Tea time here on the urban homestead.  Using our and a friend’s Grandmother’s fine china and silver tea sets for an eclectic yet elegant table.

Grandmother’s linens and a freshly picked bouquet… now all we need are our guests

Our dear knitting mentor,Betty (center), expressively shares a story with the ladies.  Betty is an incredibly talented knitter who’s been knitting since she was four! We are incredibly blessed that she has shared her talent with us and others in the community. 

 Homemade egg salad “tea sandwiches” with colorful edible nasturtiums

Local writer, Jill (right), talks about her latest writing assignment

 Avid knitter and crocheter, Ruth (right) talks about how she is slowly recovering from her back surgery.  She’s one tough cookie

This afternoon we took time to celebrate and fellowship with our longtime knitting mentor (of nearly 20 years) who’s 84 years young.

Jordanne & I threw small tea party in the garden complete with our own grandmother’s and our friends grandmother’s tea cups and set. There was no excuses this year – perfect weather, no construction, or piles of concrete or dirt everywhere. So it was high time we got around to hosting a tea party in the garden! With recent sudden deaths of a friend’s father and another’s grandmother last month we realized that there’s no “too busy, let do it another year.”

Jordanne set a lovely table and we both made some simple egg salad (with our very own eggs) sandwiches, herb-fruit ice tea and homegrown strawberries for the ladies to enjoy.   Working at a local English tea shop for the last 5 years, we’ve picked up a few tips here and there. 

You wouldn’t think (from the photos) but only 2 feet away from the table was our 400 sq ft animal enclosure filled with our menagerie of citified farm animals. If these ladies hadn’t been to the urban homestead many times before no one would have realized that we had farm animals – no smell, no flies. The juxtaposition between a tea party being thrown within feet of farm animals is quite a contrast — like Laura Ingalls meets Jane Austen.

While dressing up in our second-hand posh frocks we gals felt a kinship with Barbara Good! And you know you are successful in keeping citified farm animals when you can host a posh tea party with a bunch of outspoken, tell-it-like-it-is-ladies with no complaints – just happy, smiling faces.

All in all it was a splendid and successful tea party and we are already planning on hosting another (have to plan a going-away party for a gal friend who is moving to Lodi)  Perhaps, this time around with homegrown cucumber and tomato sandwiches and homegrown, homemade strawberry bars.

Yep, really should do this more often… afternoon tea at the urban homestead!

No Comments

  1. Lizz says:

    Simply lovely!

    I’d love to come. ~wink~

  2. Ginny says:

    Beautiful! I used to have teas quite often… Hmmm…. I also just inherited my great aunt’s set of beautiful china. hmmmm I think you are giving me ideas. 😀

    In Christ,


  3. Talithia says:

    I think more people should get too know the elderly. They have soooo much to offer. Good for you Girls you figured this out at such a young age. (my age) I hope my children grow up as kind as the 2 of you. Talithia

  4. Sue says:

    This is so sweet. I miss both my grandmothers so much. It is very good to have friends of all ages. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

  5. Marci says:

    😀 I want to know how you trained them to be quiet! There is not a lot of smell with our animals, but they do have voices.

    I think it is great that you celebrated with your older friend. They are a treasure that we often don’t take time to be with. They they are gone like you said. Enjoy them, talk to them. They are a fountain of wisdom in so many areas. Your tea table was beautiful.

    Only by His merciful grace,

  6. gina says:

    This is so pretty and it makes me miss my grandma 🙁

  7. Monica says:

    I miss my grandmother very much — those pictures brought tears to my eyes. What a gorgeous table.

    I really look forward to your posts every day. I’ve read a great number of them now, only having discovered your site a few weeks ago, and have gleaned the whole thing for lots of information about how to start my own garden. I live at 8300 feet so it’s tough up here — however I do have a beehive! The soil is poor and the growing season is short. Next year I’ll start seeds inside. Plus: deer! I eagerly await additions to your site for gardening tips.

  8. Michele says:

    This is inspiring!

    But, I do have a question-how do you keep the flies away?

  9. Deidre' says:

    I love reading your posts each day. They are so inspirational!

    I’m just curious how you keep the animals from smelling and keep the flies away. We lived on a small farm and were plagued with flies and of course odor! I can imagine that having a small confined area would be much easier to keep up than a larger stable and larger field area. I can’t imagine hosting a tea party in the middle of a pasture or near the stables due to these issues. What’s your secret?

