Wednesday, June 30, 2010



Yesterday as I looked at a travel magazine I came across this phrase "hush of the soul".
It led me to start thinking about what brings hush to my soul.
These pictures in the collage are what I think of when I take time to hush my soul.
The green and soft colors of nature soothe my soul.
Water in nature touches me in my soul.
Sharing tea outdoors with a friend or in quiet solitude gives me a time of hush to my soul.
Take a moment or two to quiet your soul today.

What inspires a hush time in your soul?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trixies Tweets and Gratitude

Isn't this just the sweetest little watercolor?
I love watercolors and this one is special
because I won it last week.
I just had to share it with you.
The frame is corrugated paper, now isn't that clever?
Krys Kirkpatrick sent it to me from
Several years ago I visited her shop called, Bunnies by the Bay
in Anacortes, Washington.
I just love her whimsy and thought you would enjoy it too.
Thanks so much, Krys!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Strong Women - Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams


Wife of John Adams, the second president of the United States.  She is often known for hanging her laundry inside the White House.  However, she was also a strong advocate of equal public education for women and emancipation of African-American slaves.  Beside raising 5 children and keeping the "home fires" going, she was an influential voice in politics.  Through writing letters she let her voice be known to her husband and others in government positions.   Thomas Jefferson succeeded her husband as president and was the recipient of many letters from Abigail.  Though her letters were well received by those that received them, the advice given was not always taken.  After her death, her letters were published in the first book about a First Lady.  The book and letters were a great source of early United States development.  Her son, John Quincy Adams, became the 6th president of the United States.  She didn't live to see this, but would have been thrilled.  The strength that impressed me came from her influence through letter writing.  What an impact she had on the early development of the United States.

Quotes from Abigail Adams:

If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women.

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.

We have too many high-sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Tea in the Greenhouse




Though the greenhouse is not done, it still makes a lovely place to sit with a friend and have tea.
This week Adrienne from With a Grateful Heart came to have tea in my garden.
Our weather being what it has been, I decided to set it up with the protection of the greenhouse.
As it was it was a perfect afternoon, but we still enjoyed sitting there and sharing two small pots of tea, lemon verbena cookies, and some fruit.  Adrienne has been wanting to learn more about tea; so I made a lovely oolong from Taiwan and then Golden Monkey from China.  Tea in the greenhouse was a real treat
and one I hope to enjoy on many occasions.

Lemon Verbena Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4-6 Tablespoons fresh lemon verbena (or other herb), finely chopped
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine flour, lemon verbena, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
In large bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds.
Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla and beat until combined.
Add remaining mixture, stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Gently place in foil in a long snake about 2" around, wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
1/4" slice and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
Cool on wire racks.  Makes about 30-40 cookies.
Visit With a Grateful Heart for more details and pictures.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Secret Garden





Do you ever dream of a secret garden where you can go?
A place where the flowers are taller that you.
A place where you can hide away and dream dreams or
sing a song.
Join me today as we dream the dreams of a slow summer day
sitting under the flowers.
Follow me as we discover the sweet cottage tucked away in the forest.
Do you see it?  It is waiting for us.
Will we just sit and soak in the smells of the flowers,
chat a bit, or take a nap?
Take joy today in the simple things.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spoonfuls Tea

Having afternoon tea with friends is always a delight, but this afternoon tea definitely was the highlight of my recent trip to Southern California.  A dear friend honored me and three other friends by having tea in her home.  The theme had to do with spoons and there were many delightful spoons involved in tea.  The hand carved spoon in the red rose centerpiece was carved by her great-grandfather to prove his worth and ask for his future brides hand in marriage.
We started our afternoon tea with Baozhong Oolong from Taiwan on the patio.
All the food from the sesame cashews to the rose petal ice cream were so lovingly prepared.  Beside tea on the patio, we had Golden Star Sparkling White Jasmine Tea, Chinese Golden Monkey Tea, and flaming brandy with Dong Ding Oolong.
There were three different scones served with clotted cream and Marmalady's Rose Tea Jelly.
Amazing savories and sandwiches which included a cheese boat with young preserved walnuts, a salami and fontina panani,  ham and boursin cheese sandwich, cucumber with lovage, hummus and turkey roll, strawberry butties sandwich, egg salad sandwich, and smoked salmon roulade with mascarpone cheese.

After the flaming oolong was served, we enjoyed wonderful desserts of rose petal ice cream (made from roses in my friends garden), lemon tart squares, creme brulee in a spoon, and macarons.
This afternoon tea will always sit in my memory as the best tea made by a friend. 
It was indeed an honor and joy to sit at this table and share with dear friends.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Child in a Garden

A Child in a Garden
Once I had just half an hour
To frolic by myself;
Presto! By a lilac bush
I changed into an elf.

