When we sip tea

Just a few of the tins from my ELC* -- when it comes to tea, even the containers are delightful!

Just a few of the tins from my ELC* as of February 2014 —
when it comes to tea, even the containers are delightful!

“When we sip tea, we are on our way to serenity.” —  Alexandra Stoddard

With all the bad weather this winter has brought us, it’s definitely tea time.  So I couldn’t resist repeating my offer from one year ago today (which you can read about at the link below). Anyone who would like me to send them a tea bag or two from my *embarrassingly large collection, just send me your address in the comments (which I will NOT publish online – I’ll delete the address from the rest of your comment).  Be sure to let me know what types you prefer – black, green, white, herbal, fruit, caffeine, decaf, etc. — I probably have something to fit most every taste.

And a special thanks to the many blog readers who have sent me tea over the past year.  I’ve been the recipient of unique teas from some fairly exotic places – Alaska, Hawaii, even Prince Edward Island (home of Anne of Green Gables, a special tea made in her honor) as well as some delicious traditional flavors.  I feel as if I’ve been having a virtual tea party with so many of you all year long!  So let’s raise a cup to the end of this unusually harsh North American winter — whenever that will be — and keep warm inside while we wait for the outside to catch up.

Here’s to serenity!

One year ago today:

Tea will


  1. raynard

    Julia, while I didnt get “Girl Scout cookies this year(thin mints and shortbread) I still have my tea and”Dollar store shortbread cookies with the chocolate on top”..My favorite teas are herbal brands Celestial and Bigelow.. Lemon, Peach, Orange and Peppermint. They also work for me when I use them as a ice tea( I get tired of Green Tea and that Arnold Palmer half& Half “isnt my cup of tea.I had plans to call to visit Virginia Beach for my anniversary today but the weather isnt being very friendly and we might be might not be renewing our cable service with Verizion. Might come out better streaming shows on our tablets and computer. Also we have a big snow storm coming and need to prepare for it. But tomorrow We will be going up to Shady Maple in Lancaster to celebrate our anniversary with friends, co workers and neighbors. The cake I last baked came out better that I expected. Be blessed and a big thank you for all the encouragement on a daily basis.

    • Hi Raynard, I have some of the same favorite teas. I love the Celestial Seasonings brand (although they are trickier to send since they aren’t individually wrapped) and the Bigelow “Constant Comment” is a favorite of mine. I have to mix green tea with black to enjoy it, otherwise it’s too bland for me. I tried some of that Arnold Palmer stuff and it was way too sweetened for me.

      Sorry it turned off SO COLD today but you’ll enjoy Va Beach more when it warms up a bit. It was actually warmer there that day we were there in the snow than it was today! I am so fed up with Verizon lately, they won’t let me have high speed internet service here unless we pay for a phone plan we don’t need, which is a higher price than the internet we do need. I want to figure out how to stream everything because I don’t like Verizon using extortion methods to get people to subscribe to phone service they don’t need. But we don’t have much choice for internet service. Have fun in Lancaster – glad your cake came out good and hope you don’t get too much snow! Happy Anniversary!!!!

  2. Awww. The entry that truly started it all (as far as correspondence is concerned). I guess this means it’s officially a year that we’ve known each other then. 😉

    • Hey, I hadn’t thought of that! Even more reason to celebrate! Did one of those tins look familiar? 🙂

      • LOL! Yes. TWO did, actually. 😉

        • Hey, that’s right! I forgot all about the book. I was thinking of the WONDERFUL “Northern Lights” tea, the flavor that started it all for me! 🙂

  3. Eleni Brewster

    I am a coffee drinker, but I enjoyed resting my eyes on your tea collection, Julia, every time I came to your house! Although I don’t drink tea regularly, I did enjoy the steamy mug of the Sugar Cookie Celestial Seasonings Blend–do you think you have a spare one for me?. Of course, I am still looking for Black Jasmine Tea, but it is not easy to find in conventional stores.

    • Eleni, it is so wonderful to hear from you. We miss you tremendously and I especially miss our tea times. YES I will gladly send you some of the Sugar Cookie tea – I have some left from Christmas. I haven’t found any more of the Black Jasmine tea either, but I’ll let you know if I find any. Thanks so much for the delightful tea kettle slide show you sent – I am going to try to find a way to upload it here but I don’t know if WordPress will accept that type of file. However, I’m going to give it a shot and if it works, I’ll paste the link here. Thanks again for sending it! We miss you! Please come to see us! Matt sends his love. OK, try this link:
      https://defeatdespair.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=4869 and then click on the hypertext link at Greek word ΤΣΑΓΕΡΕΣ (Eleni says that is the Greek word for “teapots.” If you have Microsoft Power Point or a program that will play those files, you will see a lovely slide show of some very unique teapots. Several of them reminded me of some of my favorite readers here – see if you can guess which teapots reminded me of whom! 🙂 Thanks again, Eleni!

