Friday, June 30, 2006

My neighbor (my Opera instructor and friend) recently moved. I hosted a farewell tea for her, using some of my favorite china. I will miss her! I learned a great deal from her about opera and music in general. She and her hubby were interesting and conscientious folks. I wish them well in their new locale and adventures.
I thought this china was perfect for our tea party because the women in the scene have beautiful hair, and it reminded me of my neighbor. She also has the most gorgeous hair!

I found this china in a consignment shop in town, and instantly became charmed by it. Yet, I had promised myself a zero growth in total china stores. So, the thinning out began.

This china is exquisite - pearlized inside, gold trim, hand painted scene of Asian women in a garden. Every time I use it, I will have sweet memories of this tea party and fun times with friends next door!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Keemun and Green Chiles -- and Garrison Keillor

Oh, delight! The Kroger grocery store in town is now carrying El Pinto Green Chile Sauce! My craving for green chiles can be met. While El Pinto isn't my absolute #1 choice (I like 505 Organic) is pretty darn tasty, especially after a drought! Yippee! To celebrate, the DH made breakfast burritos this morning. Yummm - very good with a cup of Keemun team.

Also, we saw the movie, A Prairie Home Companion, this weekend. I loved it! Now, if you've never heard this radio show on public radio (Saturday nights), the movie will be OK - but you won't get the gist of it. (Like the powdermilk biscuit theme, or the Guy Noir reference.) I loved the movie because:
  • Garrison Keillor poked fun at himself and the show
  • The cast is awesome; Meryl Streep rocks!
  • I got to "see" what his staff looks like - the voice talent
  • I loved the not-so-subtle dissing of big business
  • The ending was really quite poignant...everything comes to an end, even ourselves

So, if you like the radio show, I think the movie does it justice. Garrison and crew will be at the University here in town this fall - I'm hoping to catch them live.

Friday, June 23, 2006

The Evils of Tea (and the Virtues of Beer)

"It is notorious that tea has no useful strength in it; that it contains nothing nutritious; that it, besides being good for nothing, has badness in it, because it is well known to produce want of sleep in many cases, and in all cases, to shake and weaken the nerves."
-- from William Cobbett's Cottage Economy, 1822.

Read the whole thing here. It's quite funny. I suppose they weren't aware of antioxidants back then. Thanks to Cup of Tea and a Blog for pointing me here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy Summer Solstice!

Note: I meant to publish this yesterday, but got distracted.

I'm drinking a cup of Jasmine Pearls, going all out with the good stuff for the longest day of the year. It's pretty wild living on the Western edge of the Eastern timezone. It makes for long days - doesn't get dark until almost 10 pm.

The DH (Dear Hubbie) and I are going contra dancing tonight to celebrate. That makes four days this week we'll dance - Monday: Swing class, Wednesday: Contra, Friday: Ballroom class, and Saturday: Swing demos at the Farmer's Market. An excellent week! (I love to dance. In my opinion, it's one of the most primal and pure forms of celebration.)

Here are some pretty pictures from a recent vacation, the yard and around region...

Cows and 1 corgy from one of my favorite places

Japanese hollyhocks in the backyard. They're as tall as me!

Flower bouquet from the garden.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My Favorite Tree

This is my favorite tree. It's a huge catalpa, over 100 years old. It gaces the landscape of my grandparents' farm. The tree is always present in my memories of spending time with my grandparents. I am fortunate in that my grandparents were just a field away (well, about 20 acres) growing up. I spent lots of time with them, and I'm certain they've influenced my life.

When the tree would bloom in the spring, I remember picking the delicate and fragrant blossoms from its branches. In the summer, I would pick green beans with Grandma. I'd get too hot and sit under the shade of the tree. When the my sister was big enough to play, I would push her in the tire swing that hung on one of the branches. I remember escaping to this tree to be alone and to daydream in my own vivid fantasy (ususally, I was an Indian princess).

This tree reminds me of of my grandparents. It is old and wrinkly, and beautiful. It provides shelter for animals and humans, and it gently dispenses wisdom. It may be more brittle than it used to be, but it is still powerful.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Perfect Strawberry and Oolong Tea

Yesterday I had a really nice combo of pumpkin bread, my perfect (organically grown by the DH) strawberry, and a cup of Imperial Green Oolong tea. Very nice combination! The tea balanced both the sweetness of the bread and the tartness of the strawberry.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Angels Among Us?

Having a cup of Angel's Dream, which I thought appropriate for this post. :-)
(Angel's Dream is a black tea scented and lightly flavored with maple and blackberry.)

In my life, the universe seems to send me the same message over and over, until I finally make conscious contact with it and integrate the idea into my being. This process occurs over time, usually about 2 years. For example, the most recent item dealt with looking for what's right with a situation as my first response (instead of what's wrong). This was a hard one for me, as even my professional training has taught me to be analytical in a negative sense. This message was reinforced as I learned about Appreciative Inquiry, strengths-based employee assessment, etc.

I think I've discovered the most recent message from the universe. I had this message slam into me (that's almost how it feels) three times over the past weekend. It started Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market. I had a conversation with a man who travels around the country asking people deep questions. It's not the type of conversation I expected to have, but I'm glad that I remained open to it. He and I spoke about what love felt like. In the course of the conversation, he said, "What would the world be like if we assumed that everyone was an angel?" That was an interesting proposition. Then, on Sunday, I heard discussions on assuming the best intention on others' parts. Now, these are not new concepts to me. The difference is the depth with which they entered my conscious thoughts.

Either the universe has a plan for me, or I seek it out myself. Either way, I expect more opportunities to experience and think this through to come my way.