Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Livin' the Dream

"Think Big Thoughts...Savor Small Pleasures."
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Do you ever have an event that you look forward to?
Saturday I attended such an event.
Our realtor/friend, Kama, and her husband, Ian
know how to celebrate and thank those in their life
with a party at their horse ranch.
 It is a time to wear the cowboy boots,
kick up our heels, and play.

And play we did with laughter, dancing, and smiles all around.
How fun to meet smiling people and to see the children free to chase bubbles.
There are stories in these faces, some I know and some are yet to be learned.
Listening to music and celebrating the day is something
I look forward to every four years.
Love the Air Stream, where the drinks were served.
The food was amazing!  I am dreaming of the
delicious salads, barbecued chicken and pulled pork,
and oh yes, strawberry shortcake too.

"If you're not focused on people,
you don't get the picture."
Shawna Schuh

"Nothing great ever happens inside your comfort zone."
Kama Dersham, Kama Homes

The quotes were included on a tall mug we each received as a thank you gift.
What great reminders.
If you ever need a great realtor in the Portland area, just let me know, Kama's the very best.

Note:  Double click on any picture to see more details.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just Because

 
Just because, I forgot to blog this morning.
My mind was in another place.
Here are some photos taken this week to share,
Just because.
Do enjoy!
Do dance with the flowers!
Play in the sunshine, Just because.
Have a delightful weekend, just because it is the thing to do.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sun goes down

 
I pluck the petals that are wet with dew,
and drink my solitary cup in quiet.
When it is empty, pour myself another,
The Sun goes down and all of nature rests.

T'ao Ch'ien, China 400CE

Do you drink a cup of tea as the Sun goes down?
Does it relax you or keep you awake?
Or maybe you sip something herbal in the evening?
What is your pleasure in an evening with tea?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Exuberance is Passion

A red rose always reminds me of Passion.
Yesterday my neighbor received a gorgeous bouquet of red roses from someone special.
Do you suppose it was to say "I Love You"?

As I have journeyed with PASSION this year I have picked up random thoughts about it.
I have tucked these thoughts into my heart with a smile.
I have told myself, "It's OK Darling, Get back up and Dance" when I have needed the words.
I have realized that Passion is another form of JOY, my word from two years ago.
I have learned that Passion is to run with abandon and pure pleasure, complete focus, and exuberance.
Exuberance has stuck in my head and clearly explained this word, PASSION, to me.

Passion, from Wikipedia/Dictionary:  emotion: joy, sorrow, exuberance, raw, hate, hope, faith, love
The suffering of Jesus Christ
The musical.

I found this page and the Holstee Manifesto:
 Live your Dream, Share your Passion.  LIFE IS SHORT. 

For me what I am learning with the word PASSION is to:  
Connect with People, Create, Laugh, Dance, and live a life of exuberance.
Not a bad way to live, but a very good way.

I hope today you are celebrating life with exuberance.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Special Day in the Garden


The greenhouse was waiting.
It's first event of initiation.
We were anticipating this day.

The table was set.

Flowers from the garden were picked.

Food prepared.

Dessert of Watermelon Salad with lime juice, honey, and fresh ginger.
Moon and Star sugar cookies too.

Special guests have arrived.
On the left is Adrienne from With a Grateful Heart and LaDonna on the right from Gracious Hospitality.

Then coming the furthest was Linda from Friendship Tea (she was visiting from Kentucky).
Stephanie from Steph's Cup of Tea is on the right, she lives nearby.

Of course with all these lovers of tea together, we had to share a time of tea.
There was a WuWo Tea Ceremony here in my backyard.
A special time of learning and sharing.

Linda is waiting and the time is just beginning.
What a special time together, one I was so happy to host in my backyard.

Sally on the left and Jan also were here to share in the adventure of tea.

Margie too on the left, a teacher of the art of Japanese Tea Ceremony
here to enjoy tea together with the group.

Finally a picture of the four tea bloggers.  I have introduced each to you,
but one final picture was a must.

Monday, July 23, 2012

One Word

 
Polkadots!

Friday, July 20, 2012

You Know How I Feel

 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_ig1gkgoQc

My swim aerobics class played this song by another artist this week
and I just enjoyed moving to it.
I thought it was the perfect ending to the week
and it seems we all need a little movement and JOY in the world.
So dance and move, swing to the music and let your mind go free.
Happy Weekend!

+++++++

Now you didn't think I would forget as I was swinging to the music, did you?
The winner of The Color of Tea, summer reading book is:  Mary at A Breathe of Fresh Air.
If you haven't visited her blog, stop by and enjoy it.  Tell her Marilyn sent you.
I hope you have clicked on the youtube link to hear the music and picture show.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Color of Tea

 

From The Color of Tea, by Hannah Tunnicliffe:

Macarons

Macarons are tiny French confections made from the finest almond powder, egg whites, and sugar.
They have charmed Parisians and Europeans for centuries, their crisp, sweet shells sandwiched together with
creamy fillings.  They are infinitely more elegant than cupcakes, daintier than tarts, prettier than pastries. 
Charming, meringue-like buttons, full of French couture attitude.  The delight is in the changing flavors,
inspired by seasons, whims, or moods.  They are best enjoyed over a cup of tea and a conversation
filled with secrets and gossip.  These sweets have a cult following, and it is easy to see why; after your first, you will be hooked...


