Monday, December 31, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Word for 2013


There is a sign on my inspiration board that says SHINE.
Why it is there, I don't know.
When I look at that word I tell myself that isn't a word to focus on; so I keep looking.
Mid-year I thought the word BEAUTY had chosen me,
but then I realized this is just something I like to focus on all the time.
Then a month or so ago on another blog someone posted the quote:

Stay invisible unless you are going to shine by Marcus Samuelsson

My eyes immediately went to that word SHINE and my inspiration board.
Can I SHINE in times of darkness?
Can I allow the light to come through my heart and show through my eyes?
The more I thought about this word I knew it was choosing me for 2013.

So there you have it, my word for 2013 is SHINE.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Passion, My Word for 2012

My word for this year of 2012 has been PASSION.
A word I struggled with and must come to peace with as I rest and reflect on the year.
Passion seems like such a dramatic word.
 A word that comes to mind as being sexual, but it is so much more.
It is noticing what makes my heart happy, what drives me to do what I do.
I have noticed as a California girl by birth that barefeet and nature sing to my heart as they did as a child.
Moments of friendship, moments of quiet, seeing the stars and the moon at night,
smelling the baby smells of my new grandson.
Rejoicing in the colors of nature as I sit here sipping tea.
Waiting for the sun to shine again.
Joey sitting nearby just to be close for a friendly hug or just a hello.
Just noticing what I notice and letting my heart sing.
That is what PASSION is to me.

Did a word pick you this past year?
I hope if it did you learned something special from it.
Yes, a word has picked me again and soon I will share my word for 2013.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas at Pittock Mansion

It had been many years since I had visited the inside of Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon.
There have been opportunities to have tea on the lawn, but not to walk inside.
Each year Pittock Mansion is decorated for a different theme.
The year was Christmas music.
As lovely live music played I wrapped myself in the peacefulness of this beautiful place.
I savored each tree as I walked through the mansion and
just enjoyed the day away from the craziness of the mall.
There were so many beautiful venues, it was difficult to know what to share.
The picture on the upper right was my favorite with birds and nature everywhere.

If you would like to visit Pittock Mansion and see more of the decorations, go to their website at

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

The stockings are hung.
My feet are up.
It's time to just relax and enjoy the moments
of the day.

Dear Friends,
Have a very special Christmas
May you be surrounded by those you love.
May your plates be full.
Hearts full of JOY.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Tree (s)

 The Real Tree in the Living Room
The Dining Room Tree
The Kitchen Tree

Decorating my home for Christmas brings me Delight and JOY.
Do you enjoy decorating for the seasons, whether for Christmas or
other times throughout the year?

Enjoy the weekend of preparation and Delight.
May you be blessed with dear friends and family surrounding you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

Deepwood Estate this Christmas
What a delight!
Just imagine the smell of steeping hot cider
a cookie or two.
Music playing throughout.
A special time shared with a sister for the holiday season.
The costumes were a delight.
The trees such a sight.
With the hustle and the bustle,
it was a brief time to just savor the time.

I find I get so wrapped up in the preparations,
I often don't take time just to enjoy.
Sit back and just breathe in the colors, the smells,
the sounds, and the flavors.
So today I am doing just that for awhile.
Tomorrow I will be back to the rush to get it done.

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wage Peace and JOY will Reign

Wage Peace
by Judyth Hill, September 11, 2001

Wage Peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists 
and breathe out sleeping children and fresh mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
                 Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.                   
           Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers. Make soup. 
              Play music, memorize the words for thank you in 3 languages.
              Learn to knit, and make a hat.
              Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief
as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.
              Swim for the other side.
     Wage peace.
              Never has the word seemed so fresh and precious:
              Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
              Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.
Additionally from me:        
     Celebrate you and those close to you.
Hug them deeply.
Love them fully.
Take time to sit by the fire and hold JOY.
       Mourn for those lost and hold them in your heart.  
          (in memory of those lost by violence this year)      

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Finally - A British Holiday Tea - 2012

For 9 out of the past 11 years I have served a Holiday Tea
with a theme for Lily's family.
Saturday was the day set aside for this special event.
A new Christmas teapot, a gift from a friend, sat ready to be poured.
The theme was Finally - A British Tea.
All the teacups were made in the United Kingdom.
The teapot is Lenox, Holiday Gatherings, and also made in the UK.

The table was waiting.

The crown was the center piece.
Poppers, an English tradition started during the Victorian era, were sitting in wait.
There were crowns to wear and laughter too.

The menu was gathered from friends that had enjoyed tea in England,
mostly at hotels there.
We started with English Breakfast tea.
The Stacked Sandwich was inspired by tea at The Savoy Hotel in London.
It combined cucumber, egg salad, and stilton cheese with salami.

The Roast Beef sandwich is served at Fortnum & Mason in London.
It has horseradish and capers for additional flavor.

Then there was a Coronation Chicken Sandwich, served at Fortnum & Mason
in London, but quite popular in many tearooms in the United Kingdon.
The stars are Salmon Cream Cheese with a small tomato for the center.
Salmon Cream Cheese is often served at the Dalton Hotel in Yorkshire.

Then spoonfuls of Shrimp Salad represented tea at The Berkley Hotel.

British Scones with Strawberry Jam were served next, as
we changed to drinking PG Tips tea.
This recipe came from a small motel in Oregon where the proprietor
came from England and said her recipe was the "true" scone recipe of England.

A Fruit and Nut Cake was service with Wensleydale cheese.
A British cheese with cranberries tucked in.
The Yorkshire saying given to me by my friend Denise says:
Cake without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.

