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the weekly tea
yesheng gushu
from white2tea
weekly tea: yesheng gushu hongcha
This tea wins the award for “name most likely to be butchered by autocorrect” apparently.
This last week, my husband went off to run his hundred mile race. It went…anyway, it went about how these things often do, which is to say he got severe gastrointestinal upset about 40 miles into it and eventually had to drop at mile 50. Back to the drawing board on figuring that one out.
In the mean time, I made sure we had tea on the drive up there. We had lunch at a beautiful rest stop near the Utah border and pulled out my old trusty travel tea set + zojirushi hot water heater combo.
This is a black tea made from ancient (for some values of ancient) wild tea leaves. It's not my favorite of black teas: I've had white teas made with these leaves and I absolutely love them, but for some reason the black tea feels a little overly floral.
It was still a wonderful interlude in a long car ride.

a short note on dogs
While we were in the area, we took Pele to a very large, multi-acre off leash dog park that he had visited when he was a much younger dog to see if he remembered it.
He did: there was an area that sometimes had water in a culvert which wasn't accessible unless you were an agile fence-jumping dog, which Pele used to be. He is no longer up to jumping fences. In fact, he needs boosts to get in and out of the car at this point. But he definitely remembers it was there.
We did notice, however, that both his hearing and his eyesight are not quite where they were. Occasionally, when he got a little far away from us, he had trouble finding us again--even if we called him, he would get confused and look around and then run a different direction. (Some dogs do this on purpose, but Pele's main purpose in life is to be attached to our hips as if by Velcro.) It was a little distressing for him, and if I let myself think about it, it was distressing for me. 
We had to go after him and tap him on the shoulder to let him know where we were, and then he'd get all excited that he found us. I think we learned that he is no longer the dog for multi-acre off-leash dog parks.
But I refuse to be distressed about…whatever this might entail about the mortality of canines, LA LA LA, it's not happening, I've never heard it. My dog is right here and he loves us and we love him, and so I will cherish his presence every day he is around.
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Cherishing the dog by putting a rainbow unicorn headband on him and discovering, to our delight, that we have finally found headgear that he will tolerate for 15 minutes at a time.

a kiss for midwinter
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One of the reasons I love this book is its bittersweetness. Jonas's relationship with his father is a mix of love and fear, as his father slowly deteriorates and Jonas is unsure what to do.
Not all things have easy answers, and anyway, I don't know what possessed me to write a holiday book about things that don't have easy answers, but this is definitely both of those things and I kind of love it.
Buy A Kiss for Midwinter on:

Despite spending way too many hours in a car this week, my husband did most of the driving and I had a chance to do work. I'm hoping I will be able to (very very soon) tell you a book you've never heard about.

Until next week!
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