Highland Select

Standard

Tea of the Day: Ernest Hemingway Highland Select Tea by World Market

Description: Ernest Hemingway Highland Select Tea is an impression of the author’s life and spirit, bringing the romance of exotic places and adventures to every cup. With its delicate aroma, it’s a memorable to enjoy a cup of tea

Dry tea smells like a crisp breeze with a hint of something like heather mixed in

In the steeped tea, the scents are blending together more

Liquor is a clear red-brown in the cup

Tea is astringent and brisk at very first taste. It tastes like it should be drunk on a porch at sunrise, helping you greet the day on your own terms

Adding sugar brings out a smokey yet floral flavor.

All in all in interesting cup

Tea Rating: 4/5


 

It’s the third day of the new year and I’m tired and sore and oh! so happy.

The sore is from the second day of a 30 day buns, guns, and abs challenge I found for myself to do, as a way to help me get back into a healthy workout routine. I have a lot of internal drive, but sometimes giving myself a specific intermediate goal really helps.

The tired is from the working out, of course, but also because my Mate works late tonight and I’m choosing to wait for him because we both rest better curled up together.

I’m happy for a number of reasons, the most important being that I am something I’ve never been before: a fiance

He proposed at the closing of the old year, underneath a fireworks finale that would have occurred had we been there or not but will live in my memory as an explosion of joy for our moment.

I had chosen that night not to bring my camera or try to take pictures with my phone, because I wanted to be fully present in the moment with him, and I’m so glad I made that choice. It means that I have so many details in my head to recount in our later years.

This feels right, but truthfully a little stunning.

I knew when we got together that we’d end up here, like the way you know the sun will rise.

There was still some doubt, though. Not in him, but in me. Since I couldn’t know what he had planned or when, I found it not to be too far-fetched of a thought that I’d push him away. I’m good at that; I’ll give a lot of myself  without being particularly patient back in my own direction. This will lead to frustration with me, and thus I feel like I’m not worth being around or that I’m causing problems and I’ll shut down, drawing away for fear of lashing out.

I couldn’t push him away if I tried.

The last few days have been mostly just relaxing but also trying to wrap my head around how well and truly blessed I am.

Nothing’s changed, but everything has.

I’m living in a reality that I barely dared to dream of.


 

You rose into my life like a promised sunrise, brightening my days with the light in your eyes. I’ve never been so strong. Now I’m where I belong.– Maya Angelou

Raspberry Earl Grey

Standard

Tea of the Day: Raspberry Earl Grey by Zhena’s Gypsy Tea

Description: The floral aroma of juicy raspberries is perhaps the perfect complement to the sweet citrus and full-bodied flavor of Earl Grey. This more exceptional version of the classic tea is artisan, hand-crafted in small batches and infused with only top-grade essential oils of real fruit to brew a sweet, succulent cup.

Dry tea smells like something sweet and fruity with a nice bite. Makes me think of earl grey cupcake frosting.

Liquor is chestnut brown in the cup

Steeped tea tastes much more like raspberry then it smelled at first.  Blends very nicely with the robust Earl grey, making it perky yet relaxing. Good without sugar but adding it does not detract from the flavor and seems to make it even smoother

Tea Rating: 5/5


 

This is actually rather neat, if you like numbers and things

Might not be interesting to all of you, but at the very least it makes me smile.

Plus I have a lot more readers than I thought, so thank you all very much!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

I hope each and every one of you gets to start the new year with an equally positive outlook on what had come before!

Throat Coat

Standard

Tea of the Day: Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals.

Description: We combined slippery elm with licorice root and marshmallow root for an experience like taking your voice to the space because we all need a little comfort sometimes so that we can go back to being our best

Smells like black licorice, with a tiny bit more bite than you’d expect

Liquor is yellow amber in the cup

Steeped tea has a savory smell to it

Needs no sugar, tastes like licorice candy with a savory aftertaste

Tea Rating: 4/5


I really want to take a road trip

Just jump in the car and go.

