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It’s the last Monday of the month and time to share a cuppa with my friend, Elena. She is a talented bassoonist, incredible singer, and a great mom to two busy boys (three if you count her husband). Her great sense of humour and crazy-good storytelling make her a delight to hang out with. We usually hang out together at the church in worship and ladies’ craft and chat. She usually chats. But she has many artistic abilities, including cartoon family portraits!

Let’s hear a cheer for Elena!

(you can do better than that!)

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I confess I am not a true tea connoisseur; coffee has always had a starring role in the hierarchy of my caffeine addiction. I do enjoy a black or green tea paired with the right meal, or as an after-dinner cup with company. But herbal teas are my everyday go-to. They keep me toasty on a cold afternoon, act as a warm and steamy balm for a dry throat, or as a method of surviving a dastardly cold. While I am always open to trying new things, I mainly enjoy simple flavours like peppermint, or Earl Grey.  I do not recommend the “Mom Special” I recently enjoyed where, upon looking down into the last dregs of my coffee, I discovered this morning’s mint tea bag (I thought it tasted off, though in my defense I was enjoying a mint-chocolate chip cookie as I imbibed). 

But today, my cup is filled with one of the only blends I enjoy partaking in regularly: Celestial’s Sleepytime tea with its characteristic sleeping bear on the box, cozied up by the fire with tea and scones nearby.  It’s a combination of chamomile and spearmint with just a dash of lemongrass.  I must say lemongrass is not something I usually enjoy, though it doesn’t stand out in this blend for which I am thankful. The spearmint fills out the flowery chamomile, and well, it pairs well with honey, I find this tea to be just sweet enough to forgo any add-ons. The chamomile serves to soften and round out the mint, taking away that dry aftertaste that can accompany it when left to its own devices.

Of course how one enjoys their tea is often just as much a part of the comfort of the beverage.  I recommend a fancy tea cup if the mood is right, or in a comfy, oversized mug! Today, I offer to you my most unique mug in my collection.  It was gifted to me from a lovely little cafe/community art gallery out in Edmonton called The Carrot.  The blue dipped glaze is best appreciated in the sunlight, so as to reflect its many shades, and the thick walls do well to keep the tea steamy.  Most unusually, it is built to be an on-the-go mug, with its rim rolling in at the top and sealed in the middle with a large, rough cut cork.  Three small holes adorn either side of the rim for sipping, and the indented thumb hold on the handle allows for this mug to be comfortably held in either the right or left hand! A well built handle is an often overlooked, but wonderfully key feature in any good mug.

And so, may your tea experience today be one of steam, good flavour, and a comfy handle to boot!