Friday, February 26, 2010

So, let us drink a cup of Tea

A passage from The Elegance of the Hedgehog
by Muriel Barbery

Moments like this act as magical interludes, placing our hearts at the edge of our souls: fleetingly, yet intensely, a fragment of eternity has come to enrich time.  Elsewhere the world may be blustering or sleeping, wars are fought, people live and die, some nations disintegrate, while others are born, soon to be swallowed up in turn--and in all this sound and fury, amidst eruptions and undertows, while the world goes its merry way, bursts into flames, tears itself apart and is reborn: human life continues to throb.
So, let us drink a cup of tea.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

If I could Fly

Let me introduce you to Rip Squeak.
He is a little mouse that dreams of flying.
Have you ever dreamt of flying?
I have.

I came across Rip Squeak books the
last time I was in California.
They are written by Lee Cohen and
illustrated by Julia Harnett Harvey.

The gentle, beautiful illustrations and stories are just delightful.
The book I brought home is titled "Find the Magic"
The cast of characters are led to find the magic
and they find it in books.
A totally wonderful book for all ages.
The books are published by Rip Squeak, Inc.
840 Capitolio Way, Suite B
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In the Moment

This week I have been thinking about being in the moment.
I am most often thinking now what next,
or I must get done everything on my list.
Getting dressed and brushing my teeth takes 
too much time; so I am working in my robe.
I wait until the very last minute to rush to the bathroom.
When I am in a meeting or taking a class I am
checking the clock to see when it will be over; so I
can go onto the next thing.
Now I am not sure anyone out there is like this, but
my guess is I am not the only one.
I need to pay attention, notice what I notice, and learn
to be in the moment.  When I do take a breath and
pay attention to the very moment I am in, I feel more JOY.
I also function better and have more fun.
Take time this week to notice and enjoy each moment.

The tulips were a great example to me.
My husband brought them to me yesterday and
I had to pause and just enjoy them at that very moment.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Land of Enchantment

Have you ever stepped into a shop and felt you were in the Land of Enchantment.
Last week I read at Maison Douce about this little shop near my home.
I had to go over and see for myself.  I had peered in the windows on
occasion, but it was never open when I stopped by.
When I went by last week the doors were wide open
and there was an air of spring time and welcome just inside the
door.  Elaine, the shops creator and basket maker, was a delight
to chat with.  She was making baskets from pussy willows and tiny chairs
and tables from twigs.  It felt like I was visiting with the fairies and for a moment peeking into their world.
Click on the collage for a closer look at precious, tiny fairy chairs and pussy willow baskets.
If you are ever in Portland stop by Bella Flora Studio, 4439 N.E. Fremont Street and be enchanted.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Enamored with Glass - part #12

Chicks in a row with one bunny.

It has been said it takes three of something before you say you have a collection.
I guess this would be considered a collection.

These three little chicks and one bunny just said "buy me" when
I came across them at different antique shops.  I wasn't sure
what they were for, but I liked their small size.
With just a little research online I find that they are called salt, salter, or salt dips.
Many were made by Boyd Crystal Art Glass Co.  Just the green chick has the "B" signature; so I am not sure who made the others.  The green rabbit is green milk glass.  Whether is has a signature or not, I have enjoyed this very small glass collection.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Haiku for Tea Lovers

Yesterday I found a small book at the book store called,
Haiku for Tea Lovers by David Ash.

From time to time I will share some of the words with you.
Haiku is a light verse shared in 17 syllables or less.

Here are two verses from the book:

encouragement in
the first sip of the morning:
you can get through this

Keemun or Kenyan,
Lapsang Souchong or Oolong,
we think it's all good.

So what is in your cup today?
In my cup this morning is Rishi Tea Emerald Lily,
a green tea from Yunnan, China.
Normally I don't drink green teas, but this one has
very nice light flavor, very crisp.

The vintage canister set was given to me a couple years ago
by my daughter. I think they fit very well into a tea
lovers yellow, vintage kitchen. There great for holding
things like cookies. Yes, Girl Scout cookies were delivered
this week. Have you gotten your cookies yet?
What can I say, those are my first daffodils from the
garden. I had to pick them and share with you.

Have a delightful weekend full of great JOY
and many cups of tea and (oh yes) cookies and flowers.
Sunshine in abundance!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gift of Giving

The picture was taken from Alice in Wonderland, Disney book.

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.
If you are attentive, you will see it.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

May your cups be filled with joy.

In paying attention to the word JOY this year,
I have realized that giving to others gives me great joy.
For those of you that received cups of tea from me this week,
those cups were filled with joy.

