Monthly Archives: July 2014

Tea Origins: LaLa Shan, Taiwan | Walker Tea Review

La La Shan hides itself in many ways. Down in the southern corner of TaoYuan county, narrow and winding roads keep it off the itinerary of most travelers. For those who do come, they more likely beat a path to the ancient cypress trees, those sentinels of time and cousins of the redwood. And if anyone does press on past the forests and the shoulder-less mountain passes, she must still ascend into the clouds.

LaLa Shan (拉拉山) tea production occurs at elevations of 4,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level. On the pecking order, it means the mountain isn’t as extreme as Li Shan and Da Yu Ling teas that can grow well above 7,500 feet.

This difference in altitude is not to say LaLa Shan teas deserve to be turned away. The qing xin varietal flourishes here as it does on those other lofty slopes. Depending on season and weather, the farms can turn out 20,000 to 40,000 jin (26,000 – 52,000 lbs) of finished tea per year.


LaLa’s real challenge lies in its northerly position. As spring arrives, southerly mountains warm up first, granting Li Shan (about 35 miles south) and Ali Shan (about 90 miles south) a head start on growth and plucking before the spring rains begin.

So LaLa Shan has 2 cards dealt against it; the first is elevation. Higher altitude can foster divine teas, but the cool days among misty clouds can sink a tea processor’s heart to the deepest low. Necessary withering and drying has to be done in controlled conditions that nature does not provide here.

The second obstacle is LaLa Shan’s northerly position. It waits longer for the warm Spring air, then has less time before the rains begin. LaLa Shan producers work frantically within this small window.

The result is that LaLa Shan remains tucked away, waiting until more people discover its richness. Tea plantations there are about 15 years younger than those of Li Shan or Ali Shan. Until they gain more credibility, their teas often get marketed under the catch-all “Gao Shan Cha” (High Mountain Tea). You may have already tasted some of LaLa Shan’s treasure but didn’t realize it. Some Li Shan and Da Yu Ling processors will blend LaLa Shan tea with their leaves to increase the volume they can sell under a more reputable mountain name.

But LaLa Shan teas deserve a place of their own. When done properly, the tea here takes on the floral sweetness of sweet pea blossom. Textures run rich while resorting to less bitterness. Maybe this character is due to the extra coolness in these northern mountains. The  bushes may have been more sluggish in waking from winter, and therefore did not pump as much polyphenol into their younger leaves.

via Tea Origins: LaLa Shan, Taiwan | Walker Tea Review.



I grew up drinking tea and later pouring it into your rice too!

You never miss your matcha until your well runs dry! 

I never thought I would miss this food that I grew up with.  During my fierce bout with assimilation. It’s so dee-lish!

“Ochazuke” is a very popular, traditional Japanese dish made by pouring hot green tea over rice with savory toppings.  It is a very light dish and people often eat it when he does not feel well or the stomach is in a bad condition.  Both Japanese green tea and Umeboshi (Japanese plum) are widely used for curing the stomach problems. Sometimes dashi (fish stock) is used instead of green tea. Nowadays most people use ready-made ochazuke packets, from companies like Nagatanien, but if you make Ochazuke by yourself, using green tea made from tea leaves, you will be able to enjoy more the health benefits of the Japanese green tea and it will be much healthier.

via COOKING WITH JAPANESE GREEN TEA: Ochazuke with Matcha.

Home alone? Who babysits the inner child?

It’s common to imagine that those whom suffer from inner demons or a wounded soul are decrepit and  to be marginalized. I myself do not  suffer from agoraphobia.  However, I have watched as I have witnessed the wholesale slaughter of another’s reputation and vulnerabilities. What happens if you are suffering from this paralyzing disease and you have a court appearance?  Today, I should be in court to defend our home. I am staying home to care for some one I love whom suffers from this disease.

Is there truly home care for those in a lower income status?  Is there a policy in place which will care not for what is known as eccentric when you are wealthy. What happens when you have done nothing to hurt anyone and a case is made against you and you cannot defend yourself in court.

Can anyone imagine the abuses that could be heaped upon a great soul whom simply cannot mobilize to get to court.  Should the court system have a new system with electronic video which can protect these people from their reputations being debased.?  Yes, there should.

A person whom has lost their ability to face the world with a naked eye is deeply and ever in increasing danger. What if we take it upon ourselves to create a contest and say, I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down if you don’t leave.  What if you demand this person go to a nursing home because of their illness?  Don’t they have a right to be cared for in their home with full protections of law enforcement.

I was surprised and pleased to see that just like Elvis?  You never know if the greatest artist and sensitive creative and accomplished minds suffer from “Darwin’s illness”  If you click on the link at the end of the post, you will read their paralyzing attempts to get a grip on this illness.  Does this illness predispose them automatically to not having total lucidity about experiences if not more so honestly in reality?  A sensitivity and can make you more aware of subtle changes than someone without. It’s horrifying to assume that because you are unable to face the world with the naked eye that you are delusional. It’s singularly unattractive to the human qualities of justice to take advantage in any shape or form.  It’s the big “lie” the great illusion to perpetuate the gross neglect to pamper this illusion that you are incapacitated in terms of your perception. Those whom suffer from these painful issues are in fact like the most sensitive instruments.


