Friday, February 28, 2020

Saying NO to Self

Let's chat over a cup of tea.
No, this isn't about tea, but just musing as I sip.

The other day I was feeling rather glum;
so I decided to go to the mall to walk
and use my Barnes and Noble gift certificate, a gift from Christmas.
As I walked I realized how often I say NO to myself.
No you can't have that, No you can't go there, No you can't eat that.

How often do you say "No" to yourself?
How does it feel?

I started this thought a few weeks ago and after paying attention
I realized saying "No" to myself comes from a very sparse childhood.
A childhood where I used my babysitting money to buy my own bicycle,
a used and battered bike from a junk store. 
I painted it with a can of spray paint.
Then once I learned to sew, my money went to the fabric store.
Now these are not bad things and they definitely formed who I am;
but it also caused me to be cautious and tell myself "No" a lot.
PS - I think this came from being told "No" too.

If there was something I saw that I loved, I turned my head away and said "No".
I would tell myself I don't need that in my life,
I don't need to treat myself special.

I have to laugh because recently thinking on this I was visiting a friend,
in her bathroom she had a stand to organize and hang her earrings.
Well I normally wear the same earrings because who knows
where my other ones are. No organization here on that one.
Seeing her cute little stand I realized I never looked at cute little
earring stands. I just told myself "No, I don't need that".
Well I went right out and bought one.
What a lifting of the spirits and I have all these new earrings to wear!

Do you do this or is it only me?
Still musing over my tea with one of the few addictions I allow myself.
Magazines allow me to dream a bit, but at the same time
I say it gives me ideas of how to use what I have.
I don't allow myself to notice what I don't have.

I would love to read your thoughts.
Do you tell yourself "No" often?

I will be musing on this going forward.
Certainly no answers here except to notice when we do it.
We deserve the best in life, even if it is just a good cup of tea and a magazine.

Dream away, dear friends!
Have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Touched by Fairies

And the earth said hello!
 Early spring and the daffodils are dancing for me.
 Their ballerina skirts twirl in the breeze.
They shout to me of sunshiny days.
 They beckon to the fairies to come dance under the moonlight sky.
They sing to me of the hope for Spring.
And I just dance and chase fairies in the garden.
It pulls at my heart strings and says walk, go discover spring time.
And so I went walking to find spring time in my neighborhood.
Their skirts twirled in the breeze.
They hid under the leaves.
Their colors sang to me.
And I laughed with delight.
Do you see the fairies dancing?
Are their skirts twirling in the breeze where you are?
If not, I hope these glimpses encourage you.
Spring is on it's way!

Monday, February 24, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

from wikipedia:
Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events that occur in an apparently irreversible succession from the past, through the present, into the future.[1][2][3] Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience.[4][5][6][7] Time is often referred to as a fourth dimension, along with three spatial dimensions.

Not sure my head wraps around all this talk of intervals 
and dimensions, but I do know sometimes time for me goes to
fast and sometimes, especially as a child, time went slow when
 anticipating something special.
"Time is the dressmaker specializing in alterations." 
~Faith Baldwin 
Time can be marked by the changes in styles.
This dressmaker marks time by remembering a different time in her sewing.
Time often frames our day.
Through the good times and the bad times life moves on.
Happy Monday, dear ones!
Spend your time with JOY, or as some say "spend it wisely". 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

