Friday, October 29, 2010

Creative Tea Gift

Ok, one more picture of Joey in his Halloween costume before I get started here.
He just stopped by to say "Happy Halloween" to all his fans at Delights of the Heart.
He is ready to play and have some fun.

Last week on the same day I received the wonderful package from Jeanie an envelop
arrived.  I could see through the envelop and was fascinated by what was inside.
It was not expected.   No, I sent her teabags and used tea strings in an envelop
for her art.  So the surprise that somepinkflowers sent me in this little book was
definitely a delight.  She calls me MarilynTea.  Everywhere I looked were tea references
and little notes tucked here and there.  It made me smile.  Very creative, I must say.
And for all you tea lovers out there, a very fun project.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apple Festival Time

October is Apple Festival time around Oregon
 I love apples, so off I went to explore.
Aren't they beautiful?
The varieties were numerous.
The addition of autumn settings made it delightful.
I love autumn for the celebration of color and harvest.

What delights you about this season of harvest?
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gift Exchange and New Friend

A few weeks ago Relyn of Come Sit by my Fire
hosted a gift exchange.
I really wasn't sure I wanted to do it, but Relyn
emailed me and encouraged me to play along.
We had to answer a few questions about ourselves and
then Relyn played her magic matching game.
She matched me with Jeanie at The Marmalade Gypsy.
As Jeanie and I emailed back a forth we found so many things in common.
We realized Relyn was very good at this matching game.
Well finally the time came to exchange our gifts and mine arrived recently in the mail.
As you can see there was a lovely array of special surprises including
a little gift for Joey, some little nibbles in the soft gray bag.
A slightly used book, which is next on my table by my bed to read.
Some touches of Autumn, lovely notecards made by Jeanie, Michigan maple syrup,
Jordan almonds (because I am planning a trip to Jordan), and just the best of
all - a new friend.

What I have learned from this exchange is to be more open to new friends,
you never know where they will pop into your life and bring JOY.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Golden Colors of Autumn

Autumn always brings back a vividness of golden warm colors.
Autumn was created to warm our hearts in preparation for the cold white of winter.
Touches of the warmth of autumn have begun appearing inside my home.
Flowers tucked into my favorite copper kettle.
The French pumpkins on the porch and the masks sitting on my mantle remind me of happy Autumn travels.
Do you decorate your home with the colors of Autumn?
What special touches begin appearing in your home?
Autumn to me is a time of preparing and savoring the touches of color.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peak at Autumn

Today I was going to share a look of autumn in my home,
but Blogger is not cooperating with me.

Take a peak from my heart of
the colors beginning to show their pretty faces outdoors.
Autumn has definitely made an appearance here
and we are hunkering down for the long spell of rain and cold.
The teapot is sitting ready for many warm cups of tea.
The sweaters have been pulled out of storage.
And the fragile plants have been brought inside.

What are you doing to prepare?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sweetened Tea?

Quote by George Orwell:

"I know very well that I am in a minority here.
But still, how can you call yourself a true tea lover if you
destroy the flavor of your tea by putting sugar in it?
I would be equally reasonable to put in pepper or salt.
Tea is meant to be bitter, just as beer is meant to be bitter.
If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea,
you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar
drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water."

What do you think?  Agree or Disagree?
Just curious!

Sweet Give-Away
The winners of the Strong Women give-away are:

Brenda - Somepinkflowers
Jeanie -The Marmalade Gypsy
Martha E.
Jeanne - Jeanne's Bliss Blog
Marion - Create Joy and Wonder

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Return to your Inner Child

This picture has made an appearance here in the past,
but I just had to show it again.
Each time I see it, it makes me smile.

Lately I have come across several blogs that have talked about
allowing your inner child to be celebrated.  To notice
the child-like fantasies to be released and enjoyed.

So I have been thinking.
For me a fantasy is to wear a tutu, a crinoline (do you know that word?),
or a twirly skirt and dance in the sunlight with bare feet.
Laugh and delight in the day.

Can you just picture it, an overweight 67 year old woman wearing
a tutu.  Now don't be surprised if someday you see
someone like me dancing in the sunlight.
They are just allowing their inner-child to shine.

