Friday, September 15, 2023

Autumn Poem


Autumn Poem:

Autumn around the corner comes

Colors change

The light shines through golden leaves.

It tells us to turn inward

 Pull out the cozy quilt

Sip tea with a warm heart

Savor friendship and hearth

Today we sit in quietness

We sip and share

Savoring the day.

 Today I share autumn words and sightings as we head into this season of cooler days and nights.
May you be blessed with joy, quiet times and peace.

I will be away next week, but will return on September 25th.
Have a most delightful week.

Love, Marilyn
PS: I am turning off comments for the week.
Thanks for stopping by dear ones!!!

Monday, September 11, 2023

Word Magic

 The word this week is PAUSE

Definition: noun, a temporary stop in action or speech.

 Pause has been on my mind lately.

And on this day of 9/11 let's pause to remember.


For me, I am a person that has always thought "what next". I am so focused on the "what next" that I forget to stop for a moment, pause, and appreciate what is around me. I am being reminded as I think on this word to stop, breathe, and look around me. To take in the beauty of our world, to notice the sadness of the world and just what surrounds me in that very moment.

As I go walking outdoors I am stopping to smell, look, breathe and turn around, just pause for a moment and take in "god moments". 

As I walk through my favorite antique malls I pause to breathe and see the beauty around me.

This also happens when I walk through the museum or even at the market, especially in the produce section which I love.

 Saturday the day came to go zip-lining with my grandson, D. In preparation I stood in the forest and breathed, smelled nature, noticed the smiles of the others standing on the platforms with me, and looked over the tree tops as I flew through the forest. I took time to pause. to notice, remember, and savor those very moments.

Pause helps me appreciate my moments more fully and to temper my "what next" attitude.


Welcome to a new week, dear friends!

Take time to pause in each and every day.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Tea Review - ITeaWorld

Recently ITeaWorld sent me two boxes of their Classic Tea Selection samples. They asked if I would review their teas and their website.   I found their website easy to move around and loved that they included an About page. Right now they are doing a lot of marketing, as I believe it is part of their re-branding. The choices of tea are definitely "classic" tea choices and each one is worth a try.


I often drink Yunnan black teas; so it was fun to review the Yunnan Black. This one was more subtle than the one I usually drink, very smooth, unpretentious, and a nice breakfast black tea.

Lapsang Souchong is in the picture, but there were two different packets of Souchong varietal teas. The Lapsang Souchong was not particularly smokey, as expected, but a bit woody with a touch of golden straw sweetness.

Wild Souchong was definitely smokey and what I normally would expect in a Souchong tea. In some I find the smokiness to be over powering, but this one was just the right amount of outdoorsy smoke. It felt like sipping a black tea while sitting by an outdoor bonfire.

Yingde Black was probably my favorite of the black teas. The first hit was a nice simple black tea, but then it hit my back throat with a touch of sweet raisins. I quite liked it.
All four blacks would sip well for a morning tea.

 Oolong -

The oolongs were steeped gaiwan style as in the picture. The packaging is in the background.

Minnan Narcissus was probably the most different of the oolongs. It reminded me of my grandfather's fruity tobacco, which I quite liked as a young girl. Smooth and comes alive in the back throat.

Da Hang Pao was like walking through a mulchy forest floor with gradually turning to corn silk with subsequent steepings becoming a bit sweet.

Fenghuang Dancong had a pretty amber color and smell a bit smokey, a bit of toasty plum.

All the oolongs had at least 5 steeps before I noticed a bit of change.

Tie Guan Yin was steeped outdoors in the forest, but still gaiwan style. I don't know if it was that I was sipping in the forest, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It reminded me of what I love about oolong teas. It was like sipping a cup full of glorious spring flowers.
If you want to become familiar with a variety of Chinese teas I could suggest the Classic Tea Selection. The packaging is amazing and each tea comes in individual packets just right for making a 3-4 cup English pot of tea or a gaiwan. They make it easy by changing the color of ink on the packets to represent either a black or oolong tea. Very clever.

I made the oolongs in a gaiwan and the blacks English style and both work just lovely. 
Have a great weekend, dear friends!
Happy sipping~ 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Word Magic

 Happy Labor Day

This week's word is LABOR

Definition: verb: work hard; make great effort. "they labored from dawn to dusk"


This picture was taken a couple days ago as I sat on a coffee shop patio sipping a chai latte. I just appreciated the beauty around me that was provided by the people that run the coffee shop. There was labor in their creating beauty.

When thinking of LABOR most people, including myself, think of those people who get up each day and go to work. It might be to build a house, climb a ladder, clean a sewer, write a story, or run the government. It is all labor. We do the labor, then we go home for another day. We may labor over the stove to prepare a meal when we get home. 

