Friday, March 31, 2006

Tea and Cake

Two things for you on this Friday......

First, watch this very cute green tea commercial.
(Found this link on Cup of Tea and a Blog.)

Second, check out this gorgeous cake! I had tea with a friend on Wednesday, and she surprised me with this beautiful sweet treat. She's quite the baker and I see why people love to have her cakes for special occasions! Not only is the cake beautiful, but it's also delicious. Three layers, two white and one chocolate, with strawberries and whipped cream in between. Chocolate ganache icing. Yummm!!! Thank you!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Management Observations for Tech Companies

A very interesting blog post for those of you in the corporate/tech world. It compares management 1.0 vs 2.0. Let's just say I feel the pain in my little quadrant of the corporate world. And, let me also say, I'm SOOOO grateful to have left cubes behind!

Now, to turn the tables, as I read through the comments, I saw a comparison of employees in 1.0 vs 2.0-style companies. do I compare to that?

It's no great secret that I prefer a collaborative, less hierarchical style. I really think the "command and control" management style is pretty antiquated. I play the game because I want the paycheck, but in my heart I place very little value in management. (And, let me say, I even like my boss! It's not personal - it's the system.)

I highly value my colleagues and what they do to get the job done. Management doesn't control that - we support each other and that's enough. In fact, management often gets in the way.

Somehow I've landed in one of the best tech companies on earth (long live the King!) and yet its management style is very old. I fear this is a "mission-critical" matter that gets little attention.

Sorry, this post is not related to tea and I couldn't come up with a good analogy this morning. That's because I'm drinking hot water with lemon - if I'd had tea, I might be more creative. >-)

I found the article that prompted this diatribe from the Wanderings blog.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Tea Jokes

These are pretty witty! To see the entire list (I think it's worth it), go to:

What does a teapot say to it's lover?
O, dajarling!

Who is the teapot's favorite actress?
Tea Leoni.

Why did the tea bag have to do it's laundry?
Because it was stained.

What is a baby teapots favorite game?

Thanks to Tea Lover Denise for the info.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Interesting Quote about Tea and Coffee

I'd like to read your thoughts on this one...make a comment and tell me your reaction.

From The Sex Life of Food
by Bunny Crumpacker

"Coffee is strong and direct; tea is refined.
Coffee is potent; tea is romantic.
Coffee is noisy and obstreperous; tea is quiet and subtle.
Coffee is nouveau rich; tea is old money."

The quote sits well with me.
Happy FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Small is better...

When it comes to houses (and so many other things!). I really dislike the American infatuation with "big is better." Grab a cup of tea and read this article, sent to me by NM Tea Lover.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Birthday Snow

Snow on my's happened before (though rarely). However, I never remember this much. We had 3 inches when I woke this morning, and it's been snowing ever since. I like snow, so it's a welcome gift from Mother Nature! One of my favorite things about snow is the hush it brings. Cars move more slowly, and the snow muffles the sound.

Ironically, we had our first daffodil bloom outside yesteray. >-) The DH brought it inside where it's happily blooming on my desk.

Here is a lovely poem by Rumi (13th century Persian poet). A friend shared this with me as a birthday wish. I think it offers profound lessons.

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Daffodil Days

I spent this morning volunteering for the American Cancer Society's "Daffodil Days" campaign. I delivered daffodils to businesses all over town. It's a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

I chose this volunteer work for three reasons: 1 - To celebrate spring and my birthday (tomorrow). 2 - To celebrate the life of my father. (He died of cancer in 1986, when he was only 40.) 3 - I believe in the work of the ACS.

It was a fun morning! The yellow daffodils contrasted nicely with the gray sky and chilly temps.

Ironically, on these first "official" days of Spring, we might be getting snow! Cheers!

Friday, March 17, 2006

An Irish Blessing

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain,
tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tea Guide

The Tea Guide is an excellent resource for your travels. Look up the city you'll be visiting, and see if it has a tea room. I use this all the time and love it! If you know of a tea room that is missing you can submit it. Also, you can post reviews.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Great Swing Music

Some great swing music at this blog: Paul and Nat's Music Blog

Drink some sassy tea and give these tunes a listen!
Thanks to Paul and Natalie, our swing dance instructors, for this music.

The DH (dear hubby) and I have been fine tuning and learning new steps for East-coast swing. We're also loving the new dance we're attempting, Lindy Hop. Paul and Natalie are incredible dancers!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Happy Birthday and Cheers to the Irish!

Happy Birthday to NM Tea Lover!

I'm sitting in my office, finally awake on this Monday afternoon. It was raining sheets here this morning, and I was having trouble getting the fog to lift from my brain. Now, I'm finally in a nice work rhythm. Just "taking 10" for my tea break and to write in the blog a bit.

