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the weekly tea
Brown Sugar
from white2tea
Weekly tea: Brown Sugar
This was actually one of the teas I bought in my first order from white2tea
I signed up for their tea subscription, got a cake of Charlie, a ripe pu-erh, and basically have never looked back. Brown Sugar is a relatively inexpensive brick of very smooth tea: sweet, smooth, mellow, and velvety. The tea itself gets deep and dark in the cup, almost molasses-black. It leaves behind a sense of calm and relaxation.
It was the perfect tea for a small celebration this weekend—the kind of celebration that comes not from having achieved a goal, but for being grateful for small things I used to take for granted and, having had them taken away for a short moment, now appreciate with all my heart.

Hiking with elevation again!
Even though I’ve been back to walking for a number of weeks, I’ve avoided hikes with sustained elevation changes. The uphill isn’t what worried me; I was more worried about coming down, striking my foot and my big toe again and again and again.
This Thursday, I got the final X-rays on my once-broken big toe and confirmation that it is healing as hoped for. This means I also got the go-ahead from the orthopedist to start doing mild impact activities as tolerated.
So for the first time since December, we took our dog Pele on a walk with some sustained downhill. Since this was our first test, we chose a short one: one mile up, one mile down. 
We took one of my favorite hiking trails near our house. It’s close enough that we can get there in about fifteen minutes, but far enough away that we won’t run into too many people, even on a sunny weekend morning. It’s short enough that it makes a nice break from my work day if I’m stuck on a problem, but long enough that I actually feel like I get away and get some distance from said problems.  From the top of the first saddle point (our destination—we’ll probably go further as I test my toe more), there’s a view of the Rocky Mountain foothills to one side and the Denver skyline on the other.
On the way up, we caught the first spring shoots of green in dead grass. We listened to birds singing for under a blue sky dotted by one little cloud on the horizon. The elevation change was just enough that the saddle point was dusted with lingering drifts of snow, and so the walk itself felt like the transition between spring and winter and then back again into spring.
As frustrating and annoying as it has been to have to manage this broken bone, coming out the other side of it gave me a deep appreciation for something that used to be commonplace: the sunshine, the feeling of energy circulating through my body, the joy of being able to move and reach even a short summit after months of being away. 
Being able to move without pain is a privilege, and I’m grateful that I can do it again.

The Pursuit Of…
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This is a book in which the main characters end up walking hundreds of miles together for very different reasons—John, because he’s going home, and Henry, because he’s trying to discover what home means.
This book is absolutely ridiculous, and I mean this in the best way possible. It’s also a book that includes a lot of my love of hiking: the feeling of getting out early when the air is nice and crisp and cool, the joy of sunshine, the fun of being outdoors, and most of all, the thrill of eating terrible cheese in the middle of nowhere.
Buy The Pursuit of… on:

Bonus dog & cat picture
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Yesterday, for the first time since we got Katya, she carefully padded her way into the dog bed next to Pele as he was sleeping and then gently curled up next to him.
We tried very hard not to shriek too loudly and disturb their rest.

Until next week!
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