Friday, October 29, 2021

Back Home Again


My "live-in gardener" and I returned home Wednesday afternoon.

What an adventure and dream come true adventure.

The #1 best thing about this 2 weeks away were the people. We had some wonderful chats along the way with strangers, including an elderly gentlemen, Dick, out in a park in Charleston, SC. 

What makes any travel so special is meeting people. 

We were given a DC tour and then had dinner with a dear friend, Daren, and his wife. We have known Daren since he was quite young, as he is the son of my "live-in gardeners" first professional boss and a dear friend in Kansas many years ago. We also walked in the National Botanical Gardens with Daren, thus began our garden visits.


We had lunch with a dear blogger friend, Mary and her husband in Raleigh, N.C. It is so special to see each other in person and walk in their garden. I had seen sights from Mary's porch over the years and to sit there with Mary in person was a huge treat. Thank you so much, Mary and Bob! I have followed Mary's beautiful blog for years. You can find Mary at

Then it was off to Greensboro, N.C. where we visited with dear friends, the Daniels family. We were so busy visiting we forgot to take a picture. The time spent with them was precious.


Teatime with Denise was so special at Bay Street Meeting House.


In Charleston, S.C. tea time with a tea friend, Denise. Now you know I couldn't pass up teatime with a dear tea friend! Five years ago we had tea with Denise in London; so this was extra special to have a repeat visit in another part of the world. Each time we get together it is like renewing our connection with a long time friend.

Then our last visit was a first in person visit and again it didn't disappoint and so special with Angela. We kept saying tea friends never disappoint and are the best. We have followed each others blogs for many years; so our time over a good cup of tea and chicken salad sandwich was wonderful. Did I say I think chicken salad sandwiches are a thing in the south. It seemed to be on many lunch time menus and I loved them all. We met at Just add Honey in Atlanta, GA. In my cup was Georgia Peach tea. Of course I had to have that one when visiting Georgia. You can find Angela at

Well those were the people of the adventure and everyone just made the trip a delight.

#2 I had no idea we would be visiting so many gardens and we loved them all. I will share one or two glimpses today and more to come. I was constantly trying to capture butterflies in the gardens. The top picture in this post was my first capture in the garden at Mount Vernon.

Always on the lookout for fall flowers and pumpkins this display was found along a country road.

The Magnolia Plantation near Charleston, SC was full of camellias and I loved every one.

Fall colors were found!

My first time in DC I had to walk the monument mall.

#3 Finally it was the sights we had gone to see and a couple dream come true visits for me. I think my "live-in gardener" didn't know they could be dream come trues, but I believe he enjoyed them too. More on those to come.

For now I send greetings!

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Word for the Week

noun. 1An unusual and exciting or daring experience.

Wednesday my "live-in gardener" and I embark on what I am calling an adventure. I am not sure it is "unusual" or "daring", but it is somewhere new for us. So it is an adventure to the east coast of the US, places we haven't seen before and sipping tea with new friends and old.  With the pandemic still at hand I could say it is a bit "daring". We will travel with care, vaccinated and masked.

There may be new gardens to visit.

New tea times to enjoy! As the quote says above, just a cup of tea can be an adventure.
New chairs to sit in and chats to be had.
And a new sea to see.
For we will fly to the other side of our beautiful country, touching down at a new airport to us, and for a couple weeks exploring new terrain and vistas of autumns delights.
An adventure is coming and I will share when I return.
Have a delightful rest of October, dear friends!
Enjoy each adventure both large and small.
Take a risk now and then, dance, and laugh each day.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Searching for Autumn

 In the past week I have found Autumn. Have you found it? I love searching for a new season and Autumn didn't disappoint.

The temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest have become cooler and rain has been in the air. I have shared my favorite apple orchard before. I go in the Spring for blossoms and Autumn for apples. I was a bit late and the apples were gone, but still I enjoy visiting my favorite orchard on Sauvie Island.

I had not noticed the sink sitting by the barn before, but just loved that it was there to wash our hands.

Autumn didn't disappoint with touches of color here and there.

The old oak tree was still standing in the field as I drove by.

And a field of yellow pumpkins. I am not sure I have seen a yellow pumpkins before. The orange ones were further back. Can you see them?

And there were flowers along the road in many places, but I always smile when I see them filling the back of this old truck.

