Almond Sunset Tea with Almond Tea Loaf

Hello Tuesday! Sun shining bright and temps in the 70’s. Yesterday was one of those days when it felt good to open the windows and let the house air out. It was also a baking day.

I baked a loaf of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread for OU Boy’s crew. And put three more in the freezer. Since I bought a ton of apples, squash, pumpkin, and eggs over the weekend, I made a Dutch Apple Pie, a vegetable pot pie and a lovely and delicate Almond Tea Loaf. The Veg Pie was a huge hit for dinner last night. Followed up with the apple pie. I had some new recipes I was working on and while if you know apples, “people” say some are better for pies than others. My entire life I have followed those rules. But I was curious and used what we eat. Honeycrisp apples. And it made all the difference in the world. The apples were not mushy but kept their shape and a tiny firmness to the bite. I’ll never go back to other apples! The Almond Tea Loaf is a recipe from my grandmother. So easy but packed with flavor. This morning I’m pairing it with a cup of Celestial Seasonings Almond Sunset and the smell alone is heaven, but together it felt decadent.

The weekend was packed full of goodness. I only go to the market once a month and we were at the can of peas and some hummus stage of available food. So I stocked up on apples and all the squashes. Almost soup time!

Friday night we had a blast with the kids at Cleveland Elementary. The multi-cultural night was a hit! Between the dancers from all cultures, and the food. Oh my goodness the food.

We hit up Peru, Iran, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Republic of China, Ireland, Scotland, Africa and more. We passed out passports to the kids and they had to get a stamp from each country.

Saturday OU had an 11:00 a.m. game, so we headed to Whiskey Cake Cafe’ for brunch and watching the game. I had the Goat Cheese Fondue, which was delicious. Goat cheese with olive oil, 3 types of olives, garlic, and tiny roasted tomatoes. With grilled sourdough bread. Instead of a mimosa, I had a freshly juiced Beetlejuice. Beet juice with green apples. It was good. Then we found a new home for Arya.

Arya the Budgie moving to a tri-plex

It’s fancy and has lots of toys and she loves it. This morning OU Boy found her hanging upside down like a bat. When he questioned her she flew to the mirror and just stared at herself. He thinks she’s part bat, I think the girl is just getting in a workout!

It’s Tuesday so I am busy pushing the books that released today and then who knows? Maybe a nice long walk in the neighborhood to see if that pumpkin beacon is back!

xx P

 

Is Mother Nature Going Through Something?

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We made it to Friday with everyone alive. And still hot. It’s supposed to storm tomorrow and Sunday and I could not be more thankful to Mother Nature. And Karma. But seriously Mother Nature, what is with this weather? Record highs in the east, although I don’t think you can call 95 high. A few years back we had like two months of over 100-degree weather and I loved it. The chickens did not however and ended up just laying eggs in their little swimming pool. Maybe Mother Nature is going through menopause.

Our little budgie, Arya is settling in. Yesterday afternoon she was just jibber-jabbering away. She’s not skittish at all and is eating well. Tomorrow her new habitat will be ready and she’ll be upgrading.

So tonight is Multi-Cultural Night at school. We will be greeting and directing parents and giving out passports to the kids. And I just found out yesterday the kids are doing a bake sale/ cakewalk and we are supposed to bring something baked from our culture. I don’t have the time or will to bake anything so I’m picking up some Macarons from Ingrid’s and calling it a day. They’re French. Make do.

The doctor’s appointment went well.  He is down another 10 pounds and the doctor complimented him on his great leg muscle tone. When they removed the tumor from his thigh, they moved a lot of nerves around and now he’s having nerve pain there. They offered a shot into his thigh and he declined. So there is some salve that says right on the tube that you shouldn’t use it with blood thinners, so that’s out the window. Today we are looking at the CBD options.

While it’s still under 80 outside I’m lacing up for a run. With my neighbor lady from Boston. She was a nun. Now she is not. She’s in her late 70’s and will take the bus 10 miles away to walk back. She is ripped! She stopped by to see Arya this morning and suggested we do the neighborhood run today. Please God, don’t let me be shown up by a 70-year-old!

Enjoy your Friday, whether it’s football, happy hour or just Netflix and wine!

xx P

It’s below 80 so bring on the Pumpkin Spice Latte’!

Apparently, we had a cold front move in overnight. 72 degrees when I woke up. Maybe we’ll just skip to Spring. Dire warnings of temps dropping into the low 60’s and massive rain this weekend have me skeptical about the weather guy’s sources. It’s not raining and it’s not cool.

