There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but Autumn has definitely arrived in Canada, and something about this time of year always seems to bring out the tea lover in me. I love tea year round but there’s something about the oncoming cold weather, the smell of wood smoke in the air, and the morning chill that makes me enjoy the warmth of a cup of tea a lot more than I normally would. I am truly passionate about few things and tea is one of those things.

 

 

 

My mother would call this obsessive compulsive tea drinking, although she shouldn’t talk since she has her own ‘Tim Horton’s coffee drinking issues’.

This is my brilliant, handmade Tea Basket. The basket was a gift from my best friend in support of my tea addiction obsession habit and it is somehow big enough to hold all of my loose tea.

 

 

Lets take a look inside. None of you are allowed to judge my tea obsession, because tea is my comfort drink. This is also unashamed Davids Tea promotion.

 Look at all the glorious loose tea, and before you ask – yes I drink ALL of them on a semi-regular basis. For the record: I drink, on average, five to seven cups of tea a day and some of those envelopes don’t have more than a few teaspoons worth of tea left in them, because sometimes a tea gets discontinued before I can stock up on it, so I save what’s left for special occasions or really bad days.

This is my Tea Shelf and YES those ARE rubber ducky tea infusers that make me irrationally happy every time I use them. Also – the wooden box is FULL of prepackaged tea and those boxes of Lipton tea are the only ones I could actually fit on the shelf. Some people think I have a problem. I think I am keen on keeping myself sane and happy through sheer force of will and lots of tea.

Here are some of my absolute favorite teas to drink during Autumn.

Pumpkin Chai is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Autumn tea and makes me feel like a fuzzy ball of warmth. How can you resist the delicious pumpkin taste and tiny adorable pumpkin sprinkles? This tea is seasonal and I have a feeling that if David’s Tea DID discontinue it, there would be a rebellion.

 

 

Mulberry Magic comes as a close second. There’s something about the macadamia nuts and the overall sweet taste of the mulberry leaves that I really like.

 

 

Buttered Rum also makes the list because of the coconut and the fact that if I’m having a super bad day I can have the good taste of rum without somehow becoming a raging alcoholic.

 

 

Everyone should try each of those tea’s at least once. I understand that there are a lot of people who are NOT tea drinkers, but I like to think that’s because they haven’t found the right tea yet. (If someone offers you a cup of King Cole tea – you should RUN AWAY.) Tea makes me happy and I want to share my happiness with everyone. I really should be a Tea Dealer; not to be confused with a drug dealer. Drugs are bad.

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This is a post mostly about nothing.

A list of things that I am, clearly, incapable of handling like a normal person today:

01) The fact that it’s NOT Sunday and Entertainment Weekly gave us THIS picture of Captain Hook (Why is he so good looking? I CAN’T EVEN FUNCTION… is that eyeliner?) and then, when I actually read the article, found out his episode doesn’t air until the 21st of October. (That is WEEKS AWAY! Once Upon A Time why must you do this to me?) My attraction to bad boys clearly didn’t disappear like I thought it would once I entered my late-twenties.

02) I put my giraffe kettle on the stove and didn’t realize until about forty minutes later that I forgot to turn the burner on; I ended up in a sobbing-hysterical mess on my kitchen floor with my cats, while waiting for the water to boil, AGAIN, because I REALLY just wanted my cup of tea.

03) Re-watching the mid-season finale of Doctor Who, like an IDIOT, thinking that since I’ve already seen it, it won’t be so bad the third time around. NOPE. I end up a sobbing mess, again, just as my aunt calls and since I’m apparently unable to communicate like a normal person – I spent ten minutes sobbing at her. Bless her heart though; she took it like a pro. My family knows I’m capable of being a complete mess sometimes.

04) The latest episode of Elementary is taking too long to GET ON MY COMPUTER.

05) The Bloggess is still following me on Twitter and I have no idea why, but it’s brilliant and gives me furiously happy smiles on a daily basis.

06) Watching Jurassic Park and realizing that I cannot deal with velociraptors. The tyrannosaurus rex? – no problem. But when the kids were in the kitchen with the raptors, and she’s trying to close the metallic door thing and the raptor charges at her – I screamed. Loudly enough that my upstairs neighbor called to make sure I wasn’t being murdered.

Clearly I need a special jacket… and a bottle of Xanax.

 

Let’s talk about libraries.

I have always loved books. My earliest memory is of my father reading me Dr. Seuss before bedtime and I distinctly remember begging him to read me ‘just one more’. I also remember my first time in a library. My hometown has a wonderful public library and I spent the majority of my summer holidays curled up in there with all the books. During my first visit, I was with my babysitter Aunty Barb, a kindly old woman, with arms the size of tree trunks, whom I drove partially mad and quite frankly she had a very strong heart for the amount of times I almost gave her a heart attack. I was an awful kid, but I always behaved myself in a library.

I was enchanted. There was a lot of people, but everyone was quiet; talking in whispers, and it was as if the whole building was sacred. I remember being amazed at all of the books; I’d previously had no idea that so many books could exist in one place before. Aunty Barb was holding her breath and watching me like a hawk, waiting for the trouble to start but none did. I just stood there and stared with my jaw somewhere near the floor. Aunty Barb returned her books and picked up some new ones, all the while staring at me like I had grown a second head. For the first time in the four years of my short existence I was behaving myself.