Then before it is too cold my friend, Steph, came for tea in the garden house.
How lovely it was to sip tea, nibble some fruit, scone, cucumber sandwich, and a veggie sandwich that Steph added to the tea time.
The veggie sandwich came from Bruce Richardson's teatime recipe book called The Tea Table, page 45, Falling Leaves Tea Sandwich with beets and carrots. It was delicious.
We sipped two different teas:
Jin Jun Mei oolong from Wuyi Origins
Osmanthus oolong from GrassPeopleTree

Both of the teas were extra special and delicious.

I served Jin Jun Mei British style and then the Osmanthus Oolong was served from a gaiwan. Have you had tea served from a gaiwan or Asian small pot?
To decorate the table I picked Autumn colors from the garden.
Steph knows that I often wear pearls to honor my mother at tea; so she wore her pearls.
I didn't have my pearls on, but I had a vase my mother received many years ago as a wedding gift. The vase was my nod to my mother having tea with us.
Do you sometimes give a nod to someone special when you are doing something they would love. My mother would have loved sitting at this tea table.

Yes, I did find Autumn this week and am enjoying it immensely.
Happy Autumn weekend, dear friends!

Monday, October 4, 2021

Word for the Week

 Bend: verb -

shape or force (something straight) into a curve or angle.
"the rising wind bent the long grass"
The berries on my dogwood tree bend down to the ground. They are easy access for the squirrels to nibble. 
Axel Vervoordt, an interior designer and author of Wabi inspiration in design, talks about flowers that bend down as humble. There is an ascetic of humbleness in a downward bend of a branch. 
Sometimes the rose heads are so heavy for the stem to hold them that they bend, but still beautiful.
Do you find inspiration in nature? In the bend of a branch, the touch of a velvet petal, a feather fluttering in the wind?
 My red dahlias came from the garden. They had bent so low they were actually laying on the ground. I told them I would rescue them; so I brought them indoors, washed the mud from their petals, and put them in a vase. They bent down; yet they were still pretty.
Even the hands of my scare-crow jack o'lantern bend down.
Thinking on this word, since I just watched Memoirs of a Geisha on Netflix, I am picturing the geisha bending down in respect to others, in greetings and farewells. It was a humble gesture, showing respect to others.
I look at my aged hands, in the bend of my fingers, which show much abuse and years of using them in my trade. They are bending in ways I don't particularly like and they don't always work the way I would like them too; but yet, they have stories to tell. 
Find a word today just for you and play with it, use it, and delight in it.

Have a terrific week, dear friends!
PS: I was away at the beginning of last week, my apologies for missing the word for last week.
The last two weeks in October I will take a break from blogging just to take an adventure.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Adventure to the Sea

 What I really should call this post is "girl time out".  I have a women's group I have joined  on several occasions at one of their cabins. It has always been a quiet, peaceful get away; something rather spiritual. I had never joined a group of very creative women just to laugh and celebrate. It was new to me after all my years to take an adventure to the sea, stay in one of my favorite places, and laugh and sip tea to celebrate a 60th birthday of one of my friends. There were 12 of us staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel at Nye Beach, Oregon.


Each room of the hotel has a different author's room. This picture and lamp were in the Colette room. The first evening we all dressed for dinner, then took a tour of each of the women's rooms where they read something from their author and shared something special to drink. Then we had dinner together in the hotel restaurant. Because of COVID the restaurant was limited to just our little group. It was just delightful to visit and get to know friends of the guest of honor.
On a side note: we all have to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test in order to attend. I really appreciated all the cautions put into place, as I am not quite back to my old time comfortable self for traveling and being around groups of people.

Sunday morning the four tea friends introduced the rest of the group to tea. There were four tables set up: two different oolongs, a puerh, and a white tea. I served the white tea from my little blue gaiwan.

My friend, Tracy, and I shared the John Steinbeck room. This wall painting was just perfect to illustrate his writing. You probably can't see the frogs sitting on top of the grill in the picture, but do you know why the frogs were included in this room? I thought it was frog races in Calaveras County, but that was Mark Twain. However, John Steinbeck must have been fascinated by frogs also, in Cannery Row he said,

“There were frogs all right, thousands of them. Their voices beat the night, they boomed and barked and croaked and rattled. They sang to the stars, to the waning moon, to the waving grasses. They bellowed long songs and challenges.”

It was a rather stormy weekend, but still just to see the views of the sea from the hotel were magical. I didn't hear one frog croak, but I did listen to the sea.

And if you have followed me for a long time, I am always searching for Adirondack chairs by water. When found there is always a picture taken with my "big girl" camera.

May you all find opportunities to laugh with a friend, share a moment of peace by water, and a place to feel cared for.

Happy weekend, dear friends!