It is great fun and my heart sings to share JOY.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lighting the Way

Law of Fair Exchange

I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine;
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.

A tempest sprang up later on
And blew the world about;
And when the wind was gone,
My light was out.

Then back again the stranger came;
His light was glowing fine.
He held again the precious flame
And lighted mine.

~Author Unknown

What do these words mean to you?
To me it means that we need to be there for each
other through the rough times when
the world blows about.
Take care, dear friends, and be there for
someone today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chocolate Roses

For Christmas my daughter gave me a French silicon rose cupcake pan.
I thought Valentine's would be the perfect time to test it out.
Here is the recipe that went into making our Chocolate Roses.
It comes from

Too Much Chocolate Cake

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan (or as I did into cupcake pans)
3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. (cupcakes took 30 minutes) Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before investing onto a plate. If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

The cakes were very moist and chocolaty.
They have kept quite well, but are disappearing quickly.
My husband loves warming them for a few seconds in the microwave, then adds a little vanilla ice cream.
It's easy and good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Enamored with Glass - part #11

Candlewick was made by Imperial Glass from 1936 to 1984.

The Imperial Glass Company was founded in 1901 by Edward Muhleman, with production beginning in 1904. The handmade glasswares were sold world-wide and were usually made of pressed glass patterns. The factory located at 29th Street was labeled as one of the largest glass factories under one roof. The company's most famous product is their "Candlewick" series, which even has a street named for it in Bellaire, Ohio.

Candlewick made wonderful wedding gifts. The relish dish was a wedding gift given to my mother and father on their wedding day. The bowls were gifts my husband and I received on our wedding day. I treasure these beaded glass dishes and have added others to the collection. Now I am beginning to see similar beaded glass dishes for sale at my local market and have been tempted to buy them, but just how many glass dishes does a girl need?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine Gift

Happy Valentine's weekend!
The roses are a gift to you, but
there's more. If you email me with
your address, I will send you a cup
of tea from me to celebrate love.

How will you be celebrating love?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Things

Mark at Mark's rants and raves tagged me this week to share ten things that make me happy. Since Delights of the Heart is about things that make my heart sing, each day are things that make me happy. But here goes my list of some of the top 10:
1. Sharing time with special people in my life. That's my family at my mother-in-laws 90th birthday celebration.
2. A warm cup of tea in my hands, even outdoors at Christmas time.
3. Food, especially cookies and chocolate. Now aren't they a food group?
5. Sunshine and moonbeams.
6. Words in books, spoken, and blogs.
7. My camera and taking pictures. I did miss it when it was in the hospital last month. 8. Joey, now I have introduced you to the funniest cat I have ever had. He loves sitting on my lap while I read your blogs. He pounces on me if I am not out of bed by 7AM. He loves afternoon naps.
9. My black Nike shoes. Oh, you didn't know this one did you? And they are wearing out, oh no!
10. Water to drink, walk by at the sea, and watch a flowing river or lake. I just love all water.

So there you have it.
There could be much more, but only 10 were requested.
If you want to play along, please do.
I would love reading your top 10 happy things.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Garden Dreams

Have you been dreaming of a garden yet?
When February arrives I start dreaming of a garden.
Seed catalogs are ordered.
I browse the seed racks at the market.
And a primrose or two come home with me.
I just love these tall primrose in the French clay pots.
So far four packages of seeds have also ended up in the market bag
and are waiting for warmer days.

What are you dreaming of planting?

My list is getting longer and longer.
Always there are sunflowers, but I have also
added Forget-Me-Nots, Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia),
Nasturtium (because they are eatable and so pretty in salads), and Cosmos.
I won seeds a year ago for ruffley pink Hollyhocks and
they are coming up.

Always Roses.

And vegetables will be peppers, squash, plenty of tomatos, maybe
one zucchini plant, hot peppers, garlic, onions, and probably cucumbers.
If you saw our little vegetable garden you would think this is way too much.
Oh, I almost forgot pumpkins. I love watching them grow.

Am I getting ready? Yes, in my dreams I am ready.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Love and Joy

This is the week leading up to Valentine's Day.
Do you do something special?
Send cards to those you love?
Eat more chocolate?
Buy or receive red roses?
What expectations do you have?

May it be full of Love and Joy.

We can always buy our own chocolates
and roses, but Love and Joy take
more than ourselves. It doesn't need to
be the love of romance, but a love among
friends and family can touch the heart and
fill it with great joy.

