Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life By The Cup

Did you labor over the Labor Day weekend?
I did not.

The kitties and I had a quiet weekend doing quiet things.

I finished my first watercolor pear.
This was done on left over paper from another project.
There is a horse lightly sketched on the other side.
Probably a leftover from Chinese New Year.


Since I'm becoming quite proficient in drawing pears, there will be more in my future --
this time on "real" watercolor paper!


It is September ... the first of the "BER" months.
That means fall is just around the corner and temps below 95 for me!
This is one of my favorite teacups.
It is a Bentley teacup and came with a selection of Bentley teas.

Bentley Tea Cup


Over the weekend I finished LIFE BY THE CUP.
I'll let you read my review.
After reading the book, I couldn't decide which tea I wanted to try
(other than Coconut Chai).
They all sounded so delicious so I bought two sampler packs.
(As if I needed more tea.)

Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless SuccessLife by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success by Zhena Muzyka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Put a book about tea in front of me and I have to read it! LIFE BY THE CUP is Zhena Muzyka's story about heartache, hard work, a vision, success and tea. It is also a "how to" book filled with suggestions on ways to find happiness and success. I was less interested in the how to sections of each short chapter and simply captivated by the stories Zhena told about her life and her marvelous teas. Her stories would make a lovely movie. Using fair trade organic teas and her own essential oils, aromatherapy and herbal teachings from her Gypsy grandmother, Zhena builds a successful business: Zhena's Gypsy Teas .. a thriving, purpose-driven, fair-trade, multimillion-dollar brand. I'm a big tea drinker and had never heard of Zhena's teas until I saw them at World Market. Now I'm a big fan and after reading the book have a whole list of teas I want to try with Coconut Chai on top!

View all my reviews

'Afternoon Tea'
Afternoon Tea by Edward Cucuel (1875-1954)

Wishing YOU well, much joy and a wonderful cup of tea!

I'm joining the following tea parties.
Thank you to the hosts of:

Sunday, August 31, 2014



"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
~Albert Einstein

Wishing YOU well and much joy.

Monday, August 25, 2014

At The Tea Garden

I've been collecting Portmeirion for years.
I pick up a piece here and there -- always on sale.
I have bowls from the botanical and from the garden bird series.
I use them for everything: soup, cereal, fruit, yogurt, pasta.

On my last trip to Tuesday Morning,
 I found these lovely mugs and two bread and butter plates. 



I'm going to brew a large pot of Assam making it extra strong.
I'm going to ice it later.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Iced Assam.
It is summer after all!

Maybe I'll have a slice of blueberry bread, too.

Garrison Keillor shared poetry by Margaret Hasse in his Writer's Almanac.

I bought EARTH'S APPETITE, a small collection of her poems and they are wonderful.
Here's an example.


by Margaret Hasse

My friend and I mull over the teas
displayed in square jars
with beveled glass labeled by type.
Each name seems part of a haiku:
"After the Snow Sprouting." "Moon Palace."
"Mist Over the Gorges."
I'm drawn to green teas
with unoxidized leaves that don't wither,
hold their grassy fragrance
like willow under snow in winter.

The proprietor offers real china for the Chinese tea.
Animal bones, fine ground, give whiteness,
translucency and strength
to the porcelain that appears delicate,
resists chipping.
The rim of the cup is warm and thin.

My friend's lips are plush: her lovely
mouth opens to give advice I ask for.
We talk about memory of threshold events,
like a first kiss or a poem published.
She can't remember...

I tell her about my brother-in-law's
chemotherapy—his third bout of cancer.
He wants his family to put a pinch
of his ashes in things he liked:
his banjo, the top drawer of his desk, the garden.

I wouldn't mind becoming part
of a set of bone china that serves tea
in a cozy teahouse smelling of incense,
cinnamon, musk, and carved teak.
I'd like to be brought to a small table,
sit between friends' quiet words,
held in hands so close that breath
on the surface of warm drink
makes mist rise over their faces.
"At the Tea Garden" by Margaret Hasse, from Earth's Appetite. © Nodin Press, 2013. 
Tea Party

Tea Party with Lois by Wilson Henry Irvine, 1920

Wishing YOU well, much joy and a wonderful cup of tea!

I'm joining the following tea parties.
Thank you to the hosts of:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Little Things

I went to Whole Foods yesterday.
I don't know why ... I just did!
I did have a grocery list (of sorts) of those things I forgot on my regular run to my neighborhood store. 
Whole Foods is a little "out of" the neighborhood.


I found these pretty little Calla lilies there.

Baby Buddha and Callas

I'd forgotten how pretty the flowers are at Whole Foods.
The callas were grown in California.
Thank you, California!


I'll be making more trips to Whole Foods and next time,
maybe with a "real" grocery list!

Oh, before I forget.
If you like Hatch Green Chile.
Whole Foods has the best chicken salad made with Hatch Green Chile!

May you be filled with loving-kindness.
May you be well.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
May you be happy.

Little by Little

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Japanese Garden

This was the first year that I made it in time to the Japanese Garden
to see the crepe myrtles in bloom.
In the past I've used the excuse that it is just too hot to go.
Armed with camera, cold water and a fan -- off I went.
I wasn't disappointed.

Japanese Garden

The crepes were mostly pale pink and white, but every now and then the dark red appeared.

Japanese Garden

The sound of running water is so soothing. 

Japanese Garden

It was a lovely, but hot, morning.

Wishing YOU well and much joy.

I'm joining the lovely Judith for Mosaic Monday.