Friday, May 26th, 2017 07:00 am

Posted by Terri Windling

The Frog Princess by Gennady Spirin

Bumblehill frog

I've spotted the first frog of the season in the little pond in front of my studio. He's a bold, friendly fellow, pictured above blending perfectly with the color of the leaves. In honor of the start of frog season here at the Bumblehill Studio, this is a piece about the history of the pond, first posted in 2014:

In her beautiful memoir A Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L'Engle explored the murky subject of creative struggle and failure by drawing on the fairy tale "Diamonds and Toads":

"Just as we are taught that our universe is constantly expanding out into space at enormous speeds," she wrote, "so too our imagination must expand as we search for the knowledge that will in its turn expand into wisdom, and from wisdom into truth.

A detail from The Frog Bride by Virginia Lee"But this is violent, and therefore frightening.

"Children are less easily frightened than we are. They have no problem in understanding how Alice could walk through the mirror into the country on the other side; some of them have done it themselves. And they all understand princesses, of course. Haven't they all been badly bruised by peas? And then there's the princess who spat forth toads and snakes whenever she opened her mouth to speak, and her sister whose lips issued pieces of pure gold.

"I still have many days when everything I say seems to turn into toads. The days of gold, alas, don't come nearly as often. Children understand this immediately; why is it a toad day? There isn't any logical, provable reason. The gold days are just as irrational; they are pure grace; a gift."

Gennady Spirin

Arthur Rackham

Warwick Goble

Thumbelina by Lizbeth Zwerger

Now me, I've always liked frogs and toads, and I want to tell you my own little story about them. There's a tiny pond outside my studio door, but it was mud-choked and rank when I first moved in, housing nothing remotely so interesting. I cleared out the trash, the dead vegetation, stocked it with plants to re-balance the water, and then asked a friend, knowledgeable in these matters, how I might get frogs or toads. 

"You don't need to 'get' them," he told me, "just create the environment for them, and they will come."

Weeks passed. Months passed. The frogs didn't come. What was I doing wrong? I asked.

"Just be patient," my friend told me gently. "These things take time."

Froglessness, 2011

And yet time, I'm afraid, was not on my friend's side. He died the next winter (too soon, too young), my little pond remained stubbornly empty, and I wondered if his advice had been right. He'd been a folklorist, after all, and perhaps this was just an old wives' tale.

Buddha and frogs, 2014

Another summer passed. No frogs. No toads. In deference to my friend, I did nothing more than tend the pond, keep the pondweed in check. I could say I was patient, but really I was busy and distracted and I stopped thinking about it.

Then one day I looked through the studio window and saw my husband crouched by the pond. I put down my pen and notebook and went outside to see what he'd found.

The Frog Prince in my pond

A frog? Oh yes. Not one, but dozens. Frogs and more frogs, everywhere we looked -- hiding in the weeds, sunning on the rocks, bobbing together in the golden pond water. How had we'd never seen them before? And how could one tiny pond hold so many? Big frogs and small frogs, brown, red, and green, all looking like they'd lived there forever.

The little faces that greet me each morning

Frog companions

Now the frogs re-emerge in the pond every spring, grinning up at me from the water and weeds, watching the studio's comings and goings from their sun-dappled kingdom nearby.

I wish I could tell my friend he'd been right. Create the environment and they will come. He'd also been right when he answered every inquiry with, "Terri, just be patient."

Frog King and Queen

I believe it's the same with creativity. Feel dry, uncertain, empty of ideas? Then create the proper environment: a space you can work in, the right tools at hand, and good work habits, regular and steady. Inspiration will come. Be patient, and it will come.

It's pure grace; it's a gift.

Why, hello.

The Frog Prince by Arthur RackhamWords: The Madelaine L'Engle quote is from the first volume in her Crosswick Journnals: A Circle of Quiet (HarperCollins, 1998).  Pictures: the art above is "The Frog Princess" by Gennady Spirin, a detail from Virginia Lee's "The Frog Bride," "Darwin's Frog" by Gennady Spirin, "Alice and the Frog Footman" by Arthur Rackham, "The Frog Prince" by Warwick Goble, "Thumbelina" by Lizbeth Zwerger, and "The Frog Prince" by Arthur Rackham.

