Thursday, September 29, 2022



“Would you like an adventure now,

 or would you like to have your tea first? ”

 -James M. Barrie.

 I am off on an adventure for the next week.

When I return I will have stories to share.

Tea will be sipped and people to see.

But most of all a return to another time in my life, a time to remember and savor once more. 

Have a terrific week while I am away!

Monday, September 26, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem



Flowers today are from a recent visit to Lan Su Chinese Gardens. This lotus was stunning.


How It Is

Over and Over we break

open, we break and

we break and we open.

For a while, we try to fix

the vessel - as if

to be broken is bad.

As if with glue and tape

and a steady hand we

might bring things to perfect

again. As if they were ever

perfect. As if to be broken is not

also perfect. As if to be open

is not the path toward joy.

The vase that's been shattered

and cracked will never

hold water. Eventually

it will leak. And at some

point, perhaps, we decide

that we're done with picking

our flowers anyway, and no

longer need a place to contain them.

We watch them grow just

as wildflowers do - unfenced, 

unmanaged, blossoming only

when they're ready - and mygod,

how beautiful they are amidst

the mounting pile of shards.

~Rosemary Wahtola Trommer

Japanese anemone were in full bloom in the garden,but they are also blooming in my garden at home.

As in the poem, a flower blooms only when it is ready to bloom. Do we likewise bloom when we are ready? And yes, there is a part of brokenness in life that allows the light to shine through the cracks and make us more beautiful. I think, for me, it is a hard lesson that I continue to learn.

Have a beautiful week, dear friends!

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Color of Autumn

 With the anticipation of Autumn in the air, I have been looking for signs. The color ORANGE just speaks to me of the season at hand. I never really paid attention to orange, but this year I am looking for it. Sometimes it is just a small touch and other times a splash that says "notice me!". As I write this I am wearing my orange tee shirt. It really is a happy color.

 With the visit not long ago to the dahlia farm I found touches of orange in both huge and tiny pumpkins. They just made me smile. I had gone for flowers, which you know I enjoyed, but also found orange.

And then with a visit to the farmers market in search of my favorite Gravenstein apples, I also found orange and cheerful color.

Autumn Fires

Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
   And all up in the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
   See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over, 
   And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
   The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
   Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
   Fires in the fall!

And then just a few days ago my "live-in gardener" and I took a walk at Lan Su Chinese Gardens and again there was that color. The pomegranates and lanterns just spoke of Autumn.
Aren't the lanterns pretty? I loved seeing them. In fact I think they encouraged me to look more for orange everywhere I went.

This old grain mill is a short drive north of Portland into Washington State, but it just speaks to me of Autumn in all it's glory.
Then today I walked through an antique mall and again there was a touch of orange. I had never seen a teapot with an orange rose. I think it is sort of 1930's or 1940's retro and quite happy with color. No, it didn't come home with me; but I love taking my camera to the antique mall just to bring home pictures to share with you.
And finally right in my own yard there is a new dahlia blooming. It was an addition to the garden this year and it makes me so happy to see it begin to bloom. This bloom is called Iced Tea. Can you guess why I had to add it to our garden collection? Just the name tugged at my heart. I think it is beautiful!

So may I wish you a happy Autumn!
Go out and notice what brings a smile to your face.
Happy weekend, dear friends!

Monday, September 19, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do no labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Matthew 6:28-29

"Be strong and very courageous." Joshua 1:7

 The flowers I have posted are not lilies, but still they shine each spring in the fields. Peonies in all their glory.  And the quotes may not be judged as poetry, but so much of scripture I believe is indeed poetry.

This morning as I watched the committal service for Queen Elizabeth the above scriptures were brought to mind by the words shared as she was laid to rest. She was indeed strong and courageous.  She has done her job well. Rest, dear Queen. We will remember the Queen of Hearts.

