White tea is an incredibly delicate tea, about as far on the tea spectrum as you can get from something like pu-erh. Moon waffles is floral, and the cake is pressed into a waffle pattern, which makes it a little easier to break apart. It’s not as outright dessert-like as some white teas (my favorite so far is white 2 tea’s yesheng gushu baicha, an old arbor white that tastes like a spring meadow), but it is on the sweet rather than the savory side.
As you can see from the above photo, my cat, Katya, decided to join me for tea. This time, I was prepared for her.
I don’t think caffeine is good for cats, probably not even in the low levels available in white tea, so I tried out something different.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to how to share tea with my cat. She is very interested; she comes up and wants to taste it every time I have it. Obviously, she can’t just drink out of my cup both because gross, cat mouth, and also because caffeine is bad for her.
I decided to try making her own tea out of something I knew she enjoyed. I had to dilute the tea with cold water until it was cat-drinking temperature.
And what did she think of this?
After I let her try it, she left me alone. 😂
Reel by kennedy ryan
Kennedy Ryan is one of the authors I save for when I need a book that is going to be emotional, immersive, funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting all at once. Reel was exactly that book. From the first page, Ryan put me into the character’s shoes.
Canon and Neevah are both complex characters with deep trauma who come together because Canon is directing a movie about a story that he’s discovered—a Black, bisexual jazz singer who is no longer remembered outside of her hometown. When he sees Neevah as an understudy in a Broadway show, he realizes she’s the lead he’s been looking for. They have an intense, personal attraction—the kind where they see each other honestly—but he’s directing her first Hollywood movie, and she’s been burned in the past. They can’t, and the tension between them is beautiful.
This is a magnificent book that delves into the past, into what it means to be forgotten, and then remembered. It was exactly what I needed this week.
This book folds the past into the present, and shows that sometimes you can’t understand the present without seeing what happened in the past.
One of the things that struck me reading this book about a secret, undiscovered history is that history is very much like a language. Once you discover it, you learn how to articulate the things you’ve had trapped in your heart.
Members can read for free; this book has been available widely before,
and hopefully for those of you who prefer non-Amazon venues, it will be again.
When my mother was very young, her mother—my grandmother—got sick and eventually died. My mom doesn’t remember her mother at all. The woman she does remember—the one who raised her from the time she was a baby—was a woman she called “Mama-san.” Mama-san was a Japanese housekeeper hired by her father.
I don’t know how Mama-san actually felt about my mother—she was an employee, and I don’t want to make assumptions. But I do know how my mom felt. My mom always said that Mama-san was the reason she knew what a mother’s love was like.
Mama-san returned to Japan at the age of seventy-two, when my mother was twelve. She left an address with my mother’s oldest sister so they could write; her sister lost the address, and my mother never saw or heard from her again. To complicate matters, Mama-san had remarried while working for her family, and never asked them to use her new legal name. It’s hard to find someone when you don’t even know their name.
But Mom remembered many things about her: what the street she lived on looked like, the name of the little girl who lived near her, the family across the street. When the US census data from the 1950s was released earlier this year, my sister (who is an absolute genius at this kind of thing) was able to identify one of the people she remembered, and then trace backwards from the street to find Mama-san. I “helped” by translating squiggled handwriting into kanji so we could track through some non-English sources.
In a world of unrelenting bad news, I’m happy that my mom was able to find a little bit of closure.
THE DEVIL COMES COURTING
The act of writing fiction—at least for me—is in large part making up everything that happens while trying to capture an emotional truth.
This books, for me, was about the experience of coming home to a part of yourself that you’ve always known, but have never been able to name.
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