Monday, April 15, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy


This Welcome sign hangs just outside my front door. It was a gift from my sister years ago. In this sign it says "you are welcome here, come inside and have a cup of tea, sit awhile". It is a touch of kindness, quietly sitting there waiting to greet you.

Small Kindnesses by Danusha Lameris

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”

Yesterday at my tea group our fearless leader and guide picked up her phone to walk the two guests on zoom around the circle to see every attendees tea sets and describe what she was seeing. She made sure to include them in the group even though they weren't in our physical presence. If you notice, there are two pillows sitting by the tea set. There was a couple visiting for the first time, so they sat side by side and shared each small cup of tea. Another participant this month has a disability in walking and our leader had her sit next to her so she could do the walking for her during the ceremony. Little touches of kindness, but oh so special.

Sending love, Marilyn

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Tea Bag Art

A few weeks ago I stepped into the frame and gift shop called, The Framer's Touch in Forest Grove, Oregon. Now I went there on a mission. I had heard they had a tea bag art show every April and I thought "wouldn't it be fun to have the owner come and speak in my tent at the tea festival this coming July". I did eventually get either the owner or the shop manager to come speak this coming summer, but it ended differently than I thought it would. As it turned out, they asked me to participate in their teabag art show as both a vendor and participant. What we decided was that I would be part of their presentation at the tea festival this summer. So we will be working together on this.

In the meantime, I enjoyed meeting the artists that participated in their art show and was able to promote the tea festival. Oh, and I sold a tea cozy too.

It was a fun day just visiting with people as they came to the opening day of their teabag art show. And Yes! All the art in these pictures had teabags incorporated into them.

I was particularly fascinated by the feather. The teabag was adhered to something like contact paper, then embroidered.

The one with the teacup was actually a ceramic cup and saucer cut in half.

There were several that had birds and now I want to try painting a few birds.

The top right one was the only one painted by a man. He had two entries. He wanted larger teabags, so ordered them special for the show. The paintings were very fine. The waves on the bottom left were made with crumpled up teabags. Sorry my pictures aren't better, but it intrigued me on how each person translated teabag art so uniquely.


This one was created by the shop manager. It was very creative. She used the teabag to also paint with and then made them into flowers, skirts and ruffles.


This was my entry, which seems rather simple after seeing some of the other creations.

Mine all go on cards, but I framed this one for the show. The woman that bought it was thrilled. 

I started painting on used teabag paper during the pandemic, as a creative outlet. I hadn't used my watercolors or paint brushes for a very long time and it felt really good to do so. I continue painting every week now and thoroughly enjoy it. Yesterday I started painting two birds. I am having fun with this creative outlet.

What are you doing for a creative outlet?

The main thing is just to have fun!!!

Have a great weekend, dear friends!!

Sending love, Marilyn


Monday, April 8, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 "Give yourself kindness and grace. then regift it as often as possible." Unknown

Several of my children's teasets have gone to friends and family.

"There's a way to regift that's open and honest," says Post. For example, if you give a piece of vintage jewelry to a family member, say something like, "I'm giving you this from my own collection, because I think it's something you'd really like, and it feels good to share something with a family history with you."

Last year we dug the dahlias from our garden and planted them in our daughter's garden. Maybe it was a selfish "gifting". I know they bring her joy, but I can drive to her house and enjoy them still.

I love passing along a book I have read and then it brings me joy to share the story I enjoyed with someone else.

As I work at "downsizing" I have been thrilled to bring joy to a friend or two with a small gift from my own collection of things.  Also, I have found Buy Nothing on Facebook where people in my own neighborhood can enjoy the little things in my cupboard that I no longer use.

I have found a joy in passing it on.

So the idea of "re-gifting" or "passing it on" is an act of kindness and joy.

Do you find joy in passing it on?

Sending love, Marilyn


Thursday, April 4, 2024

Easter Tea Time

 This year's Easter tea time had eight dear ones sitting around the table.

My daughter always works Sunday's; so her ex-husband brings my grandson for an egg hunt and tea time. I treasure this time and so glad to have a good relationship with the ex-son-in-law. Each week when my D is at his dad's house, his dad sends me a picture or two. It is so special. So back to Easter tea time.

I love having flowers on the table, a flowered teapot and china too.

One of the teacups from my grandfather's china. I have always loved the daisy and violet pattern.

 And then food was ready.

A friend that joins the Easter teatime makes the best salads; so she always brings a salad. What a treat. Then because one friend is now gluten free, some of my food offerings took that into mind. Tea parties can be so full of gluten. It used to be a huge challenge for me to adapt, but now I have gotten better adjusted to doing so.

We had deviled eggs, cucumber scooped out and filled with shrimp salad, black olive sandwiches, turkey with lingonberry jam sandwiches, and skewers with salami, mozzerella balls, and cantaloupe. Then for sweets there was almond butter truffles (gluten free), dates stuffed with pecans, and carrot cupcakes with an icing nest and topped with a chocolate Easter egg.

Then to top it off, my ex-son-in-law made a gluten free almond cake.

I served two teas, the first was called Secret Garden High Mountain Oolong from Taiwan and the other was a Vintage Puerh Black from China.