Sending love,


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Assam Heritage Tea - Tea from India

Today's post is a review of three Assam, Indian teas. I am reminded, as I mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth that her "go to" teas each day were all from India. Her favorites were an Assam, Darjeeling, and Earl Grey teas. They were all brewed in a fine china teapot and served in a pretty teacup. England has quite a tea history with India in the help of developing the tea industry. They secretly took plants from China and transported them to India to help with the tea growth there. About that time they did find an assamica variety, which has a larger leaf, growing wild in the Assam district and that was also cultivated.

  Recently Assam Heritage Tea sent me three special 2022 teas to taste. They are always so generous to share with me to review or just to taste. Normally I don't drink Assam because I find most of them quite astringent and too strong for my liking. But Heritage Tea company works hard to develop extraordinary, special teas that just delight me. Rajen and June Barauh's love of fine teas just shines in the teas they develop. 

 White tea in a cup.


The white tea (2022) had a fresh floral flavor, like walking through a field of wildflowers. A touch of sweetness, but not overpowering. I was surprised I liked it because often (for me) I find white teas a bit weak in flavor.

Black tea in a cup.

Assam STGFOP (June 2022). Most of you might not know that teas are graded and identified sometimes by letters. This particular tea stands for Special Tippy Golden Flower Orange Pekoe. It was very smooth and a bit buttery in flavor. Not at all what I often taste from a black Assam. Yes, it was "Special" and delightful.

Another - Black tea in a cup.

Artisanal Long Leaf (2022). I shared this with my son and we had fun reviewing it. We both agreed it was like walking through a dewy field of tea with a touch of sweet mushroom or through the forest on a cool Autumn day. This was our favorite.

We found no acidity in any of the three teas. I steeped all three at boiling temperature for 4 minutes.

If you would like to find teas from Heritage Tea you can find them at   Look for teas from India and then search out Heritage Tea. You would definitely not be disappointed. 

Happy tea drinking, Happy weekend - dear friends!

Monday, September 12, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and A Poem


 Flower in my garden this morning after a soft night time rain.

 Not exactly a poem today, but something to think on. This came to me just yesterday as I sat in church. Interestingly the message was on grief and this is what I began thinking about. Sometimes as we get older we might feel unseen, some grief and a bit "shabby"; but as the quote says it does take a long time to become "Real". I feel like each day I become more "Real".

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”  from the Velveteen Rabbit

Here I am with this flower in the garden.

My shirt says "Here's to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them."

As a strong woman, may we accept our flaws, our imperfections, and become more "Real" each and every day.

Friday, September 9, 2022

A Moment to Breathe

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. Share this Quote Oprah Winfrey
Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. Share this Quote Oprah Winfrey

"Just the fact that you get to live and breathe and interact with the world – that's pretty marvelous."  ~Junot Diaz

Just take a breath and enjoy my visit to Swan Island Dahlia Farm in Canby, Oregon.

 "Unexpected change is like a breath of fresh air, a little brisk at first, but magic for the body and soul."   ~ Susan Wiggs, 'Just Breathe', 2013.

 "I love being in the woods when I can just walk barefoot in the grass and just sit down and breathe. I love that so much." ~ Jessie Reyez.

 "There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted. Then, there’s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity." ~ Rumi.

  Cafe au Lait is one I have wanted in the garden for awhile. Next year it will be there.

Dear Friends,

Have an amazing weekend. Go out for a walk and breathe.

Love to you all, Marilyn

Monday, September 5, 2022

A Gift for You - A Flower and a Poem


On Saturday I visited Swan Island Dahlia Farm here in Oregon. I snapped about 80 pictures; so I am sure you will see more another day. I felt like the two that showed the sky that day perfectly fit the poem.

Over the Weather

We forget about the spaciousness

above the clouds

but it's up there. The sun's up there too.

When words we hear don't fit the day,

when we worry

what we did or didn't do,

what if we close our eyes,

say any word we love

that makes us feel calm,

slip it into the atmosphere

and rise?

Cream miles of quiet,

Giant swoop of blue.

~Naomi Shihab Nye


Do you love dahlias? More and more I have fallen in love with them.

It was a perfect day to wander the farm full of flowers.

Dear ones, Go out there and find a flower and spacious skies today and ENJOY!