Satyr Dreams

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Tea of the Day: Satyr Dreams by Dryad Tea

Description: The dreams of Satyrs have long been speculated to be great things full of whimsy and beauty. This tea was created to embody those dreams in deep black teas and floral notes with a very light undertone of hazelnut.

Dry tea smells like dried roses

Liquor is a light chestnut brown in the cup

Steeped tea actually doesn’t have much of smell and its flavor is very mild. Floral and sweet. This tea needs more time to steep than you would think, as the longer it steeps, the better the flavor is. I noticed that the flavor got stronger towards the bottom of the cup, but I think steeping it for a full 5 minutes instead of just 3 would have the same effect.

Tea Rating.: 4/5


 

They say:

“Put down roots”

Or

“Go back to your roots”

In such tones that imply that this is always a good thing

 

Like any other blanket statement,

this idea is flawed.

 

Adapting to change and growing

sometimes means moving “uprooting” if you will

This is an important part of life

 

Also, going back to where you came from

…when where you came from almost killed you…

Is not what I’d call “a good thing”

 

And sometimes,

(more than we’re usually comfortable admitting)

we put down roots on empty air

and only think that we’re secure

 

via Daily Prompt: Roots

The Oncoming Storm

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Tea of the Day: The Oncoming Storm by Dryad Tea

Description: Dark and full of bold flavor and a deep thoughtfulness. There is a promise of a storm on the horizon with this tea

Dry tea smells berry-sweet but with a rich zing

Liquor is a dark red-brown in the cup

Steeped tea smells sharper than the dry, a bit like damp earth, but still sweet.

The tea has a sweetness to it, but it is not timid, the flavor fills the whole mouth and lingers after it’s swallowed. I could easily just drink it without sugar, but I added a bit just to see. That little bit of sugar really made the berry flavor pop and also allows you to really taste the earthiness you can smell. Quite possibly my new favorite tea

Tea Rating: 5/5


Book Review: A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage.

Back of the book blurb:

From beer to Coca-Cola, the six drinks that have helped shape human history.
Throughout human history, certain drinks have done much more than just quench thirst. As Tom Standage relates with authority and charm, six of them have had a surprisingly pervasive influence on the course of history, becoming the defining drink during a pivotal historical period.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses tells the story of humanity from the Stone Age to the 21st century through the lens of beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, and cola. Beer was first made in the Fertile Crescent and by 3000 B.C.E. was so important to Mesopotamia and Egypt that it was used to pay wages. In ancient Greece wine became the main export of her vast seaborne trade, helping spread Greek culture abroad. Spirits such as brandy and rum fueled the Age of Exploration, fortifying seamen on long voyages and oiling the pernicious slave trade. Although coffee originated in the Arab world, it stoked revolutionary thought in Europe during the Age of Reason, when coffeehouses became centers of intellectual exchange. And hundreds of years after the Chinese began drinking tea, it became especially popular in Britain, with far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. Finally, though carbonated drinks were invented in 18th-century Europe they became a 20th-century phenomenon, and Coca-Cola in particular is the leading symbol of globalization.

For Tom Standage, each drink is a kind of technology, a catalyst for advancing culture by which he demonstrates the intricate interplay of different civilizations. You may never look at your favorite drink the same way again.

The Review:

I picked this book up because the cover caught my eye, as covers are meant to do. I brought it home with me because the premise seemed interesting, a take on history I had not previously considered. Plus, two of the six beverages (coffee and tea) I drink daily so I knew I’d enjoy at least a third of the book.

I was right, and also wrong.

Rather than just enjoying a third of the book, I enjoyed the whole thing. Honestly, my only complaint is that when it gets to the modern era, its facts are from 2004 or earlier. This is not a failing of the author; the version I read was published in 2006. The book so thoroughly caught my attention, though, that I found myself wondering if the trend of influence has continued since that point, and what might have changed.

Because this book is not a fiction novel, not much can be said about the plot or characters. However, it is not dry or boring by any means. It frames the history of the world in a way that is more relatable than your “normal” history book. It’s something like Connections by James Burke, albeit more focused.

One thing to note, though: this book will make you thirsty for whatever beverage you’re reading about!

