Monday, July 31, 2023

Word Magic

 When you read, do you become enchanted by the way an author shares and wraps around words. Do you get pulled down the rabbit hole by the words and start to imagine and dream?

Is this my rabbit hole?

The following quote from The Velveteen Rabbit did just that for me.

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
by Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

The word for today is REAL.

definition: "actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed."

Did a bird really lay those eggs there, are they real?

I am imagining what it would be like to imagine and it becomes real. As a young girl I had quite the imagination and dreamt my dolls could talk to me. I dreamt that the fairies and gnomes in the woods could dance with me. I think even today I love to dream of magic, thus the title is Word Magic. Words are like magic and create fantasies and dreams to become real. Real seems to discourage fantasy and the abstract.

When writing this I began thinking about realism art; so another rabbit hole I went down. "Realism in the arts is generally the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding speculative and supernatural elements. The term is often used interchangeably with naturalism, although these terms are not synonymous." Wikipedia

This piece of art could be considered real, but doesn't it feel a bit whimsical?

Have you ever heard someone say "get real"? What does that mean? Maybe sometime I wouldn't want someone to "get real" because it might mean something uncomfortable. 

The more I think on this word I am torn. I love a good fantasy, but I want people to be real with me too.

What do you think of when you hear the word REAL?


Friday, July 28, 2023

Western Wild Flowers, A Treasure


This week I was playing in the garden. I wanted to "stage" a floral tea scene in my garden to share on Instagram. My go-to flower book is Western Wild Flowers by Margaret Armstrong, dated 1915, which I found in an antique shop several years ago. It is a real treasure and I refer to it often. I had to include it in a picture with flowers; so you will see it here in my garden enjoying a quiet moment with a cup of tea.

Most often I refer to the book to find wild flower picture ideas for my teabag art cards.

Here is a sample page inside the book. Sometimes there are colored pictures, but most often just black and white drawings.

Roy Berglund signed it in the back and his address is not far from where I live now.

If you look closely to the flower on the left in this picture you will see where the library once had it on it's shelves.


It is a treasure indeed.

Do you have a book that you treasure?

Have a terrific weekend, dear friends!

Monday, July 24, 2023

Word Magic

 The word for this week is GO. 

 A very simple word that has so much meaning.

In Wikipedia it says: move from one place to another; travel.



I often dream of "going" right here.

"let it go" "go for it"

Reading different quotes for "go"; so many say you must let go in order to move forward, to become unstuck, to create movement in your life.

When I thought of go, I was thinking of the desire to travel. For me it is about making the dream a reality and moving forward, become less stagnant.

Wherever you go, I must follow.

I must go.


I may not go to somewhere this exotic again, but I can dream.

 “I hear a plane pass above me and wish I was on it. But where do you go if you don’t want to be anywhere?
Daniel Ruczko, Pieces of a Broken Mind  


Sometimes the dream is just a quite village or walking down a quaint alley.


For me it is about having the dream, making the plans, setting the date (even if it is in my own neighborhood), then hopping in the car, walking or being on a plane that whisks me away for awhile. I must go, I must dream, and I must have a goal in mind. That is what satisfies my soul and delights me.

Does "to go" satisfy your soul?

Have a terrific week, dear friends!



Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Share this Quote Anthony J. D'Angelo
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Share this Quote Anthony J. D'Angelo


Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Share this Quote Anthony J. D'Angelo
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. Share this Quote Anthony J. D'Angelo



Friday, July 21, 2023

TeaFestPDX 2023

 What can I say, but I love this Portland tea party each and every year. I have been involved in the planning, conception, and experience since it started in 2017. My responsibility has been to organize the British Tea Tent. Originally I said by the time I turn 80 someone else would need to take it over. This year I turned 80 and I still love the organizing, though I found a great assistant and have terrific volunteers that back me up. So here I go, there will be another year of planning and plotting for 2024.

This year's event didn't go without glitches, but it all worked out in the end and I loved every minute of it.


The speakers table had flowers from my garden. I added tea leaves from my garden too.


One of the youngest attendees in the tent. Her mom has attended every festival and I was thrilled to see this new little one attending. Her mom is already taking her to tea and sharing her tea love with this little, Priscilla.


