Monday, June 27, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem


 I adore hydrangeas and roses together. The hydrangeas are finally beginning to show their color in the garden this week.
“Love recognizes no barriers.
It jumps hurdles,
leaps fences, penetrates
walls to arrive at its
destination full of hope.”
 ~Maya Angelou

This quote is what I must pay attention to right now.
Never give up hope, speak your voice, and vote like your life depends on it.
This comment is in response to what is happening in the world on so many avenues from the control one country tries to bare down on another, to men that fear losing control so put restrictions on others, and to the lack of love for one another.

Let's show a little love to one another
and hope for a better world.
Let's leap fences with our arms wide open.
Welcome, dear friends, to a new day, a new world.
Envision love surrounding the world with hope and love.


Friday, June 24, 2022


  As a young girl I grew up in a church that prayed. When someone would get up to pray it was always all these "flowery" words of adoration and begging. I just didn't feel comfortable with that. I told myself I could never speak with words like I heard there; so I sort of rejected prayer and the religion stuff I grew up with. What I never rejected was that there was a God with me and I could just talk with my eyes wide opened to this "being". I didn't have to be how others thought I needed to be.

In my conversations I found the best time for me to talk to God was during my morning drives to work. For some reason those conversations always started with a song, which sometimes you could find me singing out loud in the car. It became my time of meditation and prayer. Amazing I could do that and drive to work, but it worked for me.

The song I would sing has the following words:

With my hand lifted up
And my mouth filled with praise
With a heart of thanksgiving
I will bless Thee O Lord
I will bless Thee O Lord
I will bless Thee O Lord
With a heart of thanksgiving
I will bless Thee O Lord
With my hand lifted up
And my mouth filled with praise
With a heart of thanksgiving
I will bless Thee O Lord
I will bless Thee O Lord
I will bless Thee O Lord
With a heart of thanksgiving
I will bless Thee O Lord
Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Esther Watanabe

Now Lord indicates gender, but for me it isn't about gender. Lord is God in my heart. The one I can talk to when something is sitting on my heart both in sadness and in joy.

Once I quiet my heart with a song I can just speak plainly what is sitting there to share. Now that I am retired I find that suddenly this song will come to my heart as I sip my morning tea. I don't need to call it up, it is just there. It almost surprises me. I know it is time for a conversation or a few words from my heart. It is time to share with God.

I did find another church that sits well with my heart.

I hope you don't mind that I speak of prayer this morning, but this is a part of me. I think by sharing we can all know we need to follow our hearts and speak our words whether it is to God, a spiritual being, or to another soul. It lifts us up and heals our heart.

I wrote this yesterday, but the picture is my broken hands praying this morning for our broken country. There is great sadness in our world, may it be healed.

May love prevail!

Take care, dear friends!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 20, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem

 This morning I walked in my garden with camera in hand just for you.

When I saw this calla lily it reminded me of the hearts I send to you.

by Kim McMillen
As I began to love myself
I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living
against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is Authenticity.
As I began to love myself
I understood how much it can offend somebody
if I try to force my desires on this person,
even though I knew the time was not right
and the person was not ready for it,
and even though this person was me.
Today I call this Respect.
As I began to love myself
I stopped craving for a different life,
and I could see that everything
that surrounded me
was inviting me to grow.
Today I call this Maturity.
As I began to love myself
I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time,
and everything happens at the exactly right moment.
So I could be calm.
Today I call this Self-Confidence.
As I began to love myself
I quit stealing my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects
for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness,
things I love to do and that make my heart cheer,
and I do them in my own way
and in my own rhythm.
Today I call this Simplicity.
As I began to love myself
I freed myself of anything
that is no good for my health –
food, people, things, situations,
and everything that drew me down
and away from myself.
At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism.
Today I know it is Love of Oneself.
As I began to love myself
I quit trying to always be right,
and ever since
I was wrong less of the time.
Today I discovered that is Modesty.
As I began to love myself
I refused to go on living in the past
and worrying about the future.
Now, I only live for the moment,
where everything is happening.
Today I live each day,
day by day,
and I call it Fulfillment.
As I began to love myself
I recognized
that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick.
But as I connected it to my heart,
my mind became a valuable ally.
Today I call this connection Wisdom of the Heart.
We no longer need to fear arguments,
confrontations or any kind of problems
with ourselves or others.
Even stars collide,
and out of their crashing, new worlds are born.
Today I know: This is Life!

