Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee this weekend in Tucson I would invite you to relax with an iced tea. I am enjoying a white strawberry tea that refreshes me in this muggy weather. Please help yourself to apricots while we kiss this summer good bye. The stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, etc) are a symbol of summer. Along with berries they have the lively colors and flavors that remind us of outdoor dining in the warm season. At this time of year I buy the best looking stone fruits at the market and savor the last of the crop from this year. These apricots are luscious.
If we were relaxing with tea I would tell you my week went well. I fit in dermatology as well as dental appointments and continued trimming down and organizing my possessions. I excavated loads of paper files to destroy, and a few to save. I can’t believe how much useless paper I have stuffed into the spaces in my house. This is all changing, and making me very happy. I listed the real estate, so vacating the barn and dealing with anything stored over there is a signal I am really ready to sell. I found the appraisal on the land I had done when I inherited it in 2008. I have lost a huge amount of imaginary money on this property, and payed Pima County about $15,000 in taxes over the time I have owned it. I will be pleased to give up the tax burden and end the madness. It probably will not sell overnight, but I am ready if it does.
Again this week I trended more into poetry and fiction. I enjoy the more creative forms. I think all of my writing needs practice, in every form. As long as I continue to work on it I am satisfied. I have started to dream up fiction scenarios in my spare time, which is new for me. Usually I am all about finding more facts. I have been invited to a mermaid parade next week in downtown Tucson. I do have an outfit I could wear. It has made me think about getting some photos and covering it as a real news story, and then writing some poetry or fiction using the images. That could be fun. I have done little photography lately, and the event promises to be a visual delight.
Parent, student, teacher, or not, the whole world feels the back to school season. Here in my neighborhood we welcome back the U of A students and faculty along with many other locals who leave in the summer because the can. School and university traffic is noticeable on the roads, but then again so is the economic impact it represents. I don’t mind the students, but I saw my first set of ceramic pumpkins in a grocery store display this week. Hold on with the pumpkin spice and the Halloween gear until at least September. Let’s enjoy some Indian summer before you start playing Christmas music. How is back to school season for you, gentle reader? Do your local merchants jump the gun on holidays like ours do?
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Not so long ago I was very limited in the teas I consumed. I was a big fan of herbal, and fruit tea but had no love for green, white, or black teas. I had tried some but probably was brewing them incorrectly for maximum results. I probably became intrigued to expand my tea selection by tasting the samples that came with my regular Adagio orders. Reaching beyond my previous boundaries turned out to be a very good idea. Now I am into almost every variety and flavor. There is a place and time for each tea. They offer different benefits as well as flavors. If you want to expand your appreciation of tea, here are the kinds of tea made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant:
The herbal blends, rooibos, honey bush and fruit tisanes make up a group of caffeine free beverages I enjoy liberally. However, I am very pleased to have made the acquaintance of all of the teas on this list because it expands my possible choices. Life is discovery, and tea makes an excellent vehicle to learn more about the places tea is grown and the cultures created around this important beverage. Adagio offers sampler packs, which helped me find new excitement. I have also been very happy to buy some of the other customers’ signature blends. This is an option I have not used yet myself. It is yet another way to taste and share tea. If you like the way your custom blend tastes, you can ship it to your friends with your name and label on it as a gift. I hope you will explore the world of tea with me. It is a satisfying journey.
To whom can we look for guidance in crisis?
The sea is full of troubled waters and dying fish
Our battles and embroiled excuses do not end with ISIS
Our future floats lifelessly on the surface, a futile wish
For earth to find the harmony needed to stay alive
While we argue viciously about every possible decision
Blindly contradicting truth only helps ignorance thrive
Time leaves us with fewer options to complete our mission
If we were having coffee this weekend in Tucson I would bring a pitcher of water and another of iced beverage of your choice out to the pool. The only place to be on a day when the temperature reaches 106 degrees is in the pool. I have all manner of flotation devices, and there is a table in the shade where we can sit for a chat after we get wet. If you feel energetic we could chat while we do some exercise in the water. I have taught swimming and water exercise for years, and although I am not currently certified in lifesaving I will keep you safe. Come on in. The water is perfect.
This week was relatively uneventful, if you exclude all the political action in Washington, DC. I do watch with interest while Micheal Bloomberg, the states, and cities step up to fight climate change. I am happy to see all the marchers for science but in Arizona this is not possible at the moment. We must protest fro the pool. I think the best way for me to contribute to the entire issue of environmental protection is to act personally. I think I am carbon conservative, but there are probably a few more items I could buy locally or go without for the good of the planet. Rather than review the international scene, although that is of interest, I am looking for ways I can reduce my personal consumption of water, gasoline, and electricity.
While I fill your ice water glass again please tell me about your writing projects and your week. Did you finish or start any new writing? I admire those of you who write long works of fiction. I may attempt it someday, inspired by your success. It takes discipline as well as talent to do a long write. I have written a few short pieces of fiction, but this week I created a poem in response to Sue Vincent’s photo prompt. It was about death, and was fully depressing like the previous week’s. I do wonder at my creative self when I come up with all this dark gloomy haunted stuff. I also wonder if that is a direction I should try to go for a longer story..haunted and creepy is a genre, after all. I also wrote about my ancestors and tea, so it was not all gloom and doom…except the ancestors are dead, of course. I wrote about some from the Byzantine Empire this week.
I think perhaps I am haunted by the politics playing out before me, but that does not matter. Creative responses to horror and terror have always been used to change things. Satirists are having a having a hay day with all the crazy times in which we live. I wish I could draw cartoons, but I think this talent will be for another lifetime. I will have to stick to poems to express my distaste, rage, or general revolt. How do you best protest, gentle reader?Do tell, what makes you revolt (silently or otherwise)?