Lisa Hand, on the right, has come for several years and is always a wonderful presenter on British history, costumes, and tea. She usually brings along one or two assistants in costume too.

I love when Babette Donaldson can come up from California to join us in the tent. This year she shared from her book, The Everything Healthy Tea Book. During her presentation we served crumpets and fruit.

I actually was able to take an hour break from the tent this year and be part of the WuWo Tea Ceremony demonstration. What a treat. The sun was rather intense. It hit 95 degrees, but we kept drinking tea. The WuWo group also has a booth of used teaware and books which we sell to help raise money for next year's festival.

Steve Odell, the owner of Enthea Tearoom, recently published a book of poetry. He graciously came and read for attendees in my tent. During his reading we served chocolates from Creo Chocolate shop.

We also served Harney & Sons teas throughout the day and Effie's biscuits; both donated to the tent.

Tea Time Magazine was also donated as a free hand out for attendees.

Ginger Edwards, owner of North Fork 53, was our final presenter of the day. North Fork 53 is a tea farm and spa on the Oregon coast. She spoke on Tea and Relaxation. As you can see, one of my volunteers was able to sit for awhile and enjoy her presentation. I loved it too.

At the end of the day I was able to cruise through the vendor tent and venue and just enjoy saying hello and having a few sips of tea.

Here's Noah and Shuiwen at the Floating Leaves booth. They were actually serving my comfort tea of Yunnan Gold. I had them bring me some from their shop; so didn't have to pay for shipping.

Then it was just fun to see people sharing tea under the trees.

And even tea in the gypsy wagon.

There was tea everywhere. What a joy!

I missed snapping pictures of a couple of my presenters. Shiloh Gastello graciously ended up filling in for me at the last minute by reading from his poetry book, which has just been published that week. I think in a future post I will share some poetry from the two books that we were highlighted in the tent. And Angela McDonald was scheduled to speak last year and then had Covid. It was wonderful to have her in my tent this year. Angela is the President of the US Tea Growers Asso. and also owns Oregon Tea Traders.

When I am asked to describe TeaFestPDX I always say it is like a big tea party. I have attended other festivals and even the World Tea Expo in the past and I would definitely say Portland puts on a great tea party. The festival was the dream of our WuWo Tea Ceremony group. Each member has had a part in making it happen and continues to carry forward that dream.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

I hope you have time for a cup of tea.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Word Magic

 It seems appropriate this week that my word should be TEA, as that has been my world this past week. On Friday I will share some pictures of TeaFestPDX.

Definition:  "Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured or fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia which probably originated in the borderlands of southwestern China and northern Myanmar."  Wikipedia

Tea really isn't tea unless it is from this plant. What some people call tea is a tisane or herbal.

It is grown in many areas of the world now, including my own backyard. More and more farmers in the US are beginning to grow tea.

Many people don't realize there are many tea flavors and varieties. Even in these two cups you can see the difference in color. The top cup holds a Darjeeling and the bottom cup is a Oolong. They can come from the same plant, but just processed differently and possibly grown in different climate. Sometimes tea is blended with herbs and flowers and sometimes it is even used in cooking.

The sign that greets friends that come to my front door. 

Tea is the second highest consumed beverage in the world next to water.

Tea growing in my garden. It blooms in the fall. In the bloom you can see that it is related to the camellia plant.

Now I really need a cup of tea.

Have a great week, dear friends.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Word Magic

 In a past post I mentioned the book I was reading by Michelle Obama. A few evenings ago I read her chapter about friendship. The next morning I woke with the song in my head on friendship,"You've got a friend in me". I mentioned that to my "live-in gardener" and said as a young girl I often had songs pop in my head that related to something I was doing or thinking about. I asked him if he did that too and he said "no". When I would be outside playing I would sing these songs out loud.


"Daisy, daisy, give me your answer too."

So the word for today is SING.

definition: "make musical sounds with the voice, especially words with a set tune."

At first I thought I would write about the word SIMPLE today. When I thought of simple a song popped into my head of "Tis a gift to be simple". Right then I realized I do this often, I sing a song. I wondered if anyone else does this or is this something only I seem to do? 

"Red roses for a blue lady!"

"Lavender blue"

Do you love to sing?

What kinds of songs touch your heart?

