I don’t have a problem with caffeine. I have a problem without it.
Breakfast teas are a blend of assam, and ceylon tea, black teas with higher caffeine levels to help you start your day. And some days, we need that extra that kick to get going!
Irish Breakfast tea has a high concentration of Assam tea leaves in its blend, which gives it a vibrant, reddish colour and is known as a full bodied, malty and strong tea. The maltiness is a result of being grown in a very rainy, hot and humid climate in the Assam region of Northeastern India.
It’s believed that Assam tea, was discovered growing wild in 1823 by Scottish adventurer, British Army Major Robert Bruce. The first packaged Assam tea was made available for purchase in England.
Though it has less caffeine than coffee, assam tea has a higher caffeine level than other black teas, making it the perfect type of tea in a breakfast blend. Some studies also suggest it boosts the immune system, and may provide stress relieving benefits.
Give me enough tea and I can change the world dress myself and use my adult manners.
Dear Diary – Who says you have to have alcohol to have fun? Just add chocolate!
One evening this week, Youngest Son asked me if I wanted to share his chocolate bomb. He was given a beautiful, handcrafted, semi-circular, dark chocolate bomb, drizzled in white chocolate, at Christmas. How this large, gorgeous chocolate piece remained under my radar for so long is truly a mystery!
Hubby recorded the transformation, and the hilarity that ensued after it was made…but I can’t post videos on WordPress. I can post it on Facebook but only my friends can see it, and I’m not changing the permissions because the world does not need to see what I did!
First I plunked the chocolate bomb in a clear mug and warmed the milk in the microwave. I used my lactose-free milk to minimize the…ah, negative effects on my body. My family thanks me. Pouring from a deep bowl into a mug was messy, and 1/3 of the milk dribbled on the counter. Hubby just rolled his eyes.
We watched in silent anticipation for something to happen. It didn’t. So I started gently submerging the bomb in the milk. Suddenly, hot chocolate powder started to spray across the top. After a couple more dunks, powder and marshmallows bubbled to the surface.
It was delicious. We split it 3 ways.
No weeping for shed milk.
My 2L carton of lactose-free milk costs more than a 4L bag, so before Hubby could mop up the counter, I leaned it and started slurping. Except the sound wasn’t what you would expect. It was more like the high-pitched whine of a small engine, or as Oldest Son described it, “screws in a squeaky dryer”. Yes, Hubby recorded that too.
I didn’t realize he was recording until the second video where he stuck his phone by my face. I was laughing so hard, I had to turn my face away a couple of times before I could suck. I’d love to post the videos, not because I’d enjoy the humiliation, but to share the fun. The three of us watched it over and over and laughed so hard, we had tears running down our faces and I thought I was going to bust a gut. I’m not sure if they were laughing at the video or laughing at me, but we were laughing together. And that’s priceless.
Dear Diary – I’m not sure why, but it’s kind of reassuring that I’m still bendy enough to pee in the car. I went with Hubby to his second MRI (at the hospital where I just had my own fun experience), but with covid restrictions, I had to wait in the car. For an hour and a half.
Hubby kindly parked in the corner of the parking garage so I could have a view of the amusement park across the road. Too bad the roller coaster wasn’t running. It also meant I had natural light on 2 sides of the car so I could read or play on my phone. There was even free wifi. But there was no loo (and with my sore foot, I wouldn’t have made it to the hospital anyway)!
I had been so careful, even skipping my morning pot of tea. In theory, nothing went in so nothing should need to go out. Right? I was doing well at ignoring my bodily urges when Hubby texted that they were running late. Suddenly the prospect of waiting longer was too much and my body overruled my mind.
Trying to look casual, as in “nothing to see here” and covered in a blanket (because it’s still winter in Canada), I precariously perched over my empty Tim Horton’s coffee cup. Mission accomplished.
Hubby swung by Tim Horton’s on the way home. Empty coffee cup replaced. 😉
When I have to go, I have to go!
Dear Diary – We lost our phone connection Sunday evening and began the arduous task of getting it repaired. On the plus side, since Hubby had to remove the lattice on the back porch anyway, it was a good time for him to climb under and retrieve the butter knife I dropped last October. I was having an outside tea party with a friend. Three and a half hours after the phone was restored, the phone company texted to say the technician was on his way.
