In life's most loosely-woven and frazzled seasons, sometimes simple pleasures show up as gifts that sew themselves into the tangle. These days I have 5 new threads in the fray. A handful of things have brought unexpected relaxation and/or happiness to my frazzledom. Nothing profound. Just 5 little things. I'm sharing them.


1. Sage Tea

Steve and I stopped at a greek restaurant on Valentines Day. I ordered sage tea. It's earthy and herblike. There were actual sage leaves floating on the top. And I can't swear by this, I'm just telling you what happened: I was really grumpy when I started drinking that tea, and when we left the storefront, my mood was altered for the better. I don't know. It's suspicious. There may have been something else going on, but I'm blaming the tea for my mood lift.

So, yesterday, Steve and I went to "Taste of Jerusalem" down in Manitou Springs. I ordered sage tea; no floating leaves this time, honey instead. Delicious. I ended up asking the guy at the counter about how to make the tea and he told me that he's had so many questions and requests about it that he's had to make a sage tea side business. He made me up a little to-go box with fresh dried sage from the Middle East, and a mix of tea leaves. I felt like I was buying some sort of underground mood-manipulating contraband.

2. R5Sons Alaska
A reality show about a family with 5 sons, running a lodge way out in remote Alaska. www.r5sons.com

I stumbled on "R5Sons Alaska" during commercials for the Winter Olympics, and now I'm a fan. It is both a website and a cable tv show. You'll only find the show on RFDTV; A rural farming type of channel that usually has instructional programming about farm equipment and sheep husbandry.

I absolutely love this little show because it's an honest hour of real-life back-country adventure among sons. Great wind-down time.

3. Interesting Blogs.

I won't say much about them. They are just all good for different reasons. I check in with one now and then and find myself enriched by the honesty of each. You can go check them out if you get some time.

4. The Family Room Aquarium.

It's not new. I just cleaned the tank. Same difference.

We've had the same watery herd of silver dollar fish for over 5 years. I call them the "cows" because they are chicken egg sized version of large farm animals. They graze around the tank in wide-eyed ignorance. The Cows are oddly endearing and reliably kind to the other creatures around them. The catfish on the other hand, is just plain spooky. He started out smaller than a fingernail and is now as big as my thumb. He lives under the gnarly creepy log. We've named his cave "Apartment A". Sometimes we go without seeing him for so long I'm sure he's dead. Then, for no apparent reason, he'll come shuffling out at feeding time and I get spooked like he's an aquatic ghost or something. We also have invisible shrimp, gouramis, and a couple yellow guys that I don't expect to live long.

While I'm thinking about it, I may as well warn you: Don't ever get an aquarium crab. There's nothing relaxing about them. They are always trying to escape. We found our last one under our couch, dried up like a piece of popcorn. 'No idea how he got there. I still get the willies if I really think about it. Don't get a crab.

Anyhow, the aquarium makes my list of five because lately I find myself pausing by the tank and staring at the way those fish silently fly in the water. It's a good way to slow down and relax.

5. Books.

I have not ever had the discipline to be a reader. I tend too much towards obsession. My house falls to shambles when fiction steals my focus. Consequently, I don't read recreationally. It's like those people who just know they have a predisposition to be alcoholic even though they don't drink. That's me with fiction. I have the potential to be a ruinous addict. Sad but true. Until lately. Now that I'm writing aggressively, I'm reading. For some reason, this season is allowing me to read in manageable doses. 'Can't explain it. But it's enjoyable.

The Latest:
  • My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  • The Gift of Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, Madeline L'Engle

There you have it. Take five.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...I'm thinking that JUST THE EXERCISE of coming up with and naming the five, could very well BE ONE OF the five.

I think I might need to do some naming. It sounds like SUCH a worthwhile way to spend a few minutes.

sibbi said...

I like your 5...I'm not sure I can think of 5 at the moment...I really like the idea of a tea that makes life better...we need some of that around here, a mood changer. I have some shower gel and hand creams that have aromas that make me just take a breath and feel "ahhhhh" but it doesn't last as long as I would like. I am with you on the aquarium. I love fish and enjoy it when we have them around and miss them when we don't. We have acquired some goldfish and a betta again. The goldfish are more fragile than I ever expeded, but I do like the orange flashes of movement. These are in Caleb and Nathaniel's room so not as visible as other times in our life.
I know exactly what you mean in your part about books. I am that way about fiction as well...stay away so I get things done. But I really enjoy nonfiction as well. I have a house of books I bought to read but have not yetranging from Francis Shaffer to Family Circus. I am hoping that I can still read them some day. Hope springs eternal! Right now People magazine and Guidepost do for most of my reading...short pieces that start and finish before I fall asleep. Then there is the reading I do for the kids schooling as well...I like that, just don't get to do much. Thanks for sharing your 5...it has made me think about what my 5 are for now....?

Christian Outlaw said...

I read The Chosen by Chaim Potok book at the beginning of this year. it was pretty good. Its cool to read about the different lifestyles and struggles Jews in the early part of 1900s new york. :)