Monday, March 29, 2021

Word for the Week

 Yesterday I attended on zoom a forum discussion Celebrating Wisdom of Women. I wasn't quite sure where that discussion would go, but following along with a group of younger women of color intrigued me enough to want to listen and learn. 

Could it open new doors for me, reach out and grab me, or teach me something new?

Where the discussion ended up going was finding our "a-ha" moments or our passion. Passion and a-ha moments go together. They talked about what brings them alive, how they find who they are, and how they choose to spend their time. For these women music seemed to be a component that brought passion to them. They didn't want to be identified by what their careers were, but by what their passions were (their a-ha moments) and by what brought them to their place of home.

That word "a-ha" just stuck with me and I had to think back through my life to remember those moments when I knew and said in my heart a big "a-ha". So the word today is "a-ha". 

Is it a word in the dictionary?  Yep!

exclamation: a-ha 
used to express satisfaction, triumph, or surprise.
A place in time, sipping tea in France.
One of my stories of an a-ha moment was when I decided to move from one career to another. I had a little push from a boss I had at the time, which then encouraged me to make a list of those things I loved in life. In journal writing and self reflection I realized tea had always been entwined throughout my life, but I had never thought of it other then having a quick cup in the morning. That a-ha moment came when I realized it could be so much more. Once I realized that, it has become one of my passions and ties so much together. It encourages me to learn more, it connects me with people, and it has given me adventures I would have never imagined. Even the forum I watched on Sunday wouldn't have happened for me if it wasn't for my connection to tea.

Just a side note and one I knew, but still touched my heart once again. In watching and listening to these wise young women brought home to me that we are all the same. It doesn't matter the color of our skin, who raised us, what circumstance we live in - we are all the same. For that I am thankful to have been surrounded by these beautiful, strong, wise women for this moment in time.

Can you remember a a-ha moment in your life?
Did it make a difference in the direction you went?

Friday, March 26, 2021

Trees make a Difference!

Most of you have realized that I love nature.

What I am learning about myself is that I am still learning and concerned for our world.

Recently I just started paying more attention to the importance of trees and how they effect our climate.

 I read just this morning that with the more trees we plant in cities the temperature can be lowered up to 10 degrees. Wow! That is amazing! Urban Forestry is a thing, a term I hadn't heard or listened to. I have felt so strongly on the importance of trees to our climate that I have started donating each month to two organizations that plant trees both locally and throughout the world.

As I write I remember my childhood being framed by trees. I climbed trees and terrified my neighbors. I walked under trees and picked their fruit. I hugged trees and ran my hands over their different barks.

But still, I took them for granted, I just expected them to always be there. I didn't realize their importance for the air we breathe and the temperature surrounding us.

This is my bandwagon today! Let's just stop to notice what we notice and take small steps to make a difference whether it is planting a tree, donating, or just admiring and appreciating what is in our own backyard.

     "Save the World, Plant a Tree, Be Part of the Solution."         American Forests 

All pictures, but the last two were taken on a recent drive to the Pacific Ocean for the day. I am trying to notice the trees and pay attention to their importance for all of us. 

Just two blocks from my house, down the middle of the street, is an arboretum of trees.

Neighbors have planted flowers surrounding the trees and it is quite beautiful today. I walked there just to snap pictures for you this morning. The cherry blossoms are out there too.

Let's all be tree huggers! 

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Monday, March 22, 2021

A Word for the Week

"There is a voice inside of you that whispers all day long,

'I feel that this is right for me,

I know that this is wrong.'

No teachers, preachers, parent, friend or wise man can decide

what's right for you -

just listen to the voice that speaks inside."

~Shel Silverstein

My son had many of Shel Silverstein's poems memorized as a child

and still when I come across one of his quotes I think "yes" once again.

Yes, VOICE is the word for this week.

Wondering what voice this hawk has that I found in my garden this week.

I think his voice was saying "feed me", but we sent him on his way.

Listen to that voice within and have a terrific week.

Friday, March 19, 2021

A Green Teatime

 A Green Teatime is the perfect way to celebrate the beginning of Springtime and St. Patrick's Day!

Recently I asked a group of tea lovers what would they make for a March Green Teatime.

There were a lot of fun answers that definitely encouraged me to have a St. Patrick's Day tea theme.

So this week I served teatime with this in mind to my "live-in gardener" and myself in the green house.

There were sausage rolls with Dijon mustard, a stacked sandwich of tuna, black olive, and deviled ham with a green cream cheese frosting, Guinness whole wheat scones with raisins soaked in Guinness, green fruit salad with a peppermint tea syrup, and brownies with a layer of peppermint flavored icing.

I had planned to sip green tea, but then decided to continue my Darjeeling sipping from earlier morning. My "live-in gardener" sipped some Tulsi, which I also enjoyed helping him finish off.
It was fun to search my house for the color green. Of course my green depression glass works. Then a green teapot with my Marmalady's tea cozy made from vintage fabric. Both of the teacups are vintage too. The cup on the far side by the green chair is handleless and comes from the late 1800's. The cup closer in the picture is made in England (Colonial Pottery). I am not sure how old it is, but guessing early 1900's. I need to do more research on it.

Picking a single color to focus teatime was a fun challenge and one I plan on trying again.

Hummm? Wondering what color would be fun to feature the next time?

Anyway, it was just wonderful to be back in the green house for teatime.

I have missed it during the winter months.