Ok, I am hooked on macarons with my tea.
What a perfect combination for afternoon tea.
The book was picked up at the market recently
and is just a fun summer read.
I had fun reading it and now want to pass it on.
If you would like to be the next to read it,
leave a comment today and I will announce the winner tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Better Place

 
From ~ The Wind in the Willow

Come along inside............
we'll see if tea and buns can make
the World a better place.

As we all know,
the World is definitely a better place because of tea!

Go out and make the World a better place today.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What would you miss?

 
 


The following is from Cheryl Richardson.  I thought it was worth sharing here.

As many of you know, the creative genius, Nora Ephron died recently after a long illness.  Nora was responsible for such wonderful films as Heartburn, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, and her latest movie, Julie & Julia.  

While reading about Nora's vast, accomplished career, I came across an excerpt from her most recent book, "I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections."  The excerpt made me stop and think about my life.  It was a list of what she would and would not miss.  It's the "What I Will Miss" list that inspired this week's newsletter.  Have a look:

WHAT I WILL MISS 

My kids
Nick
Spring
Fall
Waffles
The concept of waffles
Bacon
A walk in the park
The idea of a walk in the park
The park
Shakespeare in the Park
The bed
Reading in bed
Fireworks
Laughs
The view out the window
Twinkle lights
Butter
Dinner at home just the two of us
Dinner with friends
Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives
Paris
Next year in Istanbul
Pride and Prejudice
The Christmas tree
Thanksgiving dinner
One for the table
The dogwood
Taking a bath
Coming over the bridge to Manhattan
Pie
 
As I read through Nora's list, I thought about the little things that bring me joy that I'd miss - the things that often go unnamed as important.  Things like a bird's nest under construction that captures my attention each morning while I enjoy a cup of tea.  The way my cat Poupon covers his eyes with his paw when he naps, making me smile every time, regardless of how many times I see him do it.  Or, trees billowing in my backyard like soft sheets on a clothesline when a strong breeze blows.  And, of course, the beautiful, nuanced moments that occur when I connect with others.  

I wonder what you'd miss?  

And I wonder something else:  I wonder why we give so much attention to things that are not on the list.  

Just something to think about today...

++++++++++++++++++++
 I hope you will think on these things this week.
The photos above were take up in the Puget Sound area.
They remind me of Camelot, especially with the clouds touching the earth and water.
This I would miss and I would miss you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gathering, Better Junque

 
 
 
 
 
 
Gathering, Better Junque
Willows, California

There was another stop I had planned to make on our quick road trip.
Each time we would drive down the I-5 highway and I saw the sign for Willows,
I would say one day I am going to stop there.
One of the blogs I have followed the longest is Tongue in Cheek,
so I knew this place of enchantment was there.
Corey's mom and a friend care and run this shop.
Tucked in back is a secret garden, where I chatted with Corey's mom as
she watered plants. I found the sweet bunny garden stake here.
Wherever we travel, I just love searching out antique shops to browse.
This one was a special treat and I know there will be stops here again.

Click on the pictures to see the details and enjoy, I know I sure did.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A Winner!



The embroidery was hanging just outside our door at The Yreka Third Street Inn.
Click on picture to see the details.

A week ago Monday I received an email from a past Marmalady's customer, Traci.
She was telling me about a Bed and Breakfast she was helping a friend with for the summer.
The amazing thing was that we were traveling right through the town of Yreka, California
on our short trip to California.  Yreka is on I-5 and just over the Oregon border near Mt. Shasta.
A room was soon reserved for a stop in Yreka and I had the opportunity to reconnect
with a tea friend from my past.  Now how fun is that?  So how was it a winner?
Well, it was totally delightful and a lovely place to stop.

The Yreka Third Street Inn can be found here online.
It was a Victorian era home surrounded by many other beautiful Victorian houses
and a historic downtown.  The evening was perfect for walking and then sitting in those chairs
in the yard for time of visiting.  Breakfast included delicious fresh fruit, eggs, sausage, muffins and scones.
Definitely worth stopping for a relaxing night, I highly recommend it.

*****************
Now I promised to announce another winner.
The winner of my 1000th post give away is Faye.
Congratulations, Faye!
Please email me your address to confirm where to send this gift.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

1000th Post, Hooray!

"I learned this, at least,
by my experiment;
that if one advances confidently
in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life
which he has imagined,
he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours."

