Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A Very Special Teatime

 In winter time there usually is one teatime by the fireplace.
Yesterday was that day.
A day not too cold, but just right to sit for awhile and nibble.
 There was a bit of sipping too, tea in fact.
A lovely tea from India called Sungma Organic Musk, a second flush 2018 Darjeeling.
 An old family quilt served as a tablecloth.
Vintage teaware is my delight.
And a painting of roses, a bouquet from France.
 The nibbles were egg salad, always my favorite, and toasty hot mushroom on toast.
 Then a carrot cupcake with chocolate hearts on top,
a definite nod to the upcoming Valentine's.
What inspired me to make teatime in the middle of the week you say?
This old recipe box I have had sitting on my shelf for years.
One of my favorite tea sandwiches comes from this box; 
so I decided there must be more to explore.
So from time to time I will share a recipe as I try them.
Today was Hot Mushroom and I loved it.
The box comes from the very first time I went to afternoon tea many years ago.
A friend took me to the lunchroom of the Palo Alto Auxiliary at the Allied Arts Guild
in Menlo Park, California. The lunchroom was a non-profit project to maintain beds
for children at the Children's Hospital at Stanford University.
The Recipe for Hot Mushroom tea sandwiches:
2 cups chopped mushrooms, do not chop fine
2 green onions including some of tops, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flour
white wine
1/3 cup sour cream
Saute mushrooms and onion in 1/4 cup butter. 
Cook about 2 minutes.
Add flour and cook 2 more minutes.
Combine mushroom juice with white wine to make 1 cup liquid,
add and cook 3 minutes. Cool. Add sour cream.
Spread on toast and broil.
My toast was cut with a heart cookie cutter,
but you cut the bread any way you would like.

Take an afternoon off in the middle of the week
and have tea.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

A walk; A daycation. Dance from Wikipedia
Now I hadn't thought of a dance when the word came to me this week,
but indeed I remember that dance many years ago.
So a dance it will be. Can you imagine strolling down these trails?
I think I must love paths to stroll because looking through my pictures there were many paths.
Corey of French La Vie blog wrote recently: "A flâneur is someone going for a stroll, taking in the sights and sounds of the streets and possibly having some elevated thoughts as they do it. It has a sense of sophistication, possibly even intellectualism, as it originated in the 19th century when only the monied classes had the leisure time to take aimless strolls."

Now I had started this post before I saw Corey's post, but
her words were just to good not to repeat. Thanks, Corey!
Secret, tucked away places and then avenues that beckon us.
Both in the country and in the city strolling is beckoning.
Do you love a country lane for strolling?
Come with me and let's take a stroll.
I can almost hear strolling music, can you?
Stroll just forms romantic thought more than a simple walk.
Listen to the music and stroll, dear friends!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Still I Rise

I am sure I have shared this poem before, but some days it just has to be shared again.
In the video there is the girl with the broken wing attempting to fly,
there is the woman walking to the podium,
and the mother comforting her child.
I am all of those things and so much more.
You are all of those things and so much more.
We must be willing to embrace our power
and hold it our precious hearts and hands.

Still I Rise

- 1928-2014
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
 I rise.

 Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


 "Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom." ~James Wright
In the middle of winter we need blossoms.
 Do you pick them up when walking through the market?
I do quite often, because I need them in the dark days. 

 What do you do to make it through winter?
I found this comment on Instagram @valentiphoto
this week and just loved
the permission to photograph beauty in flowers.
"So, never think your work doesn't "count" because you're 
photographing flowers, cuddly dogs, loved ones smiling, and glorious 
vistas. Where would we be without those things? Pretty is medicine. 
You're doing important work. You're reminding the world that joy is 
sacred, that delight is inherently valuable, that peace is at hand. I 
can't think of anything more powerful or worthwhile." ~Instagram 
JOY is sacred, indeed! 
Each of these pictures came from my garden
last June! Isn't it great we have this
to look forward to this coming June?
I love it!!! 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

 Query, a form of inquiry - wikipedia

A question used for reflection and spiritual exercises among members of the Society of Friends.
A word quite familiar to me, as I have been in the Quaker tradition for many years.
I realized it might not be as familiar to you and wanted to share.
Each of our meetings for worship has "queries",
questions for us to reflect on.
Here are queries from yesterdays worship:
How do I understand "being blessed" personally?...
"Being blessed" as a nation?
When I'm in the midst of persistent conflict, where do I find hope?

As you might notice I often end a blog post with a query.
I hadn't realized it was because that is what I am use to as a Quaker
or if it is just common nature to end with a thought question (query). 

Is this a word you are comfortable using?

