Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Happy Tuesday Tea Time!

Who knew these "Perfect Tea Timers" could be so great?!

A few weeks ago while we spent a few days away, the froyo coffee shop dessert place we stopped in for froyo had some locally grown tea as well. Naturally I decided to have some tea & choose one that was called Happy Spleen Green.

It was very refreshing & interesting that it needed to be timed not by the green timer, but the white timer. It seemed pretty helpful as I often guess with a touch of an idea of how long each kind of tea needs steeped. Though it's not as fun as this Penguin.

Generally I don't take too much consideration into timing my tea. I'm aware of the preferred amount of time for different kinds of tea - thus the help of these "perfect timers" - & try to go by that, but usually only be my own math rather than actually looking at a clock. Knowing there is a preferred temperature & time for different kinds of teas makes drinking tea through a kettle - this teaches one patience - & automated beverage machines such as a Keurig, unique it's own way. Thankfully I don't find myself too picky. The worst tea is that which has been steeped in water that came from a kettle that generally housed coffee.

How do you time your tea?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: Finding new ways to do something creative every day & allowing that creativity to be as simple or as complex as the day calls for. While I have always loved being artsy, I've never spent too much time learning new techniques. After seeing a friend post her new purchase of an Adult Coloring Book, I decided to use some gift money to purchase my own. So while I'm eagerly waiting for that creative outlet to come in the mail, I've also been using my sketch pad & colored pencils to doodle & draw this or that to release some energy. This past week was apparently all about releasing said energy as I even woke up early one morning totally on my own & did a 30 Minute Yoga Flow. It's much safer to try some of these yoga routines at home than in front of other people some days, if ya know what I mean. There's a reason my middle name isn't "grace."

BAD: Realizing the dwindling of a family. At the recent death of my Uncle it has become more apparent to a few of us in the family who is left & who has gone before us. It's not so much bad, just sorta sad & weird. Life is weird. Death is real. Birth is better? *mer mer* Also, along the line of things outside of our control, prayers for those affected by the earthquake in Nepal. Many lives & landmarks have been taken at a moment's notice. Be on the lookout for ways you can help the efforts for Nepal to start to recover!

AWESOME: Keeping in touch & being able to use goofy means like Google Hangouts that allow you to wear cat masks & draw on your friends your in conversation with. Very entertaining!

WORD: This week, little by little, I've been reading pieces from Dr. Andrew Root's Children of Divorce. So far I've taken away that everybody has a secret & families take work (which I hope everybody knows).

coming up: A little work & a little play in the land of Hoosiers!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Favorites!

It's Friday & here's a Favorite!

Yes, rocks, big giant rocks. They're not just any big, giant rocks though. They're Michigan big, giant rocks.

Growing up going camping in MI you knew when you saw big, giant rocks - some may call them boulders - you were deeper into the mitten state & further away from home. According to my mom, it isn't vacation if it's closer than 4 hours to home.

I'm not sure she'd say that any longer, but that's what classified a family vacation for my childhood. We didn't often go too much further than 4 hours away either, which is why it was safe for my mom to say that made a vacation.

These rocks strike me today as one of the few things in life that seems to withstand time. While no doubt these rocks have changed season by season with the Northern Michigan weather & regular visitors climbing on them despite the neighboring signs that say "stay off the rocks." They still seem quite large & untouched.

I post these giant, untouchable, Michigan rocks in memory of my Uncle Ted. Uncle Ted was man who had a story for every adventure & had an adventure for every part of life. Uncle Ted loved Michigan, it's lakes, mushroom hunting, & miniature schnauzers. While there's so much more one could say about Uncle Ted, the stories are what keep the spirit alive, so we'll save the others for another day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Welcome to Tuesday Tea Time in a piece of Wonderland!

Not only was this tea a fun find back on vacation in February, it has been a tasty delight to many a morning.

This week we're struggling to find that warmer Spring air in the tip of the mitt. I think the sea trolls are mad about the melting ice & trying to make it stick a little longer on their waters under the bridge! Or maybe it's just Spring North of the 45th parallel. You choose!

