Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Afternoon Tea at Butchart Garden

Tea at Butchart Garden was by far the most wonderful tea experience I have ever had.
After walking through the gardens and celebrating the beauty of the day, we had tea in The Dining Room Restaurant.  The surroundings felt like we were sitting in a historic green house full of orchids.  The service was impeccable.  The food was delicious.  I loved every moment of this wonderful afternoon tea.
The entry to the restaurant took us by Mrs. Butchart own private gardens.  Another day I will show more in the garden, but of course there was tea set even on the garden table.

The menu for this tea included:

Seasonal berry trifle

Savory house made sausage roll with imported mustard
Roasted vegetable and cheese quiche
Smoked wild salmon with maple and whole grain mustard cream cheese
Egg salad and watercress
Mango-curry chicken salad with toasted cashews
Smoked honey ham on a rosemary and aged cheddar biscuit
Cucumber with fresh ginger cream cheese

Lemon tartlet with fresh fruit
Raspberry marzipan Napoleon
Lemon and poppy seed load
Coconut chocolate macaroon
Their own chocolate Grand Marnier truffle

Candied ginger scone with strawberry jam and whipped vanilla Devon-style cream

There were seven tea choices, I enjoyed a lovely blended black tea.
If you ever travel to Victoria, BC, Canada, I wholeheartedly recommend tea at Butchart Garden.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Walk through Butchart Gardens

A walk through Butchart Gardens near Victoria, BC, Canada on a beautiful Spring day was totally delightful.
 I felt like the pictures would speak today for me.
The gardens just took my breathe away.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tea at the Empress

Double click on the collage to see pictures in more detail.

Twenty years ago we visited Victoria, BC, Canada
and I wanted to have tea at The Empress.
The proprietor of the B&B where we stayed at the time said
it wasn't worth it and to have tea somewhere else.
We listened to him and I have always wished I had tea at The Empress.
As part of extending my birthday celebrating throughout the month, my husband and I visited Victoria last week and had tea at The Empress.
It was a delightful three days filled with tea and sunshine.
Just beautiful!
Tea at The Empress was one of the highlights.
Sitting by the window was fun as we could see people outside taking pictures in front of The Empress, but we could also see people inside enjoying tea.  There were friends sharing tea, mothers and daughters sharing tea, and business men sharing tea and discussing business.  The service was impeccable and the surroundings were beautiful.

Our menu:
Fruit cup
Mushroom pate on a baguette
Rolled salmon and herb cream cheese
Cucumber sandwich
Chicken curry sandwich
Carrot sandwich
Scones with strawberry jam and cream
Lemon tart
Chocolate cake with marshmallow
Vanilla crisp
Checkerboard Chocolate/Vanilla cake
Chocolate Truffle

The tea I enjoyed was their 100th Anniversary Blend, which they gave us each a box of at the end of the tea.
Now I can say "I had tea at The Empress".  What fun!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gift of Tea

Sharon is a friend I have never met, yet we started communicating
about 6 years ago for work and have continued the friendship after I retired.  She lives in Taiwan and I would love to visit her there someday.  Recently another friend was traveling to Taiwan for
business and I sent a small gift along for Sharon.
To my surprise, Sharon sent me some tea.
The bag and container are so beautiful.
But even more beautiful is the tea.

It is Osmanthus Oolong.  A lovely floral tea with small pieces of the osmanthus blossom in it.
This morning I will be enjoying a teapot of this beautiful tea.
You can see in the two small dishes the before and after of steeping.
It always amazes me to see the leaves unfurl and release the sweetness of the tea.
What is in your cup today?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dreams Come True

 Two and a half years ago I bought my Canon Rebel.
A friend asked me at that time, "What pictures do you want to take?"
I said, "I want to travel the world taking pictures of Adirondack chairs overlooking water."
On Monday I found that chair.
A blue Adirondack chair sitting on a rocky shore in Victoria, BC, Canada.
It was just as I imagined it to be.
A dream come true.
Do you have dreams?
Are you watching for them to come true?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hide under the covers

Do you sometimes want to hide under the covers?
Stay in bed all day?
Not face the world for a day?

