SLEEP IS FUNNY

I understand the biology but really sleep is so odd. Dark comes – we get tired. We all sleep at the same time even the birds even the animals. Our dogs. We all crawl into our safe corners and sleep. Except the nocturnal ones I suppose- but what if people were nocturnal. How different would we be. Bigger eyes maybe. Would we even need lights to see by?! Maybe our houses would be designed to have windowless light free bedrooms for sleeping in the daylight.

Or if we never needed sleep at all and our lives only lasted 30 years. How different would we be. How much more precious would our lives be. And with no sleep at all. No bedrooms. No shutting of the eyes. I think we would have a lot of break out rooms full of quiet.

Early morning ducks just want to GET OUT!!

If only I had the camera aimed slightly higher this would have been the money shot. But capturing the image of the ducks flying out of their bedroom AND opening said bedroom door at the same time leaves a lot to luck.

Did you see the newly hatched chicks in the header? Here is a close up.

One day old. Yes! MORE chicks!!

In New Zealand we drink a lot of tea. If someone comes to your house you ask them if they would like a cup of tea or coffee. Anytime of the day not just in the morning. It would be dreadfully rude not to offer a cup of tea. When I lived in New Zealand people dropped in all the time for a cuppa. But now I live in Illinois. People do not just drop in here. Maybe it is because I am out in the country or maybe a cultural thing or maybe I have few friends but I miss people unexpectedly dropping in for a cup of tea and a natter.

Over the years I have stopped being prepared for people to drop in – now I wear horrible clothes and don’t do my hair for entire days on the weekend.

Anyway – back to tea. Not fancy tea. Just gumboot tea. Or builders tea.

When there is no one to share a pot of tea with. ( the last 15 years) I make my tea using a tea bag. When I use a tea pot I always put the milk in my cup first. But when I use a tea bag I put the milk in the cup last so the hot water hits the teabag first. And I am a very impatient person so while I wait for the kettle to boil I grab the mug and the teabag and the milk so everything is ready.

At this point my impatience goes one step further as I wait for the kettle to boil (too long). I watch myself put the teabag in the mug, then pour a little milk over the dry tea bag, (horrors) – return the milk to the fridge and return to watching water boil. I know that my gentle-self wants that perfect cup of tea (milk last) but my inner impatient self must go fast, must not waste movements, must have everything ( the milk) put back where it belongs ( in the fridge) so I can take my hot tea straight to the table and sit down sooner. I literally watch myself make an inferior cuppa so I can go faster to my chosen space to relax for a minute before leaping to the next task.

And I laugh at myself who I know so well!

I open Our Tiny Flour Shop at the mill at 9am on Saturday mornings. So I am at the mill baking bread in the toaster oven. Today’s loaf will be Red Fife, Black Emmer and our High Protein Bread Flour.

Have a lovely day!

So how do you like your tea!!

miss c

44 Comments on “SLEEP IS FUNNY

  1. No tea for me, thank you — although I do like a nice iced tea (no sugar) in the summer. Texans are given to sweet tea, but I’ve not been able to make that adjustment. On the other hand, Texans do stop by for a cuppa, although the cup’s usually coffee. I grew up with that same easy going back-and-forthing in Iowa, too. Are you close to Chicago? Maybe Chicago habits have seeped into your neighborhood.

  2. I’m having tea now! It’s morning in Portland, Oregon with a hot sun already bringing light into my bedroom. I learned my tea habits when I visited Scotland – so tea always with milk and sugar. Like you, I try waiting to add the milk after the hot water hits the tea bag – most days I succeed but some days I just want that tea quickly and pour the milk first!

  3. Well, if I lived closer (but I don’t–so sorry, Southern Indiana) I would definitely drop by, but not for tea (coffee for me—I’m from Texas originally). For many years a friend of mine and I had coffee almost every Friday morning. Just checking in with each other to see how things were going. She died several years ago and I really miss those coffee mornings.

