Friday, December 30, 2011

My Word for 2012

As many of you know BELIEVE was my word for 2011.
Most of the year I thought about things I believed in,
but as the year draws to an end I realized the biggest lesson
learned was to BELIEVE  in myself.
Lesson learned.

Recently as I was reviewing the year and beginning to plan
for next year, I made a list of those things I wanted to include in 2012.
As I was finishing up the list, my word just popped up unexpectedly.
At first it scared me alot.
But then I told myself after celebrating JOY in 2010
and BELIEVE in 2011, I was ready for a challenge.
Scary or not here it is:  PASSION.
I am totally curious where this one will take me.
Right after I chose the word I found a set of CD's in my office
Finding Your Passion by Cheryl Richardson.
Whew!  This must be the word speaking to me.
So here I go watching and observing this word for 2012.

The first thought, PASSION has the color of red; so I placed this word
in my red bowl just to see how it felt there.

  So the process has begun.
Have you chosen a word for 2012?
It is amazing what adventures it can take you on.
Go ahead, challenge yourself.
Let me know how it goes and what word you have chosen.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shall We Chat?

Recently I walked through a greenhouse and on seeing these two orchids
I just knew they were chatt'n up a storm.
Tell me, please, what are they saying?
Are they chatting about the day?
Or about plans for the new year?
Or maybe, just maybe they are trying to decide what
their words will be for 2012.
What do you think?
Are you picking a word for 2012?
Mine is soon to be revealed.
I will be away making plans for the new year tomorrow,
but then the secret will be out on Friday.
Please do share your word too, if you decide to play along.
A word for the year can definitely be something special for the new year.
You never know where it will take you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Music, the Best
Enjoy a short clip from an earlier concert,
but still similar each year.
This is a holiday tradition for my husband and I.
I love visiting the Old Historic Church here in Portland
and listening to the music of the season.
The stage is lined by these pretty candles with inspiration words.
I loved this one.
It was a very special evening spent surrounded by the sounds of Christmas.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Mom's Persimmon Pudding

When I was a young girl my mom would make Persimmon Pudding.
I had thought of it over the year's and remembered it fondly;
but didn't realize the recipe was tucked inside my recipe box.
One day, not so long ago, I saw it there and knew this year
we would have Persimmon Pudding for our Christmas celebration.
Yes, it was as I remembered, oh sooooo very good.
I thought maybe you would like the recipe too.

My Mom's Persimmon Steamed Pudding

1 cup persimmon pulp (took two persimmons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 well beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped nuts
3/4 cup raisins (I didn't have any, so used cranberries)

Put together in order and bake in casserole dish or pudding mold for 1 1/4 hours at 350 degrees oven.
Set dish or mold in a pan of water in the oven, so it will steam.

Note:  We served it with vanilla ice cream, but a nice hard sauce or lemon sauce would be lovely.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Home for Christmas

Christmas is always so special when spent in our own homes.
My daughter and her boyfriend took off today to share Christmas with his family.
So traditions never stay the same with changes through our lives.
Though they change, they still are special times spent with those we love.
As I enjoy a quiet time at home with my husband and son,
I wish for you a time of peace, quiet, laughter, dancing,
singing, and just pure JOY.
Yes, I still BELIEVE in the spirit of Christmas,
the baby in the manger, and
Santa and his gang of elves.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Glitter and Shine

I just love the colors and glitter of this season.
Solstice evening has passed now,
the darkest night of the year.
My heart rejoices as light returns.
The darkness is past and the light returns.
May we all rejoice at this time in the return of the light.
Celebrate, Dance, put up your twinkling lights
and Rejoice as the light definitely will return!

This morning when I was reminded that the darkness is past
and the light would return, my heart jumped for JOY.
Celebrate the day!

Now I am wishing I bought a trinket or two from this bowl.
Aren't they just so happy and they do make my heart sing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Running in Circles

Do you sometimes feel like you are running in circles and not getting anywhere?
The holiday time can get like that so easily.
I do hope you are taking time to sit a spell and reflect on the year soon.
Has your word for 2012 made an appearance yet?
My word did come to me not too long ago and
I am looking forward to sharing it next week.
In the meantime enjoy the moments of each day
and remember to take some time for a cup of tea.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pomeroy Farm

It had been a couple years since I had been to Pomeroy Farm.
The anticipation was great as I made reservations for Christmas Tea.
What a special day to share with a friend and my daughter.
What a delight to sit and relax for awhile in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season.

