Monday, August 30, 2021

Word for the Week

 Thinking about school starting next week here in Oregon I was thinking of the word LEARN, but then as I watched out my window early this morning the word came to me - SHARE. What do you see out your window and what word would it remind you of?

When I lift the shade in my bedroom each morning I look for bunnies nibbling on plants in the garden.  I didn't see any today, but sometimes they are there nibbling away. I share my garden with them most happily.

This rascal was outside my kitchen window this morning.

He was having the time of his life feasting on the seeds of the sunflowers.

I was most happy to share with him, but of course he wasn't sharing.

He wanted them all for himself.

And we wondered why he hadn't been to our bird feeder recently.

I write this blog for myself, sort of selfishly; but I love sharing with you.

I love when you leave comments, a note that you enjoyed my words or pictures.

As a verb:  "have a portion of (something) with another or others."
"he shared the pie with her"
I would think sharing is also with thoughts, words, hugs, a smile.
There are many ways we share each day.
Maybe we just share a quiet moment together.
Or I would share a cup of tea with you if you visited my garden.
I think in our sharing we can make the world a better place.
Have a great week, dear friends.
Share a smile or a friendly hello with someone each day.


Saturday, August 28, 2021

Sunflowers Make Me Smile

 "I want to be like a sunflower; 

so that even on the darkest days

I will stand tall and find the sunlight."

 author unknown

In our garden standing tall is the sunflowers.

I included the car for perspective. They are the tallest sunflowers we have ever had in the garden.

Eventhough there are sunflowers in my garden, I still had to drive to the country to find more. Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island (about a 30 minute drive from my home) I found the sunflower maze.

They had a u-pick area, but only my camera picked the flowers.

Sunflowers just make me smile. They are such a happy flower.
Now the ones in my garden are enticing the squirrels to come to the banquet.

Sunflowers by Donal Mahoney

No one has to teach a field
of sunflowers how to worship.
Before dawn in high summer

their necks are bent
in silent prayer like monks.
But as the sun comes up

sunflowers rise as well.
At noon they adore the sun
the way monks in pews

adore the Host at elevation.
Listen and you may hear
sunflowers sing Alleluia!

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Word for the Week

I read just this morning the description of a bowl that fell to the ground and cracked. The owner chose not to repair it because in showing the crack the bowl had a story to tell and they felt it became more beautiful. They went on to describe a woman that in all her brokenness, she became more beautiful. Have you ever seen an older person that's face just shines and you just know there is a story of beauty and brokenness to tell?

 With the advent of social media I have noticed over the years the use of the word beautiful.  I have thought it was overused and wondered if there wasn't other words that would work sometimes for variety or that would better describe a breath taking sunset or a flower shining in the morning sun. I actually made a list of alternate words to describe something beautiful. On my list is pretty, stunning, wonderful, lovely, gorgeous, amazing and awesome.  What sights touch you to say these descriptive words?

What takes your breathe away with it's beauty?

For me it is a sunset or sunrise full of color, the waves flowing into the shore and tickling my toes, the color of the tea flowing into my cup, flowers of any kind (even wildflowers and weeds), a babies toes and fingers, a redwood tree standing tall and reaching for the sky, a meal prepared with talented hands and laid before me, a smile on a strangers face or that of someone close to me too, a freshly cleaned house and so much more. I love walking through my antique mall just to search out beautiful and snap it with my camera. I don't need to buy anything, but just savor that beauty in the moment.

One of the blogs I have followed for a very long time is written by Corey, French Le Vie, and she often shows treasures that are broken or torn. She has talked of the beauty in the brokenness. I think she actually prefers it in her home because they have stories to tell.

Today and each day let's look for the beauty in the small things and in the brokenness.  You may have guessed by now that the word this week is indeed BEAUTY.

And for sure "Notice what you Notice".

Friday, August 20, 2021

Off to the Seaside

 Just last week here in Oregon we were hovering around 100 degrees. On Thursday I believe it hit 106 degrees and my daughter said let's go to the beach. Off we drove with my live-in gardener, daughter, grandson, grandson's good friend, and me. We packed our lunch and drove the 1 1/2 hours to our favorite spot at the seaside.

A lot of people had the same idea, but finally we found parking at Oswald West (Gnome Beach) and with about 1/4 mile hike we were at the water.
I love this hike because it takes us through gorgeous old growth trees. My children call it Gnome Beach because many of the trees have holes where the gnomes must live.
And here were are! The beach was a bit misty when we arrived, but as the afternoon moved along the sun came out. How wonderful the cool air felt.
Oh! I forgot there was a white dog in the car too. The dogs loved running along the waters edge as much as the people loved scampering in the water, getting our toes wet, and avoiding getting a full dunk in the waves.

