liralen: Finch Painting (powerLir)
This year, as with every year, [livejournal.com profile] amberley and I started planning for the run up to BigBadCon and the convention itself months in advance. It's good to build upon the delicious bones of adventures past to create precise structures for the future with just enough room and juice in it to allow for the wonderful surprises of what's to come.

We actually created a wiki for everything, including what we were doing each day, and details of the games and everything. And during BigBadCon's signups, I didn't get into several games I'd wanted to get into, including one of [livejournal.com profile] amberley's, and I was pretty disappointed at first, but then I realized that 1) I'd gotten into a lot of stuff I really truly wanted to get into and 2) I had room for something to surprise me in really good ways.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
Been crazy busy for the last two weeks: finishing the second to last edit pass for Hearts Under Fire before handing it off to the editor to look over for a July release, dealing with the garden, helping Jet with Odyssey of the Mind and his science project, working out a trip to Florida for a friend, managing my eye, dealing with the anniversary of the death of Tasha, drinking a box of PG Tips teabags to figure out several puzzles, and working out what has to happen for the Biloxy trip we're leaving on in two weeks.

Trying to paint, get some Winter War done and dreaming about Twin Souls, and then John decided he was tired of how many of our books are doubled up in our library.

Of displacements, tea wars, and running about like a chicken with its head cut off, with a few pictures. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
Been crazy busy for the last two weeks: finishing the second to last edit pass for Hearts Under Fire before handing it off to the editor to look over for a July release, dealing with the garden, helping Jet with Odyssey of the Mind and his science project, working out a trip to Florida for a friend, managing my eye, dealing with the anniversary of the death of Tasha, drinking a box of PG Tips teabags to figure out several puzzles, and working out what has to happen for the Biloxy trip we're leaving on in two weeks.

Trying to paint, get some Winter War done and dreaming about Twin Souls, and then John decided he was tired of how many of our books are doubled up in our library.

Of displacements, tea wars, and running about like a chicken with its head cut off, with a few pictures. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Tenpou/Hakkai)
Title: Tenpou's Spring Tea -- part 2 of 2
Arc: Tea With Tenpou
Fandoms: Bleach, Saiyuki
Characters: Tenpou, Byakuya
Word Count: 5022
Rating: G
Summery: After Hakkai dies, Tenpou wants his tea, and he wanders into the Bleach universe to find it.
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] mysocalledhell, thanks!!
Disclaimers: I do not own nor make money off Bleach or Saiyuki.
A/N: Finally the TEA! *laughs* Lots of reference notes at the end of the story.
The very first story with Hakkai and Byakuya.
The previous chapter to this little interlude.

It wasn't hard to slow down. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Tenpou/Hakkai)
Title: Tenpou's Spring Tea -- part 2 of 2
Arc: Tea With Tenpou
Fandoms: Bleach, Saiyuki
Characters: Tenpou, Byakuya
Word Count: 5022
Rating: G
Summery: After Hakkai dies, Tenpou wants his tea, and he wanders into the Bleach universe to find it.
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] mysocalledhell, thanks!!
Disclaimers: I do not own nor make money off Bleach or Saiyuki.
A/N: Finally the TEA! *laughs* Lots of reference notes at the end of the story.
The very first story with Hakkai and Byakuya.
The previous chapter to this little interlude.

It wasn't hard to slow down. )

Santa Cruz

Nov. 9th, 2008 11:25 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (Gromit_Knit)
I started this morning crying. David, my original character, kicked his way into my head during a dream. He sat down and told me a story and by the end of it I was crying so hard, I had to muffle my crying with my pillows as I woke up. I tried to go back to sleep, but never managed it. Carl was great, and was cheerful about waking me up when he needed me to get up and shower, and then he stuck the croissants into the oven.

The chocolate croissants worked beautifully, and when I got out of the shower, the timer dinged, and Carl pulled out four beautifully browned croissants. I made coffee while they cooled, and we ate them to much appreciation.

We then packed stuff up to go to Santa Cruz, meet up with [livejournal.com profile] flit, and do a few things in town out there.

