridger, named for the Bridger Mountains in Montana, has visited us often the last few weeks. He is our daughter and son-in-law's Giant Schnauzer and he's only one year old! He and I fell in love with each other and I could look into those beautiful eyes for hours. My photograph doesn't let you see them but they're under all that fur. 

And here's my new grandkittie that I haven't met in person yet but my little granddaughters are so in love with her. Isn't that a sweet face?

Jumping to my next disjointed thought, if you read my bedroom post a few weeks ago you might remember that I hoped to find pictures for the blank wall behind my bed. I found the first one!

The first week that one of our local antique malls reopened I was there and spotted this beauty. The label said it was a watercolor and I thought I was stealing it as I handed over a Benjamin Franklin that was a birthday gift from my firstborn and his wife. I felt almost guilty leaving with it but when I was cleaning it before hanging I saw that it was a numbered print of a watercolor--in the 900s even.

Still not sorry I got her though. I think she's lovely and she holds a pink rose, just like the pink rose lamp on the table by her. I'm hoping next to slowly add a group of smaller pictures on the other side of the clock to make up my art gallery for this side of the room.

Here's two other antique mall pre-pandemic finds that were such a pretty blue that I had to show you.

These blue and white napkins are a perfect blue for my wedding china, Spode's Blue Bird. 

And I couldn't resist this blue pitcher that's a planter with a drainage hole to the attached saucer. Now if I can only find the right houseplant for it.

Next thought...

Here's how I used some of the olives from the recipe on my previous post--in Jan's recipe for Balsamic Pork Chops with Olives, found here at The Low Carb Diabetic blog. They were delicious! 

Every morning I take my clippers outside to deadhead plants in the garden but I'm saving those pictures for a post to show what my new gardeners have accomplished. They are Bridger's mom and dad and RH and I are so thankful for all the gardening help they've given us lately. 

But late in the afternoon, after I've fed BreeBree and James Mason, I go back outside just to stroll around with them and one day I went over to the far side where a large hydrangea has given us a beautiful view from our bathroom window. 

First I had to take a picture of the bark on our one large locust tree.

And here's the pretty hydrangea. We planted two more in the main garden but this one is only seen mainly from the bathroom window. 

And look who accompanied me on my garden stroll, Mr. James Mason, himself!

And then it's back inside to get supper on the table. My meals these days seem to be getting simpler and simpler. Here's a soup from the cookbook I featured in my last post, Judith Huxley's Table for Eight. 

Her Consommé Belleview is so simple and refreshing!

You just combine some chicken broth (I used two jars of homemade broth I'd made from chicken bones and skin I had in the freezer) and 2 8oz. bottles of Clam Juice, a couple of minced garlic cloves and a pinch of cayenne in a saucepan, simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or so. Then you add 2 tablespoons of dry sherry if you have it--sherry is good added to lots of soups. Serve with minced parsley and lemon in bouillon cups. 

I had a whole set of thin Austrian bouillon cups but only kept two when we moved. For some reason clear soups do taste better out of a thin cup, although I have to admit that the mug of leftover soup I had for breakfast the next morning tasted mighty fine, too.

All I served to go with the consommé was open-faced tuna fish and pimento cheese sandwiches on luncheon plates of the French faience that I found one summer at a Goodwill store. Twelve plates taped together, marked Martres and France! 

Here's a picture of them from an old post. I use them constantly, just as I use all my vintage silver, even keeping it in kitchen drawers so I won't forget to grab it instead of the stainless. 

From what I read on Facebook, the younger generation is just going to get rid of all that stuff when we're gone so why not enjoy it myself, right?

And that's it, folks. No quotes this time, no inspiring message, no rough draft worked on for hours. Those days may never come again, or sometimes I feel that way. 

And no tea even though I'm so envious of the pleasure tea time gives many of you. 

Any sympathy out there? How does a regular day go for you now? Are you mingling in public much? I went to the grocery store with RH for the first time in almost three months last week. It was wonderful!


  1. Hi Dewena I never got an email that you had a post. I am sorry to come over late. Mr. James Mason looks so cute. Glad you got out to the grocery store and enjoyed it. Have a great rest of the week.

  2. Deborah Kerr always seemed so lady-like. I first saw her in The King and I. I really like your blue jug and faiënce dish. I'm remembering to use my favourite things because they are not to my daughter's taste. James Mason has such a lovely face. Do your dogs have loud voices? Tilde gets in trouble because she sometimes barks at strangers. Living on the 3rd floor is hard for a little doxie. I just read a lovely book "Diary of a Bookseller". It's just each days customers and sales in a small Scottish town called Wigtown. I have been out a few times to eat but our restaurants are allowed to have only half of the normal occupancy. The servers wear masks. Our lives are very different right now.

