Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Tea, Book, and a Cozy Fire

Many of you are experiencing record breaking cold weather this winter.
So far it has been mild here in Oregon, but snow may come in February.
In the meantime I am thinking of you sitting by the fire, wrapped
in a woolly shawl with a good book and a cup of warm tea.
What are you reading?
What is in your cup?

Lucinda Riley is one fiction author I enjoy.
I just finished a mystery written by her called The Love Letter.
Oh do I love the twists and turns of a good mystery.
In my cup is Harney & Sons Palm Court,
a black tea developed for New York's Plaza Hotel.
The tea is just right for a cold winter's day and
who doesn't like a good mystery.
So wrapped in a woolly shawl, sitting by the fire I will be.

What do you have on the shelf for those days that you stay in by the fire?
Is it a good book, a good tea, a warm shawl, or maybe
marshmallows for a hot cup of chocolate?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

He leaped the fence,
And saw that all nature
Was a garden.
~Horace Walpole
 Pictures taken in my garden one year ago.
Fascinating to me is that though the
daffodils and hellebore are progressing,
they are not quite as far along as last year.
Do you see there is a fence between my house
and the neighbors.
I wonder if this is the fence I must leap
to see all nature? Smiling!
Happy Monday!
I hope you are keeping warm 
and that there is a flower or two in your world.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Moroccan Style Tea

 Continuing the occasional series of tea in different
cultures and made different ways.
from the Cultured Cup teashop in Dallas, Texas:
In Morocco, mint tea is drunk throughout the day, and especially during and following meals because it is said to aid with digestion.  In Moroccan culture,  the head of the household typically prepares this tea. It's believed tea was first introduced to Morocco in the 12th century B.C. by the Phoenicians who settled in northern Morocco. No business deal can be closed without a cup of tea. After a typical Moroccan dinner, dates and nuts are often served and accompanied by tea.

Now when I stopped by the shop with the beautiful Moroccan teaware they were serving
a Turkish black tea. I was told sugar is most often added and then the black tea poured in.
I had always heard of the mint tea, but now I find there is black tea too.
The tea I sipped was grown in Turkey and quite strong.  
I have always been fascinated by the jewel tone tea glasses,
aren't they pretty?
The brass teapot is stacked one on top of the other is from Turkey.
You boil the water in the bottom, then steep the tea in the top pot.
The tea is steeped for 10 to 15 minutes, then served in these beautiful tea glasses.
 Thanks to Indigo Traders in Portland, Oregon for allowing me to
take pictures in the store and giving me a glass of Turkish black tea.

If I had room in my cupboard a set of the tea glasses would have
come home with me.

Happy weekend, dear friends! 
Keep on noticing what you notice
and sipping tea.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Repeat and Repeat

This past weekend we had a day set aside to spend with the one and only grandson.
In the morning we were taking him to church with us
and in the afternoon the plan was to go to the zoo.
He absolutely did not want to go to church after earlier saying he would go.
In the past he always went with us, but as he has gotten older he has refused.
After some cajoling and then counting, he agreed to go.
We could easily have said OK we won't go,
but we decided we couldn't back down.
He was warmly greeted and everyone was happy to see him.
There was even a hug from one cute little girl.
As we headed home I asked if it went OK,
his comment in return just made me smile.
He simply said "repeat and repeat",
which meant he hoped to repeat the adventure.
Thinking on this I am struck by how this happens in all our lives at times.
There is something we don't want to do, but by making ourselves do it
we find it quite nice. We want a repeat and repeat!
By the way, we didn't even make it to the zoo as it was raining,
but playing games all afternoon worked too.
Picture was taken at the beginning of kindergarten in the fall.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

There is simply the rose;

It is perfect in every moment of its existence.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Roses in my garden last summer.
I do miss the roses most of all in the garden.
The orange and golden striped is my favorite.
But how can I say I have a favorite
when I love them all. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

RIP - Mary Oliver

Sleeping in the Forest 

I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
— Mary Oliver

“I Worried"

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.” 

~Mary Oliver


This week I was sad to hear of Mary Oliver's passing. She is a favorite poet of mine and I am guessing some of the rest of you love her poetry too. Here are two poems that I have enjoyed this week.

Have a dear, special weekend, my friends!    Peace be with you!         


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Find the Magic

Pictures inspire me to write, especially if there is a path or stairs.
Where is life taking us?
What can we find when we move ahead, face the challenge,
go where the end is not known?
Do we risk the travel?
Do we move forward or freeze in the path?

I have been thinking alot lately about being in my mid-70's.
I am thankful for good health and still an active, vibrant woman.
Sometimes I feel weary of the walk, but I know I can rest for awhile.
And other times I feel just bursting with energy
and face the world with gusto. 
Each day I try to face the magic of the day.
I love the surprises.
I love the discoveries.
I embrace the sadness along the way,
but always open my eyes to what is around me,
searching for the magic and savoring it too.

What do you see in this picture?
Notice what you notice.
Is it the dirt path?
Did you notice the brick in the path
or the leaves of a rhubarb plant?
It looks like up ahead there is another path,
did you see it?

When I let my light shine
I sometimes feel it will overpower me.
Some try to dampen the light,
but I have learned we cannot please everyone.
We are all different
and the most JOY comes from the light.
So notice what you notice,
let your light shine,
and embrace each day with magic.