I whispered to a ladybird,
"I really am a child!"
But the disbelieving thing
Shrugged its wings and smiled.

A dusty bumblebee and I
Robbed the honey crocks
Of the Canterbury bells
And the hollyhocks.

And beneath a pansy plant-
A place no grown-up knows-
I pirouetted with an ant
On my elfin toes.

Then down the spice-pink-bordered path
Mother came for me;
The elf became a little girl
Ready for her tea.

from Kitchen Sonnets
Ethel Romig Fuller

Monday, June 21, 2010

Strong Women - Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson
1907 - 1964
Rachel Carson, writer, scientist, and ecologist, grew up simply in the rural river town of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Her mother bequeathed to her a life-long love of nature and the living world that Rachel expressed first as a writer and later as a student of marine biology. Carson graduated from Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) in 1929, studied at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and received her MA in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932. She was hired by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to write radio scripts during the Depression and supplemented her income writing feature articles on natural history for the Baltimore Sun. She began a fifteen-year career in the federal service as a scientist and editor in 1936 and rose to become Editor-in-Chief of all publications for the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. PHOTO: Rachel
 CarsonShe wrote pamphlets on conservation and natural resources and edited scientific articles, but in her free time turned her government research into lyric prose, first as an article "Undersea" (1937, for the Atlantic Monthly), and then in a book, Under the Sea-wind (1941). In 1952 she published her prize-winning study of the ocean, The Sea Around Us, which was followed by The Edge of the Sea in 1955. These books constituted a biography of the ocean and made Carson famous as a naturalist and science writer for the public. Carson resigned from government service in 1952 to devote herself to her writing. She wrote several other articles designed to teach people about the wonder and beauty of the living world, including "Help Your Child to Wonder," (1956) and "Our Ever-Changing Shore" (1957), and planned another book on the ecology of life. Embedded within all of Carson's writing was the view that human beings were but one part of nature distinguished primarily by their power to alter it, in some cases irreversibly. PHOTO: Rachel
 Carson Disturbed by the profligate use of synthetic chemical pesticides after World War II, Carson reluctantly changed her focus in order to warn the public about the long term effects of misusing pesticides. In Silent Spring (1962) she challenged the practices of agricultural scientists and the government, and called for a change in the way humankind viewed the natural world. Carson was attacked by the chemical industry and some in government as an alarmist, but courageously spoke out to remind us that we are a vulnerable part of the natural world subject to the same damage as the rest of the ecosystem. Testifying before Congress in 1963, Carson called for new policies to protect human health and the environment. Rachel Carson died in 1964 after a long battle against breast cancer. Her witness for the beauty and integrity of life continues to inspire new generations to protect the living world and all its creatures. Biographical entry courtesy of Carson biographer © Linda Lear, 1998, author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature (1997).
Quotes from Rachel Carson:
If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, "What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?"
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

Friday, June 18, 2010

World Tea Expo - 2010

Last weekend the World Tea Expo for 2010 took place in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This is the eighth year I have attended.
Each year there is a reception where you can rub shoulders with tea celebrities and tea business entrepreneurs.  This year it was held around the pool at the Hilton Hotel.
It is always a pleasure to observe different tea ceremonies.
Taiwan oolong teas are at the top of my list; so opportunities for tasting them is a real treat.

The exhibition hall was full of tea vendors from Taiwan, England, Hawaii, New Zealand, India, Ceylon, Japan, Korea, Kenya, and China.  There were beautiful teapots and accessories.  Tea travel mugs, lotions and soaps made with tea, tea books, tea filters, and about anything imaginable for tea, including tea art.
The hall buzzes with the thrill of tea.

I have been away for a few days.
I am almost back to normal and ready to have a cup of tea in the garden.
Do you enjoy tea in the garden?
Maybe ice tea on a hot summer day?
Take Joy in celebrating with tea.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Quiet Place

A quiet place, a time to commune with nature and talk to God.
A special time alone is sometimes needed.
Recently I spent the day here in this quiet place.
Do you make opportunity for quiet times?
Sometimes I forget to do it and my heart longs for a time of refreshment.
Take time today for refreshment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Magnolia's remind me of live'n in the south and the song Summertime.
Now I never lived in the south, but I have images of hot sweltery days,
sitting under a magnolia tree, fanning myself.

One summer when I was in high school I cleaned house for the doctor that delivered me.
My home only played classical and religious music.
That summer the sound track to Porgy and Bess was playing as I cleaned and I fell in love.
I had never heard anything like it.
Summertime still remains one of my favorites, oh do I love that music.

