Saturday, January 15, 2011


We've tried this a couple of times in the past. And we're trying it again. Starting the day with a "together meal," a breakfast at the table for the homeschoolers. Their request. Rather than rules and reminders about going to bed at a reasonable hour, they'd rather just have the expectation that I'll be getting them up at a reasonable hour. For a meal, and a few thoughts about planning out our day.

So I'm doing my best. I missed today but otherwise my track-record is pretty good. The family is doing a complete deep-cleaning of the kitchen every evening after supper, and that's fantastic. It means my day doesn't have to start with 45 minutes of damage control on the mess and dirt and filthy dishes and crumbs and unmentionable sticky patches. I start with a glistening clean kitchen, and it actually makes me happy to bake and cut up grapefruits and brew tea.

Speaking of tea, we've all become addicted to David's Tea loose-leaf teas. We've been ordering on-line for some time, and last weekend Erin and I had the pleasure of visiting a real actual retail store in Calgary and smelling all the lovely tins of funky blends with our very own noses. We spent more than I care to admit.

(I have a feeling that Erin's desire to move to Montréal stems partly from her desire to live in close proximity to the flagship David's Tea store. That's okay with me, so long as she sends regular care packages home.)

In our tea cabinet, just counting the tins of David's products:

Saigon Chai -- assam black tea, peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove; probably my all-time fave
Cream of Earl Grey -- earl grey tea with vanilla and osmanthus petals; almost a London Fog by itself
Citron Oolong -- jasmine, oolong tea, lemon myrtle, citrus oils; this week's most popular chez nous
Raspberry Nectar -- raspberry, lemongrass, honeygrass, citrus oils; good anytime tea
Read My Lips -- mint, chocolate, black tea, peppercorns; I was skeptical at first, but I'm won over now
Coco Chai Rooibos -- rooibos tea, coconut, spices; Noah's favourite
Sweet Dreams -- chamomile-based, with hibiscus, lemongrass, licorice, citrus, rose petals; great bedtime tea
White Tiger -- white peony tea, blueberry, pomegranate; light and energizing

Every day starts with a big pot of one of these, or else some straight earl grey, jasmine, genmaicha or green tea. And usually some fruit and something baked. So far it's working well. We're more likely to use our days intentionally if we do this. We'll see how long I can keep up the routine.


  1. I agree that the kitchen must be clean for the morning! After supper dishes are done, whoever uses a dish has to wash it and not let them add up in the sink.. I would like to have a collection of loose tea as well..I do have a tin of earl gray from Teaopia. Thats the best I can do where I live.

  2. I never WANT to clean the kitchen in the evening, but I'm always glad that I did when morning comes around! It really does make preparing breakfast so much more enjoyable.

  3. Interesting - so do you now think of yourselves as homeschoolers rather than unschoolers?

  4. Amanda, I'm not really hung up on labels. The younger three are homeschoolers, since they don't go to school. Erin does, and leaves early, on the school's schedule, which was why I used the term homeschoolers -- to distinguish the three kids who don't go to school from the one who does. Whether they fit into the subset of homeschoolers known as unschoolers ... that really depends on your definition. According to my definition, I guess I'd probably say yes, but as I say, the labels don't really matter much to me.

  5. Yum! I have been loving the Mountain Rose Herbs loose tea blends all winter. So many good ones, for drinking and for health.


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