Science Bros

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Tea of the Day: Science Bros, created by Cat L with Adagio Teas

Description: A perfect scientific concoction of the ultimate genius superhero duo. Chocolate chai, Irish breakfast, and blueberry accented with cocoa nibs

Liquor is a dark red-brown in the cup

Dry tea smells like berry and sweetness, with a little bit of a sharp bite

Steeped tea smells very similar to the dry, but with more body and depth

The tea tastes sweet and cinnamony with a richness like a piece of berry-flavored chocolate. Sugar heightens the chocolatey flavor.

Tea Rating: 3.75/5


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.

I suppose that’s not news.

Mostly, it’s been about good things.

I did the TUT love your life in 30 days project and documented the thoughts in my personal journal. Even with the interruptions–there were a few days that I just couldn’t write much of anything except what was essentially written panicked screaming–I found the project to be helpful and uplifting. It really helped me be aware of where I am and how far I’ve come and how attainable my goals really are.

I haven’t written a lot here in the last couple of weeks because I’ve been trying to decide if I want to share the whole project, or just curate the parts I find most relevant to a wider audience, or use those 30 days of activities to give me a jumping off point to write on. More than likely the result will be a combination of the second and third options.

I’ve also been thinking about our wedding. We’ve gone and set up a joint wedding bank account, and sent out save the date cards, and made some adjustments to the plan of who is going to do our wedding pies. We’ve also started talking about what we actually want to do for our first dance as couple, and my father and I have settled on a Father-Daughter dance song.

For my artistic self, aside from the writing, I got myself a book called “104 Things to Photograph” and have started prompts from that, which I’ll likely share at some point as well.

But for all the good, there also have been some sobering thoughts.

For how far I’ve come, in some ways I still have a long way to go.

There’s a lot I don’t know (this is good as well as bad).

As I prepare for an event that will mark a permanent change in my life, I find myself thinking of other events that have equal weight.

Aside from marriage, the other events that will likely happen in my life that will be so permanent will be the birth of my child or children, and the death of my parents.

At this point there is still I chance I may not have children of my own that I carry inside me for nine months and give birth to. We may choose to just be us an our pets, or to adopt.

But my parents will die.

His too.

I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it.

Gran was like another parent to me, so I have maybe a rough idea. But I can also recognize that losing a grandparent, no matter how close we were, is not the same as losing a parent.

It’s not something that brings me joy to think about, but it’s a fact of life, one that I cannot avoid.

 

 

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Squishy

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No teas today, just sappy post time, because I am squishy and very very loved.

And tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so why not?

Last week, I had a moment with my fiance that I consider to be a significant indicator of the strength of our relationship, a “defining moment” if you will.

We had a spat over something that wasn’t particularly significant but my crazy brain got a hold of the situation and off I went.

Later, once I had calmed down, I felt really bad about it, like I do.

In a fit of misguided sorrow, I turned to my fiance and said: “Wouldn’t you be happier with someone less broken?”

He laughed.

The concept of being happier with someone else was so absurd to him that he just laughed.

This would seem like a no-brainer, because we’re getting married so of course he would not be happier elsewhere. But it is one thing to know it and another entirely to have it confirmed so blatantly.

I feel very loved, and very grateful, and I’ll probably be telling this story for years to come.

Refresh

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Tea of The Day: Refresh  Mint Herbal Tea by Tazo Tea

Description: An invigorating herbal infusion of peppermint & spearmint dressed up with a pinch of tarragon.

Dry tea smells sweet and slightly minty

Liquor is a golden yellow in the cup

Steeped tea has a grassy scent not apparent in the dry tea, and only in the flavor in the aftertaste. Adding sugar mostly eliminates that flavor, if you’re not into grassy green tea. It’s a decent mint tea but does not particularly stand out to me.  This may be because the particular tea bag I used had been out of its lacking for a while before I used it. I may find a fresher package and retry at a later date.

Tea Rating:3/5


Today, a post made because of this video:

 

Something about this just makes my heart happy. I am happy that there are people out in the world who are willing to publicly talk about how important love really is to their well being…and in the end, the well-being of the world.

So, to my family and friends (IE chosen family), I love you.

And to you, my regular readers and also my occasional visitors, I love you too, for taking the time to read my ramblings.

