Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Town Tea's Book Corner

Wanting to someday be a published author of books for children, I read a lot of children books. One that I have recently fallen in love with is Olivia. Over the summer I flew down to visit my cousin in Washington D.C.. Since I last saw her she has had a little girl and boy. I was sleeping in the reading room and found Olivia in a basket next to the bed. The story is adorable and the only color used in the illustrations is red. Olivia has become a whole series of books about, as you may have guessed, Olivia. Olivia is a cute and clever book that any child, but especially a girl who is the oldest of her siblings, will love.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meet Bleeker

I thought that since I am sharing so many of my favorite things, I should introduced my favorite pet. I lived, for a while, in my studio with only my Japanese fighting fish for company. I decided that I wanted something a little more cuddly to come home to, but I was not quite sure what. Well, one day Wes and I walked into the pet store, because we just like doing that once in a while, after we saw Juno. We were looking at the birds when something very cute and cuddly caught my eye. There were about twenty of the littlest hamsters I have ever seen all huddled together in a glass cage. I immediately fell in love with the little turbo hamsters and had to get one. All of them were very lightly colored, but one had a neat little dark patch on his back, unlike the others. Wes picked out the little dark patched hamster, we got a very vibrant cage with a cool little hut that hangs from the top, food, and a purple plastic ball so he could freely roam around my apartment. Once we assembled his cage and took him out of his little card board carrying box, Wes and I tried to decide on a name. We decided on Bleeker. It has now been over a year since I purchased my little buddy. He has proven to be a wonderful delight. My niece and nephew adore him. Whenever I bring him to my little town their jaws drop and their eyes become wide at the sight of Bleeker. He is a wonderful pet and a very possible character in a future children book.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cooking with Little Town Tea

Tonight I am going to a potluck dinner party. What am I bring? Well, tonight I am bringing Greg's famous clam dip. This dip is my usual and has graced the tables of many family and friend gatherings. It is always a hit. How, might you be asking, do you make such a delicious sounding appetizer? Well, as it just so happens, I am going to teach you how to make this very simple dip with the help of Wes' camera.
Here is what you need
For making this dish you will need Worcester sauce, eight ounces of cream cheese, eight ounces of sour cream, two cans of minced clams, a lemon (not photographed), a bowl, and a fork.

Step 1
Take your cream cheese and soften it up by stirring it with a fork. This takes a while, so turn on some good tunes. I suggest The Weepies.

Step 2

Once the cream cheese is nice and soft, take your sour cream and stir it in.

Step 3

Now that you've got the cream cheese and sour cream blended together, add in all those wonderfully minced clams. You will want to make sure to get out most of the juice before adding the clams, but, of course, a little clam juice is nice.

Step 4

After all those major ingredients are stirred to perfection, add a few drops of Worcester sauce and lemon juice. Add more or less of either, depending on your taste.

Step 5

Grab a bag of ruffled potato chips, dip, and enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Little Prince

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again” –The Little Prince I was scouring my bedside table for good books this morning and I came across my copy of The Little Prince. The Little Prince, incase you are one of those unfortunate few who have not heard of it, is a book originally written in French by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. It is one of those rare books written for both children and adults. For a child, it is a book that they can relate to. It is full of imagination and the everyday annoyances that they run into when dealing with an adult. For an adult, the book acts as a reminder to cease from living as a serious grownup that ignores their imagination. This is a book that should be on bookshelves of adults and children alike. If you have a child, read this story to them. If you don’t, read this story to yourself. The Little Prince has proved to not only be an important reminder to me as an adult, it has also proved to be important to me in my relationship. After I had graduated from high school, I went back to my little town to see The Little Prince performed at my high school. Many of the actors in this performance I had acted with myself. Among those actors was Wes, who stared as the Little Prince. During high school, Wes and I had been good friends, but nothing more. Nevertheless, when I saw Wes perform that evening I saw him in a whole new way. A few months after the performance we started dating and we have been together ever since. Wes is my Little Prince and I am his fox. He has certainly filled my life with sunshine. "Nothing's perfect," sighed the fox. "My life is monotonous. I hunt chickens; people hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all men are just alike. So I'm rather bored. But if you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. I'll know the sound of footsteps that will be different from all the rest. Other footsteps send me back underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like music. And then, look! You see the wheat fields over there? I don't eat bread. For me, wheat is no use whatever. Wheat fields say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the color of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you've tamed me! The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I'll love the sound of the wind in the wheat..."—The Little Prince