Friday, May 26th, 2017 08:42 am
My thanks and gratidtude to Alcyone for doing all the hard work on the Read during the past four weeks. Her support means much to me.

Kudos go to the intrepid justincase, who supported the Read with her comments.

Now without much ado, here is the plot summary of The Wine-Dark Sea curtesy of wikipedia:

The Surprise, with bow guns blazing, is in close pursuit of the American privateer Franklin in the wine-dark waters of the South Pacific. The chase is interrupted by a submarine volcanic eruption that completely disables the Franklin, with lesser damages to the Surprise. At sunrise, Aubrey sends Reade to take the Franklin; Maturin and Martin separate the dead from wounded aboard the prize. Jean Dutourd, the owner, is taken aboard Surprise. A wealthy philanthropist, his plan to colonise a South Pacific island, Moahu, was stopped by the appearance of the Surprise, and her support for the successful queen of Moahu in a battle for supremacy on the island. The Franklin took prizes of British ships en route to Moahu, proved by ransomers aboard, seamen taken as security, along with cargoes taken. The American sailing master is dead, killed by shots from the Surprise. Aubrey finds that Dutourd does not have a letter of marque permitting him to operate the Franklin as a privateer; the sailing master did, but Dutourd is not listed on his muster. Aubrey views Dutourd as a pirate, while Maturin considers him a risk ashore to his mission. Aboard ship, his utopian talk appeals to some of the seamen. They take an American whaler as prize. A British sailor on the whaler tells Aubrey of the Alastor, a privateer turned true pirate, flying the black flag and demanding immediate surrender or death of its victims. In their ultimately successful encounter with the Alastor, Aubrey receives severe wounds to his eye and his leg.

The ships reach Callao, the port for Lima. Maturin's mission begins now, done under cover of Surprise not being a Royal Navy ship, but perceived as a privateer, and she is again in this port with Pullings as her captain, with many prizes in tow. Maturin's goal is to assist the movement for independence of Peru from Spain, with aid from English gold as needed. Father Sam Panda is assigned here, and he proves a useful contact in Maturin's work. Another of Maturin's tasks ashore is to find suitable care for his longtime assistant, Nathaniel Martin, who is too ill for his work at sea. Maturin sees his old friend Dr Geary, surgeon of The Three Graces merchantman, who offers to take Martin home. Martin mistook salt sores (from a period of low fresh water aboard) to be the pox, treating himself with harsh medicines, which in turn made him truly ill. As the hospital in Callao is inadequate, Maturin yields up his patient to Geary.

Maturin meets with Gayongos, revolutionary sympathiser, and departs on a mule into the mountains, to meet with Father Don Jaime O'Higgins. The plan is agreed and will be set in motion in a couple of days. Gayongos reports at the Benedictine monastery that Dutourd is in Lima; Maturin says, let the Inquisition have him. Maturin sends a message to Pullings that he is gone botanizing in the mountains. He meets Eduardo, knowledgeable Inca guide, and the two trek in the higher altitudes. Eduardo receives a message from Gayongos that the revolution has failed before it began. Maturin must flee by land to Chile. Dutourd is arrested as a heretic, but the damage is done. When Aubrey discovers that Dutourd escaped, he sails in a cutter with a few crewmen to Callao to retake Dutourd or to warn Maturin. After many days of hard sailing against the wind, the feared lee shore, they reach the harbour and are taken aboard the Surprise by Captain Pullings barely alive. Aubrey welcomes Sam Panda who updates him on the political situation and the plan to meet with Maturin. Trekking over the Andes Mountains with llamas, Maturin and Eduardo are caught in a viento blanco (blizzard), their lives saved by the shelter Eduardo found, though Maturin loses some toes to frostbite.