Go spread some love today.

 

Orange Dulce

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Tea of the Day: Orange Dulce by Mighty Leaf

Description:Orange Dulce flavored black tea is a luscious, rich brew teeming with notes of bergamot, orange, vanilla and jasmine blossoms. Made with Ceylon and China black teas, Orange Dulce brews up a fragrant and full bodied dark tea. Reminiscent of an aged Port, the flavor is sure to please.

Tea smells sweet and bright with a floral tone.

Liquor is an amber brown in the cup

The tea is fragrant and full flavored and relaxing even with the energetic aroma floating off of it. Adding sugar actually dampens the flavors a bit, making it more one tone

Tea Rating:4/5


Today, a very sappy post. You have been warned.

My fiance had a fight and later a conversation, when we were calmer.

The fight had started because of something silly, as fights often do, but it covered something important to both of us.

The conversation later was a little rough and raw, and also important to have.

But I’m not writing today because of either of those things. The hard work of life isn’t often something people want to read about or even share. I only mentioned it because it gives context and greater meaning to what comes next.

I’m writing today because of what I came to realize: I am more important to him than he is to himself. If he is faced with a choice that would affect both of us, he will choose the one that is better for me, even at the expense of his own happiness.

This is the first time in a very long time that I’ve experienced this.

It’s overwhelming, flattering and a little scary.

It’s also motivating, in what might be an odd way…if I’m bad to myself, I’m also being bad to him.

His center has shifted, and so mine must too, which is a really awesome feeling.

 

Fujian Rain

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Tea of the Day: Fujian rain by Adagio Teas

Description: Shui Xian, which translates to “Water Sprite,” is an oolong produced in a similar style to Wuyi Oolongs. Therefore they share some similar traits, such as peachy-honey notes and a mineral “rock taste.” This high-fired, medium grade version results in a rich tasting amber colored cup with the nuances of minerals, apricots and spice.

Dry tea smells grassy and sweet with a spicy apricot scent right behind

Liquor is a amber gold in the cup

Steeped tea smells more like apricots than the dry. It has a light flavor with a slightly spicy finish. It leaves behind a feeling/taste very similar to if you drink mineral water, smooth and almost metallic. Adding sugar makes the apricot taste stronger, making it a very unique oolong tea

Tea Rating: 4/5


Yesterday, I returned home after a vacation to visit my family.

It was a good trip; good to visit, but feels good to be home, too.

But when I got home, I felt restless.

I ran a couple errands, started laundry, cleaned a few things, thinking that being domestic would help (it usually does).

No dice.

So, I went for a walk.

As I was walking, my feelings sorted themselves out and into words.

I was feeling guilty.

Because, you see, while I was visiting, I didn’t miss my grandmother.

This is a lie, of course. Truthfully, I often think of her and wish that I could ask her advice and have her answer me in a way I could understand. I think she does answer me, it just takes a little time to filter into my conscious mind.

But, this visit, she wasn’t constantly on my mind. I didn’t expect to walk around the corner and see her, or to see her driving her little car down the road.

The weight of her absence was simultaneously  more real and less heavy than it’s ever been before.

I think this is how it’s supposed to go, but I felt like I had betrayed her somehow.

This is silly, of course, and the walk helped clear my head.

But I have to wonder: why do I sent up my mind/heart like a minefield waiting to explode?

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Orange

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Tea of the Day: Cinnamon Orange by Market Spice

Description: Our signature MarketSpice cinnamon-orange tea in an 8oz cellophane package. This unique spicy, naturally sweet flavor has become world famous, originating in the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Dry tea smells strongly of cinnamon with a citrus undertone

Liquor is an orangey chestnut brown in the cup

Steeped tea is a bit more orangey in scent. The tea itself is sweet and spicy with the orange coming out smoothly in the finish. The tea needs no sugar and would be fantastic cold as well as hot.

Tea Rating: 5/5


An image brought to mind by this song


♪Well I have been searching all of my days, all of my days..♪

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

I’m not supposed to be driving this road like this, our song playing on repeat on the radio, while I sing along, my voice alone carrying us through

And I have been trying to find what’s been in my mind, as the days keep turning into night…

This was supposed to be us together, our second honeymoon, first vacation just us since the kids grew up

..well, I have been standing quietly in the shade, all of my days, watching the sky breaking on the promise that we made…♪

But this is how it is. You were taken from me, by a twist of fate we never would have been prepared for, even if we could have foreseen it.

