Do you have a favorite book with a dog as one of the minor characters? In my current manuscript, the heroine has a delightful bouncing Chiweenie named Duke….
This little guy has been adorable since the day we got him.
Our grandson is babysitting Duke.
Duke had been raised with children and other dogs and loved people from day one.
Our granddaughter giving Duke leash lessons with her own dog Spots…..
Because we have a pool in our backyard, we thought it best to teach Duke to swim….he loves the water….
Mischief is his middle name…
Adored at the Rehab Center…by everyone except…
the Rehab Resident Cat…uh…trying to friend her was a no go…
The babies in our family LOVE Duke…and he loves them!!
Duke is especially fond of trying new cuisine…a restaurant in St. Helens, Oregon offers a special “Doggie Spaghetti and Meatballs” during the summertime…
He loves adventure…whether it’s exploring a garden….
….watching a sporting event….
….or sneaking back under the fence…..
Our Duke is always ready to load up and go….
Happy is the day this little bundle came into our lives. We celebrated his first birthday….
…he licked his plate clean.
This next year there’s a new baby to meet…..
In the meantime…Duke has his two Boxers…to keep him entertained!
Today, February 20th is NATIONAL LOVE YOUR PET DAY…..How will you celebrate?
We’ve been staying at our St. Helens, Oregon home for about a month. Waiting for the birth of our fourth grandchild!
We’ve had lots of rain, some foggy mornings.
Some foggy days.
And more rain.
A little sunshine….
….and more rain.
I needed a mood-lifter.
Just a little something to cheer up the day.
Not chocolate and not wine…not food or drink.
Something to look at…
I asked My Sweet Husband to pick up a few fresh flowers at the local grocery store.
Now, we’ve been married 45 years (on January 28th) and we’re still struggling with definitions.
He calls this a few:
I call this a lot!
But, we have several vases filled with lovely flowers.
An uplifting gift of cheery colors and aromas…..
And we had a good laugh!
My new all time favorite quote…and I made it up myself after a particularly harrowing week….
When life hands you a lemon, cut it up, make tea, take a break and meditate!
So, you probably guessed that my day/week/month was less than auspicious . I’m sure you’ve had those days, weeks, months….hopefully not years…when “it” goes from bad to worse.
When no matter how much or how hard or how long you’ve prayed, “things” just aren’t working out. That proverbial lemon drops from the sky, misses your skull, but lands in YOUR lap …uninvited, unwanted, and uncompromising.
Now, a whole lemon is only useful for decoration or zesting.
And if not consumed, deterioration ensues.
My solution: Cut it up…make a cuppa tea….take a break….and meditate.
A sliced lemon bursting with tartness suggests possibilities.
A problem carved up, divided, chopped and diced reveals solutions.
Tea is my respite in life. The ritual of boiling water, placing whole tea leaves in an infuser, steeping and then sipping the brew is my hiatus from chaos. In suspending reality for moments, the impossible is diluted, the possible clarified and I remind myself there are better days ahead!
Have a tea-lightful day….and remember…cut that lemon up, make a cuppa, take a break and meditate!
I had to share this adorable video…..Maddie Grace Sings Lemon Drop
If you love tea like I do, you’re always on the prowl for fun ways to enjoy tea! I like to experiment with blends of teas and fruits..dried fruits, tea in recipes and tea in beverages!
Smoothies~the homemade or handcrafted variety are especially adaptable and can be HEALTHY too!
I tried one made with Chai tea recently. Light and refreshing…and of course, I immediately thought of other ingredients to test with this tea in making a smoothie. Let me know if you’ve found some great tea smoothie combinations!
My Chai-Tea Smoothie…the “skinny” version:
My Chai-Tea Smoothie…the “not so skinny” version:
Recipe for My Chai-Tea Smoothie:
1 cup Chai tea~~ steeped and chilled
1/2 cup milk~~my favorite is Almond Vanilla milk
but you could choose another kind or use what you have on hand…
1/2 cup Greek yogurt…I like to use Vanilla or plain
1 ripe banana…fresh or frozen
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Light and refreshing..and you get to have your tea too!!
In the summer, at our house, there were always two pitchers of iced tea in our refrigerator. One of them, my mother referred to as ” Your Father’s Tea” (meaning sweet tea–southern style) and the other was, regular plain iced tea, no sugar. These were the two choices available. My mother made the iced tea from tea bags, although our neighbors used that very modern, “Instant Tea”. ( You can taste the difference).
Growing up in the ’60′s, I started making sun tea in the summertime, and have continued the practice. Now, however, warnings about bacteria that can grow in sun tea may cause me to consider it a “Steep Risk” http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/suntea.asp.
If any of us got sick from sun tea, I didn’t know it. I probably blamed some other “germ” or even
decided that a small child must have shared his illness.
The popularity and availability of a wide variety of flavored black and green teas has greatly increased my iced tea choices. (See list below for teas that are excellent iced). Magnificent Mango, quite popular in our tea room, competed with Arctic Raspberry and Shanghai Lime (photo) as favorites for iced teas. My iced tea choices are not limited to tea bags, instant tea, sweetened or unsweetened. …..I can celebrate incredible abundance !
Oregon Street Tea Company‘s Great Iced Tea Recipe:
For 2 quarts (1/2 gallon)
* In a 6 cup teapot, place an infuser filled with 12 teaspoons of tea.
* Fill the teapot with water heated to 195 degrees.
* Brew 5 minutes.
* In a 2 quart container fill 1/2 with ice.