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Beatles

When I was very little, I fell deeply in love with The Beatles. My brother used to play their songs and the beat of their music and their voices gave me goosebumps. I remember my brother had a large poster of John Lennon, naturally equipped with his round glasses, on his wall. I fell in love with John Lennon right then and there. I would even kiss the poster before I went to bed. Needless to say, I was inconsolable when someone broke the news to me that he had been dead for quite sometime. Ever since, I have had a certain infatuation for men with glasses. I am now 22 and my love for The Beatles is just as strong.
Imagine my delight when and my friend, Amy, gave me a Beatles charm bracelet, as a late birthday present, the other day. Unfortunately, I could not find a larger, detailed image than the one I have provided above. It is beautiful and has little dazzling features that give off a wonderful Beatles vibe. I am so glad that their music has lived on through so many generations and that I can now sport my love for them on my wrist. Thanks Amy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Town Tea’s Book Corner

Being an English major, I have hardly had time to read for pleasure the last three and a half years. On average, I would have to read 7 books for each of my English classes, and I was taking anywhere from 3 to 4 English classes each session. Due to this crazy load of literature, I would spend my breaks getting a head start on the readings for the following session. Now that I am done with all of my English classes, I finally have time for pleasure reading. Because of my trip to Hawaii after Christmas, I took the winter session off. It has been roughly two months since I have been in school and I have been filling that time with reading. Right now I am reading Charlaine Harris’ A Bone to Pick. It is the second book in her Aurora Teagarden Mystery series. So far I am enjoying this series. It is about a librarian in the south who solves murder mysteries. It is just one of those fun books that you can pick up and enjoy without having to analyze any deeper meanings, which is refreshing after three and a half years of scrutinizing every sentence for any hidden implications.
I came across Charlaine Harris when my friend, Kris, told me about her Sookie Stackhouse series. You might have heard of this series. They have made it into a HBO show called True Blood. The Sookie Stackhouse books are about a waitress in the south who has telepathic abilities. This series, unlike the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries, is crammed with supernatural beings. I have read all the released Sookie Stackhouse books. They are addictive and fun. If you are looking for a light read with a southern twist you should definitely pick up something by Charlaine Harris.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Blustery Day

I love a good blustery day. I enjoy sitting at home, having a candle or two burning, sipping tea, snuggling up with a good book, and opening my apartment window a crack so I can listen to the rain beating down on the street and the tires running over puddles. I wish I could spend every day this way. I love the smell of the rain and the way the earth looks after it has had a good shower. Perhaps I should move somewhere it rains constantly, like Washington.

Along with the wonderful coziness that comes with staying inside on a rainy day, there is nothing like getting dressed up for going outside. I love rainy day clothing. There is nothing like getting bundled up in a knitted sweater, coat, hat, and scarf. Also, for those particularly soggy days, there is nothing like big plastic rain boots and a decorative umbrella. It seems as though retro rain boots are everywhere, but I haven’t broken down and bought a pair, as much as I want to. It would be a good investment, due to the constant puddle jumping I do on my way to and from class. I just hope that the rain keeps up for a while. I have missed my blustery days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

American Sign Language

School is starting on Tuesday. Although I am dreading some of my classes, such as educational tech foundations, survey elementary school health and safety, and elementary physical education, (I am using this semester to fulfill some of the prerequisites required for my multiple subjects teaching credential program) I am looking forward to my intermediate sign language class. I took beginning sign language in the fall and instantly adored the language. It is an extraordinary notion that everything that needs to be said can be communicated through a person’s hands. Once you become comfortable with a couple dozen words, your hands begin to come alive and make poetry all their own. The two people who teach this course are brother and sister. While the sister is hearing, the brother is deaf. Although having a deaf teacher is a bit overwhelming at first, it proves to be a great way to be submerged in the language. This course is also wonderful because we constantly play games in order to remember our weekly vocabulary. These games get us closer to our classmates, so close, in fact, that during one particular game the entire class got over their physical boundaries and began hugging and holding hands. I first became infatuated with sign language when my nephew began to sign as a toddler. Whenever I visited or babysat my nephew and I would watch one of his sign language videos with him. I was glad I was able to watch these videos because otherwise I had no idea what he was trying to communicate. Once I got the hang of the few sign language words he knew, (more, all done, mouse, apple, cookie, and so on...) I could finally understand what my nephew wanted and was able to communicate with him during the time he was unable to form words of his own. Now, at 4 ½, he has a strong vocabulary and we no longer need signs to communicate. My niece is just beginning to talk, but she proved easier to understand without the use of sign. I, however, still longed to understand more and was pleased to find that American Sign Language was one of the many classes taught on my campus. I, along with my boyfriend, signed up for the course. I now crave to somehow interlace sing language with my future career, whether I work as a translator, become a sign language teacher, write a book that teaches children and their parents how to sign basic words, or simply interweave American Sign Language in my lesson plan when I teach elementary school. Either way, I want to make sure that I somehow spread my love for this beautiful language.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Some of My Favorite Things