  3. Hello Dewena,
    We're getting out and about quite a bit these days. Still being careful, though. Vancouver Island has been declared Covid-19 free and we'd like it to stay that way. Your faience dishes are so pretty. What a find. The consomme sounds delicious. I like clear soups, but others find them not very filling.
    So lovely to see a post from you. Glad you have help in the garden.

  4. Hello Friend,
    It was good to see those smiling pets. :-) What a sweet kitten.

    My dear friend Lori has two Golden Doodle, Sir Knightly is black/brown colored and his eyes are the melt your heart eyes. He gets me every time.
    I always enjoy your posts. Love, Carla

  5. I already had a few paragraphs written to you and I went back in the post to click on the link for the pork chops...back-arrowed back to your blog, and my comment was gone! Let's see if I can remember what I was rambling about...

    I have never seen Tea and Sympathy. Love the kitchen! Wonder if they kept table linens and napkins in the dresser drawers?

    That pork chop recipe looks delicious. We're both big fans of olives. Neither of us are crazy about pork chops, but we'll eat them once in awhile and it's a nice diversion from chicken. I'll have to pick up some chops so we can try this recipe. I'll cook them up in my cast iron pan.

    Your new fur grandkids are so cute! What did your dogs think of Bridger? I've never seen a big schnauzer; only the small ones.

    It doesn't matter that the print you found isn't an's still beautiful and goes perfectly in your bedroom. And I love the blue and white napkins and blue pitcher-vase you found. I would've snatched those up right away!

    I'm afraid I just can't eat soup in the warm months. I only crave it in the fall and winter. And then likewise, I can only eat cold things like ice cream in the summer! I'm the same with hot coffee or tea for me in the cold months, cold brew/iced coffee or iced tea for me in the summer.

    My days honestly haven't changed that much. I still run errands; just now wear a mask. I've seen a few of my friends, but just one on one. And we don't hug or touch. I've seen my mom - and we have hugged. I miss my weekly yoga class, going to the library, taking lots of day trips with Brian and/or my mom and aunt during these beautiful summer days, and I miss going out to eat in restaurants and visiting with friends in coffee shops. Only patio dining here right now, which we've only done once.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. I so enjoyed the glimpse into your world today, Dewena. The consomme sounds delicious, and your tuna and pimento open face looks pretty yummy too. Your grandkitty has such a sweet kitty face, makes me want to snuggle her.

    Things are opening in our corner of the world, but my hubby and I are staying close to home and being cautious. We grocery shop once a week and make do with what we have at home instead of running out for this and that. This afternoon we social distance visited with dear friends in our backyard. It was such a treat to see them in person and to share a couple of hours of visiting and just being together.

    Your James Mason looks like an adorable companion for a garden stroll; what a sweet face. And my, such a splendid bush of hydrangeas.

    We enjoyed your tea and sympathy post. Wishing you a beautiful weekend. Brenda xox

  7. Did you notice that sink? Looks like a under mount farm sink...swoon! Dewena, I really enjoy reading about your "finds" enjoyable! I just bought a German made sewing table; the store clerk told me she looked it up on i-net and it's some swanky thing, still in fairly good shape but it's been well loved and will continue to be well loved! A blog post coming up shortly.

  8. What a wonderful, newsy post!!! I love the 'lady with the rose', she goes great with your rose lamp. Have a great weekend. I'm glad you ventured out into the world again. It's a liberating feeling once you do it and every time you do it.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  9. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that movie, but last Friday we watched West Side Story and I think I want to start a Friday night tradition of watching old movies. Tonight maybe ET or Tea and Sympathy. Seems the more things change the more they stay the same.

    Bridger reminds me so much of Charlie! The one thing about black dogs is photos don’t do them justice. You can’t really see their eyes unless they move them enough so that you can see some of the whites lol.

    LOVE your print! We have actually been spending quite a bit of time looking for a painting for the bedroom. We came up empty locally so have turned our attention to online resources. That’s a rabbit hole that never ends!

    The blue planter would be perfect for fresh flowers, preferably yellow. I know that is probably not practical but it would look so pretty. Nothing too formal, maybe daisies?

    Speaking of flowers. our knockout roses have gotten knocked out! So much rain lately!! Thinking of switching to hydrangeas. Your white one is lovely and so big! I want dwarf varieties due to where they will be located.

    Ever since you posted about the veggie soup a few months ago I have turned over a new leaf. I no longer throw away the celery but rather put it along with veggie scraps in a zip lock bag and once a week make veggie broth. Needless to say there’s lots of soup in our fridge and freezer!

