Friday, May 14, 2021

Teatime in Purple

 It was a lovely sunny, but cloudy day; just perfect for sitting in a garden. Yesterday I packed up teatime and drove across the river to share teatime with a friend in her garden. There were gorgeous bearded iris, which made the perfect decoration for teatime.


And then we sat to enjoy teatime in purple. I don't remember who said I should do a purple tea, but it was indeed a challenge. I am not a purple person, but I love a challenge. My mind flew through thoughts of the color purple for teatime and this is what came from my imagination.
I loved being embraced by the trees surrounding us. Then off to the side Mother Mary blessed us.
When planing I knew we must have the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea. What a fun addition to the purple teatime. When the tea is poured it is blue, but then as you add lemon it turns purple. The flowers in the purple glass vases were flowers from my garden. Even my friends little table and chairs fit so well with the teatime theme.
Can you see the difference? The tea on the right had the lemon added and the tea on the left hadn't had lemon yet.
The savories were grilled eggplant with goat cheese and a small dill pickle roll, deviled eggs marinated in beet juice, roll of purple cabbage slaw with grilled brisket, open faced sandwich of cheese and pickled beet, and chicken curry sandwich with red/purple grapes. The plates had small violets on them.
There was also a scone with grape jelly. The sweets were lemon tarts with candied violets and lavender flavored cupcakes with lavender icing and a lilac blossom topped it all.
We also enjoyed a cup of Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial tea with our sweets. It was the perfect finale to teatime in the garden.
I loved having a purple teatime with a friend in her garden. What a special, delightful, purple day.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Word for the Week

 One definition of the word for the week this week is: (of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated. Can you guess the word? It is WILD.

When I think of "wild" I do think of wild animals and wild flowers; but I also think of things like "wild child". What does the word mean to me? It means walking through a field or down a hidden path and spotting maybe just one small flower growing where it has chosen to grow. It was not planted by humans, but maybe a bird dropped a seed right there or it just decided it was time to shine.

I often saw these orange plants while growing up California and I not so sure they are wild, but they did shine for me in the wild grasses along the shore last week. They remind me of my mother, she liked them.
Do you have skunk cabbage in your part of the world? I think they got their name from the fragrance they send out. Skunk cabbage was blooming along the road in wild abandonment.
With the moss on the trees in the forest I felt like I was in a wild place far away from civilization.
And then if I looked more closely there were fiddle heads just springing up from the ground. I think they are suppose to be good to eat. Have you ever eaten fiddle heads?
Trillium's are a favorite too. I love when I find them in the wild, even though there is a small clump that grows in my garden. Certainly they have chosen to shine in the woods.

I am not sure what these sweet yellow flowers are, but they look like violets to me. Do you know what they are called?  My plant id says Redwood violet.

There were times as a child when I loved to adventure through the woods, I was a bit of a wild child. I loved nature and still love being outdoors enjoying the day.

Now I hope you go on your own adventure to find the wild around you. Take note of where you are planted. Have a great week.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

An Adventure during the Pandemic

 Since my "live-in gardener", my sister-in-law, and myself have all gotten vaccinated, my husband and I decided to visit her for a few days. How amazing to get out and travel, even if it was just for 4 days and a 4 hour drive from our door to hers. There were hugs, good food, and beautiful surroundings. Be aware, there are many pictures shared here today and even more may pop up on another day. New surroundings couldn't resist the camera!


 For as many times we have been to this town we had never walked all the way around this house. The backside to the street, the front side was actually facing the bay and so beautiful.


On the way there we stopped at Fort Gamble, Washington to stretch our legs a bit. I couldn't resist including those little white flowers that pop up in so many lawns.





The next day we enjoyed a drive, lunch, and walk on a beach I particularly enjoy in Port Townsend, Washington. I must say here, we had not been in a restaurant since the pandemic started and that took a bit of courage just to walk through the door with masks on.

One of the restaurants had this bear with mask to remind people to mask up.



 On the final day the goal was to hike to these Sol Duc Falls and we were not disappointed. The power of the water and the sound were just amazing. All I can say is the hike was worth it.

If you have never visited the Olympic National Park, it is worth the drive too.

