Monday, February 26, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 This week my goal was to clean my bookshelves in the on-going process of downsizing. So at moments I stop to leaf through a book I had forgotten was sitting on the shelf. This short chapter jumped out at me. It was a reminder that we must be kind to ourselves too.


Kindness is my Nature and my Gift  

by Julia Cameron (The Artist's Way) in the book Blessings 

"My heart is a deep lake of loving-kindness. I count myself fortunate to hold tenderness with my soul. I forgive myself my fears, frailties, and failures. I am compassionate toward myself in times of turbulence and change. I remind myself that I am a gentle soul and that I have need of cherishing. I treat myself as I wish others would treat me. I treat others as they wish to be treated. I allow myself, in times of difficult and demanding strife, that I am loved and lovable, that I am worthy and respected. I do not allow temporary anxiety to distort my view of the whole. I gently seek the blessings in all difficulty while I am compassionate to myself for my lingering doubts and fears. I remind myself that my life is in the care of God and that it is unfolding with beauty and harmony."

 What jumped out at me was the need to be cherished. Sometimes I find I treat others better than I treat myself. I don't allow others to cherish me. 

One thing I do for myself that seems to make others happy too is taking a walk in my garden each morning and sharing on Facebook what I found on that morning. The pictures you see are what I found in the garden this morning. I didn't get pictures of the two birds that sat nearby, but they also brought me joy this morning.

 So this week I encourage you to show kindness and joy to yourself.

You are special and deserve being cherished.

Sending love,


PS: I just realized a whole week went by and yet I shared the same first flower that I shared last week. Ugh! I think cleaning and downsizing is scrambling my days.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 Flowers are from my garden this week.

"I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed." 
-Mary Oliver

I am thinking about Mary Oliver's comment about mischief and kindness. What do you think? 

I grew up in a family that loved to tease and joke. It was a way of letting someone know they trusted them enough to be silly with them, let down their hair. My "live-in gardener" didn't grow up with teasing; so he took my joking with him as unkind. I still struggle with that one, even after all these years. Kindness does matter, but does it matter with a bit of mischief?

I loved the lanterns in this restaurant recently. Does a business that takes the time to decorate with their customers in mind show kindness?

Yep, I am full of questions today.

Do hummingbirds sing?

Are they showing kindness in sharing their beauty and song? 

As a young girl I sang all the time. My children didn't like my singing and I found I no longer sang out loud.  It seems like I am revealing my heart today. When someone sings to you is that kind even if they sing off tune?

Sharing my heart today. 

Remember to be kind to each other and sing out loud, even if you are the only one that hears it. It is kind to oneself.

Sending love,


Saturday, February 17, 2024

Chinese New Year's at the Garden

Welcome to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens once again. They are celebrating Chinese New Year's with red lanterns and even a dragon. It is now the year of the Wood Dragon, leaving the year of the Rabbit.

This week my grandson, D, had a day off school; so we walked in the garden to see what we spotted. Over the bridge we went.

He was asked what he noticed when we were leaving. He noticed many red lanterns and an alter to ancestors.

I noticed the color red everywhere I looked and blossoms beginning to make an appearance.

This bird was honoring blooming camellias.

And here is the dragon in the small lake.

D enjoyed the day. He even spotted a few pandas along the way.

And as we left the garden, I turned for one more look at lanterns hanging from the tree.

 It was a typical winter, rainy day in Portland walking in the garden.
Next week my "live-in gardener" and I will be visiting in the evening for a special event. I am looking forward to seeing the lanterns lit up and some dancing dragons throughout the garden.
Do you like celebrating different cultures throughout the year?
Is Chinese New Year's one you celebrate?
What celebrations from other countries do you enjoy celebrating?
Have a terrific weekend, dear friends.
Sending love,

Monday, February 12, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

Valentine's day is in a couple days. A friend emailed me this morning asking what I was doing for Valentine's day; so with just starting to write my blog post I began thinking about the words from the Bible that say "love is kind".

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. I Corinthians 13


The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds, and that's what you've given me.” Allie waits years to read these words, written in a letter to her from Noah a year after they broke up. I found this quote online and not sure what book it comes from. But it reminded me again of love as kind. Kindness brings a "peace to our minds" for sure.


And then I found this poem by Thomas Moore. In some circles I understand it is sung. But in my kindness, I won't be singing it for you. Smiling!

When Love Is Kind

When Love is kind,
Cheerful and free,
Love 's sure to find
Welcome from me.