    Our days are not that much different...been out to dinner with a friend or two recently and do errands, play pickleball, bike ride, etc. Restaurants have opened but are now closing again due to a spike in cases. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    Stay well!


  10. I am a huge TCM fan, I can't believe I've never seen that movie. We've watched a lot of them while locked in. My husband never liked them, but over the years he's become a convert. That kitten looks adorable. I bet you can't wait for a snuggle! Be well. xo

  11. Dewena, I love the blue pitcher/planter, your wedding china and the napkins and I think that a bouquet of blue, yellow and white lovelies, much like the ones printed on the plates, would make a beautiful arrangement and a perfect complement to your vessel of choice!

    I also cannot stop gazing at the French faience, since it resembles a set I picked up at Value Village years ago. I adore designs that have a homemade, craft-like look to them and imagine a talented French countrywoman carefully dabbing on the paint, in the natural light of her studio, smiling as the image comes to life.

    And speaking of prints, your new find is fabulous in its new spot on your bedroom wall, right above all those pretty accessories; there's something very romantic about it!

    Bridger is like a big hunk of black furry love! He already seems very comfortable at Home Hill; must be all the love and TLC he's getting from his grand mummy!

    How refreshing the white hydrangeas are against the silky greenery! Are they a first for you and RH - I don't remember any at Valley View?

    Your consomme looks and sounds delicious! I love soups, no matter the season, although I do find them more comforting in the autumn and winter. It's cold soups that I have never been curious enough to try.

    Haven't been up to too much lately, although I am cooking and baking more than usual, which was already quite a lot! Mainly, trying to stay cool indoors until about 7pm, when I need to go out and water all my flowers. I do miss my choir rehearsals and taking part in concerts, but it is what it is.

    Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!

  12. Your posts are always so fun to read and see - love that painting hanging in your bedroom - really nice. And everything else you showed - the big headed dog, lol and the cute kitten, the blue pitcher, the little dog ... and that recipe ..sounds so good. Your bedroom looks like one that a person can spend many hours in enjoying reading and feeling calm. Have a wonderful Sunday.

  13. I didn't know you weren't a tea drinker! I love everything about 'having tea' but the actual tea!
    I watched that old classic the other night. it was wonderful. Deborah never misses. and I've liked John Kerr ever since South Pacific. but what I loved was seeing that little cozy kitchen through your own eyes!
    and then to take a walk through the garden at Home Hill and come upon tiny James Mason!!! and I cannot lie. seeing Bridger grinning at you over the baby gate made me smile hugely. he's spreading his own joy as only a big puppy can!
    I love this post DSM. it's life affirming. and we need that now more than ever. xoxoxo

  14. I don't drink tea either! And it seems we are in the minority.

    So it's actually nice, to find another woman, "missing" the joys of tea drinking. ~wink~

  15. Hmmm, my 2nd comment seems to have disappeared....

    Thank you for the pork chop idea. And the open faced sandwich too. Simple meals are just what Summer calls for!!!!

    As to going in stores, I am perfectly happy not to. -smile- My husband loves to look over all the food he buys, but not me. On line order and curb side pickup, are fine with me.

    But I do feel, for those, who really miss going into stores.

    And who needs posts, which are long pondered over? -smile- Not I. Frequent bits of this and that, make me happy.

  16. Well, I came right over when I saw your title, Tea and Sympathy, cause I love tea time, and sympathy is something the world needs more of. All your pretty blue lovelies.....that pitcher is so pretty. And the blue and white checkered towels are charming. Love blue in the home. The white hydrangeas are a sight! Nel has a big bush of them in her front yard in the colors of Purple. The balsamic pork chops look delicious, what a wonderful recipe. Your grandkitty is too cute. What fun they will have with her. And I really like the photo of the lady in your bedroom. She's lovely holding the rose. That was a great find.

    It sounds like you are having a relaxing Summer, Dewena. And your sweet little dog makes me smile every time.

    ~Sheri, I'm not mingling in public yet. I just go over to Nel's and visit and take drives here and there. I drove through Starbuck's once, but only cause I ran out of coffee and needed some haha.

  17. I love the oldies and I've always admired Deborah Kerr, such an intelligent and elegant actress. Your post made me wonder why tea has the better PR? Why is it the drink to sooth and comfort while coffee is to wake you up? They both have caffeine.


RH and I love your comments! They are sent to my email for moderation first but I do hit publish as soon as I read them. A few commenters' comments are not sent to my email for some reason but I try to visit that section on my design page twice a day to see if they're hiding there so I can publish them. I went the first 3 years of blogging not knowing that was there and when I discovered it there were many pages of old comments that never got published. I was so embarrassed and contacted recent ones but hid in shame from those who had given up long ago.

In these busy days I appreciate so much when you take time to comment. Thank you so much!