Saturday, May 30, 2020


Well I downloaded the pictures and forgot to finish the post.
Life gets crazy sometimes.
The elderflowers are blooming in the garden right now;
so it was time to make elderflower cordial.
The recipe I tried this year had me steep the blossoms in a sugar syrup
with some lemon juice for 3 days.
It just becomes this gorgeous color and the scent is amazing.
After the three days you pour it through a sieve to remove the blossoms,
then I freeze part of it in little containers for the winter.
It is like springtime in a cold glass of ginger ale, sparkling water,
or maybe a crisp white wine.
Isn't the color amazing?
I wish you could smell and taste it, delicious!
I think next year I will go back to the Jamie Oliver recipe online,
but this was fun to try for this year.
Just a treat from the garden.

Hope you are having a delightful weekend, dear friends!
Get out and enjoy Springtime!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

I am Enough

Let's chat among the roses in my garden.
What can I say?
Each day I am learning that "I am Enough".
But still it is a hard lesson to really accept in myself.
Today I want this to be about just opening myself up,
sharing where I am at with this Covid19 pandemic.
In March when it began it just took my breathe away.
Really I could hardly breathe and I was having days where
I could hardly walk across the room as I was so dizzy.
I just panicked even more with each day and
finally called the doctor.
I wasn't sure what was happening to me, it was terrifying.
My blood pressure was high.
The doctor suggested I keep a journal each day of my health issues
and as I have written it down I realized the panic was causing the dizziness
and the high blood pressure.
Once I realized what was happening it has gotten better and I have
been able to say to myself "take a breathe", "relax", "it will get better".
It has been a time of reflection too.
It has been amazing to see what has and is coming my way since noticing.
As always I have a long way to go, but I am learning more of who I am and what I want.
Listening to an interview yesterday and then another one today just fed into
those things I am learning.
Deepak Chopra was reminding that after each global crisis comes change
and we become stronger.
He reminded me the we must acknowledge our compassion within
and that with every action comes love. We can become a source for happiness.
Sheryl Crow said she was keeping her stress level down for herself and family
by avoiding the news most of the time and just taking moments to remember who we are.
Katie Couric has the nicest interviews and though she gives the
news in her newsletters, she also takes time to have positive stories.
On another interview yesterday I was reminded to meditate,
which I have never been good at.
Meditating is something I need to learn to do much better.
I also need to learn to eat better and take care of myself with regular walking.
I need to open up to creativity and make time for it.
Why is it so hard to take care of ourselves?
How can we accept that who we are is indeed enough?
We are blessed and yet we don't allow ourselves to accept it.
Just seeing these roses blesses me each and every day.
Knowing you are there, dear ones, blesses me.
Taking a walk or sipping a cup of tea with a friend (of course at 6ft. distance)
is truly a blessing.

I think I will struggle with this until the day my life is over,
but isn't that what growing is all about?

Is this a time of reflection for you as we struggle together?
Is there something you are learning and want to do differently?

Monday, May 25, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


from wikipedia: a social gathering in honor of a specific person, day, or event

Normally on this Memorial Day we gather together to remember,
but most often it includes a celebration of those that have served.
We gather with family and friends in honor and celebration of their lives.

Searching through my pictures to find celebration brought forward color.
It seems like color plays a part of celebration and this picture felt like a celebration.

Making a score when playing a game is worth a celebration.
Wearing a red poppy to remember, a way of honoring and celebrating.
Music can play into celebration too, it adds it's own kind of color.
For many of us this will be a personal celebration
of remembrance and endurance.
A quiet time to remember.

How ever you choose your celebration
have a good day.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

UN International Tea Day

This morning I woke up knowing that this was the first ever
UN International Tea Day to be celebrated.
There were so many live online events it has captured most of my day.
An amazing array of speakers from all over the world enchanted me.
It was a love fest of tea lovers.

And now I head outside.
The sun is trying to show it's face and nature calls me.
Tea comes with me most often, so there will be tea at the park.