* Pour tea over ice.
* Add cold water if needed to make 1/2 gallon of great iced tea !
The following teas make excellent iced teas and can be purchased from the Tea Booth UPSTAIRS at the Oregon Street Antique Mall….
Black Flavored Teas:
Cranberry Breeze or Cranberry Orange
Wild Cherry Blast
Green Flavored tea:
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Very Popular “Arnold Palmer” http://www.arnoldpalmertee.com/news.asp
Fill a glass with ice and add:
1/2 black tea (brewed)
1/2 Lemon slice to decorate the rim of the glass
Very Refreshing !
Hawaiian Iced Tea
Make 2 quarts of Oregon Street Tea Company’s Great Iced Tea
1 can (16 oz) pineapple juice
1/2 cup simple syrup (recipe follows)
Refrigerate until chilled.
Garnish with fresh pineapple spears and serve
Simple Syrup: ( You can also purchase this)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
Combine sugar and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Cool.
Happy Iced Infusions !
We were quite blessed recently. Our unique…sweet…little…one of a kind…teapot bank…was featured in a blog….
Saving Your Pennies For Tea….
When we were kids, many of us had little “banks” (often shaped like little pigs) that we would put our coins in (mostly pennies). When enough had gathered up, we would take those coins to the local store for a sweet treat. Now, as an adult and tea lover, I save my pennies for tea.
Read the rest of the story at the…. English Tea Store Blog
A huge bin filled with smooth skinned Meyer Lemons triggered a drooling response. Wiping my mouth, and stuffing a plastic bag with yellow fruit, I dreamed of our Oregon St. Tea Company signature Cranberry-Meyer Lemon Scones.
Rushing in the door, I plopped the groceries down….put away all items requiring refrigeration….washed the lemons and proceeded to stir up a batch of scones.
Add a little clotted cream…(which I found in our local market!)……
…..and enjoy those delicious scones….
Cranberry-Meyer Lemon Scones (an Oregon Street Tea Room Signature Recipe)
3 cups Self Rising Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
Zest of 1 small Meyer lemon
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Add zest of Meyer lemon.
Mix in ¾ cup buttermilk, adding more if necessary to form dough. Do not over mix.
Turn onto floured work space and knead until easy to handle. (About 4-5 turns)
Pat gently to 1 inch thick.
Cut with small biscuit cutter.
Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. (Vegetable oil spray works great too)
Brush with egg wash (1 egg combined with 1 tablespoon milk)
Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden.
Glaze with powdered sugar thinned to glazing consistency with Meyer lemon juice.
<Hi nammer this is Mitch>
Be still my beating heart!
I read the message twice. Oh my goodness, my nine year old grandson just texted me from his mom’s phone. (That phrase “texted me” still “sounds” funny when I say it out loud. I’ll get used to it I’m sure!)
I touched letters on my phone trying to compose a readable answer. My fingers refused to cooperate. Why was I hurrying, making mistakes, backspace, backspace,….what should I say?
I’ve had unsuccessful, well, more like embarrassing, forays into the “texting” world in the past. One day a young employee of mine was late. I admonished him for not letting me know he wasn’t going to be on time. Sorrowful big brown eyes looked up at me, and he said, “But I did. I texted you.” Oh geez.
“Honey, I don’t text! You’re gonna have to call me.” I hated to admit I wasn’t savvy. I didn’t understand the latest technology. Now he knew….the truth….I didn’t even know how to retrieve a text from my phone, let alone send one.
Since then, I’ve learned a little and practiced a bit.
One, lingering, nagging problem begging for a solution, though, is, how do I remember to keep my phone with me every moment of the day? That silly phone seems quite content to stay buried in the deep dark recesses of my purse where it never makes a peep.
And then, when I do think to retrieve it and set it out on the counter, I find myself walking by it several times a day, glancing sideways…checking it….just in case I have a text. BTW (that’s text message code for “by the way”….in case you didn’t know), I learned the “walk by and glance” trick observing expert texters! You can learn a lot by watching people. Of course, some of what you see, you wouldn’t want to imitate.
Now, once out in the open, the problem becomes, remembering to find the thing before I leave the house on an errand. My poor phone is like a neglected lover, habitually ignored!
I text back…….
<Hi Mitch. How are you? Did you have
basketball practice tonight.>
<Yes I had practice>
I’ve read articles warning grandparents if “you want to stay in touch with grandchildren these days, you have to become tech-literate: texting, ichatting, and of course, you must have a Facebook page.” Email is passé.
I assumed the article referred to junior high grandchildren, not fourth graders!
<Hi nammer Its hay. I love you>
And, certainly not first graders…..my seven year old granddaughter Hayley sent me a message! Oh joyous day! Instantly in touch with my grandchildren….even if it’s just a one-line text…. is pure pleasure, especially when we live three hours apart.
<Hi Hay. Grandpa and I love you too. What
did you do today>
Impressed with my recent texting conversations, I underestimated the shock, the fear that gripped my heart, when my mind wandered off into the land of “curiosity,” and I anticipated the next wave of technology.
Oh no, could I possibly successfully negotiate more than Skype, iChat, FaceTime, texting, Facebook, Twitter….is tele-transport on the horizon? Help…who’s gonna help me?
Are your parents or grandparents technologically challenged? How have you been able to help them?
I like these websites offering assistance:
(I sent myself a few of these helpful videos…. It’s really a clever format, I just wish they had a “large print” edition..LOL)
(Very helpful in translating text messages)
(This site has a section devoted to technology!)