My New Normal Turns Out To Be My Old Normal!

I am so sorry tea, but that Southern Pecan coffee is insanely delicious and I needed a major jolt this morning.

Today is the final day of classes on the Migration and Life Cycle of the Monarch Butterfly as well as the Fall Festival at school. We had the fourth graders yesterday and they were fun. Those questions though. How long does it live ( 4-6 weeks) How do you know if it’s a boy or girl? (Spots) Does it poop? At that one my little friend by the pencil popped out a nugget and of course all the boys wanted to touch the poo. The only thing left in the hatchery is a chrysalis and a new butterfly and 2 caterpillars. One Monarch and one Swallowtail. They will all be released today.

The kids wrote about the life cycle and then made terrariums. Tommy showed up right before school let out and we planted some herbs and stuff in the salad garden. Each grade has a raised patch to tend. They graph the progress and learn a lot of lessons in the garden.

So it turns out my ‘new’ normal, is really my old profession. Teaching. But this time on a volunteer basis. I’m loving it. Kids are in my comfort zone and I get to see my boy at school. Yesterday while waiting on pick up he was snuggled up with some blonde floozy until PaPa saw him. Then he proceeded to tell all his friends that I was making him a Jurassic World cake for Saturday. I did not know this.

On a weird note…I received a friend request on IG from a real live Saudi Prince! Verified. I told him I don’t talk to men on the internet so he suggested Hangouts so we could plan our future life together. Is it bad that I thought about it for like 5 seconds? Then I blocked him.

Have a great Friday and look for the last of the Monarchs headed south!

xx Patricia

We watched a Monarch being born!!!

Oh doesn’t the universe laugh when we make a plan! No, it was not a book and bed day yesterday.

Instead it was a last-minute hustle to get to Corbin’s school to help out with the Monarch Migration in the Monarch Gardens. So at noon here we were leading classes of kids through the book, the habitat that has been in the library until one glorious butterfly was born.

The second class was Corbin’s and wouldn’t you know it just as Miss Sarah got to the chrysalis part the other brown one started breaking open! And out came a little butterfly. It felt like we were cheering on someone giving birth that we didn’t know, but it was awesome!

My group was the boys so we looked all around the garden for caterpillars, eggs, and of course butterflies, which were plentiful. We found the one caterpillar on the stripped milkweed plant and a few eggs on the under side of one of the plants.

One of the little girls asked me which kid was mine. I told her Corbin and I’m not even sure what happened next. She started yelling at all the girls and pointing at me yelling ‘Hey y’all she’s Corbin’s Nana!! I looked at the other mom and said ‘Is this a big thing?’ ‘Oh yes, she said. Corbin is a hot property, even my daughter moons over him.’ If you notice on the bench he is sitting on there are only girls. All I could think was please lord don’t let him be a pimp or a cult leader. Then another girl asked me if I could talk to him because he doesn’t like her. Me? Uh, okay, here have an acorn!

I learned that my baby is really in to following the rules. I was in and out of his room a few times and he never looked up from his work. But when he saw PaPa in the doorway I thought he would burst. He also saw the glass of sweet tea in PaPa’s hand so it was probably the promise of sweet tea!

All in all we loved it and intend to do a lot more. The garden is a school/community garden and we can go work there and pick things anytime, so I’m keeping my eye on the pumpkin patch!

Turns out it was a much better day than the one I planned. And I am still amazed at that little brown thing becoming a butterfly! How insane!

Have a good Tuesday and be a school volunteer. Especially if you have been a teacher like Tommy and I . Things have changed and we can’t wait until the Fall Festival on Friday night!

xx Patricia

GREEN JASMINE LEAF TEA…IT’S SPRING!

Taylors Green Jasmine Leaf Tea Caddy 125G Taylors of Harrogate Green Jasmine Leaf Tea, Loose Leaf, 4.41 Ounce Box - http://teacoffeestore.com/taylors-of-harrogate-green-jasmine-leaf-tea-loose-leaf-4-41-ounce-box/ Green tea with jasmine in cup and teapot

This green tea has been a favorite in China since the days of the Song dynasty, eight centuries ago. The best quality comes from Fujian Province where Flowery Orange Pekoe leaf tea is mixed with freshly opened jasmine flowers, and left overnight to allow the tea to absorb the scent of jasmine. The flavor is light and sweet with a subtle perfume. Use a warmed teapot and add one teaspoon of tea per person and an extra ‘one for the pot’. Add water just under the boil and infuse for 2-3 minutes. Serve on its own. You can top the teapot up with more hot water as you enjoy the tea.

