Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review

What can I say.
I don't often review books here though I read all the time.
Well this book is to good not to review.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See was the best!
Yes, if you choose to read it, you will learn about tea;
but it is a book I believe anyone would enjoy.
There was a little bit of romance and tragedy.
A lot of good tea knowledge.  Lisa definitely did her homework!
Fascinating stories of the Akha people of China.
Plus there was intrigue and relationships.

So steep a pot of tea and sit awhile,
pick up The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and read.
You won't be sorry you did.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Vintage Picnic Tea Time

What's not to like about this picture.
Recently I came across the picture at the antique mall.
I didn't purchase it, but took my camera out and took a picture.

So much dreaming and happy thoughts in this picture.
For me it combines both a cup of tea (or is it coffee) and a picnic outdoors.
I love that they had flowers on the table and sitting on a box.
I am trying to think what would they have served at this table with tea?
Did they make tiny cucumber sandwiches?
What kind of tea was in the cup?
Were they celebrating?

It seems like a gentle moment in time.
Sitting peacefully among the trees and grass,
But an effort was made to make it special.

How I would have loved sitting here,
listening to the conversation of the day.
Did you hear what Hazel did just the other day?
Oh, Mabel is expecting her 5th child soon.
Henry is out plowing the back 40.
And little William is off to school just down the road.
What are the plans for the church potluck celebration?
Yes, I can just imagine and dream along with them.

What do you think is in their cup?
What would they have served?
What is the conversation you are hearing?

linking with Bernideen:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Walk with Me - Camassia Natural Area

 This is a walk I have planned on taking for awhile.
Though it was raining, it was pure delight to walk with a friend
through Camassia Natural Area, the first preserve of 
The Nature Conservancy in Oregon.
27 acres opened in 1962 full of glorious wildflowers and oaks.
They said there was wildlife, but I think they were hiding today.
 The wildflowers were spectacular.
I think this white blossom may be a fawn lily.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
 Yellow violets
 Not sure, but looked like pink clover
 The trails were beautifully managed and easy to walk
on even in the rain.

 Oregon grape
 There were open prairies just full of flowers

 Many camas lily everywhere.
I had always wondered what they look like and now I know.

 Wild strawberry

 My heart was full of joy walking through these fields of flowers.

 Happy Monday, dear friends!
Hope you are finding special places to walk.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Art of Losing Oneself in a Cup of Tea

Sipping Heritage Wonder from Heritage Factory, Assam
in a black transferware antique teacup. 
I believe the teacup is early British when the cup
had no handle and the saucer was a slight bowl.
Tea could be sipped from the saucer.

Each cup of tea is a meditation in a teacup.

In the early morning hour
the house sits quietly waiting for me
I quietly tiptoe to the kitchen
turning the kettle on to warm fresh water.
The perfect cup is chosen
The tea is made
I sit and my hands warm as they wrap the cup
I dream a bit while sitting in the quietness of the morning
Watching the steam rise I delight in the slow pace, the warmth,
the scent, and then I sip
What dreams sit there in that cup
Where will it take my heart
I soar to a different place with my morning cup of tea

Yes, a Meditation in a Teacup 

Happy weekend, dear friends!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Happy Place

Recently a friend mentioned having a "happy place".
I had already been thinking this was my "happy place".
When I need beauty, peacefulness, and a place to take pictures,
I go here, Monticello Antique Mall.

When they have a seasonal show, it just makes me smile.
Oh the whimsy of the vendors.
It always tickles me to see what is collectable now
or what delights others.
Occasionally I find something I can't live without,
but mostly I just love being surrounded in all this beauty and whimsy.

Wouldn't this dress be fun to wear to tea or a party?
Oh if I only had a waist.
And this bicycle reminds me of my first one
and learning to ride.
I could imagine sitting here with my cup of tea.
Would you care to join me?
Yes, it was time for Spring and Easter celebrating too.
Now how did they make those lovely bouquets?

Do you have a happy place?
A place to escape for a time and surround yourself with beauty?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

English Scones

Recently I baked these scones and realized I hadn't shared with you.
For tea parties I tend to make cream scones, which I have shared;
but sometimes I just love these more "hefty" scones.
Here is my favorite English scone recipe.