Last Day to sign up for give away tomorrow.
Sign up on Monday's post.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Walk

Sunday afternoon was a glorious autumn day here in Portland.
Only a 10 minute drive from my home is the Columbia River.
There is a lovely bike and walking trail along the river.
On one side you see the views I am showing here and
on the other side is the Portland International Airport.
Across the river is Vancouver, Washington.
It brought great delight and JOY to my heart to
walk along the trail enjoying a beautiful day in autumn.

What has recently brought delight to your heart?

Don't forget the give away on Monday's post.
Leave a comment or email me to be in the drawing.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Joey Visit

See how big I am now
Joey's favorite television show is Art Wolfe, Travels from the Edge on PBS
Joey couldn't wait for Halloween for you to see him in his wizard costume.
I hope today you have the chance to cuddle a fur baby.

Don't forget to leave a comment or email me to be entered into Monday's drawing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Strong Women Finale

Wow!  I started the Strong Woman Series on April 19th and have featured some amazing women.
There are still so many strong women that could be featured.
I am going to let you go on your own exploration.

I just reviewed all the strong women I wrote about and found quite a list
of attributes that are exemplified in a strong woman.

1.  They know their own mind
2. They followed their dreams
3.  They were willing to be themselves
4.  They live on their own terms
5.  They are willing to overcome prejudice and obstacles
6.  They persevered
7.  They continued learning
8.  They were willing to challenge themselves
9.  They lived through grace in difficult times
10.  They had or have Passion

Some I have written in past terms and some in the present,
but each of these attributes is worth accepting as our own terms.

What struck me in doing this Strong Women series is the passion each of these women had.  Not only the passion, it was a serenity or sense of peace each of them portrayed.  I am continuing to learn the "following your Bliss", as the old Victoria Magazine use to talk about, is a full acceptance of who I am.  There is a peacefulness in listening to my inner voice and following it passionately.  I know when I am not following that inner voice there is an internal struggle.  I have grown to accept the struggle because at the other end, when I accept what it is telling me, I will feel the "bliss" and have grown.

I have made 5 Strong Woman soldered charms, which I would love to send to 5 of you.
Leave a comment or email me if you don't have a blog.
You can find my email in my Profile.
I will draw 5 names and announce the winners on Friday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tea a Ritual

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the
hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
~Henry James

Select your favorite cup, brew my tea to your personal liking,
and take joy in the ritual itself.
~Tasha Tudor

Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea is a blend
of black teas from India and China.
As Tasha says, it is both robust yet delicate at the same time.
Enjoy a cup of tea today and take time for the ritual.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Smell the Roses

 Sending you a beautiful rose today.
Sometimes we just need the beauty life has to offer.
Go out today and enjoy the day.
Don't forget to smell the roses.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Dream

Not a pretty picture, but a very pretty fish.

I once had a dream.
A dream where I was so frustrated at life I wanted to escape.
Walking along the river's edge I saw the fish swimming by.
I wanted to swim with the fish for awhile and leave life's worries behind.
I dreamt I swam with the fish for a year.
When I returned I had to decide whether I would stay with the fish
permanently or return to my life.
Life has it's ups and its downs and sometimes
can be very scary, sad, and happy too.
What would your choice be?

In the dream I chose to stay with my life,
not always easy; but it is mine to live.
I dream dreams of a better world, but
take life each day as it comes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Alone Time

Do you have times when you just need to be alone?
I hope you have someone that sends provisions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Strong Women - My Mom

This Strong Women series has caused me to think about my mom, Frances.
I never thought of her as a "strong woman".
When she was growing up, her family called her "the stupid one".
My aunt to this day calls her "poor Frances".
 I didn't think she was strong and I noticed other women that I thought were strong.
Now focusing on the "strong woman" I can see her strengths.
Some people would have said she was stubborn, but I know
that her strength to not be pushed around changed her life.
My father left her when I was two years old and my mom was pregnant with my sister.
As a child growing up without a father people felt sorry for us.
Now as an adult I realize how lucky we were that my mom was strong.
My father could not abuse her and push her around, he later married someone he could do that to.
So in her strength she raised two daughters alone.
Yes, we did occasionally need help from others, but she did it.
She accepted help graciously and returned the help with love and a loaf of nut bread.
It wasn't always easy, but I have learned she did her very best.
She taught us values and to believe in ourselves.

What virtue do you see in your mom that abides in strength?

