Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Time for Tea

Today I finished my goal of drinking tea everyday for six weeks straight so I decided to celebrate it with doing a blog post about tea. So here we go!
There are six different varieties of tea, however only four are known widespread. These four are white, green, oolong, and black. I've personally had three of these four, the exception being oolong. Of the remaining I'd say that green tea is by far my favorite followed a ways away by black, and then even farther by white.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, the first being water. You can drink it hot, cold, plain, with milk, with sugar, with honey, with lemon, and so on. How it is prepared changes depending on where you are. I personally like it hot, and without adding anything more to it.
There are several ways to prepare tea, but the most common are to have the tea leaves loose, in an infuser, or (the least liked option) in a tea bag. Then you pour boiled water over the leaves and let them steep. Afterwards the tea leaves are usually removed, however this isn't always the case.
China is the world leader of tea production with nearly one-third of tea being produced there. India comes in second with about one-fourth. These two are the only double digit producers of tea as the next biggest producer is at 9.5 percent. So chances are if you're an avid tea drinker you've had tea leaves from one or both of the big tea countries.
So that's a little information about tea. Which kind is your favorite?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Day Today

Well... today has been an interesting day. It started off with our cat deciding to be as loud and obnoxious as he possibly could. According to my mom he was causing mischief, which is why she kept putting him in my room. However, he didn't want to be there, and as a result whined like no tomorrow. The first time it happened he woke me up out of a dead sleep. The second time I was in that twilight stage. Unfortunately for me it seemed I was only going to have a few hours of sleep today so needless to say I was grumpy.
From there I spent some time with my mom, convinced her to call my sister, and see if she still wanted to do something today. She didn't, but that didn't stop us from going and doing things. First we got food. I had a club sandwich and French fries. It was delicious.
Next we went to the hair salon. All three of us got our hair and eyebrows done, however I had an interesting reaction I've never had before. When the woman was doing my eyebrows my adrenaline started pumping to the point that I was shaking. I had to forcibly relax myself for several minutes in order to get it to stop. Thankfully it didn't affect my haircut.
Once we were finished (my sister donated her hair!) we then went to the antique store. This place had tons of stuff, from furniture to old tools, even an antique gas mask! There were some really interesting things there, but it got a little weird for me when I heard someone call my name. It sounded like my little sister when she was trying to be obnoxious only there was more of a hiss to it. Then a few minutes later I heard the same voice again, but this time it said Jesus almost like a swear. So... yeah... that was pretty creepy.
I ended up buying a VHS of The Lion King since our old one mysteriously vanished. My sister bought a cast iron skillet and vintage jewelry for her to remake into new pieces. My mom bought several neat trinkets, some of which I cannot reveal as they are presents, and some lamps for our tables.
By that time we decided it was best to go home, and a good thing too because I wasn't firing on all cylinders. More like 2 of 5. I'm still there, though it keeps trying to deplete more. So I decided to make a blog post before my battery dies out.
So this was my day. Just figured I'd tell you. I'm going to go eat my ramen now and then go to bed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Painting Trees

I have just finished another painting. 

Ta da! Isn't it lovely? Sorry about the picture quality. My light is the absolute worst. It has a yellow-green hue which drastically yellows anything I take a picture of, and adds just a tint of green to make things look a little sickly. It's annoying, but I can't go in search of better light at this hour as everyone is sleeping, which I should be doing too, but... I'm not. I'm posting this. Because I can.

It's title is Dalmatian Trees because as I worked I noticed that the trees reminded me of that dog breed. I tried seeing if other names would fit once I was done, but nothing that came to mind felt right. So... Dalmatian Trees. 

I used the biggest of my home-stretched canvases, and was worried since it was a bigger canvas (14 x 20) that I would have a difficult time completing this project. Thankfully, I worried for nothing, and am happy with the way it turned out.