If you are in the mood, feel free to cannonball before you go. Hydrate fully, and stay safe. Please join the coffee party on the weekend hosted by Emily at Nerd in the Brain. Contribute a post, or read, comment, and visit here.
If we were having coffee this week in Tucson I would point out to you how dead the city is now. Obviously people leave to escape the heat. The snowbirds, the students, and everyone who can afford to go elsewhere for the summer have left the city. The businesses cut hours and do what they can to stay in business when their regular customers are basically all gone. If you were here now I would recommend you spend the night in a resort for less than half the winter rate, or dine at one of our fancier restaurants offering a summer special. For those of us who stay all year, this is a time to take advantage of the off peak bargains and less crowded streets. Everything is air conditioned, so you will not melt.
Please sit down and let me pour you some iced tea from the extensive collection. I have place an order for new teas, arriving any day, so I am taking inventory of all the teas I need to use in the order they were purchased. I have so many flavors, but this is a basic pleasure in our lives, as well as a healthy way to consume herbs and water. I get really excited about the prospect of new teas I have not tried. Next week my collection will have expanded to about 40 choices. I am drinking a honey bush mango with a fruity taste. What is your favorite kind of tea? I probably have it on hand. I hope you like the Allman Brothers Band. I am playing a tribute until further notice. I will turn down the volume because I want to listen to your stories. What is happening in your life and writing this week? I had an average writing week. I took one day off (yesterday) and produced nothing of great note. I wrote anther tea review, and am starting to like that segment. Are you trying any new ideas in your writing?
We enjoyed a superb brunch downtown yesterday in the spirit of off-peak excursions. We went to the Coronet, a restaurant we really enjoy but seldom frequent. We like the decor in a restored historical property. The service is always excellent, but with fewer customers it is even better now. The real reason we go is for the innovative menu and bar choices. Yesterday’s brunch was a perfect example. Bob loved his eggs Florentine with gravlax. I had a wonderful dish of poached eggs over grits served with black beans. Bob’s Bloody Mary had fabulous garnishes, including a picked tomatillo. That is the item I plan to knock off and use at home. I had never thought of doing that, but am a huge fan of the tomatillo, a green fruit that is NOT a tomato. We not only had the restaurant almost to ourselves, but the entire 4th Avenue shopping district was empty. We spent some time in a used book store, where I managed to buy just a single book. On the way home we stopped for ice cream at our favorite parlor, The Screamery. We each had full punch cards for a free scoop. We loved our dessert then took home a pint of blueberry cheesecake. All in all, it was a superb little holiday with all the gourmet trimmings. I am in the minority but I honestly love summer in Tucson. The hot ghost town suits me perfectly. You may want to jump in the pool before you head out. Stay hydrated. Take an iced tea with you. By any measure it is hot outside. You may want to stop and get some ice cream.
This movable digital beverage drinking party is hosted each week by Emily at Nerd in the Brain. Please join writers from around the world for a chat and a digital drink each weekend. Read, write, comment and share.
There are beautiful facilities with amazingly talented staff members designed to deliver health and fitness retreats. Destination spas, hot spring thermal spas, or spas within hotels provide environments conducive to relaxation for time spent away from home. Time spent breaking undesirable habits or simply reducing stress for a happier healthier outlook is valuable. It is wonderful to find both time and funds to concentrate on body and mind. The test of healthy resolve occurs when we are once again in our normal day to day setting. This summer I plan to stay home in Tucson. Rather than lament these circumstances I have decided to create summer spa, the staycation that cures what ails you. The trick to good health is balance and reasonable discipline. I can’t spare the time to leave home, but I can arrange my schedule to make daily, weekly and monthly health goals part of my routine.
First and foremost my plan for better health will include daily time for art. Poetry writing and creating visual art satisfy a need I have to express myself. I notice that when I am absorbed in thinking about art or music I live in an elevated state. Artfulness gives me great pleasure. I am at my best when I reserve time to appreciate the work of others and be inspired to create something myself. I include cooking in the list of my creative hobbies. It works well for me to shift my attention to new healthy ways to prepare food. The pleasure involved in mixing flavors and savoring the finished meal is essential to my well being. I can add a colorful and delightful juice bar rather than consider giving up alcohol. In the end it is only the sustainable habits that will make a difference. Too much repression or strict diet can make the mind recoil from the entire business. It is best to have a plan, build your foundation, and be a little flexible to account for real life.
What kind of summer are you going to have, gentle reader? Do you include health as a goal when making your plans?
When 21 June rolls around the season is about to change. Solstice is a holiday that has been celebrated around the world for centuries. For me summer has always meant time to go in the water. I like every kind of water sport from beaches, lakes, rivers , or pools. Swimming, surfing, sailing, paddle boarding, water skiing, or kayaking, I am happy to watch others with greater skill as well as indulge in trying it all. I am not a surfer but I admire the skill very much. I am also a huge fan of all the new ways to capture action video. My high risk sporting days are over, and I am happy to have survived. These are the sports I like to watch and imagine I am doing myself:
I watched X Games from Austin over the weekend and am inspired to see all the tricks and athleticism created by the participants. They continue to set the bar higher all the time by making up new tricks. I like all the events that are not motorized. The mini truck and moto cross rallies are not my style, but I understand that it takes plenty of practice and skill to do that too. I just can’t imagine myself flipping a motor bike, but somehow I can think of myself flipping and flying on a BMX bike. I applaud the new sports and the people who continually create them. I admire surfers the most. If I could magically be given the ability to surf I would consider all my lifetime wishes to have come true. What sporting ability do you wish you were granted as a gift on Solstice this year?