We were served a yummy menu of their delicious scones, radish sandwiches, turkey sandwiches
with cranberry chutney, tomato sandwiches with pesto cream cheese, chocolate nut torte,
lemon curd tarts, trifle, and a Christmas cookie.  There was plenty of tea to sip and savor.

After tea we had the opportunity to walk through the historic log house and see their collection of Santa's.

Are you doing something in this season to rest for awhile and savor?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Deepwood Estate

What is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past,
courage for the present,
hope for the future.
It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal
and that every path may lead to peace.

Quote found framed on the wall at Deepwood Estate,
author unknown.

Friday my husband took me out for a special Christmas lunch with tea to the
Deepwood Estates in Salem, Oregon.
We arrived early and enjoyed time in the garden,
then ventured inside this beautiful home where we were served a delightful meal
of pork tenderloin with a honey mustard vinaigrette, roasted orzo and peas,
puff pastry mushroom tarts, roasted vegetables with Swiss cheese frittata,
fresh fruit salad with coconut rum sauce, and a dessert buffet.

What a lovely treat and special "out of the ordinary" day.
I hope each one of you has opportunity for an "out of the ordinary" day very soon.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Love Yourself First

This holiday season, Love Yourself First!
Then that love will shine from your face
and warm those around you.
This is the best gift you can give yourself,
but a little treat doesn't hurt either,  Just smiling!
So for the weekend I am going to remember to love
myself first and I hope you do too.
Sending hugs for a very special weekend full of love.
I am thankful for you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cup of Tea

Soon it will be Christmas.
You know what that means.
The hustle and bustle is beginning to be noticed right here.
Remember, dear friends, to take a moment now and then,
for a cup of tea and a bit of a treat.
It doesn't have to be fancy.
Just look in your cupboard and find something sweet.
Enjoy a few minutes to just take a breath.
You will be glad you did and you know it is a gift to yourself.
So enjoy the day and have that cup of tea.
I am off now for my first cup of tea.
What will you put in your cup today?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Things

My gift today to you is to wander through Monticello Antique Mall here in Portland.
I hope you enjoyed the visit.
Double click on any picture to see more detail.
Don't they have a festive feel?
I just love wandering through here for there special events.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gifts for the Holidays

Picture taken at a Garden Center Christmas Event; so yes there may be tags on things in pictures.

Last week our local newspaper had a list of Gift Ideas for Teachers.
Many of them I thought would be good for others in our lives.
I know I found an idea here for my hair dresser.
Enjoy the list.

1. A bag of coffee, TEA, or some hot chocolate mix.
2. Find a basket at the thrift shop and fill with fruit.
3. A plant or small tree decorated with ribbon.
4. A pass to a local attraction.
5. Movie passes
6. A journal with a note included from you.
7. Homemade treats, such as granola, cookies, or jam.
8. Flowers
9. Pick up card stock or nice paper and make personalized stationary
10. A donation to a charity in the persons name.
11. A gift card for use at a local group coupon website
12. A key chain with a light
13. Make a personalized calendar from an online photo site
14. A few nice pens, pencils, or art supplies

Some of the items I adjusted, so it doesn't say just to the teacher.
Any ideas to add to the list?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Special Tea Party

Thai Chicken Salad in Thai Celadon Spoons
Cucumber Sandwich
Veggie Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce
Pear Jellies
Persimmons and Pomegranates
The past weekend was tea party weekend here in my home.
Now as you can see it wasn't just an ordinary tea party, though we did have cucumber sandwiches.
It was the ninth year to serve tea to Lily and her family on a Saturday before Christmas;
but beside Lily and her family I served my women's group on Friday night
and another family on Sunday afternoon.
The theme this year was An Asian Holiday, inspired by my travels in Asia this year.
The table runner was a special gift from the family of a 90 year old woman
that use to swim in the class I attend.  I treasure that gift.
The flower arrangements were inspired by arrangements I saw in a magazine while visiting Thailand.
In the top left hand picture in the collage you will see the set up for
giving a lesson for making tea with Lily and her brother.
It was fun event and one I look forward to all year.