Drinking a heavenly tea - Vanilla Silver Needles (white). It's one of the teas I got in my tea club from Imperial Tea Court. (Thanks, Mom!) The tea is very good. Very delicate and the vanilla aroma is heavenly. I'm also listening to Cian, an Irish band. I picked up the CD in Ireland a few years ago. Per capita, the Irish drink more tea than anyone else on this planet. I recall when I traveled to Ireland a few years ago, seeing a list of "steps" to make a cup of tea in the company cafe where I was working. I thought it was interesting, but my Irish colleagues were a little miffed. The statement was something on the order, "As if we don't know how to make a proper cup of tea in Ireland."

I'm in the Irish mood, I suppose, with St. Pat's Day just around the corner. It was in Ireland where I had my first formal afternoon tea. It was in a fancy hotel, after I had spent the day roaming around Dublin. It is a special memory...including the part about my not-so-elegant exit from the hotel. :-) I was exiting in one of those huge revolving doors. I was so happy to be there and had just had tea! I was half way to heaven, and I was bouncing my way along. I swung my big shopping bag as I walked - and it lodged in the revolving door, not only trapping me, but also those parties opposite. It took a while for maintenance to come and let us out. No, I will never forget my first afternoon tea experience!

I've been reading a fun series of books by Nora Roberts. The books are a trilogy: Jewels of the Sun, Tears of the Moon, and Heart of the Sea. No classic novels here - just pure escape reading. A fun story about an Irish family and how each of them, in turn, falls in love. A little magic thrown in, lush descriptions of the Irish coast, and lots of tea. Perfect for a quick read and escape over the weekend.

The rain has subsided and I see blue sky. It's windy today. March has definitely come in like a lion around here! The DH just walked in, returning from his job. He brought me three crocus for my desk. One white, one purple, and one yellow. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A cozy little cosy

No matter how you spell it (both are correct), this tea cozy is one of my favorites! That's because it was made with love from a very talented friend. Also included, but not shown, is a handle mit that insulates my hand from the heat. Plus, the cosy matches a quilt I have in the same pattern (made by the same talented person). This tea cozy replicates one we saw last year at the gift store of the Empress Hotel in Vancouver, B.C.

I call this pattern of tea cozy the "I'm a little teapot" version, after the song, because you can see the teapot's handle and spout. This type is convenient because you don't need to remove the cosy before pouring. The other common pattern (I call it "dome") fits over the entire teapot. You simply remove the cozy before pouring. Either way, tea cozies are handy tools to keep around, especially if you make a pot for yourself and drink it slowly. I find that tea cosies keep the tea warm for up to an hour.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?

I am drinking jasmine tea and in a contemplative mood on this rainy Sunday afternoon. My thoughts...

There comes a time in most close relationships where this question becomes important:

Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?

I've had to grapple with this question today. The DH (dear husband), marvelous as he is, sometimes does things that make no sense to me. In fact, sometimes I get pretty frustrated and angry. Not helping matters any is my fondness for being right.

But in being right, I actually lose a lot. I lose a sense of the other person's perspective. I lose my ability to listen and be patient. I lose my ability to be quiet and humble. And I lose the bigger picture. Like - does this really, really matter? Probably not. Too often, I react quickly, forget this question, and then regret my response. If only I could pause and ponder this question before I responded. I would choose happy. Being right doesn't live up to its reputation.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Tea Storage and Spring Organization

Work's been a little crazy for me lately. (Long hours and intense deadlines). But, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's Spring! So my spirits are revived. In addition, when my work life feels out of control, I often look to cleaning and organizing around home to help me feel stable. I'm being serious! I like to clean!

Related to this, I have been inspired to reorganize my personal tea cabinet. I saw this cabinet (photo below) in January. It belongs to a good friend in NM, and it was the nudge I needed to get serious about my personal tea storage. I like this cabinet because everything is labeled and easy to find.

My personal tea cabinet is a mix of loose sample bags (stored in ziplock bags) and tea tins that aren't well labeled. (The teas for my business are much more orderly.) Every now and then, I go in and straighten what's there, but it's a slippery slope - literally - b/c those bags just slip and slide. Well, in a moment of desperation, I told the DH (dear husband) that for Valentine's Day, I wanted him to reorganize my tea cabinet. He's a Virgo, and this is a great assignment for him. He has been in the research phase, and last night he suggested using Bell canning jars to store the tea. He provided a list of shapes, sizes, and prices, and this weekend I'll go inspect them myself. Organization is not far away! (For those of you who know the DH, you won't be surprised that the Valentine's present required periods of contemplation and research.)

I will post soon on important considerations to make when storing tea. For now, I've got to get to work so that I don't get further behind! Happy weekend.