Monday, October 31, 2011

Another passing

2011 has been the year from hell for me and it seems not to be finished yet. So far, I've lost my mother, my full-time job, several other relatives, my car and now, a big huge tree.
If you're wondering how a tree deserves to be in the list, let me explain. When I was 13, we moved into this house and my father and mother planted two spruce and one pine tree in the front yard. At the time, it looked funny since they were only knee high and tiny on a big expanse of lawn. But over the years, they grew and grew until they all reached about 30 feet, outliving the actual people who planted them - until last night.
Around 9:30 pm, I hear a strange noise, almost like someone opening a large bag of chips. Not scary or even loud - just odd. Since we were having a storm, I looked outside, expecting to see a planter or lawn chair out of place but instead, I could see down the street - something I don't ever remember being able to do before. Then it hit me - I could see down the street because a tree was gone. It was one of the spruces my parents planted. And how it fell was odd - it could have fallen back and hit the house, forward and hit the road or to the right side and hit the neighbors car. Whatever way it fell, it should have taken out the power lines. But it did none of those things. Instead, it fell to the left and landed partially on the pine tree in the centre of the lawn, which is a bigger tree and could support it.
It did damage the pine but it seems to be more aesthetic than anything right now. The tree people will be removing some of damaged branches. I should know later if it needs to be removed completely. A tree company came by and cleaned up the spruce mess this morning and remarked that it was a miracle that it didn't knock the other tree down as well but I think it's pretty miraculous it fell the way it did and didn't damage anyone's property, my house or take out the power.
I love my trees, mostly because I associate them with my parents so sentimentally, it's a loss for me. But I do know that I won't be replacing them with another tree - those things get too big and can cost a fortune to remove at a later date. Maybe a small shrub will be planted in their place in the future to remember my parents.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just lazy today

Three posts in one day - so unlike me. Just finished dusting, vacuuming and cleaning floors - also very unlike me. It's all because I do have a pile of work facing me - and for some reason, I just don't want to do it. I'm not tired or sick. It's not terrible work. I just don't want to do anything but surf the net and watch TV.
I can be pretty immature sometimes.
I want the work, I want the money that goes with work - I just don't want to do the work. And I do know better. I just need to give myself the proverbial kick in the pants. In the meanwhile, I may just soothe my lazy bones with a pot of Winter Spice blend - black tea with apples, oranges and seasonal spices.
Maybe it will give me the energy to get back to what I should be doing!

Up and Up and Up

My family has always been a little odd - we all love to shop for groceries. My father, my mother, both my brothers and I enjoy going up and down the aisles, picking out our food. We've never been rich so the hunt for food has always been combined with the hunt for bargains. Unfortunately, bargains are few and far between these days.
When I was out earlier this week perusing the meat aisle, I was stunned at the prices. Packages of boneless and skinless chicken breasts were selling for between $25 and $32. A package with two small breasts were selling for $12 - just enough for one meal. I love chicken but frankly, I refuse to buy it at these prices - steak is much cheaper!
Even more depressingly, even though it's harvest time and fruit and vegetables should be at their cheapest, they're at all-time high prices. It's apple season and the stores around here want $1.99 a pound for substandard apples - what's up with that? Usually I buy a basket of pears at this time of year - I don't think I've ever paid more than $1.99 for a large basket. This year, the small baskets are going for $5.99. Didn't even get any peaches this year - again, way beyond my budget.
For a while, junk food was much cheaper than healthy food but those days seem to be past too. A large bottle of brand name soda used to go for 99 cents a bottle - now they want $2.49 for it.
No wonder people are using coupons and growing their own stuff - life is getting more and more expensive every day.

So much for that!

It's 5 C here today, raining in buckets and windy. Yep. Perfect fall weather. The kind of day where you really don't feel like doing anything except drink tea or, in my case, check out my new flavors of K-cups.
My order arrived this week and for $100, I think I did pretty well. I got a holiday box of 48 Green Mountain K-cups with spiced eggnog, French toast and gingerbread k-cups, several sample flavors, two boxes of decaf k-cups, including Green Mountain's French Vanilla and Dark Magic flavors and a box each of Gevalia's Swiss Hazelnut coffee, Twinnings Earl Grey and Twinnings Chai Tea lattes.
The Twinnings Earl Grey and Chai Tea lattes are old favorites. Don't really care for them in regular tea bags but through a Tassimo, they seem to take on a different personality. I'd highly recommend both.
The Gevalia Swiss Hazelnut smelled incredible out of the box - rich dark coffee smell coupled with hazelnut overtones. Unfortunately, the smell didn't translate into taste. They're OK but I won't be ordering that one again. And the same can be said of all the holiday flavors - they're OK but nothing special. Pretty disappointing since the whole point of the order was to get that spiced eggnog blend and it was pretty bland. Actually, the French Toast is the nicest of the bunch.
I also ordered a few samples, including one of Nabob's French Vanilla and that was a big mistake - shoulda ordered a box of that stuff! It's probably the best thing I ordered and I only ordered one. I'll have to be on the lookout for it at the grocery store.
Oh wait, the reason why I ordered in the first place was because no one carries this stuff around here ...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Remember Me?

For some reason, I just haven't been posting lately - I don't know why. I just haven't been thinking about it much. Might be time to shut 'er down.
I'm back to selling loose tea at craft shows and the local farmer's market. Around here , it isn't a money-making venture but it does allow me to indulge my first love - trying out new teas. One of those is Winter Spice from the Metropolitan Tea Company, which is a lovely winter-type tea that's a cross between an orange spice and a Christmas tea - what's not to like. And then there's Buttered Rum which is black tea with a non-alcoholic rum flavoring added to it - I think it would be nice blended with a black cream-flavored tea so I might try that at some point.
It's cold here, dark and dreary with rain. When I awoke this morning, someone had draped a set of pumpkin lights over my car. Odd. A bit unsettling too, since I really don't like people around my property. No damage done but I'm glad the car was locked up last night. And now I have this set of lights that I really don't know what to do with.