"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blue Willow Ware , Tea Time Tuesday

Blue Willow Ware is one of my favorite patterns of china and I have been collecting bits and pieces of it since I was in my teens. Usually I would buy a saucer or bread plate found in thrift stores and the great quantities of Willow Ware seem to vary quite a bit in quality and price. I am very pleased and thankful for the Blue Willow Ware teapot my Father-in-law gave me recently. He knows I love the pattern, thank-you Dad ! Blue is my favorite color and I never tire of blue and white on my table. Blue Danube, Blue Willow Ware,and any other pieces of blue china that find their way to my home will also be used frequently. Many of the pieces shown here are gifts given to us with love from family members. My husbands' sister Judy sent me a box of lovely blue and white plates and saucers a short while ago, some of them pictured here. I was not expecting any packages in the mail, and when I got the package home and opened the box ...oh my, a true surprise and delight to my heart ,thank-you Judy! This is a tea/coffee cup I have shown before. It is my favorite tea cup and I use it often, drinking ONLY tea from it. My sister JoAnn and I spotted this tea cup in an antique store in a mountain logging town in Oregon a few years ago as we were driving home after visiting our Grandmother. See, a favorite teacup with many fond memories attached. I googled Willow Ware in researching it for this post and google alone pulled up hundreds of thousands of articles about the pattern. The pattern is commonly believed to portray the story of two doomed Chinese lovers meeting on the bridge and after death they are turned into birds. The story on Blue Willow Ware is supposedly Chinese but Blue Willow Ware was first made in England in 1780. It is still being made today. "The pattern would prove so popular it would be copied in a dozen countries by hundreds of manufacturers. Even the Chinese copied it in their hand-painted decoration." Wayne Mattox The options for collecting Blue Willow Ware are endless, thrift stores, garage sales, and even newly produced Willow Ware are readily available. The most beautiful Willow Ware I have ever seen was a child's tea set displayed in an antique store. The little tea set was in perfect condition, and the cups and saucers were egg-shell thin. The little set took my breath away. The price was very high and of course I could not justify spending so much money on a toy tea set and if I had I know I would not actually ever use it. However, I DO use all my Blue Willow Ware, and enjoy it every time I sip tea from the cup and saucer, or eat cookies and sandwiches from the little plates. Pour yourself a cup of tea in a favorite cup and visit the ladies listed below:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scenic View On The Way Home ~ HOME !

My traveling companions Beatrix and Hawk peer from the back of my car as I take a walk down to the scenic view outlook.We have been gone for more than a week visiting the granddaughters who live 6 hours away on the other side of the mountains. On the way home I stopped to buy coffee for me and cheeseburgers for the 3 of us. Hawk and Beatrix look forward to their plain cheeseburgers! I also took time to take in the beauty of the mighty Columbia River across from the Wild Horse Monument just over the bridge from Vantage, Washington. Breath-takingly beautiful .The scenery here seems almost barren, yet just a few miles from here the freeway heading home takes me through the highest snow-capped mountains filled with lush vegetation and evergreen trees, then down into King and Pierce Counties in Washington where there is so much green it makes my heart sing ! I do love the place I live ~ even the rainy days, especially the rainy days. Hawk , Beatrix, and I will be much happier to get home so I do not linger long at the scenic outlook. "Where we love is home.Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts." Oliver Wendell Holmes I am looking forward to reading and posting blogs again after being away from the internet, but now, a good night's sleep in my own bed !

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Frogs & Fairies ?

Cedar Pond is a small pond, but big enough to have a tiny island in the middle. This little island is rarely visited by us and requires a boat ( albeit a very small boat ) ride. The grandchildren all covet that special ride to the island and when on the island , they have to explore thoroughly. You never know what you might find there, a frog or a fairy, and adventure is always there for anyone with imagination. Poppa came home early on sewing day. KN was almost finished with her sewing project and she said excitedly "Maybe he will take me on a boat ride around the pond!" The sun was shining and warming Cedar Pond after weeks of non-stop rain. How could he not celebrate such good weather with his granddaughter? We drained the little boat of many inches of rain water and Poppa and KN paddled around the island in the pond. Poppa chose this time to plant some little trees on the island. KN tied the boat to a tree while she and Poppa explored the tiny island. KN was thinking about fairies and looking for frogs.
Could there be fairies here? Such a miniature and complete little world, just on the other side of the island.Often overlooked, rarely disturbed, perfect.
There are holes and little doors all 'round this stump. Fairies and frogs would rejoice in such a shelter, don't you think? Ferns to shade and hide a secret entrance, the pond at the door , the sun on the side . Rarely trod by human feet. Places to float a fairy boat, especially one made of fir cones and feathers. Safe harbors in the miniature coves formed by water-sodden moss covered logs framed by Lily of the Valley and ferns.
"Happiness flutters in the air whilst we rest among the breaths of nature." Kally Scheaffer "The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful." e.e.cummings "Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God." Job 37:14
* This past week I have been having trouble with our internet provider , the service has been down, missing, AWOL, zilch, when I have attempted to post or comment. This coming week I have family responsibilities to attend to, but will hopefully be able to read and comment on many of my favorite blogs nevertheless. Thank-you again for taking a moment of your precious time to read musings on our little spot here on Cedar Pond.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuesday, Not Just For Tea - We Sew Too!