Though hopefully someday in the future I can obtain a camera that takes better pictures. I have a very nice camera, but unfortunately its shake function is very sensitive and I don't have stable enough hands for it. I have to take several pictures if I want a semi decent one. *sigh* Anyway, now I can read some more! I wasn't allowed to finish the book I'm reading until I painted (self imposed restriction), but now I am done and I can read it! w00t! I can also eat something as I am very hungry. So I'll go do that now. t00dles!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Seven Deadly Sins: SLOTH

Sloth is apathy that results in neglect of the physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual needs of a person. It is often thought of as laziness, as the person is in someway failing to do what they need to, but can also be thought of as dejection, or a loss of interest in life. This sin was originally two separate sins, with Acadia representing the apathetic listlessness. However, the two were joined since they shared commonalities.

I find Sloth to be a very dangerous sin. As with the other sins it too can bring someone to the point of death, however it does not operate in the same way the others do to bring about death. All of the other sins deal with action of some sort, whereas Sloth deals with inaction. That inaction is a slippery slope. It can seem comforting at first, but overtime it can become confining, and then defining. You get stuck in the pattern, and it is a very difficult cycle to break.

Diligence is the heavenly virtue that breaks that cycle. It is persistence, fortitude, not giving up, and holding true to your own ethics. It is putting effort into things, into life, and doing the work that is needed to be done.

This is my number one sin. I have at some time or another had it in all four aspects of life mentioned above. It's been a big issue, especially since this sin plays into my personality type. I am a type nine in the Enneagram. Nines like peace and are generally laid back, but as a consequence can easily become neglectful of themselves and instead focus on everyone else. I do this... a lot. In the past my main motivation in life was doing for others. I was very apathetic towards myself, and not very interested in developing myself at all. I am doing better in this, but still fall into the pit of old habits. I hope that with time and effort I can eventually beat it. The key is to keep trying, and to never ever give up.

So that's it for the Seven Deadly Sins. What did you think about Sloth? Is it one of your problem sins, or are you pretty good about it? Also, as a whole what are your feelings on the sins? On the entire segment? Where does each sin rank for you? I'd like to know so please leave your thoughts in the comments.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Seven Deadly Sins: WRATH

Every person gets angry at some point in their lives. However, not everyone experiences Wrath. Wrath is considered to be feelings of hatred or anger to the point where they can no longer be controlled. It can lead to impatience, violence, and eventually self-destruction as Wrath can linger long after an incident happens. It is the only sin that isn't always associated with self-interest or selfishness, though it can certainly be both those things.

Wrath is a sin that can be expressed both externally towards others and internally towards the self. So while it is obvious when someone is wrathful outwardly, it is a lot harder to figure out when someone is inwardly. The ultimate end to Wrath is death, whether through homicide or suicide as these are literally the final expressions of hatred a person can commit.

To put an end to Wrath we have the heavenly virtue, Patience. To resolve issues and conflicts peacefully, without the use of violence, to forgive others and ourselves, to show mercy, and to create harmony within your community is what the essence of Patience is.

This sin is ranked second in my list as I have severely struggled with it in the past, and still do, though thankfully less so. As a kid I hated myself, and thought I was doomed to Hell. I had a plethora of reasons for believing this, the most idiotic simply being because I was left handed. Most people who knew me didn't know about my intense feelings towards myself, and for a long time I continued on silently until one day I just couldn't take it anymore. I was ten years old.

Thankfully, I had my family to help me realize that what I thought was wrong, I certainly wasn't going to Hell, and that my self-hatred was unwarranted. Since then I have learned to have more Patience with myself, to give myself a break and not be so hard on myself. I am still a work in progress, but I am progressing. I have less of an issue with the external expression of Wrath since I generally am a patient person. However, I have a personality type where admitting anger regarding the ones I care about is difficult so I need to be careful not to let small injustices stack up into pent up resentments.

The key with this sin is that Wrath is when anger gets out of control. It is okay to get upset, to get angry. There just needs to be an adequate reason for the anger, and proper handling of said anger. Good communication is one of the ways that can help that cause.

So how does Wrath rate with you? Do you express it inwardly? Outwardly? Both ways? Is it difficult for you not to get too steamed up, or are you cool as a cucumber? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.