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Oh, Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

One of these mornings
You're going to rise up singing
Then you'll spread your wings
And you'll take to the sky

But until that morning
There's a'nothing can harm you
With your daddy and mammy standing by

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Your daddy's rich
And your mamma's good lookin'
So hush little baby
Don't you cry

More lyrics:

Thanks, George Gershwin!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Strong Women - Rosemary Gladstar

Since I have been sharing herbalist recently, there is one more strong woman I
wanted to introduce you to that is a herbalist.
Rosemary Gladstar has been sharing her knowledge, experience, and love of herbs since 1972.
She once had a herb shop in my hometown of Sebastopol, California.
She now is the director of Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center and Native Plant Preserve
in Vermont. This is where I had the opportunity to meet her in 2005.
I loved walking in her fairy garden with stone castles and tunnels built into the garden for the fairies that visited at night.  What a delight it was to imagine.  She said she sometimes heard them.
 She is also the founder of United Plant Savers and is the author of several books, including Herbal Healing for Women, Herbs for Natural Beauty, Herbs for the Home Medicine Chest, Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal and Planting the Future: Saving Our Medicinal Herbs.

When I was visiting the Retreat Center I bought the book, Herbs for Longevity and Well-Being.
In the book there is a recipe for Longevity Chai, which sounds like it would be worth trying.

6 slices fresh, grated gingerroot
4 whole cloves
2 teaspoons cardamom, crushed
3 tablespoons cinnamon chips (or one stick broken into small pieces)
6 black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sliced ginseng root
1 tablespoon sliced licorice root
1 tablespoon sliced fo-ti  (I am not sure what this is)
5 tablespoons black tea leaves
6 cups water
honey to taste
frothy milk (can be soy or rice milk)
nutmeg or cinnamon

Gently warm herbs and water in a covered saucepan for 10-15 minutes.
Do not boil.  Strain the mixture into a warmed teapot and add honey to taste.
Pour chai into a large cup, add a generous heap of frothed milk, and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.

For more information visit the Sage Mountain website.
Rosemary Gladstar is truly another fascinating, strong woman.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Enchanted Gift Shop and Tea Room

The Enchanted Gift Shop and Tea Room

502 Washington Street
Vancouver, Washington
Phone: 360-693-0650

The Enchanted Gift Shop and Tea Room opened on the first of May in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
It is owned by a delightful mother and daughter and carries many locally made products, including Marmalady's Orange Triple Sec Marmalade and tea cozies.
Just browsing the shop I noticed a lovely selection of Harney & Sons teas,
beautiful umbrellas, handmade jewelry and cards, and great tea books. 
If you are in the area it is definitely worth stopping to check it out.
Food service has not started yet, but it will be soon.
Give them a call if you would like to book afternoon tea, or just stop by to browse.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Apron for Marmalady's

I am excited to show you a new apron pattern I am developing for Marmalady's.
I couldn't wait, it isn't even on the website yet.
It is a copy of a vintage apron I found a few years ago in an antique shop.
The original had a beautiful cluster of grapes painted on it and the trim was crocheted.
There are many opportunities to be creative with painting, fabric choices, and trim choices.
Several have asked me to put together an apron pattern that would be great for a mom or grandmother.
I thought this would be the perfect gift.
Just make the apron in a light color or white, then the children can paint their hand prints on it.
The children I had painting their hand prints could hardly contain themselves.
They wanted to do alot of hand prints; so they did need some supervising to get only the two sets.
It was lots of fun!
The pattern will be available at the end of June and will cost $10.00.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Greenhouse Update

OK indulge me, it's time for an update on "the greenhouse".
My husband, yes the one sitting there in the greenhouse, decided he wanted to build a greenhouse from recycled material in our backyard.  He started it about four or five years ago.  We were hopeful this would be the year it would be finished.  It won't be this year because he still needs to find more windows and now he will have rotator cuff surgery next week.  So the challenge was to finish the floor with recycled bricks before the surgery.  It was finished this week and he immediately set up the tea table to celebrate.  Celebrating the small things is so important, don't you think?
So we celebrated by sharing tea in the greenhouse this week.
I know there will be other celebrations in the greenhouse, but for today it was a small step.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Caravan Dream'n

I found this book recently to fuel my caravan obsession.
Most of the caravans are British.  They do cause me to dream.
Dream'n is good.
A chair sitting by the caravan just adds to the dream.
This little caravan is French.
A friend posted it on Facebook and I couldn't resist sharing it here.
Several friends have sent me caravan pictures to continue the dream.
Dream'n of hiding away in a cute little caravan is delightful.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Strong Women - Bertha P. Reppert

 The third woman I heard about in the 1970's was Bertha Reppert.  Who could have guessed that later I would meet her daughters, Nancy and Susanna, and learn more about their very special mother.  I asked them to share a little about their strong woman, mom.  I included all their contact information at the end.  If you have a chance, they have great tours and their gardens are amazing.  I met Tasha Tudor by traveling on one of their tours.  Some year I still would like to visit when their Fairy Festival is taking place.

