Thursday, November 19, 2009

No, seriously, take the cranberry sauce

So last night after UCO, we went out to a restaurant called Uccello's which has great drink and appetizer specials after 9pm. Needless to say, our merry gang is often found there on a Wednesday night. Somehow, we didn't end up leaving until after midnight-due to some issues with waitresses and general craziness on the restaurant's was busy there.
So, I didn't get to bed until like 12:45am and didn't fall asleep until around 2am. But without fail, as it always does on Thursday mornings, my cell phone alarm went off at 6:40am telling me to take a prayer time, eat breakfast, shower, and head to work. So I did.
Today was Thanksgiving Dinner Day at GVSU Campus Dining's Main Location...aka my place of employ. We had turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, "jewel vegetable medley," mashed sweet potatoes, and vegetarian shepherd's pie...and that was just at one of the stations; there are three entree stations in all.
I told my supervisor that I was running on about five hours of sleep and that if I was being crazy...well, I hadn't gotten enough sleep. Well, I did all of my work as requested and seemed to be doing well considering how tired I should have been...and wasn't.
So then, at 11am, we started serving food. (My Thursday shift is from 8am to 12pm.) And I was in charge of carving the turkey. (I was apparently cutting the pieces too large; I could care less.) The woman I was working with was serving the cranberry sauce, the potatoes, and the veggie medley. Most people just wanted turkey and taters.
Now I love cranberry sauce. I know my mom makes it using real cranberries and doesn't just use the canned stuff. But I love cranberry sauce and cranberry juice and dried cranberries...and pretty much all things cranberry. (I blame Grandma Jo for this; she always has had cranberry juice at her house for as long as I can remember.) And cranberries are good for your kidneys; I read my juice bottles.
Well, these kids didn't want the cranberry sauce; admittedly, it was the canned stuff, which is no where near as good as the real stuff. So I started telling people that they wanted cranberry sauce. I told them it was good for their kidneys. I told them that I love it. And most of them just laughed at me.
They probably thought I was crazy. Here is this hyper, perky, happy girl encouraging them to eat cranberry juice for the sake of their kidneys. What is her problem?
Answer: God gave me joy in the cranberry sauce. I'm not a morning person. But when God gives me joy, I can peel parsnips, de-leaf thyme sprigs, clean a massive soup pot that holds over 1,000 servings of soup, and serve turkey dinner to complete strangers who rarely say "thank-you" or acknowledge my existence. And I can do it all with a smile and a "you really do want the cranberry sauce" thrown in for free.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rantings of a Disgruntled and Unmotivated College Student

"'November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,' said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden."
-Louisa May Alcott's Little Women

It's like 58 degrees and sunshine today. And it's about half-way through November. That's not what I call disagreeable. And I've got a problem with that. November feels like September or October. I know that finals are less than a month away. But I don't feel like it. And it is keeping me from actually buckling down and getting motivated about school.

This rant would have been a lot longer but I got distracted and am going to do homework instead like a good kid.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Last fall while in Spain, my friend Kayleigh and I frequented a small store called Tea Shop. It is a chain and it is fabulous. They are similar to Teavana in the States selling tea and accessories and offering free samples. Behold how good and pleasant it is to offer poor college students free samples of delicious teas.
Tea Shop sold only loose-leaf teas. (Ah, delightful!) And for Christmas, they made special teas with cinnamon and orange peel and vanilla and deliciousness. This came in four varieties: black, white, green, and red. Red? Huh? What is this red tea of which you speak?
That was basically my reaction to it. Well, Kayleigh told me that it was rooibos.
Ah! said I. Then a puzzled look overtook my face. What's rooibos?

Rooibos is: " a member of the legume family of plants. The rooibos shrub can grow up to 2 meter in height. The erects red coloured rooibos stems contain many dark green needle shaped leaves. The rooibos shrub produces small yellow flowers in spring through early summer. Each flower produces a one seeded small bean. Roobos has a long tap root, sometimes up to 2 m in length, enabling the plant to survive periods of drought." And it is from South Africa and can only be grown there. (Source)

So I bought some cinnamon Rooibos tea from Arbor Teas recently. And it smelled like wood-chips. No me gusta. I brewed a cup but made it too strong and didn't like it.
Then I made another cup today. But I didn't fill my tea ball as full and I didn't let it steep as long.
Now, I recommend it.
I also recommend cinnamon black tea from Arbor Teas. And the chamomile tea I was drinking while blogging the other night, that's also delicious.

Basically: drink more tea.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tea and Knitting

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world. ~T'ien Yiheng

I'm currently sipping some chamomile tea at the end of a long day. I could just go to bed and let it end. But I think that first some tea and a bit of Gipsy Kings will make everything go down much more smoothly. Chamomile tea, this a bit of loose leaf from Arbor Teas, soothes me and helps me sleep. But it also reminds me of Spain. My first morning in Spain I got sick and my host mom made me chamomile (or manazanilla) tea to soothe me. It really w
orked. And now I find this pale golden liquid one of the most soothing things in life.

I'm actually crocheting right now. But earlier today, I finished my first cabled knitting project: The Irish Hiking Scarf. Please see photo:

The color is lovely, the texture is fantastic, and I'm just plain happy with the thing. And I can cable! I'm really very proud of myself for completing this pattern.
I'm actually planning to start this scarf again-probably tomorrow-to send a to friend who is living in Northern Ireland for a year. It won't be the same color but it will still be fabulous.

And if you're wondering, the tea is helping me forget the din of the world. It's also my fourth cup today. This (and the name of the blog) might tell you something about my affection for tea. (And only two of the cups were caffeinated.)
Tea soothes me, calms me. And it does help me get going in the morning and close off my day as it ends.