Next week will be the last week for the strong woman series
and there will be a give away announced.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Locket, locket

Not to long ago my daughter gave me this locket.
I loved it because it was from her.
I also loved it because it felt vintage, yet updated
with some of my favorite things right on it.
When I wear it someone always asks, "where did you get that pretty locket?"
It is made by a local Portland couple.
Their company is Locket2You
Visit their website and you will find wonderful, fun
lockets with tea pictures and much, much more.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Over the Moon

I am "over the moon" with glee!
I found the Baby Brownie camera in an antique shop in Wisconsin
and it was calling my name.  Only $8.50 too.
Home it came and I found film online.
I wasn't sure it would work, but
I took the risk.

What do you think?
I am in love with my little camera.
Thanks Blue Moon Camera Shop for doing such a great job developing my pictures!
I am a happy girl!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Harvest Time

As the days begin to shorten and the morning air is cool,
it is time for harvest.
Apple Fairs abound
Pumpkins turning orange
Tomatoes show their shining colors
Time to take a walk
crunching leaves beneath your feet
Oh, Autumn sings the glory
of the Summers sunshine warmth.

Enjoy a special time of harvest whether
visiting your local farmers market or
picking from your own garden.
The pumpkins in my garden this year
are a remembrance of the beautiful pumpkin fields in
Provence last year.
And yes, the yellow tomato is ripe, a heirloom variety
and oh so good.  Isn't she so pretty?  Oh course, she is a she,
how could she not be since she is so pretty.
Happy harvest time!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

NW Tea Festival

The third NW Tea Festival in Seattle, Washington took place this past weekend.
It was my first opportunity to attend.
I was checking it out with the possibility of exhibiting next year.
There were 23 tea related vendors and I had fun visiting each of their booths.
What I enjoyed the most were the speakers and also reconnecting with tea friends.
The top picture was taken in the first tea tasting I attended, which was given by
the owners of Silk Road tea company.  We had the opportunity to taste 3 Rare
Chinese teas, white, green, and oolong.
The second picture was a tasting of the same oolong tea, but the one on the left
was picked in winter and the right was picked in spring.  Can you see the difference in color?
In all I attended five different tastings and realized I gravitated toward oolongs from
Taiwan, which I love.

For those of you that are not heavily into tea, you will not know the people in the above pictures; so I will try to tell you a little about these lovely people.
The keynote speaker was James Norwood Pratt, the one in the bottom middle holding the book.
Norwood is a dear man who I have had the opportunity to meet many times.
He has written some of the best tea educational books in the market.
To his right is Babette Donaldson, she has written a series of Emma Lea tea books for children.
Finishing off the bottom row to the left of Norwood is Earlene Grey and husband.
Earlene writes lovely tea poetry and has published several books.
To the far left on the bottom is Robert Wemischner, the author of Cooking with Tea.
Top left is Bill Waddington, owner of Tea Source in Michigan on sells online.  He was leading a tea tasting on Dark tea, which is new to the US and I had not heard of.
In the upper middle is Lindsey Goodwin, a food writer who often writes about tea.
With Lindsey is Michael Coffey, the Tea Geek, a tea blogger and speaker at the festival. The final picture I am sorry to say his name has not stuck with me, but I know I will be hearing and seeing him more.
He presented the last tea tasting I attended and James Norwood Pratt assisted him in sharing his
wonderful Jade Oolong and Phoenix Oolong.  He has developed a new teapot for oolongs that actually decants the tea at the proper time (you can see the top of the pot in the picture).  He is a tea grower in China and Taiwan and has recently written a book
on oolong tea.

For those of you that just drink a cup of tea and don't really think much about it, there is a whole world out there of amazing tea development, growing, and sipping.  And amazing people that have a passion for tea.
Did you know, tea is the second most drunk liquid next to water in the world?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Strong Women - Georgia O'Keeffe

Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven't time - and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time
If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself - I'll paint what I see - what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it - I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.
...Well, I made you take time to look at what I saw and when you took time to really notice my flower you hung all your own associations with flowers on my flower and you write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower - and I don't.

This above are quotes by a strong woman, American Artist,
Georgia O'Keeffe

If you are not familiar with her art, check it out.
Her flowers and Southwest art are spectacular.
 Picture taken from Wikipedia
Visit the following link for her story.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Tea Outdoors

One of my most favorite things to do is share tea outdoors.
Last week taking a short break to prepare for the season ahead
I had the opportunity to do so.

What are you doing for yourself and to prepare for the season ahead?

Haiku for Tea Lovers
by David Ash

end of September -
having to say a wistful
goodbye to sun tea