Tea For One
Let's play four truths and a lie. This week the following things happened. Guess which one is the lie:
1. Keanu Reeves started following me on Instagram.
2. I found a turkey baster and a barstool in my bathroom.
3. I had to replace my entire downstairs air conditioning. The new unit works beautifully. There are no loud, strange noises and there is no condensation (i.e. mold magnets) dripping onto the new wooden platform the unit sits on in my garage.
4. Rory (my 3 year-old granddaughter) found a fry in her lunch with some of the skin still on it. She responded thusly: "Yook at dis burnt French fry. You no get a cooking show."
5. I spent the night with a banana peel wrapped around my foot.
If you guessed number three, then you win.
The part about me replacing the downstairs air conditioning is true. But unfortunately, the unit does, in fact, operate loudly and is dripping condensation onto the new platform in the garage.
These things are despite the fact that I did my due diligence in hiring an a.c. person, getting more than one estimate and choosing a company that was personally recommended.
I also chose the higher estimate, because I got a wary feeling from the representative with the lower price point.
This is an example of trying to do everything the right way, and still having it turn out wrong.
To have a new platform built and find water dripping on it from day one, made me livid. Not to mention the clanging noise and loud swooshing.
The a.c. man was able to stop the clanging, but it appears as though I may have to live with the swooshing. This is the price of the better circulating air filter. Or so I'm told
I slept with a banana peel around my foot because amidst the air conditioning fiasco, I thought I stepped on a shard of glass, but could not get it out of my foot
I thought maybe I had been mistaken, but after three days I couldn't put my weight on the foot.
Unable to find Draw Out Salve, a noxious smelling black paste we used in the old days for splinters, I found the banana remedy on the internet.
After sleeping with said banana wrapped around my foot, I took an hour long bath in epsom salts. This, too, was recommended online.
Finally I spotted the shard and was able to remove it.
What a lesson in self care.
Had I seriously focused on the foot when I first stepped on the glass, then I wouldn't have spent three days walking around in pain.
Nor would I have had the pleasure of feeling a squishy banana peel on my foot all night.
But I was too busy chasing around kids, grocery shopping, doing laundry and feeding people to stop and take care of myself.
That a three year-old was making comments on her lunch as though she were a Food Network executive judging "The Next Food Network Star" should have clued me in that in addition to neglecting myself, I had been focusing way too much on food with these children.
My Aunt M sent me some links to fun art projects to do with kids.
Between that and Rory's comment, I knew I had to make some changes.
I made a trip to Michael's and the girls and I got to work.
I say that I got to work because there is a facet of doing art with children that I had long forgotten about.
Kids tire easily. They also want your complete attention and participation.
When Remy and Rory lay on the floor painting t-shirts this week, they pleaded for me not only to join them, but to finish the sections that were too difficult for them.
As I laid on the floor painting in the mermaid cat's tail, I realized how much fun I was having.
Ironically, I have sent crayons and coloring books to two adult friends to help them de-stress during difficult times.
If course I never would have thought of getting some for myself.
The next day the girls and I did a sidewalk chalk project. It was a far cry from the gorgeous Pinterest stained glass chalk art that I had seen online.
And I also had the wrong tape because Michael's was out of painter's tape.
It was okay. The girls probably had more fun messing with the tape than they did the chalk.
I enjoyed sitting on the sidewalk and chalking in the squares they didn't want to finish.
If I'm truthful with myself, I had been avoiding art projects with the kids since Rory was old enough to participate.
She is a wicked smart, vivacious child. She is also a proverbial handful.
Yesterday, I spent 10 minutes squeezing Play-doh out of the squeeze bottles I purchased for a puffy paint sidewalk project. Rory had managed to get an entire tiny tub through the bottle's little opening.
Although she won't admit it, I'm sure Rory is also responsible for the turkey baster and barstool that showed up in my bathroom.
This morning I woke up shivering. "Crap," I thought. What is going on with the air conditioner now?
When I walked into my front room, the thermostat was turned down to 45 degrees.
The actual temperature was in the 60's.
Remy confirmed on a phone call that Rory had indeed messed with the thermostat.
Yesterday afternoon the girls had set up and obstacle course of sorts in the front of the house.
The step stool was close enough to the thermostat for Rory to reach it.
They were playing "The floor is lava," while I sat just a few feet away.
My eyes were on them. I've no idea if Rory seized her opportunity to wreak havoc when I got up to go to the bathroom or get a glass of water.
The point is, I was doing the right thing and still couldn't stop her curious hands.
In addition to the crafty links, my aunt also sent me the most gorgeous teapot this week.
I had mentioned to her that I've been trying to please myself more in the way I decorate my house.
Years ago, I collected teapots. It's only recently that I began to display them again.
Their whimsical nature reminds me of a time when people slowed down in the afternoon and savored tea and a snack with friends and family.
The gift was a stunning Mackenzie Childs teapot. It's beautiful designs made me want to drop everything immediately and enjoy some tea.
I was surprised and touched by the teapot, but also realized something important.
Sometimes self-care can be as simple as drawing with chalk on a sidewalk or stopping to appreciate a hot drink in a beautiful vessel.
Taking care of ourselves shouldn't only happen when we get glass in our foot. If we wait until then, it may be too late.
Caring for others, cooking, cleaning, going to work and laundry will always be there.
Things that make me bananas, such as a fraudulent Keanu Reeves following me on Instagram and turkey basters in my bathroom may never go away.
Doing the right thing for our homes and loved ones is no guarantee that things will turn out well.
But your ability to deal with annoyances can be greatly bolstered by taking a little time for yourself.
Tea for one. It's an idea we should all embrace.
* Every flight attendant must carry mandatory items with them to work, as per the F.A.A. Along with these items, such as an i.d. badge my suitcase always had a selection of my favorite teabags.
While I love Earl Grey in the morning, afternoons and evenings are for white rose petal tea.
The scent when you open the individually wrapped tea and then dunk it in hot water is glorious.
I have used it many times to focus on something beautiful, rather than the fact that I'm stuck in a metal tube at 30,000 feet for hours and hours.
My favorite is Numi White Rose Organic Tea. You can order it online, though I've found World Market has the best prices.
Because self-care is better with bubbles, I urge you to take bubble baths.
Or sip a glass of Champagne, sparkling wine or club soda if you don't imbibe.
If you have read some of my other posts, then you know I'm a huge fan of Champagne cocktails.
To that end I give you the white rose sparkler.
White Rose Sparkler
3 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
1 ounce rose tea syrup
Pour Champagne into a chilled flute.
Add tea syrup. Garnish with edible rose buds or rose petals. If desired.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 tea bags of your choice
Bring one cup of sugar and one cup of water to a boil. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat. Add in the tea bags and steep for ten to fifteen minutes.
Remove tea bags and store in the refrigerator. Make sure it is completely chilled before putting it into a cocktail.
Makes one cup.
* Tea syrup can be made with any flavor tea and can be used in a variety of cocktail recipes. Experiment with it and have fun.