Sunday, January 28, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” – Jackie Chan

It is amazing to me already this year that each week I notice kindness around me. When you watch the news, at least for me, I think the world has lost it's kindness.

I am sharing pictures of orchid's that bloomed not to long ago right in my living room. It was spectacular to see them all bloom at the same time. They brought a smile to my face. I hope they make you smile too.

Now back to kindness.

As I was beginning to think about kindness this very day a friend shared a story that happened to her this weekend. I am going to share a bit of that story now because it is exactly what I mean in sharing kindness.

Her neighbor in the apartment where she lives knocked on her door and with the translator on his phone asked if he could repair her car because part of the front was falling off. He spoke only Spanish and she spoke English; but the message got across that he wanted to do this for free. She agreed and later remembered that something else had been repaired recently without her knowing who did it. She realized it was this neighbor.  Her comment in relating the story was that she was so impressed by his "kindness" and she realized how special these people in her apartment building were "good people".

It's these little things that make our world a better place.

One of our neighbors came to our door this week and asked advise from my "live-in gardener" on something in his garden and then he asked if he needed anything at the store. Again, it is just watching out for each other and caring enough to share a little kindness.

 In sharing little kindnesses our hearts grow a little bigger and our smile a little brighter. 

My goal for this year it for each of us to notice and pass it on. Then yes, our world can grow a little kinder and healthier.

What kindness have you noticed this week?

Sending love,


PS: I am gone for a few days; so if your comment doesn't show up right away it will be there eventually. Off to celebrate my "live-in gardener" and his sisters birthdays because you know you are supposed to celebrate all month long. Glad my son can feed the cat and hold down the fort for a few days.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Hearthside Tea Time

“May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you, and all your heart may desire.”—Irish Blessing

Recently I was inspired by Tea Time Magazine to do a "hearthside tea". Afterall, I had the same teapot they had in their pictures and it just sounded like the perfect thing to do in winter. I invited a friend to join me.

In the cup was a nice Darjeeling from Lochan Tea. And because both my guest and I like tea sandwiches the best, I made three different sandwiches and had a bit of fruit on the side. The sandwiches were deli turkey with lingonberry jam on rye bread, chopped black olive on wheat bread and ham, cream cheese and champagne mustard rolled on flat bread. They were all good. The olive was the only one I had made before; so it was fun to have something new.

Of course we needed something sweet to finish teatime. I had the batter for molten chocolate cake in my refrigerator for my "live-in gardeners" birthday this week and thought it would be the perfect way to end teatime. We were so busy visiting I cooked the chocolate cake a bit too long and it was really just chocolate cake, but still good.

For me, anytime of the year is an excuse to have teatime with a friend.
Sitting in the gardenhouse during warm months is a delight, but sitting by the hearthside is most wonderful too.

In the past when I invited a friend for tea I would work for days to prepare. As I have gotten older I have realized I don't need to follow the rules of teatime. I can do teatime however and whenever I want. My rule is to keep it simple because enjoying sipping tea with a dear friend is really what it is all about. So if you come for tea at my table it might only be a piece of toast or it might be three sandwiches and something chocolate.

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Enjoy a cup of something warm by the hearth.

Sending love, Marilyn

Monday, January 22, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy


"Kindness has the same meaning in any language and in any land."  

Essay, She'll Never Know by Roger Burlington in book, Short Stories as you like them, edited by William R. Wood and John D. Husband - 1940


This Short Stories book has been on my book shelf my whole adult life, but recently I realized I had never read it. So this past week I picked it up to read a few essays. The essays were very dated and nothing particularly enticing; but still I had to read awhile. Will I finish reading this book? Probably not! Will I pass this book along, probably not for awhile. This particular book has sentimental meaning to me.

When I was a senior at Willow Glen High School I took English literature. Now this book was compiled and printed in the US. But what I treasured was that my English teacher gave me this book. I was very quiet in all my classes and in this one I remember sitting in the back row with a most boisterous boy; so I was even more quiet. But there was something about this teacher, Miss Wood. She noticed me and would encourage me to read. She even would make sure to ask my opinion of the assigned reading in each class gathering. She was kind to me. So at the end of the year she signed the book and I have treasured having it on my book shelf ever since.


The book must have come from the school library, but she noticed me and gave it to me.

 When I came across the above quote I just thought "of course" kindness would be the same in every language and land.

Yesterday my church was honored with lunch of food from Afghanistan. We had sponsored a family from there two years ago and they wanted to say thank you for all we did for them and celebrate getting permanent visas to stay here. It was the kindness of those in our church that they honored with Afghan food. What a treat!

So again this week I am reminded in many small ways that kindness matters.

Sending love,


Saturday, January 20, 2024

This week Tea and Ice

 The title pretty much says it all.

There has been ice all around me outdoors; so mostly what I have done indoors is sip tea. It's OK for a little while, but then I want to get outdoors, move about, see nature, see friends and go to the market.

This first picture might not look like much. The little spiky things sticking up above the ice are the beginnings of crocus to come in the yard.

Well OK, I needed to eat too. Any excuse to add warmth indoors included a little bit of early morning baking. There were the remnants of cookies in the refrigerator to bake, lemons that needed to go in a pie and blueberry muffins because there were blueberries calling out from my freezer. Plus just having the oven on made me feel more cozy and warm.

Yesterday my "live-in gardener" and I decided to drive to the market. We squirmed out of our sloping drive and gingerly made it to the market. The parking lot at the market had been cleared and we did quite well on the main streets and at the market. However, trying to pull into our drive was treacherous.  Thankful for a wide drive as we turned sideways and slid back down. There was no way to get the car back where it had been. We parked at the curb, but how were we going to get in the house and carry our groceries up the hill. At that point a kind neighbor came along with his shovel and broke up some of the ice and we walked up the garden, holding on to the bushes along the way. Our neighbor carried our groceries up the hill for us. Whew! What an adventure. Glad there were no falls and my car is safe on the street.

