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2023 Advent of Tea – Day Two

2023 Advent of Tea – Day Two

The Poem for today:
The aroma of spices wraps around me
like a blanket of memories from my childhood
.
The first sip explodes with flavor,
and teases all of the senses.

Today’s tea for Day Two is India’s Original Masala Chai. I’m very excited about this because I grew up drinking Masala Chai and much of the Chai that I get in the States is missing ingredients that I am used to, or have too many ingredients.

2. India’s Original Masala Chai (Vahdam Teas) – “A traditional Indian-household tea that gained immense popularity around the globe. Discover the robust flavor of signature Assam CTC & orthodox leaves blended elegantly with fresh, aromatic Indian spices like cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves. Truly a flavorful cup of tea that weaves the malty flavors of Assam tea with the exotic essence of an Indian spice bazaar; piquant and with a subtle hint of spice that results in an overall savory morning cup of tea.”

Ingredients: Black Tea, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Clove

My Thoughts:

It’s robust, full of amazing flavors and you can almost pick out each one if you work at it. It smells heavenly and looks just as good in the cup. It’s delicious as it is and also drinks well with a drizzle of honey and/or adding some milk. I love it, but I knew I would.

2023 Tea Advent Calendar – Day One

2023 Tea Advent Calendar – Day One

Poem for today:
In Progress…

Happy Holidays! Now that I’m back from vacation, it’s time to dive into the holidays, and I think the best way to do that and destress (because December is crazy for my family, all 3 birthdays), is to drink tea!

Okay, yeah, I am always drinking tea, but thanks to one of my very best of friends, Chris, we’re doing an Advent Calendar… and I went big—because, yes, I’m a tea snob, I have a problem, I own and admit it, and no, I’m not working on it 😀

Since I missed the first 4 days due to vacation, I’m drinking tea in the morning and tea in the evening…

Tea in life… so that’s not unusual.

1 – Himalayan Green Tea (from Vahdam Teas) – “From the misty slopes of the Himalayas, these pure Green teas are smooth, sweet, and succulent.”

Ingredients: Pure Green Tea

My thoughts: Yum. I love green teas and this does not disappoint. It does have a smooth succulent flavor of pure green, although I didn’t find it “sweet” as the description indicates… but that’s okay because I don’t like most “sweet” teas.

What I love so far is that it contains enough for about 8 cups of tea, the tea is good enough that you can rebrew once and it isn’t too weak, and it started with actual tea.

Crown Praise Poem for Sadb

Crown Praise Poem for Sadb

Coming close hand in hand
I entreat all who are near
                Does Sadb approach smiling:
Be warmed by her smile
Within it is a love and joy
                That can sooth the sea on a stormy day.

As the days go, you will find many things
Given forth by the fierce and courageous Sadb
                Not just cheese, no
But also, wisdom, great interest in her people
Crafts of all kinds, whether food, cloth or knowledge
                All, a bounty from which others can learn.

Here, though, she brings a hint of mischief,
Encouraged and emboldened by friendship
                Witness it, and watch:
See the mirth bloom and join
That of others around her
                Casting fun in her wake.

And beside her, standing proud
Hand folding over her own
                A stalwart champion:
Her heart and love shine through him
As his eyes look upon her and smile
                Criomhthann, embracing her with love.

So, thus before you stands Sadb,
Baroness, sister, and dear friend,
                Presented with humble love
To stand ready and serve the Kingdom
Joyfully, willingly, and companionably
                with her love by her side.

Style: 11th Century Ancient Irish Poetry

Poem – Nine years

Poem – Nine years

Nine years.

Nine years ago, you came into our lives,
Only a tiny squawk (it was cold),
And there you were, tongue sticking out, and
Already a hand on my face.

Nine years of wonder, amusement, and even
Yes, some frustration on both our parts.
Crawling, walking, running (mostly running)
To talking and immediately you began negotiating…
Oh, how much alike we are– How wonderful is that?

Nine years of teaching each other about the world,
Exploring it from new perspectives.
With each inch of that change, you grew until
Today, you amaze me.