It’s this weather that does it to me, not too hot, not too cold, but clear and dry

Plus, too early yet for construction season to have really started so not much obstruction in my way, just open roads

I had this same urge early spring last year, as a matter of fact the same week

It also happens to be exactly a year since the last time I saw my grandmother before she passed away

I miss her, and I find it hard to believe that it’s already been so long.

A year ago today, I saw my grandmother well for the first time in many months, so that my last memory of her is a happy one

Today, I am starting a new job, one that I did not think I was going to get but is a really amazing opportunity for me. I’ll admit, it still feels a bit unreal

It feels like things should be radically different, but truthfully that day and this one feel pretty much the same: good, like things are exactly as they should be

Same day, one year apart. So much has changed and yet today feels like an echo of that day

I think maybe that is that way it should be


“Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.”
José N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love

Chocolate Mate

Standard

Tea of the  Day: Chocolate Mate by Guayaki

Description: A decadent blend of yerba mate, coca, and spices. A blissful blend for chocolate lovers

Smells something like chai with the spices, but also minty with a hint of chocolate

Liquor is caramel brown in the cup

Slight minty/spicy and chocolate smelling.

Reminds me of chocolate cream of wheat for some reason; chocolaty and kind of nutty.Smooth, soothing and quite tasty

Tea Rating: 4.5/5


There are times when someone enters your life and you know the moment you meet that they are going to change it. It’s easy to recognize, a jolt of knowing straight out of the sky

This is something people talk about on a fairly regular basis, and we accept such an assertion without much consternation. We romanticize it in movies and books all the time, as it is often a very positive feeling when it does occur

What no one seems  to talk about is how someone you meet can change your life, not right away, but somewhere down the line.

It can happen in a couple of ways, one slow, one fast.

The slow way is usually how long-lasting friendships happen. You meet someone, think they’re interesting, get to know them over time, closeness develops, and then it’s a decade later and you literally cannot imagine your life without this friend of yours in it.

This can also happen with romantic relationships, although the line between friend and lover is often a bit more dramatic

The other way, the fast way, is something like the bolt out of the sky instant previously mentioned, except that instead of it occurring right at first meeting it happens later: months, maybe even years. You know this person, friendly but not close,have  pleasant conversations when you see each other by chance but don’t typically seek each other out. Then, one of you decides to change that, maybe by asking for a date, or by showing up to join the other at the place at time that they usually have lunch…something. How this change happens isn’t all that important. What is important though, is how this one choice suddenly changes everything. You look at each other differently; you’re wondering why it took you so long to see how important you were to each other; you feel utterly changed and utterly yourself at the same time.

I think perhaps the reason why no one really talks about, how someone can change the landscape of your life years after the first meeting is because it’s a little hard to understand. We don’t already have a paradigm for it, and it seems unlikely or far-fetched, even when it’s happening to us.

Trust me, it’s not.

If it happens, embrace it. It could well turn out to be the best decision of your life.

Spice Dragon Red Chai

Standard

Tea of the Day: Spice Dragon Red Chai by Stash tea

Description: Rooibos is combined with clove, ginger root and cinnamon to create a unique and spicy Chai

Smells like most Chai, sweet-spicy but this one has an added honey-like tone

Liquor is orange-gold in the cup

Tea doesn’t pack as much of a punch as one would have expected from the smell, but is still smooth and spicy sweet. A mellow chai, calming and soothing

Tea Rating: 4/5


As things change yet again in my life, I find myself thinking about some strange things; like bringing a new person into my inner circle also opens up my brain to new ideas

Today’s odd idea: Heart Insurance or Heartbreak Insurance

What if there was a company that sold insurance, but not the normal kind that we expect for our homes and cars  and health but  specifically for our hearts as insurance against heartbreak

You pay this company to guarantee that if you fall for someone who breaks your little heart that you will be put back together again

And there’d be different levels of insurance of course:

Basic would be an attractive someone of your gender preference would show up with junk food, wine, tissues, and funny movies and keep you company until you didn’t feel like you were coming apart at the seams

Next level would be the same as the basic but with cuddling with the heart insurance agent

Next level would be the agent would, instead of letting you sit around the house, would drag you out to do stuff, help you remember who you are, and how to love your awesome self again

Next level would be the insurance agent getting your booty moving and helping you find dates when you got to that point again.