But some came prepared to ride the waves and it was fun to watch them come and go.
This is one of my favorites beaches. It actually is a cove wrapped in trees and cliffs.

My live-in gardener started stacking rocks and after awhile we were surrounded in stacks.
As we climbed the hill to return home to our hot houses there was one last look back to remember a special day by the sea.
And we walked again through the trees.
It was a special day away, a much needed day by the sea.

When you are having a hot summer day, how do you cool yourself?
Do you go to the water, up in the hills, jump in a pool, or sit by a fan?

This week our days are back to normal temperatures and I am delighted in each day once again.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Monday, August 16, 2021

Word for the Week


From a Dictionary search online: "Contentment is the state of being happy and satisfied. ... If not, have another piece of pie and then you'll feel contentment. Contentment isn't an excited kind of happy, it's more like a peaceful ease of mind. It's being satisfied with what you have, whatever that is."

This is a hard one for me. Is it for you?

I have thought for quite a few years about being satisfied with enough. Do I havc enough things or adventures? Do I have enough in my tummy? Am I loved enough? Am I content with what is in my world?

When I look at the world just in my neighborhood and then look to other places in the world, can I accept the way things are and be content where we all are? I worry often for people that are suffering. I want the world to be a peaceful, loving place yet we cannot change the world, but only how we perceive our world around us.

Can I stop and just smell the flowers?

Yes, I have many questions on this word, more than answers. 

From the Christian bible it says, Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

“I am content; that is a blessing greater than riches; and he to whom that is given need ask no more.”
Henry Fielding  

“At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Can I sit still and allow the contentment to come? 

I don't mean this to be negative, but this word is sometimes a struggle for me.

For today I will sit in the garden, smell the flowers, sip my tea and let the world struggle to figure it out without me trying to fix anything. 




Friday, August 13, 2021

A Picnic Drive

 Since my "live-in gardener" and I are not traveling much we try to take a weekly adventure. Recently we decided to drive along the Columbia River to Hood River and then around Mt. Hood and home. We took a picnic along which consisted of cold cuts on pretzel rolls, my mother's potato salad, a few chips. fruit, a cookie, and ice water.

We weren't sure where we would stop for lunch, but found this nice park in Hood River. It was the perfect place to sit for awhile and enjoy a cool breeze. I loved the way the sun shone through the trees.
As we began our drive, leaving Hood River, we found many fruit orchards with peaches ripe for the picking and more picnickers enjoying the day.

And there it is, Mt. Hood, in all it's splendor. We once had a friend say she was going for a walk up the mountain. It may look like you could do it, but it is quite a climb. It isn't one I have done, but my "live-in gardener" did it once upon a time. The climbers start at night with spot lights and make it up there by morning. There are certain months that are safer to climb. For me it is just a joy to view it's majesty.
Did you know Mt. Hood is a volcano? We have quite a few volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest.
There were wild flowers along the road and of course I had to stop to take a picture.
I am not sure if the purplish flowers are fireweed or not, but fireweed is an interesting wildflower.
I just learned that after a forest fire it is often the first sign of life and rebuilding of a forest.
I love that it is known for this.
The snow is melting away on the mountain, so the the streams were flowing to the river and then to the sea.
One final look at the mountain before we headed home.
I didn't tell you that one of our goals for this drive was to find a local produce stand. We thought maybe we missed finding one until the very last minute before we hit the freeway headed home. There it was Fuji Farms! We came home with some raspberries and apricots. Finding Fuji Farms brought back sweet memories of taking our little children to pick strawberries on that farm many years ago. I think we came home with more strawberries in our tummies than in the basket. What a treat to pick and nibble along the way. So delicious!
Picture taken at another fruit stand a few weeks earlier, but this definitely is always a treat to stop by a farm/fruit stand and find special fresh delights at this time of year.

It is very hot here going into the weekend.
We are having 100 degree days; so my goal is just to make it through the days until it cools a bit.

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Monday, August 9, 2021

Word for the Week


Each Sunday someone in my church congregation starts the service with what we call "first word".  Occasionally I am asked to give the "first word". This coming Sunday I will be doing so. What has been on my mind to share is the word, Listen. So often, in conversation with another, we forget to really listen. By listening we need to truly hear them and not put our own agenda and assumptions into the basket. We need to listen and clarify when we don't quite get it. Do you find this as irritating as I do when I share and the person doesn't really hear my heart? Did I need to share it in a different way, so they hear? 

Picture is on Mt. Hood, walking in the woods and listening to the sound of the water and breeze through the trees.

I will be reading a Mary Oliver poem from Why I Wake Early for them.

"Just a minute," said a voice......

"Just a minute," said a voice in the weeds.