Still, I can not seem to understand how time has
Come and gone, both fast and slow.
I revel in it, though.
I embrace the changes and watch you grow each day.
You have come so far, and onward you strive ahead.

Go forth into your next year, my sweet boy.
.With all the wonder and curiosity of the last nine.
Challenge yourself and the world at large to
Be the best you can be, learn everything you are able
And to love, as you always have, with your entire being.

Nine of the best years, my little love, and counting…

Galen. S. Skye
14 December 2022
for MJS

Poem: Being madly, wonderfully in love…

Poem: Being madly, wonderfully in love…

Being madly, wonderfully in love with someone
does not mean that you do not disagree
do not argue, or fight
do not get frustrated and exhausted.
Being incredibly in love with someone
can mean that you fight well, and
make up even better.
That you argue in a way that shows you
both sides and perspectives,
and then both learn from it.

Being completely in love with someone
can mean you trust each other enough to
push and pester, argue and rebut.
It can be a hot spike of irritation, followed
by tears and love and hugs and consideration.

Being madly, wonderfully in love with someone
does not negate all of those emotions, but rather
supports you when you have them, and brings
great conversations sometimes that allow you to
understand someone even better than you did before.

Love, the unconditional, amazing love you can have
with the human you adore the most,
can be amazing even when you are both
grumpy, tired, and snippy.
You are not less of a couple in love because you
are passionate and fight to better your relationship
with your soul mate. 

Being madly, wonderfully in love with someone,
means you are always on the same team on
amazing, fabulous days
and on hard, stressful days.

Being madly, wonderfully in love with them
brings joy, even when you aren’t expecting it,
can fill the room with laughter just moments after
you are embroiled in a heated discussion, and
does not have to look like anyone else’s relationship
and definitely does not have to be rainbows and sunshine
all the time.

Because some loves are deep and fulfilling,
while simultaneously being quiet and contained
and passionate and full of fire.
All these things can live within a love story
and still, mean that you are head over heals
and as madly, wonderfully, completely in love
as anyone else.

And I feel so incredibly blessed to have this with my love.

G. S. Skye, 13 September 2022

Poem – Special Moments

Poem – Special Moments

Everyone has his or her special moment.
That few seconds in the midst of life
Causing you to pause.
To Feel.
To Think.

An indefinable moment
Where you close your eyes,
Tilt you head back and listen.
Just listen…

Hearing the quiet whispering
Of something within…

20 December 1999
(27 years old)

 Special Moments by Galen Skye
Poem – Something Beautiful

Poem – Something Beautiful

Two figures
Nestled together…
One sitting in front of the other.

His knees pulled up.
His arms wrapped around them both.

Behind him, his lover
Leans forward and lanky arms loop
around to hold the elegant human close.

Two figures
Entwined together,
One soul walking in front of the other.

Summer 1997
(24 years old)

Poem – I’m Curious

Poem – I’m Curious

I’m Curious as to why the wind blows,
Or how often the rooster crows
In the morning before dawn.

There are many places I’d like to go,
And many things I’ll never know
About this strange world in which we live.

Yet, I often find myself believing
That things are not quite as deceiving
As one might suppose.

And that, to me, the most intriguing of all
Is the simple way we fall
Deep into a thing called love.

I'm Curious - by Galen Skye
Poem – A mouse called Wulf

Poem – A mouse called Wulf

His gleaming eyes on you–
Every move carefully watched.
All is noted.
All is awed.

His small grasping claws
Move in cautious motion.
Never much noise makes he.
Hardly a peep cried.

Just Eyes,
Ever-present
On you and your being–
The curious monstrosity
Hovering above him
Like an ever-present
Reminder of the imprisonment
That holds him forever
From the freedom of his nature…

12/28/1990

Poem - A mouse called Wulf - by Galen Skye
Speaking of Current Events in TV is vital

Speaking of Current Events in TV is vital

I was watching tv tonight, my typical late Saturday binge of Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy, and I realized something. Speaking to current events in television is so very important. In fact, it’s vital to the chronicle of our history.

Television has been strange in 2020 once things started up again this fall. What were we to expect? How would our favourite shows handle the pandemic, or would they even acknowledge it? Do we even want them to?

