Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tea Time!!


This year's Tea with The Bean was an international affair. Our guests Stevie and Kara came all the way from Vancouver and Toronto, Canada to spend the afternoon with us!

They had a great story to share about being questioned by customs while coming over the border. Imagine having to explain that you were coming to the US just for the day to have lunch with a cat you met on the internet.  I'm sure the customs agent had a good chuckle over that one!

Cheryl and Victoria were sitting in the front window and Charlene was napping on one of the pink chairs when Stevie and Kara arrived.    After introductions were made, we played with the kittens and Charlene for a while before sitting down for lunch.

Here's Kara saying hello to Bean.


Each place setting had a name card with one of the Batsell's photograph.  Our guests received a pack of kitty cards and sparkle balls too.  The package was trimmed with a Kitty Wigs pin.



Our centerpiece was a vaseful of sparkle balls and paper flowers.  The tiny telephones from our fundraising set were placed on the table too.


Our lunch was completely vegan.  We had an edamame salad with roasted corn and tomatoes,  a citrus spinach salad with figs, roasted asparagus, fruit salad with a lemon and ginger dressing and mint iced tea.



We lunched and chatted and cuddled the kittens some more before heading over to the shelter for our tour.



The Humane Society van was parked outside, so Stevie (left) and Kara (right) posed for a picture in front of it.  There's our Charlene in the middle, larger than life!


Marguerite, Director of Development, met us inside for our tour.   We started with the cattery, then moved on to vet treatment, Butterbean Quarantine,  and then the foster room.  You'll never guess who was there.

"Kisses" the kitten!!!


Kisses was all ready for adoption so her mom Katherine, who runs the foster room, brought her into the shelter that day with hopes of finding her a perfect home.  Later that day she found that perfect home!

We met a few staff members, volunteers, and even some dogs.    It was fun and informative and the HS really rolled out the red carpet for our guests.

Afterwards, we headed back home to find Ed, Cheryl and Victoria's Pa, waiting on our porch!   We weren't expecting him until later that afternoon for their adoption, but traffic was kind, and his journey was a little shorter than he anticipated, so he arrived early.

Stevie and Kara entertained the kittens and Charlene while we completed the paper work.


 Once we were done, we loaded up the girls, said our good-byes and helped Ed out to his truck.


It actually worked out well having Ed arrive early because it gave Stevie and Kara a little more "behind the scenes" than we originally planned - they got to witness the adoption!  

Off the kittens went and we headed back inside and had dessert - a super delicious chocolate cake made by my friend Sarah (you know her as Sarah in T-Town in the comment section).


Next, Bean opened the gifts.  Inside were lots of awesome cat toys and a feather wand too.  Of course, the tissue, ribbon and bag were just as exciting as what was inside !


We chatted a little longer and then said goodbye to our wonderful guests.   It was a really great day!

Thank you so much Stevie and Kara for coming to see us!   We appreciate your generous winning bid and were so impressed you traveled so far to spend an afternoon with us!

I hope next time you're in our neighborhood, you will stop by again!

Now, I know you're all itching to hear about the wonderful people that adopted the girls,  but I think I'm going to have to write that up in a second entry.  It's a long tale worthy of it's own post on the blog.    So please stay tuned for that!


  1. What an awesome day!!
    I love the part about explaining to Customs that they're having lunch with a cat they met on the internet :) I think that's a conversation I'd like to have :)

  2. You have such a wonderful soul to be able to nurture all of those wonderful kitties and let them go to the owners who will love them forever (like me). I love following your blog and after posts like this, I look over at (Peter) Panther and grin! I love him!

  3. This post is made of too much amazingness.

    * I love how Charlene hangs her paws over the side of that chair.

    * Kisses! All grown up!

  4. As soon as I saw Kisses I started to tear up.

    Look like a wonderful afternoon. Could you share the recipe for the edamame salad?

  5. Ok, I have to ask, did they actually say that to the customs agent or did you just assume they did?

    and I almost bought those plates myself, they really are quite pretty.

