Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 06-13-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION | JUNE 13-19, 2019 AT HOME / ENTERTAINMENT 5 Tea Time with the Garden Club Ladies I have been a tea drinker all my life, but the whole tea party thing was no more than an amorphous concept until about 20 years ago when I expe- rienced my first Afternoon Tea. To say it was a life-changing event would be painting it a bit too purple, but it certainly changed how I viewed enter- taining. Suffice it to say that there is nothing quite like piling dainty pastry morsels and little crustless sandwiches on serv- ing dishes of all kinds and setting the table with small plates and teacups with actual saucers (I am normally more of a mug person) to kick an after- noon gathering of friends into giddy high gear. And after my maiden foray into the English concept of fancy tea at the Four Seasons in Boston, I was off and running with the idea. My first attempt at it was with my Shower Group, and I pulled out all the stops. It took two full days of prep to carry it off and it was wonderful. Over the years my sisters and I have adopt- ed the idea and ran with it. Tea party bridal showers and baby showers, tea parties for the bowling buddies, the knitters, and the friends. Full out fancy ones and scaled down saner ones, all with a sense of fun and specialness about them. And so it should come as no surprise that when two ladies I met last year when I had been invited to speak at a meeting of the Cumberland Garden Club expressed an interest in coming by to take a look at my own garden this spring, I immediately thought of tea. I guess you would have to look even a bit further into my early life to fully understand how my mind was work- ing, starting with the fact that I grew up in a tenement house surrounded by concrete and therefore totally devoid of flowers. Second would be the fact that given the time and circumstances of my youth, the mere words "garden club ladies" invariably brought to mind images of very proper ladies in flowered hats. Inaccurate I know, hav- ing actually met the ladies in question, but the very image tickled my warped fancy. And so when Sandy, who had dropped by a couple months earlier to loan me a book about birds, emailed me to say that she would bring cookies when she and her friend Sheila came for a visit the following week, I said it wouldn't be necessary. I had already decided to "do tea," and had it all under control. Not a full out, damn the torpedoes and full-speed ahead, haul out all the fancy dishes event, but a tastefully scaled back and relaxed ver- sion of tea. I ironed the really nice linen table- cloth with matching napkins I had bought years ago at a yard sale (the $10 price sticker was still on it). I set the table with some of the china tea stuff I have acquired over the years, baked my favorite scones and Scottish shortbread cookies, brewed tea with tea bags in pots, and cut blooms from the rhododendron and stuck them in a vase on the table. I have to tell you, last Tuesday was an absolute blast! We ate, we drank, we talked, and we laughed. We walked around the yard, talked about flow- ers and what we all grew. Then we came back inside, ate and My Life RHEA BOUCHARD POWERS See RHEA, Page 6 THE NEWPORT GARDEN TOUR will be held Friday-Sunday, June 14-16, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Take a self-guided walking tour through Newport's historic Point section. Tickets are good for any or all days of the tour. Tickets are available at www.secretgardentours.org for a discounted rate of $20. 'Hot Potato' Schoolhouse hosts Flag Day event LINCOLN – On Saturday, June 15, between 10 a.m. and noon, the historic Pullen's Corner Schoolhouse at Chase Farm Park will feature a program in honor of Flag Day. See a collection of replicas of U.S. flags through three centuries set in the historic schoolroom. Hear flag facts from tour guides dressed in period attire and participate in flag folding. There will also be a craft activity for children. Flag Day, which actually falls on June 14, has been celebrated since 1777. Since that time, there have been 27 versions of our flag. The program is free, but donations are welcomed. In conjunction with the opening of the schoolhouse is an open house at the nearby Saylesville Friends Meetinghouse, c.1703, one of the oldest and continuously operating meetinghouses in New England. It is located at 374 Great Road and is also open the same hours as the Flag Day event. Throughout the summer, the schoolhouse and meetinghouse will be open to the public on the third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon. Email info@hearthside- house.org or call 401-726-0597.

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