Friday, July 22, 2011

Stuff #22: Tiny Teapots

Or at least smallish teapots.

You see, coffee is among my many dislikes.  Caffeine is not.  I rather like being awake.  It's that bitter dark stuff I don't need.  Soda is an excellent source of caffeine input, but it is unhealthy, and not how I want to start my day.  Enter tea.

I have already excitedly gone on about how I like tea, but today I want to tell you about one particular teapot. 

 Tah-Dah!  (or is that Ta-Da, I can't decide)

Let me tell you why I love this teapot.  It is small, for one.  So tempting to just make a huge pot in the morning, but really, I don't want all that much tea.  So the fact that the teapot is about the size of a normal mug is pretty much perfect.  Not too much, not too little, it's the little bear (--cough-- Obscure Goldilocks Reference --cough--) of teapots for me.  
Teapot again, this time with hand for reference.

Also, check out that handy strainer.  Perfect for loose leaf tea.  Put the tea in, pull it out, perfect.  

Of course, I could make myself a cup of tea just as easily as a pot.  Why bother with the extra dishes?  Well, the fact that it's adorable is one.  It also cools the tea faster, in the tiny cup.  I tend to drink tea all in one go, and boiling water is a bit hot.  The cup is small enough that I can drink it all before it gets too cold, too.

Perhaps an even more important reason is that it's sort of a ritual.  Make the tea, pour it in the cup, sip at the cup, pour more tea in.  It's a simple routine to get my day off to the right start.  


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Stuff #21: Cleaning Music

So last night, I walked into the kitchen and saw this.

Ach, mine eyes!  It burns!

Sadly, I see this on an all-too regular basis.  Apparently, it has something to do with that, "adulthood" thing, mixed with the "having people over" thing.

An hour of hard work later, and I was looking at this.

  Much better.

But what could bring about such a transformation.  Aside from, you know, hot water, soap, a dishtowel, and some scrubbing.  Well, let me tell you...

Cleaning music.

This music is totally essential to my getting stuff done.  It turns hard work into hard work...with a soundtrack!  Which, while still not a walk in the park, is way more fun.

Cleaning music the first: Fang Island.

I haven't met too many other people who know this band, but it is pure happiness and getting stuff done set to guitars.  And drums.  And. awesomeness.  Best of all, you get to hear the music for free!

Cleaning music the second: Angels and Airwaves.

I've loved Angels & Airwaves for a long time.  (Well, since their first album, in 2006, but five years is a long music time, dangit)  To me their music sounds like rocket ships taking off, like watching the sun peek out from behind the earth as you rotate over it in a shuttle, like flipping on your back underwater and watching the sunlight filter through the waves as fish swim between you and the surface.  Basically, their music is the soundtrack to the sci-fi I write in my head, and that makes it a great soundtrack to do dishes to.

Cleaning Music the third: Los Campesinos.

This band courtesy of vauge internet rumors, and then specifically my little sister.  Because a song called You! Me! Dancing! is bound to get me scrubbing pots a little bit faster, and a whole lot happier.

Cleaning Music the fourth: Noah and the Whale.

This one entirely courtesy of my little sister.  It's got a mellower vibe than I usually look for in cleaning music, but it works.  Not sure why.  It also got stuck in my head, which made for a rather happy Allison.  Let's face it, Noah and the Whale, way better to have stuck in your head than It's a Small World.

Cleaning music the fifth Matt Kearney's Hey Mamma.

I can't vouch  for the rest of this guy's music but I LOVE THIS SONG.  I first heard it on the radio.  In smooth announcer voice, the guy said, "And coming up next, Matt Kearney's new single, Hey Mama"  I almost turned the radio off right then.  A song called Hey Mama did not sound at all promising.  But I gave it two seconds, and I was hooked.  I don't think it is possible for me to listen to this song without dancing.  This makes it excellent dish music, not so great blogging music.

So I'm going to go, so I can listen to it. 

Stuff #20: Zombie Blogs

We're back from the dead!  Okay, maybe two months isn't dead, but it seemed long enough to call it a zombie blog.

Zombie blog: all the fun of coming back to life, without all that decomposition and nasty need for brains. 

Though now I am sort of curious what a blog out for brains would look like.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Stuff #19: Sleeping Cats

So in January, Tyrel and I adopted our very first cat.  In...March?  April?  Somewhere around there, I was looking for a recent photo of myself.  I found that every picture I had taken since January had been of my cat.  Many of these involved him sleeping, or looking at the camera disgruntled as  I try to take a photo without waking him up. 

Isn't oozums the cwuotist kitty ever?  Yesh uz are!

But really, he shouldn't be surprised.  He is adorable when he sleeps.  Just about all cats are.  Something about them all curled up, flopped out, fuzzy and warm just makes my heart happy.