Maturin makes his way to Arica with help from Eduardo, and then takes ship to Valparaíso, where Aubrey picks up Maturin and his collections. Maturin informs him of three American China ships sailing from Boston. The Surprise sails to intercept them off Cape Horn but, as she prepares to engage them, is herself fired upon by a thirty-eight gun US frigate and her brig. After a very close encounter with an ice island, the Surprise is again chased until her pursuer sails into a dead end in the ice field. The Surprise sails out, losing her main mast and rudder to a lightning strike. Jury-rigged, her crew spot a ship hull-down on the horizon. The ship, recognized by Maturin as having two rows of cannon, is HMS Berenice under Captain Heneage Dundas, accompanied by her tender, and carries Aubrey's much younger half-brother Philip. Dundas has provisions to repair the ship and pepper for Maturin to preserve his specimens from moths. Dundas has precious news from home, as he visited Ashgrove Cottage before he sailed, seeing Sophia and their children, but not Diana, only her horses. He met Clarissa Oakes there, who is now a widow. Aubrey and Maturin are happily homeward bound.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 11:13 pm
The moving cubes arrive tomorrow. I have them for three business days (one day for arrival, one full day, one day for pickup) plus the intervening weekend.

I intellectually know that I have a whole lot of things sorted and packed, but the fact that I haven't got much in the way of a sensible staging area makes everything very hard to see the progress, and many of my daily-use things are still front and center, even though the closets and cubbies are getting packed and stacked.

Aaaaaa.

We'll be loading the moving cubes, and then I take some important things in my car and drive from the SF Bay Area to the Seattle-Tacoma area. I'll be crashing with my sister for a while; there will be some overlap between me and her boyfriend who is currently staying with her. I'm bringing an air mattress.

Motivation.
Sanity.
Encouragement.

All of these things are hard. Occasionally my partner has to remind me that hyperventilating is bad, and maybe that anti-anxiety medication is there for a reason.
Tags:
Friday, May 26th, 2017 07:00 am

Posted by Terri Windling

The Frog Princess by Gennady Spirin

Bumblehill frog

I've spotted the first frog of the season in the little pond in front of my studio. He's a bold, friendly fellow, pictured above blending perfectly with the color of the leaves. In honor of the start of frog season here at the Bumblehill Studio, this is a piece about the history of the pond, first posted in 2014:

In her beautiful memoir A Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L'Engle explored the murky subject of creative struggle and failure by drawing on the fairy tale "Diamonds and Toads":

"Just as we are taught that our universe is constantly expanding out into space at enormous speeds," she wrote, "so too our imagination must expand as we search for the knowledge that will in its turn expand into wisdom, and from wisdom into truth.

A detail from The Frog Bride by Virginia Lee"But this is violent, and therefore frightening.

"Children are less easily frightened than we are. They have no problem in understanding how Alice could walk through the mirror into the country on the other side; some of them have done it themselves. And they all understand princesses, of course. Haven't they all been badly bruised by peas? And then there's the princess who spat forth toads and snakes whenever she opened her mouth to speak, and her sister whose lips issued pieces of pure gold.

"I still have many days when everything I say seems to turn into toads. The days of gold, alas, don't come nearly as often. Children understand this immediately; why is it a toad day? There isn't any logical, provable reason. The gold days are just as irrational; they are pure grace; a gift."

Gennady Spirin

Arthur Rackham

Warwick Goble

Thumbelina by Lizbeth Zwerger

Now me, I've always liked frogs and toads, and I want to tell you my own little story about them. There's a tiny pond outside my studio door, but it was mud-choked and rank when I first moved in, housing nothing remotely so interesting. I cleared out the trash, the dead vegetation, stocked it with plants to re-balance the water, and then asked a friend, knowledgeable in these matters, how I might get frogs or toads. 

"You don't need to 'get' them," he told me, "just create the environment for them, and they will come."

Weeks passed. Months passed. The frogs didn't come. What was I doing wrong? I asked.

"Just be patient," my friend told me gently. "These things take time."

Froglessness, 2011

And yet time, I'm afraid, was not on my friend's side. He died the next winter (too soon, too young), my little pond remained stubbornly empty, and I wondered if his advice had been right. He'd been a folklorist, after all, and perhaps this was just an old wives' tale.