But I woke up wanting a Pumpkin Spice Latte. So I grabbed the trusty tin of Harney & Sons Tea and did a half hot water and a half Coconut Milk and then sprinkled a bit pumpkin pie spices on top. I also added a teaspoon of Coconut Sugar. If you haven’t seen Coconut Sugar then find some. It is very low on the glycemic index, it has nothing but ground coconuts. And it’s brown and tastes exactly like sugar. In baking, I use it for regular sugar. Once in a while, I want something a little sweet and this stuff is brilliant!

Arya was still a bit timid yesterday. Or she doesn’t like me. But this morning I brought her in my room and she is just flitting all over and playing with her toys so I guess she is settling in. We even shared quinoa last night. And an apple.

It’s off to the doctor’s office today to check on Tommy’s former tumor. I think he’s having neuropathy pain, but we’ll go pay thousands of dollars to hear the hunky Dr. Beau say it.

Enjoy the day, if you see Fall, send it our way!

xx P

 

Okay, Now You Can Get Out The Pumpkin Spice.

Welcome back October! Unfortunately, the weather hasn’t quite caught up to the season.

Today I woke up with no tummy pain or anxiety. I was able to eat some solid food yesterday. Although that baby cereal is pretty yummy!

Monday Tommy brought home a budgie!

   The poor little thing was trying to drink from the pool and he rescued her. The vet said she is young and in good health. So now we have a baby in the house! We put her temporary cage in the office and let her watch Planet Earth on Netflix last night and Tommy talked to her all night! We looked up plans for making a large home for her and I researched her diet.

Feed Your Parrot Right. See this infographic on general proportions of food to feed your tropical parrot or pet bird. You might be surprised.   Except for the pellets, she and I have the same diet! Finally, someone, I can eat with.

This morning I brought her into the living room while I worked and she loves that Netflix show. Then Tommy called and he was on speaker and she was going bonkers trying to find him. Yep, another bird in love with him. At least she can’t follow him around like a lovesick cow! Our chicken Vicki had to have assistance with her first egg delivery and Tommy put on gloves and did an assisted birth. Now she thinks they are a couple.

I am off for a run and then to make some pumpkin bread and muffins, because I have 2 cases of pumpkin and need the room in my pantry!

Have a great day!

xx P

2019 Spring Golden Tip Lapsang Souchong

Happy Sunday Morning! The lovely folks at CraftedLeaf Tea sent me so many lovely teas to try and this one was Saturday afternoon tea. This tea was picked in the Spring of 2019 in Wuyl mountain, Yunnan Province, China. Grown at an altitude of 1200m.

Taste: Strong flavor of logan, dark chocolate, and floral aroma. It has a nice rich, mellow feel and a slight caramel flavor. Not as smoky as some I have had and it has 40% of the caffeine in 1 cup of coffee.

The leaf to bud ratio is 1: 1. Even after multiple steeps, it was still not bitter. The quality was the same on all 4 steepings.

It’s odd to describe a tea as smooth and rich in your mouth, but this is about as good as it gets in the quality department.

Saturday we did enormous amounts of laundry. Why? Because our condensate line for the HVAC system leaked into our coat closet. So OU Boy headed to the cleaners and I had the quilts. It was a pain.

CBD products and marijuana are legal in Oklahoma and OU Boy’s doctor gave him a license, so we stopped by here to check out things. I can’t go in because I don’t have a card and won’t be getting one. I’m sitting in the SUV, one other car in the lot and a black SUV pulls up 3 parking spaces away. He got out, looked around, made a phone call and begin unloading the back of the SUV. When I turned around again, he had on a U.S. Marshall’s vest and had a lot of weapons. Then two more pulled in and began doing the same thing. I sank down in the seat and called OU Boy and let him know the Feds were here. I was on speaker and the man inside said, “It’s fine. They can’t come in here”. Turns out they were staging for a warrant they had to serve. So that took a year off my life.

Also on Saturday, a new law went into effect. It is no longer illegal for women to go topless in Oklahoma. Seriously? That’s what y’all are working on at the capitol? What about the homeless situation, the mental health situation? Or the fact we are the fattest state out there. This is the state I discovered women don’t wear bras. That is disgusting enough but I do not want to see anyone’s boobs but my own. But then I was raised right.

On the flare-up, the baby food thing was a godsend! I don’t know why babies make such faces and spit the stuff out. It was quite good. So thanks for that tip!

What do you think about women going topless driving down the road?

xx P

The Crohn’s Fairy brings the Anxiety Fairy to Tea.

Good Thursday Morning Y’all! Yes, I’m here. Again. While I love my book blog, it is mostly for work and I don’t feel as comfortable writing personal things there. Here, I don’t need a filter.