Dear Diary – The new sewing machine is working like a dream. I’m just scared to adjust any of the settings.
Dear Diary – Our covid numbers continue to climb, even without regular testing to document it accurately. Today a local doctor was recommending masks be mandated in public places and schools, and that bi-weekly rapid tests be conducted in schools. It’s news we’re not sharing with Youngest Son.
By today, we have to inform the school if he will spend Grade 12 in virtual school or in-person. If we don’t say, they will assume in-person. Youngest Son would prefer virtual school, but only the required courses will be offered online. It means he has to change 5 of the courses he has chosen, and he hasn’t found 5 courses he’d like to take instead. After being so careful for 2 years, we understand his concern. Hubby has also been summoned back to the office before the end of the month. With the mask mandates lifted and close quarters, he’s nervous too.
At the beginning of covid, we were suddenly thrust into living in close quarters. With Hubby taking over the dining room (which is also part of our living room), the main floor felt “off limits” during working hours. I had to tip-toe around the kitchen, and find things to do upstairs. Converting Youngest Son’s bedroom into my office/craft room was a great project. It also forced me to purge craft supplies, although I think there still a half ton of paper and stamps that could safely go.
I understand the importance of getting back to “normal” but this alternate lifestyle has become “normal”. At the beginning, it was like a new marriage as we rubbed against each other like two pieces of sandpaper, but once the hard work of adjusting was over, it wasn’t so bad. I will actually miss it.
After more than 2 years, I’ve grown accustomed to our routines. I like it when Hubby randomly “pops in” to say “hi”. I like having someone else around to answer questions, fill the bird feeder, and deal with spiders. Every time he yelled “Honey I’m home” from 12 feet away, I smiled. We ate on time. We had time for walks and quick kisses (& minecraft). I’m not sure my office will be used as much because being upstairs alone will feel, well, lonely. It will be another adjustment. When Youngest Son heads to university, it will be another adjustment. And when Hubby retires (if he ever can), it will be yet another adjustment. I guess it’s true – the only thing that stays the same is that nothing stays the same.
Dear Diary – You should always listen to your wife. After all the MRIs and other tests conducted on Hubby since his bizarre sleepwalking accident early in March, it was the CT scan done on his head the night of his accident that actually gives the clue as to why he continues to suffer with a nasty burning sensation in his forearms. That night, I called an ambulance. That night, the EMS asked Hubby if he wanted to go the hospital. He wasn’t sure. I said yes.
Sure, it’s very likely that tests would have led to this discovery, but it might have taken longer. I’m taking credit for this. Always. listen. to. your. wife. 😉
Dear Diary – Am I allowed to do some self-promotion?
I am, by no means, a gifted singer. I am not, nor have I been, nor shall I ever be the “cool kid”. But I was given the opportunity to work with some amazing musicians and technical folks at my church, and our music video has been posted publicly… so no one can really complain if I share it here. The song I led starts around 6 minutes, but I think you should check out the whole thing!
I felt awkward at the time. I feel awkward now. But it was never about looking “hot” or sounding “groovy”. It was about worship. I’ve heard there are plans in the works to record more, and I’m excited!
Dear Diary – I learned a new word, and with covid restrictions lifting and people leaving their houses again, it’s an action I’ll have to employ again. Actually, once Hubby goes back to work, I need to do a serious Spring cleaning!
Scurryfunge: A hasty tidying of the house when a last minute guest is coming to visit, as in: “I scurryfunge every time my mother-in-law announces she’s popping round”.
There’s nothing quite like getting together with a fun group of ladies for some crafting and chatting to help you relax. Add tea, and it’s a perfect morning.
I recently shared a cup of Pukka’s “Relax”with a friend at a Ladies’ Craft ‘n Chat.
Relax is an organic, herbal infusion made with ethically sourced ingredients. Chamomile is one of the top 5 best teas for anxiety and stress. Relax also contains Sweet fennel seeds, licorice root, oat flowering tops, cardamom pods, ginger root, and marshmallow root. Pregnant and nursing women, and people with heart disease or high blood pressure should avoid licorice root completely. Everyone else should consume it in small quantities.