It’s easy to discriminate and create a demoralizing  picture of what is a mental health issue.

What if you tormented a person with hard to find evidence such as micro-particles pumped into the air or ambient gas? How could this person prove it or have it investigated if they could not leave the house? What if you had access to their electrical or their water source?  The city only tests cold water! Then you would have to just not tamper with their water for the moment that the water was being tested.  Gas lighting a tormented soul whose contributions to the community is a heinous crime.

My goal is to create awareness that those whom suffer from the crippling disease of agoraphobia should not be discriminated. Judged or in any way discriminated against.

My prayers go out to congress to enact safe protections for these sensitive souls and that medical in home treatment is available.

Beach Boys

M. Calkin' suffers from Home Alone-ness


Donny Osmond (1957-) Donald Clark “Donny” Osmond is an American singer, musician, actor, dancer, radio personality, and former teen idol. Osmond has also been a talk and game show host, record producer and author

One-time teenage heart-throb Donny Osmond has also experienced agoraphobia. Although his problem was more to do with social anxiety, he has also gone through depression.

His older brother Merrill also battled depression, as did sister Marie Osmond. Anxiety disorder issues can run in families, the Osmonds being a very good example.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) Charles Robert Darwin, was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors

Darwin’s own description of his condition included the following ‘I am forced to live, . . . very quietly and am able to see scarcely anybody and cannot even talk long with my nearest relations’ (quoted in Bowlby, 1990, p. 240

Miranda Hart (1972-) Miranda Katharine Hart Dyke, known professionally as Miranda Hart, is a British actress, comedian, and writer.

She says of her agoraphobia ‘ It was just after university so I went back to live with my parents. I was very anxious when I was outside. It sounds weird so I’m wary of talking about it, because it’s so hard to explain. I think I was just very anxious post-university. I thought the world was a bit scary, and that’s where it went’

“practically blacklisted” in Hollywood. She says “It’s like I’m constantly on trial. I’m a quivering mess

because I feel that people are judging whether I’m good enough, blonde enough, tall enough. Under those circumstances I fell I’m not anything enough. So I’m a disaster.” She adds, “I don’t even know what I’m afraid of. I lose my sense of self. I get fragmented and spacey and can’t focus. But lately I’ve forced myself, so now I’m getting better. Now I can face people, at least in small numbers.”

H.L. Gold – Science-Fiction Writer/Editor (1914-1996) Severe Agoraphobia

Gold’s agoraphobia meant that he had to edit the magazine from his apartment, and he carried out much of his work during this period over the telephone. For more than two decades, he was apparently unable to leave his home. He eventually retired due to ill health related to his condition in 1961 and lived mostly in isolation, occasionally publishing stories during the early 1980s.


We are not alone – Agoraphobics Moving Forward Support Group.

When life makes you depressed? Remember to dream your way out, in a narrow escape!


Although, I am as fragile as glass? As delicate in my dreams as a simple whisper. I imagine?  I remember, I recall…  A few of my favorite things.

When I was around 11? I have glints and murmurs, gleanings or shimmering  memories.

When I volunteered to work in a thrift shop on Vermont avenue in Los Angeles.  Carrot juice at 8 in a glistening curvy  deco platinum counter with ice cubes made of  madagascar vanilla ice cream. These are a few of my favorite things.

 The strange man whom I worked with, whom brushed his hair with ivory Victorian hair brushes, with smooth bone milky ivory handles. His hair platinum bleached white. A David Bowie kind of goblin. My boss had no arms?  Every day she hiked up her toes and opened the door with keys with her feet. She wrote letters with her wood scented lead pencil. In the back near the velvet smoky gowns.

Pink mischievous  pale orange pink deco slips, There…high on shelves, these wonderful depression era glasses. Mostly green mixed amongst some aurora borealis Northern lights hues on a caramel glaze.  There was cobalt cosmic blue glassware too, albeit rare. My job was just fussing over everything and listening to T-Rex with my platinum goblin in his David Bowie hairstyling’s.

I guess Los Angeles is not a very old city after all. There is stucco in pale pastel colors like old wedding cake all dusty as the length of this suburban sprawl encapsulates you. The entire city reminds you of living inside of pastries with the smell of jalapeños and tamales. My life was so simple. Deciphering my mothers mysterious beguines. She told me once that she was Mona Lisa’s poodle and she did not have to smile.

She said I am going to catch all the family photographs on fire in the freezer. I asked why? She said because you are going to finally pay attention as life leaps before you as the dragonflies wings burn like stained glass of sacredness. Don’t you want to remember where you came from?  You never remember the important things?  So, I watched her as the ice melted and fire burned. Century of warm expressions glazing with kodak banana smelling developer. My Mother was right! I never forgot what I would not remember otherwise inside of amere book. She said pay attention. This is our story and you have one chance to jump thru these rings of fire like a trapeze star.