 This is two seconds before the irritated face.  That flash definitely woke him up.

Really, can these furry balls of cuteness get any better?

I mean, whether they are sleeping in awkward positions,

curled up into a tight kitty ball,

basking in the sunlight,

with another cat,

with a few other cats,

with lots of other cats,

with a whole mountain of cats,

they are adorable.

Also, maybe it's just me, but it's hard to be stressed around a sleeping cat.  They look so content, everything's going to be okay in the world.  At least for now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Stuff #18: New Beginnings.

Last week was bad.  Not a terrible, everything that could go wrong did go wrong sort of a week.  It wasn't a generally miserable week.  It wasn't even a week filled with mediocre things.  I had a great time with friends, I got along with my husband, things went well.  But it was still bad.

It was bad in a personal sense.  The things that involved other people, those went alright. But the things I was doing just for me, those failed right and left.  I didn't exercise as much as I had said I would.  I didn't eat as well as I said I would.  I didn't clean as diligently as I said I would.  And, perhaps most important to this forum, I didn't update my blog as frequently as I said I would.  So, looking back on the week, some things went well, but a lot of things just failed.

I think that's because all these things were just for me.  And this past week, I wasn't an important enough reason to do things.  I wasn't a motivation to exercise, clean, eat healthy, and blog.  After all, I was the one that was tired and didn't want to do these things.  Clearly, if I'm doing it for me and I don't want to then I shouldn't.

Ok, that wasn't clear at all, and a rather convoluted sentence to boot.  But I think you get the idea.

Now, here's the thing I forgot about last week...I'm not just doing it for me.  There is a bigger reason to do these things, and it's God.  I forgot, last week, that he cares.  Structure and discipline are good, but they aren't enough without a reason.  I was trying to get everything done with my own energy, with no bigger picture.  That = recipe for failure.

Again, I know, that to some people this will make sense right away, and to some people it won't.  But God really does care about the little fiddly things in my life, and he wants me to do well.  When I exercise, it's not just to keep in shape, it's also so that I have the ability to do what He's got planned for me in the future.

All this thought doesn't mean a darn thing if I've already failed though.  If I had one chance, I've already blown it.  I don't have one chance though.  Last week isn't this week, and I've got a chance to start over again.  We normally tend to think in years, but every moment is a chance to do things right this time.  And even if I don't do it right, hopefully I'll do it better than last time.  Fail in the right direction.  After all, each new moment is a new beginning. 

I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the only one whose week didn't go as planned, who maybe didn't disappoint anyone else, but is very down on themselves.  I don't think I'm the only one who watched goals whoosh past them, who made an effort but not nearly enough of one.

Good news, everyone who is in the same boat as me.  It's a new moment, a new week.

Here's to this week.  May it be better than last.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suff #17: Sharpies

We've been having great big amounts of people over to our house pretty regularly. This delights me, but it means that we deal with a whole lot of cups.

Hooray, hooray for the plastic cup.  It is good at holding liquids, and can be thrown away.  As the primary dish-doer of the house, I feel it deserves it's own post.  However, the ubiquitous nature of these blue cups can lead do some confusion.

The more people we have over, the more likely it is to hear someone saying something like. "I think mine was on the left."  "Well, this seems a bit fuller than mine was." or even "I think I had the slightly darker brown soda."
And eventually...
"I'll just get a new one."
Not the worst of fates, not the best either.  Now, this was compounded in our household by a distinct lack of markers.  At least, markers that would be dark enough to mark on a cup, and be polite enough to to smear said marks all over your fingers.  
Enter...the Sharpie.
 Dun dun DUNNNN!

A wonderful thing, the Sharpie.  It can turn the cup-related confusion into order.  People can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing their cups properly labeled.
Yes...all is right in the world.

This was the most pressing, but far from the only issue the Sharpie handles with aplomb and dignity.  Think of how wretched moving would be without properly labeled boxes.  Think of how much less fun practical jokes would be if your victim could simply wash the markings off their face.
Yes, the world is a better place with Sharpies in it.
Well, maybe not if you're the poor person with writing on their face...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Stuff #16: Actually Using Teacups.

Dear Teacups,

Are you feeling neglected?  Like you have a mission and life, and are wasting it just sitting on the shelf?  Well come on by our household and feel used!  Erhm, in a good way.  You know, like, people will drink tea out of you.

Thank you,

A side note: If anyone had told me I would be taking pictures of my
dirty dishes and turning them into a blog post, I would have laughed at them.

This is a more recent phenomenon, and one I really enjoy.  My teacups aren't just decoration anymore!  They are used, and for tea.  This makes me happy.  I hope it makes the teacups happy too.