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It's not "life's illusions", but "life's infusions" that I recall!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Good News Is Happening on Oregon Street !!

After months of patiently working to obtain a building permit....

the Oregon Street Antique Mall ......


is in full swing ( that's with a hammer and crow bar) in creating a new stair case...



which will open up the entire second story.  Several dealers are arranging their wares in anticipation of the completed project. I know there is a grand opening planned and we'll keep everyone up to date !!

And right next door at Tapas Downtown there is more construction activity....


come take a peek.....


Yes, the walls have been knocked down and the gallery area is being expanded !!


This new room will accommodate large groups...so book your Christmas party now !!

We are blessed and thankful to be multiplying and growing on Oregon Street !!

All this work just makes me want to have a cuppa tea !

Happy Infusions,





Monday, October 26, 2009

Tea Tasting and Friends.....

A big thank you to all our family and friends who attended the Tea Tasting Party at the Antique Cottage and Garden Friday night.  I miss all of you and it was absolutely divine to connect again with so many of you !!

Thank you also to Lynni Miller, the owner of Antique Cottage and Garden, and Kelly and Mark, who all pitched in to help us get ready !  Lynni, the goodies were perfect with the teas....thanks !

Congratulations to the winners of the door prizes !!

My Sweet Husband is the best !  He patiently loaded and unloaded teas, teapots, hats and all kinds of other necessary "stuff" !

a_few_teas_for_tea_tasting We couldn't bring the entire tea room inventory......

so we brought some old favorites .....english_breakfast and some new ones to try.....

genmaicha oolong_orange_blossom

Of course, we had to brew a pot of our most requested tea at the tea room...French Creme Brulee...

Famous_French_creme_brulee and what's a tea party without a green tea ? We tasted our lovely Japanese Bancha !

Aunt Ressie May, a strawberry-kiwi fruit  infusion (no Camellia sinensis-- no real tea--) has been a delicious choice since we first  introduced it as our signature "Drink Pink" tea several years ago.


A blooming tea contributed to the ambiance of the evening...


The weather couldn't have been more perfect and the garden was delightful.......


Thank you again everyone for making this enjoyable, and successful and we look forward to the next Tea Tasting Party !

Happy Infusions,





Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Worth the price of admission

Our family made our annual trek to McCloud for our Pumpkin Train trip this last weekend !


Riding in the open air car on the top deck,  through the piney woods,  our view was spectacular....


though a bit windy.


We delighted in being together  on a train full of friendly, happy families....




We joyfully discussed how to find the exact, perfect pumpkin.


And we were transported by the magical  sound of the train whistle....


Departing the train for the pumpkin patch, we left our faithful "guardian of stuff"....


and began the search for The Right Pumpkin.....


Studying the pumpkin possibilities is one approach....

another approach is checking to see how tough it is.


At last a selection is made...our rule is you have to be able to carry the pumpkin you choose !




And everyone agreed, it was worth the price of admission !!

Happy Pumpkin Days....have some tea and enjoy !





Friday, October 16, 2009

Buttermilk Pumpkin Muffins

In anticipation of our annual Pumpkin Train Trip I made a batch....well, it's a huge recipe, so actually I made about 4 dozen Pumpkin Muffins! They are delicious !  Especially nice with a cup of Masala Chai tea or a good Assam tea !


Here is the recipe:

Buttermilk Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup cooking oil

1 cup buttermilk

2 ½ cups pumpkin

4 large eggs



1 tablespoon cloves

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 ¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

2 ¾ cup sugar

4 cups flour

1 cup pecan pieces

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients . Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Take out of pan and cool on a rack.

This is a huge recipe and makes about 4 dozen medium sized muffins.

Enjoy.....and Happy Infusions,





Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cream of Wheat...and a stroll down Memory Lane

My Sweet Husband and I were standing in the kitchen, discussing breakfast options.  The wind whipped the tree branches back and forth and the rain pounded on  the roof.  We rattled off several possible choices; an omelet with sausage, waffles with whipped cream, scrambled eggs and toast, Cream of Wheat.