Book Rating: 5/5

RavenSong

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Tea of the Day: RavenSong by Dryad Tea

Description: A delicious blend of spiced lemon and a touch of raspberry. This tea is the autumn call of the raven. Delightfully fruity and spicy all at ones, great with a dash of sweetener.

Dry tea smells rich and slightly spicy

Liquor is a cinnamony-brown color in the cup

Steeped tea is cinnamon in scent and flavor with an aftertaste of ginger and sweet berry. It’s not quite as complex as the description suggests, but does deepen in flavor as it cools. Adding sugar brings out the cinnamon flavor, which is not quite what I was hoping for.

Tea Rating: 4/5


Advice I’d give to my younger self:

Listen, your time and energy are too precious, and life is too damn short, to waste any of it on all the stressing you’re doing.

It’s like you think you have to make up for every angry thought or uncharitable action by letting people walk all over you and treat you badly like that’s what you deserve.

You don’t.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean be a dick. Be humble and kind and positive because that’s you but quit beating yourself up when you can’t. Even light bulbs burn out.

You’re giving yourself high blood pressure and nightmares and panic attacks over people who won’t be in your life in a few years.

And, it’s not your job to fix anyone. Be supportive, sure. But fix? No way

You’ve got bigger fish to fry.


via Daily Prompt: Fry

 

Tibetan Rapberry

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Tea of the Day: Tibetan Raspberry by Xanadu Tea

Description: Highlighted with real raspberry for additional color and flavor, this tea is a real treat from the secret garden.

Dry tea smells like warm raspberries with a stronger smell behind it, something like you might expect having just picked berries in your own garden.

Steeped tea smells very similar to the dry, but with a touch more depth and bite

Liquor is a chestnut brown in the cup.

You can absolutely taste the raspberry, which is great because often flavored teas that do not have pieces of the source of the flavoring do not match their smell. It’s very drinkable without sugar but adding sugar does not detract from the flavor or diminish the pleasantly smoky finish. It also tastes like it would take milk well, although I did not try it.

Tea Rating: 4/5


I live a life where I know that dreams can come true.

I know this because some of them have.

I day dreamt about the perfect place for my fiance and best friend could live together without too much wanting to kill each other (even in my dreams I know that relationships are never exactly perfect). And, a year ago, we found it and secured it.

I’ve spent many hours of my teen and adult life dreaming about a truly good romantic relationship, one that will last through good times and rough patches alike; I’ve recently celebrated two years with the man I’m going to marry next year.

Because of these, and many other smaller dreams and goals I’ve met or achieved, I find that my dreams are expanding.

I dream about the wedding itself, and the honeymoon, and at least one awesome vacation I’d like to go on with my future husband.

But, and I think more importantly, I dream of the bigger things I’ve never before considered could be a reality.

Some of them are a little more grounded, like the one about becoming a counselor a bit later in life and helping people work through life’s pains and hopefully come out stronger people. Because of where I work getting the degrees required for that dream is a very possible thing.

Others a little more outlandish, like traveling the world pulled by my camera to take pictures of all the beautiful things, even the ones that are a little sad as well.

Who knows, though? Maybe both of those things will someday come true. And in the meantime, it’s fun to dream

 


Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”Ashley Smith

Ti Kuan Yin

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Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas

Description: Our fine version of Ti Kuan Yin produces a cup that is warm, soft, and soothingly mineral in texture. It has notes of toasted walnut and tender collard greens with an intriguing lingering floral aroma. In flavor it is lightly orchid with gentle astringency; a meditative cup

Dry tea smells floral and grassy but also slightly sharp/peppery

Liquor is a golden green color in the cup.

Steeped tea smells floral, more so than the dry.

The tea itself has a light floral flavor, like lavender or jasmine, and needs nothing added to be sweet. It is a palate cleanser, leaving you feeling calm and refreshed

Tea Rating: 4.5/5


This post is along the same vein of the one from the beginning of the year, about how I felt when I checked out of Facebook for a while, and was partially inspired by my roommate.

As a group, we usually all (myself, my fiance and my roommate) sit down to dinner to together. Often, we watch a movie or an episode of a T.V. show at the same time.

[There are some things to say about this practice, but in another post]

The other night, my fiance and I were unenthusiastically talking about watching a particular show that we are a few episodes behind on because we’re not exactly pleased with the turn it has taken.

