Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday's Quotes

Seeing is believing,
but sometimes the most real things
in the world are the things we can't see.
~the Polar Express

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Time for Thanksgiving

This year my word has been GRATEFUL.
It seems that when I pick a certain word it becomes
more difficult to focus on it.
Sometimes being grateful is difficult,
but then it comes into focus as the year travels along.
This week I read that when we are grateful we begin
to realize that we have enough and that there is an
abundance of enough in our lives.

May your Thanksgiving be "enough" and 
full of love and gratefulness.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Fan of the Light

My heart remains heavy for those that have lost their lives
through violence around the world.
My Sunday newspaper had a commentary by Leonard Pitts Jr.,
I am a fan of his commentaries.
He was writing about the City of Light, Paris,
but his words are appropriate in our hearts and in the world.

"It isn't bullets and bombs these monsters fear the most,
hate the most, or that hurts them the most.
No, that which lurks in shadow despises light
-and well it should.  Light reveals bankrupt ideologies
for the failures they are.
Light draws people together.
Light gives courage.
And light give hope.
-- shine on."

This morning I watched a YouTube video of an interview with a little
boy and his father in Paris.  His father explained that we fight with flowers
and the light of candles instead of guns.  There is the light again.

May our light shine around the world. 
The light in the photo and one cookie for you and one for me,
we will share the beauty of the day.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday's Quotes

Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgiving,
turn routine jobs into JOY,
and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.
~William Arthur Ward

Saturday, November 21, 2015

All Shiny and Bright!

 Sugar plums dance in my head!

 There I am, at the Monticello Winter Event.
 How I love the sparkly and light (bright)!
We could have a cup of tea here.
Enjoy the music and of course the sparkly.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Hope this gets you into the mood,
it did me for sure just yesterday.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One Rescued Birdhouse

 In the morning light, a candle shines in the birdcage.
Most of the time I don't even notice this birdcage.
It hangs in my bathroom.
During the winter, dark months I often light a small candle inside.
It is a bit beat up, as you can see.
I rescued it from the trash many years ago
and it has traveled far.
Just this morning I took a look and decided it needs some
tender loving care.
Should I change the color,
maybe paint it white?
For sure it needs a bit of straightening. 
Maybe it needs more love and not just sit in my bathroom.
I do love this little rescued house.
What would you do with it?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Memory

What's your favorite Thanksgiving memory from childhood?

My favorite was gathering with all my cousins, aunts, and uncles at the
family apple ranch.  All the furniture would be pushed back to allow for
one long table set up the full width of the small house.
Most of the time my cousins and I would be outdoors playing,
after all it was California.
However, there were moments of running indoors to check out
the table.  Was the food out on the table yet.
We were so starving for all that good food.
The first thing that showed up were bowls of black olives.
For sure we would pop one on each finger when our aunts weren't looking.
Off we would run to nibble each finger with an olive.
I still remember one aunt shooing us outdoors when we got caught.
Still today I remember fondly, especially when I see the same instinct
with my grandson and olives on the fingers.

I would love to read of your fondest memory.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yep, That's Green!

Recently a tea friend from Assam, India sent some tea samples for me to try.
There were two green teas, one called Heritage Green and the other Heritage Mountain Green.
The first time I tried them I made my morning tea in my little teapot.
I like hot tea, so I made them at a hotter temperature than normally recommended for green teas.
I was not impressed and realized I needed to be more accurate the second time around.
Yesterday I made them side by side in mugs at 175 degrees.
Yep, they are definitely better when you make them the way they are intended to be made.
For green teas they had a smoothness that I enjoyed, just a touch of grassy and a nice full leaf.
Going into the tasting I expected to like the Heritage Mountain Green, 
just because I liked the name; but surprisingly I liked the Heritage Green just a little better.
To learn more about the Heritage Factory in Assam you can follow the link here:
assamheritage tea on Facebook, nice video on June 7th posting, or
It is fun to receive special teas straight from the source.
What a treat to enjoy with my new cup and a couple treats for afternoon tea.
Thanks!  Rajen Baruah

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday's Quotes - Paris and Around the World

The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.
~Dr. Seuss

Friday, November 13, 2015

Flowers in the House

Last year's Thanksgiving arrangement.
Just above and below are two I found in shops
when traveling in California last month.
My Halloween this year above on the table and below on the mantel.
Below was on a recent tea table.
A while back I found out about a project by BloomNation 
and was inspired to share my seasonal tablescapes. 
They are a flower delivery service that supports local florists
 through their online marketplace.