Marshmallow root was a new ingredient for us, but has been used for centuries to treat infections and improve digestion. It’s a hebal remedy with natural mucilage, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. Mmmm…mucilage. Mucilage is the sap-like component in the plant that behaves like a soft fiber; it swells up when combined with wate to create a helpful coating, particular for mucous membranes. THe root, leaves and flowers of the marshmallow plant are all edible, and yes, marshmallow root can be used to make marshmallows. The good kind you eat around the campfire.
My friend and I agreed that this tea had a strong grassy note from the chamomile, a subtle licorice flavour, a bit of heat as if it contained ginger (which it does not), and overall a pleasant sweetness. It was a deeper golden colour than fennel tea, and was best consumed hot. Would either of us run out to buy some? Probably not. But if you like the flavours listed above and are looking for an ethically sourced, caffeine free tea for those tense times (or to slip into sleepiness), this might just be your cup of tea.
Dear Diary – Something to ponder… Is 13 “bad luck” or does it become “bad luck” because a person is looking/waiting for something bad to happen? I don’t believe in luck. If I did, I’d have a lot of it…but not the good kind.
Murphy’s Law is another head-scratcher. Is it an active natural phenomenon or a self-fulfilling prophecy? I don’t know. It just seems after nearly a half century, in my life, if it can go wrong, it will.
I’m not sure what’s rising faster these days…our blood pressure, gas prices, or covid numbers. My guess is all 3! By now, everyone has heard how tempers flared at the Oscars and dissertations related to race, gender, and wealth are flooding the internet. We need to talk about these things because talking is the first step toward change. But there are a lot of ugly things happening everywhere in the world, and we need to talk about them too.
Gas prices are going up and down like the rodent in Whack-a-Mole. It’s hard to know where it’s going to be when you’re looking for it. It may be time to start planning an alternate route to my parents. If it’s 225 km and takes 2.5 hours by car, how long do you think it will be by canoe and portage?
We’re 11 days into covid restrictions being lifted here and I still haven’t ventured far from home. But I found it interesting that in the few places I have been in, most people still prefer to wear a mask. I was concerned that there would horror stories of harassment directed at those wearing masks. As numbers continue to climb, I will continue to wear a mask and exercise caution. But I’m hopeful that we can respect each others’ decisions and allow healing to take place.
In other news, the weather is just as topsy-turvy as the rest of the world. Last Thursday evening, as I walked to my car, I heard robins chuckling in the neighbourhood again. It even smelled like Spring. Not to be forgotten, winter graced us with snow and the roads were covered in ice on my very early morning commute to church Sunday morning. This week we also experienced rain, high winds, frigid temperatures, and sunny skies. Today, March is leaving like a lion, a wet roaring lion.
Elsewhere in the animal kingdom, winter’s grip is loosening and thoughts are turning to Spring. Despite the snow, when I got home from church, my backyard was filled with a cacophony of bird song. I’m noticing the squirrels playing tag in the trees. You know what that means…(brown chicken, brown cow)
While the squirrels are busy chasing their tails, I’ve been chasing my dream to open an etsy store, and it hasn’t been an easy course. Last week, my brand new sewing maching wasn’t working. It was just another discouraging turn of events since the calendar changed from December to January.
This week, I ran away from home. With Hubby’s blessing. LOL I’m not sure when he married me that he understood “in sickness and health” meant spending his life with a crazy person who does weird things.
Life is all about finding people who are your kind of crazy.
I took my sewing machine back to the lovely store from whence it came (a 3 hour drive) , and lo! And behold! There is nothing wrong with the machine. It was the user the whole time!
The technician was a sweet, young thing who was more than happy to walk this old gal through the knobs and dials so I can sew fancy stitches and troubleshoot issues.
Because it’s me. And there will be issues. Some of them will be the machine’s issues.