Not a lot of labor went into my breakfast this morning, but the jam on my muffin was made by a friend and a gift. I enjoyed the fruits of their labor. The person that grew my tea and processed it was laboring to make a beautiful thing to go in my cup.

Another thought came to mind of a mother-to-be going into labor to birth a child. She is doing the work to bring forth the child; so again a good name is labor.


My daughter birthed this beautiful grandson and for that I am thankful.

An artist may labor to bring forth a beautiful piece of art too.

There are so many forms of labor; some are hard work and some bring us great joy. Often there are rewards for our labor. It might be a pay check or just a smile on someone's face.

So whatever you are doing today to celebrate LABOR, simply enjoy!

Happy new week, dear friends!

Friday, September 1, 2023

The Grotto



Yesterday my "live-in gardener" and I had plans. I was excited, but scared all at the same time. We were going to take our grandson, D, zip-lining for a fun end of summer celebration before school starts next Tuesday. Our D ended up coming down with Covid yesterday and plans were changed. So far he is doing OK and I pray that continues to be so and he will be ready to return to school soon.

I felt like my "live-in gardener" and I should get out and walk. The Grotto is about 5 miles from us and we had been many times to the lower grounds, but had never taken the elevator up the bluff to the upper gardens. It was a rainy day, so we bundled up.

The Grotto is a Catholic retreat center that is open to the public. People come here to meditate, sometimes for concerts, to see the decorations and lights at Christmas, and just enjoy the beauty. The first picture above is the main area where they hold mass and people come to pray.

Let's walk through the upper gardens.

The next few pictures were shrine's representing different countries in honor of Mary.

This was Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Beautiful carvings.

The trees were stunning throughout the walk. Here was a labyrinth, which was the perfect place to walk and meditate. I prayed for many as I walked.

There was also a Peace Gardens we walked through, which took us by the monastery.

This sweet little chapel would be a lovely place for a small wedding.

There was a small walk where there were Sorrow and Joy plaques.

And finally before heading home we sat for a little while in the leather chairs of the Marilyn Meditation Chapel. Yes, It was donated by someone named Marilyn. It was stunning just at the edge of the cliff and overlooking the surrounding area.

Not exactly zip-lining, but just perfect for the day. We both said, "why has it taken us over 40 years to come to this part of the garden".  It was so peaceful and the perfect walk on a drizzly, rainy day.

Happy Weekend, dear friends!
Always be flexible to change plans when needed, it is so worth it.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Word Magic

 The word for this week is CHANGE

definition:  the act or instance of making or becoming different.


 Change of seasons

Yes, that is definitely worth noticing. Yesterday it was about 91 degrees here and felt hot. Today it is 69 degrees so far and feels like fall is just around the corner.

There are often changes in our world from climate change to political change.

Making change or changing a dollar for four quarters.

As we drive down the road, both in actuality or figuratively, do we sometimes change direction?

Growing and learning, do we sometimes have a change in our perspective?

It seems like change is part of life and to tell you the truth I am not sure I would be happy living without it.  I sort of like it. How about you?

Does change scare you or do you embrace it?

Friday, August 25, 2023

Small Ceremonies of Tea

 "Pouring out a proper cup of tea from a china teapot is a truly soothing experience that seems to engender a disproportionately high sense of well-being for what is such a simple act." from an article called Time for Tea in The English Home magazine.

I know, I know - tea again!

Tea is indeed a ceremony, sometimes a meditation, a time to share with a friend, a group, or alone.

Here I am sharing tea with a friend outdoors in a park. It was a small ceremony of friendship.


The tent is ready for a large gathering to celebrate tea with others. This was my British tent at the TeaFestPDX last year. The cup below was what each attendee sipped their tea.

The next three pictures are the WuWo Tea Ceremony from Taiwan. 

You can find a video of the ceremony on the website,

 This tea time was the sharing of dear friendship.

 A friend shared making tea over a charcoal burner in her own backyard. What a treat to be honored by this ritual of tea.



Tea in my garden/green house is also a ritual or ceremony of friendship over cups of tea.


Sometimes the tea is served in different ways. Here is a teatime at the Chinese Gardens, served from a gaiwan.

This was a tea offering to our ancestors. A ceremony in the Chinese Garden.


Another teatime celebrated in the apple orchard, celebrating friendship and a quiet time.

A Japanese tea ceremony taking place at the Camilla Festival this year.

A celebration of the season. Easter time and the renewal of the earth.

A Russian teatime.

The samovar is the center piece of a Russian tea celebration.

 Do you celebrate with tea? or another drink? Do you often feel it is a ceremony?
It can be a time to celebrate the simple things of life or a more elaborate celebration.
Have a terrific weekend, dear friends!
Celebrate each day!