    Sounds like a great time was had by all. What a fun day.

  6. Is Charlene going to come out with a cookbook? "Cooking Beans With Bean" maybe?

    Seriously the salads and chocolate cake looked delicious do you think you could share the recipies? Pretty please with Kisses Kitten and a sparkleball on top?

  7. Aww, so cool! I'm glad you all had such a great time!

    And Kisses--she looks so beautiful now. She was a cutie before when she was a little scruffy thing, but now...she's blossomed under the wonderful love and care she's gotten. She looks rather like a baby Drewey. :) I'm so happy to hear that she (and Cheryl and Victoria Anne) are going to happy homes.

  8. OMC, Kisses has turned into a little lady! (She's still the most stinkin' cute kitten I've ever seen.)

  9. Now that is an AWESOME day.

    YAY for forever homes, YAY for the IBKC and Charlene, YAY for Canadians, YAAAAAAAAY!

    PS: Laurie, can you please share your edamame salad recipe? It looks delicious!

  10. Wow! The Bean has international guests for tea! She is such a rock star.

    That's a really lovely bouquet of paper flowers and sparkle balls, too, Laurie.

  11. Heidi,
    The chocolate cake recipe was from Joy of Cooking, it's the vegan chocolate cake. There are also similar recipes on if you search for vegan chocolate cake. It's actually a recipe from the Depression years, when folks didn't have access (or funds) for eggs and butter. It uses vinegar and oil instead. Yummy and easy to make!

  12. Does your local public access channel (or any local channel, for that matter) do pet adoption segments? Around here, they do a show called "Homeless Tales" where they feature some dogs/cats that are available for adoption in local shelters.

    I think Charlene should host a show called "Tea with the Bean" where she talks about the importance of spaying/neutering, caring for companion animals and then introduces the audience to a few of the available adoptees. I can already imagine the opening credits and the classy music that would be playing as the camera slowwwwwly pans onto Bean sitting very primly and properly next to a fine tea setting.

    Clearly I've spent way to much time thinking about this :) But, if it ever happens, can I be Bean's personal assistant? You can pay me in sparkle balls!

  13. Ooh so much to comment on.

    Firstly, yay for fellow Canucks who won Tea with the Bean. I would love a transcript of the conversation with the customs agent...haha. So jealous you got to meet the kittens and of course the Bean in her regal pose and her curious one!

    Also yay for Kisses the kitten. What a sweet little lady.

    Love the foods (look delicious) and love the little maple leaf flags on the chocolate cake. :)

    And Laurie your table setting and decorations? Simply amazing.

    Can't wait to hear the tale of the departing sisters.

  14. What fun!!! And to help see the girls off to their new home AND meet the famous Kisses....a perfect day!

  15. Looks like Portmeirion china ,

  16. Three cheers for vegan lunch! I can vouch for the deliciousness of eggless-milkless chocolate cake. It's not a new idea at all. I actually prefer vegan cake!

  17. Let me just say something...


    Tea with Bean must have been (nudge, nudge) awesome! I wish I could fly from Rio de Janeiro too :(

    Can't wait to get to know the new parents!

  18. Here's the recipe...

    I did it a little different though. I used roasted corn, not frozen. Also, I didn't cook the tomatoes. I added them after the onions and edamame had cooled.

    Gigi, our shelter does a bit on the Comcast and one of the local stations too.

  19. I still think a vegan fundraising cookbook would be faaaaabulous. You could call it "Tea with The Bean". Maybe folks could donate recipes. I am sure I have at least one or two good vegan recipes up my sleeve I could contribute and I happen to know a couple vegan cookbook authors who might be happy to do the same. Just an idea! You're a busy gal as it is!

  20. I hope your 'break' was enjoyable - it helped me realize just how much enjoyment I get from the IBKC!

    Wow, an excellent day all around!
    Miss Charlene is an incredible hostess. She learned that from her people, obviously.

    I am tickled by the idea of the customs conversation.

