Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 My Word

Jumping right, savoring the day after Christmas with 
a feeling of peace and quiet.

As you know if you have been following me awhile, 
I have a new word for the new year.
A word I embrace instead of resolutions.
For 2014 it was "Laugh".
Now that might sound like a strange word to choose,
but I realized I just don't laugh much.
I might smile, but not a full out laugh.
Laughter is good for the soul and for health,
so I chose Laugh.
It was a hard word for me because it just made
it more clear I don't laugh much.
I looked for laughter, but often it was illusive.
I will hold onto it longer and continue the search for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, I have chosen a new word to put in the pack.
The little mouse above is seth, the traveling mouse, and
he carries my words in his pack.
A new word is tucked there now for 2015,
the word is "Grateful".

"Here's the gift of gratitude: In order to feel it, your ego has to take a backseat. What shows up in its place is greater compassion and understanding. Instead of being frustrated, you choose appreciation. And the more grateful you become, the more you have to be grateful for." Oprah Winfrey

Do you choose a word for the year?
I find it very good for my soul.

I may not be around much next week; so wishing you a blessed end to your 2014 and a wonderful new 2015!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Feet Up

Feet up, Time to sip my tea and just enjoy the day!
I wish for you just a day such as this.
Enjoy a cup of tea and something special just for you.
Savor each moment.
Listen to the music and laughter.
Merry Christmas to you, my dear friends!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


First Coming

by Madeleine L’Engle

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine.

He did not wait till hearts were pure.
In joy he came to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Tree Wishes

Wishing you all a very special, precious memory filled Christmas!
My packages are wrapped.
Cookies still to bake.
A cup of tea is waiting.
But, first life is calling!
A little boy to hug.
He and I will share tea.
Husband recovering from surgery.
A surgery lurching nearby for me.
It is all part of life.
We do our best.
We celebrate the season with JOY!
And each moment I notice what I notice,
the little things of Delight.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday's Quotes

Christmas is a season
for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall,
the genial flame of charity in the heart.
~Washington Irving

My cup overflows with the Magic of Christmas.
The house is beginning to smell of cinnamon and cloves.
Decorations have made an appearance.
There is an anticipation in the air.
Gifts to wrap.
Cards to read.
Music dances in my heart.
The lights of the season delight my soul.

May you feel the magic of Christmas each and every day.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Sing a Joyful Noise!

The children came as Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, and wisemen,
but the little ones as animals delighted my heart.
They did their own thing with a smile on their face.
It is the spirit of Christmas,
the children's delights
at the awesomeness
of singing
just telling the story.
The songs they did sing,
What Child is This?
and rocked the house with
Children, Go Where I Send Thee,
ending with Oh Holy Night.
How the faces smiled
and delighted in 
the spirit of Christmas.

Find the delight and savor the smiles
of children at Christmas
and a story well said.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lily and Me

Lily has given me permission to share her college application essay with you.  Thanks, Lily!
The photo is of Lily and me having our first tea time together when Lily was four.

Christmas Traditions

Tea.  Not very synonymous with young children, which probably explains why I was throwing a fit under the table. It was one of those moments when mortified parents just want to melt into the floor rather than discipline their child in public. It just so happened that we were in a fancy tea room, the Heathman, and it just so happened that it was the Christmas holidays. My parents were trying to start one of those family traditions that lasts throughout the years and it seemed like the Heathman just was not a great option at that time. Fortunately for us my mom had a friend, Marilyn, who adored the art of tea parties and all of the wonderful times that go with them. The very next year they planned one of these affairs and it went over much more smoothly than the first time around. I don't specifically remember the happenings of my first Christmas tea party with Marilyn or much of what would eventually create much of the foundation for traditions in the years to come. 

Every year since that fatal year at the Heathman, my close family has joined together at Marilyn's house at Christmastime and shared our year's progress. As my taste for tea has grown so has my appreciation for these family gatherings and the meaningful conversations that have come out of them. Now not only do I look forward to the little sandwiches and the artfully decorated cookies; but also the loud, and not always obnoxious, laugh of my uncle and the warm embrace of my grandma. Those moments of laughter and togetherness are not easy to forget and often remind me how much a family tradition can grow from something small to an annual event that brings such joy and community. Through each passing year my mom has kept a photo journal of pictures that show how my family has changed. From the progressive aging of my brother and I, to the lack of my grandfather who passed away when I was four. Although my family has changed and evolved we have stayed together through this tradition and recognize that change is not always such a bad thing.

