Friday, January 31, 2014

Today in the Garden

 Crocus in the lawn.
By Valentine's they will be fully blooming,
a large heart in the front of our house.
Ana Hummingbird from my breakfast window.
There are two that have kept a regular schedule at the feeder this Winter.
 Hellebores under the big tree.
Star Magnolia buds hanging by the Garden House.

My garden today is beginning to bloom.
Though the weather is drippy,
they can't wait a minute longer.
Sadly for many of you the wait will be long.
So today I share the blooms in my garden,
the signs of HOPE and new life to come.

I hope you are warm and dreaming sweet dreams.
Happy weekend to each of you.
My recommendation for Winter survival is to:
1) Fill your heart with dreams of flowers.
2) Head to the market and find an inexpensive bouquet.
Even if you don't buy, just stand in the flower department and smile.
3) Savor each hug.
4) Sit by the fire.
5) Make a lovely cup of warm tea.
6) Dance in the Kitchen.

What would you add to the list?
What keeps your heart happy in the darkness of Winter?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sadness Resides Here Today

When viewing this on occasion it feels like it is to the ends of the earth.
The clouds wrap around us and tuck us in just so.
There is nothing to be seen just beyond the trees.
We wrap most tightly in a quilt and a hug.
We sit by the window and sip our tea.
Will the earth return another day?
Where has it gone?
Our hearts are heavy.
Comfort is here.
Love too!

This post has sadness, that is for sure.
As our dear Carrie, my sister-in-laws step daughter,
died recently of complications from pneumonia and virus.
Our hearts are indeed heavy with sadness for her friends and family.
This view is from her father's home, a view Carrie enjoyed when visiting.
I am sending hugs today for comfort, love wrapped in hugs, tears, and
just a quiet time spent with this view and someone special by their side to hold a hand.
Sometimes that is all we can do when sadness crosses our path.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tea with Grandpa

In my dreams I am sitting here having tea with grandpa.
After all, this is his cup of tea.
He sipped tea from this very cup on days long ago.
I can remember times as a little girl when he asked me to pass the "jedi", jelly for his toast.
Or he scooped up a small tub of honey and wax from the hive
and we enjoyed it with our dinner biscuits.
Yes, in so many ways I have tea with grandpa.
He loved road trips in his Pontiac and sometimes when
I am driving down the road I feel his presence in my car.
Yes, we are going to tea grandpa.
Would you like 2 lumps of sugar, "jedi", or some honey in your tea?

How about you?
Do you sweeten your tea?
The tea in the cup today is called Paris and it is sweetened with lavender buds.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Age speaks of wisdom
Youth dances in the sunshine
Vitality shines

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday's Quotes

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
~Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) 

Friday, January 24, 2014

This and That

A little of this and a little of that.

I saw the first plum blossom this morning on some branches we have in water pruned from our plum tree.
The daffodils and crocus are continuing to show above ground.
A few camellia pink blossoms have begun to appear.
The daphne is budding.
The first tiny bits of life are appearing on the Japanese maple tree.
And I have found that sipping teas is truly a delight.
Yes, you my dear friends are a delight, but I can only have one who will
receive a tea sample from me.
The winner is:  Sandi@Rose Chintz Cottage
Congratulations Sandi!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Tea Time

 Come sit awhile.
 It's tea time here.
Winter tea time is the best time for sitting by the fire with a friend.
Won't you join me? Oh, I would love to sit here with you.
There are chicken curry croissants, cucumber sandwiches,
thumbprint cookies with lavender jelly, and French macarons
of roses and fleur de sel.
The tea today is Teavivre's Yun Nan Dion Hong, golden tip black tea.
The tea service is Noritake M, made in Japan, a soft creamy yellow.
Come join me for tea by my fire.