  4. Since I injured my back this spring & even though I’m still hobbling about on a cane with no must do anythings to hurry up for, I too have worked out a time & step saving tea system for myself. Boil fresh water in the electric pot, get the milk from the fridge, sqush a bit of orange blossom honey in the cup, cut open the tea bag (Eng., Irish, or Scottish Breakfast), put the paper envelope in the waste sack hanging on the cabinet knob, pour the boiled water over the bag & honey, look out the window for 3-4 mins.,remove the tea bag, put in the waste sack, pour in a little milk, stir the honey, tea & milk, return the the milk to the fridge, hobble with teacup to my chair & side table, hobble to front door & pick up the paper, hobble back to chair & just right temp. tea, sit, sip & read the paper. All in that order everyday. Sometimes I’ve remembered to bring a biscotti along too, but oh! how I really wish I had a thick of your just baked bread with a spread of good unsalted butter, Celi. That would make with my morning ritual just perfect.

  5. I switched from tea to coffee in the morning. Occasionally my girlfriend visits me during her morning walk and I love that.

  6. I just made my cup of tea and sat down to read your post! Milk goes in first because in the old days, hot liquid from the pot, would crack the bone china tea cup.

      • Originally bone ash (animal bones) and feldspathic material, which was delicate. Josiah Spode added kaolin in the 1790s, which made it much stronger. But by then the tradition of putting milk in first stuck. This has definitely disappeared with the invention of the tea bag, albeit slowly and my Grandfather would turn in his grave at the very suggestion!

    • Thank you, Mad & Celi. I do use bone china Queen Anne English mugs. They are fairly delicate & translucent but modern so sturdy enough for hot liquid & milk at the end. I have some antique Haviland I’m careful with. I have some tough stuff too I could throw in a pique.

  7. The flying-the-coop ducks are hilarious. They know what they want, all right! Tiny chicks are adorable!
    My grandmother who was from Ireland lived with us and she and I would share a cup of tea. I thought I was so mature. But now I can only bear the smell of my husband’s chai tea. I’ve learned to limit my coffee to two cups a day, only lately.

  8. I read once, that sometime in the Middle Ages, when it was dark for so long in the winter, people had 2 sleeps! They’d go to bed when the sun went down, then all the shops and bars would open up for several hours at 11 pm or so; people would socialize etc., then go back to bed for another few hours!!!!!

  9. I was raised drinking herbal teas and we always drank those plain (other than the childhood favorite of milk tea which was half and half of each). The I started dating my husband in late high school I began visiting his grandmother on a regular basis (her house was kind of the center of family events). She was originally from England (Grandpa meet and married her during WWII and brought her back after the war). She always drank black tea with a bit of milk in it, so I learned to drink it that way with her. Today I prefer half and half (or if I am feeling decadent and we have it, a bit of cream) and think of Grandma.

      • There are lots of stories that she and Grandpa shared over the years–some serious and some hilariously funny. Grandma was the youngest of nine and the only girl in a family of fishermen. Grandpa had his hands full when he decided to court her–her brothers were not only protective but were also serious practical jokers (one such prank involved a wooden box full of silverware bolted to the underside of the newlyweds’ bed at the family home). The wedding ring she wore for over 60 years was a thin, gold band with a couple of tiny stones in it and was the only one that Grandpa could find in the midst of the war. She came over after the war alone on a huge ship with other war brides and refugees–Grandpa had returned several months earlier on a military transport ship. In many ways she was just like any other midwestern grandmother and in other ways she was quintessentially British–she never lost her British accent, she made Yorkshire pudding, and though she made coffee for Grandpa at every meal, I never saw her drink a drop herself, only tea. She also came of age during a time of shortages–she stockpiled food in her basement, watered down her ketchup and dish soap, and reused her tea bag until it made tea that was so weak it was almost clear. She really was a gem. She died just before Covid hit (her funeral was only a few weeks before lockdowns started), Grandpa having passed away a couple of years earlier. I like to think of the two of them up in Heaven sitting side-by-side in their old fashioned lawn chairs and watching the squirrels on their bird feeder.

