Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Farewell to Autumn

I told myself I would share only a couple final autumn pictures,
but then the Japanese Garden called to me this past weekend
and I couldn't resist snapping away.
 The light was amazing on this November day as we entered the garden.
 My "live-in gardener" and I do enjoy visiting gardens anywhere we travel
including right here in our own part of the world.
 This winter camellia was in full bloom.

 I particularly loved seeing the teahouse in the distance
and remembering having tea with a special friend there.
What looks like a bus stop in this picture is where you wait to be greeted
and escorted down the path to Japanese tea.

 The teahouse was quiet on this day except for the trickle of water.
 Many of the ponds had autumn leaves floating about,
which I thought was the perfect way to celebrate with golden leaves.

 This Buddha both greeted us and said farewell.
Rain is coming soon; so this was the perfect way
to celebrate the end of autumn.
Sunshine and a nip in the air were truly a delight.

Happy end of Autumn!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

The daintiness and yet elegance of a china teacup
focuses one to be gentle,
to think warmly,
and to feel close.
~Carol and Malcolm Cohen

Dear friends,
I hope you have moments over a cup of tea
this Thanksgiving week
to feel the warmth and closeness of dear ones
around you.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Bathe under the Stars, Sit Cozy in the Woods.

The trees bend down to greet me.
Tenderly I walk through the forest.
Finding an old bath tub, I dream.
The water inside is steaming hot.
The stars shine above the branches.
I quietly slide inside.
The delight of it all fills my soul with JOY.
Wrapped in a fluffy robe with toes so bare,
I tiptoe to the cottage in the woods.
There is still the last remnants of light as I arrive.
The warm fire inside beckons me.
I am greeted by a warm cup of chocolate.
A cookie too.
Come join me as we sit by the fire and chat awhile.
The door has been left ajar just for you.
What a perfect autumn night with you by my side.
Oh friendship by the fire,
a lovely dream or reality.
Come and gather, sip a cup of frothy chocolate with me.
We will laugh, sing, and share stories.
Our hearts will be full.

An imaginary story, but oh so delightful.
Have a weekend full of imagination, delights, and laughter!
For it is magic!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Keep Dancing

Not my normal photo, but one I took in London and altered in photoshop.
The sculpture was found at the Chelsea Flower Show
and it just spoke to me.
The flow of the body,
the exuberance in being open to movement.
It delighted my dancing heart.
And then I listened to Leonard Cohen sing in a video,
Dance Me to the End of Love.
 And the song touched my heart.

It's all about the dance, the flow of our heart.
How even when our heart is breaking,
when our heart is so heavy,
we must keep on dancing.
Keeping our heart open,
being vulnerable.
And Dance!

No more words, just keep dancing
until your heart heals and you feel the JOY once again.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

 (The tea ceremony) is just another way of celebrating
another act of living.
The water must be boiled so that it goes through
the appropriate stages.
The tea must be tasted and tested before it is selected for steeping.
When the tea is plucked,
where the water is chosen,
who is invited to share the tea
are of enormous importance.
~Francis Ross Carpenter

Yesterday was tea ceremony day for me.
It is always a delight to see each friend gather together
and share their tea and creativity in serving.
I thought the top picture was so perfect for this season.
The center one carried out shapes and colors so beautifully.
I decided to go with glass in the bottom picture
with a few flowers from my garden.

The ceremony of tea always delights my soul.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

My Heart is Heavy

My heart is heavy for all those that have lost their homes in the wildfires in California.
Some have lost lives also.
My cousin lives in the midst of this chaos and had to evacuate,
but miraculously her home was saved even though all the houses around 
her's were burned to the ground.  
Three friends lost their homes, one of which was a tea farmer
that lost his farm too.
All the natural beauty around them is burned to the ground.
The pictures are from here, but I am imagining their natural beauty gone
when I look at these pictures.
Please pray for those that have lost their homes 
or are still in danger.
Also remember those that have been killed by mass shootings.
It is a sad world we live in these days.
Somehow healing and change must come
Sending love to our world that is suffering each day.
Sorry for writing about sadness, but my heart is heavy.

A day late, but have an extra special weekend.
Sending love to each of you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Letting Go, Is it a Wish, a Dream?

At Lan Su Chinese Gardens recently you could hang your wishes, dreams, and poetry here.

I have thought long and hard about what I would have left there.
Maybe even a burden I needed to let go.
There are times when we need to let something go,
but don't know how to do it.
It is stuck right in our heart.
I struggle with it there, do you?
In the past I have written it on a rock and tossed it away
or I have heard of those that have written it on paper then burned it,
letting it go up in smoke.
The ceremony of letting go, releasing does help,
but then again it is a decision too.
The ceremony just gives it structure and says "it matters"
in a visible way.

I thought about sharing some of the words written there,
but then decided it was personal for the person that wrote it.

Do you know what you would write and walk away from,
leaving it behind you?
You don't have to tell me, but tell your heart.
Maybe write it down for yourself.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

What I have Learned

Often my wanderlust has called me to travel,
to see the beauty in other parts of the world.
Sometimes I think other places have all the beauty,
but my heart is learning through the lens of my camera
to notice what is around me.
The beauty just outside my backdoor or down the lane. 

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is one such thing.
I always thought grist mills and their beauty were in other parts
of the country, not just down the road in my part of the world.

Do you notice what is just outside your door or down the lane?

This grist mill has been here for a very long time and
for some reason I never ventured here.
It made my heart happy to do so a few days ago.
The autumn colors just made it all the more beautiful.
Now I want to explore each season to see how the
light and colors change.
Next time I won't just bring a teapot and cup for a picture,
but I will bring a buffet of goodies to the table and savor each moment.

Notice what you Notice
Pick up your camera and explore outside your door.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

Tea does our fancy aid.
Repress those vapors which the head invade
And keep the palace of the soul serene.
~Edmund Waller
The aroma of Chinese tea prevails for thousands of years;
Leaves and springs cover half the land;
Fertile soil, sweet fountains and skilled masters
Pluck your health and enhance your energy.
~Fei Xin Wo

Note: Vintage green enamel teapot
with Wedgewood and Co., Queens Ivory,
made in England teacup found at Goodwill this year.
Autumn leaves all around the beautiful outdoors.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Small Pot Style Tea

Sometimes called Gong-Fu-Cha, small pot style tea comes from China originally.

Often we think the little teapots and cups you see in an Asian shop are for children,
but they are actually used for making tea in what is called Gong-Fu-Cha Ceremony.
Tea shop owners most often use this style for serving customers in China and Taiwan.
Quite alot of tea can be made in one of those small teapots 
because you brew for a shorter time and do many steepings all through the day.
Fascinating to me is how different the tea can taste brewed this way
in comparison to the English style of making tea.
The tea is steeped, poured into the serving pot, then served in the small cups.
The cups generally are three sips.

Above was a working tea table where many cups of tea were served at the tea festival.
Below is my serving table ready to steep tea and serve at my WuWo Tea Ceremony group
function in October.
WuWo Tea Ceremony comes from Taiwan, but again the tea is made in the small teapots.
 To learn more about Gong-fu-cha tea service you can go to Daniel Lui's post here:

Small pot tea style definitely is the way to go when sipping in an Asian country,
but also many of my friends most often use this style of making tea.
This is part of my occasional posts on different ways of making tea and enjoying.
No one way is the right way, they each are just different ways of the enjoyment of tea.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Hoping however you make your tea you are enjoying the sipping.