Monday, March 30, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

Surreal, as in humor

Wikipedia says: 
 a form of humour predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, 
producing events and behaviours that are obviously illogical.

Yesterday as I was thinking about the Covid-19 virus this
is what came to mind, surreal. It is beyond my comprehension, not something
I have experienced in my lifetime. There doesn't seem to be an answer
to how this came to be. For awhile yesterday I watched a live conference
on global/environmental issues and I have seen articles on environmental, 
global warming issues that could effect the virus's living dormant around us.
But for me, an unscientific person it is all surreal, it doesn't make sense.
Are we really living in the Twilight Zone?
That is how it feels.

 On the last days of March in the past few years these were the pictures I was focusing on.
Flowers and Springtime!
 Walks in the country!
 More flowers and Easter coming!
 And now we almost have to laugh because it is so surreal
that we are shut in our homes, living in fright at something unseen,
but so devastating and so worrisome, that we can not really comprehend it.

How are you doing through this time of isolation?

My "live-in gardener" and I walked to a little neighborhood market
and I was thrilled to find a can of garbanzo beans on the shelf.
Score! I can make hummus now to go with some crackers on our shelf.
It's the little things that are bringing JOY.
But still it is hard for my mind to wrap it's head around this.
It definitely feels "surreal", rather illogical in so many ways
that it just makes me want to laugh and cry all at the same time.

Take care, dear ones, and for now stay put.
There will be a time coming when we can once more dance in the streets.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Art in a Time of Quiet

 Creativity is the heart and soul of who I am,
but for quite a few years all I have done is take pictures and write,
plus quite a bit of sipping tea.

I kept saying I needed to do something creative, but just didn't do it.
So this time of pause, a quiet time, finally I am picking up the art supplies
stored away in baskets and bins.
Well I thought what could I sketch on?
It just made sense to sketch on used teabags,
a way of recycling them.
What a fun challenge that would be. 
The top two pictures are works in progress.
There are mushrooms with critters
and then flowers too.
 I am rather enjoying this.
The four against the basket are finished.
 Now I have other ideas of subject matter, but for the most part I am loving
including nature in art.
Hoping I can/will continue after we can leave our homes again.

Yes, there is tea sipping along with the art.
Afterall now there is a purpose for those teabags of peppermint tea
I sip in the evenings.

Are you doing art or something you don't normally do?
Reading more books?
Hoping you each find joy in the little things!


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pandemic Tea Time

 Tea time during a pandemic!
Strange title for sure, but exactly what it is.
My birthday was a 1 1/2 weeks ago and it had to be canceled because of the pandemic.
Today I was scheduled to leave for India, which would have been a dream come true trip.
It was canceled because of the pandemic. So sad about this!!!
Thus said, I am so thankful for being in my own home safely tucked away
that I wanted to do something to celebrate.
Sunday I made the celebration happen by creating a tea time in the garden house
for those of us living in my house.
There are three of us, my "live-in gardener" (husband) and "live-in son".
I told my son "no coffee" as this was a tea time.
My husband made his own herbal tea (tisane).
And then we sat in the garden house and celebrated being there together.
There were tortilla wraps with turkey, cream cheese, and red currant jelly,
calla lily shaped sandwich with cream cheese and orange marmalade,
toasted shamrocks with honey butter, and
toothpicks with pickled beets and olives.
The scone was from a Sticky Fingers mix and was white chocolate/raspberry.
I actually had a little Irish butter, which was delicious on the scones
and a bit of a treat. Not something I usually buy.
Then for the sweet one, my challenge for this year is to make pavlova,
so I made small shells and filled them with vanilla cream
topped off with raspberry, banana, and frozen red currants.
I think they turned out quite yummy.
For some reason I had never made vanilla pudding/cream before
and was surprised how well it turned out and not hard at all.
So thankful for what I have tucked in the freezer too.
Now I must admit the scone mix was suppose to be a gift,
but I will replace it again and give it to the recipient when I can see her.
I think I will get one for my shelf too, it is very handy in a pinch and only took
water to make them.  This is being said from someone that is getting low on flour
and there is none to be found.
Oh and there was a good tea served too.
It was Ceylon Gold, white tea, a gift at Christmas from a friend.
Thanks friend, it is a good one.

