Thursday, February 28, 2013

Camillia Japonica vs. Sinensis

Camellia Sinensis is part of the Camellia family.
It is where tea comes from.

The two photos above are Camillia Japonica Mountain Tea.
When I saw these plants at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in the Fall
I was fascinated that they were called Mountain Tea.
Camillia Japonica is generally a decorative plant,
which we call Camillia.
The blossom below is my first blossom just opening in my yard.
Soon I will have armloads of beautiful blossoms in reds, pinks, and white.
After a little research I did find that the Camillia Japonica Mountain Tea
has been used for developing a none caffeinated drink,
but certainly not at the delight that the Camillia Sinensis brings to us.
Aren't the berries on the Camillia Japonica beautiful?
I do believe they would be quite stunning in a Fall bouquet.
Next week I will share more of the Camillia's from my garden.
It is definitely Camillia season in Portland.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Come Sit a Spell

The sun is showing promise of shining soon.
My heart yearns to sit in the sun and chat with you.
Come along and join me here.
We can share a pot of a special tea.
Share a bit of laughter and tears.
Our hearts will be lighter for the sharing.
Oh how special to have you in my life to share while sitting right here.
Do tell me what tea should we drink?
What stories do we share?
Listen closely to the whispers of the heart.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tasty Treat for Tea


A few days ago I was sitting in an office waiting.
Picking up a Martha Stewart magazine
and I found recipes for simple treats.
One particularly caught my eye.
It was for a date spread to put on gingersnap cookies.
The recipe called for coffee, but I decided to try it with tea.
It turned out quite delicious.
I think it would be a lovely spread on toast or scones.
If you make ginger flavored pancakes it would be yummy on them too.
It was quite good spread on a piece of pound cake.

Here is the recipe:

Take a hand full of dates, pit and chop
(I had about a cup)
Put in a small bowl and soak  for 15 minutes covered with a nice dark tea.
I used a combination of English Breakfast and  Lapsang Souchong, which is a smoky tea
Puree in Cuisanart.
I removed some of the liquid when I put in the Cuisanart.
Sandwich between two gingersnaps and ENJOY.
OK, I did sandwich between the two cookies and when I ate it squished down the front of me.
I would suggest open face or in something not so rigid.

The combination of dates, tea, and ginger was quite good.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kindly Tea Plant

"What part of confidante has that poor teapot played ever since the kindly plant was introduced among us. Why myriads of women have cried over it, to be sure!...Nature meant very kindly...when she made the tea plant; and with a little thought, what series of pictures and groups the fancy may conjure up and assemble round the teapot and cup."
William Makepeace Thackeray
Happy weekend, dear friends! Take time for a special cup of tea.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The wish tree
The Lan Su Chinese Gardens has a wish tree for the Chinese New Year.

If wishes would come true what would you wish for?

I would wish for:
Tolerance among all mankind.
Health for those that hurt and need healing.
Laughter in the heart of each soul on earth.
And sparkles on the toes.

Dance was added because we all need to feel like
dancing with the exuberance of JOY, Love, and Peace in our hearts.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Red Lanterns

As part of the Chinese New Year's celebration the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland, Oregon
hangs red lanterns throughout the gardens.
On a particularly sunshiny day this week I walked through the gardens.
The red lanterns enchant me and delight me.
Checking with Wikipedia I was curious what the lanterns represented.
"The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting a new one,
which they will let go of the next year."
Do you face each new year with a letting go of the old and starting with a new you?
Is this why we so often have resolutions at new years?
If you make resolutions, are you still sticking to them?
Wishing you all a Happy Chinese New Year this month of celebrating.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Recently I shared this photo straight out of my camera.
I have been playing lately in Photoshop Element.
This photo has been altered.
Can you tell how?
First I put my favorite quote for tea on the picture,
but then I took a picture of ice crystals from my window 
and placed on top oh so softly.
What fun!
I think I will play some more,
so don't be surprised if I show more photos
from time to time that have been altered.
It does make my heart sing to play and be creative.
What makes your heart sing today?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Touches of Red

If you were to ask me what colors decorate my home, I wouldn't say red.
However, when I look around my house there are touches of red.
With the celebrating of Valentine's yesterday, I definitely started noticing the red.
In looking yesterday I saw:
Red Hat Ladies
Red tablecloths
Red clothes everywhere
Red hearts
Red dishes
Red candy
Red heart shaped boxes
Red balloons
I even saw Elvis, oops I don't think he was red.

