I Wait

I waited for you to crash into my life
And leave me breathless
I waited for your touch to make me feel alive
And love to compel us

I waited for my wings to spread and take flight
And fly us beyond the stars
I waited for lovely unconsciousness of sprite
To free us from these bars

I waited for your fingerprints upon my skin
And your signature across my heart
I waited and waited for love to begin
And love found not its part

I waited for you to realize my love for you
And us to be as one
I waited and waited but you wished me adieu
Yet, I still wait while your heart runs


by Jane Hardin

The Sacred

The thirst for your voice, the sweetness of your words, oh how they fill my void
Take me to the fount where you pour into my soul a drop of your wondrous joy.

The flow caresses me in soft, tender light from the wondrous face of heaven
Oh you, my most high, dismantle my throes and acquit my throne of leaven.

Embrace me, under your sacred wing from whence my help doth come
Allow your steadfast truth to cleanse the heart of this broken one.

With bright’ning hope on rays of light that penetrate the depths within
Send forth your burning flame of love let the sacred in hearts live therein.


by Jane Hardin

He Prepares The Heart

So often, mankind departs from simplicity immersing himself in the cares and pursuits of his own doings. He becomes scattered among the throes inside his heart and delves into the paroxysm of his mourning. Oh what sullen temperaments we bring upon our own beings! I for one have held that title of guilt and the hauntings that were attached to its veracities that never faded. But God in His simplistic yet mysterious and sovereign ways came inside the darkest of dark and took hold of that which had settled and made its home inside my heart and sentenced those very antagonizing holds to death and tossed the remnants into that sea of forgetfulness far beyond my realm, as far as the east is from the west.

This morning I sang a song, one that we all are familiar with, one that rises from within us every Christmas season, and I do realize it’s not Christmas, but a song that inspires my writing today. “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room.” “LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM! I stopped here and pondered on those words, “let every heart prepare him room”. How do we prepare a heart? How do we make room for Him? God! First of all, we need to make room by clearing out all the stuff whatever that stuff might be, clutter, lots of clutter perhaps and as for me, my clutter was stashed in every corner and empty space, its no wonder my mind was consumed to the point I couldn’t form a complete sentence in my thoughts, nevertheless the clutter had to go and it wasn’t easy and it didn’t happen on my own doings.

I began to wonder if my heart was a stanza of allegory or fable, whatever the mode of accounting was, it was not stable in any sense of the word. A coupe of weeks ago, I broke! I gave in to the battle of my mind. I found myself grieving deeply of my past sins. Sins I had already been forgiven of but had not forgiven myself. I wept bitterly until my eyes became swollen and burned from intensity of my groanings. I felt far from peace. Far from anyone who meant anything to me, far as in deep exile. A sorrowful constraint that words do not describe. I told God that I accept my lot in life and I didn’t expect blessings from Him nor did I feel worthy. But little did I know that God was already preparing my heart for this season in my life. And indeed, what a blessing it truly is!

In 2016, on a cold Wednesday night, I sat on the back pew during a bible study in church in Aiken, S.C. Each person was given a little sheet of paper with nothing on it but a scripture from the Bible. Mine was from Isaiah 57:15. I tucked the little piece of paper in my Bible and after service ended, I went home and read my passage. I really didn’t think much of it, nor did I consider it relevant and left the little nugget inside perhaps for another space and time. As the years have passed, I have often seen the paper while flipping through those sacred pages of the word of God and would read the passage but no magical phenomenon occurred, no light bulb moment intervened, until last night.

Since that night in 2016 my heart was being prepared through pruning. As a Christian, it’s necessary for God to prune our hearts since we are chosen to bear lasting fruit. And more times than not during this pruning process, God seemed millions of miles away. He seemed distant to the point that I felt He had separated himself from me. But as truth will have it, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He might step aside to allow his Spirit to do deep works in our hearts but he will NEVER abandon you. This depth is a journey not an overnight miracle, and in my heart there was a lot of pruning to be done. God also prepares the heart through repentance like the heart of king David. God wants first place in our hearts and if He isn’t first place then He is a jealous God. If He is not first place, then we should do a census on the idols and destroy their very nature to make room for our Creator. What is your heart representing spiritually? Its a good question one we all should ask ourselves.

