Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Come Down to the Sea

Come down to the sea
Wander with me
Sit a spell
Dip in your toes
Dance in the sunlight
Run from the waves
 Do we dive in embracing the day?
Surrounding ourselves with the foam of the wave
Walk along with me
See what you see
For no other day is like today
Savor and Delight in it

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tea Time at the Japanese Gardens

  On a lovely summer morning just recently
I walked toward the teahouse at the Japanese Gardens.
Approaching the house we were greeted with a refreshing
cup of tea and asked to wait here until the appointed time.
The teahouse waited in anticipation.
Prepared with each detail lovingly planned and graciously arranged.

Each flower and container chosen for significance to the occasion.

I am always struck by the precision of the Japanese tea ceremony.
The movements, each item in the teahouse is so treasured
and appreciated for it's beauty.
Stephanie wanted to honor her mother in a special tea ceremony,
but I also felt so honored by being a chosen guest.
It was a very special teatime in the Japanese Gardens teahouse.
What a treat!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Notes from the Garden

 The tea house

It is peaceful in the Japanese Gardens.
A time of meditation.
A time for quiet.
Listen closely to the twitter of the birds
and the trickle of water.
Delight in the day.

The gardens are located at Washington Park just up the hill from the Rose Gardens.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tea Time at the Coast

About once a year I find myself having tea at LaTeaDa in Tillamook, Oregon.
This week there was an adventure to the coast which included tea time.
Since I have shared the menu many times with you,
I am only sharing the three photos of the food which is always delicious.
I thought you might enjoy seeing the entrance,
glimpses of the gift shop, and a sneak peak into the kitchen.

The #1 question I get each time I visit, "Is it still for sale".
Yes, the tearoom is still on the market and looking for just the right person to buy it.
The #2 question I get is "Will they hand out the recipe for the sausage rolls".
Nope, but each time I get closer to figuring it out.
This time I saw it in the baking dish ready for the oven.
The rolls were sitting in the caramel sauce on the bottom,
so they must be baked in the caramel sauce and then turned out on
another dish to harden.

The only disappointment this time was that it took a full hour before
we were served and I assumed they must not had enough staff in the kitchen.

Other than that, it is always a delight to visit and have tea at LaTeaDa.
In my cup was a black peach tea, which went quite well with teatime at the coast.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Embracing Pink

Whether it is pink teacups or pink in nature,
Pink is endearing itself to me.

As a little girl we were told pink was for girls;
so of course my favorite color became yellow.

Just yesterday at the market check out
I had this discussion with the woman ringing up my purchases.
She also said blue was her favorite color because
of course we wouldn't pick pink.

My mother always looked so good in pink,
so then that was for the older generation too
and no way was I going to wear pink.

Funny how pink has gradually crept into my life.
It is very subtle, it just shows up.
So I am embracing pink into my life. 

How do you feel about pink?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pu-erh Tea, an Adventure in Learning

In the box is a brick of Palace Ripened Pu-erh 2007 from

When I first started exploring the world of tea a friend recommended
Pu-erh (Puer or Puerh) to me.  She suggested I buy little bird's nest or touchas
at a local Chinese herbal shop.  I was told it would help to lower my cholesterol.
Well I did start drinking it, but it felt like I was drinking dirt.
Gradually, because I told myself it was good for me, I acquired sort of a taste for dirt (it).

Then several years later I was invited to a tea tasting for Pu-erh
and my eyes were opened to the nuances and differences in a good Pu-erh
and I purchased my first bing (a solid, compressed round chunk of tea).
Yes, one Pu-erh does not mean they all taste the same.

Now I hear alot of talk about Pu-erh from tea friends, but for 
some reason I haven't captured much of what there is to learn about this tea,
except to know what tastes good and what doesn't.
The tea in this photo is a bing of 2004 boiled Pu-erh from McIntosh Tea.

What I know is:
A true Pu-erh comes from Yunnan Province of China
Pu-erh is often aged
There are Raw and Ripened Pu-erh's,
now this is where it gets muddy to me.
So this post is for me as much as for you, to help get it right.

"Pǔ'ěr tea processing, although straightforward, is complicated by the fact that the tea itself falls into two distinct categories: the "raw" Sheng Cha and the "ripe" Shu Chá. All types of pu-erh tea are created from máochá (), a mostly unoxidized green tea processed from a "large leaf" variety of Camellia sinensis (C. sinensis assamica) found in the mountains of southern Yunnan.
Maocha can be sold directly to market as loose leaf tea, compressed to produce "raw" Shēng Chá, naturally aged and matured for several years before being compressed to also produce "raw" Shēng Chá or undergo Wo Dui ripening for several months prior to being compressed to produce "ripe" Shu Chá. While unaged and unprocessed, Máochá pǔ'ěr is similar to green tea. Two subtle differences worth noting are that pǔ'ěr is not produced from the small-leaf Chinese varietal but the broad-leaf varietal mostly found in the southern Chinese provinces and India. The second is that pǔ'ěr leaves are picked as one bud and 3-4 leaves whilst green tea is picked as one bud and 1-2 leaves. This means that older leaves contribute to the qualities of pǔ'ěr tea.
Ripened or aged raw pǔ'ěr has occasionally been mistakenly categorized as a subcategory of black tea due to the dark red color of its leaves and liquor. However, pǔ'ěr in both its ripened and aged forms has undergone secondary oxidization and fermentation caused both by organisms growing in the tea and free-radical oxidation, thus making it a unique type of tea. This divergence in production style not only makes the flavor and texture of pu-erh tea different but also results in a rather different chemical makeup of the resulting brewed liquor."
Most often I steep my Pu-erh tea in a gaiwan such as this.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
I find the concept of Pu-erh to be intriguing in it's process
and aging dimensions.   Often I tell friends that love coffee
that this tea would be a rich, full bodied transition into tea.
I hope sometime you give it a try.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Notes from the Garden

Portland is known as the City of Roses.
Each Spring it delights my heart to see them begin to open
and fragrance the air.
Their beauty astounds me.
The colors sing to my soul.

These roses are from my garden this year.
I encourage you to go out and find a rose to sniff and enjoy.