Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tea and Toast?

Morning tea is ritual for me.
There is something quietening about walking into my
sunshiny, quiet kitchen each morning.
Joy comes to my heart as I pick the teapot, cup, tea,
cozy, and trivet for the morning.
Then it is time to choose what will go with my morning tea.
Will it be toast, which is often what I choose.
This morning it was cornbread with maple syrup.
A croissant is pure delight with fresh berry jam.
Maybe there is a scone in my freezer that easily is popped into the oven.
Often I ask you what is in your cup or share what is in mine.
But for today I am wondering what do you enjoy with your morning tea?

On a side note:  Thanks beth for helping me get my header together.  I love it!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Market Flowers

Does your market sell flowers?
Sometimes when I visit the market I just have to take some time to browse the flowers.
I just stand there and take in the beauty.
I smell.
I notice the colors.
Sometimes I am surprised by the combinations the florist puts together of both color and texture.
Sometimes I see a flower I don't know and want to know more about it.
Do you take time to stand in the flowers at the market and savor?

If not, do it the next time you visit the market.
It will definitely make your heart sing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Gift of Love

As I am out and about in recent days I see red hearts and gifts for those you love abound.
With this reminder my heart also rejoices in love surrounding me.
In the little things.
The quilt all frayed and worn hanging above my mantle.
Bunnies holding hearts.
Rain drops on roses, oh yes, even that.
The warmth in my hands from a touch or holding a warm cup of tea.
The robins that have returned to dance in my garden.
Joey watching diligently from the window.

What gifts of love are around you today?

Oh yes, one more thing!  Did you think I forgot?
The winner of the give-away announced on Thursday.
Ta Da - is Gail
Congratulations Gail!
You can find my email in my profile to send me your address.

Monday, January 28, 2013

One Word


PS - Don't forget the give-away mentioned on Thursday's post.  The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Warmed to Your Toes

Do you know chicken soup weather?
Cold and drippy for sure
This is the time for warm soups.
Maybe that is why the books of Chicken Soup have been so well received.
I found this warm bowl of goodness at a local tea shop in Chinatown.
Just recovering from a virus, it just warmed me to my toes.

What warms you to your toes?
Is it a cup of soup?
Of course for me a warm cup of tea.
Maybe someone's smile?

Have a delightful weekend and may you be warmed to your toes!

PS - Don't forget to leave a comment on yesterday's post for the give-away.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Give Away from Marmalady's

Marmalady's (my business) would like to give away a book perfect for the season.
The book, Herbal Teas, by Kathleen Brown
includes many recipes for "Health and Vitality".
There are health benefits to such herbs as garlic,
ginger, flax, parsley, oranges, and many more.
As you plan your garden for Spring,
 this would be a good source for assisting in the planning. 

Here is one of the recipes:

Terrific Yummy-Tummy Tea

Great for upset tummies and even stomach flu, this tea
is soothing and tastes wonderful, for kids of all ages!
Give little sips until relief is obtained.

1 part peppermint leaves,1 part spearmint leaves,1/2 part anise or fennel seeds,1/8 part licorice root,1/8 part orange or tangerine slices (organic)

Combine all herbs in a pot, and cover with boiling water.
Stir well, cover, and steep 15 to 20 minutes.   

With flu season right now, this "tea" or actually "tisane"
would be lovely in ridding the upset tummy.  
No reason for the give-away, but just to share.
Just leave a comment on this post and I will announce the winner next Tuesday. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NW Chocolate Festival

This past weekend I ventured out to the NW Chocolate Festival.
I had not been before and just wanted to see what they had to offer.
Have you been to a chocolate festival?
It was packed with people everywhere.
Chocolate does draw people to come out.
There was a lot that didn't impress me.

Verdun Chocolates in the top left is one I have purchased before.
It did impress me.
They are beautifully packaged and quite good.
Chocolates from Lebanon.

JaCiva's with the pink hair has the best chocolate cakes.

Stash Tea was there with some beautifully blended teas.

What did impress me the most and I found quite delicious
was gluten-free, dairy-free chocolates from The Great Unbaked chocolate company.
Now until this time I didn't know there were gluten-free, dairy-free chocolates.
If you know someone that cannot eat gluten or dairy wouldn't this make
a most decadent, delightful gift?  After all Valentine's is just around the corner.

Here are two websites online that specialize in gluten-free, dairy-free chocolates.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Our field of clover in the garden is holding the twinkling stars of ice.
I dreamed of all the wishes there upon each star shining bright.
Do you wish on four leaf clovers?
Do you wish upon the stars and dream?
I do~

Monday, January 21, 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Tea Time Play

Tea Time fun!

Do you just love to play with your camera when taking photos for your blog?
This week I played a bit.
I found a picture I liked in a Tasha Tudor book and tried to achieve the same feel.
Now it didn't turn out at all like the photo I was looking at,
but still I had fun.
Then there was a yumminess too, as I sipped this
lovely Darjeeling tea and nibbled fresh raspberries in winter.

Do you have plans to play this weekend?
Oh I hope you do.
Playing and sipping tea are good for the soul.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

France Revisited

The city from the Lourve.

My favorite tea shop in Paris.

Ahhh, the pastries!

The Seine River, a view from the river.
This week I have been reading Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach.
It is a book about a journalist, Alice, adventures in Europe.
The first part takes place in Paris and brings back so many memories
of my times of travel there.
Then as I was driving my car to the market yesterday the CD
playing was French Cafe.

Isn't it amazing how listening to a certain music or
reading a book can bring back memories so strongly of
a time gone by?

So today I am revisiting Paris.
I hope you enjoy the snapshots taken there.
It is my favorite city to visit, I just love it there
and I dream of yet another visit one day.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
Do you dream of returning there?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Day to Notice

Green Tea Chai - spiced and warm to delight.

