Mothers’ Day Tea Goodness

IMG_20160508_095323For Mothers’ Day Andrew and Little Miss surprised me with a homemade Doctor Who themed card and a whole lot of tea.  Pretty much the perfect gift in my mind and encompasses two of my favourite things.  The tea gift included a number of selections from Teavana which I’m still working my way through.

The first tea I’ve tried was the classic Earl Grey Creme (EGC) black tea.  I love my Earl Grey tea generally and it’s one of the DavidsTea selections I’ve come to enjoy on a regular basis.  (Yes, I have a tea addiction…I’m okay with that.)  The Teavana Early Grey Creme selection includes vanilla which mellows the dominant flavour of the bergamot.  Which I gather is the idea behind EGCs generally, it has the potential to be a subtler version of Earl Grey.

This was decent a cuppa.  But I love a strong cup of Earl Grey so EGCs probably aren’t being marketed to me.  I did like the subtle flavours and additional depth in this tea, but missed the strength bergamot that is in some Early Grey teas.

On to more tasty teas.

Choir Reflections and the North Channel Community Singers

Dress Rehearsal for Spring Concert.

Dress Rehearsal for Spring Concert.

This past week the local community choir which I’ve been part of for the past number of years held their Spring concerts.  Based in Thessalon the North Channel Community Singers is a fun, non-competitive choir that invites participation from anyone with a love of music.  Though the average age of the choir’s members is much older than me they have been extremely welcoming from the start.  Members have repeatedly insisted that no exceptional musical skill is required and anyone who wants to join is welcome.  Despite this seemingly free-for-all I am constantly surprised by the quality of the music put on by the choir.

As our Spring choir concerts approached I had flashbacks to the church choir, children’s choir, and youth choir I was part of in my younger years.  Sensible rules like only using pencil to mark your music, the need to memorize music, and similar songs we sang were some of the things that came to mind.  I was also reminded of the guidelines around uniform dress, performance hair, and avoiding dairy products before concerts.  A drastic change to a community choir where memorization isn’t required and everyone’s performance clothes look slightly different.

I’ve enjoyed participating in this range of choirs – church, community, and competitive.  All come with different expectations, highlights, and downsides.  Though in all cases I still insist that altos have more fun. The small alto section of the North Channel Community Singers has repeatedly been a pick me up on Tuesday nights and a great source of laughter.

Spring and Gardening With A Toddler

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Spring flowers almost in bloom.

Little Miss loves outside, and puddles, and running, and puppies. All of which are great things and I generally love all of them too – though we don’t have dogs so I’m not sure why she is currently so obsessed with puppies.  With the changing of the season the gardens are starting to bloom, the flowerbeds need weeding, and there is a seemingly endless supply of outdoor projects.  We’ve been spending lots of time outside working, playing, and enjoying the warmer weather.

Doing yard work while watching an energetic toddler is a bit like trying to herd cats while wearing a blindfold.  It’s tricky and success might be the fact that no one was injured.  Little Miss is currently all about ‘helping’ so having her put stones in a buckets or make ‘art’ out of stones on the lawn worked well I was weeding.  Or at least it worked for a little while until she ran away.  Similarly, giving her a shovel to play with worked intermittently. And the whole experience made me realize why people have fenced in yards.

Challenges aside it’s also been a delightful experience.  Little Miss makes us slow down and appreciate our surroundings a little more.  Walking to the back field involves multiple stops to look at trees, feel spruce needles, and pick up pine cones.  And nothing beats hearing her say ‘Oooo’ or ‘Pretty’ repeatedly when she spots a flower or tree she likes.  Her perspective has been eye opening and serves as a constant reminder of how lucky we are to have gardens, land, and time outside.

Onward to warm days in the sun.