Last night, while tip-toeing, so-to-speak, through scriptures, that little bible verse handwritten on that little piece of paper fell out. If you know me, you know I do not believe in coincidences. I picked it up and sat it on the table beside me. I read a couple of chapters, random chapters nothing that seemed to be a characteristic of any particular aspect of any certain emotion I was feeling. Just a mere moment of reading just to be reading. But I quickly learned I had an assignment to be where I was exactly when I was there. I picked up that little piece of paper to put back inside my Bible. I stared at it for a moment wondering why I had kept it for so long. I knew the Bible verse, but something deep inside me told me to go back and read it again.

Isaiah 57:15 NIV “For this is what the high and lofty One says- He who lives forever, whose name is Holy: ‘I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'” I knew this was a divine appointment. So I began to study those two words, “lowly” and “contrite.” My eyes welled up in tears as I took sincere notice of what contrite really is. In Bible terms, a contrite heart is a heart that is filled with a sense of guilt and a deep longing for atonement, penitent, a show of deep remorse. Someone like me who had been broken from her past, full of regret full of deep sorrow, and from deep moral earnestness, someone who even had nerve to ask God to allow her to go back and start all over. That’s how deep I had plunged and how contrite my heart really had become.

After reading this verse I broke yet again. This time, it was tears of joy, thankfulness, gratitude to God who was opening my eyes to a fact that He indeed had forgiven me but I had to forgive myself and the only way I could do that was to know that God truly understood my heart and know He was and has been with me through all this lingering sorrow. He knew this day would come hence preparing my heart for such a time as this since 2016 in a church on a cold Wednesday night, holding that little piece of paper that has more meaning to me now and will always reside in the address of the book of Isaiah. This may seem minute to someone else maybe perhaps even you, but to me it has been a major feat in my walk with Christ. One I could not wait to testify of.

I felt every regret, every remorse, every guilt being lifted from my soul just knowing that the God who lives in a high and holy place also lives inside my heart, my contrite and lowly heart where his love broke through and gathered all of those emotional infirmities and healed that brokenness and restored comfort to me where now my words are words of praise to Him.

If you are experiencing the same realm of emotions and are not sure of where your heart is when it comes down to the matters therein, God wants to meet you in your place of need where He will prepare your heart for the healing that you so desire. It’s a process, but soon your joy will come in the morning and you will find yourself immersed in the love and compassion God has for each and every one of us if we only share our sorrows with him. Sometimes, you can only communicate with tears and that’s okay because to God, our tears are a language and they are so important to Him that He puts them in bottles. He knows the story behind your tears and He is there to comfort us, heal us and give you joy that you will not be able to explain. Man cannot do this for you, no licensed therapist can come close, only the One who designed and created you can bring you this completeness.

Cats Cotton Balls And Ideas

Cats are wise, lovable, mysterious, quiet, adorable, soft and the list goes on but these aren’t the only characteristics that they have. When I was writing my fist novel, I had twin cats named Optimus and Rodimus Prime. They both were faithful and loyal to the nightly gatherings at the computer where they tried to sneak and type when I wasn’t looking. It was quite frustrating then, but when I look back I can’t help but laugh at their sneaky, clever little ways that I can’t help but admire. I remember one occasion, I had a phone call, and when I finished I turned back to my computer to find two paws on my keyboard, one on each side while the two cats laid innocently behind my laptop. I looked at my screen to find an entire paragraph of letters and numbers and two very not-so-innocent green eyed Japanese Li’s staring back at me from either side. They recognized the tongue in cheek expression and both scattered quickly. It’s worth mentioning, my novel is dedicated to them. Below are the Twins.