Sitting just the other day
A teashop warm and cozy
I felt surrounded with soft voices
Not descernible and yet
Soft voices
Shared stories
A soothing softness envelops me
Friends huddled head to head
Younger faces smiling here.
Sitting in this teashop
Yet surrounded in a quiet softness
I could almost reach out and touch
Life's little noticings bring a smile to my face
and peacefulness is settling here
Surrounded in the land of Ahhhh's

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Natural Beauty

My heart does sing with the beauty of the Spring!
Revisiting past photographs I do remember.
When an unusual color I do see in nature
I am reminded of the JOY God must have had when
creating the beauty in nature.
The unusual colors particularly jump into my vision.
They say take notice.
Notice the beauty that surrounds us with each season.

What are you noticing today?

I noticed big, fluffy, white snowflakes falling for a short time outside my window.
I noticed squirrels hungrily scampering for bird food at our feeders.
I noticed the green moss and lichens growing on our barren trees.
I noticed the calla lily's leaves beginning the unfurl.
Notice what you notice~

Monday, January 14, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

Walk of Color

The Practice of Contemplative Photography by Andy Karr and Michael Wood
is the book I am reading right now.
The first assignment is to take a walk and look for color.
Not just any color, not in nature, graffiti, signs, or numbers.
Off I went on a wet, drippy colorless day to look for color.
It was a bit of a challenge, but I really enjoy a challenge.
This is the best of the colors I found.
Better than finding the color was finding JOY in the search.
Smiling at the colors on a winter day just makes my heart sing.

Take time to find the color of life on a cold winter day.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tea Time Thursday

Do you take time for tea with a special someone in your life?
Do you drink the same tea when you do?
I saw this garden statuary while walking in my neighborhood recently.
It made me think.
When my husband offers guests tea he is offering Tulsi, holy basil.
This is what he drinks almost every day.
When I offer guests tea it is definitely caffeinated, maybe a special oolong.
Do we drink tea together?
Yes, sometimes; but separate pots of tea - please!
Each of us has different preferences.
What is in your pot or cup today?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Winter Garden

This week I took a walk around my garden.
It amazes me to see flowers there.
There are roses and primroses too.
The tea plants sit in repose waiting for Spring.
The vegetable garden along our drive is planted with clover.
Sitting just to the north of the vegetable garden is a row of camellias.
Many buds are appearing on the camellias and it will be a lovely
sight in about another month.
Though I am not showing it in the photo,
there are buds on the daphne too.
The grape hyacinths is appearing with leaves coming from the ground.
Once the twinkling lights of the holidays pass,
I get a quiet JOY just walking in the garden
watching and waiting for beauty to make an appearance.
I know I am early there, but what surprises can be found in your garden today?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hell Fire Pepper Jelly

During the holidays I signed up for a give-away at Wives with Knives.
For those of you that know, now that is all of you, I love jams and jellies.
My Marmalady's jellies sold for 9 years in teashops across the country.

Well I won the give-away!
I was so excited!
It came with a cookbook that shared recipes for using Hell Fire Pepper Jelly.
When it arrived I was beside myself with glee!
No, I wasn't disappointed either.
It is delicious!
Here I nibbled with cream cheese and crackers.
We have also enjoyed Shrimp with Coconut Milk and Soba Noodles
and this delicious Hell Fire Pepper Jelly.  Oh yummmm!
I can highly recommend Hell Fire Pepper Jelly,
you also will not be disappointed.
Thanks Wives with Knives and Hillary and Maria at Jenkins Jellies!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Shine

A candle burns almost every day
With winter oh so dark
The light must come from other means
From the shine of a candle
the shine of a pretty flower
the shine of a warm smile or
the shine that sit inside our hearts.
Where is the shine of the light coming for you, dear friend?
How are you keeping the light burning?
Does the light shine in your heart today?
These are the ways I survive the darkness of winter.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Make it a special one, even if it is just wrapping in a quilt
with a good book and a wonderful pot of tea.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Gift both Thoughtful and Appreciated

Yesterday in the mail a small book arrived.
It was from Lily's uncle.
He had found it when cleaning and thought of me
and all the Christmas teas he had attended in my home.
What a thoughtful gift.
It doesn't look like much, but tucked inside it said:

St. Francis Episcopal
from Tasting Tea
February 27, 1957

How fun to be given the gift of recipes from a tea that took place in 1957.
There are recipes for a Jelly Roll, Peppermint Candy Dessert,
Potato Chip Cookies, Cherry Tarts, Clam Cheese Ball, and many more fun, delectable delights.

Isn't it fun when you receive a thoughtful gift just right for you?
Thanks, dear friends!

Have you been on the receiving end of a thoughtful gift just right for you?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Random Thoughts

Random Thoughts this week:

Angels surround us,
hold them close.

A note in the newspaper:

Plastic wrap keeps my newspaper dry when delivered.
How can I keep the paper dry when I read the news?

On my heart:

A new and fresh year.
How will I keep it fresh, alive, and full of JOY?
So soon it doesn't have the SHINE of newness.
How can I hold the JOY and SHINE in my heart?

Does your heart and head feel these thoughts?
How can we make it a better world?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year - Welcome 2013

from Wikipedia:
In philosophy the persimmon exemplifies the progression from youth to age as a symbol of the progression from bitterness to sweetness. The persimmon when young is bitter and inedible, but as it ages it becomes sweet and beneficial to humankind. Thus, as we age, we overcome rigidity and prejudice and attain compassion and sweetness.

May we all grow in 2013 in sweetness and SHINE in the winter days of darkness.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, dear friends!
May your 2013 be blessed.