Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween

In the Dark of the Moon

In the dark of the moon,
Beware! Have a care!
Of the ring at the door
And nobody there.

Of the soap hieroglyphics
On the clean pane;
Of hushed, ghostly giggles;
Of steps down a lane.

Beware! Have a care!
Of the small shape in white
With a pumpkiny lantern,
Its features alight.

No use to be looking
Stern, staid and sober-
Better turn goblin
This night in October.

~Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Aurora Colony Quilt Show

 Every once in the while the Aurora Colony Museum here in Oregon
calls to me to come and visit;
so when I saw they were having their annual quilt show I had to go.
I always love imagining living in Emma's house on the grounds.
Wouldn't it be fun to sit there with a cup of tea and a friend to watch the world go by?
 The theme this year was Stars!
 What I loved seeing was all the variations on the theme.
But even more than that, I loved feeling wrapped in the love of these beautiful quilts.
 It isn't a large museum, just the size I can really savor for awhile.
 I  kind of like them all close together.
It just fills my senses and my heart.
 Though I loved them all this one was my favorite.
Wondering if it was the inclusion of the flowers with the giant star.

 The blue squares were the submissions from local quilters.
Each year after the theme is chosen quilters can submit a square
and the top 24 are selected by a panel to be made into a quilt.
One year I submit a Sunbonnet Sue for that year's theme
and even though I am not a regular quilter my square got selected for the quilt.
It was fun to see it in the final quilt.

 After viewing the quilts I took a stroll through the grounds.
There is alot of Oregon Trail history in this museum
and for awhile I love imagining a different time.
The local herb society cares for the herb garden
and it was fun to chat with one of the women involved.
I came home with a natural herbal salve, which
helped to heal the remainder of some sun damage I had from the summer sun.
Do you search out small museums and quilt shows?
If you ever come to Oregon I would love taking you here.
Aurora Colony was originally settled by a religious sect.
Jane Kirkpatrick has written some wonderful historic fiction
on people that settled this community.

Hope you are having a good week, dear friends!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

There is something in the nature
of tea that leads us into a world of
quiet contemplation of life.
~Lin Yutang

So true!
Teapots lined up for "quiet contemplation of life".
Ready or not it is sweet to sit quietly over a cup of tea. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Tea with Konishi-san

Drinking tea with Konishi-san is always a treat for me.
So this week I was off to Jasmine Pearl teashop to sip.
Most of his teas are green, which isn't my go to teas;
but I must say they were good ones.
What came home with me was a twig oolong, which is quite good.
A twig tea means they included some of the twigs from the tea plant in the process
and not just the leaf, which is the usual process.
I do love a good oolong and had never had one from a farm in Japan.
Konishi-san is the farmer that comes to Portland each October to share his tea with us.
What a treat to sip tea with the farmer.

Have a very special weekend, dear friends!
Hope you have opportunity to sip tea whether sitting in your favorite chair 
or in a place least expected. I am off to sip tea with a friend today.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Pumpkin Cake

About this time of year all things pumpkin tickle my thoughts
and I get hungry for pumpkin pie or pumpkin lattes;
so I went exploring for something pumpkiny and found the following.
It was quite delicious.
The recipe calls for icing on the cake, but I thought it was good enough without it
and eliminated a couple calories.

Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake

1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons butter

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat over to 350degree
Grease and flour 12-cup bundt pan
Combine steusel brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice
in small bowl, then cut in butter with pastry blender.

Cake: Combine dry ingredients in small bowl.
Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until light
and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after
each addition. Add pumpkin, sour cream and vanilla; mix well.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Assemble: Spoon half of batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle
streusel over batter, not allowing streusel to touch sides of pan.
Top with remaining batter. Make sure batter layer touches
edges of pan.

Bake: 55-60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out
clean. Cool for 30 minutes in pan, invert onto rack to cool
completely. Sprinkle with powder sugar.

The recipe came from

It was the perfect slice of cake with a bracing cup of tea.

