Thursday, November 29, 2018

Christmas - Leavenworth, WA. and HOPE

When traveling do you find Christmas at another time of the year.
The first part of June while traveling through Leavenworth, Washington
I found this Christmas shop.
I saved these pictures to share with you now.
I loved the big snowflakes on this tree.
And who can resist Santa peaking out at me.
The natural beauty was everywhere.
Then looking up he took off, through the sky he flew with gifts for me and you.
Christmas in June was fun, but Christmas at the end of November is pure delight.

Like Strands of Shining Tinsel

Like strands of shining tinsel,
Hope will ever weave
Through the sorrow, who remembers
Candles Christmas Eve.

His tongue will not grow bitter
Who learns in youth the glory
Of the old sweet Christmas carols
And the manger story.

Nor love and faith quite vanish
For one with memories
Of dreams come true on laden,
Star-tipped Christmas trees.

So fill the house with fragrance
Of cedar boughs, with laughter-
There are gifts a child heart
Will keep forever after.
~Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller

This coming Sunday is the first day of advent.
I will be the host at church and usually when I host
I share something to think on.
This week I am thinking of hope
and how sometimes in the darkness
one small candle is lite with a glimmer of hope
that grows as we light each others candles.
May we be bless this Christmas season with HOPE.

Have a terrific weekend, dear friends.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Let the Season Begin

 Each year I anticipate the kick off of the holiday season 
with a visit to the Christmas antique show at Monticello Antique Mall.
It never disappoints me.
I go with camera in hand just to share with you,
but also to make my heart happy.
 Really you can't help but be happy with twinkly lights and sparkles everywhere.

 I don't go to shop, but just to fill my heart with sparkles
and they never disappoint.
 It is so fun to see the vendors creativity.

 For you creative type maybe you will see an idea here.
I rather liked the old clock transformed.
 How many things can you cram into a cup and still look joyful?
 Even a silver teapot has been transformed into a festive scene.

 Just a basket or bowl of old ornaments makes me smile.
 Then to top the visit and the holiday spirit there are beautiful red stemware.
Isn't it festive with the plaid table cloth?
So let's lift our cup or pretty glass and toast the beginning of celebrations
both bolsterous or quiet, full of good cheer or a sip of tea,
and surround ourselves with dear ones to hug and hold close.

Let the Season Begin!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

As we begin the holiday season this quote rather struck me.

If  you have one teapot 
And can brew your tea in it
That will do quite well.
How much does he lack himself
Who must have a lot of things?
~Sen Rikyu

I know I have many more than one teapot or teacup.
The aesthetics of a beautiful teapot or teacup
enchants me. 
But in the scheme of things,
really it is only one we need to enjoy
in peace and quiet a good cup of tea.
Then add one more teacup to share 
with you.
Happy Holiday season,
take time for a good cup of quietness and tea.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Say Goodbye, One Last Look

Looking through my pictures taken recently
I realized I hadn't shared the chrysanthemum show 
at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens.
Just a couple days ago I shared the Japanese Garden,
but now here we are at the Chinese Gardens.
We have two beautiful Asian gardens here in Portland
and I love visiting both; though I go to the Chinese gardens
more often because it is convenient for me to just stop by
when I am out and about, plus I have a membership there.
 So here is a peek at the chrysanthemums in the garden in November.
 The colors of autumn/fall just were stunning.
 It is such a peaceful place to stop when traveling through downtown Portland.
 I loved the arrangements they had placed around the garden,
especially these yellow ones.

 The softness of the pinks sang to my heart.
 There is always a stop at the gardens in the autumn/fall just to see the fruit on the
persimmon tree. Isn't it beautiful?

 And now that we have been watching the autumn/fall colors fade away,
it is time for the festivities of Christmas to begin.
This arrangement is a perfect start in the celebration coming.
I hope your celebration of thankfulness was truly special yesterday.
Whether it was quiet or boisterous,
shared with friends, family, or alone,
I do hope it was blessed.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving in Your Heart

At the end of the day
it is what Thanksgiving comes from the heart.
Acknowledge and Notice
 what brought JOY and Thankfulness in your heart.
Savor the quiet times.
Embrace those around you.
Send prayers upward.

Thinking of those today that are hurting,
that need a friendly hand to guide them,
and love to hold in the palm of their heart.