But when Love brings
Heartache er pang,
Tears, and such things—
Love may go hang!

If Love can sigh
For one alone,
Well pleased am I
To be that one,

But should I see
Love given to rove
To two or three,
Then—good by Love!

Love must, in short,
Keep fond and true,
Thro' good report,
And evil too.

Else, here I swear,
Young Love may go,
For aught I care—

I was trying to find some Valentine pictures to share, but not finding them I resorted to the color red. To me the color red says "love". And then that dragon just needed to appear to send best wishes to you on the Chinese New Year's being celebrated this week. Of course with the celebrations there will be the color red and much joy, laughter and kindness. 
Enjoy bouquets of kindness and love each and every day.

Sending love,

Friday, February 9, 2024

Tea Review

 iteaworld kindly sent me some new samples of their oolong teas.


I know I have reviewed them before, but each time they send me tea I am just blown away by their beautiful packaging. Inside are individual packets of tea, which is just the right amount for an average sized teapot or Asian style gaiwan or small teapot. This time they even included some ready to fill teabags with the box of samples.

With each day that I tried another oolong tea this past week I thought "oh, this is my favorite". But of course, I must have liked them all because I said it with each of the four different samples. I steeped all four in a gaiwan on separate days. Each was steeped 10 times and held up quite nicely.

Zhangping Shui Yian was a flowery, smooth tea. It was what I would expect from a nice oolong. It came in a pressed cube and reminded me a little of a white tea.

Tie Guanyin was a bit more earthy, but still definitely an oolong tea. It had a nice light sweetness and really opened up to a beautiful, clean tea.

Da Hong Pao was quite pretty with a beautiful color and fragrance. It was slightly roasty and rich. It was a nice full mouth feel then changed flavor as it hit the throat.. Roasty in the front and more fruity in the back with sort of a pineapple taste.

Fenghuang Dancong was full body with a slight tartness, similar to a pretty tropical fruit. It was rich, golden with an intense flavor which accentuated the sweetness of the grapes I was nibbling after drinking this tea. I had not noticed how a tea could effect the flavor of my food before.

A second tasting of Tie Guanyin, English style was just as good.

Check out 

Sending love,


Monday, February 5, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 Recently I came across the song Try a Little Kindness. On YouTube I found it by several singers, here is a link to one of them:

Enjoy this one of Glen Campbell in concert.

Then last week I bought the book, The Boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. Have you seen this book. It has the sweetest message. It will be my Valentine gift for my grandson. Here is a copy of a page from the book. I love the artwork and the words.

 Each day I pray that the world will become a little kinder.

Kindness is definitely what I want to be when I grow up. 

How about you?

Sending love,


Friday, February 2, 2024

Troll Scavenger Hunt

 Thomas Dambo is a creative troll builder that I have become intrigued by. 

I knew there was one troll named Ole Boele in Portland. I believe I shared him before. He is located at the Nordia House on the grounds. I saw him before Christmas and recently returned to share the charm with my cousin and his wife. When I was there a woman said "this is my final one to find in the Pacific Northwest". What a fun thing to do I thought. So I went on the website and realized they just give hints where the six are located and you have to figure the location out. I love a scavenger hunt; so I was up for the challenge.

Ole Boele is looking in the roof at a plate of pastries. What a sweet face.


Well this week my live-in gardener and I were driving 4 hours north to visit my sister-in-law. I went online to see if there might be a troll near her. I knew there were 5 in the Seattle area. I found one on Bainbridge Island and knew it would be a fun outing to take her along with me. We found Pia the Peacemaker in a park on the island.

You can see the size as I stand in Pia's hand. OK, now I am obsessed to find them all! Ha!

They are made out of recycled material, mostly old pallets.

Then on our way home yesterday we made a side trip to Vashon Island where we found Oskar, the Bird Kind. Beside the bird houses in his crown there were bird house all around the grounds surrounding him. The toenails were seashells.

One pole with birdhouses. Each of the trolls in the three locations I have found had the poles with birdhouses.

I thoroughly feel like a child of wonder when standing in their midst. Each one has made me smile.

Now I have three more to find and in September I will do that. I know where they are and I am coming for them.

If you search online you will find they are in other parts of the country too. A friend in Maine said there was one near her. I have heard there is one in Michigan too. The search is part of the fun and who doesn't need a bit of whimsy in their life. 

 Have a terrific weekend, dear friends!

Sending love, Marilyn