A gentle reminder this week
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there is much to enjoy if one would slow down just a bit
“You could hear the birds if you didn't have plugs in your ears.”
His smile contagious beneath the shade of his floppy hat as I passed him on the sidewalk. A dead bush in one hand, the other reaching out to shake mine
“That God-awful winter we had; it killed a bunch of my bushes. Oh well, I needed to re-landscape anyway. Now, I'm sure we haven't met”
The slightest rise of anxiety. I had a short amount of time to squeeze in a walk before work and was already pushing it.
“I use this house as an office, you see.” He nodded over his shoulder. “My wife's idea really, we live the next street over. In fact, it was Atanasoff's first house, until he moved to THAT one on the corner. He invented the very first computer, did you know that (?) Right here at ISU!“
I smiled, no room in the conversation to volunteer my degree in Math and Comp Sci, nor that a career in IT pays the bills
“Now the white one over there, THAT was built for Gilman. Oh, and most of the neighborhood was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright (!)” Every neighborhood has a historian, and I'd just discovered ours in these tree-lined streets within walking distance to campus.
By the time we made it through the list of long-ago professors for whom buildings were named after, the houses they occupied, and the slightest bit of gossip about each, he'd won me over. Note to self; a shorter walk is just fine.
“You should bring your husband by. You have a husband, right? Oh yes, yes, we'd love that. Our coffee pot is always at the ready, and my wife brews yogi tea as well. What's a house if it isn't open to friends and neighbors?”
“We serve Danish pastries to guests. You eat Danish pastries don't you?”
Ummmm … not so much
“Don't worry; you'll LOVE these.” He leaned in closer, his voice almost a whisper. “They're not the kind you get from that Danish bakery downtown. Nooooo .. these are the real deal. I tell you what, the only place to buy a good Danish pastry is TJ Max.”
We parted ways that sunny Sunday afternoon, a kindred spirit at heart. A home with a cup of tea, the perfect something sweet at the ready, and an open invitation for those with the title of friend. I've thought about him many since and smiled.
I also tried my hand at yogi tea
As the story's goes, when Yogi Bhajan was a military commander in India, there was an epidemic among the troops. He ordered all men to fill their canteens with yogi tea and drink nothing else, not even water. His battalion was the only unit that didn't get sick.
It's said that yogi tea purifies the blood, lungs, and circulatory system. It has many more unseen benefits, such as making someone just plain happy.
~ Adapted from Healthy.net
- 1 gallon water
- 30 cloves
- 30 whole green cardamom pods
- 30 whole black peppercorns
- 1 finger of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 5 sticks cinnamon
- 1 tea bag (black tea)
- milk and honey to taste, optional
- Bring water to a fast boil in a stainless steel pot. Add whole cloves and let them dance for about 1 minute.
- Add peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Turn heat down, so it is just simmering, cover, and let lightly boil for 45-60 minutes.
- Finally, add a black tea bag and boil another 5 min.
- If adding milk & honey, do so after adding the tea bag and letting it steep– (or better yet, add milk and honey to individual cups or a small batch. That way you can store the raw tea in the fridge and prepare with milk and honey as you go)
- After adding milk and or honey, bring to a boil one last time.
- Remove from heat, and let sit for another hour (or overnight). This way, it gets nice and strong, so you can best enjoy this potent spice blend!
- Strain and refrigerate.