Trust the Adventure!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

 There is nothing a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
~Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Martha Jefferson Randall, 1790
The gardenhouse in winter, top picture.
Hellebore coming up in my garden right now.

Note: on Facebook I share a garden picture each day all year round.
Winter is more of a challenge, but if you look very closely you
find wonderful surprises and magic all around you.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Adventure to the Island

Birds winter on our local island and I must always head that way
at least one time in the winter to search for them.
Recently my "live-in-gardener" and I ventured out to Sauvie Island.
Mt. Hood from Sauvie Island is always spotted as we cross the bridge.
Isn't it just gorgeous covered in white?
 Bald eagle, so near, yet so allusive.
He could care less that I was standing right under him.
 A hawk in flight nearby.
 An old barn down the road.
 Sandhill Cranes are what we were looking for and found in abundance.
 Break time with a cup of tea and a sit down.
 Egrets in the distance.
 Mt. St. Helens is also seen from the island; in fact, on a clear day you can see three mountains.
Cormorants love the inside passage, they were everywhere.

 St. Johns Bridge is a gorgeous bridge I must travel to head to and from the island.

If you come to Portland, Oregon any time of the year I can take you here.
The sightings of birds is most wonderful.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Take an adventure this weekend.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

A New Teahouse in Town

 Have you started to step in a door to a new experience and because
it frightened you a little or scared you a lot, you turned and walked away?
Sunday that happened to me.
As I started to step into a new teahouse in town there 
was a sense of having been there before.
It rather took my breathe away!
I was remembering another time some years ago when I was in Paris.
I was walking alone with my trusty map and came to the Shakespeare and Co.
bookstore. I had heard they had a tearoom, so when I asked they told me to go up
the stairs and I would find it.
I climbed the stairs to the top.
There were two doors and only one was unlocked, so I opened it.
It was rather dark, but I could see people sitting around on the floor drinking tea
and reading poetry. They invited me it, but I declined.
I have always regretted not entering and drinking tea with them.
 So I entered the door at Enthea Teahouse Sunday afternoon.
They were having their grand opening and it was packed.
What I immediately noticed was I was the only white hair lady there.
There were dreadlocks and gorgeous young adults everywhere.
Soon I was face to face with the owner and one of the guys that was helping him out.
My mouth opened and I even said something intelligent,
at least I think I did.
 I glanced a chair nearby and sat.
Soon someone I knew joined me and we sipped tea together.
The conversations around me intrigued me from babies to smoking salvia.
Ha! I felt like I had stepped back in time, 
to a time when I lived in San Francisco and walked with the flower children
in the Haight or that time finding the tearoom at the book store in Paris.
 The tea of the day was ripe puerh, all good.
The little teapot enchanted me.
Sitting there sipping tea delighted me.
Will I go back?
Yes, but on a day that I can quietly sit and sip.

Enthea Teahouse
3533 S.E. Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, Oregon
owner: Steve Odell

Monday, January 7, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

Welcome to a new Monday series for 2019.
Each Monday I will post a garden quote with a picture or two.
It was fun doing the tea quotes for 2018, but now it is a new year with new adventures.

The first quote comes from a book I have been reading over the holiday season,
The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater
It is a very interesting book about the holiday season, stories from the author
and English history along with recipes. To tell you the truth I have never read a recipe book,
but it is much more than that.
What I loved were the word images created by the author.

So here we go, a new year and new quotes:

"Underneath the fallen leaves things are happening 
at a rate of knots;
new life burgeons. Bulbs are sprouting, 
buds are bursting through grey bark,
new shoots push their way to the surface. 
Many plants vernalisation, a prolonged
patch of low temperatures, in order to grow. 
Tulips, freesias, crocus and snowdrops,
for instance.A secret world quietly doing what it
does each year. A study in renewal, rebirth, new life."

Top picture taken at Lan Su Chinese Gardens.
Bottom Picture taken in my garden a month ago. 
Believe it or not that bud is still in the garden,
but looking a bit worn.

Friday, January 4, 2019

National Hot Tea Month

January just makes sense to be National Hot Tea Month;
so I am celebrating each day this month with a cup of hot tea.
Easy for sure, but all the same I am celebrating and lifting my cup to you.
Let's celebrate together.
What's in your cup?
Something hot?
Remember each kind of tea deserves to be treated with love.
That means the right temperature for each tea.
Did you know a black tea loves a full boil,
but a green tea shines with a temperature of about 185 degrees.
Oolongs thrive and blossom at about 190 degrees.

I always say we are worth drinking the good stuff;
let's go for artisan teas whenever possible.
Tea bag tea is just not the same. 

But whatever you sip, celebrate with me.
Have a hot bracing cup of tea.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019


 Like mother, like son, climbing is in their blood.
How fun to watch these two climb on Christmas day.
Were you a climber?
I was once upon a time;
so this doesn't surprise me.
 Peek-a-boo! Here he is!
He picked the highest point to climb.
Isn't that the most glorious view?
Wondering if he gets up on that rock if the view is better?
Does the climb make it all worth seeing more clearly?
 Ahhh, the determination!
Is he going to make it?
 Success! And the smile tells it all.
He warmed up with all the exertion; so coat was tossed.
 What a perfect place to play on Christmas day.
The view was sublime.
The food amazing!
And I didn't have to cook, but just got to enjoy.

I hope your holidays were very special and you also got to enjoy!