Thursday, October 31, 2019

Adventure at Oxbow

 Searching for salmon recently with family.
The clouds were low and it might not look like it, the water was high.
We searched, as the salmon were "running".
It was time for them to lay their eggs.
We searched, but not one was spotted.
We hiked in the beautiful forest along the river.
The only salmon spotted was cooking over the fire.
Can you see it?
It was a beautiful autumn day.
Spending time with family, hiking, and savoring the day
was all that was really needed to make it extra special.
How I love the outdoors with each season,
but autumn has it's own kind of delights from fallen leaves to fallen twigs
and rushing water; all delights of being outdoors on a chilly day.

This adventure took place at Oxbow Park along the Sandy River.
Sometimes just getting out and walking no matter where is
extra special when doing with people you love.

Happy Halloween, dear friends!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

“I hope I can be the autumn leaf, 
who looked at the sky and lived. 
And when it was time to leave, 
gracefully it knew life was a gift.”

The fig tree is about finished with it's gift of ripe fruit
and the leaves begin to yellow and drop to the ground.
What beauty are you seeing in your Autumn days?

Friday, October 25, 2019

Gateway to the Seasons

Moonlight over the hills,
Reflecting on my balcony.
The night is young,
My rustic gate is ajar;
Through the woods,
My friends approaches,
Lantern bobbing.
Smoke curls from the stove;
I call for tea.
The autumn stars have paled,
Barking of wakening dogs,
The sadness of a flute carried on the wind.
And still we sit and talk.
The sky lightens;
Rosy clouds and chilly dew,
The earth moss-covered.
~Cheng Pan Chiao

Has Autumn stepped through the gate
and entered your world?
Are you walking through fallen leaves
that crunch under your feet?
Are the colors a blaze of oranges and reds?
How do you celebrate this vibrant
blaze of glory before we tuck into the darkness
of winter?

I am walking and noticing what I notice.
Delighting in these crisp, but sunshiny days.
Savoring hot apple cider or chocolate
and thinking of warm soups and stews.

Have a wonderful weekend, dear friends!
Go out and listen to that crunch of leaves.
Wrap a woolen scarf around your neck.
Come home to something warm in the tummy. 

Picture taken recently at Lan Su Chinese Gardens

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Lochan Tea Review

In the cup is Mokalbari TGFOP 1 S, Second Flush 2019, Assam

Just a warning, this is a long list reviewing twenty samples sent to me a couple months ago.
What a treat to get to sample so many.
It has taken me awhile to sip each one and write this review.
Thank you to Lochan Tea for sending me these delicious teas.

Darjeeling teas often have a touch of oolong to me, 
very little astringency and a bit fruity. What a treat to taste all 20 teas.

1.      Doke Black Fusion - Second Flush 2019, Bihar, Hand Made Organic Black Tea
A nice morning black tea, lightly toasty.
2.      Doke Silver Needle, Second Flush 2019, Bihar, Hand Made Organic White Tea
Pretty leaf, with dusty white leaves. Until recently I didn’t particularly like white tea,
But finding a light sweetness/tartness together was delightful. Not as honey as some
White teas I have tasted lately, but good. My tastes have changed.
3.      Doke Green Diamond, Scond Flush 2019, Bihar, Hand Mad Organic Green Tea
Not being a green tea lover, it wasn’t my favorite, a tiny bit of astringency. I do believe I like a bit of fruitiness or floral, which wasn’t there in this one.
4.      Doke Black Fusion Tippy – Second Flush 2019, Bihar, Hand Made Organic Black Tea
For some reason I forgot to jot notes on this one, but if I remember it was a hearty black
And a good breakfast tea.
5.      Mokalbari TGFOP 1 S, Second Flush 2019, Assam (in the picture)
Rich and full, nutty, a good breakfast tea.
6.      Hattialli Golden Delight, Second Flush 2019, Assam
No astringency, smooth. A simple straight forward flavor with a slight caramel flavor at the front of the mouth.
7.      Latumoni Royal Tippy, Second Flush 2019, Assam, Naturally Grown Small Grower
A soft touch of sugar cane, with the second taste I steeped too long and it became bitter.
8.      Giddapahar Spring Wonder, First Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Exclusive
Smooth, not astringent, fruity/peachy, lovely.
9.      Arya Spring Wonder, First Flush 2019, Darjeeling
My first scent was of a green tea, but sipping was more apricot in flavor. Of course I love all Darjeeling teas, so fruity, which is “me” (I love fruity anything)
10.  Jungpana Spring Wonder, First Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Organic
A bit of greenness to this one.
11.  Niroulla Smoked Wonder, First Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Exclusive, a surprise
Indeed a surprise delight, I really liked this one, very smooth. Almond/apricot in taste.
12.  Goomtee Spring Delight, First Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Organic
Sometimes I find organic teas to be a bit flat, but this was not. The final taste and it reminds me of my love of first flush Darjeelings, smooth with no astringency.