Rodimus Prime on the left, Optimus Prime on right

Two days ago while removing nail polish from my finger nails with cotton balls I had an idea to make a snowy Christmas tree. I gathered all the supplies I would need and placed them neatly on my desk. I always place everything neatly when I began, but my cats rearrange everything when they make their entrance. This day was no exception! I no longer have Optimus and Rodimus, but I do have 10 rescue cats that we take care of and four of them are inside cats. In saying that, you must be asking yourself how do I get anything done? The answer is simple. I don’t! It doesn’t matter what I am doing, writing, doing arts or sitting quietly sipping on hot tea, one of the four from their elite circle comes for a visit, sometimes two at a time, they clear a space on my desk and make that space their own . Allow me to introduce you to them, Hemingway, Shakespeare, Lily and Grayboy.

our oldest cat, Hemingway
Shakespeare
A brother and sister, Gray and Lily

And they all occupy the right side of my desk when they please.

I will do another blog about the cats later, but now I want to share a little bit of my creation. I explained above my idea of making a snowy tree from cotton balls, so after the cats each had their moment of glory, I was finally able to tackle my project. I won’t go into much detail of how and what, I just had a moment that lasted all day or two where I created four small Christmas trees to decorate the studio with. God only knows, it needs all kinds of love up here.

I started with the snowy cotton ball tree.

It may look like like a mound of marshmallows that’s delicious enough to eat, but the cotton balls really outweighed my expectations. I also used a candle holder, red sequins, silver glittered berries and silver flower petals all from my tree branch projects from previous blogs. But I did not stop here.

The above tree is made from pearls, lace flowers, some jute and jingles, bling trim all on printed Christmas music paper shaped into a cone. This made a really cute cone tree and gave me many different ideas to make more, in fact, I made two more cone trees that are made over candle holders like the cotton ball tree. One, very simplistic, yet elegant tree made from white paper doilies, pearls and topped with a small, gold glittered ball ornament and the other was also made from cotton balls, sequins and the printed Christmas music paper and a quilled, blue snowflake. It looks more like an upside down ice cream cone and I’m fine with that. Although I am not into whimsical that much, sometimes you just wind up with something totally different than what you had planned especially when you’re working as fast as you can to try and finish, you know, working against the clock!

After working on my Christmas delights and trying to entertain the cats that were determined to take over my projects, or perhaps my attention, I stepped back to snap a photo.

This blog is ode to the kitties that never cease to amaze me, make me smile and bring so much joy into my life…

Inspiration Of A Tree

For several weeks I have watched and observed the transformation of the trees I see every day. They have gone from summer greens to autumn’s vibrant hues and now, those leaves are dropping and scattering on the ground changing the landscape even more. I have a certain fascination for trees! No, I am not into witchery nor do I worship trees, but I hold in high regard the respect and admiration for our Father God who created them and appointed unto them such a large responsibility to our planet and environment. These amazingly efficient plants (the biggest plants on earth) provide oxygen, they clean the air, stabilize the soil and the Wildlife Federation make claims that the trees are the lungs of the earth as they absorb pollutants and also filter contaminants in the air. Let’s not forget the canopy they provide for the birds and shade we love to crouch under.

As I have studied and admired the trees, I became inspired to bring my studio to life with branch art. As those creative ideas began to flood my brain, I wasted no time implementing a plan.

We had a storm a few months ago that took down a couple of trees in the back yard along the tree-line. I will not cut branches from a perfectly good upright tree but I did find what I needed from those trees that had fallen over and from those same trees, I will be making more branch arts. Those dead trees aren’t useless after all.

I made a trip to Home Depot to purchase silver, metallic, spray paint and that was all I invested in my art. I already had fairy lights and the vase which I will be using for one of the projects.

I found some very nice branches with pine cones still attached and decided to use those. I fell in love with the silver, metallic paint, but I did not want to give the branches a foil look so I used a little allowing some of the natural wood to shine through just to give it a wintry effect. I added some floral pics I had painted and went heavy on the glitter to give character to my creation and threw in some gold, glittered ball ornaments. I had recently purchased a hurricane glass from the Dollar Tree, and I decorated the bottom part of the glass with diamond wrap and large crystal gems. This really gave “sass” to my project.