Our roommate looked at us with a bit of a raised eyebrow and said “If you’re not pleased with it why are you watching it?”

We looked at each other, and shrugged. We had no real answer.

This got me thinking.

We are very much in control of the media we consume; the shows we watch, the post we share, the articles we read. We are even in control of how we get that input or information.

Yet, so often, we act as though we’re not.

We act as if watching a T.V. show means we’re obligated to watch it until the very end. Or that having a Facebook account means that we need to check it constantly, or that it must be how we get our news.

None of this is true.

I’m put in mind of the KonMari method if de-cluttering: if it brings you joy, keep it. If not, let it go.

Obviously not all the media I take in during a given day is going to be joyful. As an adult member of society I feel that it is important to be informed about what is going on in the world.

But that does not mean I have to get it from a source that inundates me with negativity as social media often does. I can subscribe to the local paper and e-mail newsletters from various sources just as easily as I can scroll Facebook. And, more importantly, those things would be potentially more meaningful and varied than my News Feed.

As far as my recreational media goes, if it feels pointless or predictable or disappointing to me, then I can let it go. No one is holding me hostage forcing me to continue.

I feel that a good story (no matter how I view or read it) will make me feel things other than joy, because the point of a good story or art at all is to shine a light on things you’ve never thought of, or hold up a mirror that’s not edited by your own mind, to make you think, and to inspire you to question. But if all I’m feeling is disappointment or dread when I think of a show I’ve been watching, then that is just a one-dimensional as a constantly-happy sitcom (not that all sitcoms are this way) and I don’t have to keep it in my life.

I have the option of watching or not; being plugged in or not.

We all do; we just have to actually make the choice.

 

Forever Spring

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Tea of the Day: Forever Spring by the London Tea Room

Description: Exquisite fresh floral fragrance with an incomparably velvety mouth feel and creamy honey after taste. Beautiful with fresh dishes!

Dry tea smells sweet and grassy-earthy, and a little like roasted vegetables

Liquor is a gold-amber in the cup, bright but clear

Steeped tea has a more flowery scent than the dry. Doesn’t need any doctoring, it’s light and sweet and relaxing on its own. It’s floral with a vegetable aftertaste. Adding sugar is not needed but does make the tea taste more floral. Tea leaves start out tightly furled and expand hugely.

Tea Rating: 5/5


I recently finished reading a book called “The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A f*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach To living A Good Life” by Mark Manson.

This is a book review of sorts, but not like my others because it’s non-fiction, so there is no need to critique character or world development, or plot.

Because it’s a non-fiction self-improvement book, there are really only two questions of relevance that anyone who hasn’t read it needs to know.

Is it interesting?

Is it relevant?

Bonus question: is it well-written?

For me, for this book, the answer to all three of these questions is “Yes, yes and yes.”

Rather than being like so many other self-help books that teach strategies to avoid pain or negate it, this book is very honest. Essentially: life sucks, it’s going to suck on some level no matter what you do and avoiding things that suck only makes you more miserable. B

Essentially: life sucks, it’s going to suck on some level no matter what you do and avoiding things that suck only makes you more miserable. But, approach that suck in a different, less self-entitled way, you’ll actually live a good life.

This book is, to me, chock-full of good advice and thoughts, written in a surprisingly pleasant no-nonsense voice.

For your reading pleasure, my 3 of my favorite quotes from the book:

“We don’t always control what happens to us. But we always control how we interpret what happens to us, as well as how we respond.”

“If it feels like it’s you against the world, chances are it’s you against yourself.”

And finally, probably the biggest whammy statement of them all:

“You are great. Already. Whether you realize it or not. Whether anybody else realizes it or not. And it’s not because you launched an iPhone app, or finished school a year early, or bought yourself a sweet-ass boat. These things do not define greatness.

You are already great because in the face of endless confusion and death, you continue to choose what to give a fuck about and what not to. The mere fact, this simple optioning for you own values in life, already makes you beautiful, already makes you beautiful, makes you successful, and already makes you loved. Even if you don’t realize it. Even if you’re sleeping in a gutter and starving.

You too are going to die, and that’s because you are fortunate enough to have lived. ”

The author of the book also has a blog.Full disclosure before you click, some of the content is paid-subscriber only, but there are plenty of articles that are not for your reading pleasure.

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.