And the most expensive heart insurance would not only be getting you moving and loving yourself and finding you your next (and hopefully the last?) significant other but also offering counseling sessions to help you through the tough stuff that hangs around people (things like past experiences that hurt to talk and about and such) and actual good advice when fights or other big things happen

Now of course, younger people would have higher costs, because you’re expected to get your heart broken a time or two as a teenager

Rates would go down around the average marriage age in your area,  the assumption being that you’re more likely to know what you want and need now, and not going to need to cash in

But: Rates would go up if you had a lot of relationships that you took seriously but ended up wiping you out in one way or another (kinda like accidents).

Rates would also go up once you got married and stay high for 5-10 years depending on your previous history as marriage is a big deal and recovering from that kind of break up would as a result take more time and resources.

This increase of rate would be higher each time you married (if you did so more than once) and would take longer each time to go down or you’d end up being uninsurable

There might be other milestones that would cause the rates to lower or raise, depending on the statistical risk of  a relationship ending at that point, but eventually after a decade or so in a committed relationship, your rates would go down because (again like no accidents), you’re not actually using the service, just paying the premium

I wonder how many people would buy into it?

I wonder how many disgruntled customers this kind of service would get?

Snowflake

Standard

Tea of the Day: Snowflake by The Whistling Kettle

Description: Black tea with almond, coconut and cinnamon; a smooth and easygoing tea.

Smells quite a bit like amaretto and also like a tasty, freshly made granola bar

Liquor is a cloudy-red brown in the cup

Tea actually smells sweeter when steeped

Before sugar, just tastes like sweet almonds but not a whole lot else. Once you add a little sugar the other flavors come out. Tea does need a longer steep than you’d expect

Tea Rating: 3/5


The one constant in life is change

Today my day was spent making phone calls to cut back on costs, and filling out job applications.

This is not a change I planned for but for some reason I feel more confident now than I did before this upheaval

There are,I think, a few reasons for this

First off, the response from my friends and family has been overwhelmingly supportive; asking if there’s anything they can do, offering to get me out of my house for a meal, etc.

One of my friends even said that my friendly, presence has been so helpful to her during her recent rough patch that she would be only too happy to help me out now.

I have to say, getting back the positive I put out feels pretty great

Second thing is that I’m viewing this as a learning experience; Yes, it’s frustrating and I do feel a bit like I failed, but as long as I don’t sit on my fanny and cry I don’t see this holding me back for very long. I now have more experience under my belt and a better sense of what my limits are/ the kind of environment that doesn’t suit me.

Thirdly, I have a plan. There are things I can do to cut costs, and there are job openings that I could very easily apply my skills to. I might even get to work at my local tea shop in the meantime, which is pretty great.

This is a bit of a hiccup, but more than that, it’s a change in direction and will likely take me somewhere I would not have even dreamed, otherwise


“Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”
Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

Pumpkin Spice

Standard

Tea of the Day: Pumpkin Spice by Stash Tea

Description: A festive holiday tea imparts the appeal of a tasty pumpkin pie. A delicious blend of black teas and natural pumpkin spice flavor combines with cinnamon, ginger, and clove.

Smells just like you’d expect from the description: like a slice of pumpkin pie. This smell stays true once steeped, as well

Liquor is golden pumpkin colored in the cup

Tastes like chai with nutmeg and clove added. Reasonably tasty and pretty smooth

Tea Rating: 3/5


Today, I finished a journal.

Such a simple thing doesn’t sound like a big deal, I know.

But let me tell you why it actually is.

This is the first time that I have actually filled up an entire journal or notebook that was not for a something related to school without ripping out pages and starting over or any such thing

This time I just made a note that I had not written in a long time, and picked it back up again, leaving my past with all its painful thoughts and hurtful (mostly to myself) words

I feel like I’ve really accomplished something, finally finishing something I started just for me

Not the biggest deal ever, but still something significant

Baby steps.