Read more... )

Santa Cruz

Nov. 9th, 2008 11:25 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (Gromit_Knit)
I started this morning crying. David, my original character, kicked his way into my head during a dream. He sat down and told me a story and by the end of it I was crying so hard, I had to muffle my crying with my pillows as I woke up. I tried to go back to sleep, but never managed it. Carl was great, and was cheerful about waking me up when he needed me to get up and shower, and then he stuck the croissants into the oven.

The chocolate croissants worked beautifully, and when I got out of the shower, the timer dinged, and Carl pulled out four beautifully browned croissants. I made coffee while they cooled, and we ate them to much appreciation.

We then packed stuff up to go to Santa Cruz, meet up with [livejournal.com profile] flit, and do a few things in town out there.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
Otherwise known as Gui Hua... they're a yellow flower from China, and when brewed gives a liquor that's a little piney, a little lemony, and fragrantly sweet like only flower teas can be. The taste is ethereal and even more so when just a bit of tupelo honey is added. It's just gorgeous.

The puer that they bought me was also really great, deep and mellow with age. I got four steeps from one good teaspoon of leaves. I even found my old dark Yixing pot just so I could brew it good and hot. It was really, really excellent.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] flit and [livejournal.com profile] amberley. The teas have been really great...
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
Otherwise known as Gui Hua... they're a yellow flower from China, and when brewed gives a liquor that's a little piney, a little lemony, and fragrantly sweet like only flower teas can be. The taste is ethereal and even more so when just a bit of tupelo honey is added. It's just gorgeous.

The puer that they bought me was also really great, deep and mellow with age. I got four steeps from one good teaspoon of leaves. I even found my old dark Yixing pot just so I could brew it good and hot. It was really, really excellent.

Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] flit and [livejournal.com profile] amberley. The teas have been really great...

Tea!!

May. 17th, 2008 02:59 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (Ukitake_cups)
There is nothing quite like fresh tea.

I have a collection several dozen kinds of tea, and I am sometimes hard-pressed to drink it all before it gets too old to really be good anymore. I've evolved to the point where all greens, and especially the ground matchas, I'll only buy if it's under 10 grams in weight, because I just can't drink it all. And I throw out quite a lot into the compost as it's just not worth keeping the stuff that's too old, mostly because I'm probably avoiding it for a reason.

But I have lots of blacks, oolongs, whites, greens, and one or two yellow teas, and probably more ways to brew tea than most people even know exists.

Read more... )

Tea!!

May. 17th, 2008 02:59 pm
liralen: Finch Painting (Ukitake_cups)
There is nothing quite like fresh tea.

I have a collection several dozen kinds of tea, and I am sometimes hard-pressed to drink it all before it gets too old to really be good anymore. I've evolved to the point where all greens, and especially the ground matchas, I'll only buy if it's under 10 grams in weight, because I just can't drink it all. And I throw out quite a lot into the compost as it's just not worth keeping the stuff that's too old, mostly because I'm probably avoiding it for a reason.

But I have lots of blacks, oolongs, whites, greens, and one or two yellow teas, and probably more ways to brew tea than most people even know exists.

Read more... )
liralen: Finch Painting (Ukitake_tea_contemplation)
[livejournal.com profile] jonsinger had a long-time request in to me to take pictures of his really early attempts at tea cups back in the late 80's as I commissioned, back then, a set of rough and ready Asian-style teaware. He's gotten a lot better at it since, but he wanted to see pictures of his first, baby steps... so I finally got pictures today and have loaded 'em up on Flickr. These little guys have really helped make my tea obsession all that more pleasurable.

Cut for lots of pictures. )
liralen: Finch Painting (Ukitake_tea_contemplation)
[livejournal.com profile] jonsinger had a long-time request in to me to take pictures of his really early attempts at tea cups back in the late 80's as I commissioned, back then, a set of rough and ready Asian-style teaware. He's gotten a lot better at it since, but he wanted to see pictures of his first, baby steps... so I finally got pictures today and have loaded 'em up on Flickr. These little guys have really helped make my tea obsession all that more pleasurable.