This is a really lovely tea. You get that mellow green tea with a hint of jasmine on the back of the tongue. I am loving these new green tea combinations this time of year. Light and wonderfully flavored, I don’t think I have ever met a Taylor’s tea I did not like.

Most tea sellers sell samples, so you can try before you buy a large quantity and I would suggest doing just that. The market we go to has a huge tea selection and I feel it is my obligation to educate anyone in the tea aisle. Yesterday I helped a lovely woman choose an oolong.  I left feeling I had done a good deed. OU Boy sarcastically said next time I should just bring my business cards along and pass them out in the tea aisle. Not a bad idea as I would hate for someone to judge tea on one bad choice.

One poor fellow kept telling us he was looking for steeped tea. OU Boy whispered, Isn’t all tea steeped?  Yes, honey, but we don’t tell people that, we can only ask what color it was and if he liked it. Or just pick one and tell him it’s steeped.

It’s been a great week so far. Sunshiny and the wildfires are getting under control. Baby ducklings are waddling by the lake and two ducks were fighting over a female in my pool. Spring is definitely in the air!

I have heard so much about the Netflix show The Handmaid’s Tale that I got the first season and we binge watched and ate chocolate twizzlers. I will not be watching it again. Subjugation of women is not a topic I can discuss without hand gestures.

Have a lovely Tuesday! Try a new tea, expand your horizons!

xx Patricia

Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait Tea and Peace in the Kingdom

Good Morning! The sun is definitely going to be a factor today. It’s already heating up and sunny. And it’s quiet. Well except for those two birds gossiping on the fence. Enjoying a cup of David’s Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait.  Different than my normal but rather nice!

Since one of my tea sellers noted on my IG that I was not giving them enough cupboard time, I am trying to do better.

We here at the Pirate Nation are being extremely tight-lipped about a few things. I am the worst person in the world to have to keep a secret. Just my own though. Lord knows I keep enough of other folks secrets in the vault that has become my brain. But if it’s my own secret I almost have to superglue my lips. However one of them I can now share.

I entered a tea in the World Tea Expo which is in the Fall. I did. That, unfortunately, is all I can say. But I am very excited.

Yesterday was Eye day. It’s a lot different going to the Eye Institute with children than it is going alone. Since I was the patient it was up to Tommy to do child care and bathroom duty. And he cleared those bathrooms for our priceless babies like a Navy Seal Team. The boy thought he could get out without washing his hands. Not going to happen Spidey! Tommy told him to get back and wash his hands and an elderly gentleman looked at him and simply said, “Good Man!”.

The eye is looking good. Still have 11 stitches and they probably won’t come out ever. Now I get to be fitted with the sceleral lens and if that doesn’t allow me to see, we’ll go in and zap the little flap so they can put in the intraocular lens.  I don’t have to go back to my surgeon for 4 months. Now I’ll have a different doctor. It’s like breaking up. Although he said I could call anytime. This is really good news as it was one of the factors in a decision we made. So I won’t have to wear glasses much longer.

This week I’m going to try dying eggs only with tea. I love the natural shades. I’ll let you know how it goes. Last time I messed with food color I had a lock of green hair for a while so I try to avoid those.

For those of you still getting slammed by winter, sending you warm hugs and mugs!

I’m taking my tea and a book to the porch!

xx Patricia

We Can Dream Together and Have a Cup of Tea….and Cupcakes!

It’s Monday. Again. I am in desperate need of some sunshine so I made my own. I’m enjoying my cup of Paris Tea this morning.

It’s that time of year when Holiday party invitations along with Save The Date cards are pouring in. My go to Hostess gift is usually wine. It’s lazy, I know. So I’m determined to be better this year. In my mission to turn everyone I meet into a tea lover, I decided to order the Harney & Sons  gift boxes. They are lovely little black boxes filled with 20 individual sachets of several of their teas. At $7.95, plus a code it was an excellent buy. Plus they always have free shipping and are very prompt on delivery.

For closer friends and family I’m doing all things tea as well, but with a Fleur de Lis tea strainer, a small pot of honey, a tea-spoon with tea stamped on it that I purchased at Beau-Coup and six different packets of teas, and a lovely cup. And Walker Shortbread comes in a small packet with two shortbreads in it so that will go in as well. Some fancy ribbon skills and we are done.

All I needed was something to put on the tea shaped cards and I found this:

I really miss your presence 
I like to hear your views 
I wish that we could visit 
And catch up on the news. 

Since we can’t do that often 
The one thing that I can see is 
We can dream together 
And have a cup of tea. 

Cute!   Most places that you order tea from also offer samples. Individual sachets of any tea. Some are free, some are a couple of dollars, but you get to try it before you buy a larger quantity. Now, if you order from Harney, they always toss a few samples in your box.

Since for some reason I can never toss containers I have ended up with multiple glass containers used for centerpieces for weddings. They are perfect to stuff full of good tea stuff, but so is a nice fat cup from the Dollar Tree!

xx Patricia   Have a peaceful Monday.

Life is hard when you’re pretty…*sigh*

chickenhalloweenfairy

While all the other girls have put away their Halloween costumes, Babs here has decided to keep the look going.

Red and General Disarray came by to pay their respects and she isn’t having it. She’s just sitting in the rocking chair showing off. None of the other girls will talk to her. As my Momma would say, ” She’s putting on airs.” If you’re Southern you know what that means. Thinking she’s better than the other hens, which she is not. She poops out an egg every morning just like the rest of them, and trust me it isn’t any cleaner than the rest.

Babs has always thought she was the favorite. Especially after Vicki committed suicide by standing in the middle of the road when the trucks came to pave. And now that she knows they make sparkly clothes for pretty little chicks like her she has gotten quite uppity.

She keeps pecking at the mudroom window wanting to chat, but I’m sorry, you need to go apologize to the others for thinking you were all that and a bag of grit! Pretty is as pretty does and all that shit, so you might want to get down and eat a little crow.  And OU Boy needs to stop feeding her ego telling her how pretty she is and how big her eggs are.

Enabling. Tsk,Tsk…..

xx Patricia

And Just Like That *poof* It’s October!

I’m always surprised when October shows up. September seems too short. And if you’re going by the weather, well, we’re still in shorts here. But then this morning I brewed a nice pot of Lapsang Souchong and that wonderful aroma of wood fires and bundling up out doors put me right in the Fall mood! Thank you very much Harney&Sons!

Things have been downright odd around here! I don’t mean the normal oddities either. I have killed 3 bees inside my house. Now before anyone gets their panties in a twist about bees being endangered, I am highly allergic. This is my house. How the heck did they get in here? They aren’t like a little beetle you can just shoo back out. No, they are tiny little killing machines and I’m thinking they came with the farm honey.

OU Boy has been spending a suspicious amount of time out in the country with his BFF doing God only knows what but coming home dirty. Yesterday he was smart enough to preface his “I’m going out to the country tonight”, with “I got you a present! I hope you like it!” See what he’s doing there? So when he came in the door with the exact thing I wanted there wasn’t a whole lot I could say!  It was a new massage table. With all the bells and whistles. I set it up yesterday and am pretty pleased with it. He’s already called today and said he’s headed out to the country after work. But it’s Sunday and football is on so I don’t mind.

Things came to a head next door. The arguing couple stopped arguing. I do not know what he did (had an affair) but yesterday I came out to find her tossing his stuff in the yard and mumbling something about where he could put it. Well obviously he wasn’t thrilled to come home to his drawers hanging on the shrubbery so the police came over. By this time I’m in my office listening at the window. They explained to the errant husband that he should just collect his things and go. That this was a civil matter ( Ha! ). The conversation between the police went….”I’m not going to the door!” ” Why do I always have to deal with the crazy women?” So the smaller of the two went to the door to let this woman know things were cool and you know what she said?? ” Go F*** yourself!” and slammed the door. The extra policeman was laughing so hard and the poor door knocking policeman was not amused.  I think I like this woman!

So how’s your October shaping up? Stocked up on all that pumpkin spice goodness? I’m not quite there yet. Maybe when the weather changes and I have to wear shoes I’ll feel different. In the mean time, try to have a good day and maybe share it with someone who isn’t having such a good day!

xx Patricia

 

CHICKADEE CHICKADEE BANG BANG:A Bird Lover’s Mystery by J.R.Ripley

Chickadee Chickadee Bang Bang (A Bird Lover's Mystery #5)

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

Ruby Lake, North Carolina, might be the perfect place to go birdwatching during autumn, but it’s also a habitat for murder . . .

As Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms guides a half-hearted birding group around Ruby Lake, rumors soon start flying about the annual Fall Festival’s classic car and tractor show. Local eccentric Chick Sherman—boasting the hottest ride in town—has ruffled feathers by mysteriously entering the contest, and curious Amy hatches a plan to sneak a glimpse at the phantom automobile before the big event kicks off . . .

But competition turns deadly when Amy finally spots the sleek ’56 El Morocco—and it’s on top of Chick’s very dead body. With her neighbor and business partner framed as the murderer and priceless Audubon prints suddenly missing from Chick’s home, only Amy can identify the telltale markings of a killer before another hapless victim is plucked from the flock . . .

I am seriously considering moving to Ruby Lake! They have more fun events than any small town I have ever lived in!

