Monday, October 31, 2011

Dancing in the Leaves

Glass pumpkins, perfect for an October day.

October, Store-Keeper
by Ethel Romig Fuller

October is the keeper
of a bargain store
See the orange posters
At the windows and the door.

Within are piles of remnants,
Some faded, it is true,
By a summer's wear and tear;
Some as good as new.

Mill-ends of dahlia satin,
Chiffon of thistledown,
Cloth of goldenrod enough
For a party gown.

Zinnia ribbon yard lengths-
Note prices on the tags!-
Fringed with asters, they would make
The most distinctive bags.

And trays of lacquered rose haws
And watermelon seeds-
Could any combination be 
Lovelier for beads?

I hope your October was dressed in the most beautiful of finery
and you felt like dancing in the leaves.
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Dollhouse Project

I knew my Dollhouse Project for October had to involve a pumpkin.
I wanted a scary house in black sitting on my porch.
Since it was my first time to paint on the pumpkin
it was a bit messy; but I decided that just made it more scary.

Are you decorating for Halloween?
Do you like scary things?
Have you ever seen a BatCat?
Joey's really humiliated and wouldn't open his eyes,
but he still sends Happy Halloween thoughts your way.

Whatever you are doing to celebrate,
enjoy the weekend and play~

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Evening tea in the Garden House

The garden house welcomed me in.
It invited me to have tea as the sun began to set.
As I have walked many times past this
sweet garden house it has beckoned me in.
Before the weather turned cold I had to sit
outdoors for tea once more.
The air had a sense of crispness,
but it welcomed me there in the candle light.
A lovely Yunnan Gold was sipped,
stories were shared, and there was peace in my heart.

Do you find places you would like to just sit and
watch the sun go down?
It is always special when shared with a friend
and a delightful cup of tea.

If you missed the walk in this garden,
please step back a day and you can enjoy my neighbors garden.
Thanks so much to my neighbor that so willingly let me step inside her gate
and spend some time here.
This is one of those opening the door experiences and
I am so glad I asked.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn Garden

A couple years ago I shared a peek into this garden with you.
Recently, as I was walking by, I met the owner of the garden.
I asked if I could come back and photograph her garden just for you.
I just knew you would want some quiet time in the garden today.

There were apples on her tree when I met her,
but when I went back they were sitting on the table.
I think this gardener has a kind heart and was sharing
with the wild life in her neighborhood.

Some of the fence posts had bird houses.
What a welcoming sign.

Then a place to sit awhile must be included in any garden,
don't you agree?
This garden is the perfect place to sit a while.
Come back tomorrow and sit with me here.
We can share a cup of tea.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wonder Brings JOY

The perfect celebration of Autumn, hot spiced/caramel apple cider with Rice Krispie treats.
Thinking about the up coming season with tea and peppermint stick bark.

Skittles are full of color and fun anytime of the year.
Halloween is just around the corner,
a perfect time for a caramel apple.

Are you hungry yet?
This past weekend I had great fun at a food photography workshop.
Loved the quote inside my cup.
Wonder does in fact bring JOY.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Adventure in the Country

A bucket full of zinnias.
There were clouds and sunshine all mixed together.
A perfect day to find the "great pumpkin".
Color was shining too.
Do country roads beckon you in Autumn?
Saturday I just couldn't resist a drive in the country.
I was searching for the "great pumpkin"
and color.
I do believe I found it along with a bucket of zinnias to hug and
a pile full of laughing children.
The country side was humming with children of every age,
but I did find some quiet places to soak it in and enjoy
an Autumn day in the country.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Deepwood Estates, a final peek

Visiting the Deepwood Estates in Salem, Oregon was definitely a treat.
I thought you would just like to take one final peek through the house.
I especially love the sun room.
Can't you just imagine sitting there on a sunny day sipping a lovely iced tea
and reading a juicy book?
Of maybe on a cold day sitting before that beautiful double flue fireplace
with a warm cup of tea, a quilt over your lap, and again a book to read?

Happy weekend, dear friends~
May it be a special time of autumn celebration.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tea Time at Deepwood

There were signs all about.
Deepwood Estates has a love affair with tea sipping.
Beautiful tea ware and sweets were sitting about.
They were prepared to sit a spell and enjoy the moments.
A beautiful place indeed and perfect for sipping tea.
Visit there website to see when opportunities for tea come along.

You definitely won't be disappointed.  The surroundings are beautiful too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I BELIEVE, yes I do!

I do BELIEVE in fairies, yes I do.
Do you?
Do you believe in the fantasy of life,
the make believe story telling of children?
That singing in your heart?
Do you?
I do!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Opening Doors

When I look at a door I wonder what is behind it.
Do you do that too?