I also made a huge wall piece behind my desk on the brick wall. To this one, I also added fairy lights and a few hanging hearts that were spray painted as well. I haven’t made my mind up yet how to position the branch on the wall, but here is a photo all lit up.

I didn’t stop there, I also made a large branch piece to hang over my bed. I absolutely love the fairy lights at night as it gives a warm feel to the room, but my cats love it too and have broken a few pieces from the branch, so I will be making another to replace it.

I also decided to make a BOHO style hanging for another wall where I used one of the broken branches from the piece over my bed. I only used one piece of wood , some jute rope, yarn, pearls, beads, ball ornaments and a large metal heart I decorated with bling and a cross. I liked how it turned out, to me, it has a primitive feel to it.

But I wasn’t quite finished with my tree inspiration. I felt compelled to design and quill my own Fall tree. I had a beautiful copper plated frame in my supplies stashed away, and I used it to frame my art. I wanted my quilled tree to have a wind blown effect with a few fallen leaves below it. I could not help but hum to the tune of an old 1945 song called, Autumn Leaves as I worked on my piece. It took me a couple of days to complete it, but that old tune stayed right with me.

The photo above is the tree that has been my inspiration, and continues to inspire me. I suppose nature has a way of removing distractions and fills my heart with awe even if there is an old building behind it. I learn a lot from nature as it teaches that nothing is permanent and seasons come and go. Even in these difficult times we face each day, the beauty of the trees will still be there even when winter leaves then bare, and when spring makes her round, nature will spring forth with new life thus reminding us that life goes on….

Treasures Revamped

Lately, I’ve had a trove of creative ideas bouncing around inside my head and I went searching through my supplies just to see what I could find. Tucked away behind some boxes on the shelf was a bag. I opened it and found an old little treasure. It was a soap and lotion holder from many years ago that I had kept for some odd reason. In it’s day it was a nice copper-finished metal piece, but it had faded over the years in that bag and became dingy, rusted and tarnished, and simply put, ugly! It had seen better days and was now ready to be put away permanently. But instead, I decided to look it over for a bit.

I had just finished a tree branch I had painted for a wall in the studio and remembered I had a little metallic/silver spray paint left over. I cleaned the metal container and allowed it to dry thoroughly. After it was completely dried, I took it outside and painted it. I watched as the transformation began. My only regret was not getting a photo of it before painting it to share with you.

I love the intricate design of this old container and the metallic/silver brought life to this piece. I was thrilled with the color and its new transformation, but to me it needed more. So I went outside and got some small twigs from the woods and painted those silver as well. I also had some silvery iced floral picks I had purchased from The Dollar Tree and some diamond trim and large gems I purchased from Hobby Lobby, and my mind began to brain- storm. I first glued on the large gems, then the diamond trim later. I began attaching the twigs together and glued them to the container.

It really did my heart good seeing this old tarnished piece of junk come back to life. The possibilities were no longer limited for this find, this newly awakened beauty. The gems I had added were enough to stop there but it seemed to beg for more. Adding the twigs and berries gave it that perfect character, but I also added a couple of little flower petals that I had also painted and “voila”!

Never underestimate the beauty of fallen treasure! This project has been possible only because there was a need to create, but it was already created. I just did the make-up and added a new dress.

Quiling (My form of therapy)

I began quilling when I was in elementary school well over 50 years ago. Back then, I didn’t have quilling tools like we use today and if I recall correctly, we used little dowels, pencils and toothpics. I wonder what the early ancient Egyptians used as it does stir my curiosity . The Egyptians used a technique called “filigree” which has inspired other forms of quiliing later through the centuries.

I remember quilling the basic open and closed coils. We learned to make very simple snowflakes with this technique thus catapulting my love for paper art. As the years came and went, I found other interests and steered away from the art I fell in love with. Every now and then, I would occupy myself with some strips of paper I cut for myself and a pencil or pen and just quill different variations such as marquise, teardrops and petals and shape them into flowers. But in 2019 after hearing my stories of my love for quilling, my oldest son got me a deluxe quilling kit with everything I could possibly need to get back into my art and i haven’t stopped since.

