Friday, September 30, 2011


One of my favorite quotes:

Plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for
someone to bring you flowers.
~Veronica A. Shoffstall

I have often thought of this quote as I walk
through my garden picking flowers for the house.
Yes, all the flowers in this bouquet came from my garden.
They bring me such joy to see in the house, but
I know if I am to decorate my own soul
(bring joy in my heart)
I must do it for myself.
Sometimes I want
someone to pick me up and carry me
and decorate for me, but I am the one that must
do it for myself.

These flowers decorate my world and bring a smile on my face.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chuckle of the Day

Silly, I know; but can't resist the comics when it has to do with tea.
Have a good day, whether you have one lump, two lumps, or none.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mooncakes and Pomegranites

With the last full moon the Lan Su Chinese Gardens had an evening fund-raiser.
There were about 15 restaurants in town serving small bite foods.
There was everything from mooncakes, cupcakes, spring rolls, and tea.
I just loved visiting the garden in the evening and thought the red of the tablecloths
and the blue lanterns made for a very festive evening.
We were able to wander the garden, take pictures, but most of all nibble at each table.
What fun to sample from so many restaurants and discover some new ones we
didn't know about.
There isn't much better than good food, nice music, warm cloudy evening,
and candle light.
I will miss those summer evenings, but looking forward to what is
coming with pumpkins and goblins to celebrate fall.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Little House on the Hill

 A silly painting for The Dollhouse Project for September.

As a young girl I use to draw ladybugs in their
adventures around home.
I haven't pulled out my paints for a very long time;
so it was fun just to play a little.
I hope you just enjoy this playfulness of the ladybugs
having tea below the house on the hill.

What are you doing this week to play?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Colors of Autumn

Pears are ready to harvest here in Oregon.
The color of this pear is amazing and reminds me of Autumn.
The tomato is the largest one from our garden this year.
Both the pear and tomato tasted wonderful,
just the right flavor for the season.

What flavors are you enjoying this Autumn season?

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Porch

Welcome to Emma Wagner Giesy's front porch.
Emma, "was the only woman sent to the Oregon Territory in the 1850s
to help found a communal society."
Her home is now part of the Old Aurora Colony Museum.

I have always fallen in love with old porches and when
I saw this porch I knew I wanted to photograph it.
I have seen so many beautiful pictures of porches in magazines and online;
so my challenge was to have some beautiful flowers and of course tea while sitting
on Emma's porch.
I had a wonderful time yesterday taking pictures here and
send thanks to the Old Aurora Colony Museum for allowing
me to photograph Emma's porch.

You can learn more about the museum by visiting their website:

The winner of Monday's Give-Away is: Kate at A Spoonful of Thyme
Congratulations to you!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One More Teatime Outdoors

Hiking last weekend gave opportunity for one more teatime outdoors.
It wasn't anything fancy, but it still was sipping tea outdoors.

I do believe tea taste better outdoors.
Added to our tea we had a stacked sandwich with egg salad and tuna.
Nothing special, just what we had in the cupboard.
Then we added Gravenstein apples from the Farmer's Market
and carrot cupcakes.  The carrots were from the garden.
Usually I frost cupcakes, but they were so yummy they didn't need anything on top.
There you have it, our tea party outdoors, an opportunity to celebrate the end of summer
with lovely warm pots of oolong tea and food from a time of harvest.

Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post 
for a give-away tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harvest Time

I just love the colors of this time of year.
On a recent visit to the Farmer's Market I couldn't resist
taking pictures of this beautiful color.
The peppers just stood there at attention waiting for me to snap their picture.
The Gravenstein apples had called my name and said, take me home.
Oh yes, they are here now and making the best apple pies ever.
The cauliflower just smiled and showed me it's rosy, golden cheeks.
The artichokes had to shine with their purple flower.
The tomatoes, oh I could just have pinched their red glory.
A visit to the Farmer's Market definitely makes my heart sing at this time of year.

Do you have a Farmer's Market near you?
Oh I hope the things you see there are making your heart sing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


It was a magical day!
Come, walk with me!

It had been raining, but the clouds opened up to this amazing view of Mt. Hood.
The hike around Lost Lake is 3 1/4 miles of pure delight.

 After all the green, out peaked these sweet pink flowers.
Just for your delight!

At the beginning of Summer I made a list.
On the list were all the things I wanted to make sure and do this Summer.
One adventure still remained and I could tell by the change in the air that Summer would soon be over.
It was a hike at Lost Lake, near Mt. Hood.
It had been 30 years since I had been there and I still remembered it's beauty.
It was a delightful day of hiking and picnicking, one I hope to repeat before another 30 years passes by.
My list has a check mark there and it is highlighted too, as it most definitely was a highlight of the Summer.

What was your highlight of the Summer?
Don't forget to leave a comment on Monday's post for the give away.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spirit Whispers

Recently I came across the following poem on another blog and felt it was appropriate to share for Spirit Whispers.  I have just past my 800th post here at Delights of the Heart.  This is the last day for Spirit Whispers as a regular Monday series.  I can promise you it may pop up from time to time, just not in a series.  In celebration I thought it was time for a give away.  I have a small book of poems by Maya Angelou, a small bag of tea from Thailand, and probably another trinket or two I would love to send to someone.  Leave a comment on this post and I will announce the winner on Friday.