The garden is in it's full abundance of blooms. Here is the first signs of color on the hydrangeas.

The softness of the peonies sings to my heart.

The petals of the dogwood speaks of butterfly wings.

And so I walk and think of you in all the variations of green.

Let's spend this life being present in the moment, even if it is just walking in the early morning with a camera in slippers and robe.
Have a terrific week, dear friends!

Friday, June 17, 2022


 From the dictionary: "a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view."

When I visited the tulip farm a few weeks ago I wanted to look at them with a different perspective, at a different angle, or a different direction. Sometimes we are so focused at looking from the typical perspective that we forget to challenge ourselves to look in a new way or to see things differently.

Do we look from the bottom up?

Or do we look when something is beyond their prime?

Do we only see the tip of the iceberg and never look more deeply?

Sometimes life seems out of focus. How do we bring it back into focus?

Or maybe we only see black and white.

How do we add the color back?

Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality. Share this Quote Jen Sincero
Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality. Share this Quote Jen Sincero
Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack to abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into your reality. Share this Quote Jen Sincero

"Gratitude is one of the strongest and most transformative states of being. It shifts your perspective from lack of abundance and allows you to focus on the good in your life, which in turn pulls more goodness into reality."  

~Jen Sincero, from Brainy Quotes

I found a lot of really good quotes on Brainy Quotes on perspective. A fascinating word to think on.

How do we push ourselves to look at something differently? 

Have a great weekend, dear friends!

Monday, June 13, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem

 On my wedding day.

 Wishing I was closer to this skinniness these days. Smiling as I write this!

On this day, 58 years ago, I married my "live-in gardener".

Yellow has always been my favorite color. So even though the picture above is in black and white, there were yellow roses tucked in my bouquet. The bridesmaids carried yellow roses too. This yellow rose is in my garden today.

In those days brides also had "going-away" outfits. The photographer had us pose for one last picture before we "went away".

“Habitation”by: Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house, or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back, where we squat
outdoors, eating popcorn

where painfully and with wonder

at having survived
this far

we are learning to make fire


I think this poem by Margaret Atwood describes marriage here. We don't have a clue what the future holds, but we were young and had stars in our eyes. We had many unpainted stairs. Oh the innocence of young love and the places it would take us. It isn't for the faint of heart to survive 58 years. There are times of tears, sadness, anger, but also laughter, songs, and fire.  

It is lovely to follow our hearts, but always keep eyes wide opened.

Sending love to each of you as you climb your own stairs.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Retired, but Keeping Busy


I love that I am retired and don't have the stress of rising early, then scampering off to the office. 

I also love that my time is my own. But I must say some weeks just fly by and I wonder where the time went. What did I do?

After I posted a white tea time I just knew I needed a red tea time too. The red rose is for Sheri just because I know you love red roses. The red cozy on my teapot is my own design and I sell the sewing patterns on etsy. Yep! That is one thing I do regularly. Just this week I had a sewing pattern for this cozy travel to Australia and another to the United Kingdom. This little business is what keeps me supplied with good tea in my kitchen and then in my tummy.

Soon this desk will be moved to my daughters house, as eventually we will downsize. I have been cleaning it out and loved the idea of snapping a picture of the inside of a clean desk. It was my grandfather's desk. As a little girl I can remember him sitting there doing his bookkeeping and smoking his pipe. When I was given the desk it smelled of his pipe tobacco. Now if you asked my grandson what it smells like now he would say chocolate. It has been where I would hide my chocolate stash. I am sure when we move it to his house he will be expecting chocolate to come along. I think I need to put a chocolate bar in one of those drawers.

Some refer to black tea as red tea. My favorite "red tea" is Yunnan Gold, which I sipped as I wrote this post.

Then this past week I ventured to my favorite garden here in Portland, Lan Su Chinese Gardens, to meet a friend for tea and a peaceful walk. I hadn't seen her for a few years; so that was a joy. It's funny because she was my daughter's friend and became mine. Now we see each other when she comes to town and she tells me to tell my daughter hello.

