Periodic Ramblings (August 17, 2015)

This post was delayed because sometimes I am easily distracted.

2015-ACRC-Ingredients on mezzaluna 4

The idea for a new tea was sparked (on Twitter, of all places) and I had to create the tea.  In the process of creating that tea, I decided I needed to write about how we approach making a tea….   After all the photos were taken, sorted, and the post was written, I’d missed the “weekly” part of the ramblings.  Twice.

Life, Our Universe, and Pets:

The last couple weeks have been about change, and adjusting to it, as well as several lessons about balancing various aspects of life.

Mister Tea’s ‘big-boy’ job is a wonderful thing, but his schedule is taking even more getting used to than I had anticipated.  Particularly for me.  I’m used to starting to work when I wake up and using his schedule to remind me when various things need to happen.  This includes remembering to feed myself, as well as stopping work at something resembling a sane hour.

Given that I wake up a bit before he does, I ended up pushing myself far harder than I should have that first week, and while mind over matter worked quite well the first two and a half days, matter reclaimed ascendency quite handily, and forced a few lighter days afterwards.

Interestingly, that all led up to one of the best experiences I have had with medical care in quite some time.

In the medical profession there is an oft-used expression, “When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses.”  It is an admonishment to look for the most likely answer, rather than the strange, rare, or complicated possibilities.  Those of us with those strange, rare, or complicated issues often call ourselves “Zebras.”


Being a zebra has all sorts of inherent complications, not the least of which is the extremely low possibility that the person confronted with the task of helping you is going to be armed with the right data.  The CNP I saw on Sunday recognized the illness that tried to kill me those many years ago, knew the antibiotics that would have been thrown at it, and was aware of the rarer side effects of said antibiotics that have made life so much more interesting since.  Both she, and the woman who took my vitals and sketch history, listened far more attentively than I would ever have expected.

As Mister Tea’s mother put it:  “It actually seemed like she was using those strange bulbous things on the sides of her head?”

Nichols on Listening

When we expressed our gratitude and surprise she expressed her opinion that I had a solid right to be treated like an actual human being.

It was nice.  It was hopeful.  And if I have any other mild emergency again, I know where I am going.

Beyond that, things have been fairly calm.  Dulce and Domino expressed their unhappiness at Mister Tea whisking me off to Urgent Care by demolishing a bag of corn tortillas….  but we could understand their concern.  (Domino is an anxiety eater, and Dulce is tall enough to enable her old dog’s habits.)

The chickens have moved into actual molting now, and are understandably unhappy about it.  Frack looks like a demented hobo chicken, with her softer under-feathers showing in patches, and her facial feathers askew in even stranger ways than usual…  I’ll get you a picture if I can, but she’s been rather camera-shy since feather-loss began.

Social Media and the Internet:  From SHINY! to the RNG hates me

The best thing about the internet this past while was the random conversation that led to a tea.  It amused me to see Twitter move into the category of “things that have enabled tea creation.”  It also brought me to the realization that my habit so far of following people that I find to be interesting rather than just hunting for my ‘target market,’ will potentially be a good thing for Desert Sage Natural.

However, the past two weeks also reminded me about one of the frustrating things about the internet.

I love the fact that I can ‘meet’ people from all over the country, and, in fact, all over the world.  I love that meaningful conversations and relationships can happen with someone thousands of miles away.

I HATE the fact that having those friendships opens the option for times when you cannot do the things you want to do to show care or concern or comfort or….  A good friend lost a parent.  He and I originally met in a MMORPG, have actually met once in real life, and he and his wonderful wife have been our good and trusted friends for as long as Mister Tea and I have known each other.

LD Friendship Card

But they live over 2000 miles away.  Sort of hard to drop by with a meal or an extra pair of hands or just a hug and the willingness to give whatever support is needed.

As Mister Tea put it:  “I can’t Friend the way Friending should be Friended!”

There are days when you want the ability to be uploaded to the internet, downloaded on the other side, just so you can give a hug.

Teas, Cocoas, and Coffees (Oh My!)

Heading on to less deep topics…

Our work for DSN progressed rather nicely these past two weeks, even allowing me the leeway to create a new tea – which is my favorite part of my ‘job.’  Initially I was worried about the concept, Russian Caravan can be a difficult tea to add other flavours to, but it worked out rather well.  Waiting for the opportunity to get a sample to the woman who sparked the idea, to see if she agrees with us, but the logistics for that are a bit complicated at the moment.

I also finally finished our stock check.  I need to develop some better paperwork and habits as far as that is concerned, so that it isn’t such an Aegean task (with far better smells involved) every time I have to approach it.

Butterfly Pea Colour

Random reading and research into a different subject also introduced me to a possible new ingredient.  From the images of it brewed, it would allow me to make truly blue or truly purple teas.  I need to research it more thoroughly, and find some to test, but….  The possibility makes me giggle a bit.  Being able to accomplish those sorts of colours with the level of vibrancy shown in the images without having to use chemical dyes?  Brilliant.

I should also mention that we are still running our belated Anniversary sale (2 years for DSN, 12 years for me and Mister Tea) – use the code ANN2015 in our Etsy shop to help us celebrate.

Entertainment:  The Final Frontier

Many more books were read.

David Weber Like a Mighty Army Cover

In my case, I finished off the rest of the currently available Safehold series.  It continues to keep both the analytic and creative sides of my brain more than happy.  I will be waiting semi-patiently until October for the next one.  Haven’t decided what to read next, but I did realize that I need to check on some of our other mutual series, and see if we have any catching up to do.

After rereading ‘Good Omens’ (Pratchett/Gainman) – Mister Tea discovered a John Barnes (Directive 51) that neither of us had previously read, and we spent a couple of evenings on the couch, books in hand, wolfhound between us, exclaiming randomly (and non-spoilery) about various things going on in our choices.  If there are particularly interesting lines, or bits that we know will interest or amuse or…  the other, we’ll say something along the lines of “When you get to a pause point,” and then share.


We also returned to a video game that we had never completed.  It is called ‘Eternal Sonata,’ and involves a world created around Fredric Chopin.  The music is lovely, and the bits of historical data it gives you as you wander through are interesting.

We’d originally ceased because we ran into a classic RPG problem – not having run around leveling enough before getting stuck in an area that was a bit too intense.  (We’d also screwed up our saves and didn’t have a close fall-back point.)  The way combat works is a little odd, and there are some truly interesting camera angles that you have to deal with, but overall it is worth dealing with the quirks.

We are, of course, being incredibly careful with saves this time through.

Last Cutscene

These past weeks were a reminder of a couple things.

Good friendships are precious wherever they are found.

While it may not feel like enough, care and concern shown through words on a screen, or a voice on the phone helps.  (I know this because of how much such things have helped me.)

Life is rarely just one thing, whether negative or positive.  Sometimes the smallest beauty, the smallest kindness, can lend just enough light to give you something to hold onto.

Until the next time…




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