Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Celebration of a Season of Change

This week we are celebrating a season of change with the vibrancy of Autumn colors.
Chrysanthemums pop up in the most unexpected places.
Pumpkins abound in all their glory.
 There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about
the annual cascade of autumn leaves.
~Joe L. Wheeler (as found in Victoria Magazine)
There is a change in the air.
The light changes in mysterious ways.
And we celebrate the autumn equinox
with a dance under the full moon.

"Dip the brush in bronze and chrome
Of goldenrod and rusty loam;
In purple, crimson, in the brown
Of sudden beechnuts thudding down."

from Colors for a Palette, Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller

Again I will be away for a few days and back next Monday.
If your comment doesn't show up for awhile it will eventually.
Have a delightful Autumn weekend, dear friends!
Enjoy some time walking outdoors and exploring.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

An Adventure, A Retreat

 This year there has been just short jaunts for travel;
so my heart was delighted and my soul refreshed as I spent a few days with good women friends
to adventure under this glorious mountain,
Mt. Adams in Washington State.
The Autumn leaves were just beginning to turn,
the sun was shining, and it was time for retreat.
 Now when I bought my "big girl" camera a friend asked me what pictures
I would take.
I said I would take pictures of Adirondack chairs by water.
Venturing out to the Trout Lake Abbey that is exactly what I found.
Of course, I needed my pictures taken right there in one of those chairs.
This symbolizes to me the utmost thought of retreat, rest, and meditation.
And even more when it is situated in beautiful surroundings.
 Fascinating to me was a place for Druid ceremonies on the grounds of a Buddhist Abbey.
The stones standing tall were for these events.
 The trails around the 23 acres included orchards, gardens, a pond,
beautiful plants, and alpacas.
 Peaceful surroundings were all around.

 What I was there for was the labyrinth.
Have you ever meditated by walking a labyrinth?
This was the most beautiful labyrinth that I had ever walked,
just perfect for meditation and reflection.
 What I found fascinating and added to the meditation was the scent of the plants
placed strategically as we walked along the path.
There were roses, lavender, and sage, plus hydrangea to just add beauty.

"Labyrinths have a history going back before the common era.
One can think of labyrinths as symbolic of pilgrimage, people can walk the path, 
moving toward a spiritual goal or enlightenment. In ancient days many people could 
not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel."
This labyrinth was created for eyes to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you,
and allow your heart to find a peaceful existence.
 For a little while my heart was quiet, my heart sang a happy song.

 Prayers were sent on their way.
 A retreat was there in the trees.
As the bells rang, I lifted my heart in JOY.
For a few hours I could release and sing.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

Adrift over the lake,
who can say where willow fuzz is heading,
or how my life came to resemble
this sudden burst of rain
falling wherever it falls
without once having to decide?

Even how many bowls 
of Silver Needles* I've sipped
watching all this unfold
through the teahouse window,
I couldn't begin to tell you.

The more the years accrue
the less knowing matters.
~Daniel Skach-Mills

*Silver Needles is the shape and color of some loose leaf teas

Could you imagine sipping tea made in this kettle out in a little cabin by a lake?
I love to make mind stories and imagine things such as this.
Happy Monday, dear friends!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Farewell Summer

 Being a water girl at heart, last March I wanted to have my birthday
party on the beach at the Columbia River.
The day was rainy, so the party was taken inside.
Yet the desire to sip tea by the river still sat in my heart.
 So yesterday two of my friends joined me for an early morning
(well 9AM is early for me) time sitting near the river sipping our morning tea
and nibbling on a freshly baked blueberry muffin.
It brought JOY to my heart to sit here with two special friends
and catch up on the news while watching the sun come from behind the clouds.
It was a salute to the end of summer and a welcome nod to Autumn,
which is just around the corner.
Yes, the signs of Autumn are starting to wave and say "see me".
After sipping our tea, it was time for one more stroll on the beach.
Farewell, dear Summer!
I enjoyed your warmth on my face, but sometimes you were just too hot.
Welcome, Autumn!
Your colors delight my heart.