I’m heading back to the city today. There are still a lot of appointments to make and attend. I tried to book a mammogram yesterday, only to get stuck in an endless loop of the clinic’s main message. Hubby’s second MRI is tomorrow. He survived Monday’s appointment without me. His chest hair is growing back. And while it’s completely plausible that more craziness will ensue and I will have more anxiety attacks, I’m feeling like my head is more tightly screwed on to my shoulders. Jesus is my Rock and foundation and I just have to keep standing on Him. One day at a time…
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
I’m thrilled to introduce my third guest “What’s in my Cup” from my sassy friend, Nicole. Nicole has a great sense of humour, a big heart, and a boisterous laugh! She is an amazing singer, a great guitar player, and super cool aunt!! For years, Nicole and her sister have led rowdy opening and closing sessions at Vacation Bible Camp, with silly songs and skits. I have been in some of those skits and I definitely had more fun than the kids! We share many of the same passions, including music, worship, and tea!
(Are you excited? Because I’m excited!!)
I’m not a coffee drinker and have always been jealous of the look coffee drinkers have on their face while they drink their first cup in the morning. I didn’t think tea could be a substitute, but I was so wrong!
There are so many different teas that I love but my go to is a concentrate Tazo Chai Tea. It might be cheating, in a way, compared to steeping, just adding milk and heating, but it’s quick to make on those early mornings before work or worship practice (isn’t the weekend for sleeping in?). It gives me something to look forward to getting up in the morning, especially since I’m not a morning person!
After a long day of work, I will sit in my favourite spot on the couch, curl up and have my cup of tea and feel the stress of the day leave me. It has become almost ritualistic!
Sharing a cup of tea with my mom while visiting makes me feel like a real grown up! At almost 51, maybe one day I actually will become one!!
The cup is as important as well! A tiny tea cup will not do! I love a large cup of tea, one that might mean I’m sipping it over a couple of hours (I’m not afraid of it cooling off a bit). My favourite is one I made myself, matching one my sister made as well.
My cup of tea is a comfort to sip on a cold afternoon. It’s awesome cold in the summer! It somehow makes me feel better when needed. Life is just better with any tea really!
Dear Diary – After a few confused texts back and forth, I finally got the whole story from Eldest Son. Last Friday, he met his girlfriend at McDonald’s. Their date was interrupted by a kid asking for a ride, which turned out to be close by. This kid had bussed to from one city to another, taken the train to another city, ubered to yet another city, took another bus to a neighbouring city and was now lost. He had been travelling for hours. He was trying to deliver a surprise birthday cake to his Mom. Awwwww, right?
Dear Diary – Remember when I said someone would “let me know I’m selfish and have no right to feel this way”? No time was wasted! We’re no longer in lockdown, but emotionally, we are. It’s been a tough haul. For everyone. We can’t really compare our experiences because we really don’t know what goes on behind locked doors and anxious minds.
At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a sense of “we’re in this together”. We sent virtual hugs and posted silly memes about t.p. We posted “we love you” signs for our healthcare workers, who deserve our admiration and respect. They still do! But in 2 short years, we changed. We walk around with invisible knives in our hands, ready to attack on anyone and everyone who disagrees with us. We are easily offended and quick to judge. We kill with words instead of kindness. We make no apologies.
It simply should not be.
In the end, we are all responsible for our words and actions. Sometimes I offend; it’s not usually intentional. Lately, honestly, I’m barely holding it together. That’s my story, and if that’s my story, what is the story of the “rude lady” in the grocery store, or that friend who constantly posts selfies. I can jump to conclusions, or ask questions, or just extend grace. I’d rather choose to be kind.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Dear Diary – There was an error at the MRI scheduling office, and after a few phone calls and since I was on the cancellation list, God blessed me with an appointment for Monday evening. I would receive a confirmation email shortly but then we rolled into the weekend and I received nothing, nada, zip, zilch! I was also asked to create an account with the hospital’s system, but I was refused because I didn’t have an appointment. So I set my alarm clock and slept with the phone Sunday night so I could start making calls in the morning. Before 9 a.m. I was all set!
I showered and shaved, removed all my jewelry, tied my hair with the elastic from my broccoli, and anxiously watched the hours tick away on the clock.
It was pushed back but I got the message in lots of time. It was only an extra 20 minutes to watch – tick tock!