Your Seed Pouch
Hang from the night sky 
So that your eye might draw 
One more image of love upon your silk canvas 
Before sleep. 
Words from Him have reached you 
And tilled a golden field inside. 
When all your desires are distilled 
You will cast just two votes: 
To love more, 
And be happy. 
Take the sounds from the mouth-flute of Hafiz 
And mix them into your seed pouch. 
And when the Moon says, 
“It is time to 
Why not dance, 
Dance and 
~ Hafiz

Can't you just imagine Dancing and Singing among these trees heavy with fruit.
They are ready for the harvest.
Go out, loving more and being happy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Walk Alone

Recently I read a quote that said to do one thing
each day that was out of your comfort zone to grow.
That has given me something to think about
as I am often here at home and don't see myself
doing things outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis.
Yesterday as I was walking in my neighborhood
I thought about this and realized I was actually doing
something outside of my comfort zone.
No, I wasn't walking in short bloomers like these girls,
but I was walking alone.
Most often my husband walks with me and
it is a time for conversation; but he couldn't go yesterday.
It felt out of my comfort zone to walk alone.

Do you encourage yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone?
What are they?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Preparing for a Tea Party

No spectacular tea parties today,
though I did sip tea last evening at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens.
I will tell you about that another day.
As I look at this picture, it reminds me of the times of preparation.
What do I do to prepare?
First, I need to have a reason for a tea party.
Maybe it is just to give opportunity for a visit with a friend or
maybe it is a special holiday event.
Second, I think about a theme.
Do I want to focus on flowers or have something fun for the little ones?
Or maybe it is something more elaborate, like putting on a full tea
such as Alice in Wonderland.  This is probably where I have the most fun.
Third, I start pulling out plates I might like to use to see how they fit with the theme.
This is the stage you see in the picture.
Fourth, I plan a menu that has a few easy things to fix and then something
that challenges me or something new.  With the planning of the menu, I
make a schedule.  The schedule starts often a few days before the party.
I make the sweets and tart shells that can be frozen.  I cut special
shapes in the bread and put them in the freezer.  Then as we get closer to the event,
I make the sandwich fillings.
Finally, the day arrives and I am prepared for those last minute touches.

Yes, it is a lot of work sometimes, but it is fun (at least I think it is).
I love being prepared and seeing the appreciation in the eyes of those that receive.
It is a gift I love giving.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Double Delight

This rose you see is called Double Delight.
It sits so beautifully in a neighbor's garden.
As I walk by I cannot resist stopping to delight in the roses here.
I am so delighted too that you stopped by today.
Please leave me a one word comment saying what is delighting you today.

My delight today is:  Flourish

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cranberry Bread Thoughts

When you are short on cash and payday is several days away, what do you do?  How do you make it less stressful and more joyful?  Maybe no one else here has days like this, but I do.  I was thinking about it and realized there are two things I do, one is bake goodies to have available for the freezer or on the table and go outside for a walk or if there is gas in the car to the country I go.

 Today I am making Cranberry Bread, a family favorite.  Starting to think of autumn just around the corner, cranberries sounded so good.  Small loaves are in the oven, so that some will go in the freezer for the next time I need a little something special and I am planning a picnic in the country soon.

Cranberry Bread
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups light raisins (I use dark)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped (I use whole)

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl.   Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.  Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice all at once; stir just until mixture is evenly moist.  Fold in raisins and cranberries.
Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan (I use smaller ones and cook shorter time).  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

This recipe was shared with my daughter by her first grade teacher many years ago.  Jill came home from school and was so excited to bake Cranberry Bread.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Spirit Whispers

God is in the ordinary.
God is in the everyday.
We can notice God and listen
in the growth of the tree or of the flower.
In the rising of the morning sun,
in the stars at night,
and in the moon,
God is there.

This was taken loosely from the book,
Listening for the Heartbeat of God
by J. Philip Newell

Friday, September 9, 2011

Iced Tea Weather

But Which First?

Shall we have a nap or take tea?
For nap time and tea time
Go hand in hand.

And if the tea is sweet
And the sleep is warm,
Then the secrets of
Tea leaves and dreamscapes
We will joyfully understand.

by~ Earlene Grey

The tea is iced, a Monk's Blend.
A nice black tea with grenadine flavoring.
It makes a delightful iced tea for a warm summer's day.
Oh, the cookie is a macaron of apricot and pistachio.
What could be more perfect for an afternoon respite outdoors?