Let's celebrate each day however makes our heart happy.
For me tea time in the garden house indeed makes my heart happy.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

   Pictured from my garden is daphne, with a fragrance 
like perfume that I can smell from a distance.
Now I have never liked perfume
and I hate walking into big stores with the perfume counters at the entrance.
In reading Simple Abundance (again) by Sarah Ban Breathnach
this year each day I am finding something to think on.
Yesterday she talked about perfume.
No, not the perfume you might splash on to smell good,
but the perfume you exude such as the perfume of success
or the perfume of sadness.
There are many scents we send out depending on 
how we are inside.
She also talked about "borrowing the scent of...."
Sometimes we don't feel much like happiness or success,
but we must take a mental evaluation and somewhere find 
it in us and borrow it by bringing it forward.

What scent are you sending out today?
Is it one of being scared and sad?
 That is probably me right now with this virus running rapid.
That is when I have to step out my door and notice what I notice.
I look at the color of the sky, the clouds, the spring blossoms,
the grass going crazy in my yard.
I can see my neighbors from a distance spending time with family
in their yards and talking over fences with their neighbors.
These are the fragrances, the perfumes, of kindness and joy.

Take care, dear friends!
Let's do our best each and every day to send out the fragrance, the perfume, 
whether it is online, over the phone, or across a fence today.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Wake Early

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety-

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light-
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in  happiness, in kindness.

 ~Mary Oliver

What can I say
Words have left me as we isolate in our homes.
I pray you are all staying well.
I try to greet the morning with kindness,
but some mornings it is hard when I look at the news.
I keep telling myself this will pass
and the tulips will bloom soon.
Walking each day is my sanity.
Noticing spring time in my neighborhood brings me joy.
Take care dear ones!
Sending love! 

Picture taken in 2017 at sunrise
on the Willamette River in downtown Portland.
The blossoms are blooming there now
and I imagine them looking much like this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Just some Thoughts

Just some thoughts today.

Late to the internet  today, as I finally had to go to the market this morning.  What the market visit reminded me of was Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Why I thought of that I am not quite sure, but I found the market to be very quiet and people were more respectful when walking by. It also reminded me to walk softly on the earth, take care to share, and be mindful of others.  While staying at home I think each of us must pay attention to what we eat and how we behave around each other. Be at peace each and every one of you, dear ones. We will have a lot of hugs, laughter, and tears saved up when this is over. In the meantime, I am having a cup of tea in the gardenhouse with a bouquet of daffodils from the garden. Lemon in my tea soothes the sore throat I had recently and thankful that has passed.

Tea people swear by the anti-oxidents in green tea.
Some say puerh tea is the best.
But I think just anything that comforts you in your cup today is a good thing.
Now off to make a cup of tea.

Thinking of each of you as we walk this new reality together.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

Words can tell a story or inform us.
The sign is a historic sign in downtown Portland.
The words mark the spot and tell us where you are.
In yesterday's newspaper I read an interview with Barbara Kingsolver,
a definite word spinner, a novelist, screenwriter and poet.
She says, "Words are heady beings when they dance."
I love the way words can dance for us.
They entertain.
She referred to books of poetry as "absinthe", rather addicting.
She gave the mind picture of words to describe like,
chicken vs. poultry; kids vs. descendants; workshop vs. laboratory.
Though they may mean the same thing, the romance of a word chosen
creates a dance in our mind.
She goes on to say, "I can still feel how the word cracked open into my brain,
spilling out color and taste."
A fascinating interview just read this morning.
 On a recent day drive I came across the sign below and yes,
those words just made me smile. I had to stop and take a picture.
They lightened the day.
Words can make us smile or they can bring tears to our eyes.
They have great power.
Wikipedia says,"a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with objective or practical meaning.

In these days of sadness and struggle, let's remember that the words that come
from our mouth can have a great impact on those around us.
Sending out love and a happy dancing heart to each of you today.
Take care, dear friends, and a have a good week.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Away from the Maddening Crowds

During these crazy times of upheaval in the world it is time to take a step back, relax,
and be flexible enough to make changes in plans.
I took tea to the garden house this week, just tea and chocolate. A time to reassess life these days.
I realized it is still important for me to get out of the house;
so walks almost daily are on the schedule.
The pond, not far from our home, rarely has many visitors;
so it is a lovely escape.
Plus isn't it fun to see wild life happening in the city?
If you look closely you will see the heron decided to fly.
The trail is so peaceful, definitely away from the maddening crowds.
Mr. Duck added a little color to my day.
Though the trees look a bit bare, it still had it's own kind of beauty.
Walks and drives are on my agenda when the time comes for an adventure.
There is always a silver lining if only we look.
The rainbow made an appearance as we drove a country road.
Let's all notice what we notice and savor each and every moment.
Be well dear friends!
Have a good weekend of rest!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


