Trying to get a house ready to put on the market after living in it for 28 years is NOT the best of everything. It’s much more like the opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities: “These were the best of times, these were the worst of times.”

Today I had the best of times and the worst of times both in the space of three-fourths of one day. I was up and outside early, working on the yard, getting some major trimming finished and the mowing done. Then I switched gears and painted the long-neglected front stoop to go with the freshly painted door of a few days ago. So far, so good.

The worst of times surfaced after an hour of someone trying to fix our attic door, failing, being disgusted, and leaving. I’d really been counting on this man’s expertise and ability (I hoped) to work outside the box. Our house was built in the 30’s as an experimental home and everything is unique and bigger than usual. One unintended outcome is that many things that need to be fixed end up costing us more. The attic door, for instance, uses a spring and pulley system, with one cable on each side. One cable broke years ago and we continued to use the other all these years. Then, as we were getting the house ready to sell, the second cable broke and, because of a bad choice by a workman who should have known better, the cable was thrown away, leaving no idea of how to refasten new ones.

Since the house can’t go on the market until that door is fixed, my hopes that tomorrow or the next day would be the day, were dashed. Add to that too many nights of staying up late to watch extra-inning games in the Women’s College World Series (fast pitch softball, which I played for many years), days and weeks of working on house-related chores much the exclusion of all else, and I was also ready to break.

So I took a break for two things I love the most: tea and reading. I chose a tea given to me as a gift by one of my sisters-in-law on our recent whirlwind trip to New York City:  ( and


What’s so special about this tea? Take a look at the ingredients and then imagine how wonderful it smells.  Can you smell the chocolate?



To save bags, even the cotton ones, I use a stainless steel strainer that fits in the English china teapot given to me years ago by my great-aunt and cherished for its memories as much as for its stately beauty.



Once the tea had steeped its allotted time, I poured a cup into the handleless, Japanese-style, raku cup, a gift from our younger daughter, and covered the pot with the tea cosy our older daughter brought back from England for me some years ago.


Cup detail.



Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Time to choose a book, sink into my comfy chair, and do some serious relaxing and regrouping.  For as Scarlett once famously said (although not about putting Tara on the market):  “Tomorrow IS another day.”

  1. Shreyank says:

    loved this.. nice to see that the entire tea making process from ingredients to the cup etc used brought a memory of a family member 🙂 that should certainly help relax as well 🙂

    • It did help me relax. I realized that I hadn’t taken time for tea for some days and I miss it. During the very hot days, I was drinking iced tea (home-brewed, though) and while refreshing, it’s not the same. I usually drink hot tea even when it’s warm.

      Hope your day’s going well!


  2. Argh! Just the thought of trying to get my home into selling shape tires me. Hard to even imagine what you are going through. However, you certainly have received some wonderful gifts from family and they look like they came in incredibly useful now. You most certainly deserve your tea break and my word, I’ve never seen such an interesting looking tea.

    • It’s all the “stuff” in it that looks so interesting but the chocolatey smell is heavenly! As for the house, it’s very close to ready–just waiting to have one thing done, but it’s a thing that’s going to be difficult.


  3. Opalla says:

    I can definitely relate to your feeling after my recent kitchen renovation, and having to plan how to do up the other parts of the house. Love the tea making and how you incorporate the tea and utensils from the best tea-drinking culture.

    • Good morning, Opalla and thanks for sharing some tea with me, although I regret you can’t taste it or smell the wonderful chocolate smell. I’m already looking forward to my tea later in the day. 🙂

      Hope your day’s wonderful.


  4. Ahh a tea and a book on a comfy place – that’s the best.

  5. I’m going nuts because I have to move a sofa and make room for the new one.
    A Tale of Two Cities, funny you mention that book, I’ve been meaning to write a post about it, I never read in school, refused to do it.
    Then years later, decided to read it, willingly, as all reads should be.
    I loved the book and don’t know why, I memorized the opening paragraph, it’s just brilliant.

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way, in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

    The third pic made me crave tea.
    Have a good weekend.

    • Good luck with the couch. I wish that were all I had to get ready to move!! 🙂 As for books you’re supposed to read, I agree that it much better to read willingly but sometimes when “forced” to read, you find something you love and then move on to other books as well.

      Have tea! That’s a healthy, enjoyable craving. And enjoy your weekend as well.


  6. I can understand your home selling woes. It took us 3 years to sell. Hang in there. It’s great you knew exactly what you needed to take a break. I was drooling over your tea. Things have a way of working themselves out with the house situation. Maybe the extra time will be a good thing.

    • I believe there’s a reason for the delay in getting ready but it’s difficult to wait when the market has heated up and I’m ready to get going. 🙂 Once it’s on the market, we have a good chance of selling much more quickly than if it had been a year or two ago, so that’s good. I shall possess my soul in patience. And have tea.


  7. how fun! i hope that the door has been repaired and that next week will be better!


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