Cut for lots of pictures. )
liralen: Finch Painting (hatjet)
The four days out at the Oregon coast were wonderful, mostly overcast, one brilliant day, and we ended with a real soaker, which was exactly the right time for it. We camped with John's parents, whom I was very impressed with, and his brother and his wife, whom I've always admired. It was a lot of fun to be with them, and Walt's cooking made me fascinated with Dutch ovens. The rainy day was good in that we could pack up, tour the Tillamook plant, have ice cream, and just go home, get everything hung up to dry, and have a wonderful dinner at Yeh's Wok.

The only problem is that, during camping, my Visor spazzed when I put new batteries in it, so I've now lost contact information for just about everyone. Also, given how full John's made our social calender until we leave on Sunday, I'm not likely to get to visit with any more folks, realistically. *sigh*. Sorry about that, Kirby and others. I apologize for spazzing on that.

Yesterday John and I wandered the new Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square and then got to see Pirates 2. ARRGH! I say, "ARRGH!" It's great but there's another movie coming, which should be great. I'm really looking forward to the next one.

Then I lost my voice as we went to the old Rosehill Ale House (which is something else now) and celebrated the retirement of someone that had joined Data I/O a year before John had. And, consequently, met up with nearly 30 people that we haven't seen for nearly a decade. It was astonishing. The pub was, as usual, quite loud, so I pretty much lost my voice trying to talk with far too many people.

It was odd, though, in some ways. Meeting and greeting folks that I hadn't seen for that long. I felt distanced, but also like I *should* know how to act with them, but also knowing that that really wasn't the case. It was very cool, though, to see Patricia Blair, the wife of Nello, whom we used to work with. she's now Mrs. Washington! Hee. She won a beauty pageant!! And is now the traveling Mrs. Washington with engagements, parties, and doing judging at beauty contests herself. Lots of charity work in there, too, which is making her very happy. That's very cool.

I had enough voice left, when I got back and had a mug of tea, to read Jet his good night books, and that was very good indeed.
liralen: Finch Painting (hatjet)
The four days out at the Oregon coast were wonderful, mostly overcast, one brilliant day, and we ended with a real soaker, which was exactly the right time for it. We camped with John's parents, whom I was very impressed with, and his brother and his wife, whom I've always admired. It was a lot of fun to be with them, and Walt's cooking made me fascinated with Dutch ovens. The rainy day was good in that we could pack up, tour the Tillamook plant, have ice cream, and just go home, get everything hung up to dry, and have a wonderful dinner at Yeh's Wok.

The only problem is that, during camping, my Visor spazzed when I put new batteries in it, so I've now lost contact information for just about everyone. Also, given how full John's made our social calender until we leave on Sunday, I'm not likely to get to visit with any more folks, realistically. *sigh*. Sorry about that, Kirby and others. I apologize for spazzing on that.

Yesterday John and I wandered the new Bellevue Square and Lincoln Square and then got to see Pirates 2. ARRGH! I say, "ARRGH!" It's great but there's another movie coming, which should be great. I'm really looking forward to the next one.

Then I lost my voice as we went to the old Rosehill Ale House (which is something else now) and celebrated the retirement of someone that had joined Data I/O a year before John had. And, consequently, met up with nearly 30 people that we haven't seen for nearly a decade. It was astonishing. The pub was, as usual, quite loud, so I pretty much lost my voice trying to talk with far too many people.

It was odd, though, in some ways. Meeting and greeting folks that I hadn't seen for that long. I felt distanced, but also like I *should* know how to act with them, but also knowing that that really wasn't the case. It was very cool, though, to see Patricia Blair, the wife of Nello, whom we used to work with. she's now Mrs. Washington! Hee. She won a beauty pageant!! And is now the traveling Mrs. Washington with engagements, parties, and doing judging at beauty contests herself. Lots of charity work in there, too, which is making her very happy. That's very cool.