This form of art is like painting only you use paper strips and you shape them into different forms to create your designs which I refer to as painting with paper. Now, I would like to share some of my art with you. I do name each piece as I go and many times there are reasons behind my work. My first piece is what I call “Hilda” named after the fabulous lady who welcomed me into her home in Stoke on Trent, England in 2018. She would fix me a glass of Port every night and we would share in good laughter and special bonding. Hilda is in her later 80’s and her health is failing but I will never forget her lovely smile and generous hospitality so I designed this piece of art in honor of her.

Hilda

This form of art is therapy to my soul and brings much enjoyment into my life especially in these uncertain times we are facing. I will share with you several more pieces that I have done during this Covid-19 pandemic. I hope you enjoy and perhaps this might spark an interest for you or your children to get started as the possibilities are endless. It’s a great way to get involved and learn a new art.

Snowflakes

Be strong, be safe and be blessed!

The Faceless Beast

In this blog I want to share one of three dreams I’ve had recently. I have recorded them and have thought about it over and over whether or not to share it, but I believe in my heart it is now my time to talk about it so here I am to do just that:

” And in the last days it shall be, God declares that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” ESV Translation

I have seen many videos on Youtube about dreams of the coming of Christ and other things concerning the end times and wondered if I would ever be one of those who would experience such a dream or vision. Actually, I have! I have dreamed a few dreams and recorded them because they weren’t normal dreams to me. However, they are not dreams of the coming of Christ, nor of the pandemic, etc. These dreams are of something that I have had to pray about to understand, and experience on my own. After my experience I went through, God let me know that the experience is exactly what my dreams are about. Please keep an open mind and be prayerful and try to understand my sincerity. I did not rush to reiterate what the night visions were putting in my head, but now is the time….

The dream

It was very dark. The only light around was that of the moon breaking through the deep forest trees. There was a building and a few people gathered there. It may have been a church, I am not sure but we were leaving the building going to our cars. My oldest brother (a church minister) was walking with me when suddenly I heard rustling in the bushes occupied by voices trying to be very quiet. I told my brother I was going to check it out. He stood there smiling very warmly as if to be telling me through his smile I had his approval. When I walked over to the area of the commotion, I saw children in sleeping bags. They crawled out one by one dressed in rags what little bit of clothing they had. I saw fragments of old, stale, moldy sandwiches scattered about and my heart sank within me.

I told the children not to worry I would get them help and food right away. The oldest child looked to be around nine or ten years old. He stood staring at the ground and appeared very frightened at what he was seeing. I asked him had he lost anything, he just whispered, ” the snake is here.” At that moment, I didn’t think much about what he said, I was too worried about getting them fed and clothed. I turned to my brother and told him I was going to get help and shelter for the children. As he was still smiling, he told me,” don’t be afraid, you will be fine. I’ll leave it to you to help them. I need to go to my wife she needs me now.” (at that time in real life, his wife had covid-19.)

I turned back towards the children and by this time, all six of them, were looking at the ground intently. I became concerned. I looked down as I heard crackling of the earth and the ground began to shake violently. Through the huge opening of the ground slithered out a snake. It slowly slithered around me, then the children, and the words my brother left me with came back to my remembrance, “do not be afraid!” I then told the children the same, “do not be afraid!” Suddenly, the snake took strike pose towards me. I stared at it and to myself, I prayed. I prayed with power and the snake knew I was praying then hissed at me with the most vile hiss I have ever heard, then as it was staring at me with very evil eyes, it slithered away. I gathered the children and took them inside the building and there were those who took the children to safety and they were no longer afraid.

My dad, (also was a minister before his death) was there in my dreams. Usually when I dream of my dad He is representing God and thus it was the same in this particular dream. He told me to come with him and not worry about the children anymore that they would be just fine. He looked me in the eyes and said, ” Janie, (that’s what he called me) don’t be afraid, but you need to learn something very valuable and I am about to teach you.” We left the building and got into my car. I was driving and as we were driving out of the forest, it became very bright as if night had turned into day. I was driving down the interstate but there seem to be a mist all around us. As I drove down this highway, I noticed people began to pull their cars over to the side of the road. I started slowing down and watching them. They looked like they had fallen under a spell as if to be in a strange trance. I then saw a woman walking down a hill towards her car. I pulled over to ask her what was going on. She didn’t speak but tried to smile which was very faintly and efforted. I started feeling weird and could not remember why I had pulled over. I was becoming confused, maybe like the others.

