The Garden and the Hair

I’m pretty happy that there’s a little life left in my balcony garden here in autumn. It makes a fun contrast to the changing trees. And means we get a few more ripe tomatoes before I pickle all the green ones that are left.

And practicing a classic Princess Leia ‘do for, ya know, an upcoming day that  I might want to wear it like this. I should try it around some kind of form to give it a bit more size. (These are much better buns than my nine-year-old self could muster, though, so I feel a sense of accomplishment.)

We visited my mom’s old house today. It will be torn down and replaced with a larger more modern house. We weren’t sure what we’d find — house or no house, trees or no trees. We held our breath as we got close. 

The house and trees are still there. One rose bush has been dug up along with most of the butterfly bush. Not sure what the builder is doing there. A white pipe is sticking up from the dirt nearby. But there’s one rose bush left, and it’s covered with roses!

And that’s it for Day 5 NaBloPoMo.

NaBloPoMo Day 4

I’m working on several posts for the upcoming days but none are finished yet, and I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open right now. I fear that if I close them for a short cat nap then it will be tomorrow before I open them again. I’m only four days in to NaBloPoMo and am not ready to throw in the towel. So here’s something.

Several things happened today other than all the normal stuff like food, laundry, work, and getting my daughter to school. 

I got some paperwork in that has been on my to do list. Always feels good to get something done.

I officially changed calling plan for my iPhone. Verizon has some better deals now than when I first got my phone. For $20 less per month I get 50% more data than I had plus unlimited texts and mobile hot spots. I’m still tempted to jump ship to an even less expensive carrier but giving Verizon a second chance for now.

Unlimited texts would never have mattered to me until September. We got our daughter a nice and nicely priced Andriod phone for her birthday along with a very inexpensive calling & data plan. It’s working well. Thank goodness she has unlimited texts!

I’ve reached my text limit two, yes two, months in a row. Crazy. Part of the problem is that we tend to send strings of short little messages that spread across five or so individual texts. That adds up. We could have put it all into one or two text messages but instead it’s more like this:

“Hey mom”

“I’m done with homework”

“Can we watch Back to the Future II?”

“Can I have pie?”

“R you going 2 b home soon?”


And I answer her in equally short messages. Now, we are both free to send mini-texts to our hearts’ content.














Which I probably won’t do because it’s a pain. But, hey.

And I’m excited about mobile hot spot because it means I can connect my iPad mini while I’m out and get more stuff done without trying to read the tiny symbols on my phone as my fingers type a string of typos that I have to fix. Once I figure out how to do it, I can mobile-write a lot more easily (at least I sure do hope so).

Virginia had a little earthquake early this morning. I don’t think I felt it.

Screenwriter Melissa Mathison passed away today. She wrote E.T. She was also married to Harrison Ford for many years. Hello!, a smart, talented writer married Han Solo. That counted for something back in my teen years. I was sad that they divorced, but I’m even sadder to read of her passing.

We’re having an unusually warm couple of days and more tomatoes and peppers are still growing and even ripening on our balcony! It helps that the balcony is on the sunny south side of the building. I think having plants close to the building helps extend the growing season too. It’s November! 

Made a really yummy Tortilla Soup for dinner complete with a few balcony tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. My kiddo had hers in a bread bowl (pictured below) because bread bowls are yummy.

Trying hard to keep on schedule with writing. Every day is a challenge. I like the writing it’s the schedule that’s the tricky part.

That’s about all for now. I’m typing with my phone while leaning on one arm reclined on the couch and my leanin’ arm is starting to go numb. Perfect time to shift and post.

Have a good one, folks!

Tea for Tuesday – Caramel Almond Amaretti Herbal Tea: a mini review

Tea for Tuesday (should I make that Tea for Twos-day?)

Caramel Almond Amaretti Herbal Tea from Teavana: a mini tea review

If you like cookies, coffee cake, nuts and sweets but don’t want all the calories that go along with eating those yummy things then this might be a good tea for you (and me too). 

Right now I’m pretty tempted to scarf down several more pieces of Halloween candy. There’s a pumpkin filled with candy sitting about eight feet from my mouth. I am trying to be good. I made a cup of tea instead.

Caramel Almond Amaretti may help satisfy the urge to indulge in sweets or baked goods without actually indulging in any sweet baked goods. This ability was my favorite thing about Teavana’s Toasted Nut Brûlée tea which has been discontinued. Caramel Almond Amaretti tastes somewhat like coffee cake to me. 

Unsweetened, Caramel Almond Amaretti has a light nutty fruity taste. I don’t find the taste to be especially of almonds, maybe some candied almonds with an overall nuttiness. 

The color is beautiful! It’s a light red blush. Natural beet root gives it this color. I steeped for about five minutes in good hot water.

The flavor seems a little watered down before adding any sweetener. But adding a little something sweet really kicks up the flavor. It brings out the caramel taste and enhances the sweet nut, cinnamon, and fruit flavors. The good side is that you can add as much or little of any sweetener you like — real raw sugar, honey, stevia, sucralose, agave nectar or others. 