Bertha Reppert was into herbs long before they became fashionable!  She was all self-taught, reading and pursuing any information about herbs she could find, and then sharing this knowledge along the way.
Maureen Rogers, executive director of the Herb Growing and Marketing Network wrote about Bertha Reppert saying she "was one of the most creative, gifted, humorous and wise women to grace the herb industry.  Her books will stand as a legacy to anyone that believes in herbal living and loves good writing."
Joyce E. Brobst, past president of the Herb Society of America said "Bertha Reppert has been an inspiration to so many people wanting to learn about herbs.  On every occasion her wisdom would be shared through her visuals of dried herbs, concoctions and wisps of this and that to enhance one's memory of the presentation.  Every contact with her filled one's senses with herbal memories, and a recognition that here was a person who enjoyed and respected life and all of its mysteries."
Everything with a root was her passion!  She was an active member of Penn-Cumberland Garden Club when Mildred Dunlap presented a program on Herbs of the Bible.  This inspired her to read every book available on herbs and herb gardening.  She then began growing the herbs and using them in every conceivable way from pot pourri, to herbal sugars, to herb vinegar, to following her mothers recipes for goose grease salves and on and on.   A few years later, in 1968, she opened The Rosemary House in charming downtown Mechanicsburg, PA.   They say location, location, location is key to any business but as a mommy, Bertha Reppert chose her location because it was equal distance from all the schools in town.  The Rosemary House went on to grow and prosper and become a source for all things herbal whether it is culinary, fragrant or medicinal.  She went on to author many books on herbs including Herbs with Confidence and A Heritage of Herbs.  Bertha Reppert's herb shop inspired many others to begin herb shops, farms and businesses and so she authored another book called Growing your Herb Business  a practical book for any small business entrepreneur.   Three of her 4 daughters have gone on to own their own business,  Susanna Reppert Brill has continued The Rosemary House, Nancy Reppert owns Sweet Remembrances Tea Room, Marj Reppert owns an antiques and collectibles shop, Rosemary Remembrances II in Jim Thorpe PA.

The Rosemary House
120 South Market Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Celebrating 40 years! 1968-2008!
(717) 697-5111 (Ask for Susanna)
(717) 697-3222, FAX
"Rosemary's Sampler" our blog:
We invite you to visit our Rosemary House Complex, which offers a Retail Store, Private Party Tea Room and Beautiful Display Gardens. We offer workshops, lectures, and herbal dinners. Mechanicsburg is 10 miles west of Harrisburg, PA.
Store Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10 AM - 6 PM and Saturday 10 AM - 4 PM.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's my birthday!

It's my birthday today.
Do you like my birthday hat?
My mama made it to help me celebrate 1 year old.
Do you think I like it?
Well I am waiting for the cake with the candle.
The teacup had a little warm milk, cause my mama
said real tea isn't good for cats.
OK, now I am officially a cat, no longer a kittie.
I am a big boy now.
Can you tell?
So bring on the cat food cake and
let's celebrate.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lavender Blue

When I see lavender I always think of this children's song.
At one time I wanted to open a tea shop and thought I would name it Lavender Blue.
Lavender just sings to my heart.
This is the visit to the lavender farm, where I see they also love chairs.
Today we go again to pick up 20 lavender plants for our garden.
I can't wait to see them growing there.
Best wishes for a delightful day.
May we all be King's and Queen's, dilly dilly.

Lavender's blue dilly, dilly,
Lavender's green;
When I am king, dilly, dilly,
You shall be Queen.
Call up your men dilly, dilly,
Set them to work,
Some to the plough, dilly, dilly,
Some to the cart.
Some to make hay, dilly, dilly,
Some to thresh corn,
Whilst you and I, dilly, dilly,
Keep ourselves warm.

Alternate words:
Let the birds sing dilly dilly, and the lambs play,
We shall be safe dilly dilly, out of harm's way.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Country Roads

Driving country roads I notice a fascinating life, somethings not seen in the city.
Although I must say more and more country life is seeping into city life.
Portland will allow 3 chickens per household and
many are beginning to raise chickens in their yards.
Personally I have thought of the beehive, as we already have one in the tree.
The pickup calls to me.  Oh how I would love to have one that has a working engine.
I thought the flowers were really pretty.
What a sense of humor someone had to place Mary among the flowers.
Pictures were taken as I visited a lavender farm on Sauvie Island recently.
No lavender you say.  That will be for another day.
Do you have touches of the country seeping into your life?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Peony's for Remembrance

Memorial Day is often celebrated by placing peony's on graves.
I love peony's just for the pure pleasure of their beauty.
Yesterday I celebrated the day by attending a Peony Festival.
This spring time I have seen so many beautiful flowers.
Flowers make a glorious welcome to the sunshine.
Enjoy the day by remembering and sniffing a beautiful flower.