Friday, July 10, 2020


Recently a friend invited me to come to her yard and pick berries.
In the past I have picked marionberries there, but this time it was
loganberries and raspberries.
Now Oregon does grow wonderful berries
and I love, love having them in my freezer.
So off I went!

The berry vines were loaded and more than my friend could use.
In no time we had a bucket of loganberries and another of raspberries.
Definitely a pie was in order.
"We must have pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie."  ~David Mamet

Indeed I must agree with that quote.

Earlier this week I was reading about "soul food" and what food comforted you growing up.
Thinking on this I came to the conclusion it was pie for me.
Any kind of pie would do, but fruit pies were at the top of the list.
Yesterday I went on a hike with my 7 year old grandson and told him about
reading about "soul food".
I asked if I could teach him how to make a pie and he agreed.
So one day we will plan a day to make a pie.

The berry pie was a combination of loganberry, raspberry, and a hand full of blueberries.
Needless to say, it was quite delicious and quite gone now.

Do you love pie?
What kind is your favorite?

There is another pie filling in the freezer for winter.
I love having summer sun in my freezer during the bleak winter months.
Then the raspberries are frozen too, but for another reason.
I love raspberries in my morning yogurt.
Already I look forward to a hand full of raspberries tomorrow.

Happy weekend dear friends!
Hope pie is a part of your weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020


Did I say travel?
I bet you thought I hopped a plane, train, or even my car,
but no my travel these days is in my own backyard or neighborhood.
I am guessing many of you are traveling there too.
Now you might think I packed that large bag and took wings.
While walking in my neighborhood I have found two (secret) places
to take my tea and sip awhile.
I am so thankful for weather that is conducive to walking and sipping outdoors.
Normally the Kennedy School in my neighborhood would be full of people.
It is an old school that has been turned into a B&B, restaurants, and movie theater.
They just reopened, but a normally full parking lot only has about 8-10 cars in it;
so I knew no one would be around at the far end of the parking lots.
What I found is this little table and stool just sitting there in their veggie garden.
What a perfect place to sip tea. There was not a soul there, but me.

And some very tall sunflowers too.

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been and there you will long to return.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Yes, I have tasted flights and I very much miss it.
But for now I am loving walking and finding secret places to take tea.
In my cup was Wild Lapsang from Wuyi Origins in China.
What a treat to fly away in my mind to China as I sat there sipping.

Another day I will sip in my other secret place and share.
Well maybe they aren't completely secret, but I like to imagine they are.
Do you love finding secrets places to enjoy the day?
Do you dream of flying away?
Where would you fly?

I am dreaming of going to France and the United Kingdom.
I know, I have been there before, but it just seems like where my heart is saying to go.
One day I do believe dreams can come true again. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

from wikipedia: Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint.
Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state.

In my church on Sunday we were asked "what does freedom mean to you?"
I said for me it means "I can safely walk outside my door, down my street,
and live my life not feeling threatened in any way."
For many this is not happening and they live in fear.

For me an eagle is a symbol of freedom.
Our country was built on this freedom.
May we soon be free to fly again,
to walk out our door and feel safe.

Friday, July 3, 2020

July 4th


Freedom will not come
Today, this year
            Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
            To stand
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

            Is a strong seed
            In a great need.
            I live here, too.
            I want my freedom
            Just as you. 

I pray for the day when each can walk with freedom in their two feet
and without judgement and cruelty.
Where we can live side by side and acknowledge our differences,
but celebrate together our similarities.
Let's embrace our fellow man, woman, and child with our arms and hearts,
for now figuratively with masks on.
I am reminded daily why I wear that mask for each of you.
In that we are free to live another day.

Thank you friends for stopping by.
May your weekend be blessed with joy
as you shelter in place.

Added after the fact, but to relevant not to share:

"For this is a time for courage and a time for challenge. Neither conformity nor complacency will do. Neither the fanatics nor the faint-hearted are needed. And our duty as a party is not to our party alone, but to the Nation, and, indeed, to all mankind. Our duty is not merely the preservation of political power but the preservation of peace and freedom.

So let us not be petty when our cause is so great. Let us not quarrel amongst ourselves when our Nation’s future is at stake. Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause–united in our heritage of the past and our hopes for the future — and determined that this land we love shall lead all mankind into new frontiers of peace and abundance." - President John F Kennedy, undelivered speech to Democratic Party of Texas, 11/22/63

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


What does nesting mean to you?
During this time of the pandemic I have thought quite a lot about nesting.
I found two different nests in the gardenhouse, collected by my "live-in gardener".

