March 1, 2014
March 1, 2014
March 1, 2014
March 1, 2014
“Swedish Berries” from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Co. is one of the best fruit / herbal teas I have found so far.
I noticed my first steep had a deep purplish red tint, and my second steep was blue. The tea had a sweet, full, fruity flavor with notes of leaves. It was without the dryness and bitterness I have found in other fruit infusions.
February 16, 2014
I found Harney & Sons Blueberry Green Tea at Barnes and Noble; their Royal Wedding Tea, released for the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, was also available at Barnes and Noble. Royal Wedding is a blend of vanilla and rosebuds over white tea, and is delicious. The Valentine tea I tried this weekend: it has powerful chocolate notes with a slight liqueur-like finish, reminding me of a decadent chocolate truffle.
I received Octavia Tea Co.’s Vanilla Coconut Black & Red tea for Christmas. It’s in loose-leaf, and I found I needed to add a generous teaspoon for every cup of water. If I add a normal teaspoon, I find the brew weak, and the reedy quality of the red tea is stronger; however with a more generous portion, the taste is pleasant.
At one of my favorite restaurants / stores Taste of Europe I rediscovered an old favorite: Czar Nikolas II in “Renaissance” — this blend has mallow flowers, which is one of my favorite tea blend ingredients. This herb lends a floral, creamy quality to the tea, not unlike that of Harney & Sons Royal Wedding tea. Other wonderful teas I have found with this herb include Novus Sapphire Earl Grey Tea (available at McKinley’s Restaurant / Bakery in Fort Worth) and Cookies n’ Cream Tea (at Weston Gardens in Fort Worth).
February 8, 2014
What is the distinction between transience and impermanence, and the complete vacuousness I see developing around me? The meaninglessness others assign life and act accordingly: and how many would testify they are right, and I am wrong.
For continuing to yearn and exhaust myself in hopes and troubles. Maybe I would be called foolish for my preoccupations, because the minds that have come into being have no preoccupations and seem incapable of extroverted obsession or extremism.
Is this utopian? Why does it fill me with so much despair?
I feel like the shadowed tower is crumbling and the bright, shadowless world is spilling in. What is light, without darkness?
This is unbalanced, and I feel silenced and apportioned off into my grave by arrogant youth (this term seems to have gotten narrower than it used to) who seem to have never known passion or despair, and mock those sentiments.
These statements from the middle of the night. This morning, I noticed it became warm, and the hawks came back to the hawk tree, which is bare and spindly on top. It’s becoming spring, regardless of what anyone believes about anything in society. Is society false, because it is impermanent? It’s a collective dream, full of falsehoods where truths can be skimmed off the top like cream. As a human being, if I cut myself off completely from the zeitgeist, will I be fulfilled?
There are facts, and there are opinions or beliefs. Of what importance is belief? Is a happy life sustainable without belief? Is it a matter of knowing when to hold and when to let go?
I also have awareness of myself as a hermit. The only times when I have been truly happy is when I’ve cut off from society. I enjoy sharing things myself, but I don’t enjoy looking at most other people’s things. I am either unimpressed by the content or depressed by the vacuousness of the content. This does not seem to be a condition limited to this time and place.
Everything I’ve described has happened before, and will happen again. I want to flip this heavy pile off of me.
I have the understanding that my cultural legacy is that of deprivation. I believe I’m sandwiched between two generations of narcissists: they wear wreaths of flowers in their hair and say to each other, over my head, “darling, you are so beautiful.”
The generation older than me looked over me and said, your opinion doesn’t matter. Be silent, and serve my needs.
The generation younger than me says, look at you. You’re so old. Your opinion doesn’t matter. Just disappear.
In me there’s the need to keep shattering the glass coffin they keep shutting me in. And if I write, who am I writing for? If my generation is “dead,” and the “youth” is as toxic to me as my parental generation, I’m just stuffing this message in a bottle and throwing it out to sea, because my messages will have meaning to someone: even though everyone has told me differently.
