Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tea and Creativity

As I wrote a few weeks ago, our last guinea pig is now gone. The library/office was once also my craft/sewing room, but I gave that up 7 years ago so that our small herd of cavies could have a comfy home. We built them a cage that took up nearly an entire wall in the library, and it went through many renovations involving adding ramps and upper levels. It was great fun. Now that the cage has been dismantled, I am reclaiming my craft/sewing space and redoing the whole room. I am in the process of deciding on a paint color- it's a tough choice. I've narrowed it down to two opposite colors; one is bright, creative and artsy-fartsy, the other subdued and relaxing. The one I like best keeps changing, depending on what mood I'm in.

I am also looking for a new desk. After using a right-handed desk for 25 years this lefty has had enough! I've been shopping around and found something at IKEA that would work. But I don't really love anything I have seen at the furniture stores. I love old things. I love things with a history. So I've started browsing around at antique shops. I think I could live in one. I never knew how much fun antiquing is. Those who know me may be shocked- this could actually turn me into a shopper! While I was looking at old shelves, tables and cubbies that could be used for yarn storage, I came across the awesome tea strainer spoon in the photo above. For the sum of $3.81 I got the coolest tea accessory ever. Even though I made no progress on shopping for the room, I came home extremely happy and made myself a cup of tea.

There's nothing like a cup of herbal tea to relax and warm you on a cold winter evening. My favorite is chamomile, it is soothing and relaxing before bed. It's great alone or mixed with rosehips, valerian, or a little freshly grated ginger. It helps to induce sleep, is anti-inflammatory and soothes digestion. Rosehips are a great source of vitamin c. and valerian helps to induce sleep and relieve headaches. Ginger can also help with migraines, is anti-inflammatory and relieves nausea.

Herbal teas can be drunk simply for culinary pleasure. To get the most medicinal benefits from herbs, let them steep at least 10-20 minutes, the longer the better. It's fun to get creative and come up with your own favorite blends.

As  Hippocrates said,  "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." ­ Herbs and spices have healing and cancer fighting properties and a variety of them should be consumed each day. Turmeric, onions, garlic, black pepper, cinnamon and ginger all get regular news headlines because of their health promoting qualities. But did you know that rosemary may stop genetic mutations leading to cancer, and paprika is anti-inflammatory?  Cloves are nutrient dense and anti-inflammatory. Peppermint is full of vitamin c, manganese and beta-carotene and has been shown to stop the growth of pancreatic and liver tumors as well as stopping the growth of bacteria including h.pylori, e.coli, and MRSA.

Adding a cup or two of herbal tea to your diet each day is a simple, delicious way to increase your intake of these health promoting substances.

My posting over the next week or two may be sporadic. I am still removing things from the walls, and must remove all of the books from the bookshelves in order to move the bookshelves and get at the walls. It is amazing how much stuff will fit in a small room! Once I get to the actual painting I won't have computer access for a while. But I really look forward to getting this room reorganized and useful. Then I may enjoy a cup of herbal tea in it.


Fayinagirl (means Free One) January 21, 2010 at 2:13 PM  

::::::passing a cup of tea to you as you work on the room::::: =)

Have a wonderful time. Enjoy every minute!

Vegan Epicurean January 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

Enjoying shopping? Who is this and what have you done with Janet? hee hee

Seriously, I am quite surprised, but happy to hear that you are enjoying antiquing. That is one of my favorite things too. Enjoy redecorating the room!

Great post of the nutritional benefits of herbs and spices. I think we all could benefit from consuming more of them.

talk to you later,

Claudia January 21, 2010 at 10:55 PM  

I shared my writing room with Romeo (guinea pig.) While I don't miss the odor - it took awhile to get used to the little guy with his alien noises being gone. Tea - is so - comforting and lovely. Have fun renovating. I am as sporadic as they come!

comfrey cottages January 22, 2010 at 8:00 AM  

oh janet, i remember when i "took" our little spare bedroom for my den! such a thrill! so good for our soul to have our own little sacred spot also:) love this post lady:) lots of good tips and info:) i too detest regular shopping but love haunting antique type stores for things. not a collector of valuable things, but love to find the old things that can be useful and incorporated into my daily life. good luck with your quest for a desk! antiquing is my hubby and i's little joy when we have a day off together and can we just take off and wander to different towns, and even different states in search of stores:) big herbal and honey hugs to you

janet January 22, 2010 at 10:10 AM  

Julie Lynn, thanks, I am having fun:)

Alicia, lol, it's crazy to believe I would ever enjoy shopping, but antiquing is just so much fun!
I try to have us consume a few different spices and herbal teas each day, along with green tea. I think variety is the best way to ensure that we don't miss out on any important nutrients and health promoters.

Claudia, the odor is the only thing about Oreo that I don't miss! Romeo was a great name for a guinea pig.

Leslie, I agree with you, it is good for the soul to have our own little creative spot! I am like you, no interest in collecting valuable things, but I love old useful things too:) It's nice that you and your hubby go antiquing together. I haven't got my hubby interested in this yet, but one of my daughters is hooked and loves to go with me. We both enjoy things with a history to them.
I am so sorry about the loss of your cat, my heart goes out to you,hon.

Dolly January 22, 2010 at 6:19 PM  

I'm right with you on the old useful things. Don't give me something, and tell me "it's priceless, don't touch it" thanks, I'll pass. But hand me something and say, "when you use this, think of the many times it served it's purpose before and was treasured for making life easier and/or more pleasurable".....oh,girl, you know I'm reaching for it before you let go.
I can't wait 'til the first time I get to make something with those knitting needles of Grandma's that you sent to me !
Have a blast creating your favorite space.

janet January 23, 2010 at 7:11 AM  

Dolly, that's exactly it, thinking about all the times it was used before, and about who used it! I do not like things that must sit on a shelf and be looked at but not used. I am not into knickknacks whose only purpose is to be looked at and dusted- life's too short and too interesting to spend it all dusting;) My home is not a showplace, all of the things in it are well used. I hope you come up with a fun project for those needles!

blessedmama January 25, 2010 at 7:39 PM  

Sounds like you are having a lot of fun. I'm hostessing a tea table for the first time at my church for our missionary weekend in February. Since I'm not a tea drinker - I prefer apple cider and cocoa - this has been quite an undertaking. The good news is, I'm having an all vegan table, and there's been so many requests to join it, that I've run out of room! So, that's got to be a good sign for the animals. Anyhow, I love the idea of this tea strainer that you bought. I really have to scrounge around and see with what beautiful things I can find to set the tea table. Let us know how the roomt turns out!

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