So with the walk and then sitting at this table we sipped a nice oolong and nibbled on almond cookies, then caught up on what was happening in our lives.

Yesterday I didn't snap one picture, but I hosted my former swim group friends for a potluck in the garden house. There were 12 of us sitting around the table as the rain pattered on the roof. It was a dear time of remembering friends that have passed and enjoying the bond of friendship that still remains.

Friendships and making time in our day for them is a treasure, one I savor dearly.

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Savor each day!

Monday, June 6, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem



"Tea is naught but this;

First you heat the water,

Then you make the tea,

Then you drink it properly,

That is all you need to know."



Tea fields in the mountains of Alishan, Taiwan.

Blossoms are blooming and the kettle is on.

Savoring a good cup of tea this morning and remembering traveling to the tea fields of Taiwan a few years ago in springtime. Yesterday I attended a tea tasting and tasted ten different teas. The caffeine effect is still sitting with me today and there was very little sleep last night. Still gathered around the teapot with a couple friends is such a delight, occasionally it is worth losing a bit of sleep. Tonight I will sleep and dream of traveling again one day.

Happy new week, dear friends!

Friday, June 3, 2022

Garden Time

 On a rare sunny spring day recently I visited Crystal Spring Rhododendron Gardens. I wasn't surprised to find many others had the same idea. It had been several years since I walked here. Now I am wondering why I hadn't been there in awhile, it is so beautiful at this time of year.

The orange in this rhodie just shined.

Isn't this combination of softness and pink so beautiful?

This fence just sang to my heart.

I loved that some in the garden found little areas to picnic and enjoy the day.

It felt like walking through tunnels of sweetness and beauty.

The pink in the next three pictures particular made me smile. I loved them all.

But then a little white must walk with me too.

A wedding was being set up in the garden and I thought just a bouquet of these white flowers would make the perfect wedding bouquet.

How I captured this main thorough fare without people, I don't know.

Because Portland sometimes has very rainy days, especially in springtime;

when we have a sunny day everyone is out walking. One thing I love about this city of mine. And the beauty of springtime astounds me each and every year.

If the sun is shining where you are for sure get out and enjoy every minute.

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Monday, May 30, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem


THE red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a cream-white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips;
For the love that is purest and sweetest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips


There is something about white flowers in the garden that sings to my heart.
They just shine in the early morning light and also at sunset.
Recently I just had to set up tea under an arbor of white roses in my garden.
How I would have loved you joining me there.
Happy Memorial Day for those in the USA.
Have a totally delightful week. 


Friday, May 27, 2022

Tea with my Niece

It was a long time passed due, but finally this week I had tea with my niece. I didn't really know Michele when she was little. Her mom was my half sister, but we didn't meet until Michele was in high school. DeeDee, Michele's mom and my sister, passed away in November 2020 of pancreatic cancer. Because we were in a pandemic there wasn't a memorial service and I hadn't been able to see Michele. My only connection with Michele was with an occasional text. Since she is a busy mom I didn't always hear back from her. I kept telling her we needed to meet near her house at Deepwood Estate for a hug and a cup of tea. Yes, keep pursuing these things that are important.

Finally this past Monday we were able to meet, share some hugs and some tears.

I had worried about her. Good news, she is doing great, which touched my heart and so good to hear, touch, and see.

We walked in the garden.

But mostly we sat right here under a big tree sharing stories, tears and tea.

I made chicken curry sandwiches, goat cheese and fig jam sandwiches, and little cakes with cherry jam. To that I added some macarons from Costco and made a nice oolong tea.

Someone walking by asked if we would like our picture taken. I am so glad she did that. Funny thing, but I never thought I looked like that side of the family and it was a shock when I shared this picture on Facebook and people started saying we looked like family. It seems at whatever age we are, we still learn new things about ourselves.

 Have you found the pandemic caused you to delay an important gathering? I hope you find solace in finally meeting with someone or someone(s) special for a hug and maybe even a tear. This one was so good for me. I think it was good for Michele too, as she wants to get together again. 

Happy weekend, dear friends!