If anything can go wrong, it will.

14K Fridays: Week… 2?

Last week I wrote a post called “Fourteen Thousand“, in which I made a short list of things that make me happy. I thought that maybe, in the spirit of never taking anything for granted, I might make a short list every Friday from here on out of things that, well, make me happy.

Yes, I know I didn’t write the first list on a Friday, but, “14K Fridays” sounds nicer than “14K Wednesdays” and Fridays tend to make me happier than Wednesdays, anyway. We’re going to call this Week 2. Right, enough babbling, on with the list!

  1. Doing the laundry. Yes, you read that right, doing the laundry makes me happy. I love the way everything comes out of the dryer hot and smelling like heaven.
  2. Spring. I just love when winter comes to a close and the days get a little longer. As much as I may complain about the Midwest, spring is really lovely here. It’s not too humid yet, and there’s usually a lovely breeze (or, well, full-on wind, but hey, still nice). I love when I start to hear the birds chirping every morning, and the crickets start singing their songs at night. (The cicadas can go fuck themselves, though, thank you very much).
  3. Tulips. Without a doubt they are my favourite flower. A couple of side notes: One, I am not a huge fan of the idea of giving or receiving cut flowers. I’d rather be given seeds (or bulbs) to plant or a potted plant of some kind. I’ve never complained about receiving flowers, as the thought counts, and that would be rude, but I just like the idea of living flowers better than ones that are slowly dying in front of your face. Two, I dislike roses immensely.
  4. The way that Alex never sees my flaws as flaws. Listen, I’m not putting myself down here or anything, but, honestly we all have our imperfections. Thing is, Alex never seems to see mine as imperfections, and frequently points them out as things that he loves about me.
  5. The sense of satisfaction I get from completing a project. I’m remarkably hard on myself, so when I hit a point at which I look at something I’ve been working on and say, “That’s great. I’ve finished”, I can honestly say I’m proud of it.
  6. The cool side of the pillow. As much as I love doing (and folding) the laundry, there’s few things finer than crawling into nice crisp sheets and resting your head on the coolness of your pillowcase. Thankfully, once you’ve warmed up the one side, you can extend the pleasure by flipping your pillow over.
  7. The feel of lush green grass under my bare feet. As a little girl, I used to get into so much trouble for running around barefoot all the time. As an adult, I do what I want.
  8. My teddy bear. Yes, I just said I was an adult. I also said I do what I want, so if I want to continue to sleep with my childhood teddy bear, I will do just that. He’s kind of a large bear, and he’s great for laying my head on. He might be a little … erm … smooshed because I’ve been laying my head on his formerly fluffy teddy bear chest since… forever.
  9. Tea. Dear England, I’m totally on board with this tea thing. I love a nice hot cup of tea with milk and two sugars. Of course, being Southern by heritage, if not by current location or birth, I also love sweetened iced tea.
  10. Homemade toffee-flavoured lip balm. Yes, I make it myself.

7 Responses to 14K Fridays: Week… 2?

  • Tea is the mainstay of my life too. I drink it black, though, a habit I acquired when I became vegetarian and gave up milk. If you drink it without milk, it needs to be good quality tea as ordinary teas are blended with the philosophy that the milk will hide a multitude of sins.
     
    My favourite teas are Chinese teas and I usually have a blend called Russian Caravan. I mix it myself because if you buy it ready mixed, you don’t know what rubbish they may have put in it.

    • I primarily just drink a basic black tea, honestly, as I don’t know enough to be too terribly discriminating. Some brands of black tea over here that I’ve encountered, though, have been terrible, even with milk and sugar.

      Every once in a while I’ll stray from my black tea into the territory of Earl Grey or English breakfast tea, and when I’m tired and can not sleep, chamomile. I’ve never had Russian Caravan, but someday, perhaps I’ll try it!

  • “English Breakfast” is the common or garden tea served in cafes and restaurants. It’s really just your ordinary tannin-larded Typhoo or Tetleys that you’d buy in the supermarket. The characteristic of Earl Grey is that bergamot oil is added to give it its familiar taste and smell which I personally find disagreeable.
     
    If you find a shop or online vendor selling good tea, here are some suggestions. Darjeeling (Indian) is considered the “champagne of teas” and has a devoted following. I prefer China teas to Indian and suggest Keemun (a gentle, uncontroversial tea) or Oolong (a little stronger tasting). (Oolong can be horribly expensive but is affordable at the bottom end of the price range.) If you like tea with a strong smoky flavour, Lapsang Souchong is the tea of choice, either alone or (if too strong) mixed with a milder tea such as Keemun.
     
    Russian Caravan is 2 parts Oolong plus 1 part Keemun plus 1 part Lapsang. According to legend, it used to be brought from China to Russia by camel caravan, hence the name. Tea vendors chuck anything they have left over into their “Russian Caravan” so don’t buy it ready mixed unless the ingredients are stated. (Even then be suspicious!)
     
    All of these should be brewed in a pot (tea bags are heresy!) and drunk preferably without milk. I would also say without sugar but I know that people who are addicted to sugar find it hard to give up.
     
    The good thing about the Boston Tea Party (the historical event not the political party) is that by depriving Americans of tea in the past it is providing them with the immense pleasure of rediscovering it in modern times. Unfortunately, too many have only met it in inferior brands and have therefore quite reasonably concluded that it is not worth bothering with.

    • See, that’s exactly the thing about tea, here… we don’t have a lot of shops where the selection is at all reasonable, unless you find a specialty shop, and I haven’t yet found a place nearby that I like.

      Here, the teas labeled as “English breakfast tea” tend to vary. Some are 100% Keemun, some refuse to list their specific ingredients. I suspect the ones that refuse to list their ingredients are simply trading on the hope that we Americans will think the tea more interesting and valuable by nature of it being “English breakfast tea”.

      I’m a big fan of companies willing to specifically list their ingredients, and this is not just limited to tea.

      Thanks for letting me know what’s specifically in Russian Caravan. I’ll give it a try, now that I know.

      I prefer to try new things without adding anything to them (in this case, milk or sugar) because curiosity would always get the better of me, anyway.

  • Even here in the UK it is becoming difficult to find reliable suppliers of good quality tea. I normally buy online now from companies I know. One of these is Wilkinson’s of Norwich and they now have a branch in the US, Wilkinson’s – USA. Never having traded with the American branch, I don’t know how good they are so I offer it for your cautious attention.

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