Take JOY!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Enamored with Glass - part #10

Carnival Glass
From Wikipedia:

Carnival glass is an inexpensive pressed glass, made as both functional and ornamental objects, always iridescent and found in a wide spectrum of colors. It was produced in the U.S., Britain, Australia, and several European and Asian countries from the early 20th century until the present. Carnival glass gets its iridescent sheen from the application of metallic salts while the glass is still hot from the pressing, then re-firing the glass. Glass workers sometimes refer to carnival glass as "dope glass" because the process of applying the iridescent coloring to the surface is called "doping".

My aunt found these beautiful pieces of Carnival Glass at a garage sale quite a few years ago.

When she was moving to a smaller apartment about 3 years ago she gave me this beautiful bowl, a pair of candle holders, and the creamer and sugar bowl. The red is such a pretty color and is a lovely accent on any table or just sitting in my china cupboard. I had to include a picture of the bottom of the bowl, as I think it is so pretty.

When I started this Enamored with Glass Monday series I thought maybe five weeks. Looking around my house I found I loved glass more than I realized. I would guess you probably have more glass in your house than you realize also. So on we go, I think I have at least 2-4 more weeks of glass. Then there will be another give away of something glass. How fun, I love giving away things.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Vacation with Tea

Vacation with Tea

Holding a warm cup of tea brings great delight

It sings to my heart with all of its might.

I treasure the moments of sweet meditation

It feels like I have taken a small vacation.

Treasure those moments and

Let your heart sing.

Return to the day

Be ready to play.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wild and Wonderful

The clouds at the beach were as magnificent as the sea.
They were waiting, but for what? Perfectly in a row, each one in their place.
When one would leave another came to take the place of the other.
My anger rock hasn't gone into the sea yet.
It was given to another that needed it more than me.
He will add his anger to the rock and let me know
when it is tossed into the sea. He wasn't quite ready, but will be soon.
His anger was greater than mine; so I handed it to him.
This is not what I expected, but it was the right thing to do.
I am learning to be open to following my heart and
amazing things happen.

Oh yes, the sea was wild and wonderful.
It refreshes my soul.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sending you Love

My thought as we begin the month of Valentine's is
So in the morning as I am off to the beach to toss my anger into the sea,
I am sending you LOVE.
Share laughter and joy with someone special in your life.
May love bring you sheer delight.
May it warm your toes.
Sprinkle moon dust in your eyes.
Give you a song in your heart.
Take Joy!

Sticks and Stones

"Our negative thoughts (worry, fear, etc) are like sticks....and we are the dog. We have a choice. We can chase the stick, obsess over it, gnaw on it for hours and days (even years)...OR... we can just let the stick fall and leave it alone." Let it go, stop chasing the obsession and worry.

from Whimsical Whispers, Constantly Evolving

Stones of Anger:

Some years back I was going through a difficult personal time and started reading self help books, journaling, and in general doing some self examination. You know how that can really get you down during a time like this. I came across a concept so simple, but so healing. Beside letting go of the stick, you can throw stones. Take a marker and write the issue on the stone. Find one special stone for each issue. Now when you are ready to let it go, take the stones somewhere safe to throw it away such as a river, beach, or country field. Read what is on the stone and let it go. Throw it as hard as you can and say "I release you". No longer will you burden me. My spirit was lifted up and I could laugh as my anger, hurts, and issues were tossed away. Come on, let's do it together. I found the right stone for my anger and tomorrow I will take it to the beach and throw it away.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Enamored with Glass - part #9

"Depression glass" is a collector's term used for inexpensive tableware items made from machine-pressed glass during the 1920's and 1940's. It was produced in a variety of colors, shapes and patterns by over 20 companies. Most manufacturers were located in the central and eastern United States.

The name, "depression glass" comes from the economic downturn of the 1930's - The Great Depression. During the Depression, the glass was sold at very low prices. A complete table setting could be purchased for two or three dollars. It was sold in retail stores and also by mail order, such as the Sears catalog.

Pieces of depression glass were frequently placed in boxes of cereal, flour, oatmeal, detergent and other retail products as an incentive for purchase. It was also given away by businesses such as gas stations and movie theaters to gain publicity and to attract customers to their establishments.

This type of distribution produced immediate "collectors" - people received one piece and then wanted to build a collection. They had fun opening an oatmeal box to find the prize inside!

I started collecting green Depression Glass to use in serving tea. I haven't collected a particular pattern, but just love the green color. For serving tea I love the dessert plates and berry bowls; so they are the main items I look for. It looks so pretty mixed with china and is so versatile in decorating a table scape. Depression Glass is a very fun glass to search out and collect, but beware you might be overflowing with them very quickly as they are fairly easy to find.


And the winner of the 400th blog celebration give away is:


Please email me directly with your address and the tea cozy and jelly will be on the way to you.