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My Hometown

“The Way You Smell”

My sweet cousin came to Redding to spend a day and evening with me. After catching up with the latest family news we took a little jaunt to downtown Redding.

First, we stopped for a fabulous late lunch at Woody’s Brewing Company.

Next, we popped over to the Oregon Street Antique Mall. 

Strolling the aisles upstairs and down we giggled and pointed to objects recalling favorite childhood memories triggered by all the wonderful vintage treasures in every booth.  


My kids had moved into their new home. I texted my daughter asking if I could bring my cousin to visit.

With a “sure, come on over” we headed to Palo Cedro and were greeted by my young grandson, daughter and son-in-law and their sweet little puppy, Oakley. 


Touring the house, my grandson, Hudson, happily trotted ahead giving us a running commentary on each room.

When we got to their guest room my grandson said, “This room smells like you, Nammer.”

I gasped.

Yikes. A room smelled like me.

I held my breath. Oh, no I thought. It’s happened.

Old people passed through my mind…faces flashed with their identifying smells. I remember my cousins joking about having to sleep in the same bed with their “stinky” grandma.

Egads…I was now part of the smelly generation.

My heart thumped frantically…my cousin had just heard my sweet darling grandson declare I carried a fragrance that lingered.

I had spent five days in their very lovely guest room after being evacuated from my neighborhood because of the Carr Fire.  But, that had been weeks ago. Wow, I must be an odorous old person, I lamented.

“It smells pretty, like you,” he said with a big grin.

Startled, I repeated his words. “Pretty, like me?”

My daughter smiled…”It smells like your perfume.”

My heart melted.


I felt a twirl coming on! I wanted to shout and dance! I rejoiced!

A reprieve…a relief…a respite. Not yet. I’m not yet relegated to the dreaded stinky elderly category.

(All I could think about was…Thank goodness for Chanel Number 5.)


May your days be full of rejoicing…

Rejoice always… 1 Thessalonians 5:16


(Photos of the puppy and Hudson playing with Oakley in the house are my daughter’s…I borrowed them from her.)

A New Season….

rsz_dsc_0087Dear tea4kate subscribers,
Over this last year, I have taken a break from blogging on the tea4kate site. I intend to revive my blog on an occasional basis.
In this new season of my life, my Sweet Husband and I have become the new owners of the Oregon Street Antique Mall in downtown Redding.  (Find us at:  

We invite you to connect with us in our new endeavor by going to the Oregon Street Antique Mall website and subscribing to our newsletter. We would love to include you in any store sales, special offers and just general news. We intend to start having tea for sale in the store soon. If you’d like to remain in contact with us, please sign up here….Oregon Street Antique Mall 

We look forward to reconnecting.  As always, thanks for being part of our amazing journey. 
May your day be Tea-lightful, 


What Happens at Nammer’s House Doesn’t Stay at Nammer’s…It Gets Shared on Blogs & Facebook….

This is what happens when grandparents babysit right before the holidays!

An unsuspecting daughter and son-in-law dropped off their eight month old son so Grandpa and Nammer could watch him.

The old couple conspired to have a little fun….they stripped the little guy down to his diapers, drew circles on his tummy while he rolled and giggled. Added a little red circle on his nose. (All  with washable markers) Found a black top hat, retrieved a red scarf, grabbed the camera and had their own photo shoot…

And then…Nammer shared the pictures on this blog and on Facebook…

May your Christmas be merry and bright and may you be blessed….


Help for Parents Grieving the Loss of a Child…

I am the mother of a first grader who bounded down the steps of the school bus on the first day of December and within minutes was killed in a hit and run. The murderers were never found.


This was over thirty years ago…but NOT a day goes by that my heart and arms don’t ache to hold him once again.


Listening to reports of the recent school shooting tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut my heart feels as if it’s being shoved through a paper shredder over and over. I go about the day misty eyed…


…knowing and feeling the gut wrenching, inexplicable physical pain of losing a child.


…knowing the journey of grief is long, grueling and never really over.


…knowing grief is a very personal journey…there is no right or wrong way to ride this rollercoaster…(unless a coping mechanism becomes unhealthy and inflicts suffering on another).


…knowing emotions are unpredictable…the anger, the despair, the fear, the tears for hours on end.


And, yet, “my heart in its sorrow rejoices,” recalling the kindnesses, the gentleness and the support of so many…family, friends and strangers reaching out with their reassurance of love and understanding.


The world is full of caring, loving people who want very much to help but are often unsure about the best way to show their concern.