Buddha and frogs, 2014

Another summer passed. No frogs. No toads. In deference to my friend, I did nothing more than tend the pond, keep the pondweed in check. I could say I was patient, but really I was busy and distracted and I stopped thinking about it.

Then one day I looked through the studio window and saw my husband crouched by the pond. I put down my pen and notebook and went outside to see what he'd found.

The Frog Prince in my pond

A frog? Oh yes. Not one, but dozens. Frogs and more frogs, everywhere we looked -- hiding in the weeds, sunning on the rocks, bobbing together in the golden pond water. How had we'd never seen them before? And how could one tiny pond hold so many? Big frogs and small frogs, brown, red, and green, all looking like they'd lived there forever.

The little faces that greet me each morning

Frog companions

Now the frogs re-emerge in the pond every spring, grinning up at me from the water and weeds, watching the studio's comings and goings from their sun-dappled kingdom nearby.

I wish I could tell my friend he'd been right. Create the environment and they will come. He'd also been right when he answered every inquiry with, "Terri, just be patient."

Frog King and Queen

I believe it's the same with creativity. Feel dry, uncertain, empty of ideas? Then create the proper environment: a space you can work in, the right tools at hand, and good work habits, regular and steady. Inspiration will come. Be patient, and it will come.

It's pure grace; it's a gift.

Why, hello.

The Frog Prince by Arthur RackhamWords: The Madelaine L'Engle quote is from the first volume in her Crosswick Journnals: A Circle of Quiet (HarperCollins, 1998).  Pictures: the art above is "The Frog Princess" by Gennady Spirin, a detail from Virginia Lee's "The Frog Bride," "Darwin's Frog" by Gennady Spirin, "Alice and the Frog Footman" by Arthur Rackham, "The Frog Prince" by Warwick Goble, "Thumbelina" by Lizbeth Zwerger, and "The Frog Prince" by Arthur Rackham.

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 11:05 pm
Thanks to a community I read here on DW*, I have learned there's a whole area of K-beauty products that I was oblivious to.

Gold. As in actual gold, the metal, included in sheet masks, facial cremes, primers, and toners.

Now, I will admit, the wacky skin mask sheets are like catnip to me, which is why I own something called SNAIL BEE ESSENCE. (To be fair, my skin really likes that mask, but still. SNAIL BEE ESSENCE.) But gold! There is something so deliriously ridiculous and over-the-top about smearing gold on your face that I'm completely charmed by the idea.

Plus, as an added bonus, the mangled translation of product text is something to behold. How can you not want a cosmetic product with sell text like It's one of the masks that could make my face super soft inside out! You can feel the softness just by pressing into your cheeks and it gives that "boing boing" effect, loosely translated to "bouncy bouncy".

BOING BOING. BOUNCY BOUNCY. Sure, let's apply those adjectives to skin!



*This will possibly out me to other people on that anon community, but I think I already know the (two?) people who read my DW and that comm.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 10:33 pm
So I saw Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 tonight, and spoilers still use a Walkman )

***

In other news, I would really like to go a year or two without a family medical emergency, y'all. But with luck I'll be able to make Lance Armstrong jokes with P. for the rest of our lives...
Tags:
Friday, May 26th, 2017 01:12 am
Swanwing (7586 words) by Gehayi
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: De vilde Svaner | The Wild Swans - Hans Christian Andersen
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Prince/Princess, King/Queen, Prince/Noblewoman, Prince/Nobleman, Prince/Artist
Characters: Brødre | Brothers (De vilde svaner | The Wild Swans), Elisa (De vilde svaner | The Wild Swans)
Additional Tags: Canon Disabled Character, Disabled Character, Minor Original Character(s), Female Character of Color, Male Character of Color, non-binary original character - Freeform, Quests, Cold Weather, Mountains, Mythical Beings & Creatures, Wings, Noodle Incidents, Magic, Magic-Users, Spells & Enchantments
Summary:

A prince with a wing for an arm, the target of mocking words and cruel attacks, goes on a quest to find healing and happiness.




