Life, Our Universe, and Pets:
So… been a while. Completely unintended.
2016 has so far been the year of learning that I need to be a little more careful in how much I do and how often and when. The body I live in is pretty beaten up, and it is sort of surprising it works as well as it does. However, there are limits. I’ve had some hard lessons in that this year. Lost a week and a half entirely – no work for the company, no housework, barely managed to find the energy and capability to find and consume food. Another two weeks were closer to that than I want to think about.
Apparently I need downtime. You would think it would be easy to make sure you were taking adequate downtime – but that has never been my forte.
The entire learning experience has been intensely tiring. Not the sort of tired that makes you capable of sleeping, the sort of tired that is bone deep and almost painful. Mister Tea would have been quite right to worry that I had become a zombie, on a few of our recent days.
We’re taking some steps. I’m keeping closer track of my time, and paying more attention to what my body needs. Mister Tea is hoping to move to a new schedule that will have him home at decent hours, in part to be able to help out more, and in part to keep an eye on me.
First appointment with new doctor was somewhat heartening, and we’re working on getting the right diagnostics done. It’s been a few years, and getting an updated view on what’s going on will be useful. I am a little leery of the day we choose to get the bloodwork done – there will be an impressive pile of vials.
Rewinding back to the end of last year, our holidays were quite lovely.
A new tradition has been started, where Mister Tea and I make Christmas breakfast for a family gathering. French Toast, Bacon, and Eggs. Not incredibly complicated, granted, but very tasty and a lot of fun. We planned carefully, hoping that I would either be able to walk, or would only need one extra leg. (At least for the cooking part.) We had fun making it, and it certainly looked and sounded as if the meal was enjoyed immensely.
Next year I hope to shake loose the spoons to make cinnamon rolls.
One of the things we packed along for Christmas morning was a large wrapped box that was filled with other wrapped boxes, nesting style. We’d collected bits and pieces that we hoped would be enjoyed from our LootCrates over the course of the year, and curated a LootCrate for Mister Tea’s uncle and cousins.
The process of opening was described as “exploding” by several different watchers and participants, with one of the most amusing moments being when one of the component boxes also exploded…
I also finally got to properly meet Mister Tea’s uncle’s pup. We seemed to click. She got a breakfast surprise, too. Can’t forget the furry critters in the family when awesomeness is happening.
Beyond that, life has basically been life, with some irritating complications thrown in due to my iffier-than usual health.
Social Media and the Internet: From SHINY! to the RNG hates me
There have been a lot of crickets here.
In part due to the fact that I am still getting comfortable with social media, and in part because it only really happens at my work computer, we mostly dropped off the map for a bit. (I can’t sit down at my work comp for quick updates. I always get drawn in to doing “just a little bit” – which often translates as “oops where’d those hours go – ow – splat.”)
Despite the comparative crickets – social media continues to be a boon. My thanks to the people in the Twitterverse who have been helping to keep me sane of late.
Teas, Cocoas, and Coffees (Oh My!)
Most of the last timeframe has been eaten by longer term projects (we’re still trying to find candies for a few cocoa ideas), and by the paperwork created by making our workflow more efficient. (Long-term. Short term I am buried in spreadsheets and databases and label files. I have to keep reminding myself that eventually this will have been worth it.)
We are also working on getting a shop up and running on this site. However, finding the time to list all of our teas and coffees and cocoas is… an intimidating process.
We have had the time to create and list a few new options since my last updates post.
Teas: Ravensong (Elderberry Rosehip Chocolate Black), Cooper’s Curry (Sweet Curry Green), Caspian’s Chai (Hawthorn Berry based Chai), Molly’s Morning Magic (Vanilla Ginger Barley), and SereniTea: Comfort & Joy (Elderberry Lemongrass Green)
In a slightly related to tea development, we finally found a pizzelle press. I have been promising Mister Tea for years that if we acquired such an object, he would finally be able to experience home-made pizzelles again. It took me a couple of days after the object came home, but the effort was well worth his reaction as he realized what had occurred. There are certain levels of joy that are beautiful to watch.
I will try to remember to take photos of the process during the next recipe test. (I really want to try making chocolate ones. Which will probably lead to making a chocolate variant of the tea.)