Hubby and I had driven over to the new hospital on Sunday afternoon to get the lay of the land. We were early so we drove around the perimeter several times before Hubby dropped me off at the main entrance, where they said to go. He drove away to park and I…I was in trouble. The door was locked! There was no security guard, no button to push for assistance. No sign! (it was posted “locked” on every other door except Emergency and this one). I could even see the receptionist in her brightly lit room in patient registration at the end of the corridor, where I was supposed to be in 3 minutes!
The irony of going for an MRI on a very sore, swollen ankle, only to have to hobble-jog (incredibly inelegantly I might add) from the Main Entrance (#2) to the Emergency entrance (#1). It was cold and windy, and felt even farther than it looks on the map.
By the time I got there, I was freaking out and not really making much sense, but the very calm nurse understood and pointed the way. She must speak panic fluently. I hustled to the patient registration desk…right beside the main entrance, where meltdown #2 started (or maybe it was just #1 still in progress). On the plus side, by the time I got checked in and appeared in the MRI department, I didn’t have any time to wait and worry!
I was only in just to above my waist and there were pictures of clouds on the ceiling, so I traced the clouds with my eyes while I sang songs in my head and concentrated very hard on NOT MOVING so I wouldn’t have to go through this again!
I was told I could leave out the main entrance so I texted Hubby to meet me…but the doors wouldn’t open. I saw other people leave ahead of me, but there were no signs to tell me what to do. I was so frustrated, meltdown #3 started to surface! I couldn’t imagine hobbling back to Emerg with my now very aggravated foot. I pushed the button. I waved at the other button. I rattled the door handles like a prisoner in a western movie. I texted Hubby, who by then, was watching helplessly from the car.
I started gimping to patient registration to ask if there was a trick, only to see the lady I had just been talking to about the doors, walk through the doors into the cool night air. I stood there, mouth agape, wondering how she did it, and why she didn’t call out to me.
Then, 3 men came along. I called out, “the doors are locked and I don’t know how to get out”. The first guy tried the same procedure as me, but then…it opened. The trick: You have to push one button then wave at another, and not be invisible like me!
We picked up ice cream sundaes at McDonald’s. God got me there in one piece, and during the test, gave me peace . Thanks for the prayers. I needed them!
Dear Diary – Hubby’s MRI went seamlessly last Friday. This week he had to wear a heart monitor. He came home with his chest mowed in places for the monitor pads, and well wired. Now he’s terribly itchy and I’m calling him my cyborg. We had a good laugh, that if he isn’t careful, he’s going to end up like Kramer.
The heart monitor comes off today and he has another test on Monday. Hubby also got a call this morning. He has to go back for an MRI next Friday at the hospital I just visited. I can tell him exactly where to go. At the hospital. 😉
Dear Diary – I bought a new sewing machine last week when I was at my folks.
I set it up this week.
The dog feed, which helps move the fabric, doesn’t work.
I have to take it back to the store, a 3 hour drive one-way, or find a licensed technician, and there are none locally.
I sat down and sobbed like it was the end of the world.
Normally, it wouldn’t feel like the end of the world. Irritating, yes, but not cataclysmic. And I would jump at the chance to visit my folks. But there’s such a long list of commitments, appointments, and to-dos, and I feel like I’m losing my marbles. I keep setting stuff aside, some of it things that make me happy. There’s stuff I’m simply not physically able to do. I’m starting to cringe when the phone rings or a text comes in. Is it good news or bad? Even some good things feel mountainous. Even strong people have breaking points. I feel guilty for not being stronger, which I know is ridiculous, but it’s there in the background. My chest hurts; my heart pounds. I’m tired but can’t sleep well. My irritable bowel is grumpy. I feel like I’m wading through mud and just sinking farther.
Yesterday, I received a jury duty notice.
I called my doctor. She’s on vacation. No, she can’t get me out of it. She can’t even get me in her office for at least a week. But we can start to figure this out.
I know I’m not alone. A lot of people struggle with anxiety, depression, and all kinds of other horrible, horrible things. It’s heartbreaking. I would never diminish their suffering. This is just my story right now. I greatly appreciate the prayer support and the virtual hugs. Why did we stop sending them?
Hot drinks, hot sandwiches, and sticky timbits! This morning, a friend showed my family some sugar by ubering us breakfast. It was unexpected and so overwhelming….in a good way. I laughed (and I cried).