During my life, well during the past six years, I have run into some fantastic pieces of entertainment that I have really enjoyed and that have stuck with me. These things I want to share with you so maybe you can get the same wonderful experiences out of them as I did.
Big Fish is an absolutely fantastic movie that has remained number one on my list of favorite movies since I saw it in high school with my two best friends. It is directed by Tim Burton and stars Ewan McGregor. It is a far-fetched, yet very likely movie that will have everyone crying and laughing and viewing the world forever in a different way.
The movie that makes number two on my list of favorite movies is Harold and Maude. Harold and Maude was made in 1971. Cat Stevens monopolizes the sound track, making you fall in love with his music in a whole new way. I don’t think I would have ever seen the movie if it wasn’t for my brother telling me to watch it. It is an unlikely love story that always makes me fall in love with life and the uncertainties it may bring.
My freshman year in college I somehow came across a band called The Format and their song entitled “The Snail Song.” If you have a chance, go and listen to this lovely melody. It always reminds me to take time and enjoy myself, a reminder that everyone needs once in a while.
My sophomore year of college I was browsing around Amazon, trying to find some new music, and I came across Eric Bibb. The next day I bought his CD and still can’t stop listening to him. My favorite song is “Mr. Shine” from his CD Diamond Days.
Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen, is my all time favorite book. Due to my insane love for elephants, I have been looking longingly at this book for over a year, yet never buying it. Well, for Christmas Wes’ dad gave it to me. I brought it with me on my trip to Hawaii, which turned out to not be the best idea because it was difficult to put it down and enjoy the crazy roasters of Kauai. Anyhow, Water for Elephants is set during the great depression and it is about a man who leaves veterinarian school and travels with a circus. I passed it along to my mom, who absolutely loved it, and now my sister is reading it. (I love our constant sharing of books.) I promise you, whether you are a 19 year old man or a 71 year old woman, you are going to love it.

This music video is my most recent on my list of favorite things. Wes sent me this video a few weeks ago. I think it is beautiful.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day

Good morning and happy Valentines Day. I spent most of this morning, as well as most of last night, trying to figure out how to customize my blog with such wonderful doohickeys as a playlist. Alas, I am finding myself failing. I am sure I will soon get a hold of it and be a master blogger, but for now I will have to keep my blog simple and un-musical. If you have any tips please feel free to leave them.
So, today is Valentines Day. I suppose it is a day to demonstrate your love. I find, however, that in my relationship we do not put this unneeded pressure on each other. Wes and I have been together for three years. I know he knows me better than I sometimes know myself, but this knowledge does not cause negative affect on our relationship. It is not as though this knowledge has made our lives together boring or tedious, instead it has simply created a new stage. We no longer have that first year exhaustion from trying hard to impress each other. It is not as though that first year wasn’t fantastic, with all those memorable “firsts.” How could be anything but? The first year, however, is not quite as genuine as the years to come, the years that you begin to shed your outer layer and reveal the unadulterated you. We know each other well and understand that we both adore each other with a love deeper than I could have ever imagined I would feel for another being. So, instead of finding ways to demonstrate our love, by doing such things as buying fantastically marked up flowers or boxes of chocolate that one will regret eating a few days later when they hop on the scale, Wes and I will be sitting in front of his television, snuggling close, and watching Juno. I wouldn’t have my valentine and I doing anything else.

Friday, February 13, 2009

About My Blog

While in high school I found myself unable to stop writing, but now I find myself four years later, in my senior year of college, and only taking the time to write horribly long English papers. This is a place for me to begin writing again, to take time for something I love, and to keep in touch with others through my blog posts. Please feel free to visit the life of Little Town Tea and comment away.