My dad immediately spoke and said, “get back on the road of light, you have become confused like them. Do not look to these people for they are under the spell of Satan.” I quickly snapped out of the trance I was falling into and got back on the road, soon that road became a familiar road, one I used to travel a lot in a different place I lived a few years back, a place where my surroundings was always beautiful and I loved traveling this road, and did many times in my waking life. I noticed my mind was no longer confused and I felt at peace. At that very moment, it became dark again and we were back in that deep dark intimidating forest. My dad looked at me with loving eyes and said, ” do not be afraid, you know who you can trust. Do not let that trust fade and you will be fine. Do not allow fear to take foot in your heart and you will be victorious.” Then he disappeared!

I started looking around for him, I saw no one and began to feel exactly what he told me not to feel, afraid. Then, my brother-in-law appeared. ( He too is a minister in real life.) He just stood there beside me as if to be protecting. (Not long ago I told someone parts of this dream. He also is a minister, he told me he felt that my dad, my brother and brother-in-law represented the Trinity of God. And it made a lot of sense to me, therefore, I too believe that). My brother-in-law had a gentle smile on his face as he stared out into the forest as if to be on watch. Then something caught my attention to my left. I looked and it was my sister walking slowly up this dark road. She looked like she was in a trance and very confused. I looked at my brother-in-law and said jokingly, “there goes a Pharisee”. He continued smiling. Then after her, I saw more people following. They looked like zombies. They walked slowly, with their heads hung low saying nothing but were very confused and seemed to be in a trance.

These people following my sister were religious people, legalistic, hard core judgmental people and set in their ways. I recognized many of them and it saddened my heart and I wanted to cry out to them to help them, but my brother-in-law then spoke. “Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed. Do not allow what you see to fall into your spirit or you will also follow behind those who have been veiled with the spirit of distraction.” It felt like something jolted me spiritually and I felt empowered. Then, without warning, the ground began shaking and crackling like before, then out of the opening a huge snake began to push his way through the soil. It was a luminous white snake. Very big from anything I had ever seen. For some odd reason, I could not take my eyes off of it. It was not scary to look at and I was beginning to like it as I saw that it was very beautiful and pleasing to my eyes.

My brother-in-law then spoke and said, ” do not be afraid. Do not look upon this evil for with it it brings a different kind of beauty one that captures your attention and draws you into it’s lure. It will deceive you! It will lead you away from the truth! It will lead you astray like the others!” I began to pray to God. I was honest about how I felt. “God, please hear me. It’s hard for me to look away and I cannot do this on my own. I do not want to be like the others, please save me.” I continued saying “save me” over and over as I watched the snake slither into a stream. As he was slithering in the water, it began to grow even bigger as if the water was giving him power. I started feeling like I could take my eyes away from it. God was hearing my prayers and suddenly, I saw the most beautiful light in that very dark forest. I felt like I was speaking in an heavenly language and woke up speaking it….

This dream came at the end of a period I was going through. I reached a place where maybe about three weeks total, I could not pray. I could not read my Bible. Every time I tried, something would grab my attention and became a distraction I allowed. So I began to ask God to help me. I knew I was falling away and quickly. Then came the dream. Right after, God spoke to my heart and said there is a spirit of confusion and a spirit of distraction claiming the minds of many of my people and they don’t even see it. They will start falling away and falling under the spell it brings with it. I knew in my heart I was one of them on the brink. I want to tell you, there is a spirit of confusion and distraction that is very real. It comes in many forms. It comes to kill, steal and destroy your lives. I believe in my heart, God gave this to me and now I am sharing it with you.