And I laughed again. He knows my weakness for Tim Horton’s steeped tea, black.
T H A N K Y O U!
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Keep walking…
I know, I know…scones are the quintessential tea time treat. But if you think about it, cake is often the third course in a traditional British afternoon tea, after savoury finger sandwiches, and scones. So it isn’t unrealistic to serve cake with tea. I mean, who doesn’t like cake any time of the day?
An upside down cake is baked “upside-down” in a single pan, with the toppings arranged on the bottom so that it can be removed from the pan by flipping it over to display the fruit. As the fruit cooks with sugar, it’s juices becomes a syrup which glazes and caramelizes the top. In this recipe, the first step is to make a basic caramel to drizzle on the bottom of the pan before arranging the pears. Thinly slicing the pears was probably the hardest part of the entire recipe.
Upside-down cakes were once referred to as skillet cakes because they were made in cast iron skillets on the stovetops. The most commonly baked upside down cake is pineapple, garnished with marashino cherries.
This Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake was sweet but the tartness of the pear and the warmth from the cinnamon and ginger provided relief from the sweetness. It was a denser cake, like a coffee cake, so it paired beautifully with a cup of black tea.
The more you weigh, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe. Eat cake.
Dear Diary – My mother’s winter coat is molting. The squirrels also seem to be getting frisky. Does that mean Spring is on its way?
Dear Diary – I like surprises, especially when they’re pleasant and I don’t know they’re coming. I’m not very patient.
I didn’t see Monday’s surprise coming but it was no pleasure. I finally saw my rheumatologist who confirmed that my ankle was not fractured. Considering I had the xray at the beginning of February, that was a relief. He still wants me to get an MRI done, which I’ve been waiting on since the beginning of February and has now been scheduled for the end of April. Unless they put me in feet first and only halfway, this may be a huge problem for me. I’m claustraphobic and my first experience was extremely unpleasant too. (I was given happy pills for the second one and all I remember is thinking how ridiculous it was that I was singing along to the sounds the machine was making. Those pills were supposed to wear off in hours, but 12 hours later I was still happy, happy, happy!)
The next thing I know, he’s talking about possible changes to my medication, which would have rather serious pitfalls, including self-injections. Uh…no thanks!?! And finally, surprise! He’s going to give me a cortisone shot.
“Lie down on the table and make yourself comfortable,” he says, as he’s fixing a giant needle in his hand.
I knew it would hurt, having had a cortisone shot in my shoulder less than a year ago. But I was unprepared for this. First, he poked around the spot on my ankle that made me yell when he was being gentle before stabbing me with a giant needle. Time slowed to a crawl as he pondered the meaning of life while slowly injected me with the clear, burning jelly. Finally, he slapped a bandaid on my ankle and said, “sorry,” but not like he meant it. The sadistic melonhead didn’t even get the bandaid on right, so I bled all over my pink socks. I could feel the blood drain from my face as I pulled on my sock and shoe and hobbled from the tiny torture chamber. I knew I had yelled but having nearly lost consciousness, I wasn’t sure how much or how loud. I’m not even sure if I spoke actual words or just a series of primeval animalistic sounds. But the waiting room was completely empty when I got out. I think every victim patient heard my dying scream and fled for their lives. I may have saved someone the same fate and that brings me comfort.
On the plus side, I only had to make it to the car, which was parked at the far end of the lot, and through only one lake-sized puddle. I prayed the gaping hole in my ankle wouldn’t become infected and I’d develop gangrene. Last time I had a cortisone shot, I had to practice shallow breathing while I visited the pharmacy next door to replace the serum for his next victim patient before I could go to the car and lick my wounds. I’m not sure I would have made it to the pharmacy. I probably would have just laid down on the bricks and let the neighbourhood cats eats my body.
I texted Hubby, replacing a few choice words with asterisks between panting breaths. I was freezing cold and yet miraculously sweating through my winter coat. Hubby texted back sad faces and kissy faces. What else could he do? They made me smile.