      ** If you don’t have PowerPoint you can see a sample of some of the many teapots here:

  4. Carolyn

    A cup of tea with you would be so nice, but we will wait. Lisa gave my some great teas for Christmas. We have a tea shop in the mall now. I love to have caffeine free at night, but they didn’t have any so, I just buy the tea bags. I like black and most of the time I buy Twinings. You don’t have to sent me a tea bag, just have a cup of tea and think about me. Hope all is well with you, Jeff and Matt. Take care and hugs and love to you all.

    • Carolyn, you know I would love to send you a tea bag when I have my pretend tea party with you! 🙂 I’m glad you got some nice tea for Christmas. I do keep caffeine free flavors around for afternoons and night, so I can sleep after drinking it. How are your eyes doing? Hope you are taking care of yourself. Love to you and Terry and have a great weekend!

  5. Sheila

    Julia, I love the phrase “ELC” as that so describes my otherwise known as CLUTTER! I love my stuff, how about you? I just bought Kroger Private Selection Acai, Pomegranate & Blueberry Green Tea. Could I share a couple of these with you, my friend? 🙂

    • Sheila, that is so sweet, of course I’d love that. We have a Kroger right near our York home but I’m not familiar with their tea, although we do go there a lot and I really like their service. That’s where we get a lot of our markdown flowers! I have “ELCs” of all sorts of things, otherwise known as “borderline hoarding” (I always told myself it didn’t count as hoarding if it is well contained and organized – HA!) The great thing about tea is that I keep using lots of it daily so theoretically it could never get too piled up. They just keep coming out with these yummy flavors; what’s a tea lover to do? 🙂 I will have an imaginary tea party with you tomorrow morning!

      • Sheila

        How sweet! Is it too late for a Walter story? OK…. this morning, as I was dressing for the office, I thought his little voice was way too close to our bedroom. I walked out, only to see the little guy under the dining room table, far from his sunroom domain. I did take some photos for you, as I was asking him about “flying the coop”! I’ll email them to you. 🙂

        • Thanks Sheila! I’m so happy you told me about that. I am sitting here with a big grin on my face, thinking of Walter venturing out for a “walk” – maybe he wanted to make sure you were up? 🙂 I will look forward to seeing the photos!

  6. Beautiful collection of tea containers! And Tea. I like Earl Grey black tea… But mainly I’m a coffee person! 🙂

    • Thanks Merry! I like Earl Grey too. I drank that flavor almost all the time one year, and still enjoy it. Coffee is still a distant second, but the older I get, the more I appreciate the caffeine!

  7. You do have a nice tin collection going there J, the little elephant is really cute. Is the double decker bus from London?
    I would love to share a cup of tea with you. We should have a group Skype while we drink this tea, wouldn’t that be fun?? Alys is a tea drinker as well 😀 We could really make it a virtual tea party. I tend to buy Earl Grey or English Breakfast but I also like one by STASH tea called Ruby Red. It’s hard to find here. I couldn’t possibly decide Julia, how about you just surprise me 😀 Let me know if you’re up for a Skype too xoK

    I used to have a ladies tea every year at the lake. We’d all wear a hat, have lunch and read poetry. So posh 😀

    • I would LOVE a Skype tea party! How many people can be invited? We can wear hats if we want, and each one of us can bring a poem to read. Do you know how to set it up?

      • Awesome, I don’t know at the moment about the set up, but I can give Alys a buzz later and pick her brain. I did notice it can be a group though whenever we Skype….oh fun! I’m on it. Hat’s and poetry ! LOVE.

        • Yippee, this will be fun. Anyone who wants in, let us know and we’ll give you directions. If there’s a limit to how many, we may have to have two parties if lots of people want to come! Women, men and pets invited! 🙂 No tea for the pets though, since my vet said caffeine can hurt them.

  8. What a clever idea. This reminds me that I must get around to posting about my tea tag collection.

    • Yes, let me know when you do! I need to get back over to your blog and catch up. I’m so far behind on everything. But this weekend I took a HUGE load of stuff to Goodwill, so that counts for a lot! 🙂

      • Hurray for the Goodwill drop. Good job, Julia!

