Friday, December 14, 2018

Whiskers on Noses

 Whiskers on nose is one of my favorite things.
Christmas too brings joy to my heart.
All the twinkling lights and glitter just make me smile.
So one more peak in my living room at the imperfectly perfect tree all lite up.
We await the bewitching hour.
The hour when magic happens.
Where music bursts forth with Joy to the World
and then quiets in the late night darkness with Silent Night.
Are you preparing?
Are you delighting in those whiskers and twinkles?

Enjoy the weekend, dear friends!
And I must say Joey isn't thrilled when the camera comes out.
Now why don't those whiskers just pose for me for the moment of the click!!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Around the House

 After receiving the perfectly imperfect live tree I decided to pop over to IKEA
and see what they had in faux trees.
I love the little tree I found there;
so it was set up in the dining room.
There were a few candles, tea themed ornaments and golden baubles
placed on this little tree.
 Then my white themed cast of characters joined two festive teapots
on the cabinet.
Since taking this picture I have added a few votive candles.
Don't you just love candles at Christmas?
The more light the better sprinkled all around the house.
 Here is the tree all lite up and ready to sparkle.

 A view of the china cupboard from the opposite side of the room.
I love the reflection in the glass of the tree.
And then just outside the window I can sit at the table sipping my tea and watch the
hummingbirds come to the feeder wrapped in old Christmas lights.
The new lights don't get warm enough to keep their water from freezing;
so every winter we leave these lights on the feeder until Spring.
No freezing and I love seeing our delightful little ones flutter around.
They are my best winter decoration.

Are you enjoying the lights of the holiday season?
Delighting in the day?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Traditions

Each December my half-sister and I meet for tea or lunch,
just a small Christmas celebration for the two of us.
This year we met in Salem and enjoyed a walk on the grounds of
Deepwood Estates.
There was a holiday bazaar which we browsed,
but what we really enjoyed were just enjoying the sights around the grounds.
Looking back at my pictures I realized how much of the grounds is set for a party.
Each area had it's center focus.
And we found flowers still in bloom too.
It doesn't really show on this winter camellia,
but there was a lovely soft blush of pink on it.
Stepping into the greenhouse always feels like steeping into
a quiet, safe, warm womb. 
And again there were flowers in bloom.
I was delighted to find some whimsy in the greenhouse pond too.
Do  you see it?

Poinsettias always say Christmas.
And again two different places in the garden,
perfect for a quiet cup of tea or a special event like a wedding.
Next time I think I will take my cup of tea and sit awhile
in the gazebo and sip.

I love holiday traditions, especially when it includes special, dear ones.
Hoping you find time to include a dear friend or family member
in a time just to be together, walk, talk, sip some tea, and just enjoy the day.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote



"Another novelty is the tea-party,
an extraordinary meal in that,
being offered to persons that have
already dined well, it supposes
neither appetite nor thirst, and
has no object but distraction,
no basis but delicate enjoyment."

~ Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. The Physiology of Taste.

May you have moments of "delicate enjoyment" with
a cup of tea and a sweet this holiday season. 
What would be in your cup?
And on your plate?

Friday, December 7, 2018

Gaiwan Style Tea

 Did you think I forgot my occasional posts on making tea?
The cup that the tea is sitting in is a gaiwan.
Pronounce: Gai (guy) Wan (like wand only without the d) 
It is another form of Asian style of making tea.
It is fascinating that each way of making tea can make for a bit
different flavor.
 Pour the water into the gaiwan and cover with the lid.
You can shift the tea around in the cup with the lid,
then use the lid to keep the leaves in the gaiwan
when you pour into the cups or a pouring pitcher.
 In the gaiwan I had Jin Jun Mei from Harney & Sons.
A nice tea to try.
I probably don't use my gaiwan as often as I should or could,
but often when I taste tea with friends this is the way the tea is made.
The wood tray under the gaiwan has slots to catch any spills
in the tray below.
Often we rinse the tea leaves first, pour that off into the tray,
then make the tea.
When making tea this way you might use as much leaf as you
do for a large English style teapot, but you steep a shorter time
and resteep the leaves throughout the day.

To learn more you can check out the link here:
Believe it or not there are still more ways to make tea to be shared on another day.

Have a great weekend, dear friends!
Sip tea and enjoy quiet moments.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

Each year our realtor has a free Christmas tree day
where for a few hours we can come and cut down a tree.
This year we decided it was getting too much for us to cut a tree;
so we weren't going to attend.
Then we were told there were pre-cut trees we could choose;
so off we went.
We love going to the farm and seeing what is happening.
This year was no different.
It was great fun to have a bowl of hot chili and some hot cocoa too
plus see familiar faces.
That's our realtor, Kama, in the red cowgirl hat.
We love getting to see her and one day will use her services again.