 Travel is heavy on my mind these days, since the "virus" seems to be reeking havoc.
I am suppose to leave for India on March 25th, but as the time comes closer and
I am fighting a cold I am not sure this will happen.
It is becoming clearer to me with each subsequent day that I should stay put.
Travel is a part of who I am, I love it!
I have dreamed of this trip for a long time.
So today I am sharing another dream come true adventure.
 It was a few years ago, not too long after having knee surgery.
My "live-in gardener" and I were traveling in France and found
we had an unplanned day.
The host of our B&B suggested we go here.
As you can see it was a bit of a climb and I was so proud of myself for doing it.
 Up the hill we went. Then of course I had to go back down too.
 Walking in these ruins I imagined a life once upon a time
where three brothers and their father each had a castle on the hill.
I wondered about life during their lifetime.
I imagined smokey halls from wood burning fires to cook over 
and to keep warm on a cold winter night.
I imagined dancing and festive gowns.
I imagined rough times too.
 My fantasy's ran wild while walking here.
 And I dreamed of other times and knights in shining armor.
 Excuse me while I share past travel because I need to remind myself
there were other dream come true adventures and I must savor the memories.
One of my favorite quotes:
I am grateful for each adventure and still I will dream of more.
They may be only hopping in my car and walking on the beach
or still I dream of an adventure in India and far flung places.
Happy travels, even if it is through reading a book, watching a movie,
or walking in your neighborhood.

Later today: The tour was canceled; so my trip has been canceled.
Online today canceling everything and seeing about refunds.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


From wikipedia: Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories.

 Being a water child, pisces is my sign, today I had to walk by the sea.
The sun was shining and off I went; thus my post is late today.
I have always adored water for swimming, sipping, or making tea.
The water sings to me, especially at the shoreline with the sun
sparkling on the surface.
Oh yes, I could have been a surfer girl.
 All pictures taken today.
The skunk cabbage is proliferant right now in the boggy ground.
Plant life needs water.
 Water reflects the sunlight as we drove through the country side.
 On days like this I just want to take my shoes off and dip my toes into the gorgeous blue of the water.
Now I have returned home and soon will have a tall glass of icy cold water to sip.
Happy Monday, dear friends!

Saturday, March 7, 2020


for Gurney Norman, quoting him

The woods is shining this morning.
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall,
or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
the place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
all that it is, and how flawless
its grace is.  Running or walking, the way
is the same. Be still. Be still.
"He moves your bones , and the way is clear."

~Wendell Berry 

Happy weekend, dear friends! 
May grace walk with you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Gordon House

As I walked up the road this was my first glimpse of the Gorden House.
 Surrounding the home were majestic oaks overlooking the area.
The clouds hovering over the hills were quite beautiful
and created a sense of stillness and quiet for me. 
There was no one around and I loved the respite of the walk.
 Spring was starting to shows it's lovely face.

 Please read the description below, but can you guess who designed this unique house?
An architect that has always intrigued me.

 The front entrance.
 I love the windows above.
 Just a peek in the window.
We can see clear through to the outdoors on the other side.
 Flowering currant.
 Such a fascinating home.
From Wikipedia: The Gordon House is a residence designed by influential architect Frank Lloyd Wright, now located within the Oregon Garden, in Silverton, Oregon. It is an example of Wright's Usonian vision for America. It is one of the last of the Usonian series that Wright designed as affordable housing for American working class consumers, which—in 1939—were considered to have an annual income of $5,000–6,000.[3] The house is based on a design for a modern home commissioned by Life magazine in 1938.

The house was started in 1959 and completed in 1963. When Mrs. Gorden died in the 1980's the house was going to be torn down, but was rescued and moved to it's present location at the Oregon Garden.  Since I was in Silverton, Oregon on Saturday I decided to take a walk and explore the outside of the house, but didn't have the time to go inside. It is surrounded by beautiful oak trees on the side of the gentle slope on the edge of Silverton. A lovely place for a Saturday walk/stroll with my camera. 

A last glimpse as I leave with oaks and clouds surrounding it.
Hope you enjoyed this visit to Gordon House.