Enjoy the transition with a special weekend, dear friends!
See you on Monday with a new tea quote.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

American Style Tea in the US

The teacups stacked are also made in the USA.

Thomas Sullivan and an accidental American invention. Needless to say, it was in America, with its love of labour-saving devices, that tea bags were first developed. In around 1908, Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea merchant, started to send samples of tea to his customers in small silken bags. It was made of a small porous paper formed into a bag. So you see teabags is originally a US addition. 
Just unwrap and plop in a cup or mug of hot water. Ta Da, tea is made.

 From Wikipedia:
The oldest printed recipes for iced tea date back to the 1870s. ... Recipes appeared in print, iced tea was offered on hotel menus, and it was on sale at railroad stations. Its popularity rapidly increased after Richard Blechynden introduced it at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Again an American way of having tea.
In the Southern states it is served sweetened most of the time,
but in other parts of the US it is mostly served without sugar.
To make you can brew a pot of tea and then chilled.
Some make sun tea which they brew in a large jar in the sun,
but personally I feel it can also grow bacteria in the sun.
My favorite way of making iced tea is a cold brew,
where I add teabags to a jar of water and put in the refrigerator over night.
Minto Island Tea Farm, Salem, Oregon
In my backyard garden

Many are also surprised to find out that tea does grow in the United States. 
A few years ago the challenge was to have tea growing in every state,
that was successful whether just grown in a pot, in the garden, or on a farm.
Personally my garden has about seven plants and I produce about 2 teapots 
of tea each year.
In Oregon we have a tea farm about an hour from where I live, Minto Island Tea Farm.
There is a farm in Mississippi that now sells their tea at Fortnum & Mason in London.
Now isn't that ironic?
Several tea farms are located in Hawaii, Michigan, Washington, and California.
Since processing and picking tea being labor intensive, new ways are being developed
for farming in the US.  

So there you have it!
The love of sipping a cup of tea in the US is definitely growing. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

"Would you like an adventure now, 
or shall we have our tea first?"
Peter Pan

Picture taken when off on an adventure
to the sea.  The little green teapot and small cups
often travel with me on road trips.
Do you carry your teapot with you when you
are on an adventure?

Friday, September 14, 2018


"In powerful dream we will be together." 
The Mad Hatter, Alice through the Looking Glass

The drawings were a gift from my son several years ago.
The quote just fits with the pictures.

When I saved the quote I was thinking of those in my life
that are no longer with me in body, but only in spirit.
Sometimes I can almost feel my mother's spirit riding with me down the highway.
In meditating over a cup of tea I remember those loved ones that have
influenced my life and I smile!
Yes, we are still together in "powerful dream".

Savor the delight of powerful memories and dreams.
Happy weekend, dear friends!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Turns to Magic

A full moon.
Roses! and Flowers!
A blue sky with fluffy clouds.
A sunset!
It could be that I have shared all of the above pictures before.
When sipping tea this week with friends we started talking about magic.
A time when words cannot describe the beauty around us.
When it takes our breathe away.
One of the guys in the conversation said that when this happened
it turned to magic, it was a dance without words.
So often I mention Dance here on my blog.
His words made me realize what I was talking about.
When words don't do justice to the beauty surrounding us.
Our heart leaps with JOY.

For some of my regular readers I can almost guess what takes your breathe away,
the magic of it all.

For Jeanie it might be seeing Harry flying over the ditch.
For Lorrie it might be a beautiful sunset from her boat.
For Mary it might be the sight of a wild animal somewhere in the world.
For Sheri it might be the smell of a newborn baby.
For Linda it might be a stroll through a beautiful historical garden.
For Tracy it might be a walk on a rocky beach or a new skein of yarn.
For myself it encompasses nature surrounding me.

What takes your breathe away?
When do you feel the magic?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

British Style Tea

Let's chat a bit.
Take a seat and I will pour you a "cuppa".
Imagine this chair is sitting by the fire in an English pub.
You order a pot of tea and dream awhile.

