Monday, April 29, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

 This morning as I begin to write this post my mind is a jumble of thoughts from things that I have read, to friends I have had conversations with, the need for a haircut today, and my sweet Joey seems to have an infection and I must get him to the vets. I did say a "jumble" and that is what it is. Do you have days like that? Is it as exhausting as it feels this morning to me? What I want to focus on is Joy and Kindness, but I am weary. So let me tell you about a small article I read this weekend in Victoria Magazine. Let me refocus.

Victoria Magazine has brought joy to my heart from the very first issue many years ago. When it would come in the mail I would say "I am taking an hour vacation" and would sit with my cup of tea and the magazine for an hour escape. So reading the article yesterday was my hour escape and I am still trying to focus on it.

I absolutely love France and this recent issue is on France. I never could quite put my finger on why I loved it so much until I read the article. It talked about how most French people live as if life is an art form. The writer said she was an exchange student and the host asked her to prepare the strawberries for a tart and put them in the tart shell. She unceremoniously dumped them in the tart shell and her host said no that is not the way we do it. She took the strawberries out of the shell and put them back in a circular design. The tart became a piece of art. It went on to say that most French live life, even the most simple things, as if it is a form of art.


Art brings me JOY, it settles my soul. It is a KINDNESS in the artist that was willing to share their heart with me and others. When I walk down a street in Paris my soul settles for I am surrounded by beauty and art is all around.

What settles your soul and brings you JOY?

Sending love, Marilyn

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Canemah, Oregon

Canemah, Oregon was first settled by American Indians. It overlooks the Willamette River at the falls and was the landing place for traveling by canoe to traverse the waterfalls in the river. Now it is a nature park with a beautiful trail and during this time of year wildflowers. 

My grandson loves climbing on these rocks when we hike here.

Later there was a pioneer settlement here, which became part of Oregon City. Oregon City is the end of the Oregon Trail. There is a lot of historical monuments and a museum here in the city. 

The blue Camas lilies were just beginning to bloom.

But what I enjoy is just walking in their footsteps, seeing the wildflowers and nature around me.

At the far end of the trail is a historic graveyard, which on this visit was fenced off. Someday I hope to hike there so I can read the memorials to those that once lived in the area.

Fawn lilies were in bloom.

 It was a gorgeous day with very few on the trail. A time to pause and enjoy nature surrounding me.
What have you done this week to pause and notice?
Sending love, Marilyn

Monday, April 22, 2024

Words of Kindness and Joy

Be kind to nature around you.

  "Be kind to everything that lives." Omaha Indians From the book The Soul Would have No Rainbow if the Eyes had No Tears by Guy A. Zona


And the bees, the birds, the critters big and small, the flowers, the trees that grow beside you, even to a mountain volcano in the distance - respect, love, and be kind wherever you go. Notice the beauty in each day, embrace it and you will be rewarded with delight, laughter and joy.

Sending love, Marilyn

Friday, April 19, 2024

Tulips - 2024


There was some Spring rain and threatening sky, but still an adventure to the tulips fields delighted my soul.

The rows of flowers was like the rainbow, but on the ground.


It was hard to pick a favorite, but I tried.

The soft yellows were one of my favorites.

But who can resist the bright colors too.

Just south of Portland is the Wooden Shoe Farm. Each year I say, "this is the best year yet".

I think these soft peachy/pink ones were also my favorites.

Who doesn't want to climb on a pink tractor?


It was a bit muddy; so I walked carefully. I was glad I wore my mud shoes.

But who can resist visiting a field of tulips, even on a rainy day.

For some reason the tulips have just sung to my heart this springtime. Usually it is the daffodils that sing to me. Yes, they did sing, but it was the tulips that have just made me smile. I think my "live-in gardener" must have put some extra tulips in random spots in our garden this year, because I have found surprises there too. And one of the streets near my house, one of the neighbors must have planted a lot of tulips in the medium of one of the blocks. There are hundreds of tulips showing up all around my neighborhood and I am loving it.

What are you noticing that is singing to your heart this springtime?

Sending love, Marilyn

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