A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…


On this the First Day of Summer…

Today is the Summer Solstice, which means it’s the first day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere. I really don’t have much to say about that, except for the fact that I don’t think I am a summer person. Aside from the fact that it used to mean no school, I really don’t like the heat.  I think some people do, I hear the weather personalities getting giddy from the rising temperature. I feel like throwing a shoe at the television, but I can’t be bothered to locate a shoe. Plus not really worth ruining a TV and even worse a perfectly good shoe.

But it hasn’t gotten so bad yet, that’s more towards middle of July all the way through till September. I spend most of the time lounging in front of a fan or in search of the remote for the an air conditioner (I know it’s not good for the environment, but when it hits 90 plus it’s hard to be an Eco warrior).  The one this I pray is the electricity doesn’t go out. A couple of years back the electricity went out over the Fourth of July weekend, for three days we didn’t have electricity. It was hot and awful. I am a city girl and an absolute wimp. I think I would stink at those survival weekends, most likely I would wither away into a sad little pile or melt into a grumpy little puddle. Either way it would not be a pretty sight. I know that in the desert areas it’s a dry heat, but to me heat is heat. I always wondered if there were places that didn’t used to get hot. If so, when can I move there.

I guess the heat makes me a bit squirrely, but the plants seem to like it. When I came home a few days ago I saw this little plant (sorry, I have no idea what its name is) smiling at me. I thought it looked cute and so I made a mental note to take a snapshot sometime. I thought why not today and so here the little fella is, just beaming away. I also noticed it started to bloom little yellow flowers, maybe it was excited that today was the start of summer. Maybe I should try to be more excited too. OK, it’s going to have to be something I work my way up to.

I wonder how everyone else feels about summer…


Tea Time…

I’ve got something to tell you, I am a TEA LOVER!!!!! It’s not a secret by any means, but it something that seems to have more symbolism to me than maybe it should. I think that tea’s popularity may depend on your location, and how you drink it will also depend on the cultures way of serving it also (for instance I may look at you funny if you put sugar in hot green tea).  But I digress, that may be a pattern with me, let me tell you about my tea background. In our house there was coffee and tea served, but my favorite was tea, an even bigger joy was when my Tía (aunt) would have a tea party. She would have yummy munchies and serve it in an elegant tea set. It was all so wonderful. My Mom and other tías would buy me mini porcelain tea sets, and I would find new ways of damaging said tea sets. Of course all of the damages were accidental and I would glue the little pieces back, but it was never the same. Things would leak. Come to think of it, not one of those little sets survived my rough and tumble childhood. I was quite a funny mischievous little thing.

But as I grew older I learned to, thankfully, take better care of my things. Another thing that came with age is that tea has taken on a whole other role in my life. While I always enjoyed the drink, I hadn’t realized how it became part of my daily ritual and how it became a time to spend chatting with people I enjoy.  It became something special to me. I thought of the roles it played in the Chinese and Japanese culture.  And found it funny that the name of tea is the same in both, it’s pronounced chá and the character used is 茶.  Although there are other dialectical pronunciations, I’m going to go with the mandarin version to make it easier.

  • Fun Fact: I believe our way of saying tea is based upon the Fujian dialect which referred to it as tu

In China, Japan and Korea there are tea ceremonies. Each culture has developed a formal and ritualized way of making, presenting, and consuming tea. These ceremonies were a way of showing your “breeding” with displays of etiquette. I have never been to one myself, and assume I would end up like a big goofy Clydesdale with looks of scorn cast upon me. All those broken little tea sets are now coming back to haunt me. That being said, I think I would like to study up on the proper etiquette and try my hand at one of these ceremonies. I hope to not embarrass myself too much.

What I have now are informal impromptu tea sessions. I collect tea cups and tea pots and love to procure interesting teas. I have a few one cup tea pots, with the cup and teapot sold as a set, like the one below.

One of my many teapots...unfortunately you can't see the pretty design at this angle.

I wouldn’t say that I am overly picky about my teas, but I think I may be. I think I am in denial over how fussy I really am. I bet if I had a therapist I would have been telling them about this. I tend to like loose leaf teas. Right now I am enjoying Mighty Leaf’s blend Mandarin Rose

Mighty Leaf's Mandarin Rose, just about to go in it's tea bag...

It’s a blend of black tea with rose petals and longan fruit (tastes like lychee), and it is delicious. Just in case you are confused about the different types of teas, basically the lighter the color (of the tea leaf) the lighter the flavor. And all the tea leaves are from the same type of plant, the colors are referring to how they were produced and processed. Honestly, if I were to go on with all the types of teas I would be here for a very long time. But in addition to tea leaf teas, there are more fragrant teas, like blooming flower tea, and fruit teas. My favorite trick, if you don’t have a lot of cash is take a lemon and slice it, place a few slices in your cup and add water that has boiled a couple of minutes ago (extremely hot boiling water can ruin tea as it is too hot). Add some honey to taste and you have a lovely lemon tea. If you can get an organic lemon, so you can avoid pesticides.

I think I have rambled on about my love of tea for long enough. One of my dreams is to open my own little tea shop, where my old and new friends can gather and relax. As my friend, if and when I met you I would like to pour you a cup a tea. For me, that is something I must do for you. It’s my way of showing that I have respect and care for you.