I did. I do. I believe that when we have things in our country that need to be talked about the first thing that needs to happen is get the perspectives out there. Get the characters that we know and love talking about it, even if what they say surprises us or challenges our own beliefs. It is that challenge that opens minds and brings new perspective to our worlds just as reading a book can or seeing a movie. Letting ourselves experience current events through the eyes of our favourite (or least favourite) characters can be cathartic. It can be educational. It can be necessary to better understanding of incredibly important issues that get missed because we are tired of the news, or because we cannot see both sides.

Unfortunately, of the hit and miss spectacle of television out there, it is more miss than hit. I get it. Ratings. The comfort of the Actors. The comfort of the writers, producers, etc. felt more important this summer when things looked better, and hope warred with the information coming from health professionals saying, ‘it is going to get so much worse’. Some shows chose to gloss over it. Address it, but do so lightly, and then move past with token moments that acknowledge what is going on outside your living room. Others moved passed it entirely to the future time when COVID-19 will, they hope, be a distant memory. Some, like historical dramas, could not address is, but ironically, many of those have had messages about it, an acknowledgement by the actors and writers involved. And a few, a very precious few have faced the Pandemic head on.

Tonight, as I watched the fall finale for Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy, I found me self strangely comforted by their boldness, when they should not need to be considered bold. They are facing not only the pandemic, but also the racism that has plagued our country for far too long. They are not just talking about it, acknowledging it, but standing up, standing their ground, and discussing it, bringing it to the attention of anyone watching in such a way that you cannot ignore it if you’re going to keep watching. 

There have been times over the years where I have tired of Grey’s Anatomy, or maybe just lost interest temporarily, but I often tune back in. I am a writer at heart who loves a good story told well. When it counts, when it really counts, they often deliver. This fall both Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 have not only delivered, but they challenge people watching to face fears, to talk about them. They are getting important information out about what things are really like and why health professionals have been trying so hard to get the people in this country to listen.  They have given respect and dignity to the memories of those we have lost through stories that mirror that of so many in this country. And I am grateful for this.

I am grateful, because the television that we watch will one day be a chronicle of our history for others. Yes, there will be news stories. Yes, there will be videos and so many other things. But these shows bring the human element to it and they do so unapologetically.

Are they difficult to watch? So difficult at times that I must pause and walk away. Are they completely accurate—they so extremely hard and the science, the information is there. They even debate the information much as scientists, doctors and first responders have throughout the pandemic. If they get it wrong, they adjust, and it is believable, and worthy. Are they perfect? Of course not, it is still fiction, but it is a much more palatable bit of fiction that the fantasy world that so many other shows are displaying. The heart-breaking aspect of these other shows is that they are actually further the distrust in the population that politics sowed. Why should you wear a mask if the people in your favourite Chicago show are not? The hesitancy of some television shows to address the difficult issues in our current world is one of the reasons so many of the problems exist.

This year, this incredible, terrible, frightening, amazing year should not be ignored by the shows and characters we hold close to our heart. Embracing it, is so important to our history. The shows that do, will be the ones that we remember years from now. They will be what sparks memories and stories we will tell our children’s children. They will remind us of those we lost and those we saved. Watching the ones who don’t hide from the current events of 2020, 2021 and probably 2022 will allow us to process it, and remember, so hopefully, we don’t make the same choices that put us in such a terrible place.

And, yes, maybe there are some who will stop watching these shows all together, and others who can not watch them right now, but will later, when it’s not quite so frightening go back and watch them, or even some who will continue with the show when it’s moved on. We make our choices and those are ours. But history will look back and archive these choices, and because a small few chose to stand, the children in our future will see a glimpse of what 2020 was really like and that some of us DID fight and discuss and attempt to keep an open mind.

And if just a small handful watch these shows and finally understand, then they have done more service to this country and the path toward healing and a brighter future than any of the others together.

I hope that you can find something reassuring in the coming days, something that brings you hope for the future and an understanding of how things currently stand.

Most of all, as I close this up and get my self to bed, I hope you are well. I hope you have happiness in your days ahead. I hope you are safe.

Galen S. Skye