No Brands Here - A Story of Tea

How did I learn so much about tea.
 I have always liked tea.
As a normal tea drinker I decided I would open a tearoom.
Then the real learning began!
 I drank mostly brands of tea like Stash and Republic of Tea.
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with them,
but there was so much to learn.
Searching online for help to open a tearoom I found
Magnolia and Ivy in Georgia of all places.
Off I flew! And the learning began.
There I was introduced to loose leaf tea,
making little sandwiches, and the history of tea.
Pandora's Box opened for me and the learning began in earnest.
In fact, when if you get into tea, coffee, wine, or even cheese and
other foods it becomes a lifetime of learning.
With the search beginning I had opportunity to visit the tasting/development room
with Steven Smith, then the owner of Tazo.
After that visit I realized tea companies developed there teas according
to the one tasting and developing and if I had a different taste profile I wouldn't like their teas.
I never liked Tazo Teas, then later didn't like Smith Tea Maker for the same reason.
After Smith Tea Maker had someone else developing their teas I began liking their teas.
After a year of research I realized a tearoom was a restaurant.
My experience was in product development and I didn't want a restaurant.
The learning continued!
I joined an online tea group and started learning from others.
I kept sipping.
Then I started meeting people that really knew good tea,
they were kind enough to share their knowledge.
I became part of a new tea group here in town.
In the WuWo Tea Ceremony group I learned so much at our monthly sipping times.
From there it has been tea festivals and much drinking of tea in shops,
tearooms, and with friends.

Now you may have noticed I said in the heading "No Brands Here".
Well the more I have tasted and learned about tea the more I have learned
it is not about the brand. It is about good quality tea more closely connected to the grower.
Whole leaves of tea made into fine quality tea.
It's not chopped up pieces of mediocre teas.
It is also about the tea maker.

Now you may call me a "tea snob", yes I guess I have become that along the way.
But it is in the learning and gaining an appreciate for all that influences
what goes into my teacup. Where was it grown, who grew it, how did they process it,
and how soon it came traveling from somewhere in the world right to me and my teacup.

So for me it isn't about the brand, but all about the tea.
No brands here!

Have a terrific weekend, dear friends!
Have a cup of tea.
I am sure I have shared this picture before,
but the flower in the cup of tea is from my tea plant.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Beyond the Garden Gate

“I craved to go beyond the garden gate, follow the road that passed it by, and set out for the unknown”
 ~Alexandra David-Neel wrote in 1923

You might think that in reading that quote I would show a picture of some place famous, a gate.
This is the picture that jumped into my head.
Maybe a little thing, but to me it took my breathe away.
We were lost and wandering down a narrow country road in France
when suddenly the entrance to a farm house had this wall of stones and flowers.
I have always been reminded when looking at this picture that it is the little
things of an adventure that stun us, capture our attention, and bring JOY
when we are noticing what we are noticing. 
If we step beyond the garden gate we can find enchantment,
fairies dancing in the moonlight, listen closely as they sing,
imagine pictures in the sky, and laughter in a morning breeze.
The colors sing to me.
They laugh for me.
What are you finding today that is enchanting you?

Monday, February 17, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

 Wikipedia: The main source of light on Earth is the Sun. Sunlight provides the energy that green plants use to create sugars mostly in the form of starches, which release energy into the living things that digest them. This process of photosynthesis provides virtually all the energy used by living things. Historically, another important source of light for humans has been fire, from ancient campfires to modern kerosene lamps. With the development of electric lights and power systems, electric lighting has effectively replaced firelight. Some species of animals generate their own light, a process called bioluminescence. For example, fireflies use light to locate mates, and vampire squids use it to hide themselves from prey.

Now I don't think of light so technically, but still it is fascinating.
I hadn't really thought about light being involved in creating sugars.
 In church recently I heard "You are the light of the world.
A city built on a hill cannot be hide."
And my mind traveled to France where I walked narrow passages,
climbing hills, and look ever upward to the light ahead.

We often follow the light, it calls to us.

Sometimes the road was narrow or rocky,
but I continued walking toward the light.
 There were glimpses along the way.
A peek in the wall.
Climbing toward the light brought rewards of gorgeous views.
 And then as the sun set, the light flared one more time before going to sleep.
 My word for the year is light and traveling through each
day I am noticing how the light makes me smile and
I am at peace.
I notice the light within me and around me. 
The light is bringing new growth in my garden
and I am delighted.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Valentine - I send you LOVE

For some reason Valentine's Day isn't complete unless
 I have a heart shaped sugar cookie with my tea.
So today is no different than other years where the cookies are nibbled and 
a favorite tea sipped from a pretty cup.
Castleton Moonlight is in my cup and I reminded why I love this tea.
Then if I add a pretty magazine to savor as I sip and nibble, even better.
My favorite guy will be spending the night and I intend on playing a bit.
He is the sweetest little guy I know.
There are always kisses and words of "I love you" too.
Looking forward to this love with him.
Well now if you haven't guessed, it is my grandson, D.
His parents are having a date night.

