Overheard at home.

My daughter while playing with Legos:

“My fingers feel creamy.”

OK then. 🙂

I Should Just Get Out And Walk!

Some days, “I could get out and walk faster than this,” is just an expression–exaggeration uttered for dramatic effect to convey frustration over the lack of forward motion in a bad traffic situation. Often, people even add the word, “literally,” to bolster the dramatic effect. Most oft it feels like you could walk faster, but, in fact, at some point your car-driving self would pull ahead of your pedestrian self and might even smirk a little. Today is not one of those days.

I left my office at about 3:10 pm and it is now 5:57. My normal commute lasts about 20 minutes. There was no snow on my car when I left–just rain and pellets of frozen rain that had begun to enchrust my vehicle. The light shell was easy to brush away. Now I estimate there are a good three+ inches of heavy snow on top of my car. Traffic is at such a stand-still I was able to stop my engine and hop out to clear snow off the windows and lights without ever leaving the main thoroughfare. I’ve cleared my side-view mirror five times. The woman in the car in front of me has cleared her entire car twice. The road itself has somewhat less snow–certainly, less than it would have had, had there not been miles of nearly-stopped vehicles shielding it from the full on blizzard-like conditions. Hot engines melting copious little snowflakes before they could flutter to the ground. I have seen lightning twice (at least, I think it was lightning–either that or blown transformers) and the woman in front of me just got out and cleared her car for a third time. I fear I may run out of gas. I am STILL not home, but I am close now. Close enough to know with absolute certainty that I could, indeed, walk home faster than this. 6:09.

6:20 I pull into my garage. Home!

[Adding a footnote to this. While I was relatively stressed and actually shaking by the time I got home, sitting in traffic for so long gave me some time to do a little reading, blogging, and briefly chatting with my fellow traffic sufferers. It could have been worse. My short (in miles), but time consuming drive yielded a solid 4-5 inches of heavy snow on top of my car. But I would later discover that some folks in our area would take over 13 hours to get home. There were kids stuck in daycares most of the night as their parents trudged through the slow moving traffic to reach them. I have to say, I had it pretty darn good in comparison.]

Holy frozen toes!

It is currently 7 degrees here. That’s s-e-v-e-n. Not 17. And I’m talking fahrenheit. Glad for my gas fireplace and cup of hot tea. Can’t I just stay home today?

Gao Shan Good

Living close to an H Mart has its advantages. They have a huge selection of cheaply priced produce, an amazing selection of fish (some of which I’ve even been brave enough to try), and a hefty number of noodle soups and sauces to choose from. They also have a really nice selection of tea. The only problem–much of the packaging is written in another language. H Mart is a busy international food grocery store which focuses on Asian food. But I love tea, and it’s a lot of fun trying new teas even if most of the packaging is indecipherable!

I’d been exploring green tea ’cause H Mart has been a veritable treasure trove of Japanese green teas, but the special little “english” sticker on a particular shiny gold packet said, “High Mountain Oolong Tea,” and that sounded rather intriguing. At about $10 for a 100g (3 oz) packet of tea, the price is pretty good for a nice Oolong. The shiny gold packet may have been optimal to protect the tea from light damage (and who doesn’t like shiny gold?), but it didn’t let me see what the tea looked like so I didn’t know if it would be a greener Oolong or more of a black Oolong like Wu Yi, the recently discontinued Eastern Beauty, or Teavana’s new Phoenix Mountain Dan Cong Oolong? I thought I’d find out.

This is a greener oolong with its own unique character. Gao Shan has its own little niche in the oolong flavor spectrum. It seemed really mild at first–similar character to the green oolongs like Jade Oolong or Iron Buddha Oolong, but more subtle. At first I wondered if it was just a lower quality or if it had been on the shelf for a long time, but I think neither may be the case. This tea has grown on me. Some teas brew up strong and let all their flavor out quickly. Some grow bitter if left to steep for too long. A few allow for a slower steep in which flavors grow and blossom over time without becoming bitter. Gao Shan Oolong falls into this latter category. Using about teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water, you could leave it in your cup sipping over the beautifully unfurled leaves. Then simply add more hot water for another cup. The flavor is slightly floral with a hint of green–not grassy green, but forest green with hints of nuts, moss and woods. The color in the cup it is a gentle light mossy green. Good for many multiple infusions. It’s lovely.

Whoa, first post of 2011

Still don’t know where the time went, but it’s January 16 17 of 2011.

I am trying to do a better job of organizing my stuff in 2011! My living room is in the ultra scary starting-to-try-to-organize-but-not-yet-there phase where everything is strewn about to either keep, give away or throw away. Blogging has been non-existent until this brand spankin’ new 2011 post. (See how it sparkles?) And I want a Yoda and/or Star Wars GPS ’cause my Nuvi maps are getting a little old and I think I’d have a lot of fun with Yoda. To my destination guide me he would. I think I’d have to set driving directions even if I knew how to get to where i was going. (At least until I got sick of it and threw it out of the window.) Perhaps I should set driving directions especially if I know where I was going. Maybe Yoda could help me clean and organize? Do or do not. There is no try. So here’s my first post for 2011! Hopefully it won’t be too bad. A work in progress.