February 7, 2014
This is our new addition to the family, Mewen. She is twelve years old and is very outspoken and energetic. Already we love her very much, and she seems satisfied with this arrangement.
February 7, 2014
January 15, 2014
A Dodge Dynasty barely missed a small little gray ball of fur. But this wasn’t just another opossum, dead on the highways of east Texas. This was a skilled cat who had spent his entire life as a stray.
He wasn’t, however, a half-dead, half-starved cat who wasn’t even worth a trip to the humane society. This was Stan, a cat who was a skilled hunter and an excellent fighter. This was only one of his many narrow escapes of death and Stan was indeed “a cat with nine lives.”
He lived in the alley of a dank street which had depressed him so much that he wanted another home and was now in the process of finding a new home before he had had an almost collision with the Dynasty.
Anyway back to the story. Stan quickly ran out of the road in order to get away from any more speeding cars. He trotted along the highway until he came to a small house.
He ran two risks if he got too close to it. One of them was being taken in as a pet, and the other one was the owners not liking cats or having dogs. Most dogs he didn’t mind, but there was some of them that sat his hair on end thinking about them.
He decided that this house was empty, and so he found an open window and crawled in.
He was in luck!
The house was totally empty, and so Stan found a room that pleased him and settled down for the night. When he woke up, he was so very hungry, and so he hopped down to the basement to find a mouse for breakfast.
He was in luck once again!
A small family of easy-to-catch dormice were dwelling in the basement, and so he caught one and had a good meal.
While he was eating, he wondered if he should stay in the house, or maybe find another place to stay. This house had an endless supply of dormice, and provided shelter from the rain, but Stan sensed that he should keep moving on.
Trotting along the highway, Stan wondered what he would live in.
He stopped at a pond. He figured that it had probably formed from a heavy rain, but he didn’t mind. It was hard to see how far this highway would go because of the morning fog. Stan didn’t mind this either, because he planned to turn at the next road.
Even though he was at least three feet away from the road, every time a car would pass by, his hair would stand on end.
Finally, he came to a small iron ore road. He decided to see where it would lead.
The morning was comfortably cool. It was fall and so red, brown and yellow leaves were flying everywhere. Stan thought it was a perfectly beautiful scene.
On one side of him was an old barn that looked like a pretty good shelter. It seemed to have been deserted for several years. He decided to check it out.
The field of grass before the barn was damp from the morning mist. Stan checked to see any other signs of life, but the field was perfectly still.
When he got to the barn, a musty smell aroused his senses. The old barn door was slightly open, and so Stan lightly slipped in.
The whole barn was filed with darkness. After walking a few feet, he sensed the presence of another animal. He walked on for a little ways and set his paw on something warm and furry.
Stan let out a yowl!
“What are you,” he exclaimed.
The other animal hissed. “I’m a cat, and I also happen to be the owner of this barn! What are you, and why are you in my barn?”
“I am also a cat, and my name is Stan. I’m sorry about invading your privacy. I was only trying to find a home,” Stan replied.
“Very well, then,” the other cat said more softly. “My name is K.C., which stands for Kitty Cat. I was forgotten on a trip to Rockport that my owners took me on.”
Stan seemed satisfied with this and went on to explain himself. “I used to live in a dark alley, but it depressed me so much that I moved out, and now I am trying to find a home.”
“What a coincidence,” K.C. said. “I am trying to find a home myself. This house is useless for shelter when it rains, and there are no more mice in it. Mind if I join you?”
“Certainly not,” Stan said. “It gets very lonely when you travel alone.”
Stan and K.C. went out of the barn and set off. They traveled further down the dusty iron ore road. Houses passed by, and soon it was lunchtime.
Stan and K.C. had never traveled down this road before. Stan suddenly spoke up. “Do you know how far away Rockport is?”
“Pretty far away,” K.C. said. “My owners live in Huntsville, though.”