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Steven Smith's Teashop

Recently I had the opportunity to meet a friend at Steven Smith's Teashop.
Now if you don't know who Steven Smith is after I explain who he is you might know.
Steven Smith first was involved in starting Stash Tea.
When Stash Tea was in their infancy I would go to their garage sales
and buy a large grocery bag of outdated teabags for one dollar.
I thought that was a really good deal.
Little did I know until later that outdated tea isn't very good.
Then Steven Smith sold Stash Tea and started Tazo Tea.
That is when I had the opportunity to visit the Tazo Tea tasting room
and hear a lecture from Steven Smith.  I was beginning to learn more about tea.
The story doesn't end there.
Steven Smith sold Tazo Tea to Starbuck's and decided to retire to France.
After one year Steven Smith must have been bored; so he came back to
Portland to start Steven Smith Tea.
He has opened a sweet little teashop in northwest Portland where you
can watch the packaging of the tea through the window.
He is selling his tea in higher end markets and has recently come out with
a lovely Ready to Drink bottled tea.

Well the day I met my friend there we decided to do a tea tasting.
We tasted 7 different black teas and one of the three new bottled teas.
It is fascinating to taste teas that you like from another company
and then find you don't like the same named tea from another.
Normally Yunnan Gold is one of my favorites from another company.
I didn't particularly like their Yunnan tea at Steven Smith.
What I did like was the White Tea bottled tea,
 Keemun Hao Ya B, and Lord Bergamot.
The Lord Bergamot I learned is one of their best sellers
and not one I would have chosen until I tasted it.

My suggestion from this tea tasting is to always be open to trying something new.
You never know when you will be pleasantly surprised.
When trying a new tea, first taste it plain with no sugar, milk, or lemon.
This will give you the true flavor of the tea.
So go out and sip being open to new experiences in life whether tea or life in general.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Smiling down on Me

Brown Eyes
Large and Lovely

I must admit to a love affair.
A love affair with these gorgeous golden petals.
This time of year they make my heart patter.
They shine with the sun.
Oh, Sunflowers!
You make my heart sing with Delight!
What brings delight to your heart today?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oregon State Fair

Friday I went to the Oregon State Fair.
I hadn't been in many years.
Yes, there were quilts, jams and jellies, cakes, cows, bunnies,
rides and people there.
But that wasn't why I was there.
Can you guess?
I was there to judge the first tea competition and the scone competition.
Tasting 26 teas in two hours was quite a fete.
Tasting about a dozen scones was quite a delight.

The tea competition had several categories from herbals, blacks, greens, and oolongs.
The scone competition also had several categories from plain to fruit to savory.
There was a new herbal tea company with very nice blends.
There was a most unique scone with strawberries, strawberry pudding mix, and Greek yogurt.

I found that it was very good having more than one person judge, as each of us had our own opinion
and sometimes they differed.  In the end there were many winners and I felt like a winner for
getting to be a judge at the Oregon State Fair.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Spirit Whispers

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."--John Muir
A friend recently shared this on Facebook and I thought it appropriate for Spirit Whispers today.
I hope each of you has opportunity today to spend sometime in the beauty around you. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fort Clatsop, Oregon

Fort Clapsop was where Lewis and Clark ended their expedition to the west many years ago.
It is about 6 miles from what is now Astoria, Oregon, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.
It is not far from the Pacific Ocean, so while Lewis and Clark spent the winter here they were
able to enjoy much seafood in their diet.  The Clatsop Indians lived in the area and were not quite sure
how to interact with these white men.  Always before when white men came it was for trading,
but Lewis and Clark were not there for trading.  They were there to explore new land for people to move west.  On the upper right picture you can see their fireplace in one of the rooms of the fort.
On the lower right was an example of the heavy woolen
Hudson Bay Company coats worn during that era and still
noticed and copied by designers today.  It was a small fort, as it was just built for temporary
cover for the winter Lewis and Clark remained in this location.

In the 36 years that I have lived in Oregon I had not visited here.
It was a real treat to finally make it to this beautiful part of Oregon
and experience time at Fort Clatsop.

Do you have historical sights near where you live?
Have you visited them?
The long weekend might just be the opportunity to do so.
Enjoy the weekend.

Now I am off to the Oregon State Fair.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tea at Fort Clatsop

Last week friends stopped in Astoria, Oregon.
They were on a cruise.
We drove out there to meet them and
show them a tiny corner of our world.
Since they were tea friends, tea was the appropriate
thing to do.
Carol Sims started Tea Treasures in Austin, Texas quite a long time ago.
Later she and her husband, Bob, added a tea shop, Tea Embassy, in a cute Victorian house
in Austin.  Now there son, Jonathon, and his wife, Amy, run most of the business
and Carol and Bob travel and have fun with grandchildren.
So Carol and Bob joined us for afternoon tea at Fort Clatsop.
I will give more information another day on the fort,
but it was a wonderful place to enjoy the out of doors with tea.
Let's start with dessert.
We had raspberry tartlettes and chocolate cupcakes.
Goat cheese tarts and Pesto Roll-ups.
Roast beef with caramelized onions and Curry Chicken Bites.
The salad was full of Oregon berries with peaches, very refreshing.
We had tea, yes, we did.
It was Baozhong Farmer's Choice Oolong, many small pots were enjoyed.
Flowers from my yard dressed the vintage setting.
It was a delightful day.
The highlight was just getting to visit with friends and share a cup of tea.

Visit Tea Embassy at