Monday, May 31, 2021

Word for the Week


I know it is really two words, but one thought. It has been on my mind recently. Sometimes I have a particularly difficult day and I remind myself I need to take better care of myself. Last week there was one day that was difficult and I pulled a card out of my deck of self-care cards. Wouldn't you know the card I pulled out was just that "self compassion". "To welcome and even bless the struggling, injured, or grieving parts of ourselves. To cultivate a spirit of kindness that nurtures our soul and flows into empathy and care for others."  But first we must care for ourselves.

There was a time as a young mother that I was having a particularly difficult time so I would take myself to the local nursery and spend some time just being surrounded by flowers and plants. Sometimes a plant such as the one above would come home with me. Every time I looked at that plant I would smile. Was that "self-care"? Yes!!!


As I contemplated these thoughts combined with Memorial Day I thought of the soldiers that cared for our country enough that they would choose to stand up and fight for our democracy, to "care for others."

 How do we fight for our own sanity and safety?

As I was writing this morning I heard from a distant cousin. Her daughter had given birth to a preemie little boy a couple months ago. The mom had a particularly difficult day in the hospital recently when she realized the doctor wasn't doing all he could do for the baby. She yelled at the doctor out of frustration. The head doctor heard her and immediately took action. The baby is now at another hospital getting the care he needs. What if she hadn't yelled, spoke up for her baby? She did what she needed to do to care for her baby and herself. Sometimes it take speaking up, maybe even yelling out in desperation.

Or sometimes it take sitting quietly over a cup of tea either alone or with a friend.

How do you "self-care"?

Friday, May 28, 2021

A Week of Small Adventures


Can you see him? We were quite a distance away, but so fascinated by this Kingfisher with the fish in his mouth. He kept whacking it against the branch. My grandson and I just laughed to see him. My guy and I definitely had been looking forward to bird watching at the Ridgefield Refuge in Washington. What a treat to share this time together just a week ago.

We also spotted many red-winged black birds.
Then just a couple days ago my "live-in gardener" and I ventured south near Salem, Oregon where we visited the Schreiner's Iris Gardens. I have surprised myself in realizing there are many places I haven't visited in my own backyard. The pandemic has caused me to look there and go. These gardens were just gorgeous and the pairing with other flowers was just amazing.
You know spotting the Adirondack chairs throughout the garden just made me smile. 
They weren't be water, but in the garden I am not complaining. Many were enjoying the day in the garden. When we left home it was pouring rain, but it cleared and was a beautiful day by the time we arrived.
I may be a bit strange, but regular bearded iris are not my favorite. I did find I really liked the Siberian iris and this is one I would like in my garden.
There were many paths to walk just full of blooming flowers and that did bring a smile to my face.
And then just down the road a couple miles we stopped at Adelman's Peony Gardens. I have ordered from them in the past, but never visited their gardens. The coral colors particularly caught my eye.
And again walking in these gardens was just plain gorgeous. Now peonies are a favorite of mine and we have several in our garden. Now after visiting here I want more peonies. A bouquet came home just to prolong the enjoyment.

This garden also paired other blooms with their peonies and it made for a stunning garden walk.
Aren't these lupines just amazing?
The pink and yellow just sang to my heart.
Fields of peonies and a red bloom too.
To end my week just in my own neighborhood while out on my walk, I stopped for tea at Lovejoy's.
Next week Oregon is opening up and we will once again be able to enter into restaurants, but this week I was thankful that it wasn't raining as I sat listening to the traffic pass by while sipping tea and nibbling on a sandwich and scone. What a treat of a week of small adventures.
Small adventures delight our hearts.
Have a great weekend, dear friends!
Find a small adventure!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Word for the Week

 Compassion: a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.  (as found online in the dictionary)

As once again I have been sipping my tea this morning by the window I shared last week, many words ran through my head. It seems like so many beautiful words came across my path in the past days and compassion wasn't one of them. But as I sat thinking over the past week this morning I realized compassion was in my heart and needed in the world. Several have shared with me this week both online and more directly that they were having a difficult time with depression. I have felt great sadness for the situation in Israel and Palestine, it is just always close to my heart. My heart is heavy for all of those effected by the pandemic with loss of life, dear ones, jobs, and homes. There seems to be so much loss this past year, it saddens me more than I can even share here.

Even at my age I want to save the world, but some days I feel like there is nothing I can do. So I focus on the flowers outside my window, I say hello to the people I pass when out walking, I pray, I hold dear ones close to my heart and check in with them from time to time. What more can we do to show compassion to one another? How can we embrace them as we walk together through this rough time? No one person is untouched by this time of upheaval throughout the world. What healing bandage can we apply? Open for suggestions. How can we help heal this world and ourselves of this great sadness?

Sorry to be more negative this week, I guess it must be where my heart is sitting right now. Sending much love to each of you as you walk this world that needs to heal. Surround yourself with compassion and love, treat yourself with kindness and compassion.