This year I served the following:

Thai Chicken Salad
Veggie Spring Rolls
Marinated Tea Eggs
Noodle Bundles with Chicken
Crab and Avocado Sushi
Cucumber Wasabi Sandwiches
Baozhong Oolong Tea
Scones with cream and guava jam
Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad
Pear Jellies
Thai Steamed Banana Cake
Cranberry Autumn Tea or Candy Cane Lane Tea

We had a wonderful time sharing tea and food and conversation.
Do you celebrate the season with a special occasion shared with friends?
What do you look forward to each year?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sitting by the Fire

Above the mantle of our fireplace hangs a special quilt.
I am not sure where it came from, but when my mom moved out of her home it was sitting there.
The softness of years gone by are hanging here this year.
Added to the quilt are flags to represent a snowy day.
They are very easy to make and I love seeing them here.
Softly we step into the holiday season.
I hold my cup of tea and a special piece of cake,
listening to the music of the season.

Have a special day and take some time just to reflect and sip a favorite
cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee.
Sending warm blessings to you today!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Back to Bed and Tea

It really is more a fantasy,
but I dream of lounging in bed some mornings
with a teapot full of tea.
Do you ever take your tea or coffee
and cozy up in bed?
Tell me how wonderful it is to do.
I dream of doing so.
Then I tell myself there might be crumbs or spilled tea;
plus really there is so much to do.
I really need to learn to treat myself sometimes
and have a leisurely start to my day,
maybe even take a book and savor the "me" time.
Do you find it difficult to make "me" time?
If you had "me" time, what would you do?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Star of the Season

Though poinsettias don't grow in the gardens of Oregon, we can enjoy them for the season
in flowerpots sitting in the house.
They can brighten up a dark corner or cheer a friend with a gift of their beauty.
Definitely they are the "star" and shine with the colors of the season.
Do you enjoy flowers in your home for the holidays?
What flowers shine for you?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Beginning to Look like Christmas!

It is beginning to definitely look like Christmas here in my home.
The tree is shorter this year and sitting on a table.
I thought it would discourage little kittie paws, but I have still
seen that long arm reach out to bat a few.
Softness is the goal in my living room this year;
so I went with white, gold, silver, and just touches
of color.  It is peaceful here and I am liking it.
Hope you enjoy the visit.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I don't see one star in this picture, do you?
I can't help it!
Every time holiday lights start making an appearance,
I sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star".
Why you ask?
It's the lights.
I love the lights during December and
yes, I start loving them after Thanksgiving is finished.
Am I too early?
I don't think so.
I need all the light I can get as the days become darker.
So this year I do BELIEVE I will leave my lights up all winter long.
In my heart I will be singing.
Come along with me and let your heart sing.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Walk Softly

I stepped from the car onto a ground soft with fir needles.
The moss gave a cushion of hush and I knew they were there.
I walked softly through the trees in pursuit wondering
if I would see fairies here.
Speaking softly I asked them to come from hiding.
It was a quiet day and the sun shone through the clouds.
The perfect day to find them.
What is it?  What have I found?
This must be their soaking tub, for it is just the right size.
Are they hidden nearby?
It looks as if they have slid from the tub and gently stepped away.
Oh I would have loved finding them here, but I must have been just minutes late.
For all I found here was a Christmas tree.
A tree so beautiful it glistens in the lights.
So come another day and I will share the tree the fairies shared with me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Transferware Teacups

Sitting by the fire at this time of year with a beautiful winter scene on my cup.
This transferware teacup is "The Friendly Village"
by Johnson Bros., made in England.
"Rural Scenes" by Royal Staffordshire Pottery.
Recently I have fallen in love with English transferware teacups.
The second cup I wasn't sure I wanted at first, but I love it.
It just fits perfectly in my hand and so lovely for my morning cup of tea.
Now as I have said before, I don't collect teacups or teapots;
but I must say I have a weakness for transferware.
Do you collect teacups?
What style do you like?