Several bullet points from speakers today:
~Being connected to tea is a great privilege
~Tea shortens the distance between our hearts
~It is a miracle of life
~We are the caretakers of the earth
~If everyone planted one tree there would be no global warming.
~Listening, often in silence, is a gift
~Georgia O'Keefe had a tin of tea she labeled "good tea"
~Travel changes us.
~To be amazed every day
~Must know tea to sell tea.
~Must know tea to make changes that are better.
~tea lovers are part of the "leaf tribe"
~tea creates a quiet place of beauty.

It has been a beautiful celebration of tea today.
Sending blessings to you, dear friends!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

from wikipedia:

Magic may refer to:

To me magic is sitting on the shoreline viewing the sun rise or set over the ocean,
seeing a shooting star, an unexpected kindness from another,
dew drops on an early morning garden,
a song that touches deep within,
or that first sweet smile of a baby looking up at me.

Watching the progress of a bouquet of roses go from
vibrant to drooping and still look beautiful is magic from nature for me.

Magic conjures so many tingling, smiling thoughts.
What is it in magic that brings a smile to your heart?

Saturday, May 16, 2020

California Girl

I was a California girl through and through.
Any chance to be at the beach, I was there. laying in the sun and body surfing.
No fear was my middle name when it came to swimming out in the ocean
teasing friends to go further.
The sounds of the waves still tickles at my heart and call me.
But there were other things that called me too.
California poppies made me smile.
Walking barefoot on a hot summer day through a fine sifting of orchard dirt.
Heading to my uncle's ranch with the large icy cold soda chest to grab an orange soda.
Driving country roads to the baseball field to watch a favorite boy play ball.
Eating watermelon and letting the sweet, sticky juices run down my arms.
Flying through the air on the rope swing or swimming in the local watering hole.
So this week when I went walking in my neighborhood and saw
poppies and purple flowers that grew wild in my California girlhood days,
I just smiled and remembered.
Wondering if the people living in the house I passed were California transplants too.
Did they plants these flowers to remember?

What triggers a memory for you?
These memories can be most powerful!

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Hope you are having a good one staying put.
Sending Love!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tea Crop - Spring 2020

Tea (camellia sinensis) grows in my garden.
There are about 7 plants, but I pick from the more mature plants.
The small 3 are waiting until they grow up to be big plants and then there will be a full hedge for picking.
About mid-March I plucked my first flush, picking the top 3 leaves that were freshly grown.
I let them sit for a few hours then wrapped them in a cloth napkin and twisted and twisted more
to get a tight ball. Letting them sit tied in the cloth, then twisted some more.
Probably I got about 2 small teapots of tea from that plucking.

I thought that was going to be the only plucking this year until about 2 weeks ago I noticed
there was a lot of fresh growth.
I plucked again and got the largest amount ever, I was amazed.
This time I decided to let the leaves sit over night and then stir fry them in my iron skillet.
Here they are still fresh in the skillet ready to stir fry.
Stir fry is done now.
It took about 10 minutes on a medium heat.
Isn't it pretty, I think so!
Now time to taste.
The stir fried tea was like a white smokey tea.
Then I compared it to the earlier batch.
It had more sweetness and was like a white tea.
Comparing the two side by side really helped me know which I liked best.
I liked the first batch best.
The second batch I may add some herbs to make it a blend,
maybe lemon verbena.
It's fun playing around with my own tea crop.
No harm done if I don't like it as it is just for me.
If I was not social distancing, I would make a pot to share with friends.

Hope you are finding something fun to do just for you while quarantined at home.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020

For zoom church yesterday I was asked to share a word at the beginning of the service.
We call that "first word".

This is what I shared about my mother and God.
Hope you enjoy it.

"With Mother’s Day on my mind I read the scripture for today.  Two words particularly jumped out at me. Refuge and Comfort. These remind me of my mother. As a young girl the town where I lived had a siren that blew each day to mark the time at noon. It was part of my life and a comfort. Once in the while it would ring out loudly at an odd time, even during the night.  It was a signal to the volunteer firemen to come because there was a fire in town. It would wake me terrified, shaking and crying. My mother rocked me until I quieted down and could go back to sleep.  She comforted me.