Sometimes days are just like that.
What would you do if you stayed in bed all day and hid away?

Sometimes we just need to take a day away and do something special for our selves.
What would you do?  
Would you stay in bed all day, go for a walk, escape into a good book?

I think I would make a special breakfast of delicious scones and jam, a small pot of my favorite tea, a journal to write my thoughts in, and a good book; then hop back in bed with lots of pillow and just treasure the day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Walking in my yard this week I noticed one of our bird houses.
The nest inside has been pulled on and tugged at.
It is looking rather messy.
Squirrels had been nesting in it and had made the opening
large enough to enter.
Now the bird's are taking it back and cleaning house.
They have been pulling and tugging the old nest
and using the old nest to make a new nest in a nearby tree.
Isn't it interesting how nature recyles, makes something new,
and takes the time in Spring for a spring cleaning.
I think I could learn something from those birds nearby,
it's time for a spring cleaning and making something new from the old.
So this week I will be cleaning and making my nest refreshed.
I can't wait.
Do you set aside time for refreshing and a spring cleaning each year?

Monday, March 22, 2010

If I were:

A few weeks ago Relyn at come sit by my fire shared a list of "If I were" and I
thought it would be fun to do too.  You are welcome to play along.
Leave me a message and let me know if you played.  I will want to visit you and read your list.

If I were:

a color, yellow
a verb, laugh
a day, Friday
a TV show, Travels to the Edge
a taste, a cup of oolong tea
an emotion, delight
a month, March
a flower, a daffodil
a holiday, Easter
a movie, Enchanted April
an article of clothing, a jacket
a book, Alice in Wonderland
a car, old yellow Jeep Wrangler
a piece of furniture, large oversized chair
a scent, lemons
an instrument, cello
a store, Laduree
a shoe, ballet slippers
a fruit, strawberries
a song, Ode to Joy
a tree, cherry
a planet, Saturn
a tool, scissors

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tibetan Tea Bowls

Some time back I shared the Tibetan tea bowl I had found.
Several of you mentioned an interest in them; so I thought I
would show you what is still available from Caravan Trading, a local importer.
They are charging $15. plus shipping.

These very beautiful tea bowls are nickel and brass on the inside.
The outside is wood.
The stones are turquoise, tigers eye, or lapis.
Each bowl is different.
There are three different stones on the ones with stones, plus there are two that are just plain.

If you are interested in any of the ones above, I tried to include a picture with a stone unique to it for identification.  Please contact me and I can give you the contact information for Caravan Trading.
The owners are good friends of mine; so I know they are reputable.
I may be slow at answering, as I will be out and about for the next few days.

We weren't sure how old they are, but they could be up to 50 years old or more.
If nothing else, just enjoy seeing several different Tibetan tea bowls.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tea at Deepwood Estate

Each March my sister and I get together to celebrate our March birthdays.
Sometimes it is for lunch and sometimes for tea.
This year we decided to share a special St. Patrick's Day tea
at the Historic Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon.

The house is a beautiful 1894 Queen Anne Victorian home, one of the first
built in the area with electricity and indoor plumbing.
It was fun to walk through the rooms and imagine what it was like during that time.
As lovely Celtic instrumental music was played we enjoyed sharing tea.

The menu was delightful:

Irish Soda Bread with Chutney and Dubliner Cheese
Guinness Beef Stew
Salmon and Potato Cakes with Lemon Sauce
Corn Beef and Cabbage Strudel
Fresh Asparagus
Sticky Toffee Cake
Deepwood Tea with Rose Petals

A very pleasant afternoon tea.

Double click on the collage to see a closer view.

And the winner of the Salutations book is:  beth of be yourself-everyone else is taken
Beth please email me your address and the book will be on it's way.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Green is the color that reminds me of St. Patrick's Day.
Green is the color of limes and sometimes apples.
Green is the color of creamy avocados.
Green is the color of springtime.
Green is the color of grass and leaves.
Green is a color I wish I could wear.
Green is a color that makes my heart sing.
Green is the color of a four leaf clover found tucked in the grass.
But most of all Green is the color of the of growth.