"Sunrise, sunset"

OK, if you don't do this, maybe it is time to sing out loud.

It does wonders for the soul. Plus it makes me smile. Some days it just keeps me sane.
 Have a great week, dear friends!

Go out and sing! 

 PS: My son says I am showing my age by the songs I am sharing. The thought crossed my mind too. It is all in our own personal context that songs sing in our soul. Enjoy! 

Friday, July 7, 2023

A Few of My Favorite Things

Today I am celebrating the little things in recent days.

The flower is new to my garden. It is Society Garlic, which is supposed to be good to flavor salads and soups. I am thinking of trying to make a pesto for pasta with some of the leaves. I nibbled on a leaf this morning and it is quite garlicky and delicious.

This is the view from my office door this very morning. There must have been about 7 squirrels playing in the early morning hour right there. It was quite fun to watch. The morning was a little cooler and it must have given some energy, I know it sure helped me.

Yesterday I served tea to some of my volunteers for the upcoming Portland Tea Festival. Since one of my volunteers is gluten free and egg free I decided to challenge myself to do a tea time that she could also enjoy. Quite often I find someone that would like to come for tea that has those dietary restrictions; so I am learning. Tea food tends to be full of gluten and eggs; it was a fun challenge. We have cucumbers with a cream cheese mixture and cherry tomato on top, Coronation chicken sandwiches with gluten free bread (sprinkled with marigold petals), Shrimp salad, a tray with salami, cheese, dates and gluten free crackers, and chocolate dipped strawberries. The tea we sipped was a first flush 2023 Darjeeling.

Most Wednesdays this summer I am getting to spend with my grandson because his mother is working that day. I love it. This week we went miniature golfing, which I hadn't done for at least 25 years. At the end of the game I told my grandson we were all winners because we all had fun. He liked that and so did I. I actually think it would have been fun to not keep score. I won't say who had the best score because it was all about the fun.

Recently our Lan Su Chinese Gardens celebrated Rose Festival with a Dragon boat celebration. Of course I had to stop by to see the decorations.

Some mornings you will just find me sitting here with my tea right now. The garden is so peaceful early in the morning. I love it.

 And last but not necessarily least, Happy World Chocolate Day! I do love a good piece of chocolate now and then. So thankful that next week one of my favorite chocolate shops is donating fine pieces of chocolate to 25 of my attendees in the British Tea Tent and TeaFestPDX. Wishing you all were in the Portland area so you could come and enjoy the tea festival on July 15th at the World Forestry Center. It is always a special event and close to my heart. Celebrate today with a good cup of tea and a piece of fine chocolate.

Happy Weekend, dear friends!

Monday, July 3, 2023

Word Magic

 I am reading The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama right now. Last evening as I read she mentioned the word jeopardy - the danger of loss, harm, or failure.

The word this week is jeopardy. 

Michelle wrote, "Who doesn't worry about loss, harm, or failure? We are all constantly processing our fears, attempting to sort out actual emergencies from manufactured ones." She goes on to talk about paying attention to our fears and to acknowledge them, putting them into a perspective that doesn't paralyze you. Always "be comfortably afraid", but be able to continue on. Take notice being "awake and aware".


I thought about those times when something or someone crosses your path and you feel chills run up your arms or your stomach suddenly feels a bit sick. We need to be alert enough to notice those bodily feelings and pay attention to why we are feeling that way.  Often lately I have been chatting about "notice what you notice" and again this would be the case here. 

Most often we wouldn't walk down a dark road alone in the middle of the night. Yet, during the daylight and with a friend we would feel perfectly safe.


Several years ago my minister asked me to speak in church. I gulped a big breathe and thought "wow! I don't talk in front of groups, how can I do that". I felt the fear of failure or not being good enough. I said OK, I would do it. Putting myself out there was scary, but I knew it was a safe place to do it. I also knew I would grow by doing it. Now I am surprised at myself because I sometimes voluntarily choose to speak in church and actually love it.  

So for today and always, let's face our fears and "notice what you notice". Live gently and walk tenderly, bravely and with love in our hearts.

The pictures are just because I liked them. The lavender and barn picture just below is my 4th of July picture for this year.


Happy Fourth of July, dear friends!