So, what’s been going on? Well not only did the Crohn’s Fairy pop by but she brought her nasty sister, the Anxiety Fairy. They go hand in hand. Last Monday I had a doctor’s appointment and was told if I lost another pound I would be in the hospital with a feeding tube. Since my last year-long flare when I looked like a malnourished child, I’ve been vigilant about my diet, exercise, and stress management. Running is my drug of choice and it helps stress and makes me feel strong. But little did I know that there was a bomb ticking somewhere else that would impact my health in a big way.

Someone I have loved and respected for a lot of years suddenly called me on the phone and proceeded to verbally attack me over something I had not done. I didn’t even understand what she was talking about and I’m not sure she did either. OU Boy heard the call and was in shock. Was she on drugs? Having a mental breakdown? WTF?

And just like that, I can’t eat. My anxiety is at level 10 and that one pound went quickly. My main goal was to be able to make it to the book festival with Scott Pelley. I did that and came straight home and couldn’t move for days. Crohn’s flares leave you unable to even lift your arm, much less eat.

What happened? I said, Screw this shit, this bitch isn’t worth dying for! So I ran. And ran and felt better and ate broth and drank copious amounts of herbal teas. And blocked her on every outlet I have. Sure, words are free, but the way you use them will cost you. I thought it would be so much more difficult than it was to just chop off the toxic crap, but it wasn’t at all. Much like Trump said yesterday, that to him Pelosi was no longer the speaker of the house, I said, you are no longer in my world.

This morning I brought all the Fall teas to the front of the cabinet, even though it was in the 90’s yesterday. And every night it rains so it’s humid and hot. It makes it hard to get in the Fall mood. But my that Vermont Maple herbal tea this morning made me want to wear boots.

Thanks for listening!

xxP

SAYING GOODBYE TO AUGUST IS HARD

Well, folks, it’s the last day of August. I believe we have lived it to the fullest. No rain this morning and I am sipping the last of my Harney & Sons Blueberry Green Tea. Waiting patiently on the Publisher’s Clearinghouse guys to get here with my giant check and some flowers.

This has been a crazy week of storms, living more than 24 hours without phones, electricity, and the internet. But we made it through. It took a lot of strong tea, a bit of crying and the Anxiety Fairy bringing her snotty little self over with an overnight bag!

With all of the storm nonsense, I forgot about the man with one leg. So, here is how that went down.  I was happily floating in the pool, trying to chill when I heard a man’s voice. I look up and there is an older gentleman speaking to me. I said hello, welcomed him to our little community and he proceeded to tell me why he moved here. Buckle up.

The Man:  I’m newly single after 50 years of marriage.

Me: Oh, I’m sorry. ( Me thinking the woman is dead)

The Man: Yep, last month was our 50th wedding anniversary and I asked her what she wanted and she said A Divorce. So now I’m looking for a new soulmate to live out my days with.

Me: 50 years? And now she wants out? Wow, that’s a lot of time to put in and not finish it.

The Man: She’s a bitch. After she said that I left. Gave her the house and everything.

Me: That’s rough.

The Man: I used to work in the stock market. Graduated from OU.

Me: That sounds interesting. I wouldn’t lead with the OU thing. I’m SEC.

The Man: That water sure looks good. Maybe I’ll take off my prosthetic leg and sit a bit. I’m blind in my right eye too so are there steps?

Me: Total Silence.  In my head: Holy Shitballs, Batman! Do I have some magnet on my head that says Tell me your story???

The Man: Well, I’d better be on my walk. I would love for you to stop by and have a cocktail or dinner sometime.

Me: (In a small squeaky voice) Okay…..

I told OU Boy as soon as he got home and he just shook his head. Now I’m thinking of setting the guy up with my neighbor who is single and closer to death than me. Or maybe not, I really like her and she brings me macarons from Ganache and homegrown tomatoes. Anyway, guys, you may want to wait for the ink to dry on the divorce papers before stalking a new soulmate.

Have a happy Saturday! It’s Football Time! And be safe if you are in the path of Dorian. Most of my family is on that path, so you know what to do.

xx P

MILLIONS OF PEACHES, PEACHES IN TEA…SING ALONG!

The sun is really shining this afternoon. It’s been a wet and wild few days with the weather. Storming overnight and into the morning. Saturday was a wash until late in the day when we all hit the pool and worked up an appetite for pizza. Which explains why I am drinking this tea today. Very soothing to the tummy!

Sometime in the night storm one of our hotels was struck by lightning and every fire alarm in the place went off. For hours! OU Boy just got home from handling that mess and is in bed asleep! I am trying to be quiet.

We introduced the kids to Go Fish last night and it was hilarious! We took advantage of Barnes and Noble’s big sale and grabbed Charli Ava some new books. I snagged a few.