  10. I drink tea and coffee black. I have always loved my espresso, but unfortunately, since my heart attack, I only drink decaf coffee, one cup in the morning. I miss my occasional real tea breaks in the afternoon, too, so now I have herbal tea instead. Not the perfect solution, but it still hits the spot in the afternoons!

  11. Oh this has been a great collection of tea and the cups!!!! Fun to hear everybody’s tea traditions!! I’m German so I drank coffee with real cream straight from the barn!!! But after I started traveling throughout Europe, the UK, and many places around the world ~ I didn’t like their coffee ~ too strong! ! it jumped out of the cup ~ so I drank tea ~ NOOO milk in it ~ yuck!!! Just the good tea and a bit of sugar!! If I drank coffee I would ask for some hot water and add to the coffee and tone it down a bit!!! Years ago when I was down in Armenia ~ they brought me a cup of coffee ~ I thought well that’s a cute “little” cup!! ~ took a regular swallow of “coffee” ~ oh holy cats ~ I nearly dropped dead!!!!! It was their expresso!! Horrible!!! Never again!! With the little cup I sure wasn’t thinking about expresso!!
    Love the chicks and duckies Celi!!! try to get another shot of the ducks!!! Have a good one!!
    Really love seeing you here again!!!!!
    Carol

  12. No one just ‘stops’ by our small farmy here in Arkansas either. Folks always text first if they are coming by to get eggs or produce. So I never wear anything by old, raggedy farm clothes. Even when I have to pop down to the ubiquitous Walmart, the only store within 30 miles, I can’t be bothered to change like I did years ago when we moved here. People there wear all sorts of different outfits, so I fit right in! 🙂

  13. When I first came to Australia, 38 years ago, we lived in hot, humid Darwin. Hardly anyone offered a hot drink. More likely we were offered a cold drink or a beer! But when we moved 1500k south to Alice Springs, we began to drink more tea and coffee, especially now in the winter. I have found a wonderful organic leaf tea and always brew it in a little pot. I do as you, get everything ready while it is brewing, but I have a ‘fast boil’ kettle which helps with the waiting. I always add the milk last because I need to see the colour to know if it is the right amount! I’m a colour person. A fun post, love those tiny chicks!

    • I think I need to find a little tea pot – though you know how I hate to own more than can fit in my two suitcases- so maybe I will wait. I like a really heavy tea pot OH now that I think about it I LOVE those shearers tea pots – Those really huge ones – I would like to own one of those when I stop moving about ( probably never).

  14. Interesting context… we pretty much all follow similar sleep habits… all being well we sleep during the night for about 8 hours… but our tea practices are so variable… I take my tea -preferably tea leaves- and coffee -brewed or espresso not instant or powdered- plain black no sugar thanks, and most importantly made with good rainwater out of a tank. Treated town water makes it taste terrible, but can be made bearable by boiling, cooling, filtering or sitting for a while to leave any chlorine residue to evaporate and then reboiled for the purpose of a makimg a hot drink. But otherwise the water should only be boiled once. Reboiling reduces the oxygen in the water which affects the taste.
    I think lessening of drop-ins is widespread. Everyone seems to be more complexly occupied… arranging a get together is an organisational juggling feat. Sad. But these days we pop in and out of each others lives via social media. Case-in-point here I sit sipping my second and last black coffee for the morning before I get out of bed and start my Sunday… a much more restrained manner than your ducks!

  15. I feel your pain regarding standing in place, waiting for the kettle to boil and the dilemma about adding the milk. What I’ve been doing (and I have no idea whether this saves time or because I’m moving it feels like I am) is: while waiting for the electric kettle to boil I add the milk to my mug. Put the milk away and pop the mug in the microwave for 10 seconds to take the cold off. Usually the water is ready and I pour the hot water into a second mug over my tea leaves (in an infuser/strainer), let it set for a few seconds and then pour that into the milked mug. Because there hasn’t been anything but clean tea in the second mug I give it a quick rinse and turn it upside down on the drainboard for the next go-round. As I said, no idea if this is time saving, but at least I’m not standing there tapping my toe waiting for water to boil!