If you are reading this, maybe it is meant for you to see. I have two other dreams that I am going to share later along these same lines. I pray that if you, like me, seem to have fallen under this spell, that you will reach out to God now before it is too late. I do believe this is going to get worse and it is a trap from Satan himself. Be aware! Be strong! Do not be ashamed of Jesus! Keep your hearts on God. There is a much stronger spirit developing. I feel it. It’s going to be a bigger distraction for a lot of you. It will steal you away into it’s grips and it will be almost impossible to break free from. It’s here and already spreading throughout the earth. I feel strongly this faceless beast will find you in your weakest moments. In your weakest area of your life. In your most vulnerable moments. Be vigilant. Be aware! Be prayerful!

God bless you all…

The Tea Party Within

When I was a little girl, I used to play dress-up in my mother’s dresses and high heels not to forget my Aunt who lived with us, who allowed me to wear her fabulous flowery and feathered hats. My parents bought me a little tea set that had a huge impact on me for the rest of my life. Every Sunday after church, I invited the preacher’s daughter to my house and she would bring her favorite doll and I had mine and together we were the child-sized Real Housewives of Cowpens, S.C. That was over 50 years ago and my love for that tea set my parents brought me has never faded.

As I grew older, I began collecting tea pots and tea cups. I always felt happy when I looked at my collection. There was a viable sense of belonging and there was always that nostalgia for those childhood days that birthed my love for the very prominent facades of life. I didn’t come from a wealthy family but pretending I was from England was one for the books. My accent was everything but British but the pretense of it all was the highlight that I thoroughly enjoyed as a child. I was fortunate to have a little tea party with my granddaughter when she was four years old but she never took up the love of the eloquence that I possess and that’s okay.

In 2017, I lost everything I owned including my beautiful collections and it felt like someone reached inside my heart and ripped it from my chest. But, I have finally begun to begin a new collection. I went to England and Wales in December of 2018 and came back to the States in January of 2019. There, I enjoyed real tea time with real British folks. The tea was served three times a day and it was always brought to me in lovely tea cups. It was indeed so surreal and almost like I had lived those moments as a child in my dreams. The lady of the house where I stayed knew about my love for fine china and especially tea pots and tea cups so she made it a point to serve my tea in such luxury, to me, that was luxury. She too, had a fascinating collection of beautiful fine china and my heart grew with envy but more so with adoration of her remarkable taste.

I have purchased three tea cups with saucers. One set is from China, one from here in America, the other from England. It is my goal to purchase a set from different countries, but England has a special place in my heart for many varying reasons and one was a dream come true when I enjoyed my first cup of tea in the heart of the Brittish territory. However, I am not a milk drinker and my first cuppa (as they call it) was served with milk. I drank it anyway so as not to come across rude as I had forgot to mention my distaste for milk. But afterwards, they left off the milk and I became addicted and always felt so very special during tea time. I want to go back to England and spend more time just shopping for beautiful tea cups. That is exactly what I wish for, but because of Covid-19, who knows when and if I’ll ever get to go back. But I am hopeful.

But, I do want to share with you my very small beginning of my new collection.

Tea cups

We will start with my first new set. I absolutely love this little piece of delight. It is from China and it is Fine Bone China and you can always know if it is real fine bone by holding the piece in sunlight and if it becomes translucent, you know you have the real deal.

The set above is Blue Fine Bone China by ufengke. As you may already know, China is one of the world’s most ancient civilizations and they are rich in ceramics history. China is the home of pottery and porcelain therefore earning it’s name, fine China. I love the intricate details in the design above. The place of origin is Tang shan, and the artist used white Chinese magnolias and white cranes which make this set absolutely gorgeous. It came in very fine packaging as well. I was very impressed.

My next set is from England. I love the color and design and it’s made by Heasa a Porcelain British Royal Series.

I love this shade of pink and the glossiness that it entails. This particular set was designed in pumpkin shape edged with glittering gold trim. You can also see the inside emblem embossed on this quality porcelain cup which just adds a little something special in my opinion and this set is crafted by Heasa.