La Rose au Boué (13097 words) by ZeldaQueen
Chapters: 6/6
Fandom: La Belle et la Bête | Beauty and the Beast
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Belle/La Bête | Beast/Beauty (La Belle et la Bête)
Characters: Belle | Beauty (La Belle et la Bête), La Bête | The Beast (La Belle et la Bête)
Additional Tags: Fairy Tale Retellings
Summary:

The loss of the Fairy Queen leaves all of fairydom desperate to find a new monarch. Two fairies compete for the throne, in a duel by champions. One chooses a young prince left on his own as his mother fights in a war. The other, a beautiful, kind girl whose family has undergone great misfortune.

When a merchant angers a Beast, his daughter travels to the creature's palace to live out her life as his companion. All is not as it seems in this enchanted place though, where magic and secrets lurk in every room...

Thursday, May 25th, 2017 09:26 pm
Tried poking at French on duolingo ... and then realized it would mess up any Spanish attempts (or the Spanish attempts would much up French) because they look similar and sound so different, and I had a moment of "je suis, tu eres, il/elle/es est" (bad jumble of french and Spanish with a soupçon of German). So ... for now I go back to German for Duolingo purposes, and refresh Spanish grammar/vocab through other sites. (I am currently tempted by https://www.rocketlanguages.com/ which is paid, but I will probably get over that temptation and just stick to free resources.)

I did realize why I suddenly had urges to go do other languages, Greek or French or whatnot, rather than continuing with German. It's because the words aren't sticking right now. It's not difficult vocabulary -- z.b. Ort, Kneipe, Bezirk, Grundstück, Umgebung, Unterkünfte -- but I can't remember the words or their meanings at all. Each time it's like I'm seeing the word for the first time, and by the time it comes up again I've dropped it again.

Which is, um. Frustrating. And makes me want to avoid it. And to some extent repetition is the key to learning things like this, but it's hard to repeat things you can't hold on to.

I kind of wish I could just download language knowledge into my brain.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 08:44 pm

It's been an eventful week. I'm thankful that it's over. That's probably enough.

  • We sold our house in West Seattle. Done. It required a marathon cleanup session the day of the closing (Tuesday!) after the buyers' walkthrough Monday night. Why the *bleep* couldn't they have done it Friday evening? But they didn't, and our agent and I spent all day Tuesday cleaning out the stuff that I'd been too tired to deal with last Thursday, and the stuff that the movers dumped on the side path after they ghosted on us Friday. And G and I rented a UHaul and hauled his two motorcycles -- that the aforesaid mover had said he wanted to buy on Monday but never showed up -- over to our housekeeper's house in Auburn. But we did it.
  • In the end, after dropping off the truck, I went back to the old place to collect the paint cans the buyers had complained about, drove around to the front, and picked a bud and a flower off the Royal Amethyst rose. Thank you, Ame.
  • ... and sang "The Mary Ellen Carter" as loud as I could on the way back over the West Seattle Bridge. Thanks, Stan -- I needed that.
  • Our purchase of our new house on Whidbey Island went through without a hitch. That was a long search, and a lot of anxiety and research, but that too is done. Special thanks to our agents, Rob and (especially) Leif.
  • Also somewhere in there my final payment from Amazon came through. Less than I'd been expecting because I hadn't allowed for Social Security and Medicare taking their cuts, but welcome just the same. I note in passing that they have not come through with my promised health care, so no thanks are due in that direction.
  • Thanks to my family, too, the whole crazy lot of us. Special thanks to the Younger Daughter, whose new phone plan and health coverage through her employer have taken several additional worries off of my mind.
  • Thanks, too, to you, my readers. Your occasional comments and encouraging words have meant a great deal during this, um..., adventure? Something like that.

Friday, May 26th, 2017 12:37 am
Fannish/Geeky Things

"Artists are creating gorgeous mermaid art all #MerMay". [The Daily Dot]

"Rihanna and Lupita Nyong'o will costar in a buddy movie directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix".

"Josh Boone Says THE NEW MUTANTS Is A Full-Fledged Horror Movie".

"The Origins of Anime: Watch Free Online 64 Animations That Launched the Japanese Anime Tradition". [Open Culture] (Note: I haven't delved into this yet.)


