How many times can I write about how the week flew by? I hope I can get away with it 52 times a year because that seems to be the case. This week, especially! Today I’m sharing a random assortment of things that have kept me busy lately and answering a couple of questions that have popped up in the comments section.
I’ve had a renewed obsession with tea since reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet last week. I decided to learn how to make iced tea with loose-leaf and oh my goodness, it’s so easy.
I use my 1L Weck Tulip Jar, add 3 scoops (using this spoon) of tea leaves, fill with water, and put it in the fridge overnight. Fix it and forget it. I use the strainer that came with this teacup when I pour it into this insulated tumbler and can get two servings from the Weck jar. My favorite tea so far? The Full Body Reset Green Tea from Plum Deluxe. It took me a few sips to get used to the ginger, but it’s refreshing and delicious. But I currently have Garden Grove Green Tea brewing, so I’ll let you know if it’s a competitor.
The picture above is of a simple assam I purchased on a beach vacation over 3 years ago. I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s been knocking around in my tea cabinet for so long, but I’m using it up now! I’ve also tried this technique with Red Rose teabags and it works just fine. There’s no worry about oversteeping the tea leaves – the flavor holds up when the tea is steeped in cold water, unlike the bitterness that can occur when you’re steeping with boiling water.
In a recent blog post, Anne Bogel at the Modern Mrs. Darcy asked her readers if a book ever inspired them to change their lives. I immediately thought about Jayber Crow — which absolutely changed my life. I think about one of the most vivid scenes of this book nearly every day and it inspired me to entirely rethink my parenting style. I won’t go into the details because I don’t want to take away the shock of the moment, but there’s a scene in which a character is going about her life, slightly annoyed by her child, and then something happens that the mother regrets for the rest of her life. Every time I feel irritated by one of my children, I stop and think about my reaction. It matters. And I have Wendell Berry to think for this profound shift in my life. (And when I went to Amazon to grab the link to Jayber Crow, I saw that it’s currently $1.99 on Kindle!)
Speaking of moderating my annoyance, I can’t seem to do anything with my dining room these days. (That blur is Colton and represents him well!!)
Thanks to Mary’s encouragement, I finally joined the Novel Pairings Patreon community and have been taking their classes for Scholar Patrons. It has been so much fun. My high school English classes were very basic (small town with only an option for an AP class in biology and no other subjects) and I only took the required literature courses in college, so I’m excited to get a little peek into the life of a literature student. Their next read is A Streetcar Named Desire and I finished it earlier this week; believe it or not, the story is all new to me. I haven’t even watched the movie, so I’m very curious about what Chelsey and Sara will say about it.
And on a similar note, I finally took the plunge and got a paid subscription to Sarah Bessey’s Field Notes. She’s going to do a deep dive in theology this fall and I’m interested in what she has to say even though I don’t share all of her beliefs. I’m looking forward to hot cups of tea and reading her posts!
I am very behind on responding to blog comments, but there are two questions I’d like to answer here:
+ I mentioned in my recent Stillness post that I had been planning a trip to Rhinebeck. But I should also say that it was part of a fit of excitement and a trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival is completely out of my reach right now. So no, I am not going to be attending Rhinebeck anytime soon despite aching to go for almost 20 years (I started knitting in 2004). Maybe one day!
+ A couple of people asked for tips for growing milkweed to encourage monarch butterflies. Luckily for me, milkweed is actually a weed in my yard and I don’t do anything special to help it grow. For some reason, we have a LOT of it in our garden area and we just make sure we don’t pull it out of the ground when we’re weeding. By happenstance, it gets watered when we water the garden (which we haven’t done in several weeks thanks to all of this rain) and the soil has been fertilized through the years as we prep the garden, so I’m sure that all helps. But other than that, we don’t do anything special. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!
And that’s a wrap for me this week, dear friends. I hope you all have a great weekend and take good care!
Summer if flying by for me too. I’m so glad you’re enjoying your iced tea, nothing better on a hot summer day! I hope you do make it to the wool festival someday, sounds like a good trip for when the children are older. Have a peaceful (?) weekend!
I just bought Jayber Crow, seeing as it was a deal and all and you’ve been raving about it for a while!
I do hope that you can make your Rhinebeck dream a reality one day. I totally understand how big of a deal it is to go, and I know how lucky I am that I’ve been able to go thanks to the kindness of others (basically I go as an employee, which means that my transportation and room/board are taken care of but also that I don’t get to experience the full festival). Wouldn’t it be fun one day to have a big meet-up of a group of blog friends at a fiber festival?
I loved A Strretcar named Desire, book and film, but its ages since Iread it. Time for a reread I think.
I ordered the Kindle for Jaybercrow too. I have heard it referenced on so many podcasts. It will probably have to wait until September though. I am also looking forward to Sarah Bessey’s new series. I am a longtime fan of her work. My dining and living room look very much like your photo. I have just decided that it will be that way until both grandsons are not longer spending so much time with us. It is a gratitude reminder of how fortunate we are to spend so much time with those busy little people.
Great tea recommendations! My daughter and I are tea drinkers and we make both hot and cold tea on a daily basis. As one tea company noted, sip by sip, not gulp by gulp. 😉
Lucky for you about the milkweed!! I’m going to keep trying. 🙂 I think cold stratification may be in order.
Good luck with your online classes. Sounds like fun!
Oooo…did you like Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet? I really did. 🙂 I loved your tea talk! ❤ I understand the blur of boys around the house. My littles guy is ESPECIALLY blur-ish lately. 😉 Lovely chat, as always, Katie.
I made iced tea for the first time in years last week and loved it … I’m just using tea bag, and was thinking about a Plum Deluxe order (I love their tea in the winter, but haven’t had a cup in months). and YAY for Novel Pairings – Streetcar is brand new to me, too – I have a paper copy (used purchase from the bookstore) and I’m listening to a recording from a performance. It’s fascinating! meanwhile, fingers and toes crossed we get to read Middlemarch this fall/winter!!