Like that very first time at the Heathman all traditions come to a close at some point, and these tea parties are no different. Regretfully we have decided that this year will be our last official tea party with me heading off to college next year.   Although I will miss the time spent in that little North Portland home, I know that with the end of one tradition there will be an opportunity for growth. During times of change in life there is always room for nostalgia and reminiscence, but also that possibility that you will stumble upon something truly wonderful.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lily's Christmas Tea

Lily and her family started having tea with me each Christmas
when she was 4 years old.
This year Lily is 17.
What an adventure it has been to see Lily walk in my door
each year and grow into a beautiful young woman.
This year was our final tea as Lily will be off to college
and I am getting older.
The memories of each tea are precious.
They each were a themed tea from Give a Mouse a Cookie, the first year,
to this years theme, Christmas in the Village.
The menu had many repeats from previous years.
The egg salad and chopped olive sandwiches were always favorites.
Caramelized onion with roast beef and a touch of horseradish.
A new one had to be added with herbed ricotta on toasted
wontons plus red pepper and basil.
Coronation chicken was in sandwich form before,
but this time in fillo baskets.
Of course cucumber had to show up somewhere,
it formed the basket handles.
Tea time wouldn't be complete without tea.
 There was a special Alishan Black tea with the savories
and Celestial Seasons Candy Cane Lane with the sweets.
The sweets were Battenburg Cake, cheesecake with raspberry sauce,
pecan pie bars.
For take home there was a sugar cookie, candy cane, and bag of tea
for a later tea break.
Each year Lily and I posed for our annual picture
and I wished her well for another year.
Thanks to Lily and her family for the precious memories.
Tea time will never be the same at Christmas,
but I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

PS The words I wrote on Friday's post were for this Lily.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday's Quotes

“There's more, much more, to Christmas than candlelight and cheer;
 It's the spirit of sweet Friendship that brightens all year.
 It's thoughtfulness and kindness, It's hope reborn again, 
For peace, for understanding, And for goodwill to men!”
~ Calvin Coolidge

Friday, December 12, 2014

Preparation are Made


 Preparations are made.
The teapots await.
The flower has bloomed
and is ready to fly.
Well wishes will be shared.
Hugs will be there.
For tea times of the past
and a bright future at last.
Fly to the sky and capture the stars.
For you deserve all of that.
Then when day is done
sip on your tea and float on the clouds.
Dance in the twilight and remember
my well wishes are there.

Fly with the birds and capture the stars.

Love, Marilyn

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas!

All I can say is that is beginning to look like
Christmas in my home.
Savor the delights of the season wherever you go.
Find reasons to Smile!
Dance in the twilight with music in your heart!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Littlest Finds a Tree

 Awww, Yes!  A puddle is fun when walking through the tree farm.
Daddy and the little one certainly are on a mission.
 The little one was bound to find just the right Christmas tree here.
 But it's muddy!
Maybe I will walk on "poppops" feet.
Do you remember doing just this thing when you were little?
 And there were cookies and hot chocolate too!
Christmas is everywhere we look.
For a two year old this delights the eyes and enchants.

Are you finding enchantment and delights for the eyes this season?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tea at The Heathman

The tea court at The Heathman was full of twinkling lights that just danced before us.
Afternoon tea was served to a room full of Christmas JOY.
Ladies enjoying the company of a friend, chatting, or just savoring tea time.
The three tiered server was a delight to the eyes.
Savories and Sandwiches are always my favorite part of Afternoon Tea.
There was Crevette Salad Profiteroles, Duck Rillettes, Goat Cheese Crostini,
Classic Cucumber Sandwich, and Sun-Dried Tomato Deviled Egg.
No tea time is complete without a scone with cream and jam.
Sweets were a Spice Cake, Chocolate Feuilletine, Machu Picchu Chocolate Mousse,
Lemon Tart, Devil's Food Chocolate Tea Cupcake, and Freshly Made Marshmallow.
Tea sipped was a Darjeeling unfiltered.
It held up it's flavor until the bottom of the pot.
A treat for the season for sure.
A respite of tea time and a time to hold the spirit of Christmas close to the heart.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday's Quotes

Christmas is a spirit that flows from one heart to another. 
It is more precious than rubies and better than gold.
~Agnes M. Pharo ("What Is Christmas") 

A peek of my Christmas home
with family surrounding me here.
It is indeed "more precious than rubies
and better than gold."

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas Train time

 There was a Christmas steam engine train just today.
Yes, it was waiting for little girls and boys to board.
 They were delighted in the ride.
 A candy cane from Santa.

Grandson D thought the candy cane was an umbrella,
as he had not been introduced to this delight of Christmas.
He tried to hold it over his head, 
but it just didn't keep the rain off his head.
Soon he figured it out.

On a side note:
The sweater he is wearing is very precious to me.
Many years ago I visited New Zealand, in fact when D's mommy was in first grade.
There I met a woolcraft artist that was featured at the National Woolcraft Festival.
Her name was Errol Amberger.
We developed a friendship through the mail and she wanted to spin and knit
sweaters for my children.  She asked for their measurement and I sent them in inches.
Needless to say they didn't fit my children as she worked in meters;
 so I told her I would save them for my grandchildren.
 Each year at Christmas she would write and ask if there were any
grandchildren and I would say no not this year.
Errol passed away a few years ago and doesn't know, but I had to share with
you here.  Today was the day a grandchild wore her gorgeous sweater.
Yes, we kept it clean, I watched very carefully.
Seeing D in this sweater today brought tears to my eyes for a dear friend's memory
and her special gift.