Dark Age for OU Boy who follows this author and series. I grabbed fellow Georgia girl, Karin Slaughter’s new one and Stuart Woods new one which stars my book boyfriend, Stone Barrington. International man of mystery and wealth…sigh.

Corbin gorged himself on Entenmanns coffee cake and tea. And refused to wear pants all weekend. Because he had new underwear and wanted to show it off. His shoes did match though. All in all, it was a good weekend.

It was nice to unplug and not listen to any negativity for a couple of days. It gets to be a bit much on Twitter. Be sure to tune in tomorrow and hear about my invitation to cocktails by a one-eyed, one-legged lothario.

xx P

 

The High Times Cannabis Cup Comes to OKC!

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Good Morning Tuesday! You are looking disgustingly bright and hot this morning. With another day over 100 todays, tea is iced! Blood Orange from Harney & Sons. This is one good tea. It comes in 2-quart bags and I usually toss in some orange slices with it.

Yesterday was the kind of hot that just saps every bit of strength right out of you. The humidity was like breathing soup. I stayed inside and did a load of laundry, ironed and then had a lunch of fresh tomatoes and these Armenian cucumbers that my guy at the liquor store grows in huge pots outside the store. He also has spinach, lettuces, and other greens. What a genius idea. Now no one puts out their cigarettes in his pots!

As soon as I sat down the bookman came. Okay, he’s the postman. But he did bring me a gift from Kensington Books. The Vagina Bible.  OU Boy said it looked unseemly next to my tomatoes. I disagreed. It isn’t a taco! This is a last-minute entry in August releases so I’m going to get on this one today and find out everything I never wanted to know about our vaginas. I will let you know if I find out anything earth-shattering.

It was too hot for the pool yesterday so after dinner we went and visited the kids and got caught up on the first week of school. Corbin had got new socks and underoos and was laying them out on the dining room table matching the superheroes. Jodi was making an adorable toad house for the garden. So we got our hugs and kisses and came home and cleaned the pool.

While at the kid’s house, Jodi told us that she actually watched Dead Like Me and there was a movie that tied it all up in 2009! So, of course, we had to watch it on Prime. Nicely done.

The Cannabis Cup comes to OKC this weekend. With Slightly Stoopid and 311. The High Time Cannabis Cup started in the ’80s in Amsterdam. Everyone is welcome, but only those with a medical card can sample the product and get in the smoke tent, where the judging will be held. All of this is great news for our botanist son and for us as we get the kids! Adventure awaits.

Now I’m going to go get on that Vagina Bible!

Notice your own little miracles throughout the day. This morning mine was a ladybug on my shoe!

xx P

WEEKEND SHENANIGANS! AND PIE!

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Another hot and humid Monday with more over 100-degree heat. Today’s cuppa is brought to us by Octavia Teas. It is an Earl Grey Lavender. On this one, I’m going to have to say I didn’t care for it. It was strong and I didn’t detect the lavender. Not worth the caffeine. But I’m sure someone else will love it. What did I love?

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This Nitro Cold Brew with Almond Milk from Starbucks! Smooth as my Uncle Junior. I grabbed it on the way to the Farmer’s Market at OSU. What did I find there?

There was live music, lots of people grabbing those first peaches and tomatoes. We bought some of everything! Including a whole peach pie. We got a ton of pickling cucumbers and okra and did this!

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Made Dill Pickles and Pickled Okra! Turns out I am that kind of person! These weekends off are turning us into different people. I mean you have to get up early for this stuff! But I was so inspired by the beautiful produce I had to do something.

Afterwards, we hit up the Antique Fair. And what did we see? Lots of things I wanted!

A rare 1800’s Tea Bin. It is large! And the inside smells like tea. Cute little tea set for the grands. A lovely rose tablecloth that went beautifully with the vase of roses the same color from the day before!

My momma and my sister are fluent in shorthand. A skill I never once thought of attaining. It looked a lot like when I was learning Farsi. And the best, a 1939 edition of Gone With The Wind. Enough to make a Georgia girl swoon!

All that shopping and adventuring made us hungry so we made a Watermelon Mint and Feta Salad with some Harney and Sons Blueberry Green Tea!

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Then we got Wedding Mail! One of the shirts I ordered for the #BrideTribe. Even little Charli got one. The mugs are for our morning coffee on the big day!

And it looks like OU Boy has turned into a butterfly! He’s lost a lot of weight and is sticking to his healthy eating habits. Now he loves shopping.

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We also finished watching Dead Like Me on Prime. I can’t believe I never saw that! Saw Jim Gaffigan and hung at the pool. I talked to my sister a lot trying to co-ordinate winter vacations in Curacao.

Now it’s Monday and back to work, we go. Back to school, we go. This weekend stuff I could get used to!

Enjoy and what did you do this weekend?

xx P