So I sit in my little cottage sipping tea and awaiting.

The Cosy of My Cottage 
by Earlene Grey (Susan Patterson)

Inside my house it is
Safe and warm,
The way that homes are
Meant to be.

No sharps of sticks
Or blows of guns,
Or faces we cannot see.

Fruit and cream are plenty
With breads and buns to spare.
The perpetual invitation is out,
And I am set,
Ready with tea to share. 

Have a most delightful Valentine's Day whatever you have planned. 
Take time to sip a bit of something quite special to you and nibble too.
And if you find your way to my part of the world
the tea and a nibble is always ready.

Happy Valentine's Day, dear friends!
Have a great day and weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Personal Altar

A local tea shop had a class last Saturday on how to create a personal altar.
I thought the example above was quite lovely.
Bonnie at often shares mandalas,
which I find are the same feel as creating an altar.
I have followed Bonnie for a long time as a blogger and now on Instagram
and have always been fascinated by her creativity making mandalas.
The one time I tried making one I did it on my front porch on a windy day.
Well you know how that turned out, it immediately blew away.

So I decided to take the class.
I had no idea what would greet me when I walked in the door,
but loving flowers I was thrill with flowers in abundance.
There were herbs and stones too.
It was like channeling your inner spirit/child and playing.
I had brought along a few things that had significance to me
and added them to my altar of remembrance.
The seashell with the gaping hole was given to me many years ago
by a boyfriend that died in a car accident.
The concrete with green paint is from the Berlin wall and
reminds me of walls people try to put up around themselves or a country.
There was coral, seashell, and rock with lines reminding me of the
grounding I feel when I walk by the sea.
Stones to point the way forward.
And acorn empty of it's nuts representing my love and protection of nature.
And always rosemary for remembrance, heart shaped leaves, and the centerpiece color
and delight of a flower.
The chrysanthemum petals just because they needed to be sprinkled about.
Have you ever done something like this?
Does it bring remembrance or signify something in your life.
The teacher talked about intentionality in making an altar,
a way of meditation and thoughtfulness to pay attention to those thoughts
that signify something in your life.

I may not do this regularly, but I can see it as a time to gather scattered thoughts
and be quiet for awhile.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


"There is no charm equal to
tenderness of heart."
~Jane Austen

Books, songs, and sonnets have been written with heart.

From Wikipedia: A heart is a muscular organ that pumps blood in various species.
Heart may also refer to:
  • Heart (symbol), a symbol (♥) representing love, the organ, or a card suit

It has become the symbol of Valentine's,
a day we will celebrate each February 14th.
It represents love, which many feel comes from the heart. 

The heart is tucked away deep inside of us.
Sometimes we wear it on our sleeve.
And on occasion I love including it in things I bake.
Have you ever noticed if you slice a strawberry
vertically it becomes a heart shape?
Most hearts you will see are red.
The symbol of heart health is the color red.

Celebrate the heart this week.
Celebrate Love from the Heart. 
Have an amazing week full of love.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


This morning I was looking at my Pinterest board for my things that make me smile file.
I noticed that most of what is in that file is cats doing silly things.
I thought I would share some pictures of Joey that will make you smile today.
He recently celebrated 10 years of adoption.
Most of the pictures were in 2010 and 2011.
He hides now when my camera comes out.

 This is in his element, stretched out somewhere or sleeping under something.

 He was getting quite bored with the whole thing.

 This is how we see him the most often now.
He loves tucking under pillows and blankets to sleep.

 Love those perky ears.
 The bat costume was the last time I dressed him in costume.
I didn't see him for 2 days after I did this one.
He was so humiliated.
 I think it is time for a new picture, a picture again in his element.
Hummm! Just no to costumes!
I hope this just made you smile.