Stan knew where Huntsville was. It was not far from where he once lived. “Do you think that maybe we could try to travel to Huntsville?” Stan asked.
“It’s worth a try. I miss my owners, and my mother. Her name is Princess.”
Then, all of a sudden, Stan remembered where his family was. They lived in Huntsville, but the only members left were his mother and brother. “My mother and brother lives in Huntsville, too,” said Stan. “Let’s start tonight.”
So the two cats started off to Huntsville. They found a small pond in which they caught a few fish out of. Then they traveled until they came back to the main road.
They talked the whole way, and Stan liked K.C. more than ever. The two cats traveled down the main highway for an hour or two, nodding sadly at the two opossums that had been run over.
“Where did you used to live?” K.C. asked Stan.
“Well, I used to live in an alley, but I felt that it was time to move on,” he replied.
K.C. and Stan were so engrossed in their conversation that they didn’t notice a small boy sneaked up behind them and grabbed them. The two cats gave out a surprised hiss, but the boy held on to them strongly.
Stan yowled and K.C. hissed, but the boy held fast. Soon, they knew they had lost the fight.
“Mommy!” he screamed. “Daddy! I found two cats!”
He ran to his house and thrust them in the living room. They landed on the sofa next to a couple of displeased male cats.
Then, before they knew what had happened, they were dumped in a cage. Stan and K.C. were furious! Never in there [sic] entire life had they had such rough treatment.
They heard people murmuring in the background. One of the cats came over and sat by them. They found out his name was Puff.
“They’re gonna take ya to the humane society and put ya to sleep,” he said.
“That’s a lie!” K.C. hissed.
Then the people came over and put them and the cage in a car.
“Isn’t it?” Stan and K.C. asked themselves, and they were driven away. The whole way there, they were watching road signs. Finally they saw one to Huntsville.
“Hooray!” they said.
The truck stopped at a gray building, and Stan and K.C. were taken into it.
Once inside, K.C. was put on a table, and Stan stayed inside the cage. Just as they got ready to take her out, she called, “Goodbye, Stan! I’m going back home!”
That was the last he ever saw of her.
He was given food and water but didn’t have much of an appetite.
Where would he go now? He certainly wouldn’t stay in this dump for long.
“What’s the matter?” a familiar female voice asked.
Stan looked up.
“Hi, honey! Good news. We’ll all be taken to a home. One in the country. Me, you and your brother. There will be two other cats there already. At least, that’s what I heard from the lunatic who’s feeding me. So how have you been? Leading a sinful life of female felines and piano bars, I presume?”
“Well, just because Ollie—“
“What about Ollie?” a grouchy voice from behind him asked.
“Ollie! My brother! How long ago—“
“Pipe down, you cats,” a man at the desk said.
“We’re getting out of here first thing tomorrow, so you boys better get some sleep,” Zoom, their mother, told them.
The two cats sighed, and a rustling sound could be heard from the cages.
Before Stan knew it, he was riding in a gray van down a dusty dirt road. Zoom was on one side of him, and Ollie was on the other. They were all in cages.
Stan looked out the window. Trees were on either side of him, and an occasional house would appear.
“ ‘Oh, I’ve got friends in low places,’ ” the man driving sang.
Stan sighed. What a country hick. He hoped his new owners wouldn’t be like that.
They passed by a dry river bed which was full of cattle. It’s a shame it’s not full of fish, Stan thought. They passed by another house, and then ended up at a gate covered in Virginia crawler, a vine easily mistaken for poison ivy.
Of course, Stan had nothing to worry about. Cats didn’t catch poison ivy. Only mice, fish, birds and an occasional roach.
The huge truck pulled into the driveway. A house was in the distance.
They rumbled along, and a creek came into viewing.
I wonder if it has any fish in it, Stan thought.
Then, the man parked the van by the house.
(I don’t know how old I was when I wrote this story, but this is what I looked like.)