        • Thanks, it was great that I went. They had moved to a new location (a former Target store that had relocated) and it’s now the most fabulous Goodwill store I’ve ever seen, with a computer store, outlet store (for older things in less than optimal condition; items are sold by the pound!) and then a huge main store with, among other things, an enormous book section with like-new books arranged by topic! Oh, my! For every four donations I bring, I get a 20% off coupon for any purchase. Uh-oh, keep me on the wagon here…:-)

          • Wow! That is one impressive Goodwill. All of the stores here have been upgraded into very nice retail establishments, but nothing close to what you are describing. Hurray for the discount. You can practice the one in, one out rule.

            • Good thinking on the one in, one out rule, Alys. I try to do that but somehow (as Jeff would tell you) I never seem as disciplined about the “one out” part as I need to be – I tend to put it off “for later” and then conveniently never get around to it. However, Goodwill encourages that practice by limiting the discount passes to one for every four donation drop-offs, and I always like to take a lot at one time. So I should be OK. I may even pick up some books there for the Little Free Library sometime! Book rate is very inexpensive for shipping. Have you noticed any trends as to what types of books seem most popular?

              • You are so self-aware, Julia. That is half the battle. I find that that is working for me with food, though the weight loss is painfully slow. 5.3 down, over 13 to go.

                Here is another game to ‘play’ with yourself. Think about someone using the item you really should donate but just haven’t gotten around to. For instance, I enjoy thinking of a small child taking home a book from the LFL or someone wearing a dress that was never quite right for my shape. I want to do my part to get it back out into the world so someone can find it. For things that have limited shelf life when donated (games with small parts, for instance) are impractical at thrift stores, I offer to a teacher, a pre-school program or I list it on Freecycle. I gave away buckets of LEGO bricks around Christmas with Freecycle. I love it.

                And thank you for thinking of me and my LFL. Most of the kids books are moving every day. It’s really varied was comes and goes.

                • Thanks Alys, I find that it does help me to part with things if I think someone else could be using it. That’s why I love the paperback swap so much. It helps me to pass books on that I otherwise might have a hard time letting go. I’ll try to do that with more stuff and keep those donations rolling out. I do give things to teachers (especially small toys such as matchbox cars or happy meal toys that some teachers like to use as incentives). I need to get into Freecycle. I know they have it in our area but I have never taken the time to fully explore it. I’ve heard it’s great though.

                  I had a feeling that the LFL could use lots of books for young people. I will have to get some children’s books together to send to you. Are you very picky about the condition they are in?

                  BTW, on the weight thing, I can SO identify. I’ve been trying to lose the same 10 pounds for pretty much that many years. I will get 5 or so off and then they come back. When Jeff first got diagnosed I lost 9 pounds, very close to my target (although I couldn’t have cared less at that point) but then after the first couple of months it almost all came back. I honestly believe what I read about each person’s body having a “set point” that is very hard to overcome. I am not overweight except that I have a very small frame and can REALLY feel it when I have even 10 pounds too much weight on. I feel so much better when I’m a bit lighter; my joints don’t complain as much either! 🙂

                  • I’m not picky at all. Books are books. It’s what is inside that counts. You are a dear to think of me. I will never say no to donated books. Hugs to you, Julia.

                    I’m with you on that set point. I seem to be stuck there. I’m trying to lose another 13 pounds, but I feel stuck, stuck, stuck. It’s discouraging. And like you, it seems I’ve been trying to get the same weight off for years.

                    I never thought twice about my weight before hitting 45. Then it became a constant struggle. I was spoiled by thin genes earlier in life, but they’ve since retired and gone elsewhere, without so much as a backward glance.

                    • I so identify. For most of my early life I was ridiculed for being too thin (an early nickname was “toothpick”) and then just about the time I got used to not being called skinny anymore, suddenly I was 20 pounds up and had to keep eliminating things from my diet, beginning with desserts, bread and butter, cheesy casseroles, etc. but it seems I have to keep shaving calories just to stay in the same place. For me it got really bad around 50 but it had started long before then. The book I’m currently reading (called The Calorie Myth) has some interesting ideas about the set point and how to outsmart it. One thing to keep in mind though…Jeff too had some stubborn extra weight which turned out to be a blessing for him when he got sick, so maybe there’s a reason why we pack it on as we age…pass the cookies! oops I mean STRAWBERRIES.

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