The drive home was punctuated with gasps and moans as I squeezed the steering wheel and concentrated on the road in front of me. I was thankful now that I had scooted around the house all weekend, packing to run away from home. Youngest Son had to pack the car alone as I sat on the stairs and felt sorry for myself. I washed my sock before I left – the pink ones are among my favourites, and started the long drive “home” to Mama for some TLC.
Dear Diary – I am not in a happy place. Lately it feels like the universe is conspiring against me. I did “escape” to my parents, but I have to go home early. I’m needed. While it’s a nice feeling to be needed, more and more I wonder, what about what I need? If I’m everyone’s mommy, who is going to take care of me?
On top of multiple health issues amongst various family members, little things are piling up:
The rheotstat on my best oven burner is unreliable.
So is our one toilet.
My sewing machine is broken.
I’m not allowed to have a damn cat.
Certainly compared to world events, my small world disasters are very small.
Lately it feels like the things I need or want (and yes, I can logically separate the two), are delayed or denied. I made the mistake of posting my frustrations on Facebook regarding a delay, only to be snarked at by one person because others are suffering more. As if I lacked compassion for those others. As if I’m selfish, and not allowed to hurt too.
A few good night’s sleep would solve a lot of woes, but I don’t get to sleep in because I’m “needed”. I realize there are people who wish they were in my position, and no doubt, one of them will let me know I’m selfish and have no right to feel this way! 😉
I am convinced that there is a sensor in my butt that alerts my husband and any kids in the house of the exact moment I sit down.
Dear Diary – My friend, Plain and Fancy Girl, Marian, shared a hilarious story this week! It reminded me of the times my cell phone number was posted in ads for “masseuses”. Sure, it would have been an interesting career move and I certainly would have met meany colourful people, but it’s also up there on the Creep-o-meter!
Friday evening, Youngest Son brought home a treat to share with me: Bubble Tea. I tried Bubble Tea once before and I wasn’t a fan, but I was willing to try it again.
Bubble tea is a tea-based drink mixed with fruit, milk or flavoured syrup, and chewy chewy tapioca balls, known as bubbles, pearls or boba). It was invented in Taiwan in the 1980’s.
This particular bubble tea flavour was called London Fog and it’s believed to have been created in Vancouver, Canada! It is Earl Grey tea with vanilla, and frothed or steamed milk, which is the “fog”. Earl Grey tea has a highly floral aromatic from the oil of bergamot, and the addition of milk or cream made it smooth and very creamy. I really liked the addition of vanilla as it balanced out the strong floral notes.
Tapioca is starchy substance in the form of hard white grains, obtained from cassava, the tuberous root of a tropical tree. In this drink, the tapioca balls were small and a dark blue or purple, and strangely, tasted like blueberries. They were tasty, but I couldn’t get past the smooth balls and chewy texture. Not even to swallow them whole.
Still, I appreciated Youngest Son’s thoughfulness and I enjoyed sharing tea with him.
It feels like an honour to share a cup of tea with other people. It feels like an act of grace.
Dear Diary – Time flies whether you’re wasting it or not. Personally I think it’s more fun when you’re wasting it, but who has time to waste? We’ve finally hit the “double digits” – it’s week 10 of 2022. In some cultures, that heralds the start of a new cycle. Based on the past 9 weeks, I’m both elated to start something new and terrified at what new might bring.
March started less like the adage “In like a lion” and more like an angry, headbutting ram. It came with a bang! Literally because Hubby face-planted sleepwalking. While he continues to struggle in the aftermath, the good news is he was scheduled for an MRI in less than 2 weeks. I’ve been waiting for an MRI since the beginning of February. However, I can now move around the house without squeaking and chuffing like a badly oiled machine. That’s progress.
Delight in the little things.
This week I delighted in peach cobbler smothered in fresh whipped cream. I’ve decided that if my clothes are going to keep shrinking in my closet, I might as enjoy the slide downhill from time to time. I also tried my hand at homemade gnocchi. Those potato pasta pillows weren’t pretty, but they tasted pretty awesome!
On Friday evening, I was Youngest Son’s taxi to youth. I forgot how hard it is to kill two hours alone on a Friday night in a small town. I ventured to a shopping plaza to peruse clothes at Reitman’s in a desperate attempt to look like a worship leader who has it all together. They closed at 6. I consoled myself with Tim Horton’s tea and a chocolate bar, and sat in the cold car taking weird photos with my phone.
