Temporary Has Many Faces

This week’s Daily Post photo challenge is Temporary. So much in life is temporary even though they may last for years.

The time our children spend with us may last about 18 years but looking back it feels so temporary 🙂

This is the growth record of my sons, written on a wood beam in our old house. We photographed it before we sold our house and moved south so I would be able to keep it with me forever.

growth charts

For a look at my other photo challenge entries:

Air Plant Collage

I Love Bridges

Dense Is Sometimes A Good Thing

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TEA-licious: top Tea Cafes in Toronto

This is for my Canadian followers, or those planning to visit Toronto, who also love a good cup of tea.

Scrubs2Sweats

I frequently see blogs about coffee spots across the city, but not often do I encounter ones that cater specifically to TEA. If you are a non-coffee drinker like myself (never had a cup in my life), then tea may be your best alternative for a hot drink, especially on a cold winter day.

And just like my last blog post (top fitness studios in Toronto), I spent many months exploring cafes across the city as I compiled a list of my top spots. The places that I listed provided more than just a tea bag in hot water; I was looking for unique blends, tasty lattes, great ambiance and Pinterest-worthy decor.

  1. Early Bird Espresso & Brew Bar 

Located at 613 Queen Street West (Queen and Bathurst), Early Bird is one of my favourite cafes in the city. The patio upstairs is the perfect hideaway and the food is Instagram…

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Add A Little Scare To Your Romance

Halloween is creeping up on us so in the spirit of the season, let’s add a little scare to our romances.

scarey mask

4 Books To Terrorize The Romance Out Of You:

  • Darkhouse by Karina Halle – There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts.
    Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance.
    Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.
  • The Other Side of Midnight by Simone St. James – London, 1925. Glamorous medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. Now she’s been murdered at one of her own sĂ©ances, after leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter.
    Ellie doesn’t contact the dead—at least, not anymore. She specializes in miraculously finding lost items. Still, she can’t refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Now Ellie must delve into Gloria’s secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. Worse, she cannot shake the attentions of handsome James Hawley, a damaged war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics.
    As Ellie and James uncover the sinister mysteries of Gloria’s life and death, Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the grisly murders of those in Gloria’s circle. And as Ellie’s uneasy partnership with James turns dangerously intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it…
  • The Hollow by Nora Roberts – In the small village of Hawkins Hollow, three best friends who share the same birthday sneak off into the woods for a sleepover the evening before turning 10. But a night of pre-pubescent celebration turns into a night of horror as their blood brother oath unleashes a three-hundred year curse.
    Twenty-one years later, Fox O’Dell and his friends have seen their town plagued by a week of unexplainable evil events two more times – every seven years. With the clock winding down on the third set of seven years, someone else has taken an interest in the town’s folklore.
    A boutique manager from New York, Layla Darnell was drawn to Hawkins Hollow for reasons she can’t explain – but the recent attacks on her life make it clear that it is personal. And though Fox tries to keep his professional distance, his interests in Layla have become personal too.
  • Seduced By A Stranger by Eve Silver – Destitute and desperate, Catherine Weston accepts the summons from her childhood friend Madeline St. Aubyn to attend her at Cairncroft Abbey, a place of secrets, lies and murder. Madeline’s health is in a poor state and she is terrified of her cousin, Gabriel. But Gabriel has quite a different effect on Catherine, stirring longings and desires she believed long-buried.
    Gabriel St. Aubyn is haunted by the horrors of both his past and his present, horrors he conceals behind a remote, unapproachable facade. He is drawn to Catherine, but is determined to protect her from the tragedies that yet have claws sunk deep in his soul.
    Then a young woman is found dead, and Madeline’s ravings point to a link between this horrific crime and Gabriel—and Catherine must decide if he is a man worthy of her love or a sinister stranger determined to make her his next victim.

spooky woman

4 Movies To Watch With Your Loved One:

  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • A Chinese’s Ghost Story – In this martial arts film, Ning Choi-san (Leslie Cheung), a traveling tax collector, takes shelter for the night in an abandoned temple. When he meets the lovely maiden Nip Siu-sin (Tsu-hsien Wang), Ning immediately falls for her. Unfortunately, Ning later discovers that she is a ghost who is forced to serve a cruel demon, and he resolves to save her from the evil spirit. Enlisting the aid of Taoist warrior Yin Chik-hsia (Ma Wu), Ning ventures into a supernatural realm to save Nip’s soul.
  • Crimson Peak – After marrying the charming and seductive Sir Thomas Sharpe, young Edith (Mia Wasikowska) finds herself swept away to his remote gothic mansion in the English hills. Also living there is Lady Lucille, Thomas’ alluring sister and protector of her family’s dark secrets. Able to communicate with the dead, Edith tries to decipher the mystery behind the ghostly visions that haunt her new home. As she comes closer to the truth, Edith may learn that true monsters are made of flesh and blood.
  • The Mummy with Boris Karloff – A team of British archaeologists led by Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) discover the mummified remains of the ancient Egyptian prince Imhotep (Boris Karloff), along with the legendary scroll of Thoth. When one of the archaeologists recites the scroll aloud, Imhotep returns to life, but escapes. Several years later, Imhotep has taken on the guise of a wealthy man, as he searches Egypt for his lost love, who he believes has been reincarnated as the lovely Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann).

This is just a taste of what’s available. What books or movies would you add to the list?

Here’s wishing you all a very romantic, scary Halloween!

*Book blurbs courtesy of Amazon.com & movie blurbs courtesy of Google and http://www.imdb.com

 

Do You Like Your Tea Loosey Goosey?

Tea is consumed in about 80% of all U.S. households, either hot or iced. I personally love both hot and iced tea, but this post is not about the temperature of the tea you drink, rather the form of your tea. Tea comes in loose leaf style or packed in handy little tea bags.

tea cup

tea pot

 

Which form do you use? Loosey goosey or handy-dandy tea bags? Whatever’s in the cupboard at the time?

Turns out there are benefits to using loose tea over tea bags:

  • Vitamins, Antioxidants & Minerals Broken and crushed tea leaves packaged into tea bags have already lost most of their goodness before you even dunk them into the water. Steeping whole leaf tea allows the water to flow through the whole leaf extracting the valuable vitamins, minerals, essential oils, antioxidants, flavors and aromas.
  • Flavors Generally, standard tea bags are mixed of lower grade teas from around the world so the flavors remain basically the same year after year. However, loose teas are generally more specialized teas from specific areas of the world. These teas vary in aromas and flavors from season to season.
  • Freshness Good quality loose tea will be fresher than the standard tea bags stocked on the grocery store shelves for months if not years.

Whatever you use, tea can be very nutritious, calming and delicious. I prefer green, white and red teas over the black teas. How about you? Which teas do you enjoy?

Check out my other posts about tea:

5 Uses For Used Tea Bags

What Could Be Better Than Cats With Your Tea

Tea is For Beauty-Inside and Out

LIFE STORY

Aimee’s blog is an inspirational blog about how to live well with mental health issues. Aimee is a good friend and I am constantly amazed at her strength and talents. I use her tips to help deal with my anxieties. Be sure to check it out.

aimee eddy

  Humans are talented. Most of us have many creative talents. Some can sew, some can paint, some can knit, some can quilt, and some can write. These talents can be used to help relieve symptoms of mental illness. You can also use your talents to help spread the word about mental illness, and, in the case of writing, you can tell the world your story, you can encourage others, inspire others, and teach others.

whats-your-talent

   I find it helpful to show how telling your story can reach others and also heal your inner pain. If you are not a writer, find other ways to share your stories, like drawing, but it’s important to show the world what mental illness is about: We are humans who happen to have an illness of the mind.

   This weekend was my writers’ group picnic. We were given words to create a short…

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We’ve Discovered Eno River State Park!

After spending the first two days of Labor Day weekend working around in the yard of our new house, I wanted to have a picnic on Labor Day. Being new to the area, I browsed around on the Internet for parks and lakes nearby. There were a handful to choose from but I was surprised that the main one (and probably the biggest one) I wanted to visit was closed for the holiday.

Closed sign

What? A park and lake closed on one of the biggest holidays of the summer?

This is the first I’ve encountered this set back. I don’t know if they’ve always done this or if it is something new due to budget restraints.

Oh well, it all turned out great because we went to my next choice and had a great time.

Eno River State Park is just outside of Durham, North Carolina.

Eno River State Park

Sorry this is a little blurry. I took it on the drive by.

Eno River State Park has thirty miles of hiking trails, picnic facilities, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and back country camping.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm. We ate our picnic of pasta salad and chips & dip while people watching. I love to people watch. Occupational hazard I guess, being a writer 🙂 Then we hiked down to the Eno River.

Eno River

There were a lot of kids and dogs enjoying the water, but I try not to take photos with people who might not want to be photographed. This photo was taken a little farther down the river.

swinging bridge

There was a great swinging bridge that crossed the river. I love these types of bridges. They’re like an amusement park ride when you’re trying to walk on a surface that is moving. This bridge received a lot of traffic and it was funny watching people’s reactions.

swinging bridge

Here’s my husband posing for the camera.

hurricane sign

This sign is posted on one of the supports for the swinging bridge. If you can’t read it, it says that the river had risen to the bottom of the sign during Hurricane Fran on Sept 6, 1996. Now, look at how high the sign is…

Hurricane sign

You can see these guys walking under the bridge and the sign is at least another 6 or 7 feet higher! Whew!

All in all, a wonderful Labor Day in the woods.

Do you like swinging bridges or not? Let me know…

Here’s a few more of my North Carolina posts:

The Thrill of a New House

Bonsai Expo at Duke Gardens

Relax At The Zoo To Help Conquer Stress

What Do The Mountains Say To You?