Saturday, May 22, 2021


 Recently I walked through Hilda Kluger's lilac gardens in Woodland, Washington

The wisteria arbor always makes me smile when I walk through the gate entering these gorgeous gardens. Then beside lilacs there are so many beautiful sights with each turn of the head.

But we came to see lilacs and lilacs we saw.
I wish I could remember their names, but I just went to savor their beauty and fragrance.
I could tell you this one above this sentence is my favorite, but each is my favorite.

Aren't they amazing?

With each sighting, each sniff of the nose, and each delight it feels like we are sipping flowers, just as this fairy is doing. Sipping flowers is pure decadence!
Just yesterday I did indeed sip flowers for I made elderflower cordial from my own garden. Have you ever made a cordial from flowers? OH MY! Try it sometime, it is just taking the feast for the eyes and filling your soul with the sweet fragrances of springtime. Lilacs is another flower that makes a lovely cordial. I use Jamie Oliver's recipe, which I found online; but there are plenty of recipes to be found and actually quite easy. Then I freeze the cordial in small containers for deliciousness of flowers later throughout the winter.

Hoping you are having a delightful, flower filled weekend.
Happy weekend, dear friends!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Word for the Week


Each morning I sit right here with my tea and toast. As I was sitting there just moments ago I began thinking "what word will I choose this week?". Words flowed through my head and I attempted to grab one, but then I stopped. The silence was almost deafening. Usually I see from this perch someone walking by with a dog or two, but this morning there wasn't one walker. I listened and in the distance I could hear the soft drone of a plane. I saw a fly and a crow flutter by. The leaves on the trees were still. It felt like I was the only person left in the world and I sat, I listened, and I prayed. And still there is that plane flying overhead, but nothing more. Those in my house sleep as I listen to the silence.

Silence is a fickle thing. As a young mother I craved it. As an older woman often finding myself alone it sometimes feels lonely, but sometimes it feels almost spiritual too. Sometimes I want to fill up the moments with music that makes me want to dance, but at other times I cherish those moments where all I hear is the drone of a plane overhead or the distant call of the train.

So my word for this week is SILENCE. Listen carefully, cherish those moments, embrace them, then dance.

Have a great week, dear friends!

Friday, May 14, 2021

Teatime in Purple

 It was a lovely sunny, but cloudy day; just perfect for sitting in a garden. Yesterday I packed up teatime and drove across the river to share teatime with a friend in her garden. There were gorgeous bearded iris, which made the perfect decoration for teatime.

And then we sat to enjoy teatime in purple. I don't remember who said I should do a purple tea, but it was indeed a challenge. I am not a purple person, but I love a challenge. My mind flew through thoughts of the color purple for teatime and this is what came from my imagination.
I loved being embraced by the trees surrounding us. Then off to the side Mother Mary blessed us.
When planing I knew we must have the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea. What a fun addition to the purple teatime. When the tea is poured it is blue, but then as you add lemon it turns purple. The flowers in the purple glass vases were flowers from my garden. Even my friends little table and chairs fit so well with the teatime theme.
Can you see the difference? The tea on the right had the lemon added and the tea on the left hadn't had lemon yet.
The savories were grilled eggplant with goat cheese and a small dill pickle roll, deviled eggs marinated in beet juice, roll of purple cabbage slaw with grilled brisket, open faced sandwich of cheese and pickled beet, and chicken curry sandwich with red/purple grapes. The plates had small violets on them.
There was also a scone with grape jelly. The sweets were lemon tarts with candied violets and lavender flavored cupcakes with lavender icing and a lilac blossom topped it all.
We also enjoyed a cup of Mariage Freres Wedding Imperial tea with our sweets. It was the perfect finale to teatime in the garden.
I loved having a purple teatime with a friend in her garden. What a special, delightful, purple day.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Word for the Week

 One definition of the word for the week this week is: (of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated. Can you guess the word? It is WILD.

When I think of "wild" I do think of wild animals and wild flowers; but I also think of things like "wild child". What does the word mean to me? It means walking through a field or down a hidden path and spotting maybe just one small flower growing where it has chosen to grow. It was not planted by humans, but maybe a bird dropped a seed right there or it just decided it was time to shine.

I often saw these orange plants while growing up California and I not so sure they are wild, but they did shine for me in the wild grasses along the shore last week. They remind me of my mother, she liked them.
Do you have skunk cabbage in your part of the world? I think they got their name from the fragrance they send out. Skunk cabbage was blooming along the road in wild abandonment.
With the moss on the trees in the forest I felt like I was in a wild place far away from civilization.
And then if I looked more closely there were fiddle heads just springing up from the ground. I think they are suppose to be good to eat. Have you ever eaten fiddle heads?
Trillium's are a favorite too. I love when I find them in the wild, even though there is a small clump that grows in my garden. Certainly they have chosen to shine in the woods.

I am not sure what these sweet yellow flowers are, but they look like violets to me. Do you know what they are called?  My plant id says Redwood violet.

There were times as a child when I loved to adventure through the woods, I was a bit of a wild child. I loved nature and still love being outdoors enjoying the day.

Now I hope you go on your own adventure to find the wild around you. Take note of where you are planted. Have a great week.