I think Green is God's favorite color because I see so much of it in nature.

What do you think of when you see Green?
I hope it isn't green with envy, but something beautiful that makes your heart sing.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Enjoy the green!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"Never hurry and never worry!"

"With men it's rush, rush, rush every minute."

"The quickest way to spoil a friendship is to wake somebody up in the morning before he is ready."
~The Oldest Sheep

As a little girl I was not introduced to Charlotte, but when my children were in elementary school I would read to them in the mornings before they left for school.  I didn't know how Charlotte's Web ended and when we got to the end of the book we were all crying as they went off to school.  We loved the book; so I was thrilled when
 Beverly at Tea Time and Roses recently sent me two copies of this
book. She noticed that I loved children's books.   I told her I would share
one of the copies with you; so here is another give-away.

Leave a comment on this post and I will draw a name the morning of
March 18th, Thursday. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Magic Pie

A pinch or two of pleasantness,
A brimming cup of smile,
Another pinch of thoughtfulness-
Keep stirring all the while.
The spice of love to mingle through
The mixture as you go;
The laughter of a singing heart
To give the wonder-glow.

A little dash of gratitude,
Another of good will;
A measure of the fortitude
That overcomes the ill.
A spoonful, stirring all the time,
Of romance and of dreams-
Then watch it, as to some old rhyme,
In loveliness, it creams.

What are you making this strange way?
You ask, and I reply;
A perfect life, a perfect day,
A sort of magic pie.
All spiced with tenderness, you see,
And sweetened with desire-
And some for you and some for me
To taste and never tire.

~Anne C. Thuesen

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tea in the Morning and Winners

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


the breakfast table
has folks muttering, "Black," and
they don't mean coffee

from Haiku for Tea Lovers
by David Ash

The winner's of Monday's give-away:
The plate - Relyn, come sit by my fire
The heart pendant - Annie, In My Dreams
The delight pendant - Linda J, Friendship Tea

Congratulations! Your gifts will be soon on the way to you.
What joy to give!
Now I really must go have my morning cup of tea and celebrate.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Don't be Down Hearted

Don't be down hearted.
Don't be sad.
Open up your heart.
Allow your heart to feel glad.

Smile even though your heart is breaking.
Let the sunshine fill your soul.
Feel joy in the morning
with a song in your heart.

Note:  Joey has to put up with a crazy mother that likes to put hats on him.
He wasn't too thrilled with this one.  I will show his favorite on another day.
I thought the picture might add a smile to your day.

This is the last day to leave a comment on Monday's give-away.  The winners will be announced tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My First Best Friend

Recently I started reading Nancy Lindemeyer's new book, My First Best Friend.
It is bringing back so many memories of my first best friend, Judy.
Judy's mom was leaving the hospital after giving birth to Judy and her brother, Jack, when my mom was going into the hospital to give birth to me.  We were born six days apart.
Then when we were not quite 3 years old we became neighbors.
Judy recently told me how happy she was when I moved in because up until then it was mostly boys in the neighborhood and Judy had three brothers too.
Here we are celebrating a hot summer day with Judy's brother, Jack, and a another friend.
I am on the left and Judy is next to me.
Jack and Judy celebrated their birthday.  I still can remember so many of the ones in this picture.
I am on the far right on the top row, Judy is in the middle of the top row, Jack is on the left in the bottom row, and my sister even got in the picture at the far right (the baby).
I had such a crush on Jack at this age.
When we started to kindergarten it was so fun for the three of us to walk to school together.

What I remember most about Judy were climbing trees, playing baseball out in the street with the boys, learning to swim, and visiting in her home.  I loved the smell of her house and seeing her parents share a glass of red wine before dinner.  I remember the time Judy got caught between two branches in the tree and when I told my mom she thought we were just playing a joke and didn't come out to help.  So I got her mom to help and then she got stuck too.  My mom looked out the window and saw the fire truck there getting them both out of the tree.  It is such a funny memory.  How we loved hanging in that tree and pretending we were monkeys.  We were constantly terrifying the neighbors.

