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from spice tree organics
weekly tea: Spiced hibiscus
I found Spice Tree Organics a few years ago. They’re a WOC-owned seller of spice blends; the site has a lot of amazing recipes, and everything I’ve found from them tastes amazing. So when I ran out of the Malaysian Curry (side note: I make large quantities of the Malaysian dhal on their website and freeze it, and then when I don’t feel like making dinner, just throw rice in the rice cooker, nuke the dhal, and throw on a veggie, and voila, dinner) blend, I went to their website looking for more.
I found that they had a spiced hibiscus blend, which made me very happy because I love hibiscus teas. This one is delicious: tangy and spicy with a good depth of flavor. The spices are organic, but the blend is not expensive ($4.50 for a bag of the loose blend, which probably contains as much material as a box of tea bags). I highly recommend this as a warm winter no-caffeine drink. You can get it here:
Right now, I’m drinking it in large quantities, hot, while I sit on the couch and try to recuperate.

I don’t really love the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to take the time to ask myself what’s going well and what I can improve on.
One of the things I was thinking about last year was this: for all the discussion of “self care” that has been going around, I felt like for me the concept was a little barren. I’d made choices for “self care,” but in retrospect, they didn’t actually manage anything other than a temporary distraction, while the things that were really bothering me still persisted.
None of this is meant to say that someone else is doing things wrong or that people in general should not choose self-care—just that my particular brain, which is tricky and full of bees, had made associations with the term “self-care” that focused too much on immediate, id-like desires, and less on my actual long-term well-being. Choosing what I had labeled as self-care often felt both isolating and passive. In other words, it wasn’t actually very caring.
So I thought about what I actually needed, and what my brain needed to think about. The word “rejuvenation” is what came to mind. Rejuvenation is active; rejuvenation considers community and connections; rejuvenation builds. So I wanted to head into 2023 focused on rejuvenation…

…and then, on New Year’s Eve, I broke my big toe and sprained about three separate muscles in my ankle in what was possibly the goofiest, clumsiest accident that could possibly have happened. I told my husband what happened; he told me to just tell everyone I slipped on ice. My little brother asked me to rank the cause of my accident on a scale where 0 was “this accident was unpreventable and an act of god” and 10 was “this was the result of my own foolishness.” I had to answer 9.5.
The end result is that between the toe and the sprains, I can barely walk. This will hopefully clear up soon—once the sprains go away, it’ll be easier to move with the walking boot. But between this, and a freak dog attack on Pele the day after that meant another four hours spent in doggy urgent care, it’s been a trying start to the year. I can already feel myself wanting to huddle back into immediate-id-demands mode.
Pele is going to be okay: he was badly bruised and bitten, but is resting up and feeling better with every passing day. I am going to be okay: this is embarrassing and temporarily limiting, but it was a relatively clean fracture and everything will get better. We are hanging out together in the living room, both resting and trying to get better.
Big deep breath.
So I’m going to try to remember that part of rejuvenation is recuperation, and I will have lots of low-hanging fruit to pluck along the way.

Trial by desire
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This is one of my oldest books, and it was very painful to write for a large number of reasons, and that has made it hard for me to tell people to read it.
One of the things in this books is that Ned, the hero, gets a very bad injury and nonetheless manages to finish a journey knowing that Kate, the heroine’s, happiness was at stake. I don’t actually think this is unrealistic—in fact, it was based on an event that happened with someone in my family, who got a worse injury and managed to finish his journey for no other reason than he really wanted to finish the race he was doing.
That being said, having now experienced a much, much more minor injury, I just have to say that it’s probably best to not be a romance protagonist about your injuries? 
Buy Trial by Desire on:

SEE YOU next week.
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