And of course there was an egg hunt in the yard for one special grandson. I was so thankful for a sunshiny day. For the egg hunt I place special treats in plastic eggs around the yard. Because his mom doesn't want him to have much candy I only fill part of them with chocolate eggs, then I look for other treats for some of the eggs. Usually there is a special pair of socks, coins, and this year some un-popped red popcorn in a small package.

 It was a special day with dear ones and friends.

After work my daughter stopped by for hugs and some left over treats.

That all made for a perfect day.

 Hoping your Easter weekend was extra special.

Sending love, Marilyn

Monday, April 1, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy


 Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

 The blossoms are from my garden this week.

I came across this poem a couple days ago and it just took my breathe away. It says exactly what I have been thinking on kindness. I told a friend that the reason I am focusing on kindness this year is because I knew it was going to be a tough year. This poem says that in different words.

Look behind the kindness, what is sitting in each persons heart? What hurts have they seen?

Be gentle and kind with each other, dear friends.

Sending love, Marilyn


Friday, March 29, 2024

Happy Springtime!


Time to wake up little one.

Look around you.

What do you see?


A pretty party dress awaits.

Spring is here.

Time to dance.

Green grows the grass and leaves.

It feels like they are bursting all around.

Sing like there is no tomorrow.

Spring is in the air.

Spring and a bit of bling go together so well.

Just take notice and keep on dancing.

We are in the pink.

Is there something hanging here that takes your fancy?

Rejoice, Celebrate, Dance, Laugh!

Happy Spring time, dear friends!

Sending love, Marilyn

*pictures taken today at my favorite spring show, Monticello Antique Marketplace.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy


 "Human Kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The gentleness of a soft spring blossom has the stamina that will bring summer fruit. As the blossom thrives, the bees come to pollinate and encourage the fruit tree to flourish.

May we flourish in the display of kindness with those around us. Sing in the sunlight, embrace each cloudy day and dance while sharing kindness all around us.

Sending love, Marilyn

Friday, March 22, 2024

Fickle Spring

Someone once said,
"The first signs of Spring make my heart sing."

Yes, it makes my heart sing.

When I drive in my neighborhood I wish I could have you all driving or walking along with me, enjoying the signs of springtime.

Daffodils and crocus appear every March, my birthday month, and I rejoice, laugh and sing at their appearance. These daffodils sit outside my window this very morning.

And on the first day of spring it was a balmy 70 degree day, I walked along the river enjoying the cherry blossoms.

I think others had the same idea. It was time to be outdoors savoring springtime.

These are all the blossoms I found on the first day of spring.
As I said in the heading, spring is "fickle".
One day it is 70 degrees and the sun is shining with a blue sky day.
The next day the clouds roll in and it is 50 degrees with the threat of sprinkles.

Visiting the market this week I couldn't resist walking through the garden center and coming home with a couple white geraniums, one parsley and one thyme for the herb garden too. Then there was also a lavender plant that jumped into my basket. Now I hope there is no more frost, but only sunshine and sprinkles. Oh those fickle days of springtime!
Raindrops on daffodils in my garden.

"In the spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside 24 hours." —Mark Twain

Are you enjoying signs of spring in your part of the world?

Is it making your heart sing?

Sending love, Marilyn

Monday, March 18, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy



 On Joy 

  In the Company of Women 


Make me laugh over coffee,

make it a double, make it frothy

so it seethes in our delight.

Make my cup overflow

with your small happiness.

I want to hoot and snort and cackle and chuckle.

Let your laughter fill me like a bell.

Let me listen to your ringing and singing

as Billie Holiday croons above our heads.

Sorry, the blues are nowhere to be found.

Not tonight. Not here.

No makeup. No tears.

Only contours. Only curves.

Each sip takes back a pound,

each dry-roasted swirl takes  our soul.

Can I have a refill, just one more?

Let the bitterness sink to the bottom of our lives.

Let us take this joy to go.

 by January Gill O'Neil


Since sometimes we just need to focus on JOY, today I am doing just that. Can you remember the last time you laughed with a friend so hard that you could hardly catch your breath? tears were running down your cheeks? May you be blessed with great laughter and delight each and every day.

Sending love, Marilyn

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Winter Flowers

 "The color of springtime is in the flowers, the color of winter is in the Imagination." Terri Guillemets

Each day of the year I watch for flowers and color around me in nature. In winter I particular search for color, as it is such a joy when I find it. Out of curiosity I did a search online this week to see what would pop up for winter flower quotes. I loved what I found and the thoughts behind each quote. As I share the quotes I am also sharing the color in my pictures that I have found as we quickly approach the end of winter and the beginning of springtime. The flower above is in my garden. It is called Hellebore or Lenten Rose. It is one of the first flowers I find in my garden during the waning winter days.

 "The flowers of spring are winter's dreams related at the breakfast table of the angels." Kahlil Gibran

Camellias are beginning to bloom in my garden and here at Lan Su Chinese Gardens too.

I was amazed to find plum blossoms above and Daphne below at Lan Su Chinese Gardens too.

Do you think the gentlemen sitting in this garden are talking about finding winter color? We can only imagine?

"Some flowers can bloom in winter reminding of the tenderness that can conquer the cold harshness." Unknown

Daffodils have begun blooming in my garden.
"If flowers can teach themselves how to bloom after winter passes..........So can you." Noor Shirazia
Do you search for winter color?
Do you have flowers beginning to bloom around you?
Notice what you notice.
Sending love, Marilyn