Edible Tokens

I'm back from another trip to South Dakota, this time to visit my brand-new nephew. What a sweetie he is! I also spent many fun hours playing dinosaurs with his older brother, who at almost-three is quite fond of imaginative play. Between cuddling the baby and pretending to be a triceratops, I enjoyed cooking for my sister and her family, drinking lots of tea while we stayed indoors, a few small snowfalls, and shooting photos. I hadn't been home in the winter in about seven years, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. 30 in South Dakota actually felt warmer than 30 in Texas! And I'm happy to report that flying continues to get easier with each trip. Sister and I made a few quick shopping trips during the week, including one to a favorite kitchen store that always holds surprises. They were sampling The Tea Spot Vintage Oolong (pictured above) and it was good enough that I brought some home with me. Purchasing tea on my travels has become a bit of a routine, an edible token of my time away, and sometimes my sister and I send each other tea after one of us has traveled somewhere. This tea will happily remind me of my February week up north.


Assisi Journal

Just a note to share that I have an essay in the inaugural issue of Assisi: An Online Journal of Arts and Letters, made live today.
{Photo taken during our busy day in Boston last fall, in an alley behind the Old North Church}



Last Friday, I went to our local shelter after seeing an ad for their pet of the week. I'd been thinking about another dog for quite a while, and our vet said it was a good idea if we could handle it. The pet of the week was adorable and sweet, but quite a bit larger than I was ready for. A brief visit to the small dog section, however, led me to this guy, a six-month-old terrier mix. He came home with us for the weekend and wiggled his way into our hearts. What amazes me is how quickly he became attached to me, following me all over the house, eager to be held and cuddled. A good part of my motivation for bringing him home was to provide more play and companionship for my sweet first dog, Shiloh. And play they do! They also curl up to nap together, sometimes in the same crate. Yesterday was very hard because Sedgewick had many 'accidents' (which is why he's mainly confined to the kitchen until he's better trained and a bit older), but I'm reminding myself of what a sweet dog he is and how it will definitely all be worth it once he is trained. It's already been fun seeing how his personality differs from Shiloh's. I'm finding that I really like having dogs - they're entertaining, good alarm systems, and happy, cheerful little fellows. Even if they can be a lot of work at times! Happy Love Thursday, everyone!


Monastery Tea

I've been meaning to join Kimmie at Art in Red Wagons for Tuesday Tea for quite some time, given how much tea I drink! This weekend we finally visited St. Paraskevi Monastery up near Brenham, Texas. Unfortunately we forgot our camera, or I would share some photos. Their temple was astoundingly beautiful, radiating peace and quiet. My husband and I and two friends from church were the only visitors that day, perhaps owing to the rare chilly weather. The abbess kindly visited with us for quite some time, sharing stories about the founding of her original monastery in Greece and plans for her monastery in Texas. She brewed a delicious pot of Greek mountain tea for us, which I'd never before had. It was lovely! Fortunately, they sell it in their bookstore so I was able to bring some home. The nuns served a delicious meal to us that included some of their homemade feta cheese and wine from the winery that helps press their own grapes. We were blessed to spend a few hours there. At home yesterday, I brewed some of their tea and added honey from St. Tikhon's Monastery in Pennsylvania in my new Charley Harper mug. I am sure this tea will always remind me of a chilly Texas day under the pine trees.