Of tea and wildfires

Waldo Canyon Fire - Wikipedia
Waldo Canyon fire in which my sister lost her home.

Years ago, I packed up most of my tea things because Colorado is constantly under threat by one wild fire or another. I envisioned myself tossing (carefully) my precious tea accoutrements into my vehicle and skedaddling at the slightest whiff of smoke. They are still packed up.

It has been nine years since the first threatening fire in our area, Waldo Canyon fire in which my sister lost her home, yet my beautiful tea things are still in protective custody. I find this interesting since the last fire threat happened right in our neighborhood last year. My tea things were the last thing on my mind.

One of my goals this year is to unpack, and enjoy, my tea things. I bought many beautiful tea items because I fancied opening up a tea room in my home. Due unforeseen, and uncontrollable circumstances, that did not happen. However, I still have most of what I need to have a really great tea party. Hmmm perhaps I will end up ‘brewing’ up some tea fun in 2021? Who knows?

In the meantime however, life needs to be enjoyed much more than it is being currently which is why I have decided to unpack those tea items this year. As i unpack, I will photograph the process and explain how to ‘revive’ fine china. In Colorado’s dry climate, porcelain can dry out and end up brittle and crumbling. It is a good idea to immerse your china in warm water from time-to-time to keep it, ‘alive’ and fresh. This strengthens it, as long as it is not soaked forever and a day, and keeps it viable for generations to come. We will see how they have held up, if at all, being inside plastic tubs for 9 years. All my china needs a good cleaning. What a great project to share with you.

Royal Albert Rose Confetti cup and saucer from Wayfair


Who said that?

Photo by @natinati on Unsplash

I am a tea enthusiast. Every so often I see a tea quote attributed to the wrong person. yes, that person said what they said, but someone else said it first. I don’t know it is a generational thing as in each generation needs someone from their time-frame to be connected to a quote or if people are genuinely unaware that at this late stage in the game, there are few, if any, insights left that can be considered truly original. Here are some examples:

“Bread and water can easily be turned into toast and tea.” Has been attributed to; Alexandra Stoddard, or Janet Clarkson when in fact it is from this poem from 1903…

“While I’ve no gold,” he whispered,
      “Love’s riches shall be thine,
Though we, in a modest cottage,
      On bread and water dine.”
“With love’s warm flame to serve us,
      At slight expense,” said she,
We can make of bread and water
      Sweet feasts of toast and tea.

~The Tattler in Town Topics, reprinted in The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1903 April 20th (But I am sure someone else said it prior to this but I cannot recall who at this time.)

The next is, “A woman is like a tea bag, she never knows how strong she is until she is put into hot water.” This quote is often attributed to Nancy Reagan but Eleanor Roosevelt said it first.

Some people may think it does not matter where a quote comes from but I do. To me it is allowing another part of the past to be forgotten and too much of that happens already.

How about you? Do you have a favorite tea, tea quote, tea ritual you enjoy? It is such an easy hobby to enjoy.


January is National Hot Tea Month

Emilie Barns’ book: If Teacups Could Talk; Sharing a Cup of Kindness with Treasured Friends. Behind Emilie’s book is one I also love that she did not write. It is filled with recipes and crafts for Christmas.

To celebrate, national Hot Tea Month, I am featuring this book by Tea Exemplar, Emilie Barns who sadly passed away in 2016 at the age of 78.

In this book, Mrs. Barnes includes, recipes, teatime stories and inspiration. I highly recommend it for your tea loving friend or traditional housewife.

I had the great opportunity to work in two tea establishments almost 20 years ago. One was a tea room and the other a tea shop. Both were in the historic district in my city. They filled that spot inside of a woman that needs to create and make things pretty, and tasty. In the tea shop we carried many of, Mrs. Barnes’ books on teatime. I purchased a few and have treasured them ever since.

During that time, I learned all I could about tea and eventually wrote about it for an emagazine site. I love tea. Everything about it makes me happy. Truly, the 1980’s and 1990’s were a great time of revival for this lost art. People are so coffee obsessed these days, running around buzzed up from caffeine that tea is often over looked. Tea is so gentle, so genteel. It is refined in ways coffee will never be. Perhaps that is why it still has not caught on in America as much as coffee despite the best efforts of many tea lovers.

Emilie Barnes did not only write about tea. A devout Christian wife, and mother; she also wrote devotional books, books on home making, organization & decluttering, and decorating one’s home.

There is a current trend right now that I hope grows and grows… it its that of women going back to the roles of the traditional wife. Emilie Barnes was traditional when traditional was not ‘cool’. She was traditional when women were beginning to be pressured to go into the workplace. She was writing about home management when women were getting into corporate management. When women were being convinced they needed to be competitive with other women, she was writing about making friends over a cup of tea and some scones.

Emilie Barnes wanted to change things for the better. She wrote over 30 books on topics she wanted to read and that she thought other women needed to know about as homemaking became out of fashion to the world.

Today, right now, I am baking two loaves of banana nut bread with chocolate chips inside. I will make lunch while the loaves cook, and later, at about 4 p.m. (traditional teatime) I will be toasting Mrs. Barnes with a cuppa and a slice of banana bread.

Happy National Hot Tea Month. If you have a favorite teatime story, I would love to hear it.