…I cried aloud, I shook my hands…” What am I doing here, all of these days?”…

I know you’re with me, in some ways, as I look down at my wedding band that flashes as I drum on the steering wheel. You’re in my heart as it beats, and all of my shiniest memories

…Now I see clearly, it’s you I’m looking for, all of my days. Soon I’ll smile, I know I’ll feel this loneliness no more, all of my days…♫

So I drive, with your urn in the seat beside me, scattering ashes and memories as I go. At this point all I can hope is that if I ever make it back home, I’ll somehow be alright.

…As the days keep turning into night, and even breathing feels alright. Yes, even breathing feels alright..


 

No, I don’t know why my brain turned a love song into something sad. Trust me, I wish it hadn’t because it was something like a gut punch in the feels. Not exactly the way I wanted my day yesterday to end. Even so, I hope that writing it down makes it so it can be appreciated for the beauty of it, if nothing else.

Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tieguanyin)

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Tea of the Day: Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tieguanyin) by The London Tea Room

Description: Named after Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, this well rounded tea is the standard bearer for our oolong collection. Roasted over bamboo coals and rolled into a distinctive ball, the Iron Goddess is a must try for any fan of oolongs, and it’s also a terrific starting point for those who thinks that oolong sounds like an apt description for that artsy French film they slept through the other night.

Dry tea smells glassy and kind of sweet with floral hints

Liquor is a clear golden color in the cup

Steeped tea has a slightly more earthy scent than the dry. It has and earthy almost sweet taste with a slight bitterness to it that makes a refreshing finish. Adding a little sugar mingles the flavors even better.

Tea Rating: 5/5


Here’s a funny thing about grief:  it’s sneaky. You’d think that as you came to terms with a loved one being gone that your heart wouldn’t ache so badly, and you’d be right…and wrong. Maybe day to day it doesn’t hurt like it did at first, but then you’ll reach a milestone, or hear a song that they’d like or read a story that reminds you of them and you’re right back there, helpless and hurting. It seems to ebb and flow like the tide, or cycle through like the phases of the moon.

I’ve come to accept it, as much as one can, but I still have conflicting feelings in regards to my grief. And so, a letter to Gran.

Dear Gran,

I can’t believe it’s been two years since you left your body behind…it seems so surreal at times. Time stretches and shrinks so that sometimes I swear I just talked to you last month, and other times it seems like it’s been an age since I got to see you.

Either way, I miss you.

I miss you when I talk about finally graduating and my plans for the next steps. I miss you when I add another piece to my wedding plans. I miss you when I sit down to go through photos I have taken to prepare for my website or a client.

It’s not constant like it was when you first passed, but it’s still there,  like a hole in my yard that I’ve mostly learned to walk around but still trip over.

When Julie came up here for my graduation, it was the first time we’d seen each other since you had passed, and we ended up talking about you. I have a folder full of things you either wrote or found to be important, and I brought it out to show her. And we talked, and we cried. There was crying again a couple days later when Arianna graduated, because we remembered that you had wanted to live to see all four of us graduate high school but in the end only saw mine.

This is where the conflicting feelings come in.

I feel pretty strongly that though your body is gone, your spirit still remains. This brings me comfort, and guilt. Comfort for obvious reasons, guilt because after the life you lived you should be able to rest. I feel like it’s incredibly selfish of me to hope you’re still listening. And then, of course, if you are still around, it’s probably not just for me, since all of your children and grandchildren are still alive and (mostly) well.

I guess in truth I don’t know what to feel, and it’s hard. My biggest fear at this point is honestly that I’ll finally figure out how to deal with you being gone just in time to say goodbye to someone else and have to start all over again.

I think you’d probably ask me if I can change what is bothering me, and if I can’t, let it go.

That’s not a simple question either, though. I can’t change the fact that you died. I think I should be able to do something about how I feel about it, but it eludes me.

At this point all I can really do is ride the tides , sometimes up, sometimes down.

I wish I handled the down better. I wish I could ask your advice on how to manage it.

As it is, I keep on as best I can, and I guess that’s all I can do.

I love you,

-Caitlin