  16. I drink black tea made with tea leaves in a scalded pot with water at a rolling boil. No tea bags for me. I put milk in it, usually after I have poured it into my tea cup (no mugs — mugs are for coffee, cocoa or soup) because I judge the amount of milk by the color. My favorites are Assam and Ceylon. If I want a sweet tea I’ll make homemade chai, or drink iced tea with simple syrup.

    • That sounds wonderful! A real tea drinker! You are blessed with patience I think! My grandma drank her tea from a cup with a saucer but when we were kids we all drank our tea out of Mugs like peasants – she was appalled.

  17. What fun to come on late and find how everyone partakes of ‘coffee, tea and me’ !! Especially during this forever lockdown era I seem to have a rather ordained pattern . . . a huge, strong mug of black coffee in the morning, a few glasses of usually dry white wine with my main-meal lunch, a big glass of milk with supper and a few cups of green tea during evening activities . . .enjoyable for me and rather healthy to boot ! One stevia tablet in the coffee mug, no sweetener in the tea and very definitely no milk in either. Yes, here in the country during ‘normal;’ times there are always people behind the door – well, my first offer is always wine whatever the time of day – 30 years in the business world saw to that – but I do keep decent tea on the ready . . . . some do prefer sugar but hardly anyone I know asks for milk 🙂 !! So, horses for courses . . . someone mentioned that they found coffee in Europe too strong – I believe that as most Australians have big problems with the coffee in the States which here (truly sorry!) is known as ‘dishwater’ !! Starbucks came and opened a chain of shops all but a few of which have had to be closed . . . here baristas learn their craft at almost university level ! Oh . . . just love your duck photo . . .

    • I miss the cafes of home with that good strong coffee. Down here there are no cafes. Going out for a cup of coffee is just not in the culture. You buy coffee in a paper cup and take it with you. I can get good coffee up in Chicago though.

  18. There was so much here to think about today that I got lost on your Facebook page and looking for your instagram pictures and the rabbit hole swallowed me whole! So here I am for a second try. I would have been first had I not gone wandering. Sweet baby chicks. Always precious. People in Oregon don’t seem to drop in either. It’s left me a bit lazy about dressing up and keeping as tidy as before. In Calif, you made an appt to see someone or have them come by. Here pretty much the same. In Tenn when we lived in apartments, the neighbors all dropped in and kept an eye out for al the children. I miss friendly neighbors.
    My daughter is the tea drinker. I grew up in Germany having coffee and milk in the afternoons with cookies. Beer for dinner. Yes, as a child that was how it went. Bread (nice chewy rye) was delivered hot to our door in the mornings with a bag of sourdough rolls for our breakfast. I do miss it. Everything changes. Sleep is something I have little experience with these days. My children, sister and most of the people around me are night people. I’m an early to bed, godaweful early to rise. I’m all alone in the world at 4:00 in the morning. Nice! Everyone else misses the best part of the day. 😉 Hugs

    • You are not alone! I get up at 4am too! I LOVE the concept of hot bread delivered! Especially a good rye. I don’t suppose you have an old recipe lying about do you – I have yet to really focus on rye.

      • I was never good at bread so no recipes. I’ve never found a bread like they made in Germany. Hoping to get back there soon. If I’m lucky enough to find one, I’ll forward it to you. 😉

  19. Is your air bnb still going? I often think that if I ever made it to the states we’d book a night (or six!) on the far my … so one day I may well drop by for a cuppa! 💞

  20. With milk and sugar- I like the strong English Breakfast tea. Your photos are delightful- thanks for sharing them and have a lovely week!

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