Tea Parties and Homesteading

I have a confession to make.  Hosting tea parties is not just about being hospitable.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love to show hospitality to others, but, there are a couple of selfish reasons too.  Let me explain.

Farming, homesteading, whatever you want to call it, is a dirty, hard job.  In fact, the show, Dirty Jobs, has been filmed at farms numerous times.  Have you ever helped birth an animal?  How about clean out a horse stall?  Stepped in chicken manure, or, better yet, put your hand in it when gathering an egg?

And then there is gardening.  Weeding numerous 100 foot rows on your hands and knees in 95 degree weather is not what I would call a glamorous job.  Spreading manure, digging trenches, cutting out vine borers, squashing those dreaded squash bugs, harvesting potatoes, setting up sprinklers that never work and other numerous garden related work can be tiring and dirty.

I know you all know what I just mentioned already, so, why mention it?  Well I have another confession to make.  I don’t work in a dress, but, in good ole jeans and a plaid shirt in the winter, capris or long shorts in hot weather.  For those that do wear dresses, I commend you.  You deserve a medal!  I wear what is most comfortable to me and I also don’t want to ruin my skirts, even if I got them at a second hand store.  Besides, there are times when my husband comes home from work, sees me in the same old jeans and plaid shirt and tells me I look nice!  That’s what matters most to me.  As long as I shower and clean up for my husband, I know he would tell me I look nice in just about anything!  But, that’s another story in itself.

So that, my friends, is why I love tea parties!  My girls and I get to be a little bit more feminine and enjoy a more refined life even if it is for a brief moment.  They too, don’t have the luxury of wearing nice clothes on the farm.  Although, I believe my oldest would much rather be outside shooting a gun than at a tea party, she does admit that tea parties are quite refreshing!

Hosting one is even more fun!  I must confess to you as well that decorating the table is half the fun!  Of course the other half(okay, more than half) is the sweet fellowship.  Ladies get to put aside their worries and be pampered a bit and daughters get to feel like princesses.

If you feel like I do, but, have not ventured into hosting a tea party, I encourage you to try it, even if it is just with you and your daughter(s).  Start out small and simple.  Living on a farm is quite humbling, especially financially.  So, don’t think others are going to expect you to buy chandeliers!  Besides, too fancy and a farm just don’t go together.  I think friends will expect a more country feel to a tea party on the farm.

There are ideas all over the internet on what foods to make and how to set the table.  I am by far an expert on the subject and I really just make up my own rules(if any).  For example, music choice would probably be classical, which I do love.  But, with our fall tea party I wanted something a little more festive, so, I played Irish music in the background.  I think it helped everyone to relax a little too.  I even noticed a couple of women bobbing their heads to the music!

Some might think that tea parties are for little girls only.  Me, I jump at the chance for my girls and I to be sipping tea in our pretty dresses!

I had twenty ladies at my last tea party in my humble farm kitchen with older than dirt cabinets, a broken dishwasher and newborn puppies in the adjoining schoolroom(now a whelping room, temporarily).  I don’t think they minded a bit!

Oh, and did I tell you that the men were outside shooting guns at the same time?

Linked to:  Growing Home

2 comments on “Tea Parties and Homesteading

  1. Good to read your posts again! AND it sounds like you've been finding ways to have fun! My kids love tea parties (and most of them are boys! Yes they'd rather be shooting but they NEVER miss an opportunity to eat!)

    I've been to a tea party or two and we acted so stilted and uncomfortable with all that lovely china about that it took us an hour or or two to become ourselves again! But isn't that the fun – stepping out of the routine and trying on a Jane Austin conversation?!

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