Photography

"How dogs get older: A fascinating and deeply touching photography project".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] larryhammer, "Photographer Uncovers The White Ravens Of Legend In West Coast Forest".

"Fallen Cherry Blossom Petals Fill a Lake in Japan for Naturally Beautiful Scenes From Above".


Miscellaneous

"All The Wrong People Are Asking All The Wrong Questions About Fidget Spinners". [Sarah Kurchak at The Establishment]

Via [flocked], "Angry otter pursues Scottish man". [~40 sec. video]

"A Moose Destroyed a Flowerbed Planted to Celebrate Canada’s Sesquicentennial". [Atlas Obscura]

"Fairy Princesses And Mermaid Queens Have Been Waiting For These Fishnet Stockings".

"Why Americans Smile So Much".

"Our Mothers as We Never Saw Them". "For me, as for many daughters, the time before my mother became a mother is a string of stories, told and retold: the time she got hit by a car and had amnesia; the time she sold her childhood Barbie to buy a ticket to Woodstock; the time she worked as a waitress at Howard Johnson’s, struggling to pay her way through her first year at Rutgers. The old photos of her are even more compelling than the stories because they’re a historical record, carrying the weight of fact, even if the truth there is slippery: the trick of an image, and so much left outside the frame. These photos serve as a visual accompaniment to the myths. Because any story about your mother is part myth, isn’t it?" There's an accompanying collection of photos on Instagram: [instagram.com profile] mothersbefore.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] ironymaiden, "I Got Drunk With The Funeral Industry To Find Out What Happens When We Die". [Buzzfeed, 2015] "The Ideal Death Show initially started out in 2011, not as an industry shindig, but as a Six Feet Under fan convention in Bournemouth. It was run by a guy called Brian Jenner, who is a professional speechwriter and not remotely connected to the funeral industry except for this one weird thing. [...] When everyone turned up for the Friday night welcome wake, it was clear that what Jenner had accidentally organised was an industry meeting for people who worked with the dead; undertakers on a busman’s holiday, stood around a cardboard coffin in a room full of lilies.

The next year he stripped away the HBO pretext and just made it that: a bunch of people talking about death, once a year, with other people who know about death. They needed it – death can literally be a lonely business."



Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne:

--"You Can Stay Overnight In A Jail Cell At This Haunted Prison In Canada". (I'll pass, thanks.)

--"10 Beautiful Photos Of Dogs Underwater" by photographer Seth Casteel.

--"I’m A Barista From Korea Who Creates Art On Coffee".
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 08:17 pm
What are you currently reading?
Same as last week, The Invisible Library and The New Jim Crow, both of which I've made good progress on. I'm over halfway through The Invisible Library and about a quarter of the way through The New Jim Crow.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finally picked up my ipad and read some manga today! I think part of why I've been dragging my feet on manga is that I'm not hugely enjoying what I'm reading right now. I have several volumes of Saint Oniisan as I apparently hadn't read it in a few years, so I thought I'd read them all and get caught up, but I just don't love this series anymore. It's gone on too long and isn't nearly as funny as it was at first, but it's not like I completely hate it, so I don't just want to give it up either. There were a couple chapters in this one where I really did laugh out loud (the one with Jesus trying to get Buddha into Instagram was hilarious), but most of it was just kind of meh. On the one hand I want to read the next two volumes so I can be caught up and have one less folder on my ipad, but maybe I should take a break and read something else instead.

What do you think you'll read next?
Scrolling through what's on my ipad, apparently I have three volumes of Kimi in Todoke to catch up on, so I think I'll read those next and give Saint Oniisan a break!
Friday, May 26th, 2017 03:16 am
I bought a Korean night moisturizer called Wine Therapy in the red wine
variety.

My face now smells like grape jelly.







