Monday, October 11, 2021

Word for the Week

noun. 1An unusual and exciting or daring experience.

Wednesday my "live-in gardener" and I embark on what I am calling an adventure. I am not sure it is "unusual" or "daring", but it is somewhere new for us. So it is an adventure to the east coast of the US, places we haven't seen before and sipping tea with new friends and old.  With the pandemic still at hand I could say it is a bit "daring". We will travel with care, vaccinated and masked.

There may be new gardens to visit.

New tea times to enjoy! As the quote says above, just a cup of tea can be an adventure.
New chairs to sit in and chats to be had.
And a new sea to see.
For we will fly to the other side of our beautiful country, touching down at a new airport to us, and for a couple weeks exploring new terrain and vistas of autumns delights.
An adventure is coming and I will share when I return.
Have a delightful rest of October, dear friends!
Enjoy each adventure both large and small.
Take a risk now and then, dance, and laugh each day.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Searching for Autumn

 In the past week I have found Autumn. Have you found it? I love searching for a new season and Autumn didn't disappoint.

The temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest have become cooler and rain has been in the air. I have shared my favorite apple orchard before. I go in the Spring for blossoms and Autumn for apples. I was a bit late and the apples were gone, but still I enjoy visiting my favorite orchard on Sauvie Island.

I had not noticed the sink sitting by the barn before, but just loved that it was there to wash our hands.

Autumn didn't disappoint with touches of color here and there.

The old oak tree was still standing in the field as I drove by.

And a field of yellow pumpkins. I am not sure I have seen a yellow pumpkins before. The orange ones were further back. Can you see them?

And there were flowers along the road in many places, but I always smile when I see them filling the back of this old truck.

Then before it is too cold my friend, Steph, came for tea in the garden house.
How lovely it was to sip tea, nibble some fruit, scone, cucumber sandwich, and a veggie sandwich that Steph added to the tea time.
The veggie sandwich came from Bruce Richardson's teatime recipe book called The Tea Table, page 45, Falling Leaves Tea Sandwich with beets and carrots. It was delicious.
We sipped two different teas:
Jin Jun Mei oolong from Wuyi Origins
Osmanthus oolong from GrassPeopleTree

Both of the teas were extra special and delicious.

I served Jin Jun Mei British style and then the Osmanthus Oolong was served from a gaiwan. Have you had tea served from a gaiwan or Asian small pot?
To decorate the table I picked Autumn colors from the garden.
Steph knows that I often wear pearls to honor my mother at tea; so she wore her pearls.
I didn't have my pearls on, but I had a vase my mother received many years ago as a wedding gift. The vase was my nod to my mother having tea with us.
Do you sometimes give a nod to someone special when you are doing something they would love. My mother would have loved sitting at this tea table.

Yes, I did find Autumn this week and am enjoying it immensely.
Happy Autumn weekend, dear friends!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Word for the Week

 Bend: verb -

shape or force (something straight) into a curve or angle.
"the rising wind bent the long grass"
The berries on my dogwood tree bend down to the ground. They are easy access for the squirrels to nibble. 
Axel Vervoordt, an interior designer and author of Wabi inspiration in design, talks about flowers that bend down as humble. There is an ascetic of humbleness in a downward bend of a branch. 
Sometimes the rose heads are so heavy for the stem to hold them that they bend, but still beautiful.
Do you find inspiration in nature? In the bend of a branch, the touch of a velvet petal, a feather fluttering in the wind?
 My red dahlias came from the garden. They had bent so low they were actually laying on the ground. I told them I would rescue them; so I brought them indoors, washed the mud from their petals, and put them in a vase. They bent down; yet they were still pretty.
Even the hands of my scare-crow jack o'lantern bend down.
Thinking on this word, since I just watched Memoirs of a Geisha on Netflix, I am picturing the geisha bending down in respect to others, in greetings and farewells. It was a humble gesture, showing respect to others.
I look at my aged hands, in the bend of my fingers, which show much abuse and years of using them in my trade. They are bending in ways I don't particularly like and they don't always work the way I would like them too; but yet, they have stories to tell. 
Find a word today just for you and play with it, use it, and delight in it.

Have a terrific week, dear friends!
PS: I was away at the beginning of last week, my apologies for missing the word for last week.
The last two weeks in October I will take a break from blogging just to take an adventure.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Adventure to the Sea

 What I really should call this post is "girl time out".  I have a women's group I have joined  on several occasions at one of their cabins. It has always been a quiet, peaceful get away; something rather spiritual. I had never joined a group of very creative women just to laugh and celebrate. It was new to me after all my years to take an adventure to the sea, stay in one of my favorite places, and laugh and sip tea to celebrate a 60th birthday of one of my friends. There were 12 of us staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel at Nye Beach, Oregon.


Each room of the hotel has a different author's room. This picture and lamp were in the Colette room. The first evening we all dressed for dinner, then took a tour of each of the women's rooms where they read something from their author and shared something special to drink. Then we had dinner together in the hotel restaurant. Because of COVID the restaurant was limited to just our little group. It was just delightful to visit and get to know friends of the guest of honor.
On a side note: we all have to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test in order to attend. I really appreciated all the cautions put into place, as I am not quite back to my old time comfortable self for traveling and being around groups of people.

Sunday morning the four tea friends introduced the rest of the group to tea. There were four tables set up: two different oolongs, a puerh, and a white tea. I served the white tea from my little blue gaiwan.