I added a couple of drops of a liquid stevia and monk fruit blend. It did the trick and I didn’t eat any more Halloween candy (for now)!

Teavana’s Caramel Almond Amaretti contains:

Apple pieces, cinnamon, coconut chips, beetroot pieces, and artificial flavoring.

So there is a down side. You may notice that there are no nuts except coconut listed in the ingredients. And no caramel either. That’s where the artificial flavoring comes in. 

I’ve suspected the coconut chips of containing other flavors before in Teavana. In another Teavana tea they tasted like citrus. 

Taste a fresh dry coconut chip from this tea. Notice that those coconut pieces do not have much coconut flavor instead they taste strongly of nuts and some caramel. If you hate the idea of artificial flavoring this may be a big turn off for you. If you’re on the fence, you may not mind. The flavor is pretty good. 

One more downside, I only get one cup of good flavor out of this tea. I can get an okay second cup, but it tastes different. After that it just tastes like beets. While the cost of $7.98 per 2 ounces makes it one of the less expensive teas from Teavana,  it’s still on the pricy side. I’ll drink it as a dessert tea rather than a daily brew.

To some it up, I was looking for a possible replacement for the discontinued Toasted Nut Brûlée from Teavana. Caramel Almond smelled like a good candidate. Dry it smells like cake. Toasted Nut Brûlée reminded me a lot of an oatmeal cookie with cinnamon and raisins. There were several teas that I thought were worth trying based on ingredients. This is the closest so far, though it lacks some of the raisin flavor in Toasted Nut Brûlée. But it does help me satisfy a sweet tooth and that’s a big win in my book.

[Edited on 7-4-15 to add info on price and clarity]

I think I’m going to try to have a new tea review each Tuesday in November for Tea for Tuesday. I’ll try to post them earlier in the day than this one (it’s now 11:28 as I finish this up). The is also a post for my Day 3 of NaBloPoMo.

Zombies, Buns, and More to Come (And NaBloPoMo Day 2 Happens)

For Halloween my daughter dressed as a zombie. It was a creepy look for her until she smiled and these clean white teeth shined out from the gloomy makeup. It made me giggle.

Not sure if she’ll trick or treat next year as she might be getting a little old for it. It was still fun this year for both of us.

I started a Halloween story which is kind of funny since the other story I was working on could, in a way, be considered a little Halloween-y too.

I have been testing the Princess-Leia-buns hairdo on both me and on one of our cats. The other cat would never sit still long enough for this nonsense. This did not make the patient cat especially happy either.

I mean, he didn’t mind me with my hair in buns so much, but I got an elastic set of buns that was made for dogs and tried those on him. It seemed fitting for Halloween and will be handy come December. He, as usual, was adorable. He’s very good at putting up with me. I bring home cat food and am mostly very nice to him.

Zombies and buns is my brief entry for Day 2, November 2 of NaBloPoMo. Hey, it’s something.

More to come soon:

A new review of Teavana tea — yummy!

A review of some seasonal Glade fragrances. This is a new thing for me to post. I’m a fairly new fan of Glade. But I love the autumn scents which are on clearance many places now.

And I may even post a Zombie Apples recipe and make some Apple Butter in the near future. Thank you to (name goes here soon but if I look it up now I won’t get this post done by midnight) for the apple butter idea. I can’t get it out of my head now. I love apple butter and it’s a little hard to find in the stores (not to mention yummy to cook).

NaBloPoMo – Whereby I try to write every day in November and other people do too

I’m going to try NaBloPoMo (National Blogging Po Month?). I’ll have to find out what “Po” stands for. I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with Teletubbies.

So this is my first post here on November 1, 2015. It’s not a fancy post. I have more things coming for November, though I’m sure some days will be harder than others. Writing everyday is not the worst goal in the word. I already have it has a basic goal whether it involves posting on my blog or not. (Hmm, does “Po” stand for “Posting?” I’ll have to find out.)

I have other goals too. I’d like to participate in NaNoWriMo which is the National Novel Writing Month (aka November). But while I’m going to work on stories I’m not very likely to be able to write enough words per day to complete an entire novel in November alone. I mean, HELLO, November — that’s the month before Christmas and the one that contains Thanksgiving. There’s other stuff to do like cleaning our home and getting rid of stuff. And that whole food and eating and feeding my family thing. Bathing (hopefully). Laundry. Always with the laundry. And more other general getting caught up on stuff that I need to get caught up on. That list is too long.

As a start NaBloPoMo, I’m putting some handy links here because I have a feeling I’m gonna need ’em. I have a tendency to misplace things. I may update this has I find more stuff. Anybody else out there doing this? Yes, I know the answer is “yes,” so “hello and good luck!. May the force be with you!”

DailyPost WordPress: Making It Through NaBloPoMo.

Blogher’s page on NaBloPoMo.






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