Red just makes me feel happy.
Is there a color that makes you feel happy?

Happy weekend
I hope you are surrounded by colors of the rainbow.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the Air

Happy Valentine's Day

My red chocolate box is filled with love and chocolates again.
Some extra morning sleep was my blessing.
Now time for tea in the sweet birdie teapot.
Off soon to lunch with my sweet aunt.
Yes, the aunt that love chocolates.
So chocolates will be part of the day,
and always searching for flowers.

How will you celebrate the day?
Chocolates and flowers?
A special tea?
A special love?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Elusive Fairy

Searching for the elusive fairy
I found such pure delights
In the sunshine singing there
Where the dawning of Spring
Flowers blooming
Would fit a fairy true
Skirts twirling and embellishment for the hair
Tucked under moss and mushrooms
Are they hiding, but where
Yes, the elusive fairy is dancing here

Photos take in the sunshine of a recent winter day in the Portland Japanese Gardens.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Light Magic

Light Magic
In the Search
It Danced for Me

Monday, February 11, 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Everyday Blessings


“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
          My common, everyday blessing today is just noticing the beauty around me.        For the lovers of teapot china, the teapot was a gift in 1995 by my husband from      Victoria Magazine, Welbeck - Royal Winton.
What are you noticing today? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tea at Steven Smith Teamaker

Steven Smith Teamaker - #8 Mao Feng Shui
A full leaf Green tea

A few days ago I had some time to stop by the teashop
of Steven Smith Teamaker.
Walking into the shop someone packaging Mao Feng Shui, green tea,
waved to me from behind a window.
It did catch my attention, so I took a look.
Behind the window they were making teabags of this lovely tea.
I know alot is said now for the health benefits of drinking green tea,
but I usually don't drink green tea.  I decided to give it a try.
It was quite delightful.
The packaging says it is "a slightly sweet,
vegetative taste and aroma with a lingering fresh aftertaste".
I found it more sweet than vegetative.
If you would like to try a very nice green tea, I can highly recommend this one.
I just want to say too, isn't the packaging just beautiful?
I love it when a company takes the attention to the details of packaging and also have a lovely product.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Special Spring Bulb

Can you tell I am thinking of Spring?
I can't help it, every year it is the same.
Spring flowers just sit in my heart and bring such JOY.
As you will see in the top right picture,
this is an unusual bulb sitting in the dish.
It is called a "crab" bulb.
It can develop from a regular bulb.

The bulb is blooming right now and
it has the scent of Spring time in my house.
With the light coming in the window
it is very happy to smile for me and I smile in return.

What is making you smile today?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Magical Signs of Spring

One of the most tragic things I know
about human nature is that all of us
tend to put off living.
We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden
over the horizon, instead of enjoying
the roses blooming outside our windows today."
~ Dale Carnegie ~
Only one bedraggled rose blooming outside my window today.
The One Word photo yesterday and the crocus above is what I found when I went searching in my yard this past weekend.  The daphne in the top right corner is just about ready to open it's sweet faces too.  This time of year is always so delightful to go on the search and to notice what is just outside my window.  
Finding yellow crocus blooming is indeed magical! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Bowl of Sunshine

A bowl of sunshine, yes it is.
In winter we find sunshine wherever we can.
Picture the sunshine that made these beauties grow.
Set them on your table and just savor the color,
the SHINE, and the flavor they share with you.
Where are you finding sunshine today?
May the sun shine on you this weekend.
Best of All, SHINE!