13.  Goomtee Classic Mascatel, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeliing, Organic
The first taste was made in a gaiwan and tasted tannic and astringent, but a bit citrusy. The second was made English style and I like it much more, fruity and in enjoying it I almost forgot to review it. Just enjoyed it.
14.  Jungpana Vintage Muscatel, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Organic
Preferred this steeped English style also, lower temperature, richer, and apricot with the lower temperature.
15.  Castleton FTGFOP 1 SPL, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling
Nice simple black tea, good with sugar. Not the same as Castleton Moonlights, which I love, but a richer black tea, a bit toasty.
16.  Giddapahar Summer Delight, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Exclusive
A touch of summer delight, slight fruitiness and warmth of the sun.
17.  Upper Fagu SFTGFOP 1, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling
Smooth, a touch of something special, not fruity as some, but maybe a bit citrus and almond. No astringency or bitterness.
18.  Niroulla Summer Smoked, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Naturally Grown Small Grower
Simple, light tea. A bit woodsy-mushroom, very lightly. Prefered their smoke tea better, might be the difference between 1st and 2nd flush.
19.  Sourenee Clonal Special, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Organic
A bit musky, not light and fruity, nice simple black tea, not sweet. A bit like walking through a spongy humus of the forest floor.
20.  Arya FTGFOP 1 CH, Second Flush 2019, Darjeeling, Organic
Nutty and toasty and smooth.

If you haven't tried a Darjeeling tea, I highly recommend trying a good quality one or two.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Tea Farmer

Konishi-san, the tea farmer, came to my garden this week.
What a treat to walk in the garden with him.
Thankful, he had Geena, the translator, with him.
I loved chatting about tea and getting acquainted.
Here he is chatting with my "live-in gardener".
We learned a little about caring for our tea plants.

Konishi-san comes every October to a local teashop, Jasmine Pearl,
where he sips tea with their customers and shares his tea.
His farm is near Mount Fuji in a region that is good for growing tea.
It is a small family run farm with just 5 family members that do all the plucking and processing.
In the box on the table he brought several packages of his pesticide free, organic teas.
Now I will be looking forward to sipping each one of them.

I decided to serve him my favorite tea from India,
Castleton Moonlight, first flush 2019.
Well I guess I could have served him some of his tea,
but thought he might enjoy another tea.
We all enjoyed it and a herbal cookies too. 

Tea has opened up some wonderful friendships and experiences that I will always treasure.
This was a real treat.

In Tea the host is simplicity and the guest elegance.
If all is done in sincerity it is better than a thousand graces.
~Matsudaria Naritada

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

There is Love

Every Day It Is Always There

Every day it is always there
Whether in mind or body
Whether I want it to be or not-
Sometimes it's like being haunted
By a constant presence
Of sometimes happiness
Sometimes anger-
But it is always filled with love,
That love is my protector.
That protector is my mother.
~Rainy Ortiz

from Reinventing the Enemy's Language by Contempory Native Women of North America

Missing my Monday Quote this week I have been sitting on this poem for awhile
and thought it would be worth sharing this week.
In times of stress and anger,
in times of craziness,
and in times of turmoil in this world;
let's remember love is always there.

Sending you love! 

Picture taken a few weeks ago from my sister-in laws window.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Snapshots taken in October

 The first of the month found me walking with a friend with a view of Mt. St. Helens.
Notice how flat the mountain looks.
It once had a top and then it blew off in the 1980's.
It is still a live volcano.
 Grandson has started playing soccer.
What fun to be a grandparent on the sidelines.
 The pumpkin patch festival
and one pumpkin in the picture came home with us.

 In the fall I start thinking baking.
Caramel corn and pumpkin coffee cake have come from my oven this month.
 Not particularly pretty, but a couple views from my car of driving in Portland.
There are quite a few bridges over the Willamette River.
 I am always fascinated by city murals and Portland has many of them.
This is one I noticed on the same drive as I sat at a stop light.
 The grain mill by the river and if you look closely another bridge to the left.
If this doesn't say Autumn I don't know what would.
Taken moments ago in front of my house.
The bird was just the cherry on the top, not planned at all.
The fire of this Japanese maple is brilliant right now.

Happy Autumn days!!
Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Me Time!

 Every once in the while I need some "me time".
Last Saturday I decided to take some time to search for flowers
at Lan Su Chinese Gardens.
I really should have gone on a week day because there were so
many walking there, but yet I did find the beauty my hearts craved.
 Walk with me and my camera in the garden.

 It looks like someone else was having some "me time" too.
 I was tempted to stop for tea right here, but I was just on a search
 for flowers.
 The red in the roses was just stunning!

 I loved these flowers against the white wall.

 October is celebrated with chrysanthemums.
 I had to wait for a clear shot here.
 More color against another wall.

It always fills my heart with JOY to visit here for "me time".

Do you have someplace you go for "me time"?

Monday, October 14, 2019

Garden Quotes 2019

"Delicious autumn!  
My very soul is wedded to it, 
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns."
-   George Eliot

 Pictures all snapped in my backyard this morning.
Happy Autumn!!!