My mother was a simple, beautiful lady who made simple food that was comforting. Her popovers with homemade jam were the best. And when she was down she told me to get the teapot out and we plopped in a teabag or two and for awhile we pretended to be ladies or we pretended to be the queen. We laughed and suddenly she felt better. Her home was always tidy and clean and she loved her two girls more than I can even imagine. She created a safe place, a refuge of comfort and love.

God’s love can be both a comfort and refuge in times of struggle.  In times when we are down – God holds us in loving arms and says it will be well.

My mother found refuge in God. I knew that she prayed for me daily. She comforted me."

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Qualities of a Woman

Drawing the Qualities of a Woman

If you want to get the
Best from a woman,
Treat her as you would
Treat fine tea.
House her well.
Appreciate her delicate properties.
Put her to your lips often and
Savour her enhancing qualities.
~Susan Patterson (Earlene Grey)

Dear Friends,
May your weekend be blessed.
If you are a mother may you be treated kindly.
For all here, breathe and savour each and every day.
Stop a moment, sip a cup of the good tea, and nibble on something sweet.

Cookies in the French teacup are French Sables with lilac blossoms.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Raindrops on Roses

This morning very early I took a walk in the garden.
The sun was just coming up and there were rain drops on roses.
The air wasn't exactly cold, but then again it wasn't warm either.
In the dusty light of early morning I tiptoed across the grass.
Such a special time to "notice what I could notice".
It was a quiet hour.

Yes, there were raindrops on roses.
Singing that song in my heart.
Love when rose season starts, it just sings a sweet melody for me.

Now please tell me this, what has happened to blogger?
The whole format changed today.
Hoping it comes out OK when I hit publish!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Word for the Day - 2020


from wikipedia - Travel, the movement of people between distant geographical locations. 
Day's journey, a measurement of distance; Road trip ...

The last road trip my "live-in gardener" and I took was to national parks.
I loved having this journey, it was a dream come true.
We hiked right here around these American Indian relics at Hovenweep National Park.
A journey can be by automobile, but also by train.
This is the Portland, Oregon train station.
Waiting for an adventure, a journey by train.
A different time when social distancing wasn't a thing.
A long, most dreamed about journey to Europe and Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands.
Journey creates wonderful memories and dreams for me.
This was the last time I took a long journey outside the US.
It was 2016 and I still dream of more.
Closer to home there are places to journey by foot, to dream under fluffy blue skies
and wonderful trails.
Or to meander down a country lane.
Or even by sea, floating on gentle waters.
We can journey, we can dream, we can plan
and one day the journey will be ours again.
Looking for a quote for the word journey, this one just struck me with it's simplicity.
Yes, life is a journey! If we put one foot in front of the other and move forward,
we can journey together.

Life is just a journey. Princess Diana
"Life is just a journey."
~Princess Diana
Life is just a journey. Princess Diana

Friday, May 1, 2020

The Gardner

In my family we call the "live-in gardener" the rose guy at times.
He and I both love the roses in the garden.
Portland, Oregon is the City of Roses.
In the picture is the first rose to bloom this year.
It is Lady Banksia, a white rose, but some are also pink.

In honor of poem in your pocket day, just yesterday,
I am sharing a poem by a favorite poet, Mary Oliver.

The Gardner

Have I lived enough?
Have I loved enough?
Have I considered Right Action enough,
have I come to any conclusion?
Have I experienced happiness with 
sufficient gratitude?
Have I endured loneliness with grace?

I say this, or perhaps I'm just thinking it.
Actually, I probably think too much.

Then I step out into the garden,
where the gardener, who is said to be a 
simple man,
is tending  his children, the roses.

~Mary Oliver

Lilacs blooming in the garden.
 A red rose almost ready to open.
 The garden in bloom.
Happy weekend, dear friends!
Stay safe!