What would be in the pot?
It might be a bracing black English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea.
Would you add the milk first or after pouring in the tea?
If considering that, you must notice what your cup is made of.
Is it delicate?
How would it take to the cold then the hot temps?
Most often if the tea is made in a pot the milk is added to the cup before the pour.
But either way will work.
Now the milk situation is resolved, right?
How do the English make their tea?
Fully boil fresh water.
Pour into the pot to warm it a bit.
Pour that water out.
Now add a teaspoon of loose leaf tea for each cup of tea to the pot.
Pour in the freshly boiled water and steep for 1-5 minutes.
Yep! You want it to be strong.
Now get out the tea strainer and hold it over the cup as you pour.
With the loose tea still sitting in the pot steeping away
you might want to add more water to keep it from getting bitter.
The milk does tone down the bitterness too.
Then there is always sugar.
For some a little sweetener in the cup makes for a delightful cup of tea.

I drink my tea most often just straight (no calories there),
but in England I may also do as the English do.
A little milk to smooth the way for a beautiful day.

From time to time I will share how to make tea in various ways.
I bet you didn't know there was more than one way to make your tea.

The green enamel teapot recently came home with me in a bag no less.
Ha! It looked like it needed a little love and some bracing hot tea inside.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

Come to tea
Let each and all then grateful be
And hail a welcome guest in tea.
~Samuel Pepys

A guest for tea is always welcome
to sit and sip with me.

This teacup and teapot are my most favorite guests
each morning with tea.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Be Enchanted by the Beauty Surrounding You

Often I mention "notice what you notice"
But being enchanted by what you notice
Take it to your heart
Swoon, Delight, Laugh, Love
What do you feel when you sniff a fragrant rose
or tuck your nose under a babies chin?
Does your heart sing when you see a sunset full of color
or hear the pitter patter of a soft rain outside your window? 
When you walk along the road and touch a leaf that feels like silk
or stroll through the marketplace and touch the fuzz of a peach,
does it make your heart happy?
Shopping for clothes, does the feel entice you to buy?
Does a particular song entice you to move and sway?
Awww, the taste of a something special on your tongue and in your throat,
does it make you want to savor the memory of that flavor?
The senses, each one so special, if we pay attention
can cause enchantment.
Songs have been written on that enchantment.
It can make a day sweeter.
It can bring love.
The word itself brings to mind fairy tales.
And I smile.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Something to Celebrate

 When my daughter was ready to start kindergarten quite a few years ago,
I took her to afternoon tea to celebrate.
It has always been a precious memory for me;
so with her son getting ready to start kindergarten tomorrow
I decided we must go to afternoon tea a few days ago to celebrate.
Truthfully he wasn't so sure he wanted to go because
he thought it was girl thing.
But when he walked into the Best of British in Beaverton, Oregon,
he was enchanted by everything pretty.
He was the perfect gentlemen at tea with me and my "live-in gardener".
With each bite he said "this is very good".
Yes indeed it was sooo good and sooo fresh.
Each bite a delight.
 I almost forgot to take a picture of the savories and sandwiches;
so two are missing from the plate.
Yet, it still looks like a lovely plate of food and it was very good
from the cucumber sandwich to the Battenburg cake.
Even the tea in each of our teapots was just "swell".
And with a wink of the eye, I do believe he will return with us again
for afternoon tea time and a sip of tea.

Happy to Launch this little guy off into a new world of school,
new friends, and learning with afternoon tea.

I am linking to Bernideen on more time:
Thanks, Bernideen for hosting this each week.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

 "People are all 'jeezled' up.
 If they took some chamomile tea
 and spent more time rocking on the porch in the evening 
listening to the liquid song of the hermit thrush,
 they might enjoy life more." 
~Tasha Tudor

Recently on the cooler evenings I have been sipping chamomile latte's.
I love a cup of tea in the evening, but it keeps me awake;
so this latte works for me.

Chamomile Latte recipe: 
Steep 1/2 a mug of chamomile tea
add almond milk to fill the mug
and about 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract.
You can add honey if you desire more sweetness.
Pop in the microwave to warm it,
then enjoy a calming cup of tea before bedtime.
If you have a frother, it makes it even more special
to froth the drink after warming.