Friday, July 28, 2006
If you only knew how incredibly rare this situation is, you wouldn't envy me! Usually, I'm doing about 4 things at once: responding to e-mail, answering an instant message, working on a project, and participating in a phone meeting. I'm constantly multitasking. It's not something I enjoy, tho I am good at it. I often wonder if I could be successful at my job if I didn't have this ability. It's almost as if multitasking has become a required core competency. What I don't like about it is that I don't give my full attention to any one thing...and then in my personal life, it's sometimes an abrupt change. When I'm out of the work situation, I prefer to give my attention fully to what I'm doing, but I think I get so much practice of the other way of being, this centered, focused attention is sometimes hard for me. Nonetheless, I keep practicing.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
By the way, it's only in the US that having a tea is a predominantly female thing. It's quite popular in Britain for men to enjoy afternoon tea, and of course its a pervasive beverage in Asia.
Here's the tea table from my recent tea:
Friday, July 21, 2006
I snapped this a few days ago…got lucky that the bee landed just as I pushed the button! Blackberry Lilies have these fun blossoms – they’re orange-pinkish. I love the bright colors!
However, this is just the icing on the cake to fans of this plant. What blackberry lilies are really prized for is the seed pod. Once it opens to disperse its seeds, it looks just like a big blackberry, and stays that way into late fall.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Will she land on her feet?
Will she fall on her nose?
This is the second "circle skirt" I've made, and I love it! The skirt really moves and will be fun for swing dancing.
I like the intresting combo of the pattern and the fabric. 1950s full skirt meets late 60s Indian print fabric. The zipper is much improved from the last one I did and the waste band fits well. It was a joyous moment!
Monday, July 17, 2006
Did I procrastinate? No - that's not my style. There are just too few of me and not enough time to go around. Plus, the company is laying off people. Geez! There are days when I wish they'd pick me to let go!
Now, I feel better. Thanks for reading. I'm going to go make that cup of tea and let the company live without me. I'm sure it will do fine - and that's what I need to remind myself of more often!
Friday, July 14, 2006
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The winery sits on a hill, and the back slopes down (quite steeply) to a pond and lovely picnic area. We had a picnic tea party here, watching the gigantic koi and geese beg (successfully) for food. The day was beautiful, thanks to the shade, breeze and interesting conversation.
We ate cheese and crackers; fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella; cream cheese sandwiches; olives. We drank iced tea (sencha kyoto cherry rose festival - green; apricot - black) and other magic concoctions. It was wonderful! Here are a few photos...
View from our picnic spot
Friend feeding the fish, with the geese descending on the scene
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Steph's Moroccan Mint Tea
Here is my recipe for Moroccan Mint tea. I prefer to use fresh mint, when it's in season.
A handful (~1 cup loosely packed) of fresh mint sprigs, plus a few extra for garnish
3 teaspoons green tea (traditionally, gunpowder green)
3 tablespoons sugar (or less, depending on your preference)
4 cups water
4-5 whole cloves to taste (whole - not ground)
This isn't a precise recipe, so taste and adjust to suit your preferences. Also, I should preface this by saying I prefer mine pretty minty....so that drives how I concoct this brew.
Add the mint leaves and cloves into the water and bring to a boil. Let boil for ~2 minutes to get a good mint base. (Once it starts to boil, bring it down to a rolling simmer.)
After the mint base is ready, bring the heat down so that the water is barely rolling and add the sugar and tea. Cook for another 1-3 minutes, depending on how strong you like the tea flavor.
Pour through a filter into a teapot or teacups and serve. Small glass cups are traditional, but be careful! They get very hot and, if there is a crack already, the hot liquid can pop the glass open.
Garnish with remaining sprigs of mint. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Function: Daylillies are edible. I used daylillies at a recent teaparty as a bowl for curried chicken. Just take out the pistil and stamen, and place the daylilly in a narrow-necked container (like a wine glass). They make perfect containers - and they add an interesting punch to your salad!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Like the tea, I face east. I spread my yoga mat and yawn, reaching up. I lower myself onto the mat and move into child's pose. It will be a gentle and slow yoga morning. I stay in child's pose for a while and listen. The wind is rustling the hollyhocks and daisies to my right. The wind also entices the wind chime to my back to melody.
I rise from child's pose and find the tea directly in my view, on my neighbor's porch. The tea jar is a nice focal point and I relax my gaze upon it. I watch the tea slowly moving up and down as the water heats. The tea leaves gently unfold, greeting the sun. I mimic this and move into a slow sun salutation, following the speed of the steeping tea. Slow and steady. Up and down. I continue listening to the gentle sounds around me. I wonder how many different birds I hear. Eventually, I wonder no more and let my mind and body move together.
Like the tea, I swim in the ocean around me - oxygen and nature. I absorb it, while it also takes on characteristics of my being.
The sun has now reached my toes as I sit in stick pose. The warmth feels wonderful as it moves up my body.
Now comes the time when I know my yoga session is complete. I have stretched enough. Like the tea, my steeping is done. I have given and received.