Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Salute to Spring


In the early morning hour I lifted a salute to spring
with a cup of Dong Ding Oolong from Floating Leaves in Seattle.
The cherry blossoms were blooming in the Japanese Memorial
along the Willamette River.
You see the Steele Bridge in the background.
Oh a good cup of tea outdoors is pure delight.
The petals of the cherry tree gently floated to the ground
while a petal or two landed in my tea,
I sipped.
It's funny, but usually I like a floral oolong from Taiwan.
Recently the more smoky oolongs have enticed me.
So this wonderful Dong Ding Traditional Oolong
was a perfect way to salute spring in the outdoors.

Turning in the opposite direction there are more
blossoms and the Burnside Bridge.
The blossoms and tea time did sing to my heart
in the early morning hour.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Walk with Me - Portland's Japanese Garden


Yes, I have walked here before, but couldn't resist
sharing these beautiful gardens again.
Above is the ceremonial teahouse in the gardens.
Last week I shared tea time in the Japanese Gardens,
but after tea time there was a lovely early spring
walk in the gardens.
Looking for signs of spring is a particular 
pleasure for me.
Do you love watching for signs of spring?
Even this squirrel was out looking for spring.


Often at this garden and our Lan Su Chinese Garden I see
these beautiful koi, but don't seem to get a picture I enjoy of them.
I sort of enjoyed this one of them enjoying the movement of the
water from the waterfalls.

This falls seems to be the most  photographed spot in the garden.
Oh camellias!  Surely a sign of spring!
And daphne too!

The tree below had just a tinge of pink.
Hopeful signs for sure!




Isn't the pink camellias beautiful in contrast to the gnarly tree trunk.
I just loved the contrast.
Again today I will be walking and searching for spring.
Have a delightful day, dear friends.

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Special Hat for Tea

 Yesterday I headed to the Japanese Gardens
at Portland's Washington Park.
I had a plan for tea and wouldn't miss it for anything.
 As you can see there is a lot of new construction.
 The construction crew were diligently working.
Even in the 2 hours we were there we could see results.
With a peek through the bamboo I could see the new teahouse.
I was excited to have tea on their first day, a soft opening.
Officially they don't open until April 2nd.
 Hard hats were the attire of the day, plus a shiny vest too.
With me is Chloe, the manager of the teahouse.

Stepping inside my "live-in gardener" and I were greeted
by a wonderful staff and serene surroundings.
 Below is my friend, Dana.
If you visit the teahouse, tell Dana hello.
Both Dana and Chloe are members of the
WuWo Tea Ceremony group I belong to.
Our waitress was Melanie and she did a great job!
 First I ordered Sencha green tea, which came with cake.
Not being a green tea fan, I found the Sencha to be a bit
grassy for my liking.
 Then there were these delicious Chikara bars with nuts and fruit.
Chikara means strength in Japanese.
The seaweed wrapped rice was Onigiri with Hijiki seaweed.
 A second tea, Hojicha, was a delicious roasted Japanese green tea.
I did enjoy this tea quite a lot.
And along came another treat with bean paste in the middle.

Just sitting in the teahouse in beautiful surroundings brought
back memories of a time long ago when my grandmother
took me to the Japanese Gardens in San Francisco for tea.
I was about 12 or 13 years old and it made me feel so very grown up.
Of course, there was a walk through the
gardens once tea was finished.
What a perfect mini-vacation adventure in the middle
of the week.
Do you sometimes enjoy a couple hours "mini-vacation"?
I love it when that happens, especially in a
lovely place like the Japanese Gardens.
If you come for a visit to Portland
plan on tea at the Japanese Gardens,
a vacation for sure and you won't have to
wear a hard hat and vest.

Linking to Bernideen at http://blog.bernideens.com/

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sunshine at Last


Tears touch my eyes
I sing Hallelujah!
It is warming again,
A glorious Spring day
Sunshine is peeping out of the clouds
My heart rises in JOY
Delights in the day
Daffodils greet me
Budding blossoms give a song to my heart
Oh the JOY of Springtime
A gift to me and you
A pause to smile and laugh

What is making you smile and laugh today?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Expect the unexpected, Look for it!

 Recently I have been addicted to watching
chef shows on Netflix.
 It amazes me to see the detail and extent they
go to in presenting amazing meals.
 Most often they work with the grower to  produce
the perfect vegetables and fruit, or meat and poultry.
Only the best will do when serving their customers.
 One particular chef on Chefs Table intrigued me
with his creativity and thoughtfulness.
He is a true artist.
He even had one of his chefs develop an edible
sugar balloon that floated in the air.
Amazing!
He said, expect the unexpected.
He loves surprising people and revealing the magic.
Be open to the present in order to find the unexpected.

The pictures are all things in nature that I found
in unexpected places and in just noticing what I notice.

Do you love the surprise and magic of the unexpected?
Take time to notice.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

World Poetry Day


Just this morning I learned it is World Poetry Day today.
Often I love to share poems and the following one
has been sitting with me for a few days.
Can you just imagine a duck laughing?

Look and See

This morning, at waterside, a sparrow flew
to a water rock and landed, by error, on the back 
of an eider duck; lightly it fluttered off, amused.
The duck, too, was no provoked, but,  you might say,
was laughing.

This afternoon a gull sailing over
our house was casually scratching
its stomach of white feathers with 
one pink foot as it flew.

Oh Lord, how shining and festive is your
gift to us, if we only look , and see.

From Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver

Not a duck, but these gulls make me smile.

Enjoy some poetry today!
Take time to "look and see"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Walk with Me - Officer's Row

 One place I love walking, though I don't do it often,
is just across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.
Sunday was a bit drippy with rain, but still it was
a beautiful place to walk with my "live-in gardener".
We did stop at the Visitors Center and purchased
a National Park Passport book, as this is the year
we plan on visiting National Parks.
 Walk with us along Officer's Row.
I just love seeing the old houses built about 1850's.


 There were violets blooming under the trees.





 The hills in the background are Oregon.

 Had to have a sit-down on one of the porches.
 And a peek in one of the windows.

 

 I would love sitting here with a cup of tea.
 In the garden a stone with petroglyph.
Not sure I spelled that right, but an ancient
Indian carving on stone.



 On a sunny day in summer this would be
a perfect place for a picnic.
 I believe music is played here on July 4th.
 It was more of a stroll, but a perfect place
to be on a Sunday afternoon.