Snowzilla! And sleeping cats.

Our little section of the country just had a blizzard, dubbed Snowzilla, that lasted 36 hours. We had hours and hours of snow and wind then sunshine enough today to make the snow glisten and look BEAUTIFUL. Digging out will take time.

It’s hard to tell exactly how much snow we got since the wind was a-blow’n and made some gargantuan snow drifts. (Is that a car or a snowdrift or both?) But as far as I can tell our area got 25 inches of snow. My mom’s town, an hour away, got 38 inches. That’s just crazy snow. I don’t think I’ve seen quite this much since I lived in a suburb of Chicago back when I was a kid. (I’ve seen close, but …)

No school for the kids tomorrow and no school on Tuesday either. The county rarely (if ever) announces two days, straight up, in a row. No announcement about Wednesday yet.

Metro (our subway and bus system) has been closed since Friday evening. That’s practically unheard of. They need to clean the subway/train tracks as well as more of the roads for the buses. I think they’re hoping to open again Monday, but I’m guessing full service won’t be back until Tuesday? Wednesday? Who knows.

In our humble abode we’re well stocked on food, but I wish I’d shopped for a shovel earlier last week. By the time I tried to buy one there were no shovels to be had. I would have looked sooner and harder if I didn’t think I had a garden shovel in storage. But when I went to fetch the shovel I realized the shovel wasn’t so much a shovel as a flat edger for trimming grass next to a sidewalk. Why do I even have that? It’s not going to move much snow. We’d do better with a large pot or even a cookie sheet.

I ended up using a piece of cardboard (folded slightly origami style) to shovel a section of balcony near our door. I didn’t want too much snow falling back into our home when we opened the door to go out. But I’d really like to shovel off more of the balcony as a whole because there’s a lot of snow. That’s going to melt, and it’s going to have to go somewhere.

This morning, after the snow had stopped, our cat Mojo for the first time EVER in his entire life climbed up onto my lap and went to sleep. He’s never ever done that before in our 15 years of being his family. So much for teaching old dogs (and cats) new tricks. He taught himself.

He climbed up while I had my legs stretched out under a blanket. First he tried to get comfortable on my shins. Then he shifted and found my lap more comfortable (it’s a lot softer). He curled up and finally went to sleep. A total first. I hated to have to move him.

He loves sitting next to us on the couch. But sitting on us has never been his thing. He was a feral cat before we adopted him from an animal rescue group. Terrified of people, we couldn’t even pick him up for YEARS after we got him. So maybe today he felt cold and wanted some extra warmth, but it’s not like it’s never been cold in here before. This was a landmark move for our skittish and brave boy. I’ll be curious to see if he does it again.

Our totally laid back cat Fletcher slept by my feet the entire time. It was kitty heaven.

So today we all watched Interstellar. We haven’t sat as a family and watched a movie often enough recently (except Star Wars but that’s Star Wars so …). Dave had seen Interstellar before, but Sara and I had not. It’s a long movie. But by the end we were all in tears. Then Dave was laughing at all of us for getting so emotional over a movie. But MOVIE! We liked it and would like to watch it again because it glossed over some details that we’d like to catch next time around. It really had to gloss over some of the details because otherwise it would have been, like, a five-hour move. But we liked it. We were all warm on the inside with all the beautiful sparkling snow on the outside. It was nice.

 

Tea for Tuesday: Tea for Health and Wellness

Teavana finished up many sale items and rolled out with seven new tea blends this week as part of a new “Wellness” line. Each new tea has a specific health benefit as well as a lovely aroma and presumably good flavor too. I got to try one of them.

Their new blends are Defense, Purify, Rejuvenate, Recover, Rev Up, Comfort, and Serenity. These are mostly blends of actual tea as well as fruit or fruit flavors and sometimes herbs. I’m not sure if any of the ingredients are organic. The store folks said, “yes,” but I don’t see that on the website right now (I could be missing it). For blends containing citrus peels organic is the better way to go. Sprays sit on the outside of the fruit and can leach into the peel.

While you can’t tell much about taste from any of the Wellness tea names, you can tell more from the descriptions and the ingredient lists.

For example Rev Up is a blend of black, oolong, and green teas mixed with mango, apples and passion fruit for a lot of tea flavor enhanced with a tropical kick. It claims to boost your metabolism with the blend of tea. With black tea and oolong, it certainly has caffeine so there’s at least some real potential for boost there. I like that it’s a blend of real tea and a nice, but not overpowering, fruit flavor.

I was able to try Rev Up as an iced tea. It tasted like a real-tea iced tea along with tropical fruit. I most noted the mango flavor, but I’d say there’s certainly a blend. I think I’d like this one in the summer, but I could see drinking it hot in the winter as well. It is similar to their Limited Edition Holiday tea called Joy but mixed with a bit more tropical fruit instead of just apricot.

The new blend called Comfort contains ginger, orange peel, lemon, rooibos, chamomile, spearmint, fennel, peppermint, and more. Teavana claims these can help you balance yourself and feel good. I’m not sure how well that claim is going to sit with the FDA (we shall see), but I do know that many of those ingredients — ginger, fennel, and mint — can help settle nausea or an upset stomach. I certainly feel better when my stomach is not upset. This is one of the few Wellness blends with no actual tea in the mix. That’s good if you have an upset stomach as the caffeine of real tea can be rough on a stomach. Plus caffeine can make some folks feel unsettled emotionally too. Chamomile, on the other hand, is very gentile and soothing. My grandmother let me drink chamomile ea when I was a kid.

Other teas are Defense with extra vitamin C (I have no idea how much) and white tea along with spices, pineapple, lemongrass, and blackberry leaves.

Purify with jasmine-scented white tea, apples, hibiscus, rose hip, beetroot, orange, and rose petals. It says these ingredients will help to keep you hydrated. Well, drinking liquids certainly helps to keep you hydrated, so there’s that. The red from hibiscus and beetroots makes it a really pretty blend. The pigments in those are also good anti-oxidants.

Rejuvenate with gobs of caffeine (for a tea) from black tea and yerba mate is energizing along with spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Recover claims a detox affect with citrus, mint, and green tea.

Serenity is their relaxing blend with chamomile, blackberry leaves, lemongrass, lavender, rose, apple, lemon balm, beetroot, and orange. This is the other blend with no real tea or caffeine. It’s another pretty one to look at. Chamomile and lavender are usually considered soothing and relaxing. Lemon balm may help releave depression in some people.

I’ll look forward to trying some more.

On a side note, my order for sale items I purchased online at Teavana.com are all listed as “on hold.” Apparently, if one item ends up out-of-stock, the warehouse puts the entire order on hold (not their official policy according to their website, but that’s what’s happening to me and many other folks). We shall see if I get any of my order. Ugh! I may have to drink some Serenity or Comfort if this doesn’t go well (or check out some other tea vendors).

I hope all is well with all of you.

 

 

Happy New Year! 

I don’t know how it got to be 2016 already. At this rate it will be 2017 in about a month. Our cats seem completely unphased by the passing of the year. They ate dinner, so it’s sleepy time for them. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful year filled with fun, family, friends, laughter, and new things to wow and amaze you (in a good way).

Happy 2016, folks!