Friday, February 26, 2021


 Well the month of February is almost over, so thought I must post a Valentine teatime.

The first time I saw a chocolate medallion was when visiting a chocolate shop in Paris.
For Valentine's Day this year I decided to replicate the medallion for a tea time treat.
They are actually quite easy and a fun thing to do.
I bought a chocolate bar at the market and melted it in the microwave.
On the parchment paper I traced circles where I spread the melted chocolate.
Then searching through my cupboards I found some almonds, cashews, dried fruit and
then sprinkled dried marigold petals from our garden on top.
I think they turned out rather pretty after a cooling in the refrigerator.
Shortbread cookies and chocolate mini-cupcakes happened to be in the freezer;
so thawing them out it was a buffet of Valentine sweets to celebrate the day of love.
And then it was teatime!

Have you ever tried replicating something your have seen in a bakery, chocolate shop,
or restaurant? How did it go? Do you keep sweet treats in the freezer for a special teatime treat?

Tea time is my favorite time to try for something pretty with sweets.

Happy weekend, dear friends!
Hope you have the opportunity to add a special sweet to your teatime.

Monday, February 22, 2021

A Word for the Week


                                       My garden house a week ago. Pretty wrapped in snow.


Ice on branches in the garden. Again pretty in a wintery way.

But color calls to my heart.

Color delights me. 

Much as I try loving neutrals

Color is the song most heard. 

The rhododendrons were found at a park near my house right before our snow storm.
The tulips were found at the market.

Does color sing to your heart?
Do you notice when it is nearby?

My heart is full with anticipation of springtime!
I am dreaming and making plans.
How about you?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cottage in Bruges

 One of the most favorite places my "live-in gardener" and I have ever stayed when traveling was this   gardener's cottage in Bruges, Belgium.

My blogging friend, Jeanie, shared recently on her blog  

a favorite cottage she stayed in on an adventure in England. You might enjoy seeing her post.

I told her I was dreaming of this gardener's cottage at the back of the garden in Bruges; so I decided maybe you would enjoy seeing it too.  It was the gardener's cottage where he would sit, sip his tea, and watch out the window at his domain. He didn't really live there, but he had it as a retreat during the day. It was about 400 years old and was just a room with a fireplace.  More recently the owner decided to turn it into a bed and breakfast, so added a kitchenette at one end of the room, stairs into the attic with a bedroom and small bathroom.

When we arrived at the owner's door, she walked us through her home and out the back door. Then we walked through the springtime blooms of an apple orchard to the back of her property and there sitting in the corner next to her back wall sat this little cottage. It took my breath away. For one thing I am an apple girl and just knowing that little orchard was outside my door I was delighted, but then living and sleeping for a few days in this historic cottage I was in heaven.

I don't know why I didn't get a picture of the peaked roof. The whole thing was just gorgeous.
While we were there my "live-in gardener" (husband) had vertigo one day and couldn't go out. This little cottage was the perfect retreat to rest and recover.
The table had this set up for tea available at any time, which included chocolates and cookies.
The view from the window.
Each morning the owner would bring us breakfast. It was always delicious and such a treat, we felt truly pampered.
The pastries and bread were freshly made. There was always a tray of meat and cheese, plus fresh fruit and yogurt. There was fresh juice too. And eggs or hot cereal. I never eat like that at home, but it was such a treat.
The kettle always had hot water available. Isn't that a beautiful copper kettle?
Teatime looking out on the garden was a delight.
Just a peak upstairs and the bed.
The view from the bathroom window. The roof of the cottage was much the same as these roof lines.
Next to the cottage was a door with a key for us to leave and go walking and return to at the end of our adventures. Our own private entrance to the garden.
Really it was hard to just leave to visit the rest of the city when we loved just being in this cottage and sitting in the garden.
It was an oasis in the city and one I will never forget.
A House for Happiness
They built a little house for happiness-
Our forbears in that long and long ago-
And walled a garden round about to bless,
With flowers and with trees, love's overflow.
A structure reared of oaken timbers...dream...
Materials time cannot twist awry!-
The leaded panes still harbor sunset gleams;
Still chimneyward at dusk the swallows fly.
They build a house, and we remodeling,
Have come on rusty keys to romance hid
In corner cupboards, in a gabled wing,
Beneath a shining copper kettle's lid...
A house for happiness-as heritors,
O what a privilege, a trust is ours!
~Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller

If you ever want to stay in this little cottage you can find it on TripAdvisor - B&B De Sterre.

Do you have a place or cottage escape you have taken somewhere special?

Happy Dreaming, Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Monday, February 15, 2021

A Word for the Week



definition (noun) from M. Webster: admiration, amazement, astonishment, wonder, wonderment.

The majesty of a tree, nature, and a tiny newborn.

When I think of the word "awe" I do thinking nature, the natural life around me and you.

This snowy picture is my world right now, though it is melting quickly after turning to ice.
Water in nature delights my heart truly and most thoroughly. This is the Pacific Ocean, but a river, waterfall, or lake makes my heart sing too.
Is "awe" something that makes our heart sing?
The word just causes me to pause and pay attention.
What causes you to stop and pay attention these days?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

 My "live-in gardener" and I had decided about a month ago that we needed to

get out of our house for an adventure each week.