~ Henry David Thoreau

Today is the day, 1000th post.
I will draw for the give away in celebration at the end of the day
and announce the winner tomorrow.
There could be other things tucked into this gift,
so go ahead celebrate with me and leave a comment on Friday's post.

I think the #1 thing I have been gifted in blogging these 1000 posts
is the gift of friendship.
Thank you so much for each of you I have met through blogging,
I continue to enjoy the ride and look forward to more celebrations with you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

California Road Trip

Road trips seem to be the mode of travel here this year.
Though the road trip was only four days, it was extra special.
The purpose of the trip was to meet a dear blogger friend from Norway.


On Sunday afternoon we ventured into the heat of
the California valley near Sacramento to this wonderful oasis.
It was the home of my friends hosts, Jane and Lanny.
I couldn't help but take peaks around their wonderful compound.
Jane is an artist, so of course a stop in her studio was part of the tour.
Oh would I love a studio such as Jane's.

There were many different rooms in the garden to sit and visit.
This is looking back at the artist studio, a sweet little house.

There was time to sit and visit here surrounded by grapes
 that will ripen later in the summer.

Oh, but best of all was the purpose for the trip.
To meet my friend, Britt-Arnhild.
You can visit her blog here, The House in the Woods.

We arrived early to have a lovely visit with Britt-Arnhild, her husband, Terje and daughter, Marta.
They were staying in a lovely guesthouse at the back of the property.

One of the pleasures of blogging is having opportunities
such as this and to meet face to face.  
It was a delightful day and one that will always remain in
my memories and I will treasure each moment spent with a new friend.

This is #999 post, remember to leave a comment on Fridays post for a small give-away.
I am sure there will be some tea tucked in with the charm.
I have a special, new Yunnan Gold to share.
The give-away will be tomorrow on my #1000.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Charmed and a Gift

 
   
The gift, a special yummy recipe.
Charmed, the small charm you see in the lower picture.
With only a couple more posts I will be celebrating 1000 posts
here at Delights of the Heart.
The charm is small, but made by me.
I will be sending it to someone when I reach 1000.
Leave a comment here to receive a chance to win this charm.

The gift is a recipe for each of you.
A recipe for Cranberry Hazelnut Crackers.
It comes from Cathy at Wives with Knives here.


Cranberry Hazelnut Raincoast Crisps
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup hazelnuts or pecans, lightly chopped
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitos)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes.  Add the raisins, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary and stir just until blended.

Pour the batter into two 8"x4" loaf pans or 4 small loaf pans (I used 5-3/4"x3") that have been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.  (I like these crackers very crisp so for my second batch I reduced the temperature to 300 (275 F. convection) and baked them for 20 minutes on each side and they were perfect.  Watch that they don't get too brown.  Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.

The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin.  You can leave it until the next day or pop it into the refrigerator. (I refrigerated the loaves overnight and they sliced perfectly the next day). Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.   Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees F. (I turned the heat down to 250 degrees) and bake the slices for another 10 minutes on each side.

Makes about 6 dozen crackers.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Experience Tea

 
Last Friday evening a group met for WuWo Tea Ceremony.
It was a special evening of wonderful teas, food, and friendship.
We had a special guest, Shuiwen of Floating Leaves in Seattle.
Shuiwen shared with us her passion for tea
with a tea tasting of Baozhong Oolong teas recently brought back from Taiwan.
From Shuiwen I learned that tasting and drinking tea is a time to savor the experience.
Savor the fragrance, the appearance, and then the flavor.
Shuiwen's stories of purchasing and drinking teas with the farmers was pure delight.
Each of the teas just tickled my palate and reminded me of why I love
these beautiful teas from Taiwan.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

 
The greenhouse in my garden is almost finished.
I has been a labor of love, built by my husband of recycled materials.
Soon we can open the doors and share more fully.
I will be out there enjoying the day and
helping to make it more beautiful.
All the windows are in now.
It just needs cleaning, caulking in places, and paint here and there.

Have a delightful, happy fourth of July!
Stay safe and enjoy the day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Grace, a form of movement

 
This is Carol.
She was one of the speakers at the conference I recently attended.
The theme was Grace, a word I am quite familiar with.
It was my word for the year several years ago before I started blogging.
It's a good word.
Carol is 83 years young and her topic was saying "Yes" to grace.
I often say no because somedays I just feel overwhelmed with all there is to do.
Carol was a young mother when she first said "Yes".
In 1961 she wrote to the Portland Reporter about her concern for the crisis in Berlin
and how that would effect "our little ones".
She became involved and for many years she traveled the world working with
American Friends Service Committee "working for peace and social justice by nonviolent means".
Her desire has been to be "An instrument of peace."

Through Carol's words and thinking on the word Grace
I realized that Grace is a word of movement.
Saying "Yes" is a form of movement.
What we say yes it allows us to move forward.
I am not sure from day to day where saying yes might move me,
but for me I will move forward with Grace.