Recently I have been thinking what would make my heart sing in the next 5 or 10 years.
Have you stopped to think about that at times in your life?
Sometimes it can be rather scary when I write it down.
It takes my breathe away and I cannot even whisper
my dreams.  I dream of opening some of those doors,
maybe two or three would do.
My heart dreams of being more creative
and living life more fully.
Those are generalizations, but what
I wrote underneath is still too scary to say.
But the final word on the list is passion!
Live life more passionately!
I am not sure where that will take me,
but there I said it, the door is squeaking open.
Care to join me in opening some doors?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Falling in Love

Zinnia's have never been a favorite of mine,
but for reason unknown to myself I am falling in love with them this autumn.
I just want to search out buckets and buckets of them,
then hug them to my chest.
They are just singing to my soul,
Chrysanthemums and pumpkins do each year;
but zinnia's, now that is a surprise.
What is singing to your heart this autumn season?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Walk in the Garden

A walk in the garden is always so special when spent with four other bloggers.
Wednesday was an occasion to walk in this garden.
The dew was on the plants and it was an amazing autumn day.
I was struck by the color of the geranium and the berries.
But stepping inside the Deepwood Estate, we would be
given a treat of sights from another time.
Then it was off to lunch with these blogging gals and with
cameras all around pictures were taken.
Meeting blogging gals is always so fun
and for another day I will share more of this special day in the garden.

Are you taking any walks in the garden,
enjoying the crisp days of autumn?
Have a delightful weekend and take time to enjoy time outdoors.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chocolate and Tea

Pairing Tea with Chocolate just makes sense when you sit in a workshop
with Lisa Richardson of Lisa Knows Tea.  I had the opportunity "slow down and think"
with Lisa at the NW Tea Festival.
She instructed us to put the chocolate in our mouth and suck, not chew,
letting the chocolate melt in your mouth, then sip the tea.
We started with the lightest and worked our way to the darkest.
She suggested that we might want to look at matching lightness to lightness or
we might appreciate a contrast in flavors.
She shared a quote by Lu Yu - "for the mouth to decide".
Indeed it is for the mouth to decide which combinations you might like,
but definitely chocolate and tea is a very good thing.

With the white chocolate we paired it with a light oolong.
With the milk chocolate we paired it with an amber oolong, medium oxidation.
With the dark chocolate we paired it with a Golden Yunnan and a Puer.
With the bittersweet chocolate we had Makibari 2nd flush Darjeeling.

Now I have two chocolates and alot of different teas in my cupboard.
The chocolates are a Dark Milk from the Philippines
and thin slices of pear dipped in key limes, then dipped in a bittersweet chocolate.
In the next few days I will be experimenting to see which tea enhances the flavor
of these two teas.

Take the adventure and see what you can find.
Maybe you can find the perfect chocolate to pair with a Lapsong Souchong?
I am curious.  Let me know.

Note:  The small pot in the top pictures was found yesterday on an excursion
to a thrift/antique mall.  They said it was a creamer, but for $3.50 I thought it
would make a nice small teapot.  It was also made in the USA, which I always like.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Are there days when you feel like you are juggling too many balls?
Seeing these balls that was exactly what I felt.
Oh and they are a heavy load too.
What do you do when you feel like this?
How do you remedy this feeling of being out of control?

Now you know me as the tea lady and yes!
that is exactly what I do.
I lock myself in my office, shut the door,
wrap my hands around a warm cup of tea,
stare into space, and sip.
Try it, it really works.
Take 10 minutes and it will do wonders.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

BELIEVE and Dance

Promise me you'll always remember:
You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
~Christopher Robin to Pooh

So let's put our dancing dress on
and dance.  Dance through the tears,
dance in the dark, and dance till
the sun comes up!

Monday, October 10, 2011

WuWo Tea Ceremony

October is the celebration of Tea at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland, Oregon.
I have shared the gardens with you many times and I have shared the WuWo Tea Ceremony too.
This is the first time they have come together in this beautiful time of celebration.
Several of us met at the gardens on Saturday.
It was a perfect Autumn day.  We shared tea with those that observed and
one of the women in our group shared with the visitors the ceremony as the rest of us
demonstrated.  It was so fun to share tea with those visiting the gardens.
On the tray were the 5 teas we were brewing, each of us a different one.
The larger pots were tea shared with those around us.

Wuwo is done in silence.
A shared time of selflessness.
Three steeps of each small teapot,
then shared with the three to your left.
It is an outdoor tea ceremony.
At the end of the time of tea,
often a poem or reading takes place.