1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk or more

400 degree oven on middle shelf
Blend dry ingredients in large bowl, rub in butter until
well blended.  Beat egg with buttermilk and save 2 teaspoons
to glaze scones before putting in oven.
Add raisins into the dry ingredients and stir well.
Add the egg buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients
and blend well.  You may need to add a bit more buttermilk if it isn't
sticking together.  Roll or pat to about 3/4 - 1 inch on floured board.
Cut into wedges or with round cookie cutter and placed
on lightly greased cookie sheet.
Brush with remaining buttermilk mixture.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.

When I make a batch I often freeze them and thaw as needed
in the microwave.  Delicious plain, but served warm with
jam and butter or cream is good too.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pure Bliss

 Dear Sleep,
Sometimes you allude me
and I sleep not at all.
I toss and turn and toss again.
Finally I take my mind to those places long ago.
Places where sitting or laying by water
wrapped me in your protective blanket and took me to dreamland.
 As a young girl I remember digging a chair in the sand,
laying my towel there, and tucking into the comfy place.
Listening to the waves roll in and tumble the pebbles
at the edge of the sea while soaking up the sun,
I was lulled to sleep.

As a young mother, the exhaustion was true.
As the family played on a beach along the canal
I laid for what was to be a few moments rest on the dock,
but it became an hour sleeping in the sun.

As time went by I remember another time finding
myself in the tropics along the shoreline.
A hammock swung between two trees.
It beckoned me.
Soon the sun was warming clear down to my toes.
As I listened to the gentle waves and soaked in the sun,
I slept.
Do you have those moments when you must
walk with the memories that lulled you to sleep?
Does it help?
It sometimes helps me.

These are the memories I bring to a sleepless night.
The pictures of more recent times,
of sitting in the sun and near the water.

This truly is Pure Bliss to sleep by the sea
 with the sun warming our souls.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Walk with Me - Searching for Birds

 There wasn't much walking this past week,
but only a quick stop to stroll a bit searching for birds.
One of my favorite bird watching stops took me
to Sauvie Island again.
 I found these two beauties in flight and it touched my heart.
Do you see both of them?
 Can you see this one.  He blends in with the colors of the ground.
There was so much water all around.
He is a Great Blue Heron.

 I loved the formations in flight and the chatter of their voices.
My heart does sing at the beauty of nature,
of wild life and trees,
of flowers and sunshine or clouds.
What a beautiful world around us,
if we only stop for a moment to notice.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Happy Easter - Happy Springtime

 A gift of a poem for you at Easter time.

No April Words

There are no words for saying
How wistful is the push
Of April through the budding
Of a lilac bush.

There are no notes for making
A little elfin air
Of new leaves on a willow;
No phrases to compare

With tapering blue hyacinths;
The first white butterfly;
With plum trees misted sudden
Silver on the sky....

One may only listen-
Hand at throat-to rapture
More lyrically lovely
Than any song may capture.

~Kitchen Sonnets by Ethel Romig Fuller
 Happy Easter
Happy Springtime
Happy April

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tea Salon, Part 2

After my last post of having a tea salon or "in-home" salon
more thoughts came my way.  
Someone mentioned to me that Gertrude Stein, an American writer during the early 1900's,
hosted Paris salons where she invited artists and writers into her home for intellectual conversations.
In wikipedia it states that a salon was a gathering of people under the roof
of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to
refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through
conversation.  Salons, commonly associated with French literary and
philosophical movements of the 17th and 18th centuries, were
carried on until as recently as the 1940's in urban settings.
I learned that they most often were instigated by women for education
and the more positive aspects of being a woman.
Women were an important role and regulator in salons.
They selected their guests and decided the subject of their gathering.
They also had the role as mediator by directing the discussion.
It was a form of higher education for women of that era.

Fascinating!?  Yes!?
What do you think?

So as a woman I could instigate a tea salon for education and the positive
aspect of being a woman.  A hand written invitation would be sent
along with the topic of discussion.
The concept does fascinate and intrigue me.
The pictures I took for this post represent to me what it might look like
with an evening chosen, candlelight, and a subject such as:
tea, poetry, care of family, care of ourselves, care of our world
 or well it is wide open.
What would you want to discuss and share education about
as you sipped a cup of tea?

Happy weekend, dear friends!