So I stood still

in the day's exquisite early morning light

 and so I didn't crush with my great feet

any small or unusual thing just happening to pass by

where I was passing by

on my way to the blueberry fields,

and maybe it was the toad

and maybe it was the June beetle

and maybe it was the pink and tender worm

who does his work without limbs or eyes

and does it well

or maybe it was the walking stick, still frail

and walking humbly by, looking for a tree,

or maybe, like Blake's wondrous meeting, it was

the elves, carrying one of their own

on a rose petal coffin away, away

into the deep grasses. After awhile

the quaintest voice said, "Thank you" And then there was silence.

For the rest, I would keep you wondering.

Picture where I sat with a friend and listened to the birds around us while sipping a cup of tea.

Now what I heard from this poem that the writer was listening.  The writer responded by hearing what the speaker said and then the writer thought on these words of "Just a minute" and "Thank you". Do we truly hear, do we listen and take the words into our wonderment?

At the end of my sharing we will be singing a song written by Ken Medema:

Teach me to stop and listen,
Teach me to center down,
Teach me the use of silence,
Teach me where peace is found.

Teach me to hear your calling.
Teach me to search your word,
Teach me to hear in silence,
Things I have never heard.

Teach me to be collected,
Teach me to be in tune.
Teach me to be directed,
Silence will end so soon.

Then when it’s time for moving,
Grant it that I may bring,
To every day and moment
Peace from a silent spring. 

 Can you tell listening and hearing are very important to me? If you met me in person you would know that I am a person of few words, one reason sometimes my posts are not long. But on the other hand I want to be heard when I speak. I am passionate about this and could go on and on about how much it irritates me when in a group and people are speaking over each other and turning the subject around or on to themselves. It is a "discussion" my own husband (my "live-in gardener") and I have sometimes. 

So for today my word is LISTEN. Take it to heart, learn to hold another in the silence of your listening.

Thanks, dear friends, for listening. 



Friday, August 6, 2021

My Grandpa's Apple

  Once upon a time this was my grandpa's orchard, then it was passed to my aunt and uncle, and now it belongs to my sister and her family. Yes, my grandpa spent many hours here both pruning and picking Gravenstein apples; but also nurturing beehives.

So recently it was a thrill when my mailman delivered a box of 11 Gravenstein apples from these trees. What an amazing treat. My sister thought I would love to make an apple pie once more from this orchard in California. Indeed, I did! I now have one pie in the freezer for a cooler day. I want to really savor it on a cool day when the house can fill with the scent of apple and cinnamon baking.

 An apple tart made once upon a time.

In the meantime I picked out the biggest apple that had the stripes I admire and carried it to my grandson with my story. Being an older grandmother I want very much to pass my stories on to my D and the apples tell a story of family and growing up running through these very grounds and devouring the perfect apple from these trees.

My grandpa's thermos, which often traveled through the orchard. This time it is joined with one special apple from a tree in his very orchard, which I ate today. Do you see the stripes? Yes, I insist, they must have those stripes to be the best.

Family stories are to be treasured and this is one that is so memorable to me.

Do you have memorable stories, a simple story that brings you joy?

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Monday, August 2, 2021

Word for the Week


Recently I was reading Wintering, The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May. She talked about loosing her voice and going to a singing coach to get her voice back. At first she wasn't sure a singing coach would help, but with work her voice returned. He encouraged her to read out loud and to listen to her voice as she read. 

He used the example of Margaret Thatcher in the use of her voice. That Margaret was criticized if she talked in a strong or in a soft voice. She actually had to have elocution lessons when elected as prime minister so she could learn to speak in a way that didn't offend. They talked about how a women is judged by the tone of her voice where a man is not.

I find by not using my voice to speak for myself, I lose my power as a woman. Who is going to stand up for you/me and represent ourselves if not ourself? Listen to your words, grow in confidence.

Just yesterday in church my pastor asked what gifts you had that you could share with others. As people stood up and spoke in the microphone I waited. I was trying to muster my courage to say what my gift was into the microphone. Finally when others were finishing I knew I had to speak. With a clearing of my throat I spoke into the microphone and shared. Now no one bit my head off or criticized me for what I said, yet each time I must take a big breathe and be brave enough to use my voice. We all have something special to say and we must then listen.

Oh do you want to know what I said my gift was?  I said, "With all the ugliness in the world, my gift was noticing the beauty in the world and sharing it with others." Sort of simple, but so needed. In sharing, I needed to use my voice.

On Instagram if you ever visit there you can find me @marilyntea. Occasionally I read poetry and pour a cup of tea in a video. The main reason I do it is to allow my voice to be heard by both myself and others. Breathe in, pour the tea, and read. I wish I could share the videos here, but haven't figured it out yet.

So let's all speak our truth and share our voice with others, then listen.

Note: I chose pictures of birds that have shared their voices with me while out in nature.