The crown.

There also were Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
served at The Berkley Hotel.  They came in shapes of crowns
and high heeled shoes. No picture available here.
Finally we topped off the tea with a Striped Parfait of raspberry,
orange, and lime, representing tea at The Berkley Hotel.

It was a special time of laughter, visiting, sipping tea,
and enjoying the holiday spirit.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Break for Santa

My son is an artist.
This is a personal gift to me this year.
Please do not "pin" this picture.

I am sharing because I love the sentiment here.
Enjoy the view up above the roof top.
It is time for taking a tea break during the rush of preparations.
Have a delightful weekend.

Take time for tea breaks all throughout the holiday season!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Cup of Christmas Cheer

On Sunday I attended the open house at Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon
Suddenly before my camera's eye appeared this beautiful teacup all adorned with Christmas cheer.
Isn't it amazing how a tea lover can find any opportunity to decorate with a teacup or teapot.
I wondered who the tea lover there was, but didn't ask.  I just enjoyed seeing it there.

As I have browsed blogs and pinterest recently there have been others that have
adorned their teacups with Christmas cheer.
They just make me smile.

Here are a couple links that have shared their Christmas cheer in a teacup. 
Check out the most recent post here, photos from pinterest.
Scroll down to the Advent Sunday post, I just loved the candle clipped to the saucer.

My own cup of Christmas cheer.

Take time to enjoy the holiday season with Christmas cheer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Delight and Wonder

The curiosity of a cat or a child at Christmas is pure DELIGHT.
Have you noticed?

When I was young my family spent one Christmas at my aunt and uncle's home.
My cousin wanted a doll desperately, she peeked into some
of the packages before the special day.
I will never forget the excitement when she saw a doll in one of the packages.
The next morning when the gifts were unwrapped the doll was for someone else.
 Oh how she cried.

Do you remember being a child and wanting something so badly?
I hope you were delighted when it was for you.
Do you sometimes feel that excitement now?

The train hasn't been out of the box for many years,
not since my children were young.
Having a new grandson inspired us to bring the train out
and what to our wondering eyes we discovered,
but a curious Joey.
What fun to watch this little adventure of the train
and see his delight.

The holidays are a time of delight and wonder.
May we keep the spirit of a child in our delight for the season.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mellow Down in My Soul

Recently while listening to music I heard these words,
"Mellow Down in My Soul".
At first I thought they were singing mellow down to my toes.
What exactly does that mean?
Here is the list of "Mellow Down in My Soul" for me.
1. Warm drinks on a cold winter day,
especially if they have a Christmas tree Peep residing there.
2. A delicious cup of tea, my favorite right now is from, Thurbo Muscatel, Darjeeling 2nd Flush.
3. Stepping into a warm shower and just standing there letting
the warmth envelop me.
4. Peeks of sunshine through the clouds on a rainy day.
5. A really good book to read while sitting in a comfy chair by the fire.
6. Holding my grandson as he sleeps, having him wake and give me a smile.
7. A note from someone I haven't heard from in awhile,
even if it is an email just to say Hello.
8. Christmas music
9. Someone to brush my hair.
Have you tried this? It feels so good.
10. Walking on the beach on a windy day.

What makes you feel mellow down in your soul?
or clear to your toes?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shining Tinsel

Like Strands of Shining Tinsel

Like strands of shining tinsel,
Hope will ever weave
Through his sorrow, who remembers
Candles Christmas Eve.

His tongue will not grow bitter
Who learns in youth the glory
Of the old sweet Christmas carols
And the manger story.

Nor love and faith quite vanish
For one with memories
Of dreams come true on laden,
Star-tipped Christmas trees.

So fill the house with fragrance
Of cedar boughs, with laughter-
These are gifts a child heart
Will keep forever after.

by Ethel Romig Fuller
Kitchen Sonnets

May your weekend be touched by carols and tinsel in the tree.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Teatime is Coming?

Do you celebrate special events with something special to drink?
Silly that I should ask.
What would you drink for a special celebration?

For me it is tea.
Right now I am searching for Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane.
Have you tried it?
It is a decaf green tea with vanilla and mint flavoring.
Not my usual choice in teas, but on occasion when I don't want more caffeine,
it is quite good.
Have you seen it in the store?
I have looked high and low and none to be found.
The search is on and I will not relent until found.

If you find it, try it.  I think you will like it.

I didn't put out my usual array of tea ornaments this year,
but just a few as you see here.
The one in the middle is new, a vintage teapot shaped glass ornament.
What fun it was to find.

Now if I could only find that Candy Cane Lane tea.
PS - Found 6 boxes later today, Hooray!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Narcissus brings my Heart Home

In the framed artwork Santa is taking a break to sip a cup of tea.
I do hope you are smelling the flowers today
and having a sip of tea.
The narcissus sings to my heart when Decembers chill surrounds us.
When all around the ground is going to sleep,
we place narcissus bulbs in the pot to shine.
  It reminds us that there is still life to warm us.
Walking through a shop today I could smell them first,
upon looking around I spotted them there.
Yes, they brought me home with Christmas anticipation.
A time when we celebrate new birth and a star shining brightly up above.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Great Tree Hunters

Is this the one?

On the hunt, the great tree hunters.

Back at the barn for cocoa and donuts.

Or maybe a sit by the fire.

Our adventures took us to the country Saturday,
in search of the perfect tree.
A lovely time with family made the day all so perfect.
Have you found the perfect tree this year?
Most of all plan adventures with family
that will make it perfect for sure!

Monday, December 3, 2012