 On the way back to my sister-in-laws home we stopped by Crescent Lake because there was something I needed to see and snap pictures.

 It was this very spot I needed to see with my camera's eye. For you see once upon a time when I bought my first "big girl" camera a friend asked me "what will you take pictures of with that camera?" I said, "I will take pictures of Adirondack chairs by water." I knew there were these chairs sitting right there waiting for me. So with teacup in hand there were pictures to take before coming home.

But I think the thing I enjoyed the most was just being surrounded by forest and trees. All the shades of greens in the spring trees are just beautiful.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Word for the Week

 
                                  I love finding old barns, they must have stories to share.    

 On Saturday I shared my tea story. Story seems to be the word that keeps popping up for me in the past week. In the story I shared a quote I heard from Ann Curry on a live fundraiser I attended on zoom for Habitat for Humanity. Ann told her story and encouraged us to share our stories.


 Then I also watched an interview by Katie Couric with Hilary Clinton and Hilary said, "We need a new American story." Fascinating to think about, don't you think?

This falls has a story too. It is on the Willamette River in Oregon City, Oregon, at the end of the Oregon Trail. It was sacred Indian fishing grounds until their rights were taken away many years ago. Recently the American Indians have been given back their right to fish at this falls. I know there is more to the story than I know and curious to learn more.

Then in the midst of thinking on the two quotes and the word STORY I came across the following by Melanie Koulouris: 

Everyone has a story to tell,

a lesson to teach, and wisdom to share...

Life is a beautiful masterpiece bound together

by your experiences.

Open up and share your story;

become an inspiration to others.

You can make a difference

because you matter.

You are created with purpose.

Live your life with intention,

go out there and make a difference

by being the difference.


So the word for this week is STORY. Go out, share your story, and make a difference.

I am posting a day early because I will be away from my computer for a few days. If you don't see your comment it will show up when I return. Have an amazing week, dear friends!


Saturday, May 1, 2021

My Tea Story

"Storytelling to remind us of who we are." Ann Curry, as heard this week in a live zoom talk. 

This week I was asked, "I’d love to know your story of how you fell in love with tea" I probably have shared much of it before, but here is my story for storytelling reminds me of who I am.

Coffee, even as a child, smelled delicious to me, but tasted "yucky". So I became intrigued by tea about the time I was entering the 6th grade. My mother and I were looking for a new home to rent and the two ladies that owned the tiny house we eventually rented wanted to get to know us over tea. They were British and brought out the silver teapot on a tray with tea and store bought cookies. They told me about the tradition of teatime in England. We lived in that little house through the years I was in junior high and high school and I don't ever remember meeting those two ladies again. But that one encounter had an impact on my mother and myself. When my mother would get depressed the chipped teapot would come out, we would make toast cut in soldiers, and for awhile we would pretend to be rich ladies sipping tea. We drank Lipton black tea or sometimes Friendship tea made from instant tea and orange Tang.

By college I had expanded into Constant Comment tea drinking and took a box of that tea with me to my dorm room with a little coil heater to heat a cup of tea.

Later as a young mom we moved to Portland and I heard about Stash Tea Company. It was a local company that had all kinds of flavored teas. They would have a garage sale occasionally and for a dollar you could fill up a paper bag full of outdated teabags. Being on a slim budget I thought this was amazing, even if the tea was outdated I didn't think tea could go bad. I did learn differently later.

And this is how I drank tea for a long time with a teabag dunked in a mug of hot water.

Moving forward to my late 50's I started thinking about making a career change and maybe opening a tearoom. I searched and found two women in Georgia that were teaching seminars on how to open a tearoom for profit, Magnolia & Ivy. I flew to Georgia and took the 3 day workshop. There I started learning about loose leaf teas and began my journey of tasting different teas. It opened the door to doing more research in that next year and I realized I didn't want to open a restaurant. My expertise was in product development, so I developed a line of jams and jellies made with tea and thus began Marmalady's. Take Me to Tea Expo (which later became World Tea Expo) was starting that year (2003), so I took my jams and jellies to the expo to sell wholesale for other tearooms. Attending the expo also continued my education in tasting teas and meeting growers from around the world.

At the present the sewing pattern for this tea cozy is my #1 selling item on etsy.