I moved away when I was going into the sixth grade, but somehow Judy and I have always kept contact.
We haven't seen each other in about 30 years, but she will always be my "first best friend".
Happy Birthday dear friend, Judy!

Don't forget the give away on Monday's blog entry, the drawing will be announced on Friday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Glorious Day!

Saturday was a glorious day of sunshine.  The bridge was up when
we arrived to see the cherry blossoms at the Japanese Memorial along the Willamette River here in Portland.  A boat was passing by, but I thought you would like to see what the bridge looks like when it opens for a boat to pass by.
There were families picnicking, runners running, and bicyclists biking.
The sky was so blue against the softness of the pink blossoms.

Sunshine and blossoms, the perfect spring day.
This is my Oregon postcard to you today.
Celebrate new beginnings!

Don't forget to leave a comment for the give-aways mentioned on Monday.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Enamored with Glass - finale

A few years ago I started noticing fused charms.
This is where my inspiration came to share Enamored with Glass.
Last fall I found and took a class in making fused glass charms.
Here are three of my first charms.  I wear the Celebrate charm, the Play charm was given to a friend,
and the Delight charm is waiting for one of you.  It would be fun to wear or
to hang on your Christmas tree next Christmas.
Yes, the Enamored with Glass series is coming to end with
more than one give away.  The fused glass plate is also for someone
that would enjoy it.  Just let me know you would like the plate and
your name will be put in the hat.  No, I didn't make it, but it is signed by the artist.
 I did make the fused glass pendant and this is the third glass gift.
Three gifts will be given in glass to finish the Enamored with Glass series.
Wow!  I love giving gifts. It brings me great JOY.
Let me know which one you would like to win or if you want to be considered
for each of the glass gifts and your name will go in the hat.
The winners will be announced Friday; so you have until Thursday night to leave a comment.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Take some more Tea

"Take some more tea," the March Hare said to Alice,
very earnestly.
"I've had nothing yet," Alice replied in an offended tone,
"so I can't take more."
"You mean you can't take less," said the Hatter,
"It's very easy to take more than nothing."
~Lewis Carroll

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More Springtime

I had something else to share, but
my talent at formatting has not been there today.
Enjoy a bit more of Springtime.
I love this variety of primrose with the
tall flower and round leaves in my
cracked French flower pot.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The picture was taken in my backyard this week.
On Oprah yesterday I was so touched by the interview with Roger Ebert.
This quote from his journal was read by his wife.  It's one every person can live by:

"I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and I am happy that I lived long enough to find it out."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bishop's Close in Spring Time

Saturday was a glorious spring day in Portland.
We ventured out to Elk Rock, The Garden of the Bishop's Close.
It is a secret garden overlooking the Willamette River, a treasure shared with the public, but
owned by the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon.
The gardens were developed starting in 1914 by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kerr, a Scot who came to Portland in 1888.  It is considered one of the great gardens of the Northwest.
It has been managed by a Garden Committee since 1986.
In the spring the lawn is covered with crocus and I wanted to
take their picture in all their glory.  It was not to be,
in the top picture you will see the only crocus left after an early spring blooming.
But the sunshine was so wonderful that we wandered the gardens
and found much to enjoy.
Click on the collage to see the details of the flowers.
Did you notice my pink shoes in the center picture?
I wore them just for you and celebrating spring.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Enamored with Glass - part #13

Come with me, step inside.
The Tarte sale on Saturday.
Tucked in a barn in the country.
There were many fun things to see, but what I like the best
is just seeing the creative displays.
Glass, yes there was glass.  Can you see the cloche?
Double click on the picture for a closer look.
There were old glass bottles too.
My husband has a collection of old bottles he long ago found
digging in abandoned dumps.  They can be so beautiful used
to hold flowers or homemade vinegars.  The possibilities are endless.

The possibilities of sharing glass could be endless also, but
next week will be the end of the Enamored with Glass Monday series.
Come by, as there will be a glass give away.

Val, I have looked for pink glass, but not found much worth sharing.
I am still looking.