30 Day De-Clutter Challenge

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By the time the holidays are over, we are all in need of a good de-cluttering, whether it’s our surroundings or the inside of our heads. Last year I began to attend a workshop on organizing, downsizing, and letting go of clutter. It began for me with a weekend retreat on the same thing. It was a spiritual retreat and it really focused some things for me. I’ve committed to going to at least four to six of the monthly workshops and keep the momentum going despite not doing so well at the end of the year.

The first thing on my list is my closet and getting rid of my professional/teaching clothes that I won’t be using (not that any of them fit anymore).

One rule of thumb and piece of advice – fifteen minutes is all it takes. Take fifteen minutes and do one thing. And then do another fifteen minutes. Don’t overwhelm yourself. I started by not letting  things come into the house in the first place. One example is mail. As soon as the mail is in my hands, all of the junk goes right into the garbage.

Good luck.

I’ll check in with you in fifteen days.

Click picture to link to the source (The Hearty Soul dot com). Copyright belongs to them and the author. (c)2019

National Tea Month – Adagio’s Fandom Tea Blend

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Today’s Tea:

The Walking Dead Daryl

This tea consists of mambo, honeybush vanilla, mocha nut mate, cocoa nibs, and cloves. This blend is perfect both for a morning, get ready for work drink or a late afternoon treat. It’s a dark blend that works with and without milk. (I prefer without.) The cocoa nibs give it a bit of sweetness, but adding sugar perfects the flavor in my opinion.

This was a gift from a close friend. It came in a sampler box with four other teas from four other fandoms. Also included in this custom made set were Loyalty House Blend (Harry Potter/Hufflepuff), Supernatural Survival Tea (Supernatural), Donna Noble (Doctor Who), and Civil War Remedy Tea (Captain America). What was so very funny about the Civil War one was the box was a light sepia color and had a picture of an old-fashioned medicine bottle. When I didn’t look very closely at it, it took me until I actually tried it to realize that it wasn’t tea in retrospect of the American Civil War, but of the Captain America movie subtitled Civil War.

Each tea has its own unique flavor that is ver reminiscent of the fandom and characters it is made to represent. These are all loose teas, but for those new to loose tea, there are make your own tea bags, tea balls, tea strainers, and other methods for brewing loose tea.

Fandom teas is something of a specialty of Adagio, although they also offer all of the regular teas and tea blends that you might be looking for as well as accessories and teaware. Their teas are reasonably priced as is shipping and they run sales throughout the year. It’s definitely worth a visit to their website to see what interests you.

Sampler size tin, tea strainer, mug. (c)2019

Teatime Tuesday

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A Nice Cup of Tea [George Orwell, 1946]

I discovered this gem through The Telegraph’s 2016 piece on Orwell and the perfect cup of tea. After re-reading 1984 and having Orwellian references since the 2016 election, this was something of a breath of fresh air to see Orwell’s name attached to. It’s kind of amazing what you find with a simple Google search.

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Mental Health Monday – Wheel of Emotions

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I started my recovery through depression and anxiety in the spring of 2012. Obviously, there were issues prior to actually getting help, and I owe it to my friends and my doctor for seeing the problems and putting me on the right path. 

One of the things that I truly needed to survive were anti-anxiety meds taken daily. The problem is that with the prescribed dosage I lost a lot of emotions. Not just awareness, but the feelings. For myself, I needed to be able to be sad when the time arose, like when my mother-in-law died. We adjusted the dose, and it’s better, but I could have really used this in those early days. I plan on looking at this chart in the days ahead and expanding my emotional vocabulary.

[Clicking on the picture will take you to the original article.]

Provided from Sarah Schuster on The Mighty. Clicking on the picture brings you to Ms. Schuster’s post and information on the graphic in relation to her mental health. Copyright, S. Schuster (c)2018-2019

Profile – Connie Schultz

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​I discovered Connie Schultz several years ago. I know that it was on the MSNBC program, Morning Joe, and I know that I intentionally turned the show on, wanting to see her specifically. What I don’t remember is if I watched it thinking, oh, that’s Sherrod Brown’s wife, she’s a writer, let’s hear what she has to say…or if I saw her, and said, oh my gosh, I love her, her husband is Sherrod Brown, I need to check him out. Either way, I’ve fallen head over heels in writerly and senatorily love with both of them, together or apart, it doesn’t matter.

One (two) of my heroes.

There’s some recent talk about a White House run, and if that happens, I will follow them, support them, campaign for them all the way to said White House. And if not, I will count Senator Brown and Ms. Schultz as firmly in my corner even though other than President, I can’t vote for him; I live in New York. However, he speaks for all of us progressive Democrats, and to be honest, what’s good for his state, is good for all of our states. They both speak their minds, and they both speak truth to power. They call it like they see it, and they both do it with a down-to-earth, neighborly, we’ve known you forever way that’s honest. I can only hope that we haven’t forgotten the importance of honesty in this country.

They are for working people what Babe Ruth is for baseball.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize winning author (2005 for commentary), a commentator both in print and on television of politics, journalism, and life in general. She currently writes in syndication for Creator’s Syndicate after writing for the Cleveland Plains Dealer for eighteen years. She has published two non-fiction books and is currently writing her first novel.

She and Sherrod Brown have been married for almost fifteen years. She is a a mother of four and a grandmother of seven, and I think if she were actually reading this, and I left that last one out, she would be less than happy with me. They are a blended family, and when she shows pictures of their kids, I have no idea who belongs to who because they are all one family, which is just remarkable and somehow ordinary.

I recently read an article about her by Michael Kruse of Politico (2018) and I watcher her TEDx video from Cleveland State University (2016) that gave me two snippets that I relish as part of my own self and my own journey as a writer, a woman, and a mother, and ir was a clear reminder of why I respect and adore her so much.

How could I not be a liberal?” [Politico, Dec. 21, 2018, when talking about her working class roots, her route to college and single parenthood, unions, grants, health insurance.]

Every moment that I had lived before I got into that newsroom was job experience.” [TEDx, Dec. 14, 2016]

I love her style, her attitude, her kindness, but also her take no nonsense attitude. Say something incorrect or bullying and she will come after you, but not as a bully. She is a teacher (of journalism at Kent State University in her home state of Ohio) and of life and continues to inspire me and cause me to aspire to be her in all of the ways I can attempt (through her Facebook and Twitter). I also want to be able to wear a hat like she wears a hat. I love hats, but I can’t pull them off. She can.

She is everything.

She is also proud of her work (and her family’s) but modest of her accolades. This is but one article that I share with you, but there are others if you Google. However, for the real deal, follow her on either her Facebook or her Twitter. Or both.