I kind like it.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 08:13 pm

As I’m down to my last tin of tea, other than my large tin of Iranian Ceylon, it is time to do another tea order. My last order was in July 2015, so it has almost been 2 years. Again, the bulk of the order is from Upton Tea (who has great varietals), except for one tea that they are out of. Here’s what I’m ordering this time (as before, teas shown with 🍵 are new this year; ☕ indicates repeats from 2015; ☕☕ indicates repeats from 2013):

  1. TD06: Orthodox BOP Darjeeling.  🍵 The best value in Darjeeling tea. Broken leaf Darjeeling is often overlooked, either because the price is so reasonable or because too much value is placed on a more stylish leaf. This flavorful BOP blend offers a great cup at a very attractive price. $8.25/125g.
  2. TD50: No.1 Tippy Orthodox GFOP Darjeeling. ☕☕ An exceptional golden tip Darjeeling blend. We first introduced this tea in 1990 and it continues to be our most popular Darjeeling. $9.75/125g.
  3. TA20: Tippy Orthodox FBOP Assam. 🍵 A uniform, broken-leaf tea with bold character and strong, malty flavor. This tea is a great choice for breakfast and throughout the day. $6.50/100g.
  4. TA27: Halmari CTC BOP. 🍵 A bold CTC style tea with rich flavor. The dark liquor will readily take milk. Especially suited as a bracing morning tea. $6.25/125g.
  5. TP12: Premium China Keemun. ☕☕ Often called the burgundy of China teas, this North China Congou is rich, flavorful and appropriate for any time of day. We offer this as our basic Keemun, although it is in the middle range of the standard series. $6.50/125g.
  6. ZG20: First Grade Gunpowder Green. ☕☕ Superior grade of green tea in the style of gunpowder teas (tightly rolled tea leaves resembling gunpowder pellets). $5.75/125g.
  7. ZG14: Young Hyson Imperial Organic.☕ This organic tea has the bold flavor of a high-fired tea, yet it has a pleasing smoothness with delicate sweetness. The thin, well-twisted leaves produce a liquor with a pale green color. This is a very popular style of China green tea with a bolder leaf. $6.00/100g.
  8. ZM44: Osmanthus Oolong Se Chung. 🍵 Se Chung Oolong, naturally scented with osmanthus flowers. The flavorful, aromatic cup has a full body, with hints of ripe fruit. The finish is sweet and lingering. $7.60/125g
  9. TB49: Darjeeling-Ceylon Iced Tea Blend. ☕☕ Half whole-leaf Darjeeling and half OP Ceylon. A great hot tea as well! The brewing information provided is for making an iced tea concentrate. $7.00/125g.
  10. TB15: Java Blend. ☕☕ A rich breakfast blend especially suited for those who enjoy a powerful cup in the morning. This also is a great choice for iced tea. Java teas are never expensive, so you get the best produced for a few cents a cup. $5.75/125g.
  11. TK12: Rukeri Estate Rwanda BOP Organic 🍵 The cup has a full flavor and aroma, with a medium body. May be enjoyed plain, but it is strong enough to accommodate a touch of milk. Longer steepings yield a robust cup with notes of rose and peppery hints. At briefer steepings, the liquor is sweeter and more delicate. $6.50/125g.
  12. TC05: Ceylon BOP (Broken Orange Pekoe). 🍵 A choice blend of regional Ceylons. [Note: Both TN05 and TN10 were out of stock]. $6.00/125g.
  13. TC88: St. James Estate BOP. 🍵 This broken-leaf tea yields an aromatic, bright-coppery cup. The full-bodied liquor is pleasantly pungent and is accentuated with mellow wintergreen notes. $6.00/125g
  14. TB02: Leadenhall Street Breakfast Blend. ☕ A tribute to the famous London tea auctions, our Leadenhall Street Breakfast Blend is a blend of two classic British teas: a brisk Ceylon and a thick, malty Assam. The result is a flavorful mixture which lends itself to the addition of milk. $6.50/125g.
  15. TB05: Mincing Lane Breakfast Blend. ☕☕ For this blend, we paired a hearty Assam with a smooth and flavorful Yunnan, for a cup that is highly enjoyable. The invigorating liquor has a full mouth feel, subtle spicy notes, and a lingering aftertaste. While milk is recommended, it is enjoyable plain. $8.75/125g.
  16. TB14: Scottish Breakfast Blend. ☕☕ Blended to appeal to those who favor an eye-opening experience in the morning, this tea yields a cup with a round, full flavor, malty notes, and brisk character. A perfect choice to start the day. $6.25/125g.
  17. TB30: Kensington Breakfast Blend. 🍵 A bit lighter than our River Shannon Blend, this English Breakfast style tea is a rich blend of Assam, Ceylon, and Keemun. Best with milk. $7.00/125g
  18. TB75: Baker Street Afternoon Blend. ☕☕ A bit of Lapsang Souchong is blended with Keemun and Darjeeling, yielding a mildly smoky tea. Perfect for an afternoon uplift. Another special (whole-leaf) blend from our London source of fine teas. $8.25/125g.
  19. TB86: Richmond Park Blend. ☕ A mellow, whole-leaf blend of Keemun, Ceylon, and Darjeeling. An exceptional tea which is smooth enough for drinking plain, and sturdy enough to take milk or lemon. From our London blender. $8.25/125g.
  20. TE85: Creme Caramel. ☕☕ Pieces of caramel are added to a black tea from Sri Lanka to create a delicious blend with a mild, creamy aroma and sweet caramel flavor. Enjoyable on cold days, and throughout the seasons. This is a bolder leaf version of our former TE86.This product contains dairy. $6.25/125g.

