Thursday, June 29, 2017

Tea Houses

The sounds of the tea being made invite the peach blossoms to peep in through the window.

Perhaps now would be a good time for a cuppa?

Nobotoke-an 野仏庵
photo by Patrick Vierthaler

Main hall and tea house in Dunedin Chinese Garden
photo by Pseudopanax

Ham House, England
photo by KotomiCreations

Zaanse Schans, the Netherlands
photo by Or Hiltch

A Chaikhaneh (tea house) close to the Zendan-e Eskandar (Alexander the Great’s prison) at Yazd, Iran
photo by dynamosquito

Tea House 6, Kyoto, Japan
photo by Tealet

Tea Ceremony
photo by Preconscious Eye

The tea pavilion, castle of Borne Blanche
photo by P.poschadel

One more quote:
If afternoon teas had started in the Oligocene Epoch, instead of the seventeenth century, we are convinced that evolution, far from discarding that useful appendage, the tail, would have perfected it. A little hand would have evolved at the end of it — such a one as might hold his saucer, while a gentleman sips from his teacup.
~Contributors' Club, The Atlantic Monthly, October 1917

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Taking the bitter with the sweet

Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion.
~Lin Yutang

photo by Food Cultura

For Wellness Wednesday, we're thinking about how to improve what's going on in our digestive system. Most likely this came to mind for me because my older daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac and how well she's digesting is significant to her quality of life, but in reality, it's a big deal for many people. I bought her some aloe water and ended up needing to buy more because I shared them with other folks who were having issues. It's common.

Probiotics can be a help (and can be especially vital if you've taken or are taking antibiotics). In addition to supplements, you can eat your probiotics by having yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, any fermented food. I have never tried fermenting my own food, but I really should. This Carrot and Radish Sauerkraut looks good (yes, feel free to tell me that I'm crazy).

I haven't really actively eaten prebiotics, except for Trader Joe's snack crackers and onions. Raw garlic is also a prebiotic. The Food Network has a delicious-looking set of recipes called Feed Your Probiotics, which combine pre- and probiotics.

There are lots of good teas for helping digestion. Two of my favorites are Orange Ginger Mint and Fennel (or you could make your own). Addendum: You can make your own ginger syrup -- regular ginger ale has got nothin' on ginger drinks made with fresh syrup. I use this recipe.

Bitters are good before meals to kick-start your digestive process. I made my own. (I bought bitters ingredients on Etsy.) You can also buy bitters already made. Another possibility: eating bitter greens like endive and arugula.

P.S. When I was looking up stuff for this post, I discovered that someone made a 12-hour-long video of stomach-growling noises. On the one hand, I laughed out loud when I saw it. On the other hand, people sure are strange.

P.P.S. A bonus unrelated video:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Music and the Human Spirit

Those with dementia are still people and they still have stories and they still have character and they're all individuals and they're all unique.
~Carey Mulligan

Our video for Music Monday comes with a tissue warning:

Addendum! It's the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter -- can't let that go by unacknowledged:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Holding our breath like a coin

Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.
~Roman Payne

I'm really into mentor poems these days, and I can see using the first of today's poems as one. "If you were a ______"...

by Heather Sommer

Your first time out of the country
of your own skin, I didn’t bring a map.

You always hated that I’d been lucky
enough to pick my way through streets

I couldn’t pronounce to find cathedrals,
graveyards. If you were a city, you said,

I’d only like to know your suburbs.

read the rest here


by Christopher Howell

When Keats, at last beyond the curtain
of love’s distraction, lay dying in his room
on the Piazza di Spagna, the melody of the Bernini
Fountain “filling him like flowers,”
he held his breath like a coin, looked out
into the moonlight and thought he saw snow.
He did not suppose it was fever or the body’s
weakness turning the mind. He thought, “England!”

read the rest here


My Juicy Little Universe has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Heidi!


Summer is always best through a window.
~Jens Lekman

Windows for Art Thursday. Recently when my family went to an art exhibit, my daughter Elena & I picked the same painting as our favorite -- one with an open window and billowing white curtain. It drew us right in. I can't share that painting for copyright reasons, but...

photo by Simon Matzinger

After the Rain
photo by Carroll Jones III

Abbey of San Galgano
photo by Simon Matzinger

Open Window
by Diana Lee Photography

scorcio alla galbusera bianca
photo by Alberto Magagnini

The View From Qaytbay Castle At Alex
photo by Ahmed

open window
photo by fortheloveofcc

Red and white
photo by Massimo Telò

from Dear Evan Hansen:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Art Time

Mix up a little more shadow color here, then we can put us a little shadow right in there. See how you can move things around? You have unlimited power on this canvas -- can literally, literally move mountains.
~Bob Ross

For Wellness Wednesday, we're thinking about engaging with art.

I started Art Thursday years ago to ensure that I would spend some time with art every week. Have you been getting as much interaction with art as you want? This could mean just following Art Pics Channel on Twitter so you see some art every day, or rotating prints you like as your wallpaper on your computer. Maybe you want to try some Zentangle or coloring, or decorate the cover of a notebook or binder with a print so you can see it when you are studying or cooking, etc. What feeds your spirit? How can you get more of it?

A Beginner’s Guide to Finding Art You (Actually, Genuinely) Like
7 Ways to Make An Art Museum Visit Fun for Kids
10 Reasons to Visit Art Galleries
100 Art Therapy Exercises

I have an Etsy account where I save favorites, and I encourage doing that, although it doesn't need to be Etsy. Other sites include Artsy, DeviantArt, and Society 6. You can save things that appeal to all sorts of different moods. Have fun with it -- save things you can't afford ;-)

A couple of videos:

Monday, June 19, 2017

Can't Sleep Love

I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.
~Jane Austen

These folks are completely in the zone when they're singing:

They are pursuing solo projects now, so here are their individual web sites: