Friday, June 27, 2008


Like this teabag, I've been tagged--by Marilyn, aka Marmalady, to answer a few questions on my blog. I'm to tag 4 others, but honestly, don't know 4 other bloggers other than the ones who have already been tagged. Too new to the blog-o-sphere, I guess. So, I'll just answer here.

10 years ago: I was working for Read For Literacy as the Employment Skills Coordinator. It was an interim job, after having gone through a nasty corporate downsizing (I'd been in laboratory science for the previous 20 years). I'd decided I never wanted to work for a large corporation again, and hadn't yet stumbled upon the idea to open my own business.

5 things on my listo for today: As it is very late, I'll answer for tomorrow. I am taking one of those rare, and I mean rare, days off from the shop. I first shall sleep in until my body tells me that it just can't take it anymore, then relax in a lavender bath. I will then breakfast on tea with toast and jam (Marmalady's, of course!) on our newly remodeled enclosed breezeway or the deck if it's not too humid. I'll read from a new mystery novel for awhile and then meet with a friend for lunch. More reading and at mid-afternoon, I'll meet another friend to do some serious antiquing. My kind-a day!

Snacks I enjoy: Anything chocolate, wholegrain crackers with white cheese and hot pepper jelly, honey roasted peanuts, and apples peeled and sliced.
Things I would do if I were a millionaire: Set up a charity for the homeless in our city, give a large sum as a surprise to each of my siblings, visit the small town in Hungary where my grandmother was born, pay off all my debts and run my tea shop just for fun, and visit the major tea lands.

Places I have lived: Toledo, Ohio and numerous places in the surrounding area. I love it here except that the mid-west is kinda slow about picking up on current trends that the coasts always get first. I love being near the great lakes and Michigan is a vacation land! There are lots of places to vacation near here, and with gas prices as they are, we're sticking close to home.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mediocre Minds

I have a poster over my desk that has a huge photo of Einstein. The caption reads: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...." I keep this in front of me to help me deal with some of the small minded folk who happen into the shop from time to time.
Today has been one of those all-too-slow days where I wonder if I will be able to pay the rent this month, not to mention all the other expenses of a brick and mortar business. This afternoon, a woman came in inquiring about matcha, the green tea used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony. "We have it!", I declared, "A very nice quality matcha, too." I showed her the small gold tin.
Now, I pride myself in the well rounded-ness and high quality of our tea collection. Not all teas are created equal. Not all vendors carry good tea. I taste hundreds of teas from various vendors. I'm one of those picky people I'm sure would be classified as OCD (obcessive compulsive disorder) by any competent psychologist. "OCD and proud of it!", I'll jokingly say to my friends.
The woman looked at the tin and said, "Don't you have any in the black tin?" I explained that this is our own brand of tea, and about my concern for quality. She said that she really wanted the one in the black tin and she was going to see if she could find that first, and if she couldn't find it, she'd be back to get this one.
I thought, If she waits too long, I might not be here. Which is only my own fear rearing its ugly head, but I'm sure I'm the only shop within hundreds of miles that carries this quality (if any) matcha. And if people don't support their local businesses, they will disappear. And this world will be a much more boring place, in this tealady's oppinion.
Stepping off my soap box now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

Yesterday I had a customer who came in for a quiet afternoon break. She sat down and had a relaxing glass of lavender lemonade and scones. While she was here, another regular customer, a young college student named Angela came in for one of her own quiet afternoon tea brakes. The two sat at tables across the tea room from each other, each quietly enjoying their goodies and respite from the hectic outside world.

The first customer had finished and came to the register to pay with a sort of pleading look on her face. After she'd paid her bill, she handed me a piece of paper upon which she had written, "Random Acts of Kindness--I have $20. Please use that to pay for your other customer's bill." I smiled and rang up the 2nd bill, and she indicated for me to keep the change. She smiled and thanked me for providing such a wonderfully relaxing place and said she'd be back again another day.

After she'd left, I took the paper over to Angela and handed it to her. She read it and smiled broadly. She looked up at me and asked who the other lady was. I said I didn't know her name, I think this was the first time she'd been to the tea room. Angela expressed disappointment that she didn't have a chance to thank the woman for her kindness. I explained that the whole idea behind random acts of kindness was that one just did them for the pure sake of being kind to another--that thanks were neither expected nor needed.

Many times the world seems hectic, harried, and even cruel. But sometimes it is kind and gentle as on this particular summer afternoon. When I have long forgotten the regular stresses of daily life, I will still remember this gentle day and the sweet surprises it revealed.