May you be blessed this day and always.
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, dear friends!
Celebrate the day and Rejoice!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Farewell to Autumn

I told myself I would share only a couple final autumn pictures,
but then the Japanese Garden called to me this past weekend
and I couldn't resist snapping away.
 The light was amazing on this November day as we entered the garden.
 My "live-in gardener" and I do enjoy visiting gardens anywhere we travel
including right here in our own part of the world.
 This winter camellia was in full bloom.

 I particularly loved seeing the teahouse in the distance
and remembering having tea with a special friend there.
What looks like a bus stop in this picture is where you wait to be greeted
and escorted down the path to Japanese tea.

 The teahouse was quiet on this day except for the trickle of water.
 Many of the ponds had autumn leaves floating about,
which I thought was the perfect way to celebrate with golden leaves.

 This Buddha both greeted us and said farewell.
Rain is coming soon; so this was the perfect way
to celebrate the end of autumn.
Sunshine and a nip in the air were truly a delight.

Happy end of Autumn!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

The daintiness and yet elegance of a china teacup
focuses one to be gentle,
to think warmly,
and to feel close.
~Carol and Malcolm Cohen

Dear friends,
I hope you have moments over a cup of tea
this Thanksgiving week
to feel the warmth and closeness of dear ones
around you.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Bathe under the Stars, Sit Cozy in the Woods.

The trees bend down to greet me.
Tenderly I walk through the forest.
Finding an old bath tub, I dream.
The water inside is steaming hot.
The stars shine above the branches.
I quietly slide inside.
The delight of it all fills my soul with JOY.
Wrapped in a fluffy robe with toes so bare,
I tiptoe to the cottage in the woods.
There is still the last remnants of light as I arrive.
The warm fire inside beckons me.
I am greeted by a warm cup of chocolate.
A cookie too.
Come join me as we sit by the fire and chat awhile.
The door has been left ajar just for you.
What a perfect autumn night with you by my side.
Oh friendship by the fire,
a lovely dream or reality.
Come and gather, sip a cup of frothy chocolate with me.
We will laugh, sing, and share stories.
Our hearts will be full.

An imaginary story, but oh so delightful.
Have a weekend full of imagination, delights, and laughter!
For it is magic!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Keep Dancing

Not my normal photo, but one I took in London and altered in photoshop.
The sculpture was found at the Chelsea Flower Show
and it just spoke to me.
The flow of the body,
the exuberance in being open to movement.
It delighted my dancing heart.
And then I listened to Leonard Cohen sing in a video,
Dance Me to the End of Love.
 And the song touched my heart.

It's all about the dance, the flow of our heart.
How even when our heart is breaking,
when our heart is so heavy,
we must keep on dancing.
Keeping our heart open,
being vulnerable.
And Dance!

No more words, just keep dancing
until your heart heals and you feel the JOY once again.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday's Tea Quote

 (The tea ceremony) is just another way of celebrating
another act of living.
The water must be boiled so that it goes through
the appropriate stages.
The tea must be tasted and tested before it is selected for steeping.
When the tea is plucked,
where the water is chosen,
who is invited to share the tea
are of enormous importance.
~Francis Ross Carpenter

Yesterday was tea ceremony day for me.
It is always a delight to see each friend gather together
and share their tea and creativity in serving.
I thought the top picture was so perfect for this season.
The center one carried out shapes and colors so beautifully.
I decided to go with glass in the bottom picture
with a few flowers from my garden.

The ceremony of tea always delights my soul.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

My Heart is Heavy

My heart is heavy for all those that have lost their homes in the wildfires in California.
Some have lost lives also.
My cousin lives in the midst of this chaos and had to evacuate,
but miraculously her home was saved even though all the houses around 
her's were burned to the ground.  
Three friends lost their homes, one of which was a tea farmer
that lost his farm too.
All the natural beauty around them is burned to the ground.
The pictures are from here, but I am imagining their natural beauty gone
when I look at these pictures.
Please pray for those that have lost their homes 
or are still in danger.
Also remember those that have been killed by mass shootings.
It is a sad world we live in these days.
Somehow healing and change must come
Sending love to our world that is suffering each day.
Sorry for writing about sadness, but my heart is heavy.

A day late, but have an extra special weekend.
Sending love to each of you.