I do love flowers in the house on the table and throughout the house.
When there isn't a fresh flower in the house it makes me sad.
They just bring so much joy to my heart.
Updated mantel this week with the last of the flowers from the garden.
I am totally enjoying the chrysanthemums and hydrangeas together.
Do you enjoy flowers in your home all year long?
Happy weekend, dear friends!
May your days be flower filled.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Limited Edition

Recently Steven Smith Teamaker had a limited edition tea.
That means it is only for sale until the 400+ boxes of tea are sold out.
I was fascinated, since it also included a small jar of Huckleberry jam
in the box.  The tea they combined with the jam was a smokey tea,
much like a Russian Caravan.
The recommendation was to sweeten the brewed tea with a teaspoon of jam.
This is how if is often done in Russia and a fine tradition it is.
Since I am not a sweet tea person, I found it a bit too sweet for me;
however, I love the tea and the jam separately.

If you are a sweet tea person, how do you like to sweeten your tea?
Have you tried jam in the cup?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Little Eaglet finds a Friend

 Recently our little D, Poppop, and Mimi took an
adventure to OMSI, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
There is one particular room that little D particularly loves.
Can you tell why?
 Since he is the only "kid" in our family,
he loves searching out kid friends.
Are you my friend?
 Transforming into a little eaglet he climbed into the cave
where he spotted another eaglet sitting there.
 So into the nest they went.
They had giant acorns to nibble.
With so much fun they decided a shared nap in the nest would do.
Oh those little eaglets do have fun.
No words were spoken, only shared experiences would do.
Sleep well little eaglets.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An Unexpected Day

The invitation came as expected.
It comes each month, a time to sip tea with friends.
So Sunday's expectation was for an expected time of tea.

Walking into the room surprised me.
There were seventeen of us.
The atmosphere was full of love and well being,
plus anticipation.
There was a gentleness of spirit.
A time of quiet talk.
Tea time began with a time of quiet and remembering.
The spirit touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.
An unexpected time.
Yes, it was!

Do you sometimes find the unexpected in an expected time,
a time of anticipation?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday's Quotes

The sea once it casts its spell, 
holds on in its net of wonder forever.
~Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Friday, November 6, 2015

Fall Crunch!

 The hydrangeas have turned from blue to burgundy.
 Roses have formed hips.
 The Japanese maple soon will drop it's leaves.
 Blueberries are showing their color.
 Leaves are turning and falling.

There are two words for the season we are in, Fall and Autumn.
Each year when we arrive at this season I wonder why there are two words
when there is only one word for Spring, Summer, and Winter.
Wikipedia says they are interchangeable.
Autumn equinox is leading us to Winter,
but my own opinion says Fall is used to describe the falling leaves.
Oh the falling leaves are so beautiful.
Walking through the crunch makes me feel like a child again.
I can't wait to go walking today and hear that crunch,
see the colors, and delight in the coolness of the day.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Take Pause

Some days are just like this, a balancing act.
Jobs, relationships, feeding our tummies.
In hot water!
Take pause!
Feed your soul.
Sip a cup of tea.
Soak in bubbles.
Read a book.
Stare out the window or
go for a walk in the outdoors. 

This sculpture found on a street in Sebastopol, California.
Doesn't it look like she is running through a cup of hot water?
She looks a bit frazzled.
Do you feel like that some days?
Take a pause moment and smile.
You are strong, take JOY!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Passion Fruit Cheesecake Pie

Philadelphia Cream Cheesecake Pie

1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.
Add condensed milk and mix thoroughly.
Stir in lemon juice and vanilla.
Pour into crust. Chill 2 hours.
top with can of cherry pie filling, chilled,
or fresh raspberries, or the pulp, seeds, and juice 
from several passion fruit.

Years ago I made this occasionally with the canned pie filling,
but when a friend sent me some passion fruit I just had to make
this pie with the fruit.
Normally I would have made the crust from scratch, but
decided to try to pre-made graham crust.
It definitely saved time and mess in my kitchen.

Oh my!  This pie was delicious with the passion fruit.
Have you ever had such a treat?  Delicious!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Monday's Quotes

Time flies.
It's up to you to be the navigator.
~Robert Orben