One of the slightly humorous recent pieces of life that goes with Wonderland Tea is that I sent a package to a dear friend recently intending to include a sampling of Wonderland tea. Naturally I included a card. In the card I am almost certain that I wrote something about the included tea bags - as I meant to share - but the time between writing the card, putting the package together & actually sticking it in the mail was so long that I forgot to include the tea bags. There's a good chance that I've made this all up & I never mentioned the tea bags in the card & the recipient doesn't know they're missing out. Now I've put it out there though, for all to read & I can almost assure you out of all the posts, my dear friend AJO will read this. Clearly my subconscious is saving the Wonderland Tea to enjoy with AJO in person!

That means she needs to visit soon as it is part of my morning tea at least a couple mornings a week. Despite this week's fight for warm Spring air, everything is turning & starting to sprout buds with promises of flowers & leaves in the air. It's the perfect time of year for visitors!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Snippets: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: A few days away with the sights of Northern MI in the Spring is good for the soul. The cherry trees have yet to blossom, but there's beauty in the promise of their blooms in the coming weeks. Here you see this beauty on the peninsula looking out onto the West Bay in Traverse City. The West Bay was far from being unfrozen, yet the East Bay seemed ice free to the eye & ear. It was also fun to hear & see the buzz of the locals preparing for the tourist season. There were many painting, repairing, & patching jobs going on around the city. As a former vacationer to the area, I highly appreciate all this work that goes to making the place a romantic piece of Northern MI. Here in Traverse City you can spend your days on the beach or shopping down town & evenings around the camp fire at the local state park. There's miles of trails to hike, ride bikes, roller skate or whatever you desire to do for fun or to equal out all the goodies that you're sure to try while you're shopping. A perfect place for a girl like me & I didn't even mention the dozens of delicious cherry delicacies that one can find here. I was given a taste of the award winning Moomers ice cream, but of course they have SO many options I don't remember which kind of cherry ice cream it actually was. I'm pretty sure you can't go too wrong with ice cream.

BAD: Taking a week off only to realize it's been almost a year, if not a year, since you last took a full week off. This is not good self care, but we're working on that.

AWESOME: Playing princess & king on a train to see Michi with our niece via FaceTime. 

WORD: Today we read that the risen Lord Jesus eats fish. What's that all about? See Luke 24:36-48

coming up: A little of this, that, & a whole lot of Life, Spirit, & Sparkle as we blaze into the end of April.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Oh my goodness, it's Friday & I have lots of Favorites this week!

I narrowed it down to this one photo that captures a piece of this week's adventures.

This week Z & I enjoyed a bit of a staycation. Being so work oriented it was a challenge for us to take time to do the things that you always want to do, but end up doing some more work related things instead.

I'm really good at busying myself with cleaning projects as well. On today's list is a bit of financial awareness work. Fun, not so fun!

We didn't simply take the week to stay at home, but ventured out for just a 2 night stay a few hours away. And what a difference it makes in one's daily pattern to step out of the normal & away from the work & projects! We've been told time & time again that to make life happen living in a more rural part of the country, the best way to keep a piece of sanity, at times, is to go on adventures, big & small. No matter the size of the trip, count it as an adventure.

This week's piece of adventure was watching, listening, & taking in the sights, sounds, & smells of the cracking of the thin layers of ice coming into the bay in the morning. This was just a piece of life that is preparing the town for Summer visitors.

Happy adventures - big & small!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

Hiya Tuesday Tea Time!

It's so great to have tea with you all & especially this new Viking friend you see here. Isn't he just wonderful?!

I can tell he's ready for the weather to do a bit more warming up!

Let's call him Ned.

Do you ever name things that don't need names? I do it all the time! Of course people don't typically know what I'm talking about then when I refer to an inanimate object by a name rather than it's title.

This past weekend we said g'bye to Horton & now have Barry. While that name might not stick, it's all I've got right now because Barry is blue.

Enjoy your tea, Ned!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: This past week was filled with great conversations & genuine check-ins with good friends. The best part is that none of it was planned except for maybe one check-in & that was due to a significant time difference. I read somewhere recently that one way to better your day is to simply call a friend. You may not get a hold of them, but the practice of calling a friend let's that friend know you're thinking about them & shares the day with them & with you. This past week was also very busy with lots of little this & thats work related as I realized if I'm ever going to take time off I need to over work to get ahead a touch. That's just how life roles some times.