    Lovely to get a last glimpse of Cheryl & Victoria - and Kisses!!!! OMC all 3 are beauties...

    I eagerly await C&V's adoption story -

  21. Hi everyone, Stevie here. We had an AMAZING time with Laurie and the Bean, and I can't thank her enough or say enough wonderful things about them and our time there. Lunch was absolutely delicious, the cake was to die for, the kittens were adorable, and Charlene was every inch the lovely, floofy girl that she appears on the site, and a very gracious hostess. :)

    At the shelter, we almost fell over when we walked into the foster room and saw Kisses! You can tell she's used to her stardom because she was completely unfazed by us fawning over her.

    Watching Cheryl and Victoria get picked up to go to their forever home was also a very special treat. I won't give the story away, but will just say that you can't help but get a lump in your throat when you see them with those little yellow tags, knowing that they're going with wonderful people who are going to treat them like the special little kitties they are.

    All in all it was an absolutely amazing day, and it reminded us of just how amazing Laurie and the IBKC community are.

  22. @connie - well, the actual conversation went something like this:

    "Purpose of your trip?"

    "Going down to Tacoma to have lunch with a friend."

    "And how do you know this friend?"

    "Um...through the internet. She has a blog. About cats."

    "You're going down to meet someone you met on the internet? How do you know she's not crazy?"

    (Momentary silence as we try to imagine Laurie as some axe-wielding serial killer who uses the Bean as bait for unsuspecting Canadians) "um...well...we're crazy too. Crazy cat people. So I guess it would be ok."

    There was a bit more explanation about the auction and yes, we did say " now we get to go down and have lunch with her and her cat." After asking if we intended to bring any cats back with us (further silence as we contemplate the logistics of smuggling kittens across international borders), he handed back our passports and told us to have a nice day.

  23. that conversation is fabulous, Stevie. Clearly the Border Patrol needs to fear an international kitten smuggling gang.

  24. And I'll bet that border guard told the other border guards about the crazy cat ladies!

  25. Stevie - that's awesome!!!

    I can imagine the customs officer going home that evening and saying - you'll never guess what I heard today!

  26. Everything was just so's as if the stars just seemed to align magically...

    Your home looked so beautiful...Charlene looked so...well...floofy and fabulous...the kittens bouncing around and being kittens...

    (Every time I see those curtains, I think of that awesome post "While you were sleeping"...)

    The table was so gorgeous...all of the special little touches here and there added up to such a magnificent whole...bravo!

    The pictures of the food set my mouth to watering...


    I cannot know for certain, and I do not mean to speak out of turn, but I am willing to bet that your wonderful, fabulous, cat loving guests were thrilled beyond words!

    A special thank you to the two wonderful ladies who gave so generously to the fund raiser...

    And to you Laurie...thank you so much for all that you do...

  27. This post is yet another reminder of why I am totally addicted to this blog. Thanks for all you do, Laurie! And Charlene! And yay for Kisses!

  28. I'm so glad to see Kisses mostly grown-up and looking all ready to share her fabulousness with her forever family. I was a bit concerned about her, TBQH, from that first photo. She looked so small and even a bit frail, and while I know she got the best of care and lots of love... well, sometimes that isn't enough.

    Thank you, and all the other foster moms and dads, for all you do.

  29. Aw, I wanted to be the first to comment on the Portmeirion China lol. Got that pattern for my former MIL a couple of years ago. It was at TJ Maxx. :P

    Kisses looks great! Looked like a fun party. I'm jealous!!

  30. What an utter delight, every single detail. I love living in a world where a world famous kitty hosts a tea catered by her equally world famous artist/blogger mom.

    And as others have said, a big thanks to Stevie and Kara for their generous donation that won them Tea with the Bean, and for braving the border crossing!

  31. everything you do is so charming!

  32. Holy cats! KISSES! She got so big! I was so happy to see her. If you hadn't said that was her, I don't think I would have recognized her. She changed so much!

  33. What wonderful kittens, so adorable.



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