If you would like a sample of the tea, please leave a comment today,
and I will draw a name and announce it tomorrow morning.
If you are leaving a comment, make sure there is a link to your blog
or a way to contact you.
PS - I will be away from my computer for awhile today, so if you
don't see your post right away please don't worry.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tea Tasting - Teavivre

Tea tastings have been taking place here in my kitchen.
Teavivre recently contacted me and asked if I would like to sample their tea.
After looking at their website,, I said I very much
would love to taste some samples.
They generously sent samples of the following:
Ali Shan Oolong -  this tea had a lovely, soft floral mouth feel
and brought back memories of my visit to Ali Shan. I steeped
it my typical 4 minutes, which was way too long.  A shorter
steep made for a delightful cup of tea.
Dong Ding Oolong - The fragrance divine, the flavor a bit on the green
side of oolongs, I would recommend a short steep time for best results.
Long Jing Green - This organic green tea was my biggest surprise.
Since I don't often sip green teas I wasn't expecting it to delight.
The flavor had a sweetness very much unexpected and not at all grassy.
A very good green and organic tea.
Golden Monkey - Teavivre recommended steeping this tea at 194, which
in my taste is abit cool for a black tea.  However, with this temperature
I found a winey first fragrance and spice notes in the after taste.  With
a new pot of tea at boiling the flavors were not as pronounced.  Fascinating!
Yun Nan Dian Hong, black full leaf - smelled wonderful, nice long needles.
Steeping at 200 for 4 minutes I found it to be smooth and fresh mouth feel.
A second teapot at boiling temperature was still good, but the slightly
cooler temperature definitely brought out more flavor and delight.
Wow!  I am learning black teas maybe don't need to be steeped in
a full boiling pot of water.
This tea just was mentioned by Fox News as one of the top 10 teas to drink.
Yun Nan Dian Hong, golden tip - A lighter Dian Hong with a nice smooth flavor.
I did find, though I usually like golden tip more, that I really enjoyed the full
flavor of the black full leaf Dian Hong more than the golden tip.
It just had a more complex flavor on the black full leaf.

I really learned from these tastings that temperature of the water can make a huge difference.
Thanks Teavivre, it was fun and I would definitely recommend your tea company to my readers.

Teapot in photo is sitting in a museum near the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Time, Another Place

Walking nearby I felt like I had stepped back in time.
Do you ever do that?
Maybe when visiting a historic sight.
Can you imagine for a few moments that you are in that time
and not the present?
This was taken in Aurora Colony, Oregon, a historic village once settled by
a religious group looking for a place to call their own, a place to live communally.
There are other places in the country that have been preserved for others
to walk and imagine.
Places such as Sturbridge Village, Williamsburg, Conner Prairie,
I have visited these.
Are there places you have explored?
Do you enjoy imagining for awhile that you lived during that time in history?
Where have you visited?
How did it make you feel?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday's Quotes

I pluck the petals that are wet with dew, 
and drink my solitary cup in quiet.  
When it is empty, pour myself another, 
The Sun goes down and all of nature rests. 
~ T'ao Ch'ien, China 400CE)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Change in Direction

Do you ever find yourself traveling down the road
in your ordinary way and suddenly change direction?
Recently that is actually what I did.
Driving down the road, pulling off the freeway, instead of turning left
I turned right and headed back out of town.
It was a foggy day, a day that intrigued me.
I stopped along the way and watched the fields engulfed in fog.
It was a quiet day. The moment just grabbed me and said, take notice.
A tree was there to enchant me, standing as a sentinel in the morning light.
The grey day took on it's own beauty and I sat in JOY.
I surrendered to the PEACE.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Is is Time for Tea?

As you can see we have a disgruntled Joey,
but a happy bear.
Is it time for tea yet?
Of course it is always time for tea in my book.
When do you most like to have a cup of tea?
In the morning with my breakfast is my #1 favorite time.
Then mid afternoon a simple mug of something special
often joins me for a quiet break in the day.
So is it time for tea?

What is in your cup today?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Making


I love being crafty from time to time.
It is what makes my creative juices flow.
Last year I thought I needed to focus on getting some old projects done;
so I didn't take a class or initiate any new project.
My heart was sad for doing so.
So to start the new year off, I took a coptic bookbinding class.
Oh what fun!
Just the act of creating made my heart sing.
Now wondering what will go in this new little book.
Maybe sketches of trees?

