Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tea Party Whimsy

 Have you ever had a tea party in the snow?
Last week in The Oregonian newspaper one of my favorite comics
featured a "tee pahrtee".
I must agree, it would be too cold; but it is fun to play with tea things in the snow.
There is a stillness
Snow blankets us in white fluff
We are warmed by tea
~haiku by me

Just enjoy your surrounding whether the sun is blazing hot
or you are covered in a blanket of snow.
Weather determines whether it be cold or hot tea to delight us.
Always just ENJOY!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Walk with Me - grandson

 Recently I invited a 4 year old photographer, my grandson, to come on a walk with me.
The only instructions were to take pictures of things you liked or you noticed.
As you see, the first two photos he embellished.

 For me I was taking picture over the fence, but from his perspective
he took through the fence.
The first 6 photos are his and only his from his perspective
and his child's digital camera.
I love how the one right below turned out.
 It was a cloudy day, but perfect for a walk.
 Now the last three are mine and I just couldn't help capturing
my photographer walking along the Willamette River in downtown Portland.
He was looking and snapping away.

 We found this fish in the sidewalk and he wanted his new shoes in the picture.
What fun to walk with another photographer and see how they
view our surroundings.

Are you walking?
Find another photographer and take a walk on the wild side.

Friday, January 27, 2017

New Growth with Kindness

 Can you see them?
There is new growth in the garden.
Daffodils will soon abound and delight.
 How did they know to come out and shine.
So recently there was a foot of snow covering them in a blanket of white.
Yet, here is pink hellebore in the garden to delight.
 Grape hyacinths peeking through the Autumn leaves.
 Crocus too!

Are you listening and noticing this time of new beginnings?
Do you sit in silence and send prayers and love to those around you?
How are we growing under a blanket so dark?
Surround yourself with those you love,
send prayers to your country and neighbors and friends,
share with others even if it is a kind word or a meal,
send glimmers of sunshine with a bouquet of flowers
or a cup of tea.
What other ways can I add to this list?
Simple things can change someone's world.

Let our lights shine with kindness and delight.
HAPPY WEEKEND, dear friends!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Each of us has a Story to Tell - A Bit Long

This week I watched a Japanese movie on Netflix called Sweet Bean.
If you haven't seen it and like foreign films, it is worth watching.
A quote from the movie:
"I believe that everything in this world has a story to tell.
We try to live our lives beyond reproach but sometimes we are
crushed by the ignorance of the world.
We are trying to tell you a story!"
This hit me right in my heart, as my word for this year is STORY.

I often don't tell my story.
You know I am a tea lady.
You know I love the outdoors, flowers, and gardens.

But you don't know and sometimes my own family doesn't know
because I don't often share the negative side of me or my story:
1. At two years old my mother, my unborn sister, and I were deserted by my father.
He didn't pay child support.   My grandfather took us into his home for awhile.
2. We were on welfare for several years until my mother was able 
to be trained to do office work.
3. We ate moldy food donated by government surplus.
4. At one time our refrigerator door fell off and we had to prop it up with a chair
until someone gave us another used refrigerator.
5. Our power was about to be turned off because we couldn't pay for the power
bill, but someone in our church paid the bill and said to pay it forward,
which we did.
6. A Christmas tree lot person gave me the best tree on the lot because they knew
I was paying with my babysitting money.
7. We were ridiculed because we didn't look poor when a family thought they
were visiting a poor family at Christmas to bring gifts.
My mother believed in keeping a spotless home and though we had few clothes (all
hand me downs) they were kept clean too.
8. We lived in a one bedroom tiny house and so my mom didn't have a bedroom.
9. When my mom got down, we stopped to have a cup of tea with pinkie's up.
10. My mom's family called her the "stupid one".
11. At the age of 12 I started buying my own clothes or making them
with my babysitting money.
12. We didn't have a television or a car, until at the age of 17 a family
in our church gave us an old car and taught my mother how to drive.
After that I was able to learn too.
Until then we walked, took public transportation, rode my bike and depended
on others to drive us.  The bike I bought at a junk store and spray painted.
13. At 40 years old I was finally able to get a college degree and
make a decent income, for this I am very proud.
So tell me your story, for now you know many of mine.
Today I feel like a privileged woman with a story to tell,
a story of growth, learning, and growing in the knowledge
that I was most loved by my family and friends.
For that I am a lucky lady.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dance with the Fairies

 To dance with the fairies,
 you must have a garland of roses for your hair.
To dance with the fairies,
you must surround yourself with twinkles and glitter.
To dance with the fairies,
put your dancing shoes on.
Wear your pink tutu.
Sing with delight.
Laugh out loud.
Oh yes, to dance with the fairies
is our JOY and DELIGHT.

Do you have these dreams to dance with the fairies?
I do.  I would dance in the dampness and spongy ground in the woods.
Lift my voice in sweet words and tunes.
Twirl in my tutu with my ballet slippers on my toes.
Yes, my heart would be full of JOY and DELIGHT.