Delight. Little things.
I’d love to report that I pulled off the “I have it all together” look on Sunday. I not only didn’t look the part, I didn’t feel the part. After a rough rehearsal on Thursday evening and a rough rehearsal on Sunday morning, my nerves were stretched thin. I felt sick to my stomach and I had trouble concentrating on the music before me. Sure enough, self-fulfilling prophecy, I screwed up. I missed a cue (which is one of the reason I don’t like singing to tracks) and panicked. Most people probably didn’t notice, and it actually didn’t sound too bad when I listened to it later. We sang the chorus three times before I found where we supposed to be so I can end the loop. I know I need to stop obsessing about it and just let it go….
Farting is like the song Frozen. Work: “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know…” Home: “Let it go! Let it go! Can’t hold it back anymore…”
Dear Diary – I picked up my new glasses this week but the jury is still out on whether I like them or not. Don’t get me wrong! It’s wonderful to be able to see the stitches I’m ripping out, and to see the countdown on the pedestrian walk sign so I know I’m not going to make it! I mostly bought new frames because I lost my clip-on sunglasses two years ago and I was tired of squinting like Mr. Magoo every where I went. I was limited to 3 options. Door #1 was really ugly. Door #2, the 80’s called and wanted their glasses back. So I had to choose Door #3. What do you think?
Dear Diary – I napped Sunday afternoon. It was a horrible waste of time that just felt so good.
Dear Nap, I’m sorry I was a jerk to you when I was a kid!
Dear Diary – When I started sewing, I didn’t realize I would have to become a mechanic. I was finally making progress on 2 bags with an adorable gecko print, when the machine decided to stick. With my usual mechanic a 2 hour drive away, aka Dad, I had to roll up my sleeves and get dirty.
First, I pulled out the ancient maintenance book and the busted box of accoutrements to look for brushes that Mom had mentioned awhile ago. I found an odd assortment of plastic dials, sewing needles, metal bits, pine needles, sunflower seeds, and mouse poop, but no brushes. So I grabbed the closest thing I could think of – an eye shadow brush and a pair of tweezers. Now I have a container of machine parts, a wad of fluff the size of a cotton ball, oily fingers, and no idea how I got the machine working again.
I’m leaving it apart for now so I can oil it…once I figure out where to buy sewing machine oil.
Oh! And I plan to replace the busted box. Ew!
Dear Diary – Today I get to wear a paper dress and get groped. It may be the most “action” I get for awhile.
Dear Diary – This year the break in March Break is referring more to what’s happening to my grip on reality, rather than a change of scenery. My sore foot, Hubby’s accident, family drama, and all the extras and bunches of little things that normally would just be mildly annoying or inconvenient, feel like a conspiracy to push me over the edge. I mean, I’ve been hanging over it for years, one hand holding on, like an extreme sportsperson tempting fate. It’s just a matter of time. Our passports expired. I was printing passport applications and it refused to give me the last 3 pages. I have to renew Youngest Son’s from scratch because he’s now over 16. Then the printer is rejecting the brand new toner cartridge because HP “no longer supports” it. I am not a good enough writer to make this stuff up.
Now the toilet is refusing to budge, and we only have one…
It’s hardly my first foray into the forest so I know that there are clearings somewhere, with sunlight streaming in where I can rest before the next stretch of the journey. I’m holding on to Psalm 84:
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
The other day I started singing an old song, one I used to belt out in the car with Eldest Son in the backseat: King of the Jungle.
What I feel Is telling me I’m going crazy But what is real says God’s still on His throne What I need Is to remember one thing: That the Lord of the gentle breeze is Lord of the rough and tumble And He is the King of the jungle
Steven Curtis Chapman
Some days feel like I’m wading slowly through the undergrowth of a jungle, without a machete (which is a good thing because I’d be tempted to use it). Sweaty and sopping wet, without a clue which way to go. I may end up in an asylum weaving baskets yet, but until then, I’m going to keep singing and dancing, and tripping and getting back up again. Not because I don’t have a choice, but because I do. Sing it with me!