Since I haven't been out to the stores I haven't shopped much,
except groceries.
Now I didn't ever think I spent much other than groceries
somehow I must have spent more than I realized
for now I seem to have a little extra to spend.
Maybe it was just the gas I was putting in my car
to do all that running around, I am not sure.

So, yes, I have been doing some nesting.
I love collecting flowers in the garden to place in little bottles on the mantle.
Finally hung some flower pictures too.

Being home more I have taken the time to look around my house
and do a bit of nesting with this "little extra to spend" money.
In my nesting I washed all the curtains in the house and
realized some needed to be replaced.
My rug in the living room was fraying around the edges.
Now a new rug rests in my living room.
New shades in the bedroom were needed.
Plus pictures needed to be hung, something I had put off.

And in all this looking around, I decided I needed a studio
that was wholly mine to leave things out and messy
or to make a sanctuary for my inner-peace.

I love having access to the garden, the view always enchants me.
A place Joey likes to be now that I am there.
And a place to have easy access to my photography and art supplies is a total delight.

In the kitchen where you see the little table was once my computer
sitting place. It was quite cluttered!
Now we have the sweet little table sitting there.
It was stored in our basement, as I thought I would sell it.

So there has been some nesting going on
and I am loving my sanctuary!
I am loving the new arrangements and little changes.
They are delighting my heart.

Are you finding yourself nesting a bit more than usual?
Are you making small or bigger changes?
Are they delighting your heart?

Monday, June 29, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


From Psychology Wiki: Nurture is usually defined as the process of caring for and teaching a child as the child grows. Often, it is used in debates as the opposite of "nature" (see nature versus nurture), whereby nurture means the process of replicating learned cultural information from one mind to another, and nature means the replication of genetic non-learned behavior.
The trees in this picture have definitely been cared for and nurtured.

In everything I looked up nurture was tied to nature.
For me I see it as the gentle care of any person, both young and old,
and the gentle care of our earth.
A garden with food to eat is nurtured and cared for.

What inspired me to choose this word today comes from Simple Abundance
by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
"Today, sow some symbolic seeds, even if you don't have a garden,
as a gesture to ritualize the new life you are creating within.
Ask for the blessing of Spirit and the nurturing of the Great Mother and know
that in dire time there will be an abundant harvest for yourself
and those you love."

I believe in caring for yourself and others
your soul is nurtured.
In caring for the earth,
the earth rejoices.
Nurture and you will grow.
We each grow and nurture in our own ways.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Women of Tea

Farmer Chen's wife from Pinglin, Taiwan served us tea in their shop.
Then she went to the tea field and demonstrated a tea picking hedge trimmer.
Farmer Chen told us she always stays awake and by his side when he is producing
the tea during the night so he won't fall asleep on the job.

Most often it is the women that pick the tea.
This particular morning they arrived to pick at 8AM.
They picked until mid day then took their tea in to be weighed at the production center.
This was a cooperative family farm on Alishan Mountain.
It was lovely to listen to them chatter as they worked with an occasional song.
Women are such a part of making our tea extra special
and doing whatever is necessary to get the job done.
Again another farmer's wife helped in the tearoom serving us tea.
On her back was her grand daughter.
Later she cooked for us.
Then visiting a tea school in Taiwan we learned the proper way to pick.

What fascinates me is that the men often get the recognition,
but it is the women that pick the tea, feed the people, care for the babies,
serve tea to the guests and generally hold things together.

In India I have learned through reading that the owners of tea plantations
give the money to the women to manage because they do the care taking
and don't go out to drink after work.
One farmer in India now has his daughter producing the tea because that is
where her heart and talent are.  The son works in the office, but the daughter
is hands on for creating beautiful teas.

Many women are now becoming entrepreneurs, creating their own businesses,
and running their own farms. One of my tea friends is an attorney in New York,
but also owns and produces tea in Nepal and has a partnership with someone there.
She travels back and forth between the US and Nepal, keeping an apartment in both places.
She produces a delicious white tea.
There is also a woman here in Oregon that is the president of the
U.S. Tea Growers Association and also grows her own tea right here in the states.
She has some very nice teas.
Women are also taking leadership rolls in tea education,
many of them I call "friends".

I love seeing the blossoming of women in the world of tea.
So if you sip a cup of tea send love to all those women and men too
that make that cup possible.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
I hope you have some moments to sip a cup of tea.