BAD: Barometric pressure changes that mess with headaches & attitudes.

AWESOME: A random Easter card from seminary friends that have an adorable daughter & another little one on the way soon. Thank you Guthridges! A return letter will be written soon! Speaking of letters I refreshed my ribbon board the other day 7 recycled some old cards so that I could put new up. The fun part was reading the progression throughout the year from a few friends of where life has taken them.

WORD: Working ahead leads me to next week's Gospel at the end of Luke.

coming up: no screen time!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Favorites!

There was so much to highlight this week that a simple prayer card goes in for the win of Friday Favorites!

I was so excited to find these resources of coloring books & stickers for free through ELCA Good Gifts that I love how this upper elementary youth put them to use.

Yes sir, we will pray for the cows & the bees & the chickies (as one youth was calling them) & the pigs & the goats & the sheep & ALL of God's creatures!

We will pray for those working with & for ELCA Good Gifts & to end hunger & all those receiving ELCA Good Gifts.

In the midst of all the good of the week worth noting as a favorite a simple prayer is my favorite.

What's yours?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday Tea Time!

It's Tuesday Tea Time?!

How do we transition into our next season of teas, when Mother Nature won't transition with us?

So you know that goal that you never really hashed out so therefore it never really became a goal & then you still try to include them in your weekly schedule? Yeah, that one.

Get over it! Either make it happen or accept that it's not a piece of who you are. Or it is a piece of who you are that you say you do this thing & never get around to making it a part of your day.

It is OKAY!

You can't do it all. Wonder Woman & Super Man are fictitious!

In the article 10 Simple Things to Make You Happier at Home it challenges people to do a one line a day gratitude journal. While one line is great, especially if that's all you can stay awake for, I challenge 5 pieces of your day to be listed. Maybe that only will take 1 line!

Take the challenge & join me in an attitude of gratitude! 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Snippits: good, bad, & awesome!

GOOD: It's Easter Sunday! My favorite holiday that represents so much promise for tomorrow. Weather you celebrate Easter as a Christian & the fact that Jesus has defeated death once & for all, or because it's Easter & that's what you do this time of year, it is Easter! Easter is so much more than any one thing. This is me being church nerdy on you & a little unchurchy too. Easter means warmer days ahead & flowers & green grass & leaves on the trees & gardens & fresh produce & new life! What is good is I believe that we are a both and sorta people. We are both sinner & saint. We are sinner & saint together, & sinner & saint on their own. I sit comfortably & yet uneasy in this paradox that I believe in - thank you Lutheran theology! Knowing all this, this past week has been a blessing to walk through the steps of Holy Week as I've been more than ready for Lent to be over for a few weeks. I was tired of sitting in the despair of Good Friday.

BAD: Comparisons. To be fully present in mind, body, & spirit it is best to avoid comparing oneself or others. At the same time it seems only natural to do certain comparisons in life. Many times comparisons are not fair to oneself as it is not sitting well with who one is & allowing oneself to be simply their own self. So as bgeg says, "just LOVE."

AWESOME: In the last week 2 colleagues & friends have shared that we were in their dreams. Both people, who as far as I know have never met one another, took it as they must've had us on their mind lately & just wanted to say hello. However, then we saw this quote, "Did you know that when someone appears in your dreams, it's because that person misses you?" While it is nice to know that both friends had us on their mind, I guess it really means that they have been on my mind. Crazy how that works!

WORD: Jesus' Radical Politics

coming up: A day of rest after a busy busy week. Then onward full steam ahead into the middle of the month! Jesus Christ is Risen Today! Alleluia!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Favorites!

Today being Good Friday & barely warm enough to wear shoes that I could show off the tp of my foot & therefore tattoo, I gladly did just that. But today my tattoo struck my story a bit different.

After studying a semester in Scotland I felt drawn to my second tattoo, but it would be three years before I entered that tattoo parlor in WI. I had decided even before leaving Scotland that this Celtic knot would be a symbol of my faith carrying me through the most freeing experience of my life up to that point. The dots, that represent the nails placed into Jesus' at his crucifixion, were a last minute decision.

Why would I want such a reminder? Because the promise of life, symbolized within the knot, is what is lived out by the cross & the nails that carry us to the empty tomb.

Good Friday it is!