What I must say here is growing and learning about anything, whether tea or whatever, is a life long process. It is a continued curiosity to learn more. That is what I have continued doing, always curious and always sipping something new.

About 8 years ago a tea friend I met through social media said she had met a woman that worked with her husband that was starting a new tea group called WuWo Tea Ceremony (http://www.nwwuwotea.com/). She invited me and I became one of the 5 original members of that group. Each month we share tea and I continue learning.

This is my WuWo Tea Ceremony set up for sharing tea.

So Heather, this is my tea story. Always keep sipping, always be curious, and always be willing to continue learning. Tea is a life long learning experience and I love the journey.

Happy Weekend, dear Friends!

Also, Happy First Day of May!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Word for the Week

noun
noun: cosy; plural noun: cosies; noun: cozy; plural noun: cozies 
a soft covering to keep a teapot, boiled egg, etc., hot. 
"a photograph of Smith pouring tea from a pot with a knitted cozy" 
a soft decorative cover for an object. 

informal
give (someone) a feeling of comfort or complacency.
"she cozied him, pretending to find him irresistibly attractive"

To me cozy is holding a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other, sitting by a fire or wrapped in a soft blanket, or sitting in a beautiful quiet place visiting with a friend over a cup of tea.

Above is a breakfast set and it says cozy because I can imagine toast and tea in the mornings while wearing a warm fluffy robe.

A secret garden says cozy because I can imagine a quiet, peaceful place with the scent of freshly blooming flowers.

This bottom picture is a tea cozy, well you knew I had to include that.
The sewing pattern for this cozy is my #1 selling item on etsy.
It does keep my tea warm in the pot for quite awhile, it is cozy.

What says cozy to you?
 
Housekeeping: Google will be discontinuing "follow by email" in July. My recommendation is to bookmark blogs you follow and keep a list of the bookmarks to check from time to time. If I find a better solution for free I will let you know.


 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Writing Challenge

 After reading what I have written, does this lady staring out at the world fit with the story? Is she bold to assume we can accept and love her just for who she it?

The Pedestrian Woman by Robin Morgan

She stands at the intersection, waiting

to stride across in the inimitable way of hers,

shoulder bag banging against one hip, head high,

her hair promiscuous to the wind.

Or sits at the typewriter, inconspicuous

as any other woman,

writing messages to the universe

which will get her in trouble with the boss.

No past, no future, flickers like a clue

in all those chance encounters

that accumulate a life.

See her ride the subway. See her

warm the leftovers for her supper.

See her feed her dog.

And can you see what vision

fires its shape in her sleep's kiln,

what passion, irony, and wit,

what love, what courage

are disguised

in all her daily movements? 

Thanks, Stephanie for this poem shared recently.

This poem was my inspiration in a recent writing class to play with the line "her hair promiscuous to the wind", particularly intrigued with that word "promiscuous" and wondering if the word needed to be a negative word or maybe something playful. This was what I wrote after sipping a particular tea that teased and enticed me. Enjoy!

 The image of the wind blowing through my hair as I walk through a field of yellow mustard, outdoors, stumbling at times, but ever bold. My head is held high and the feeling of being alone though surrounded by others around me. I don't notice them for I am in another world. A song touches my tongue and I sing out boldly, wrapping my tongue around each word and embracing them. I sing for the losses of a life once dreamed of. I sing for the world that hurts. I sing a song that laments, but yet searches for the nuances that delight my soul. I grab each moment while I continue the way forward. I toss my hair and my head in the wind and I smile (or is it really a smirk?) For I know what is surrounding me and even more what is a part of me.

If only as a young girl I was taught to fling my head and hair in the wind and walk boldly through the muck. Would I have become someone I don't know today?

There is a boldness that causes my tongue to wrap around words yet unsaid. It is a bit promiscuous as it calls me to ponder, it sits in my mouth. It wants me to embrace it and take it in, but I am tentative in my acceptance. It teases me with it's scent. Do I love it? It asks for me to do so. Yet my own boldness pauses. Let me go to places yet unknown, be a bit promiscuous, let the tea embrace me and gather me in it's arms.

BTW - It was a green tea I was sipping. 

The picture was taken on a recent visit to my favorite antique mall.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Delight in each day and let your imagination fly free.