Let’s talk about supplements & insulin glucose sensativity

three chocolate-coated donuts with sprinkles
Photo by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash

America is such a prosperous nation that we can afford to eat for entertainment. Not because we are hungry. Not to fuel a workout or to recover from a workout but just because it is fun, or we are celebrating something, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat. I especially love to eat junk food. Make no mistake, most of the foods I, and millions of other Americans love to eat, IS junk.

This is one of the reasons why it is so hard for us to eat plan, good whole, natural food and to drink plain water.

Our taste buds have been indoctrinated with something called, ‘the bliss point’. Food that is hyper tasty is the best and briefest explanation I can give. Many of the same people who would never put a GMO food into their mouth, or do illegal drugs, willingly eat preserved and fast food which in many cases is just as addictive, if not more, as certain drugs.

The bad food goes into our bodies and produces undesired affects such as inflammation and insulin glucose insensitivity (insulin resistance). Insulin resistance causes obesity. Your body floods with too much insulin until it has no where to go but into your fat cells. Increasing insulin sensitivity can reduce the amount of fat you carry on your body.

Before I go too much farther I need to write this disclaimer; please talk to your doctor before taking nay supplements listed here. I cannot diagnose or recommend anything to you. All I can do i make you aware of what is out there. The rest is up to you.

Let me be honest with you now… my husband is a Type 2 diabetic. I have watched him go through hell with this disease and I have gone through it with him. He is not just dealing with diabetes but all of the other ugly issues that go hand-in-hand with this insidious disease.

I realize that Covid-19 is no joke and I grieve with those who have suffered through it and who have lost loved ones to it. The amount of media given over to this disease has been incredible. I have to wonder the impact to obesity levels in America if there was as much time and treasure devoted to educating people about food related illness as we have on Covid-19?

Every night at dinner-time, ads start playing on t.v. to entice people to buy food and have it delivered to their homes. Not healthy food, of course, but highly processed garbage.

Can you imagine how different food commercials would be if food companies had to do disclaimers in their commercials like drug companies do?

Why do agencies such as; American Diabetes Association, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and American Heart Association just to name a few, actually used their money and influence to pass laws to reveal the dangers of junk food during commercials?

Standing Ovation Cma Awards GIF by The 52nd Annual CMA Awards - Find &  Share on GIPHY
A standing ovation for my brilliant idea. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Two major factors in creating insulin insensitivity are; inflammation, and ingesting too much glucose for your body to ingest. Glucose is the sugar found in carbohydrates. While i have been a proponent of high fat low carb diets, you CAN eat carbs in moderation and it depends on the type of carb. However, most people with insulin issues are also addicted to carbs/sugar and moderation and portion control are foreign concepts to many people suffering from food related illness. If they could control their carb intake they would not be sick and fat.

My first recommendation would be to investigate the low carb diets that are out there and pick one that works for you.

Next, I am listing the various supplements down below. There are 12. I am not going to go into a great amount of detail with them… or any detail really because you must do your own research. This is YOUR body. Learn about it. It is fascinating!

  1. Green Tea Extract or GTE. I use Nature’s Bounty. The name on the label is; Green Coffee Bean. It contains; green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, and raspberry ketones.
  2. Chromium & polyphenols from cinnamon. A liquid extract is recommended. I do not use a liquid extract. I use a cinnamon/chromium combo and it is amazing.
  3. N-3 essential fatty acids. (Basically, fish oils) I take a supplement but I also am one of those people who actually like sardines. I will make a lettuce salad, drizzle the oil from the sardine can all over the leaves of lettuce then scrape out the sardine flesh on to the salad. I finish it off with some persimmon vinegar and I have a tasty meal. I also put those tiny black caviar on my cottage cheese. Don’t throe up on your keyboard. It’s actually pretty good.
  4. DHEA- it is recommended that it be taken at bedtime.
  5. Vitamin D. Most people are deficient. Do your research.
  6. Magnesium. a doctor gave me a recipe for taking magnesium; take a 2 liter bottle of seltzer water, add 3tablespoons of unflavored milk of magnesia to the seltzer water (be careful it fizzes!) you made add natural flavorings or natural sweetener but since we are trying to reduce glucose levels I don’t recommend using sweetener. Buck up and drink it straight. One 1/2 cup twice per day is what my doctor ordered.
  7. CoQ10
  8. Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
  9. GABA
  10. CLA
  11. Yacon
  12. White bean extract.

I think supplements are great. I even have my own recipes for glucose reducing teas made from herbs. They work great. I was able to use them last year when my glucose levels were out of control. They brought my levels down 30-60 points (tested on my blood glucose monitor) IT IS MY PERSONAL OPINION THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITOR and test their blood every morning and perhaps after meals (1 hour) depending on what they are eating. This is a good idea for people from those who are carrying a bit too much weight to those who are obese. Many people are walking around prediabetic and have no idea about it. Your muscles and bones can only hold so much glucose. When they become overwhelmed the glucose is stored in your fat cells causing you to gain weight. Supplementation & working out, combined with eating foods lower in carbs and eating actual REAL food, have been shown to reduce glucose levels.

Supplements are no substitute for a bad diet. What they CAN do is help carry you forward toward a healthier lifestyle. They can only do so much. YOU Must take responsibility for what you eat and how little or how much exercise you get each day… EACH DAY. Did you get that? Your health is a daily activity that needs your attention EVERYDAY.

Commit to a healthier you BEFORE the New Year comes. You do not need to make a resolution for 2021 before you can get started on your personal journey toward better health. Tomorrow is a great day to begin your transformation.

There are only 14 weeks left in 2020. What are you going to do with them?