Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Day In Cups Of Tea

My weekdays begin at 6am with a cup of tea that my husband kindly makes and leaves on the kitchen counter for me.  I'm not a morning person and 6am is not a happy time for me.  I put together lunches for whoever needs one that day and then wake my daughter up, she's not a morning person either!  

Sometimes I have breakfast with my daughter before school and other times, I wait until I get back after drop off.  Today was an "after drop off" morning, gluten free oatmeal cooked with a some chopped apple, local walnuts and raisins and some pumpkin pie spice (a blend of cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves and cardamon) - delicious!

My local Target store has an instore Starbucks and I often get a cup of their "Awake" blend tea to sip while I shop especially if it is late morning and I'm starting to feel like I need it.  I used to drink strong black coffee all morning, but had to give it up for health reasons and I still miss everything about it.  I did some sewing today in-between laundry loads but more about that another time.

4pm is teatime.  Today the weather was gorgeous and I sat out in the garden and enjoyed my cup of tea.  I'm reading the newish Jacqueline Winspear book, "The Care And Management Of Lies" but am having a hard time getting into it.  I noticed there were more tomatoes to pick, some carrots ready for pulling and the lemons and grapefruit were tinged with yellow.   

Those turnip looking things in the center are watermelon radishes.  They like warm weather and are the most amazing color of shocking pink inside!  Here is the tomato and radish salad we had for dinner.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Whale Watching In The Monterey Bay

Last Tuesday my daughter had one of those odd days with no school so we decided to do another whale watching trip with Sanctuary Cruises.  Sanctuary Cruises use a small, bio diesel powered boat, with a maximum of about 30 people so it is a small group as well.  They operate out of Moss Landing.  In previous years we have done trips out of Monterey on a much bigger boat but I definitely prefer the smaller boat.  You are closer to the water and the wildlife BUT you are also tossed around by the waves more too!  It was a stunning day, clear and sunny but the waves were big and despite all my efforts I did feel seasick.  Take a look at the photos though, and I think you'll agree that any discomfort was totally worth it.  

This is a brown pelican gliding over the water, they are so graceful for such a big bird.  We had to go about 5 miles out to see whales.  We first saw a posse of California sea lions feeding on anchovies and then the humpback whales appeared.  Every time the sea lion frenzy happened we saw whales immediately after.  It was so cool!

As our boat wallowed in the swell, and we watched in awe as the whales fed, breached, tail and fin slapped the water, we gradually realized that there were about 3 whales very close to the boat.  Actually they were hanging out under the boat which was a little mind blowing, considering they were bigger than the boat.  The water was so clear we could see them under the water.  After a little while they surfaced and gave us blasts of whale breath!  They were there with us for probably about 20 to 30 minutes watching us watching them.  Because they were so close the captain couldn't start the boat engines so we really got thrown around by the waves and had to hang on tight to stay standing!  It was a very moving experience, I had goose bumps!  


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Work In Progress

I am finally feeling human again with the energy to think about sewing!  There is not much left of my jar of honey/ginger/lemon homemade cold remedy mixture and I will definitely make it again.  Over the last few days I have been working on a few different things.  Firstly I made a bunch of the little mini stockings that I first made to take to the quilt show.  I sold most of them there, so I've made more to put in my shop.  I just need to add the ribbon for hanging and then get them photographed and listed.  They are very cute and just the right size for a candy cane.  

Yesterday I finished up six tree stump needle books.  I completely sold out of these at the quilt show so these are now back in my shop.   

This morning I have been working on a Christmas tree ornament which is embroidered in the same style as my embroidered pumpkins.  Just as with the pumpkins, I used a hand dyed felted wool fabric because it has a nice texture and this one has a faint houndstooth pattern.  It is definitely not as easy to work with, fraying a little bit and with less body than the regular felt I use.  I like how the end result looks though.  I plan to make some of these with a few different green felt fabrics and different flowers.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Honey, Lemon and Ginger Hot Tea

Yesterday I spent some time on the internet looking for hot honey, lemon and ginger drinks to soothe our sore throats and coughs.  I had some really fresh and juicy ginger from our local farmers market and some delicious raw honey also from our farmers market.  There was one recipe that kept cropping up so I decided to make up a batch.  We had a cup to try it yesterday evening and another just now.  It was better(more flavorful) today after it had been steeping overnight in the fridge.  It's supposed to last for a couple of months in the fridge but it is so tasty, I can't see it lasting that long!  My husband debated putting some Calvados in his last night but in the end decided it would change the delicate flavor balance too much.  

Here is the recipe

2 lemons, thoroughly washed and sliced (seeds are ok)
1 large piece of ginger, sliced with peel on.  (I used two pieces each about the size of my thumb)
1 cup of raw honey.  It needs to be runny so warm it if it needs it.  
1 12ounce glass jar

Layer the sliced lemons and ginger in alternate layers.  Slowly pour over the honey.  I poked at the mixture with a skewer to eliminate air bubbles.  Leave to steep in the fridge.  When you want to make tea, stir the mixture because it will be thicker at the bottom.  Put two tablespoons of honey mixture in a cup and pour hot water over it.  Stir and sip. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

On My Worktable..... Cold Medicines!

I ended up catching the cold my kids had so this has been a very quiet week with lots of hot tea and television.  I can't seem to shake the sore throat and headache.  Then this morning I  ran out of cat food and had to go to the pet store for more.  I usually buy a couple of flavors and mix them in plastic storage boxes.  When I shook the box up, the lid came loose and there were cat crunchies in my hair, down my shirt, in the sink, all over the counter and kitchen floor.  My house smells of cat food!  I think I need another cup of tea......

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Five Things I'm Loving Today

1;   I try and avoid grains most of the time because I have arthritis and feel better when I don't eat them.  If the craving hits though, there is nothing better than gluten free toast with homemade kumquat marmalade and a cup of tea brewed in this cute teapot I got in England a couple of summers ago.  

2;  This morning on my way out to take my daughter to school, I noticed the first camellia bloom.  It seems early.  

3; It's pumpkin season and Trader Joe's has these delicious little pumpkin and dried cranberry crisps.  

4;  My tomato plants, although looking really scraggly, are still producing lots of beautiful sweet tomatoes.

5; Really, is there anything better than a cat on windowsill?  This is Princess and she is.

Happy Tuesday!