It’s time for the annual Fall Festival with the Tractor and Car Show being one of the most popular and competitive events.

As our Amy is leading a group of birdwatchers in the park most of the group is looking at a Chickadee in the tree. Karl and Floyd however have spotted something white and teal that definitely is not a bird, but a ’57 Chevy Bel Air going down the street.

Karl and Floyd soon have Amy taking them to find their own oldie but goodie so for once they can be part of the parade of cars. Even Amy’s sweetie and her neighbor Paul have caught the car fever.

When Amy decides to sneak a peek at this mysterious El Morroco that Chick supposedly has the first person she runs into is Chick. Plan fouled. But when she returns to find her cell phone she finds Chick dead under the coveted car.

By now even the police chief is used to Amy snooping around crime scenes, so at least she isn’t being kept out of the loop, but there are always some shady folks hanging around this tiny town and the suspect list even includes some locals. But don’t worry because our girl Amy will peck around like a bird after a worm until she finds the truth!

We are in book 5 in this series now and the characters are developing nicely and I learned about another lovely bird.

Job well done Mr. Ripley!

Netgalley/Kensington/Lyrical Underground    Release Date is September 12, 2017

TO KILL A HUMMINGBIRD BY J.R.RIPLEY (A Bird Lover’s Mystery)

Released on July 11th.

Continuing on with the Bird Lover’s Mystery Series, we find our Amy all a twitter over her old professor coming to town. He has a new book about hummingbirds out and is coming to Ruby Lake for a book signing.

From the moment he pulls up in his tiny bird house home on wheels, something is off. And when Amy finds him after the book signing dead and the bookshop owner calmly admitting she did it, something isn’t sitting right with Amy.

Of course our girl can’t sit back and wait to find out what is going on and soon she’s flitting all over town, looking for answers. And there is no lack of shady characters for her to focus on.

I’ve never been a bird person, until this series!  I love a story that entertains and teaches me something new. I never knew there where so many types of hummingbirds! And they are adorable. The characters in this series are quickly becoming like family and I think that’s a pretty good sign of a well written series!

Well done, once again Mr. Ripley!

This deserves some lovely tea and a sweet!
xx Patricia    That is Paris Tea from Harney&Sons with a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream frosting…..drool worthy!

Today’s Cosy Author is J.R.Ripley

Continuing on with the themed cosy mystery genre, today I’m introducing you to another favorite of mine.

Product Details Product Details Product Details

This is the Bird Lover’s Mystery Series. Book 4 will be out July 11th and you will see that review soon. Amy and her merry band of friends run Birds & Bees in Ruby Lake, North Carolina. I love the characters in this series. They range in age from teens to retirees. And I wasn’t that much of a bird person before, but I’m turning into one!

Product Details Product Details

Welcome to Table Rock, Arizona, the place where folks who aren’t too keen on the ‘mainstream’ move to. Maggie Miller has come here to forget about her dead husband. OK, so he isn’t really dead. That’s just what she tells everybody. Recently divorced, Maggie flees Phoenix and the sight of her husband and his new wife and moves to Table Rock to be closer to her own family. She’s also planning on opening her own beignet and coffee business, Maggie’s Beignet Café. The Maggie Miller Mystery Series is just funny. The characters in this town are outrageous, but in a good way!

Product Details  Product Details

Pet chef Kitty serves gourmet meals to pampered canines, cats, birds, snakes (ugh), Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs and most any other pet belonging to her wealthy and quirky L.A. clientele. This is a town where pets have their own psychologists, psychics and masseuses, so why shouldn’t they have their own chefs, right? A Kitty Karlyle Mystery!

J. R. Ripley

J.R. Ripley is the critically acclaimed author of multiple series and currently pens A Bird Lover’s Mystery Series, the Maggie Miller Mysteries and the Kitty Karlyle gourmet pet chef mysteries. J.R. is a member of the American Birding Association, the American Bird Conservancy, and is an Audubon Ambassador with the National Audubon Society. Before becoming a full-time author, J.R. worked at a multitude of jobs including: archaeologist, cook, factory worker, copywriter, technical writer, editor, musician, entrepreneur and window washer. You may visit jrripley.net for more information or visit JR on Facebook at facebook.com/jrripley.

Although written under different pen names, they all come from the mind of this genius of a man who is passionate about birds, writing and the planet in general. I always know  I’m going to get a good read with one of his books.

So we have, Birds, Dogs/Cats, and Beignets in the desert. Give him a try! And if you are a Netgalley  member, check it out on the site. You may get the latest copy of one of these! Thank you to Lyrical Underground, Penguin Random House, Severn House for keeping me stocked!