A number of teas that I wanted — TF25/Wild Cherry, TF90/Vanilla, TE45/Midsummer Dream, and TE21/Monk’s Blend — were unavailable. I’ll find another source for those. Additionally, I ordered the following for my wife:

  1. TC64: Victorian Brew BOP1. 🍵 This uniquely named Ceylon offering produces a liquor that has a mildly spicy, sweet aroma with citrus hints. The flavor is rich and smooth with notes of honey and biscuit as well as a hint of cherry. The lingering finish has refreshing citrus-like hints. $6.80/100g
  2. TE13: Chocolate Earl Grey. 🍵 A premium black tea combining the popular tastes of bergamot and chocolate with a hint of lemon. Decorated with flower petals and lemon peel for a delightful presentation.This product contains soy.
  3. TE94: Mélange de Chamonix. ☕☕ Fine India tea is blended with cocoa, cardamom, and a hint of cinnamon to produce a balanced and warming cup. A delicate treat for any chocolate or tea lover. $10.75/125g.
  4. TE90: Christmas Tea; Mélange Noël. 🍵. A blend of black tea with cloves, vanilla and cardamom. Decorated with citrus peel, rose petals and almond pieces.This product contains tree nuts (almonds). $7.25/125g.

Again, we had some out of stocks: TE35/Hearthside Chai Tea.

For the missing teas, I searched around and found Pittsburgh Tea, from where I ordered:

  1. Monk’s Blend Tea loose tea. Medium bodied and flavoury with piquant Ceylon character. Blended with natural flavor oils of vanilla and grenadine, which impart a smooth and unique heavenly flavor. $6.99/.25 lb
  2. Vanilla Black Tea. Black tea, Calendula & Sunflower petals, and Natural flavors. $6.99/.25 lb.
  3. Cherry Black Tea. This premium Ceylon tea flavored with summer cherries is treat for any Chekhov fans musing in their cherry orchard. Lovely candied cherry aroma, juicy flavor and slightly dry finish. If you’ve never read Chekhov, it doesn’t have a happy ending. If you’d never tried our Cherry Black tea, it’ll make up for it. $6.99/.25 lb.

 

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Friday, May 26th, 2017 10:49 am
It's been over a month since Rogue One came out on home media internationally, but I have not seen it in any of the movie stores I've been to over this time. I am perplexed! It must be out already (Disney conglomerate media is released consistently and quickly here) so is it that I have had bad luck and it happens to be out of stock at whatever shop I'm visiting that day? I don't feel any strong urge to get it, seeing as that I'm kinda holding out for a better release later this year as per what happened with The Force Awakens, but it's still odd to not see DVDs/Blu-Rays everywhere.

Also a bummer: my favourite movie store is closing down. I've been trying to support this shop but it's been getting harder recently when they don't have in stock the things that I actually want to buy.