The atmosphere of a library is singularly unique and I’ve never encountered anything quite like it. I’ve seen a library turn the most rowdiest kids into well-behaved darlings the minute they walk through the door; I was one of them. In my childhood it was the ‘magical book place’ and now it’s a safe haven, a quiet place to think and write and research. It’s a place of right answers and facts. It’s a place of sanctuary. My best friend became my best friend in a library. My grandfather met my grandmother in a library and they fell in love there. Libraries are capable of bringing communities together and contain more knowledge than most people will read about in their lifetime. Libraries can open doorways to different worlds and places; they can help you expand your imagination and they will always welcome you with open arms – much like the books they house.

Disney ruined relationship prospects for me, or rather, they raised the bar of my expectations with ‘Beauty and the Beast’. In the middle of the movie The Beast gives Belle a library. HE GIVES HER A LIBRARY. My seven-year old self couldn’t understand why she didn’t propose to him on the spot. If a person gives you a library, you marry them. I still stand by that ridiculous piece of logic today and if I had been Belle the situation would have gone differently:

“Marry me?”

“But I’m a monstrous beast!”

“Honey, you just gave me a library, your excuse is invalid. Now go see if the candelabra knows someone who will marry us.”

Clearly I should just go to rural France and find myself a cursed prince to love so I can get my own library.

I’m sure you could tell but this still needs saying: I love libraries. It’s an unwavering and fierce love, the kind that never truly fades away. I hope that everyone reading this visits their library today because they deserve more love than they are getting. If you’re open-hearted and love your library it will love you back a thousand times stronger.

Letters To Authors: Tamora Pierce

Dear Ms. Pierce,

You probably get this all the time, but I thought I’d write an open letter to you so I can let you, and anyone else reading this, know what a wonderful human being you are.

I was eleven when I was introduced (quite forcefully, by my future best friend) to Alanna and I ended up devouring her quartet. I, swiftly, moved on to The Immortals series and got to know Daine; it was fantastic. There I was, a tom-boyish eleven year old who finally found, not one, but TWO series of books with female leads who were absolutely NOT damsels in distress. This was very much like finding a million dollars on the sidewalk; I was telling everyone, who would listen, about your amazing books.

My mother noticed the change in me (mostly because I was failing math, but then again I was ALWAYS failing math) and wanted to know exactly what was so interesting about these books that I kept not returning to the school library. My mother is a brilliant woman, but fantasy is not her genre of choice – she loves fiction and thrillers and Stephen King. Adequately giving her a description of your wonderful books was very hard for eleven year old me. It involved a lot of jumping and flailing arms and adjectives. I have no idea how she managed to make sense of my pre-pubescent fangirling, but she got the gist of it: relatable female heroes being awesome and kicking a whole lot of bad guy butt. I didn’t know it at the time but my mother understood exactly how awesome it was for a young girl to find a series of books like that.

Prior to finding your books, I was reading a lot of books where the heroes were always male. Redwall, Harry Potter, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit, James and the Giant Peach, and a whole lot of Xanth Novels, to name some. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those books, I adore each and every one of them and most of them have some very strong minor female characters in them. There were also a few fiction books (most notably by Kit Pearson) that featured female leads and were very good, but there was no action. The female leads were sort of dainty and they were never put in any situation that required a fight or flight reflex. They were awesome books but they were lacking the fantasy and action that I preferred, which is probably why I was always reading novels with boy leads. I can say with great certainty that there is something very special about being a young-lady-person and reading about grounded and brilliant girls doing the butt-kicking instead of the boys. This was something that my mother never had growing up and I think that was why she encouraged my reading. She was the one who bought me Protector of the Small when it first came out in hardcover and every one of your books thereafter.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: Thank you, Mrs. Pierce, for all the effort and time you’ve put in to write the books that have had, and still continue to have, a great amount of influence on my life, even fourteen years later. Thank you for all the books you’ve yet to write and thank you for inspiring me to write about my own lady-folk heroes. You are amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving my eleven year old self her absolute favourite books.

Sincerely and affectionately,

Nuki

———-

Everyone, click the link if you’re confused. If you aren’t confused, click the link anyway. —  http://www.tamora-pierce.com/

Please note – Ms. Pierce’s books are fantastic for all ages, her writing style is brilliant and realistic and if you give her books a chance they will eat you alive (in a good way). If you’ve never read her books before, I highly recommend starting at the beginning (Song Of The Lioness Quartet) and working your way though all the series. If you were looking to start with some of her more recent books without much complication, you should probably start with her Beka Cooper series; Terrier is the first book. If you have children, and they enjoy reading, then you should definitely think about seeing if their school library carries these books, or if their birthday is close – buying the first series as a gift. It will be the best birthday present ever, I promise. My nephew will most likely be reading these books once he’s old enough.

(I know this letter isn’t perfect, but it’s my letter and I’m a fangirl. Basically, that should explain everything, right there. I’m just happy it came out semi-coherent and not all “ASDFGHK! YOU’RE AWESOME! I LOVE YOU!”)

I plan to make a series of blog posts like this; letters to some of my favourite authors. I think I might be setting myself up for failure here, but it’s always good to have goals!