Rainy mornings and Cream of Wheat...a comfort food..stirring happy memories of childhood and those fun-filled years of rushing to have a healthy, yummy breakfast for three lively kids before they bolted out the door to catch the school bus.

I settled on Cream of Wheat.  Warm mush !  I like my Cream of Wheat with butter and sorghum.  Sorghum is similar to molasses, but much better !


I've never been able to find sorghum in grocery stores in California, so I am forced to ship a case home from my favorite supplier, an Amish family in Dunnegan, Missouri.


(This is my sorghum stash !)

Whenever I dip into my sorghum cache,  I am instantly transported to Amish country.

It is another world.  Quiet country roads...rolling green hills...and signs that remind us to  share our space.



And then I begin to reminiscence about My Grandpa's Farm.  A lovely Amish family purchased his farm after he died.

He would be blessed to see how they have loved and cared for his farm.

They expanded the house...(they have 10 children)....and resurrected the outhouse.


(My Grandpa did not have an indoor toilet or shower until 1978.  He never did get around to tearing down the old outhouse and it stands today where it stood when we were kids.  Showering, before he built the indoor bathroom, meant you filled a 5 gallon bucket, which sat on the roof of the cellar, with warm water.  You proceeded down the steps into the dark cellar, stripped down, turned on the water using a valve on a hose, soaped up, hurrying and hoping to have enough water to rinse !  We thought it was like camping out !)

They repaired the roof and are still using the beautiful rock barn My Grandpa built.......adjusted_lighting_rock_barn__amish_buggy

Wow..with a bowl of Cream of Wheat and sorghum I had a stroll down memory lane !!

Now it's time for tea !

Happy Infusions,





Friday, October 9, 2009


I used to call for directions to a shop or restaurant.

Then I began googling to get directions.

But now,  I have a new BFF (Best Friend Forever)....a GPS (Global Positioning System).  The sound of it, Global Positioning System, is incredibly Sci-Fi or maybe Techie.  I'm neither, so I like to say it and imagine that I am somewhere in the universe, and have no fear, because, this Global Positioning System knows the way to my home....wherever home is at the moment .


My Sweet Husband rented a car in Virginia with this  NEVERLOST GPS.   I didn't think we needed it, and I wasn't sure it would be reliable, since this was a  rented car.

But he likes the GPS we have in our van.  Truthfully,  the van GPS has saved our bacon several times in Portland, when we consistently miss the "slight left middle lane veer to the right" exit onto the next freeway!  The GPS knows how to get us through downtown Portland...no easy task....and back on the right freeway!

We entered the Williamsburg motel address in the NEVERLOST.  I continued to be mildly skeptical and kept the printed directions out of sight, folded neatly in my purse, just in case this GPS failed.

We had no trouble getting on the freeway from the airport,   but when we got off and started having to find streets and make turns....which we occasionally missed...I was  grateful to hear the words" recalculating route" emanating from the NEVERLOST !


On the day I went by myself for tea and shopping,  hearing   "recalculating route" and "when possible make a legal U turn"  made me feel all warm and fuzzy... cared for, safe and secure.  I knew I would get where I was going.  No matter what mistakes I made, the NEVERLOST gently and continually recalculated my route trying to help me find my way.  It never through up its hands and declared it was "so done" with me because I kept making wrong turns !

Wouldn't it be incredible if we had a LIFE GPS.  We enter our goal and begin our journey.  With the first bad decision, and the next and the next,  the device would  "recalculate our  route".  Modifying our mistakes, the  LIFE GPS would alter our route constantly guiding us toward the intended goal.

Sounds like my relationship with my Lord !  Navigating life is difficult!  I have made many wrong turns and gone down some crazy roads and always, gently and consistently,  I see Him adjust and "recalculate my route".  Not in anger and disgust, only with love and patience, redirecting my mind and heart, and I am NEVERLOST !  Sometimes I'm late to the party, but I get there feeling safe and secure and beloved !

Happy Travels.... and have some tea along the way !