Friday, March 27, 2020

Art in a Time of Quiet

 Creativity is the heart and soul of who I am,
but for quite a few years all I have done is take pictures and write,
plus quite a bit of sipping tea.

I kept saying I needed to do something creative, but just didn't do it.
So this time of pause, a quiet time, finally I am picking up the art supplies
stored away in baskets and bins.
Well I thought what could I sketch on?
It just made sense to sketch on used teabags,
a way of recycling them.
What a fun challenge that would be. 
The top two pictures are works in progress.
There are mushrooms with critters
and then flowers too.
 I am rather enjoying this.
The four against the basket are finished.
 Now I have other ideas of subject matter, but for the most part I am loving
including nature in art.
Hoping I can/will continue after we can leave our homes again.

Yes, there is tea sipping along with the art.
Afterall now there is a purpose for those teabags of peppermint tea
I sip in the evenings.

Are you doing art or something you don't normally do?
Reading more books?
Hoping you each find joy in the little things!


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pandemic Tea Time

 Tea time during a pandemic!
Strange title for sure, but exactly what it is.
My birthday was a 1 1/2 weeks ago and it had to be canceled because of the pandemic.
Today I was scheduled to leave for India, which would have been a dream come true trip.
It was canceled because of the pandemic. So sad about this!!!
Thus said, I am so thankful for being in my own home safely tucked away
that I wanted to do something to celebrate.
Sunday I made the celebration happen by creating a tea time in the garden house
for those of us living in my house.
There are three of us, my "live-in gardener" (husband) and "live-in son".
I told my son "no coffee" as this was a tea time.
My husband made his own herbal tea (tisane).
And then we sat in the garden house and celebrated being there together.
There were tortilla wraps with turkey, cream cheese, and red currant jelly,
calla lily shaped sandwich with cream cheese and orange marmalade,
toasted shamrocks with honey butter, and
toothpicks with pickled beets and olives.
The scone was from a Sticky Fingers mix and was white chocolate/raspberry.
I actually had a little Irish butter, which was delicious on the scones
and a bit of a treat. Not something I usually buy.
Then for the sweet one, my challenge for this year is to make pavlova,
so I made small shells and filled them with vanilla cream
topped off with raspberry, banana, and frozen red currants.
I think they turned out quite yummy.
For some reason I had never made vanilla pudding/cream before
and was surprised how well it turned out and not hard at all.
So thankful for what I have tucked in the freezer too.
Now I must admit the scone mix was suppose to be a gift,
but I will replace it again and give it to the recipient when I can see her.
I think I will get one for my shelf too, it is very handy in a pinch and only took
water to make them.  This is being said from someone that is getting low on flour
and there is none to be found.
Oh and there was a good tea served too.
It was Ceylon Gold, white tea, a gift at Christmas from a friend.
Thanks friend, it is a good one.

Let's celebrate each day however makes our heart happy.
For me tea time in the garden house indeed makes my heart happy.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

   Pictured from my garden is daphne, with a fragrance 
like perfume that I can smell from a distance.
Now I have never liked perfume
and I hate walking into big stores with the perfume counters at the entrance.
In reading Simple Abundance (again) by Sarah Ban Breathnach
this year each day I am finding something to think on.
Yesterday she talked about perfume.
No, not the perfume you might splash on to smell good,
but the perfume you exude such as the perfume of success
or the perfume of sadness.
There are many scents we send out depending on 
how we are inside.
She also talked about "borrowing the scent of...."
Sometimes we don't feel much like happiness or success,
but we must take a mental evaluation and somewhere find 
it in us and borrow it by bringing it forward.

What scent are you sending out today?
Is it one of being scared and sad?
 That is probably me right now with this virus running rapid.
That is when I have to step out my door and notice what I notice.
I look at the color of the sky, the clouds, the spring blossoms,
the grass going crazy in my yard.
I can see my neighbors from a distance spending time with family
in their yards and talking over fences with their neighbors.
These are the fragrances, the perfumes, of kindness and joy.

Take care, dear friends!
Let's do our best each and every day to send out the fragrance, the perfume, 
whether it is online, over the phone, or across a fence today.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Wake Early

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety-

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light-
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in  happiness, in kindness.

 ~Mary Oliver

What can I say
Words have left me as we isolate in our homes.
I pray you are all staying well.
I try to greet the morning with kindness,
but some mornings it is hard when I look at the news.
I keep telling myself this will pass
and the tulips will bloom soon.
Walking each day is my sanity.
Noticing spring time in my neighborhood brings me joy.
Take care dear ones!
Sending love! 

Picture taken in 2017 at sunrise
on the Willamette River in downtown Portland.
The blossoms are blooming there now
and I imagine them looking much like this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Just some Thoughts

Just some thoughts today.

Late to the internet  today, as I finally had to go to the market this morning.  What the market visit reminded me of was Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Why I thought of that I am not quite sure, but I found the market to be very quiet and people were more respectful when walking by. It also reminded me to walk softly on the earth, take care to share, and be mindful of others.  While staying at home I think each of us must pay attention to what we eat and how we behave around each other. Be at peace each and every one of you, dear ones. We will have a lot of hugs, laughter, and tears saved up when this is over. In the meantime, I am having a cup of tea in the gardenhouse with a bouquet of daffodils from the garden. Lemon in my tea soothes the sore throat I had recently and thankful that has passed.

Tea people swear by the anti-oxidents in green tea.
Some say puerh tea is the best.
But I think just anything that comforts you in your cup today is a good thing.
Now off to make a cup of tea.

Thinking of each of you as we walk this new reality together.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

Words can tell a story or inform us.
The sign is a historic sign in downtown Portland.
The words mark the spot and tell us where you are.
In yesterday's newspaper I read an interview with Barbara Kingsolver,
a definite word spinner, a novelist, screenwriter and poet.
She says, "Words are heady beings when they dance."
I love the way words can dance for us.
They entertain.
She referred to books of poetry as "absinthe", rather addicting.
She gave the mind picture of words to describe like,
chicken vs. poultry; kids vs. descendants; workshop vs. laboratory.
Though they may mean the same thing, the romance of a word chosen
creates a dance in our mind.
She goes on to say, "I can still feel how the word cracked open into my brain,
spilling out color and taste."
A fascinating interview just read this morning.
 On a recent day drive I came across the sign below and yes,
those words just made me smile. I had to stop and take a picture.
They lightened the day.
Words can make us smile or they can bring tears to our eyes.
They have great power.
Wikipedia says,"a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with objective or practical meaning.

In these days of sadness and struggle, let's remember that the words that come
from our mouth can have a great impact on those around us.
Sending out love and a happy dancing heart to each of you today.
Take care, dear friends, and a have a good week.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Away from the Maddening Crowds

During these crazy times of upheaval in the world it is time to take a step back, relax,
and be flexible enough to make changes in plans.
I took tea to the garden house this week, just tea and chocolate. A time to reassess life these days.
I realized it is still important for me to get out of the house;
so walks almost daily are on the schedule.
The pond, not far from our home, rarely has many visitors;
so it is a lovely escape.
Plus isn't it fun to see wild life happening in the city?
If you look closely you will see the heron decided to fly.
The trail is so peaceful, definitely away from the maddening crowds.
Mr. Duck added a little color to my day.
Though the trees look a bit bare, it still had it's own kind of beauty.
Walks and drives are on my agenda when the time comes for an adventure.
There is always a silver lining if only we look.
The rainbow made an appearance as we drove a country road.
Let's all notice what we notice and savor each and every moment.
Be well dear friends!
Have a good weekend of rest!