Our granddaughter KN and I sew together most Tuesdays. Tuesdays are not just for tea, but for sewing with KN and sharing a cup of tea together. My sewing skills are very basic. I figure if I teach KN some basic skills she can then take these skills to even higher levels, and sew with the intensity, joy, and creativity she has shown since she was very little. Here she is using my sewing machine, the Kenmore sewing machine my Grandmother gave me. It is as old as me- more than half a century, and working just fine.
KN has chosen a blue flannel material with clouds for the pajama bottoms she will sew.
Voila! I think today she did very well, and tonight she will wear these warm flannel pajama bottoms to bed.Next week's assignment, sewing matching pajama bottoms for her American Girl doll, Josephina. ~"Creativity is the quality you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach- how you look at things..Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative." Osho

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sometimes Mother's Day Hurts

Mother Hens Dora ( black) and Lucy ( red) protecting their chicks from me as I take pictures.These little tiny balls of yellow fluff are so cute,but it is easy for me to resist picking them up because as soon as I get too close to the chicks both mama hens fling themselves at me and squawk and scream , making a horrible racket. Though neither of these hens weigh more than a pound , they are scary when they attack me like that. Bantam hens are notoriously very good mamas . In Matthew and Luke Jesus compares Himself to a mother hen as He laments "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her ! How often I have wanted to gather your children together , just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it !" What a blessing mothers are to so many, most mothers love their children more than words can adequately express, and strive to provide the very best for their children often with self-sacrifice.Most mothers would not think twice about saving their children from danger at the risk of their own lives. These little bantam hens react instantly to perceived danger to their chicks , and almost every danger to their chicks is easily able to dispatch a tiny, angry, protective hen. We live in a fallen and imperfect world. There are mothers who are not so loving, there are many who do not have a mother in their lives. Mother's Day can be a painful reminder to many they are unable to have children of their own, or that their beloved mother is dead. Some mothers mourn the loss of children, or estrangement from the children they love more than life itself.Sometimes Mother's Day just plain hurts. God in His wisdom knows this. He can take the hurts and loss and hold you tight. He loves you and your children more than any human mother ever could. "He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge;" Ps. 91:4 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have compassion on the son of her womb ? Even these may forget, but I will never forget you." Isaiah 49:15 ~
"Mother : An appellation given to a woman who exercises care and tenderness towards another, or gives parental advice ; " Webster Dictionary
-Thank-you Lord for the wonderful children you blessed me with, and most importantly, they claim You as Savior ! Thank-you for the 8 grandchildren You have given me through them. You are kind and merciful beyond what I deserve. Thank-you Lord for my husband who is also an amazing father , making it possible through great sacrifice for me to be able to stay home and raise our children, a choice I will never regret. Thank-you Lord for the mother you gave me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Trillium Tea Cup ~ Tea Time Tuesday

Another cold and rainy day with few sun-breaks here in the Pacific Northwest, not the best weather for the honey bees my husband tends. I decided to cheer up my dining table with oranges from our nephew and his family's trees in sunny California, and a honey bee teapot , sugar & creamer. Just a spot of cheery yellow for a cold, wet day to remind me this really is spring. This is my White Trillium teacup, bone china, by Royal Albert. This teacup is perfect this time of year because we have blooming trilliums all over our property. Some of the trilliums are in very big, lush clumps. My teacup is held up to a trillium from our woods.A trillium seed may take 2 years to germinate and another 2 years to bloom. Trilliums bloom from April to June. "Picking a trillium seriously injures the plant by preventing the leaf-like bracts from producing food for the next year. A plant takes many years to recover." wikipedia ~This is why my husband is very protective of the trilliums in our wood-land and makes sure our grandchildren all know picking trilliums is forbidden. "Trillium is one of the many plants whose seeds are spread by ants. At maturity, the base and core of the trillium ovary turns soft and spongy. Trillium seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants extract the seeds from the decaying ovary and take them to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes and put the seeds in their garbage, where they ( trilliums) germinate in a rich growing medium." Wikipedia Our trilliums start out white, and as the blooms age , the petals become pink, starting out a light pink and ending up a very dark, almost purple-pink.
Trilliums have 3 leaves, 3 petals, 3 sepals. Tri means three,hence the name 'Trillium'. I am sipping mint tea from my Trillium Teacup. Why don't you brew a pot of delicious tea as you read the blogs of the ladies below who love to explore teacups, teapots, and all things tea!
* Pictures of trilliums in this post were taken by me in our wood-land.