Friday, January 26, 2007


I'm taking the preparations for my London Tea Tour seriously! I'm studying up on British history, culture, the royal family, etc. For me, half the fun of traveling is the learning about where I'm going!

One definition of an Anglophile is someone simply interested in English things. That fits me, as I am interested in England and its connection to tea. Another definition of an Anglophile is one who wishes to be British. That's definitely not me. While I find the royal family interesting and am glad many of the beautiful palaces and artwork have been preserved, I don't believe in entitlement by birth. I'm too much of an egalitarian.

Windsor Castle

Here are some of the interesting sites I've found in my research:

Official Website of the Monarchy - Lots of history and photos.

The Royal Residences - Brief descriptions and photos. This was helpful, because I was having trouble keeping them straight. I'll be visiting Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle.

Changing the Guard - Info on the ceremony. "...the process involves a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard." Seems kind of metaphorical.

Tower of London - More than just a prison.

Lady Jane Grey - The "9-day queen" is a very interesting historical character!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'll Take 22

22 degrees and breezy. It's sunny, but those clear skies are deceptive. No clouds to blanket the earth and hold in the heat. I'm heading out for a morning run. Solo run today. I don't wear my watch. I have a general sense of the distance (about 4 miles), but I don't worry about the time today.

I'm just not a gym girl. I have gone to gyms in the past, but mostly for yoga or the pool. I much, much, much prefer to take my exercise outside. Even when it's 22 degrees. I don't usually start out thinking that way. It starts out like, "Oh, gosh - it's cold! I'm tired. I don't want to run." But I pull on my gear and nudge myself out the door.

Like 22, I think in pairs. 2 sets of socks, 2 pairs of tights, 2 shirts, 1 jacket (double lined), a face mask and a stocking cap. The DH would smother in this get-up, but I'm quite comfy. I do NOT like to be cold!

Normally, I walk for the first 5 minutes, but when it's this cold, there is no "warm up" period with walking. I just get colder by the minute. I'm at the corner, and I break into a shuffle. Within a minute, and I'm at my pace.

On the way out, I have moments of doubt when I think I'm over dressed. I'm sweating. Then I hit the turnaround spot, and poof! The wind is now in my face. Nope, not over dressed. Swish-swish-swish. My nylon coat and pants make a soothing sound as I move along. I probably look quite funny.

My run through campus is beautiful. I look at all the students and their varying array of outfits. The winner today is a woman who has on a short skirt and bare legs, with heels. These sidewalks are icy and she's wearing heels! I hope she doesn't bust her butt.

The wind is still hitting me in the face, but I'm warm enough now that it doesn't sting. It's so good to be outside and breathe the fresh air. (We don't have many bad air days here.) The sun is sparkling off the remaining snow and the evergreen trees are lovely. I'll take this any day over a smelly, hot, sticky gym. I'm just not a gym girl.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Apron and All

Yep, that's my DH, proudly sporting a lilac floral apron and a teapot! Here's the story behind this great photo. :-) I was supposed to host a recent tea party for the staff at our church, but I had a cold and didn't feel up to it. The DH very capably stepped in for me! I suggested that he should wear my purple apron, for a laugh. Always one ready for a joke, he agreed.

While he doesn't give the "tea talk," he can brew up a mighty-good cuppa. Thank you, sweetheart!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Al and Monkey and PG Tips

I'm studying up on British things in preparation for my tea trip in March. I'm taking this quite seriously, reading and watching a diverse arrangement of British media and literature. Along the way, I've learned of Al and Monkey. >-)

In this commercial for PG Tips (a popular British brand of tea), the duo has reunited.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Patience Pays Off!

We're now land barons! We closed on the lot today. It was a long process of hurry-up and wait. Apparently, the seller had not done the paperwork ~30 years ago when she inherited the land. There were other siblings and power-of-attorney issues on the seller's end. It took lawyers in 3-states to get the seller's end of the deal tidied up. I'm thankful for a patient husband and a patient realtor.
Our waiting has paid off! We own the sweet lot and plan to build on it. In a twist of irony too big to ignore, we looked at the lot 3 years ago and didn't buy it then. (We have differing stories as to why. :D) The lot went off the market. The DH kept it on his long list of to-dos in the past 3 years to find out what happened. As fortune would have it, the lot went back on the market and we found it before any of the land-hungry college housing landlords.

We would have saved money had we bought it three years ago, in a For Sale By Owner deal. However, would we have discovered and appropriately dealt with the legal issues? Would it have cost us more in the long run? There's no way to tell. And no sense in playing"what if." We own it now. We're celebrating with pizza AND breadsticks!


Monday, January 15, 2007


I've had the chance to catch up on my movie-watching lately. I'm also trying to brush up on some British flicks, in preparation for my tea tour. Here are a few movies that I've recently enjoyed:

* The Queen - I was fortunate to see this on its opening weekend in Seattle. I really enjoyed it! It's astonishing how much Helen Mirren looks like Her Majesty! There's very little "action" in the movie. It's based around a series of phone calls between Tony Blair and the Queen. But for anyone interested in England's political structure, it is quite interesting. And the movie has beautiful panoramics. And funny words. (E.g., "Stalking" means hunting.)

* Calendar Girls - Another Helen Mirren film. I watched this one twice, once with my Mom and once with Tom. I laughed heartily through it both times. This movie touches me because it shows the beauty, creativity and spunk of middle-aged women.

* The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Julianne Moore plays a Mom (of 10 kids!) who writes jingles to keep her large family afloat financially. Woody Harrelson does a good job of playing the conflicted father - an interesting character.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy, Happy!

I'm going to London on a tea tour in March! I'm so excited, I can hardly sit still!

Here are the details:

One of the cool things about this tour is that it includes a one-day tea class with Jane Pettigrew. She's one of the most well-know tea personalities out there these days.

This trip will be fun and will provide countless hours of blogging material, I'm sure. :-)

Monday, January 01, 2007

An Update on ADHD

Happy 2007!

For those of you that wanted an update on A Dear Hubby's Dilemma....

The dear hubby paid a visit to the Public Works department of the city.

The good news...
Though the truck looked like a regular garbage truck, it actually has two compartments. One compartment is for cardboard and newspaper. The other is for glass, plastic and metal.

The contents are taken to a large warehouse and dumped out separately. The contents are hand sorted. Unfortunately, there usually is some breakage of glass that can't be recycled.

The DH was relieved to learn that his worst fears were not true. The recycling is not going to the landfill.