I remember a few precepts that were and still are especially meaningful and offer them as a guide to those reaching out to grieving parents:


1. Please don’t ignore my painful loss. Saying nothing hurts worse than saying the “wrong thing” with sincerity.  Some helpful phrases: “I’m sorry.”  “I don’t know what to say, but I really care.”


2. Let me talk about my beloved, if I want to. Let me talk about how he died.  Don’t be afraid to say his name. Share a memory if you want to.


3. Sit with me in silence. Sometimes words are absolutely useless. Squeeze my hand, hold my hand, pat my shoulder…give me a hug…cry with me. Look me in the eye…please don’t be afraid of my sorrow, of my tears.


4. Please don’t tell me you know how I feel! No, you don’t! We can never know how another feels…but ask me how I feel. And don’t tell me it’s part of God’s plan or that he’s in a better place.


5. Certain times of the year will always be hard for me….like all holidays! Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. And most every family milestone tugs at my heart…births, children’s birthday parties, graduations, and weddings.



It’s true…. love never dies…memories of my child are alive and well in my mind and the hole in my heart will only be completely mended the day I am reunited with my beloved child.


But I have been encouraged and sustained by your friendship, your care, your support and help. May you be blessed!














Wonderful song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqwomT5YSiw





Backyard Baby Chicks….


The baby chicks are now at the feed stores …..they are adorable !

When we lived on the ranch, we ordered chicks from the midwest. We bought some at the feed store too, but you could find more exotic chickens from a catalog. Our local Post Office would call us to come pick up our box of babies (chicks).

We kept them in the house by our heater for a few days with a heat lamp. Our daughters adored this arrangement. They would bound out of bed in the mornings and hold baby chicks before having to get ready to catch the school bus.

Depending on the outside temperatures, we eventually moved them to the nice little secure pen with a heat lamp in the chicken house. By the time they were hens, they were quite tame.

Our children have backyard chickens and our granddaughter loves to hold them.

She has two that she is especially fond of….this is Dora….Hayley__her_chicken

I’ve been contemplating, once again, about having a few Backyard Chickens….but then I also think about turning my front yard into a vegetable garden and my pool into a cement pond with catfish. I’m not sure I was meant to be a neighborhood resident. All those darn CC&R’s !

Oh My, I Love Sweet Potato Pie !

I don’t remember the first time I tasted it. It must have been in the South someplace. My Grandmother didn’t make it, and not one of my Aunties made it.My Mom didn’t either. One day, somewhere, at some time, I tasted it and fell in love. And I have held Sweet Potato Pie in high regard ever since !

I adapted this recipe from a storybook full of recipes: Sweety Pies by Patty Pinner. She says, “What a woman cooks is a window into her womanly personality—what she thinks, how she behaves, how she feels about herself and the people she cooks for.” I’m still mediating on this little quote, wondering what the full implications could be ? If she means, what a woman cooks, when she cooks, well then, that might open a window into my “womanly personality”.

Frankly, sometimes, I don’t cook. I eat cottage cheese and yogurt or a bolonga sandwich with mayo. I use whole wheat bread though. I think this means I’m flexible, healthy and maybe not in the mood to clean up a cooking mess ! I am blessed though….. I have a Sweet Husband who is an excellent cook and he enjoys it.

When I do cook, I love to bake this Sweet Potato Pie. My family and friends keep coming back for seconds. If there is any left, we have pie for breakfast ! I’m sure your family will want second helpings too.


Sweet Potato Pie


9″ Pie crust

3 medium sweet potatoes

2 large eggs


Chicken (or Turkey) In Every Pot… Pie

It seemed like the perfect evening for a pot pie. Rainy and chilly .

Our guys are at the ranch, braving the cold, taking care of cows, and fixing an old yellow truck and two chain saws. They are killing mice and stalking one sneaky raccoon that has taken up residence in our fruit shed.

My daughter and I decided to make a chicken pot pie and watch chick flicks !

Pot pies usually describe a method, rather than a recipe. Generally, a pot pie is a crusted pie made with poultry or meat and chopped vegetables in some kind of sauce. A little trivia note: the first frozen pot pie was made by Swanson in 1951.

This recipe is delicious and perfect for leftover turkey.


We just put the chicken and vegetables in the crust, now it’s ready for the oven.


Ready for serving.


Tender flaky crust, yummy chicken and vegetables….oh so good !

Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie


2 pastry crust (bottom & top) to fit your casserole or pie dish
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour

The Pursuit of Pleasure…..

A delicious moment in time is when I can sit with a good cup of tea and a good book. (Unless you have your own stash of great tea, a good book will be much easier to come by than a good cup of tea).