This morning I could see the sun shining on my front walk. It is still ice, but the sun gave me hope for melting. It is warm enough now that the ice is beginning to melt. We are staying indoors today though.

I enjoyed a few early morning breakfast's by candlelight just because it made me feel more cozy too. And then you see more tea too.

The plants had frozen rain. Many branches down in our yard. And large branches through the roof of the greenhouse. I have a feeling whatever is inside is frozen too. Not looking yet!! A few things were rescued and sitting in the house for warmer days.

And then more tea.  I finished off a couple teas in my stash and enjoyed some new teas recently sent from Assam Heritage Tea. The tea in the cup is a Bamboo Smoked Green tea, which quite surprised me. I don't normally drink green tea, but the smoked flavor was quite delightful.

And of course, more ice on everything. This plant held the ice like a necklace of pearls. I thought it was quite beautiful.

 Well even though at time I said it was beautiful, I will be happy to see it go away. 

How is it in your part of the world?

I hope you are staying cozy and sipping something warm.

Sending love,


Monday, January 15, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 “One kind word can warm three winter months.”

 —Japanese Proverb

I know for you in the mid-west this may not look like a lot of snow, but it is very icy.

My tea group was supposed to gather yesterday in person, but instead we met on zoom. There were many kind words shared over tiny cups of tea.

My back yard a couple days ago. The snow isn't melting because it is so cold. This morning I tried to open the window to put the hummingbird feeder out and the window was frozen shut. Once the sun came out the window opened. The hummingbirds have been very happy to have the feeder each day. They have swarmed around our arms, buzzing, when we reach out to set the feeder in place. That isn't a kind word, but a kind gesture. 

Kindness counts in whatever form it takes.

 Sending kindness to you today.

Stay warm! 


Thursday, January 11, 2024

Let's Pour the Tea

 I titled this post "Let's Pour the Tea" because I feel like when we sit in silence awhile over a warm cup of tea or coffee and meditate, it gives us time to consider all that we are grateful for. Let's sit together, wrap your cold hands around the cup of something warm, listen to the quietness surrounding you and be blessed with gratitude. I will be the "mum" and pour you a cuppa.

As I think of being grateful I came across a little book on my book shelf, A Year of Gratitude. It ended by listing things to be grateful for:

 "A warm bed, hot coffee (tea), blue skies, fresh fruit, morning walks, dreams to chase, problems to solve, a hug from a child, smiles in passing, an empty parking space, good news, a pat on the back, a second chance, grand intentions, great memories, loving friends, a crackling fire, a bowl of soup, a glorious sunset."

I would add the first snow of winter. It is so beautiful to sit with my warm cup of tea at the window and watch fluffy flakes fall from the clouds and lighten up my garden full of deteriorating brown leaves. The snow puts a blanket over the ground and for a little while the silences sings to my soul. 

The First Snow by Ethel Romig Fuller

The snow wipes out the writing of the year;

It's swift erasers softly, surely pass

Across the hieroglyphics of the grass

And clean the slate of summer, spear by spear.

Where was a tale of gardens there is now

A smudged and undecipherable scrawl;

And where illumined letter of fall,

A dim-inked outline of an austere bough.

The hills depicted on the sky are blurred

As blackboards hid behind a cloud of chalk,

And fast as feet of pigeons write a word

It is obliterated from the walk.

An ancient picture script alone remains-

A panorama etched on windowpanes.

Sit awhile on this cold wintery day and be bless with gratitude for those things around you. What would you add to the list of gratitudes?

 *The first picture was taken in my yard on a stump next to my tea plants. I sometimes pour tea there and read a poem for social media. The first three snowy pictures were taken last March on Mt. Hood and the last picture was from my garden last February. We are expecting a little snow in the next few days, but I am hoping for just enough to dream awhile and wrap my hand around a warm cup of something delicious.

 Happy weekend, dear ones!

Sending love, Marilyn

Monday, January 8, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 A cup of kindness in the form of tea poured for me just yesterday.

Tea pourer extraordinaire! With a smile and laughter he poured the tea.

 "You can always give something, even if it is only kindness." Anne Frank

Anne Frank's story impacted me from the time I first read her story, probably about high school age. When I came across this quote on kindness I was just struck by the thought of this. It doesn't take much to give kindness and yet so often we get caught up in the every day life that we forget to say a kind word or give a smile to the person next to you. 

Let's heal the world with kindness!

Have a great week, dear friends!

Sending love, Marilyn

Monday, January 1, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 Happy New Year

Welcome to 2024

 I often think if we ALL spread kindness the world would be a different place. So this year let's spread kindness wherever we go. Lather it generously like butter on a warm piece of toast. Let it melt into our pores. 

The Monday theme will be Words of Kindness and Joy. It may be a poem, something funny or maybe just a quote or word.

Come along with me on the journey to explore and embrace Kindness and Joy.

One particularly line jumped out at me this year in the song Auld Lang Syne:

"And we'll tak' a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne."

The two pictures above are my tea table and cup which I embraced with kindness to those around me each and every day, a celebration and meditation I joined for new years. Though it was a zoom gathering, it was two hours of tranquility. Stars surrounded me on this new years night and I felt the warmth infuse me from those sipping a cup of kindness in that moment. Candles were lite to send love and kindness your way. May you be blessed in the new year.

Come along with me as we embrace Kindness and Joy in 2024.

Sending love, Marilyn