Monday, February 28, 2005


Bob's out of town this weekend (fishing), so I spent Sunday with my parents. It was an interesting day. It started out when I went out to the front yard to get the newspaper. There was a box on the porch from Adagio Tea. They have a program where if you post a link to their site, they send you a gift, depending on your Google Page Ranking. Mine is 5 (I actually can't remember how you find that out if you're on a PC, but I found a Konfabulator PageRank Toolbar Widget for Macintosh that does it.

So anyway, Adagio sent me this incredibly cool single-cup teapot called IngenuiTEA, plus some loose tea samples. It's an extremely cool device -- you fill the pitcher with boiling water (or fill it with cold water and heat it in the microwave), then put in some loose tea and let it steep. Once it's strong enough, you sit the pitcher on top of your mug and the tea drains out the bottom, leaving the tealeaves in the pot.

The hard part was "put in some loose tea." I opened up all the samples (the Black selection), sniffed them, and decided to try the Earl Grey.

I love tea, but I always use teabags, thinking that loose tea is just too messy. So I had no experience with loose tea. I put in a spoonful, then thought that didn't look like enough, so I put in another spoonful, let it steep, then filled my cup. I added some Equal and a little Coffee Mate, took it back to the computer where I was answering email, and drank. It was wonderful! So flavorful and delicious. And strong! Yikes.

Hm, I thought. Perhaps I put too much in. But my thought wasn't that it was too much caffeine, it was more, oh, shoot, I wasted a teaspoon of tea. So I made another cup using hot water from the kettle and the same leaves, and drank that.

I was supposed to be at my folks' house at noon, and they live about twenty minutes away if the traffic cooperates. I had intended to go upstairs and get ready to leave at about 10:30, but I was talking with a friend on iChat, and we just kept talking . . . At 11:15, I said I had to go. I signed off, then raced upstairs, brushed my teeth, ripped off my clothes, got into the shower and had about the fastest shower in memory. I put on clean clothes, dried my hair, grabbed my stuff and headed out the door.

I got to my folks' house right on the dot of noon, and I didn't even speed at all.

That's the car that didn't speed -- I felt like I was on speed. Not that I'd know.

I'm guessing that I used about the amount of tea that you would normally use to make a whole pot. I'm just guessing. I was telling the story to my dad, and he said that he noticed that I was talking a lot more, and a lot faster, than I normally do. I was buzzing all day; by 11:30 that night I took a book up to bed, thinking, man, you've got to get some sleep, you have to get up at 7:00 tomorrow morning and go to work . . . If I can get that kind of a buzz from caffeine, I'm really glad I never tried drugs.

So anyway, I had a really good time at my parents'. We had lunch (fried chicken and gravy, Waldorf salad, green beans) (my dad offered me iced tea, Diet Coke, or lemonade and I judiciously chose lemonade, figuring I didn't need any more caffeine), and frozen yogurt for dessert, then I took Mom to the dollar store (actually Deal$), where we looked at everything and each of us bought about $10 worth of stuff.

I got a couple of science fiction paperback books, a windsock thing for the front porch with a butterfly on it, a cup and saucer birdfeeder for the backyard, a golf towel for Bob, some candles, a wine glass and an hourglass timer (for tea!). For $10. Mom bought a couple of windsocks, too, and some kitchen towels, and a box of au gratin potato mix, which she fixed for dinner, along with sloppy Joes (actually "soupy hamburgers," an old family recipe that involves Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup, as I recall), and leftover Waldorf salad.*

By the time I left at around 6:30, it was raining (it had been drizzling all day), but I got home by 7:00 with no incident and spent the evening talking with one of my sisters on the phone, doing laundry and paying bills and, like I said, by 11:30 I forced myself to go up to bed, and I eventually went to sleep and slept like the dead, with a cat on either side.

Whew. I'm still wired, aren't I? Of course, I had another cup this morning, with half the tealeaves, and it was still strong.

 * * *

Here's a cute little story. My parents are so funny. Dad was looking in the refrigerator before dinner and said, "We don't have any dill pickles, do we?" I said, "Oh, we should have bought some at the dollar store, they had them there," and he said that he was just making a point. They laughed, and told me that the week before they had had two jars of pickles in the refrigerator, one of sliced and one of spears, and they'd been in there awhile.

They had opened up the jar of spears and it didn't taste quite right, and he said, "so Mom took care of it by throwing away the jar of sliced, and the spears still didn't taste right!"

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