Last Saturday we took an adventure to Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

I knew it was there, only about a 30 minute drive north into Washington State;

but somehow in all the 40+ years living nearby we had not visited.

Now I am almost embarrassed to say so, but it certainly won't be 40 years

until we visit there again. In fact, we are already planning to take our grandson

and daughter as soon as it is safe with the pandemic to ride in the car together.

Red wing black bird's greeted us when we arrived.
We were told we must stay in our car and drive slowly with stops along the way.
In fact, we could tell when there was something special to see because
there would be several cars ahead of us stopping and looking.
Canada goose, I am sure there must have been at least a thousand of them.
Muskrat, well I liked seeing 4 or 5 of them, but I am guessing they
are in the rodent family; so they were not my favorite.
American Coot, plenty of these cute birds too.
Great Blue Heron with several sightings along the way.
Deer, on one of the stops. There were about 6 of them out in a meadow.
Canada geese, yes, more geese!!
Tundra Swans, I had never seen so many swans in my life.
This was only a few of them.
All those white birds in the background were swans too.
Great Egret, just strolling along.
Bald Eagle in flight, there were two of them, but couldn't see them closely.
Water fowl, coots   Ducks in a row!

Great Blue Heron, he was quite close.

After Reading Lucretius, I Go to the Pond

The slippery green frog

that went to his death

in the heron's pink throat

was my small brother,

and the heron

with the white plumes

like a crown on his head

who is washing now his great sword-beak

in the shining pond

is my tall thin brother.

My heart dresses in black 

and dances.

~Mary Oliver, Blue Horses Poems

It truly felt like a vacation for a couple hours

and we loved every moment of the adventure.

Have you taken an adventure during this pandemic time?

Not always easy to do, but soooooo worth it. 

This weekend we will be stuck at home,

but the sight outside our window is snowy white and all quite beautiful.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

A Tea Review

 Because I most often write about the experience of tea I don't often get asked to review tea.  I am always surprised when a company contacts me and offers to send tea to review. Recently a fairly new company (2019) contacted me from China and asked me to review some teas. They have quite a long list of greens, which I don't drink; so I said not to send me green teas. They also have oolongs, black, and a long list of puerh teas.

There were three teas to taste and enjoy this past week. An oolong (da hang pao), a raw puerh (Guihua 2018), and Phoenix black classic S8 JD01. 

The Da Hang Pao oolong was steeped in a gaiwan and came out a beautiful clean, golden color on the first brew. With each sequential steep it lightened. I steeped the tea 6 times. It would be a nice winter oolong with a slight smokey flavor, full leaf, fragrant, and quite peaceful on a early morning sip.

The Raw Puerh (Guihua 2018) was also steeped in a gaiwan and held up quite nicely with 7 steeps. The fragrance and the taste told me "Yes" this is a puerh. It was sort of an earthy, down on the ground scent and flavor, like a walk through the spongy, mossy, and damp undergrowth in the forest. If you don't know, puerh teas are quite good for cutting fat and lowering cholesterol, one that was recommended to me many years ago. I can even sleep well after sipping this late in the day, even though there is caffeine.

The Phoenix black classic S8 JD01 was steeped English style. It had a clear red/orange color and a clean taste. The fragrance for me is like the after taste of a citrus, slightly smokiness. Most might not get this explanation, but it is the closest to what I can relate it to. This is a tea I would choose for a morning breakfast tea and I quite enjoy.

In this bottom picture you can see the puerh tea after steeping. It was a full leaf, which I do love seeing in my gaiwan.

Natural Puerh company was established in April 2019 located in Kunming which is the capital city of Yunnan, China. You can visited their website and see the wide selection of puerh and other teas at

I find it is always worth tasting and sipping, as I learn more about tea with each sip. I enjoyed the sips.


Monday, February 8, 2021

A Word for the Week


"In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom, and find the blessing in every curse." Anthon St. Maarten
Above picture was a journey I once took through a cave in France.
Though I am showing you journey pictures I have taken, it isn't about where you
have gone, but how you have traveled through life.
"Not everyone will understand your journey. That's okay. You're here to live your life, not to make everyone understand." Banksy
What a thrill I never expected to have in my life. A visit to the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.
These sweet ladies both touched my heart when I met them. There gentle spirits sang to me of love.
I think the thing that has made my journey so special is gentle women that have crossed my path.
My journey has been and is more bright because of women that sing to my soul.
We don't need to get on an airplane or travel far when we are open to special ones that touch us.
It is a journey we walk on each and every day.
We must be open to where the road leads us.
And be willing to go for it - jump into life!
The experience of the jump, the journey, is amazing.
Can you see the line I flew on and the platform down below where I landed.
I was flying with the birds and with each jump I was terrified.
But in the end the journey was worth it. I learned so much about myself. I was proud of myself for jumping and for the flight. It was a journey of a lifetime.
Where has your journey taken you?
What journey are you taking today, this week, and next year?
Be brave, dear ones!