Have a great weekend, dear friends!

Monday, March 15, 2021

A Word for the Week


Daffodils always shine for me during my birthday month. I consider them my flower. They bring me great JOY and laughter to see them sway in the early spring breezes. Each year I can TRUST that they will be there for me once again.

Trust can be a tricky word, don't you think?

I recently listened to a live chat (yep, I have been doing that a lot this past year) and two young women were talking about that word, TRUST. They said to TRUST in what you believe. Allow yourself to TRUST your intuitions.

Shel Silverstein said:

"There is a voice inside of you 

that whispers all day long,

'I feel that this is right for me,

I know that this is wrong.'

No teachers, preachers, parent,

friend or wise man can decide

what's right for you - just

listen to the voice that

speaks inside."


So when you see the first blooms of springtime, think of me

and remember to trust yourself and what you have inside. 

Sending love on this early springtime day!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Springtime, Am I jumping for JOY?


 Yesterday it was going to be a springtime day in my part of the world; so I made reservations at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens to see what springtime was showing it's lovely face. We were greeted by these lovely blooms along the sidewalk before even entering the garden. It just made me smile.

                                       There were several varieties of camellias in bloom.

The dark red of the Japanese quince just sang to my heart.

The tree peonies are just about to bloom.

More camellias!!!

New Leaves on a Willow

Where yesterday were bare gold stems,
March's windy stratagems
Have today miraculously
Wrought new leaves on a willow tree.

New leaves so mistily winged and small
They seem to spray from a waterfall;
Water cascading headlong to stop
Midway down on its breathless drop.

New leaves so sudden-green they scorch
The somber sky with a fiery torch;
New willow dreams again;
New high resolves in the hearts of men.

Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller

Then home to view my own garden and spring time. The daffodils have taken over my garden, they are so beautiful!


The roses are showing life, awakening!

 In front of the house, can you see all the yellow?

 A close up of the first camellias spied in my garden. Soon there will be many of them.

Do you love springtime as much as I do?
I almost feel giddy seeing new growth and color!
And the greens of springtime are always the best!

Speaking of greens, we even have peas now growing in the veggie garden.

I know, I know! Spring isn't officially announced, but once I see the new life
my heart is renewed.
Now with the vaccinations well under way, again I feel hope and renewal!

Have a terrific weekend, dear friends!
And yes, I am jumping for JOY!

Monday, March 8, 2021

March 8th International Women's Day

These words are for this week.


 "Here's to strong women. 

May we know them.

May we be them.

May we raise them."

~Anonymous (found in Tea Time Magazine) 

Purple is the color that represents justice and dignity,

it is recognized as the international symbol for women.

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."       

    ~Judy Garland  (thanks Steph for this quote) 


A few days ago online I listened to a live chat honoring International Women's Month. What came from that conversation was:

Feminine is internal side of "yin" to the male "yang"

When there are more women involved in politics a country is less likely to go to war.

Kindness is the center of humanity.

Sharing our stories and love we become who we are in the fullest.

The final words were that the world needs more softness, more of the feminine side, less aggression, more kindness.

Part of my story. This picture was taken when I was about 10 years old at my uncles apple ranch. There was also my younger sister and three cousins that I had never met before. I am sorting old pictures right now and just loved this remembrance.

Celebrate who you are and definitely share your kindness and softness! 

Here I am with a cup of tea in hand, meditating on life.
This is not in my home, but a chocolate shop that has now closed here in Portland.

Have a good day, dear friends!

Friday, March 5, 2021

Teabag Art

 Whenever I happen to sip tea from a teabag, I save the bag. It is emptied of the wet tea, washed of tea particles, and then dried. What a special way to have art paper and sip tea too.

My art table is small, but in the perfect location to watch the wild life outside my window.
There is a vintage book of wildflowers, dried leaves and seeds, and other inspiration nearby.
The first thing I do is a rough sketch of what I have in mind for the picture. Then I dab on watercolor. Watercolor on tea paper can be tricky. If it is too wet it spreads in places I might not want it to go. After the watercolors dry, which is rather quick I sketch with fine tipped felt pens to frame and bring some control to those wild watercolors. I finish with a black pen, dark green pen, or a soft pencil.
These days there usually are two or three in process on my table.
If the teabag stayed in the bag shape I love tucking a dried leaf or a small treasure inside.
Sometimes there is a bit of whimsy.
My favorite subjects are flowers, mushrooms, trees, and a touch of whimsy.
I love that I have picked up the paint brush and pens during this pandemic time.
I really hadn't done much art since art school, because after I graduated in 1985 I went to work and raised two children. 

Have you done anything new or different during this time?
Have a terrific weekend, dear friends!
Hoping you are finding time to play.

Monday, March 1, 2021

A Word for the Week


Winter in the woods.

Do not try to save
the whole world,
or anything grandiose.
Instead, create a clearing
in the dense forest of your life,
and wait there patiently,
Until the song that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize it and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself 
to this world
so worth the rescue.

by Martha Postlewaite

A friend sent me this poem last week. I thought you would enjoy it too.

What came to mind after thinking on it for awhile, with the waiting joy comes in the morning. March 1st always brings a smile to my face because winter and the darkness is leaving and there is joy in the little things around us. My crocus and daffodil are beginning to bloom and they make for a happy heart.

When I think of the clearing in the forest I realize that is where the sun comes in. With the sun or the light I shine.

What makes you shine on this first day of March?