My friend, Tracy, and I shared the John Steinbeck room. This wall painting was just perfect to illustrate his writing. You probably can't see the frogs sitting on top of the grill in the picture, but do you know why the frogs were included in this room? I thought it was frog races in Calaveras County, but that was Mark Twain. However, John Steinbeck must have been fascinated by frogs also, in Cannery Row he said,

“There were frogs all right, thousands of them. Their voices beat the night, they boomed and barked and croaked and rattled. They sang to the stars, to the waning moon, to the waving grasses. They bellowed long songs and challenges.”

It was a rather stormy weekend, but still just to see the views of the sea from the hotel were magical. I didn't hear one frog croak, but I did listen to the sea.

And if you have followed me for a long time, I am always searching for Adirondack chairs by water. When found there is always a picture taken with my "big girl" camera.

May you all find opportunities to laugh with a friend, share a moment of peace by water, and a place to feel cared for.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Friday, September 24, 2021

Acre of Earth

 In Vivian Swift's book, When Wanderers Cease to Roam, she writes in her September chapter that everyone at birth is given an acre of earth. How they fill their acre through life is different for each person. She goes on to share some simple memories that fill her acre, such as making orange marmalade while carrying a kitten in her apron pocket.or looking for books in the card catalog at the library.

Thinking about my acre of life I remember:

Peeking in the circle window at the hospital and meeting my younger sister for the first time.

Walking through the apple orchard barefoot on a hot summer day and feeling to soil squeeze through my toes while finding the perfect apple from the tree to eat.

Opening up the Nehi chest freezer at my uncles farm and reaching in to find a strawberry soda.

Watching tears in my grandpa's eyes as he sits silently watching his grandchildren at play.

Swimming in blue knit swimsuits in school gym outdoors in the rain.

The first time I noticed a boy actually noticing me.

Climbing trees and swinging from the top, which totally scared neighbors.

Visiting a college with my aunt and uncle because they wanted their son to attend, but I was the one that ended up attending.

Flying in a plane the first time and how we dressed up for the adventure.

The moment when each of my two children was born.

Graduating from design school.

Travels to France, standing under the Eiffel Tower.

Sipping tea at Betty's in York, England.

My grandsons birth, his words "I love you" and his kisses.

Finding my voice on the internet through sharing with you.

Walking in nature, each and every time I do it and wondering why I don't do it more often.


I challenge you to make your list that fills your acre of earth. What would be the #1 thing you would put on the list?

Happy Weekend, dear Friends!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Word for the Week

 Definition of Sway: verb 

move or cause to move slowly or rhythmically backward and forward or from side to side."he swayed slightly on his feet"
A video of flowers swaying in my yard,
it worked! Hooray! Now that I figured out how to add videos there could be more in the future.

You might think that is a silly word to choose.
As we enter Autumn/Fall I am noticing the flowers still in my garden sway gently in cool breezes. Images run through my head of a young woman walking down the street with confidence and a bit of a sway to her hips. Sometimes as I have aged I can feel a bit of sway to my head, silly I know and not at all glamorous, but it is what it is. 
 But mostly I remember as a young girl walking through a field of tall mustard, my long hair swinging in a light summer breeze, and laughter. Yes, just laughter that the mustard would sway around me and part ways as I walked and I soaked up the summer sun, the fragrance of fresh dirt under my toes, and the yellow all around me. For you see, yellow was my favorite color then as it is now. It just makes me smile to still remember.

Thinking again of those girls that were free to sway their hips when they walked down the street. Secretly I was a bit envious of them and their confidence in themselves. For you see, I definitely was a quiet child with a heart waiting to burst forth and sway in the wind. It took me until an age long from that young child to accept that strong woman inside of me, to smile and accept her into my heart. And if I sway a bit, may it be in my hips and in my memories, I can laugh and say "come walk with me and let's sway down the lane."

When spring comes again the daffodils in all their yellowness will sway for me.

Have a great week, dear friends!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Ranch Picnic


The realtor that helped us buy our home almost 20 years ago spends her advertising money on past and present clients. Every two years she has an event on her horse ranch. This year it was a bit different.

It was a bit rainy, so it took place mostly in the barn. She asked us to bring a picnic and drinks were provided. There were a few awnings set about too, as not everyone could fit in the barn and keep 6 feet apart. When she saw me with my camera, she asked me to take pictures and send them to her. These are the pictures I sent her way.

She had a whole row of rugosa roses blooming along her fence; so the first and last pictures are her roses.

 Being a cowgirl at heart and having horses; of course there was a pile of horse shoes.

 There was music too! She had Dave Stamey, a story telling cowboy, sing for us. In November 2016 he was inducted into the Western Music Hall of Fame. Now I must say I am not really a cowgirl at heart, but his music and stories did touch my heart.

 This sheep herders wagon was sitting out in the field. I was intrigued.

 It ended up being lovely to enjoy a bit of night music, laughter, and a good picnic too.

I did pack a picnic, our own table and chairs, and we savored the moments on the ranch.

The children and some adults enjoyed a "meet and greet" with the horses.

 Here's the barn in the evening light.
Music to soothe the soul.

 Now I know most of you are not living in my part of the world, but if you are or decided to move here I can most enthusiastically recommend a good realtor. At Christmas she has another event on a Christmas tree farm where we each can get a free tree and a cup of hot chocolate. If we refer someone to her, she acknowledges it with a small gift. Even one year when I had surgery, she came by to check on me. Now isn't that the best sort of way to run a business with kindness?