  10. KK says:

    Great topic. We all need to take time like this with our elders to tell stories and learn and just BE! Not too many folks do this anymore, and it is an old-fashioned country style way of living. Making it elegant makes us dignified and civilized. As far as the animals, I don’t know how you do it…We’re supposed to hit 100f today, and lately the flies have been horrible in the hot weather. I have to get out to my chicken coop and clean it today and get some fly traps, it’s gotten really bad.

  11. Angie Robinson says:

    I just love the reference to ‘posh frocks’. I loved that show. I find lots of my own posh stuff at the local second hand store. You’d never know where I got it and it’s really nice stuff. It’s kind of like treasure hunting when digging through the racks and exciting when you find something great. I’ve developed a really good eye and can scan for good stuff pretty quickly. It’s even more fun to wear when I know my little secret.

  12. Christine says:

    Such a beautiful table, it makes me want to do something like that too! Alas, we are building a small house this summer. I do have the garden in and some fruit trees. There are more to come (fruit trees) so will be planting more. A first year garden to me, is questionable as to what one may harvest. I just couldn’t pass it up though… Also will be building a chicken coop. Maybe get a small jersey cow, too. You girls are such wonderful people, I wish you lived close by! You seem to love and adhere to the same values as I do. I’m older too, only I don’t think that way. I have friends that are quit allot younger than me and also those who are older! Friends are such a joy. A treasure actually!
    I used to live a 5000 ft. We had the most undependable weather for a garden, but we still had a large harvest. Under groud crops were the best to grow. Potatoes, carrots, beets, and ect. If I were still living there, by now I would have a greenhouse made out ot cattle panels. That might be the cheepest way to go! I’d plant my dwarf fruit trees right in the ground inside the greenhouse, and make room for tomatoes and peppers and such.

  13. Susan says:

    Looks like you had a lovely day. You’ve inspired me to have friends over for tea more often.

  14. myste says:

    absolutely charming. i think “laura ingalls meets jane austen” is my new goal in lifestyle, entertaining and home gatherings!

    i am going to take inspiration from you fine ladies and host a backyard tea with friends and their mothers/grandmothers soon, i cant believe i missed the chance at mothers day.

    would love to someday sit to tea with you Jordanne and Anais!

  15. luvnschooln says:

    For more “Laura Ingalls meets Jane Austen,” check out MaryJane Butters – I just finished her book MARYJANE’S iDEABOOK – COOKBOOK – LIFEBOOK and loved it!

    Her motto is that “farmgirl” is a state of mind is true of urban homesteaders.

  16. Frank says:

    My wife got me to take tea each day on a recent cruise we took. I was amazed at how calming it was to pause for few moments and have a conversation. We always found some interesting people nearby to share the moment with.

    It makes you realize how much the modern world moves too fast and “can`t see the forest for the trees” missing the best parts of life.

    This reminds me that I need to organize another vineyard dinner. Even though it is just our back yard, it is a special moment to roundup a bunch of friends and move the tables out to our little vineyard and cook a special meal on my camp stove table side.

    Thanks for sharing and making me remember

  17. Kristie says:

    How fun! Amazing that you were so close to the animals without notice. Do tell, what is your secret?

  18. Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks&Me says:

    Barbara was who I wanted to be in the 70s! 🙂

    I am “only” 53 and I’ve already lost my mother, mother-in-law, and two of my sisters. Times goes so fast.

    We vacationed with our daughter and her family in Amish country a couple weeks ago. The highlight was going to a tea room with my six year old granddaughter and my daughter. I’m sure my granddaughter would have loved it even more if there were real animals nearby.

  19. Anne says:

    How incredibly beautiful! Thank-you so much for sharing it with us all!

  20. Marci says:

    Keeping Flies Away…

    My parents have rabbits and chickens and have found an incredibly easy way to keep the flies away. They fill ziploc bags with water and hang them around the area. Seems crazy but it works!!

  21. Kristie says:

    Marci, are these bags open or closed?

  22. Marci says:

    the bags are closed…I don’t have any idea why it works but it does! My parents just use wire from old coat hangers and hang the bags from them. The flies don’t get into the bags, they just stay away from them…

  23. Miss Fruitfly says:

    What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Great pictures!

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