We have tried dipping the cookies in ‘Pearl’s Pizzelle,’ and it is perfectly too much. I liked them in the cinnamon black we created this weekend, as well.
Entertainment: The Final Frontier
There have been books. There have actually been many books, and more additions to the library than our current book shelf space makes sane.
Speaking to them all would likely double the word count of this post, however, so…
…for now, I will touch on some of them. Namely, the ones I had taken a photo of the last time I had planned an updates post.
Guy Gavriel Kay is an author I continue to thank Mister Tea’s mentor for, as I have enjoyed every book I have read so far. Definitely recommended.
‘Fort Freak’ was interesting, and a definite departure from what I have come to think of as Martin these past years. I had read one of the ‘Wild Cards’ short story compilations ages ago, and I think Mister Tea and I will be hunting for them actively now.
‘Planetfall’ and ‘Magonia’ were both amazing, and the authors speak to aspects of life I am not used to seeing portrayed so powerfully. Not pleasant portions, granted, but those are the ones that are easy to gloss over, rather than treat with honesty. I can’t say enough good things about either book and recommend both.
‘Aftermath’ I approached with a bit of trepidation. A long time reader of the Star Wars novels, I was a bit miffed that so much of the Star Wars history I had accidentally committed to memory was being unwritten. I was pleasantly surprised, and really enjoyed Wendig’s lens for a cherished world.
Research books are research books, but Buhner has a particular voice as a writer that makes me laugh even as I am learning about horrible things. (Useful things, too, but I am currently reading his book on antivirals, and…. *twitches*)
‘Flailing in the Right Direction’ is another that will be staying on my shelf for as long as I keep books. I may be convinced to loan it to a short list of trusted individuals, but I’d be more likely to purchase them a copy. I laughed, I cried, I giggled, I read bits aloud to my partner…. I only helped as a parent for a few brief years, but Meghan got the high points, and the low points, and the I’m-too-sleep-depriived-to-know-what-they-are-points and… As I said in my goodreads review, if you are a parent, are going to become a parent – even if you just know parents – you should read this.
The little fan of comics in the front of the book image was the first baby step we took back into that particular ‘verse. We’ve taken several giant strides since then. I may gather up the pile of graphic novels that have been happily consumed in the past months for the next update, but they are scattered about and some are with Mister Tea at his Big Boy job.
Rediscovering that I really do like comics is only part of the glee, though. When we were questing for more X-23 books, we stumbled over a new (to us) comic shop.
Mister Tea assembled my wheelchair, I levered myself into it, and prepared for the adventurous journey that is a store that carries the printed word. Doesn’t really seem to matter the format, or the size of the store, or whether it is a large chain or a small independent – venturing into them always turns into an exercise in cornering, backing out of tight spaces that lead to corridors I cannot navigate without getting stuck, and sad wondering at what is back in That Corner That I Will Never Reach….
… until Lobo Anime and Comics. I wandered the entire store. All of it. I didn’t get stuck, I didn’t have any particular issue with corners, I didn’t wish my wheelchair and I were less wide for fear of damaging things sticking too far out of shelves. It was amazing.
It was made even more so by their reaction to my compliments and gratitude. They seemed surprised that it was such a big deal to Mister Tea and I. It seemed they felt that making sure wheelchairs had access was just sort of a thing one did. (Apparently they make sure any events they have meet the same standards.) When I think about it, I suppose their approach should be the norm, but it is decidedly not. We’ve been back several times since, and proven the fact that we should not be allowed in stores that hold books…. and that would probably have been the case even if the rest of their approach to customers hadn’t been just as awesome as their layout decisions.
Oftentimes I use a lot of words in this last section.
The last few months have been complicated, and all over the map, and the only thing coming to mind for a summation can be done with an image and a handful of words.
Dogs are amazing.
Even if it is a dog you have just met, and she is reminding you that taking a break during everything is important. Love is important. Taking a moment is important.
This is Prudence.
She gifted me some happiness Christmas Morning, in that wonderful zen way dogs have.
Life without our companions would be lessened.
Wishing you some of the same gifts I have received from my pups, my partner, and my friends over this year so far.