My next set was created here in the States, in fact, right next door to my state of South Carolina. This set was created by Delton. In Delton Georgia. they are actually the creators of porcelain dolls from beginning but now have expanded into making home accessories and fine porcelains including tea sets for children.

This set came beautifully wrapped as well in a keep-sake vintage style boxing. This is from the Pale Rose collection and they send their tea cups out adorned in a little white tassle connected to the tea cup. The design entails a beautiful delicate floral design and is ideal for tea lovers like me. This is also made in fine porcelain and is very feminine and beautiful.

Hopefully, some time in the near future, if the opportunity becomes reality, I will host an adult tea party and use my new collection. Of course, I have a ways to go before I can grow my collection, but it is my desire to spend a beautiful spring afternoon, in the garden with some of my closest friends sipping on hot tea and participating in banter that will guarantee an unforgettable afternoon. I will use English tea that is so popular and common in The UK as well as in Ireland, but of course it has to be English Tea. I will also provide the sugar and the milk for those who will try the tea with milk. That is not what we do here in the South, we drink iced tea from mason jars all through the day, but I will spice it up and serve the perfect cup of tea British style and of course there will be a wonderful assortment of traditional English Tea sandwiches that will make my guests envy with pride. I’ll provide the classic egg sandwich. smoked salmon and my favorite, cucumber sandwiches and you might just find a chicken sandwich with cranberry sitting among the others perfectly cut tiny and squared.

But for now, this has been a pleasure sharing my childhood memory that morphed into my adult life as well. Somethings never grow old. And if you were to ask me about my little private tea parties, I would gladly tell you I shared my splendid moments with a stuffed teddy bear, a stuffed monkey and a few of my favorite Barbies and we always sipped our pretend tea from the beautiful tea set my parents bought for me in the hills of Cherokee mountains. Oh how these precious memories never fade and live within….

Another Quick and Easy Recipe

I have so much to blog about, but today, I am going to share my little simple, but addicting tasty toast recipe. If you know me, you know I love the kitchen and cooking up recipes that are simple and not so time consuming. I’ve always been a very busy person up until March of this year when Covid-19 changed our lives. Therefore, I never had time to spend in the kitchen cooking up big meals, so cooking small became my new norm when my kids left the nest.

I’ve had one recipe that has lingered with me for years and has not changed or been edited with new additions. However, I have tried different versions but they each have their own personality so-to-speak and this one is my favorite. I call it, Feta Toast.

I use rye bread it is my go-to bread because of the nutritional value it offers and I love the taste. After toasting the bread in a toaster, I cut in half a clove of garlic and rub the half clove straight on to the toast. I love using the raw garlic as it provides more powerful tastes rather than sauteing the garlic and it adds bigger nutritional value that is good for you. After rubbing the garlic on the toast, I then add my own pre-made herbed butter. It’s made with basil, garlic, and Parmesan. ( These herbed butters are simple to make but be sure to use fresh herbs.)

After generously spreading this butter, I add the crumbled feta cheese. I love feta cheese! It’s soft and crumbly (brined cheese) and is made from sheep and goat’s milk. Feta cheese has been around for centuries and if you love greek food, chances are you have partaken of some feta. I sprinkle black peppercorn pepper onto the feta cheese then drizzle a little dab of olive oil over the feta. I use extra virgin olive oil as not to give it a strong olive taste. (In this recipe, salt is not needed). Then I sprinkle chopped pecans, you can use pine-nuts but to me the pecans go well with the feta because the feta has a hint of sweetness to it more so than using goat cheese which I use on other toast recipes. After I sprinkle the pecans, I layer the toast with fresh uncooked spinach leaves.

This quick and easy recipe resonates a delicious savory treat. You can try it with many different options, like sun-dried tomatoes but I like that paired best with the goat cheese. Don’t use plain white bread. It does make a difference if you use a bread with a little more body, flavor and texture and the rye offers that, yielding pong but the choice of cheeses used brings it to a different level. Not to mention, the rye bread is loaded with rich flavor, and is also the highest fiber filled breads around and gives your gut a good ole loving. Give this recipe a try and find out for yourself just how good and satisfying it is….