Wednesday, July 5, 2017

the tea is a lie

During winter I went to a friend's house , We had flower tea and it was extraordinary! Blossoms tumbled out of the little ball of tea and steeped like a lovely water garden suspended in amber liquid. 
I ordered some on line, the box looked promising!!

This morning I removed one of the tea balls , all tightly woven "by hand", probably by very good looking people with my tea pleasure in mind....

Poured boiling water on it, and waited, and waited, and waited.
TOOOO long

An hour into this I decided that something was wrong with this tea garden.
I noticed the white string binding the flower to the ball- well, no wonder it can not expand and be free and fabulous- it is BOUND.

I cut the string.

A sad little flower popped up . Not magnificent.
The tea was decent  enough. The tea garden- disappointing ! 

Do not believe boxes! And maybe stick with what you know...(note to self)

I have eliminated quite a few tea pots, keeping some, not because they are exceptional but because each one has acquired some measure of sentimentality , which is the main reason un- cluttering is so difficult! . Brown Betty is the exception as she is used daily- she is the perfect pot, The large white one at the back stays because she is family sized and belonged to Mr. Man's mother. The crazy swirly one was hand carried by a friend long ago, all the way  from Australia.  I rarely use it- I feel that the effort to bring it here has been worthy- she gets to stay. The blue polka dot one I have never used, it pours badly, weighs  about as much as a car- but Erik made it when he was in, of course it must stay. The little twig pot I have had since I was on the cusp of adulthood- a memorable day in Chinatown with a friend who has since died- he chose it for green tea and for it's clay and design, I have loved it and used it when green tea is in order. 

Though now I usually drink strong black builder's tea with milk please,  no sugar, the little twig pot sits , looking forlorn and I feel guilty, green tea IS  a health elixir. Little twig pot shames me...

If I had to choose one favorite , if I were  absolutely forced, it would be Brown Betty, an all around great gal! Pours well, has a nice stout figure, the perfect size for two in the afternoon.
so that is my tea story for this day, What's yours?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A garden celebration

Celebrating our friend getting her doctorate in cellular biology at Yale, Five years hard study! Now she will begin teaching at Yale.
The garden of Fritz is coming on so nicely. He has an extensive cactus garden as well as exotic trees and vegetable. The greenest of thumbs.

The forth of July, least favorite holiday, terrifying pets and vets, with a madman in the white house dismantling the nation to vile rubble.
I have an app on my computer that changes the orange WH toddler into kittens, which makes getting news online somewhat  less horrific. 

Time spent in Fritz's garden is time well spent.
And KITTENS are good.

Leaving you with this...Baby in a bucket- summertime!!

Monday, July 3, 2017

Before the heat

The lavender is at it's peak right now, the entire neighborhood smells like a grandmother.

Before summer really gets it's scorch on, the flowers are loving the weather, fair bit of rain and cool nights, overcast days for the most part.

The succulents at the end of the stairs surprised me this year with these outrageous flowers! 

such a complicated design

Hen and chicks  more colorful than ever!

A plant I bought at the grocery, the color is legit!  I put one of the blossoms on a white sheet of paper and it bled the most beautiful bright raspberry color! Not sure it would not fade, though, as pansies do when they are hammered onto paper. 

One of the dying peonies lying on the table casts a bird shadow, pretty cool, my little ghost bird coming to visit...
I do miss him and his cheerful chirping, whistling, chatter, I do not miss the screaming, the seeds flung everywhere and the occasional scolding.
His little yellow bird body still in the freezer , waiting for burial.

And this is the grand finale of the peonies , they have been volunteers along the fence, every year for thirty years they have come back, faithfully without being cultivated or messed with. 
Tried and true. A hearty flower!

moving into July, the flowers wane, fruit trees ripen, and on we go.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

stood up for good reason

 All of my family is dead, there is no one left to ask  about ancestors, heritage, no family stories , no history for me to attach to. Probably a good thing, really. No responsibility, no obligation... it is a sort of freedom.  However! The really great news is that I found family on facebook! They all live in Norway, I have never met them except on facebook. My Grandfather came to America when he was a child all by himself and worked on a farm as a child laborer until he ran away having been mistreated. He ran to Wyoming where he got a job on the Union Pacific Railroad. And that is where he stayed.
SO, my cousins, five of them planned a trip , to come here and stay for a bit, to meet Peder's grand daughter.

I had to hustle to get five bedrooms ready for them, plus eliminate a lot of clutter and stuff from 30 years of living in the same spot. It mounts! I got rid of Erik's childhood, so difficult, and loads of my stuff. though, as you can see from the photos , not enough!
I even cleaned out the closets! 

Bought new towels and soaps and all of that, Bought little gifts from the lavender farm.
Everything fresh and clean .

extra bedding, extra towels, extra toiletries- YES, this will turn out just fine!! They will think that their American cousin  measures up.

the living room could do with less stuff but it is tidy.

the  television, fireplace, computer room could also do with less stuff...especially the television which has not been on in over a year. I really hate that thing and the nest of wires behind it. I leave our door unlocked  many times hoping that some hooligan will come in and steal it.

and the worst corner probably , where I read in my cigar chair,  is where the most stuff seems to congregate- looks cramped and crazy- I will have to fix that.
BUT ,as I said, everything, clean and tidy and smelling like a new born house!
Great, I am ready! Bring on the Norwegians!!!

---and of the husbands -discovered a brain tumor just moments before they were to travel. 
So ...No Norwegians, no family...sad trombone...
Now I have extra beds and towels and toiletries and lavender for whomever shows up , it could be YOU!
Glad to have hustled through the house and taken loads to charity, I mean LOADS! 
It is a great feeling. I am in subtraction mode, now, and I see more that wants doing. Out the door it goes! Yay, me! I may even get my reading corner whittled down to zero.