Isn't this the perfect place to dance with the fairies?
My garland of roses and my pink tutu are ready.
Do you want to come along?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Taste of Spring

Are we ready for Spring yet?
I am beginning to see signs in the garden.
For today I needed a taste of Spring.
In my cup was Grand Pouchong Imperial from Mariage Freres in Paris, France.
Delicious, Springtime in a cup.
A cup that tasted of the fresh flowers blooming in Springtime.
The scent was intoxicating!
If you are craving a taste of Spring look for Baozhong or Oriental Beauty Oolongs
from your favorite tea purveyor.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Walk with Me - Warning Political

 Delights of the Heart is about being positive
and noticing the small JOY's of life.
If this offends you, I am sorry;
but for me this was a positive, life affirming walk.
 How else can I see it, for I was given the opportunity to walk
for the rights for all women around the world.
We came from every walk of life and gathered in peaceful 
demonstration for what we believe in.
 The day was rainy, but still close to 100,000 gathered
in Portland, Oregon to voice peacefully and with love.

And yes, some of us wore pink hats to make a point
and carried signs.
My sign came from the poem I quoted here not to long ago,
I Rise.  On the other side it said Be the Light.
 Many stood under that bridge for over an hour waiting to start.
I was thankful to be able to stay dry during that time.
And then it began.
When we came out from under the bridge and looked up
it was amazing to see how many stood above us too.
I was so impressed by those that walked.
We were surrounded by love and only good will.
 They were everywhere.

 One of the sights I walked past in downtown Portland.
In the back ground you can see the throngs and
behind me were as many as in front of me.
 There were touches of pink everywhere you looked.
Men walked with their friends and partners.
Families and children walked.
Grandma's and grandpa's walked.
We all walked in one accord,
to make our world a better place.
And even this seal had something to say with his pink hat on.
Walking definitely takes us to different places
and many amazing sights.
Walking is part of my world now
and I will continue to walk.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Curiosity and the Cat

Setting up a photograph for the class I am taking, Joey was very curious.
It was flowers down where he could reach them.
He sniffed and ran,
the pictures were just a blur of cat fur.
I put one of his favorite toys up on the stool
and that caused him to pause long enough to snap a picture.
Oh the curiosity of a cat!
It will capture them in a pause.

Sometimes curiosity can capture us also in a pause,
a time of noticing what we notice and stopping for a moment
to take in our surroundings and enjoy that very second in time.
Do notice, do pause, and do savor and delight,
for this too shall pass.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Weakness for Flowers

Time for some JOY.

As a young girl, I loved flowers.
I am not sure where that love came from,
but I would pick bouquets of dandelions
because often that was what I could find in the garden.
Now dandelions are under rated for sure
and really quite wonderful you know;
especially when a little child brings a bouquet to someone special.

I just have never found a flower I don't like.
There was a time when I wasn't very impressed
with calla lily's and now I have a patch in my garden
and adore them.

Do you love flowers?

I must have flowers in my house at all times.
So above, the flowers in the pictures, is what is in my house right now.
I just couldn't resist photographing them as they just sing to my heart.
The pink ranunculus was in a full bouquet from the market.
It is the remaining bloom after more than two weeks.
The tulip is from the market just a week ago. 
And two vases are full of paperwhite bulbs since before Christmas.

Are there flowers in your indoor garden, even in your heart?
They just make a winter heart so happy and lighten the day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Icy Dark calls for Tea

January Night

Wind has buckled on his skates;
He is cutting figure eights.
Hear the swishing of his strides
As down he swoops and up he glides
Across the smooth and icy dark
Where his runners leave no mark.
Hear his huge and hearty laughter!
See his white scarf swirling after!
Wind has buckled on his skates;
He is cutting figure eights!

~Kitchen Sonnets, by Ethel Romig Fuller

Can you just image this ice skater with his white scarf flying, swirling in the wind?
Such imagery in just a few words.
There is an "icy dark" that surround us in the midst of winter. 
To tell you the truth, I am tired of it now.
It is beautiful for awhile, but then it can go away.
Today we are expecting a layer of ice added to our snow.
There is hope for tomorrow,
as it is suppose to begin warming.
Then there will be an abundance of water.

Are you tired of hearing me complain and share pictures of the white stuff?
I am!!!!

There is a pot of tea sitting here and I am sipping to sooth my soul.
In my cup is Steven Smith Teamaker's limited edition Wuyi Whiskey full leaf black tea.
It is a robust tea, just the thing called for on an icy day.
"A delicate, full leaf black tea smoked with pine needles, then scented
in a Westward Whisky barrel to impart oak, caramelized sugar and bright notes
of whiskey."    Normally I don't add a splash of milk, but this one I think is
made all the more special with the milk.  Quite perfect for the "icy dark".      

Monday, January 16, 2017

Walk with Me - A Snowy day in my Neighborhood

 This week's walk takes us through my neighborhood.
On Thursday my "live-in gardener" and I decided to walk to the market,
which is 12 city blocks from home.
 We spied a leaning snow man just down the street.
 Christmas still hanging in this tree.
 A cap on the fire hydrant.
 This pretty tree.
 A carriage waiting.
 There were chickens inside the hutch.
 A pretty house.
 And many treacherous trails along the sidewalks.
Thankful, YES, we stayed upright.
 A little welcoming birdhouse.
 Kennedy School had a snowman too.
 On the return trip we stopped at Kennedy School.
Now you might think by the name that it is a school.
Once upon a time it was an elementary school.
It sat shuttered and boarded up for some years and
then it was rescued and turned into a B&B,
restaurants (lanterns in the above picture are here), 
gift shop, and movie theater.
We love having it in the neighborhood.
 This is the outdoor seating,
which is lovely in the summer months.
So even on a winter's day, there is walking.
Feeling proud of myself for walking in the snow and ice.
I must keep walking.
Walk with me!