Wasn't sure what picture would fit the word query,
but this picture just feels like reflection to me.
Have a great week, dear friends!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Mary Oliver

 On the first anniversary of Mary Oliver's death
I was reminded of this adventure last winter out to see the birds
on Sauvie Island here in Oregon.
 Sandhill Cranes!

 You do not  have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

"Wild Geese", by Mary Oliver
Happy Weekend, dear friends!
Is it time for an adventure?

Thursday, January 16, 2020


 My home is filled with memories.
Each place I look I remember.
Recently I sat in this chair for tea and a carrot cupcake.
This chair I found about 35 years ago at an estate sale.
It sat in my garage for years waiting to be rebuilt.
My children borrowed it and their cats tore it further apart,
but still I couldn't get rid of it.
Finally it was refinished and I love sitting there for tea in the morning,
tea in the afternoon with a nap, or late night reading.
There are memories on the wall behind the chair too.
Quilt blocks from a friend and a poster from my uncle.
Oh yes, there are memories in my home.
Sometimes they are very little things too.
The silver timer I found my first trip to Paris.
It came from Fauchon, a lovely upscale shop.
Using it each morning reminds me of special times in Paris.

The little Darjeeling box was given to me with my first
visit to the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, now quite a few years ago.
Sometimes I keep the tea I make from my own garden in that box now.

Yes, memories surround me.
Does your home hold memories?
Small treasures that remind you of a special moment in time?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


This year the word at my church is Hospitality.
"I was a stranger and you welcomed me."
Matthew 25:35 

How do you practice hospitality?

Wikipedia: Hospitality is about people welcoming other people
into their homes or other places where they work or spend their time.

Could hospitality be shown in other ways?
Is Kindness a form of Hospitality?

The pictures represent one form of hospitality in my home.
What thoughts come to mind when you hear that word?

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Tea from the Garden

 Did you know tea grows in my garden?
The official name is camellia sinensis.
It is in the camellia family.
Can you see the similarity?

It takes about 5 years for a plant to mature enough to pick.
Some of my plants are about 9 years old now.
I have plucked them in the spring for about 4 years. 
Then there are some new plants that I am waiting to mature.
All together there are 7 or 8 plants in the garden.
In 2019 I pick one flush (picking) in early spring.
I processed it by stir frying in a cast iron skillet.
It was a hot day.
The tea had a slight smoky flavor and made about two small pots of tea.
Later in the spring I decided to pick once again, usually I only pick once.
This time I processed it by wrapping it tightly in a cotton tea towel
and forming a small ball of tea.
For some reason I hadn't tasted it; so today was the day to steep the tea.

It made one small pot of about 3 cups of tea.
I cozied up in my comfy chair and sipped.
Of course there was a treat too, a carrot cupcake.
The tea had a much different taste just by the difference in processing.
It was slightly green, but more like a white tea.
My "live-in gardener" said it tasted like a high end tea.
Now that was a compliment.
It did taste quite delightful and I enjoyed my home-grown tea in my cup.
Do you ever make something from scratch that you are proud of?
It is quite rewarding!
Dear friends, hope you weekend is delightful!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

When you Wish upon a Star

Let's have some music today. Click HERE to dream.
Listening this morning to these two beautiful voices brought tears to my eyes.

When a star is born
They possess a gift or two
One of them is this
They have the power to make a wish come true
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Songwriters: Leigh Harline / Ned Washington
When You Wish Upon a Star lyrics © Bourne Co.

 Did you ever see the movie of Pinocchio?
Oh how Geppetto wanted a little boy so much, he made it happen through
 action, magic and wishing.
What do you wish for in 2020?
Let's wish upon a star and send positive thoughts out into the world.

My wish has been for more adventures, more dreams come true.
Honestly I don't do well sitting still.
I learned last year I need to have dreams, I need adventures,
even if they are a walk in my neighborhood or in my garden.
I need to let my imagination go a bit wild at times;
so dreaming on a star just makes sense.
I need the twinkle of stars or a glimpse of a sliver moon.

What do you need? Are you dreaming, dear friends?
Let's all wish upon a star tonight.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

I have always loved words and playing with words.
When I was young I use to try to adopt a word for the day.
It was the way of learning new words.
For 2020 let's play with words.
It may be a quote, a poem, or just a single word 
to inspire and delight us. 
Monday's will be our Word for the Day adventure.

"Remember your light has the ability to light others.
Ignite the world."
~Power of Speech

Friday, January 3, 2020

Wintry Play and Tea

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas:

“It snowed last year too:

 I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down 

and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.”


I hope each of you have begun the new year with the delight

of play and then some tea.

Happy New Year, dear friends!

Happy weekend too! 


 By the way, there is no snow here right now.

It has been unseasonably warm, perfect for a walk. 

I can dream I am sitting by the fire, sipping tea, and watching the snow fall.