I was raised by a father and mother who revere books. My father reads strictly for information. His books center around whatever subject he happens to be pursuing at the moment: auto mechanics, horse racing, stock market, health products or internet sales. His office resembles the “How To” section of a bookstore.

My mother reads for pleasure. She reads best sellers, historical fiction and a few self-help authors. It is hard for me to suggest a “good read” for her, because, usually, she has already read the book and one or two others by the same author! Several months ago I thought I had a genuine “find”. I wanted to introduce her toBig Stone Gap, by Adriana Trigiani. I called to share my excitement and discovered she had read that book, and several others by this author. Recently I had been thinking about purchasing Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. My mother and I were discussing Thanksgiving plans and she mentioned she had two books she wanted to loan me. Oh yes, that’s right, Half Broke Horses ! And of course, the other book by Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle. I’m telling you, when it comes to books, it’s hard to keep up with her.

Her office is like an overstocked library. Her desk is surrounded by bookcases on each wall. Books are shelved, stacked and in various states of cascading disorder. And she has read them all. She is a book lover and a book giver. She is of the opinion that a book is one of the finest gifts to give or receive.

The other day I had the privilege of thumbing through the worn red notebook she takes when shopping for a book gift. A page is designated for each family member where she has listed what book she purchased and for what occasion. This wouldn’t seem unusual, except over the years, her family has continued to expand and now, counting the youngest great-grandchild, there are thirty-three family members and another one on the way !

A personalized bookplate adorns the inside of each grandchild and great grandchild’s book. Each bookplate is chosen according to the child’s interest. I have to check with her before I can buy a book for my own grandchildren !

I tell myself this explains why I am a little fanatical about books. I tend to purchase for future reading, not necessarily for the moment. I’m not sure I know what to do with myself, if I don’t have something to read !

At the Author’s Fair in the Shasta Mall I scored these treasures.


A stop at Barnes & Noble to gather a few joke books…our grandson is memorizing jokes, and of course, making them up. He’s also crazy about baseball and learning to read….


and our granddaughter loves dogs, horses and rhyming.


On Tuesday, Cindy Martinusen Coloma was at Barnes & Noble for a book signing. I anticipate curling up with one of these lovely books and a nice cup of tea.


There are few pleasures as enchanting as a good book and a good cup of tea…both carry me into other realms.

Happy Reading and Happy Infusions,





What’s Happening on Oregon Street ?

Good News is happening on Oregon Street !!

After months of patiently working to obtain a building permit….

the Oregon Street Antique Mall ……


is in full swing ( that’s with a hammer and crow bar) in creating a new stair case…



which will open up the entire second story. Several dealers are arranging their wares in anticipation of the completed project. I know there is a grand opening planned and we’ll keep everyone up to date !!

And right next door at Tapas Downtown there is more construction activity….


come take a peek…..


Yes, the walls have been knocked down and the gallery area is being expanded !!


This new room will accommodatelarge groups…so book your Christmas party now !!

We are blessed and thankful to be multiplying and growing on Oregon Street !!

All this work just makes me want to have a cuppa tea !

Happy Infusions,





Tea Tasting and Friends …

A big thank you to all our family and friends who attended the Tea Tasting Party at the Antique Cottage and Garden Friday night. I miss all of you and it was absolutely divine to connect again with so many of you !!

Thank you also to Lynni Miller, the owner of Antique Cottage and Garden, and Kelly and Mark, who all pitched in to help us get ready ! Lynni, the goodies were perfect with the teas….thanks !

Congratulations to the winners of the door prizes !!

My Sweet Husband is the best ! He patiently loaded and unloaded teas, teapots, hats and all kinds of other necessary “stuff” !

a_few_teas_for_tea_tasting We couldn’t bring the entire tea room inventory……

so we brought some old favorites …..english_breakfast and some new ones to try…..

genmaicha oolong_orange_blossom

Of course, we had to brew a pot of our most requested tea at the tea room…French Creme Brulee…

Famous_French_creme_brulee and what’s a tea party without a green tea ? We tasted our lovely Japanese Bancha !

Aunt Ressie May, a strawberry-kiwi fruit infusion (no Camellia sinensis– no real tea–) has been a delicious choice since we first introduced it as our signature “Drink Pink” tea several years ago.


A blooming tea contributed to the ambiance of the evening…


The weather couldn’t have been more perfect and the garden was delightful…….


Thank you again everyone for making this enjoyable, and successful and we look forward to the next Tea Tasting Party !

Happy Infusions,





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