Do you find your heart sings when you are creative?
It may be in the kitchen, a craft, sewing, or taking a picture.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Out of Darkness

Out of the darkness of winter
I am well again
I am searching for Spring again
and what did I see?
Daffodils beginning to
push through the ground,
Crocus too!
Each year this just makes my heart sing,
to see new growth coming up from
something so dark.

Are you finding delight in the darkness of winter?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday's Quotes

What good is the warmth of summer,
without the cold of winter
to give it sweetness.
~John Steinbeck

Friday, January 10, 2014

Broken Dreams or Delight

Broken dreams laying there
or was it the remnant of delight?
As I spotted this one lost bloom
my mind wondered which it was.
A flower on the sand,
foot steps nearby.
Sadness or elation?
What stories does it tell?
Do you wonder when you see a flower laying there?
Tell me true, what stories does it tell?

Notice what you notice and let your mind imagine.

Happy Weekend, dear friends!
Enjoy imagining!
Be well!
I will be laying low and healing after a bout with the flu.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Love in Plain View

When I snapped this photo earlier in the fall I loved it,
but didn't realize what I shot until looking at it this week.
Can you see the heart sitting there?
It is sitting in plain view and I missed it.

Do we sometimes miss the love nearby,
the love shining in someone eyes?
Are we so busy, we don't see what is sitting right in front of us?
Do we walk around with blinders on our eyes?

This is a wake up call for me and for you.
Get enough rest for sure!
Notice what is right there in plain view.
Take in the love and let it shine through our eyes
and in the way we live each day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A New Year with Warm Woolies

Begin each new day with anticipation
and excitement,
as if it is the first day
of the new year.

I have been fascinated by trees lately and plan
to sketch or take pictures of a few trees this year.
Isn't this shape beautiful?
Take time to notice trees,
they will delight.
Can you tell what the clumps of white are to the right
of the tree?  They were the most wooly sheep
I think I have ever seen.
Keeping warm on a cold winters day.

Hope you are all keeping warm, tucked inside
with your warm woolies on.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday's Quotes

In the midst of winter,
I found there was,
within me,
an invincible summer.
~Albert Camus

Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter of my Delight

Wind ~ branches wave at me and reach for the sky
Rain ~ turns the grass green in the Spring
Snow ~ hushes the earth and beautifies
Cold ~ wrapped in warm wooly mittens and scarves
Fire ~ warmth and glow to sip tea by
Dark ~ light the candles and savor the glow
Delight ~ small pleasures each day to notice and find JOY

My tree you have seen before was shedding it's leaves in autumn.
Now it is bare, it is resting, it is swaying in the breeze.
Let's savor this time of rest and anticipate new growth in the spring.

I am learning to rejoice in Winter.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 My Quiet First Tea

The candle is lit, the tea is poured.

Breakfast is on the plate.

Early on January 1, 2014 I sipped my first cup of tea,
a private celebration.
A perfect way to face a new year and reminisce
and give thought to the new year.
In my cup was Risheehat Wiry Musk, second flush, Darjeeling.
On my plate were freshly baked scones with
orange marmalade, dates, and dried apricots.
The morning was dark, a foggy morning, and the house was very quiet.
As the sun rose on the new day and year, I felt a peace wash over me.

Do you take time for these quiet moments?
I hope so, as they are so precious and so healing.
Enjoy the early morning hours with a special cup of tea.
Time to pray, time to sing, and time to dream.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014

Welcome 2014
May this year be full of smooth sailing
Good health abound
Laughter in abundance
Opportunities to explore
Delight in all that surrounds you
Dancing down new avenues
A kitty to cuddle
A song to sing
Sunshine to brighten your days
with a few rainbows to make you smile 
Delicious teas to drink
Opportunities to be creative
Flowers and Nature to shine in your eyes

This is what I wish for 2014
for me and for you!
Happy New Year to you, dear friends!