The reading for Saturday was:

An ideal place for tea drinking is amongst simple furniture and diffused lights
with soft music to enhance it.  What is most important is that everyone must feel at ease and
comfortable, being in the mood to savor the original and natural flavor of the tea.
~Ling Ping Xiang

Friday, October 7, 2011


The reflection in the mirror reminded me of a day gone by.
A day where I was a child.
Days where I loved to hear stories of the reflection of another.
I would visit our neighbors, Mr. Elder and his two sisters.
We would climb the narrow, windy stairs to his special room full of books,
a wood burning stove, and a jar full of candy.
He would share stories of a time gone by.
A time spent living in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906.
Oh the images he would create.
Then it was back down those stairs where his sisters would serve tea in the parlour.
The parlour was full of windows, more books and stories.
There usually were fresh cookies from the oven and beautiful cups of tea.

As a child I loved the experience of visiting with these three,
but not until now have I realized what a treasure they were.

Do you have memories from your childhood that you treasure now?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

People of Tea

Whenever I attend a tea event my favorite part is connecting with the people of tea.
Oh yes, I do like the tea too, but I love seeing tea friends too.

Starting in the top left corner and moving clockwise:

Faith Baldwin of Chado Tea
Faith was inspired almost 10 years ago to start Take Me to Tea in Las Vegas,
which later became the World Tea Expo.
Pearl Dexter of Tea a Magazine and Ako Yoshino
Pearl is the editor of Tea a Magazine and was attending the tea festival to support
the booth focusing on Japanese teas.
Ako was part of the Japanese tea group and gave a wonderful demonstration
on the Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Evonne of Tao of Tea
Evonne was there for the Tao of Tea tea tasting and booth.
She can be seen serving tea most days at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland.
Lisa Richardson of Lisa Knows Tea
Lisa has written two very nice books on tea, one of which is sold on my website.
Becky of Tea Pleasure
Becky gave a lovely presentation on Zen Tea, which comes from the region of China where her family lives.
James Norwood Pratt and myself of Marmalady's
Norwood is the consummate tea author and I would highly recommend his Tea Lover's Treasury book for learning more about the world of tea.
I started Marmalady's about 9 years ago and is primarily an online tea shop.
Amy Lawrence and her mom of An Afternoon to Remember 
Amy had a very successful tearoom in the Sacramento, California area for many years
and now is a tea speaker, has an online shop, and attends many events selling her tea products.

When I first started getting involved in the world of tea, I was so surprised that there were
special, notable people of tea.  I have learned from many of them and now treasure their friendships. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NW Tea Festival

In the shadow of this famous landmark, The Space Needle, I attended the NW Tea Festival this
past weekend.   There was a small display of my Tea Party in your Cupboard and my Marmalady's
sewing patterns for tea lovers.
It was a fun event for tea lovers from many regions of the US.
Some came from the east coast and California, plus many from the Pacific Northwest.
There were tea tastings, speakers, book signings, and classes that included many different subjects
from Pairing Chocolate with Tea to a demonstration on Japanese Tea Ceremony.

It is always fun to taste teas from around the world
and there were some real treats here.
There were four tastings that I participated in:
3 Rare Chinese Teas by Silk Road Teas
First Flush Darjeeling Teas
Indian Teas by Chado Teas
Rare and Obscure Teas

The one tea that I tasted in two of the tastings and was attractive to my palate
was a First Flush Darjeeling called Risheehat Colonal Organic Tea.
It had a lovely floral, spring freshness that was quite lovely.
What surprised me about this tea is that I don't usually like Darjeeling teas,
especially first flush (first picking of the spring); so there is always room
to change the mind and learn something new.  There really wasn't any for sale,
as it is rather rare; but I was able to buy what was left of the sample they brought
and enjoyed it this morning with my scones.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Joey Blogging

My mommy is away from the computer right now;
so I thought I would show you where I am hiding.
She doesn't know I am here, but it is warm and
cozy in this bed.
Don't tell her, because she doesn't like me to crawl
in under the covers.
But while she is away I will wait right here for my mommy to come home.
She says she will be home later today.
She said she was in Seattle at the NW Tea Festival.
Maybe she will tell me all about it, but for sure
I know she will share with you.
Oh, but then I get hugs sitting on her lap while she writes to you.
I am sending you a "meow" and a "hello" from under the covers here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Child's Heart

When I came upon these flags recently I could see the heart of children here.
They were happy hearts.
Hearts singing with nature.
Laughing hearts,
Singing hearts.

The flags brought a smile to my face and I could see their hearts hanging here.
My heart cries at times for the children that have heavy hearts.
I would love to lift them up and let them fly with these flags.
Could they feel the joy here and lighten their heavy hearts?
Could they learn to play here and be nurtured by the nature
displayed here?
Could we hold them in our arms and comfort them?
I dream of a day when all children will have lighter hearts
that sing and feel the joy as these children did.