Then it was time to find the right tree.
You might not know this about me, but I am rather picking on the type of tree I choose.
There just wasn't a tree I liked.
So we picked a little taller than needed tree and then cut it to fit.
I sort of wish now I got down on my hands and knees and tried one more time to cut.
Well this is the tree all decorated.
It is a bit strange in shape for sure;
but it is what it is and we will live with it.
I guess this is the year of a tree only a parent could love.
This in a way is good for my very organized soul,
one that teaches me I need to loosen up a bit.
So I sing "Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree"
loud and clear.

More pictures of my home to come next week,
but just couldn't resist showing you "the tree".

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Let's Talk

 Usually by this time of year I have a word picked for next year.
Do you pick a word each year?
Does it impact your life and guide you through the year?
Some years there are words that really impact me and some not so much.
I had two words this year: Courage and Kindness.
Kindness was a carry over from the year before,
but just wasn't ready to give it up.
With our world the way it is I just felt like I needed Courage.
And I guess just making it through some of the mud I did survive with Courage.
Many words have come my way for 2019, but not one yet has really
jumped out and grabbed me.
So far I have thought of Adventure, Awake, Aware, Alert,
all A words. And then Clarity also was added to the list just yesterday.
 I am still open to my word and what direction to go, but I know
when the time comes, the word will say this is the direction you must go.
I can see the direction I am headed.
Right now I am taking an online class called 21 days to Write for Change.
Maybe the word will come in my writing,
maybe in meditation,
or maybe it will just pop up randomly.
I am open to moving forward,
it is the way I find my way,
a resolution.
Open!


"There's an old saying, to sing like nobody can hear you,
dance like nobody can see you and
love like you've never been hurt."
~Dick Van Dyke

This quote was in the Sunday Parade in the newspaper
and I loved reading it.
It sings to my heart.
Originally it came from someone else. 
In a way through this post I am seeing my
way more clearly and I know by the end of the year
I will know which direction to go.
And I will sing, dance and love.

Join me in choosing a word for 2019.
What direction do you want to go and grow?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

Tea should be taken in solitude.
~C.S. Lewis

This picture is from last year,
but it is in my bedroom again this year. 
Is it crazy busy for you these days?
I realized this morning I am late to posting.
It seems like there is so much on my "to-do"list.
But, I don't want to miss connecting with you.
So a cup of tea, quieting down,
and now you, dear friends.
Have a good week and do have some
quiet times with a cup of tea.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas - Leavenworth, WA. and HOPE

When traveling do you find Christmas at another time of the year.
The first part of June while traveling through Leavenworth, Washington
I found this Christmas shop.
I saved these pictures to share with you now.
I loved the big snowflakes on this tree.
And who can resist Santa peaking out at me.
The natural beauty was everywhere.
Then looking up he took off, through the sky he flew with gifts for me and you.
Christmas in June was fun, but Christmas at the end of November is pure delight.

Like Strands of Shining Tinsel

Like strands of shining tinsel,
Hope will ever weave
Through the 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-
There are gifts a child heart
Will keep forever after.
~Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller

This coming Sunday is the first day of advent.
I will be the host at church and usually when I host
I share something to think on.
This week I am thinking of hope
and how sometimes in the darkness
one small candle is lite with a glimmer of hope
that grows as we light each others candles.
May we be bless this Christmas season with HOPE.

Have a terrific weekend, dear friends.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Let the Season Begin

 Each year I anticipate the kick off of the holiday season 
with a visit to the Christmas antique show at Monticello Antique Mall.
It never disappoints me.
I go with camera in hand just to share with you,
but also to make my heart happy.
 Really you can't help but be happy with twinkly lights and sparkles everywhere.

 I don't go to shop, but just to fill my heart with sparkles
and they never disappoint.
 It is so fun to see the vendors creativity.

 For you creative type maybe you will see an idea here.
I rather liked the old clock transformed.
 How many things can you cram into a cup and still look joyful?
 Even a silver teapot has been transformed into a festive scene.

 Just a basket or bowl of old ornaments makes me smile.
 Then to top the visit and the holiday spirit there are beautiful red stemware.
Isn't it festive with the plaid table cloth?
So let's lift our cup or pretty glass and toast the beginning of celebrations
both bolsterous or quiet, full of good cheer or a sip of tea,
and surround ourselves with dear ones to hug and hold close.

Let the Season Begin!