Are you thinking pumpkin these days?
What is drawing you to bake?
What cup of tea are you adding to your pumpkin?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Garden at the Fort

Just a few days ago a friend and I decided to take an Autumn walk.
I wanted to see this garden along the way; so we walked here at Fort Vancouver.
Fort Vancouver is part of a National Park and just across the Columbia River from me.
I guess being so close I often forget to stop and enjoy the beauty of this place.
The garden is outside the fort wall, right where the original garden stood many years ago.

The garden has been made true to historic information.
There is also a fruit orchard nearby.
Big bumble bees were enjoying the garden too.
Though you can't see in this picture, Mt. Hood was back there by the two big trees.
It was a beautiful day!
In the basket were freshly picked green beans.
Tobacco was also grown in the garden.
Flowers and the fort wall delighted my heart.

How special to have this garden open to the public.
While I was standing here a group of school children walked through.
Farewell sweet garden, until I come again.
I will try not to be so long in coming.
If you visit in my part of the world definitely put Fort Vancouver
and the garden on your list.

Happy Unity Day: Kindness, Acceptance, Inclusion
Take someone for a walk today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Road Trip - Along the River

 Have a said how amazing Autumn has been in my part of the world.
The light and colors has enchanted me.
So off on a road trip my "live-in gardener" and I went this past weekend.
 The McKenzie River area delighted our hearts.
 It just plain made us smile.
 And the secrets out, but we listened to the first of Christmas music for the season.
Bet you didn't think I would say that, but I love Christmas music.
 Can you imagine this with snow on the ground for Christmas?
I can, but I also could see with my own two eyes the beauty of this season.
Wouldn't you love sitting in one of those chairs and sipping something delicious.
 But the stroll was indeed delightful.
 There were even red roses spotted hanging out by the river.
 Now isn't that the best?

 How I loved strolling right here among the trees while listening to the
water rush by.
Then down the road we went, discovering other delights.
This covered bridge always makes me smile and I must stop for a picture or two.
Do you love a road trip?
What season touches your heart?
This one definitely did it for me just a few days ago.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

The simplicity of the equipment and decoration of 
the tea ceremony allows minds to think about the natural 
beauty of things they may not have noticed otherwise. 
Remember, it is not a grand display of artwork that
impresses people here, but the simplicity
 and beauty of the smallest items.
Bringing attention to these things is the most 
important aspect of the tea ceremony.
~Shozo Sato

I find just leaves from the garden to be a beautiful decoration at any table.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Beauty in a Cup!

 Autumn has been amazingly beautiful here in Portland, Oregon this year.
Recently I ventured out to Lan Su Chinese Gardens for
some time of quiet reflection  and a sip of tea.
I loved how the surroundings reflected in the cup of tea.
What beauty surrounded me.
And that sesame ball, ohhhhhh delicious!!
 As I walked I noticed what I noticed.
Flowers around every corner.
 Don't you just love this time of year when there is a crispness in the air
and blue skies up above?
 The colors of the chrysanthemums just delight me.
Pomegranates and persimmons start showing up in the market and I can't resist.
Oh the colors and flavors!  Amazing!

This was an artist date just for me.
Have you read The Artist Way by Julie Cameron?
In the past I have read it twice, but recently I was reminded
I still need artists dates.
Times that inspire me and delight my soul.
Time away and time for just me.
It heals my heart
and encourages me in so many ways.
Isn't it funny how we get so caught in in life
we forget to take time for ourselves?
I am trying to do that.

So happy to share it with you,
a day away!

Since I will be away tomorrow,
Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Gentle Breezes

 WuWo Tea Ceremony in my backyard.

 The gentle breezes of Autumn surrounded me
as I sat in the sun of an October day.
Sipping tea,
feeling the breezes blow around me,
and quietly meditating on the day
with small cups of tea.
They delighted me.
The flavor of sweetness or plums,
 a smokey flavor slipped down my throat;
I smiled and lifted my head to the sun.
I notice the breeze blowing my hair
and tickling my face.
The colors swirled around me
in a joyous song of Autumn.
Oh Autumn, you just make me smile.
Your colors make my heart happy!