I had enough voice left, when I got back and had a mug of tea, to read Jet his good night books, and that was very good indeed.
liralen: Finch Painting (ripples)
In just the last two weeks Jet's undergone some kind of transformation. He's sleeping all night, most nights. He's being tremendously polite, saying the "Please" and "Thank You" and even "You're welcome" like he did much more of when he was two. He's starting, again, to experiment a little with what foods he's eating, taking to canned peaches and trying half a dozen things that he hasn't liked, but I'm just amazed and happy that he TRIES them.

I'm amazed. We talk about things, now, and he tells jokes and we have a lot more fun on our days "off" together than before.

More about the weekend. )
liralen: Finch Painting (ripples)
In just the last two weeks Jet's undergone some kind of transformation. He's sleeping all night, most nights. He's being tremendously polite, saying the "Please" and "Thank You" and even "You're welcome" like he did much more of when he was two. He's starting, again, to experiment a little with what foods he's eating, taking to canned peaches and trying half a dozen things that he hasn't liked, but I'm just amazed and happy that he TRIES them.

I'm amazed. We talk about things, now, and he tells jokes and we have a lot more fun on our days "off" together than before.

More about the weekend. )
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
Bought: Sample pack from Upton Tea Imports a month or two ago.

Brewed: Full boil (203° at altitude). 12 ounces of water to heaping serving teaspoon of tea in my ingenuiTEA for four minutes.

Leaf Characteristics: Big, bold black tea leaves, lots of orange zest chunks, and the zing of cloves. I'd been looking for a Constant Comment taste-alike at loose-leaf tea costs and this certainly had the scent characteristics of that old tea.

Liquor: Dark, deep orange, with all the spice and orange tang. It's probably right on the old taste profile of the tea I'd been looking for. But it's now... hmmm... too tangy for me. Too... "tastes/smells like something other than fundamental tea" for me any more. I'm saddened by that change in me and my tastes. It doesn't hit my tea spot any more. I ended up dumping it and rinsing out my mug and having a mug of the Irish CTC to clear my mouth.

Rating: 10 of 10 for being just like Constant Comment, as that was what I was originally looking for, but a 3 of 10 for my present needs with respect to tea.
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
Bought: Sample pack from Upton Tea Imports a month or two ago.

Brewed: Full boil (203° at altitude). 12 ounces of water to heaping serving teaspoon of tea in my ingenuiTEA for four minutes.

Leaf Characteristics: Big, bold black tea leaves, lots of orange zest chunks, and the zing of cloves. I'd been looking for a Constant Comment taste-alike at loose-leaf tea costs and this certainly had the scent characteristics of that old tea.

Liquor: Dark, deep orange, with all the spice and orange tang. It's probably right on the old taste profile of the tea I'd been looking for. But it's now... hmmm... too tangy for me. Too... "tastes/smells like something other than fundamental tea" for me any more. I'm saddened by that change in me and my tastes. It doesn't hit my tea spot any more. I ended up dumping it and rinsing out my mug and having a mug of the Irish CTC to clear my mouth.

Rating: 10 of 10 for being just like Constant Comment, as that was what I was originally looking for, but a 3 of 10 for my present needs with respect to tea.
liralen: Finch Painting (teacups)
Bought: From Upton Tea Imports a bare month or two ago. I kept it in the sealed pouch until I wanted to drink it and then tucked it into one of the various sample tins I've gotten from them and from Adagio.

Brewed: Full boil (203° at altitude). One heaped serving teaspoon per 8 ounces of water in my ingenuiTEA, and then the result poured onto 2 ounces of warm 2% milk with a teaspoon of sugar in it.

Leaf Characteristic: I love the chunky aspect of this tea, the spices are unmistakable and All There. It's very cool. The stuff smells spicy and rich even before the brewing and afterwards there's still the big chunks of cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom in strainer.

Liquor: Deep, dark, thick body and rich, complex flavor that offset the sugar and milk quite well. It's comforting and very warm for these colder days. The tea didn't overwhelm the spices and the spices didn't overwhelm the tea, and it's relatively simple to prepare compared to some of the World Spice Chai mixes, where they recommend two stages of brewing. Yeesh. This I just brewed and added the milk elements and it's quite nice.

Rating: 8 of 10.

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