Friday, October 12, 2018

No dance class tonight, thanks

But it’s more than just “I want to be alone for a while.” It’s more than “I want a little time to myself.” I think I get enough of that… I love to be around D and I feel good when he is there and I can look at him. He grounds me.

BUT! There are times I cannot physically be around people, times when I have Had Enough. (By “people” I mean strangers, crowds.) Sometimes going to work is hard enough, and talking to coworkers with whom I have spent 14 years and know their styles pretty damn well. Putting the chipper tone in my voice when I just want to do my work by myself. I was lucky in that my boss was out of the office for two days this week so I had a little more work freedom. 

Sometimes it takes way more to get back the energy I’ve put out than is “fair”. Should be apples to apples, right? Except those days, those weeks, today… it’s more like apples to apples, berries, cherries, and I dunno, donuts? Those days I give more than I have and I am depleted and then I can’t do more until I have managed to suck up who knows how many times more energy than it looks like I have spent.

This week I went to the Topsfield Fair, with thousands of people... no one particularly creepy, but so many of them! I attended a product line launch which was pleasant enough but still a large room full of strangers. I saw wonderful friends and spent time with my parents, both times of which I enjoyed immensely. But I need to turn off for at bit. No constant jokes, no more being “on” all the time. No need to make up (literally, makeup!) my face with a persona. Can I just shut off?

Maybe it’s worse right now because I can’t get the blameworthy yet somehow absolved rapists and molesters and perverts out of my head (Kavanaugh, Trump, religious leaders, etc.). This week I found myself reading two NYT articles about Flushing. Each one was worse than the next: birth tourism, which itself is confusing enough (suicidal nanny, babies stabbed) and the one about Jane Doe Ponytail (sex work, possible suicide). And maybe I’m somehow becoming sentimental, but to think that the place where I grew up is now so shitty is really troubling.

And then the touching! I think I am identifying with the rest of the women who have also been patted, groped, pressed into, leered at, commented upon, sniffed, whatever, whose assailants have never been brought to justice. And why should I put myself into the position of being held closely at dance class when I am not feeling strong enough to? It’s enough of having a man who is not mine, in my face, having to smell his body as he leans in (however properly), and his arms around me, leading the dance. Another night, yes … tonight, hell no.

Monday, September 17, 2018

California Tea House!

I tried more flowering tea, everyone!!!

Now I know it seems to have been forever since I last posted, but life has been busy. Readers, I'm sorry if you've missed me, but... I'm ba-ack!

I updated my flowering tea hub last week with a bit on CTH but wanted to do a full review of three tea balls* from California Tea House: Violet Moon, Titanic Blossom, and Peri Flower. I was wary about their teas being the "the best tea you have ever tasted", but I shouldn't have been. Their products are gorgeous!

But first, a little about the company. They create their blends with only locally California-grown organic herbal teas, and the tea balls are hand-strung. If that's not enough to entice you to try their teas, how about this? They are a family-owned store. I love that!

First up, Violet Moon

Look at it! Just look at it!

I needed to try this one first as it is their newest. They have created Violet Moon with Silver Needle green tea as a base, but they add a beautiful violet flower to charm us. Oh, you didn't know that violets do not need to be, well, violet? The company uses pinkish flowers in this tea.

I was hoping the tea would brew purplish *teehee. Or should I say, tea hee* but that was wishful thinking, especially with a pale pink flower! Instead, it turns a very pale peach, which was a wonderful surprise. 

The inside of my mug is painted light green, so that is why the color appears a bit greenish. The flavor is subtle, and it reminded me of summer. I especially enjoyed this one because it minded its own business... and made it very enjoyable to drink. 

Next, Titanic Blossom. And it certainly is titanic!

The first thing that struck me about this tea was this the weight of the tea ball -- it was surprisingly heavy and dense. The ball itself was beautiful, with dark and light green leaves and pink and orange peeping through. I couldn't wait to get this one into the teapot! I knew I would need to take video of this ball dropping.

All told, it took about six minutes (the video runs at double speed).

As it bloomed, I was really excited because it was the prettiest one it ever seen so far, of all the tea balls I've tried... which has been a great many.

Tiny little unstrung pink flowers floated to the top while a big orange peony opened up to reveal a pink thistle looking flower (that's the globe amaranth) with a small white jasmine popping out at the top. The whole shebang is surrounded by good ol' silver needle.

It brewed into it a medium orange but looked pale green in the pot because I was outside and the green was reflecting off the grass.

Truth be told, as I gazed at the tea from across the room and looked at it outside on my deck, it looked as if a goldfish was swimming back and forth in a fishbowl amidst fluttery underwater growths. It was really, really eye-catching and the most romantic-looking of all of them in my opinion.

But the real test would be the flavor. As I sipped my first sip, I immediately sucked those tiny pink flowers into my mouth. Oops! They didn't taste like anything but they were chewy and I had to remove them.

As I tasted I was disappointed because it didn't seem to give up much flavor. But as it cooled it tasted almost peachy, or fruity. I figured that it must be the jasmine. There was a natural sweetness that came out as the tea cooled. This is definitely one of the best looking and most pleasant tasting blossoming teas I've ever had the good fortune to try.

Also, the spent flower *out of water* is more beautiful than other flowering teas I've seen actually *in* water.

Peri Flower was my final tasting. 

Beauteous as the multi-strung chrysanthemum blooms were (and there looked to be five!) this ball only took about three and a half minutes to drop. If I had been looking away I would have missed it completely. 

The tea brewed up a lovely, peaceful light yellow. But when I finally took my taste, it just tasted like a standard white tea. As a result an unfortunately, I was a bit underwhelmed by this one... especially after the Titanic Blossom.

So, Readers! Of these three blooming teas, my absolute favorite based on looks and flavor was Titanic Blossom... and it actually tops the list of the best flowering teas I've ever had. Second place goes to Violet Moon, and Peri Flower rounds out the list. As I said, it bloomed beautifully but lost in the flavor category.

If you have tried any of these teas, please comment! I would love to know what you think.

*These products were sent to me at no cost to review.