My mother was so mysterious to me. She would read me the biography of Charlie Parker with her tiny legs on an African stool, which barely reached the floor. Lissen up she said, because music will pass you by and you must remember the scent of jazz. Each night before I went to sleep, she read to me about the stirrings if jangling bells, xylophones and flutes. Do you remember the scent of the soprano in June?  Looking back, my mother was like a zen master. She was a pioneer. She worked so hard at the bank so my father could practice drums and horns. My mother told me freedom is everything. We were all alone and she would sew and sew and practice her fencing with swords. She made all of my school costumes and cheerleading dresses. I have come to realize, that we had o money and we never knew how we would survive. She made certain that I knew that I was very much loved. 

  But, now?  I really would love to design some organza with these lovely delicate patterns. I’m sure there is a way to design textiles which are embossed and so smooth.  I can become my memories and my future by remembering  precious things which are my heart. I can become a lace glass teacup filled with my favorite tea. No matter what life throws at me?  I shall always remember John Coltrane’s musings on “A few of my favorite things”

Depression Era Glass Pattern Guide Glassware Georgian Floral items in Vintage Elegant Depression Glass store on eBay!.

chicken with prunes


oh!  Plums and Chicken ....Prunes....

There is nothing more friendly than a potato!  Silky pureed potatoes with some porcini mushrooms and 40 karat creamy butter?  When silky potatoes make friends with chicken and prunes?  Even braised chicken with apricots too. You are going to have some happy smiles all around.

I woke up singing about chicken with apricots today. I often make up songs for my dog Pasqua.  If I am getting even an inkling of a smile?  He feels it is his signal to play not fetch but to wrestle and walk on his two feet with a swagger. He does not just fetch the bone. He likes to make you work for it.

I might have to work a bit to cook this up?  I would add some spirits, like armagnac or at least some brandy or wine.  I have not drank any wine for some time, but when I do?  It will be with chicken and prunes!

Recipe a click a way.


chicken with prunes.

L-Theanine Reviews: How Does L-Theanine Work?

How cool is a mountain of serenity?

How cool is a mountain of serenity?


y neuropeptide boosters. Willy Wonka and the tea factory . .

y neuropeptide boosters.
Willy Wonka and the tea factory . .


For those interested in reducing anxious feelings and improving the quality of their sleep, L-Theanine is a natural supplement worth looking into. L-Theanine Reviews say that this supplement boosts alpha brain waves which lead to a feeling of relaxed and alert calmness and clarity. This compound is a naturally occurring amino acid that is found in green tea and is a form of L-Glutamic acid. In this review of L-Theanine, we will look at how this nootropic compound works, what its specific benefits are, the right way to use it and the possible risk of side effects.


L-Theanine Introduction


The chemical structure of L-Theanine is very similar to that of Tryptophan, another important nutrient for the body. It is considered to be a precursor to the neurotransmitter Serotonin and indeed many of the benefits of L-Theanine are known effects of higher levels of Serotonin. Some of these benefits include a greater ability to relax and remain calm as well as promoting a sense of well-being. The presence of L-Theanine in green tea is one of the main reasons why people can drink this caffeinated beverage without displaying typical stimulant side effects like jitters and nervousness L-Theanine also has a positive effect on being able to fall asleep and is commonly used as a sleep or lucid dreaming aid.

via L-Theanine Reviews: How Does L-Theanine Work?.

Inscrutable Charm


I adored this kid? Sometimes, I think about my Great Grandfather and the rigorous training he underwent to become a Zen master.

It must have felt like some kind of punishment. In the West we talk about Original sin. A monastery is a place to heal yourself from original sin so to speak. We all have it in our DNA and there is no shame to that.

Yet, few are chosen or decide to take up the rigors of becoming a champion of their emotions, their physical discipline into extreme focus and it is not that different from studying ballet. But, it truly incorporates every aspect of your sentient being.  Mind, body, and soul.

In this episode?  I thought about how frustrated this child must have been with picking up his jacket!  Over and over again.  The bravado and the swagger he felt came first. It’s not that different in going to boot camp? They break you down, then they build you back up.

But, this test to see if he had the humility to begin to see. I cannot imagine the relationship, which is so vital in Asian culture, between teacher and student.  The teacher knows the student must be in the final analysis able to surpass him in order for Buddhism to survive.

Koans are nonsensical seeming riddles the student must solve and he is not allowed to punch his teacher if he gets frustrated!  Sometimes it takes one or two years to answer these profound riddles.  They may be aimed at getting to the jewel again in the stony stubbornness of all our human hubris.  Teachers sometimes merely groaned or let out loud Kacchus.  Loud sounds which are like the sound of lightning and thunder.  Was it aimed at piercing far beyond the ego into the soul and source of the universe.

Our bodies really are fighting machines. It is so vital to let out your Katsu !  So to speak, saying “NO!” “Yes”  I am not going to allow this virus or imbalance in my body to take over. Plants signal all the other plants with an invisible radar. The plants all at once salute with the fragrance of sweet spellbinding jasmine.  There is a dance amongst them no one can see.  But they rid themselves of putrid invasions to their well being.

No one should declaw a tiger, for that is how it defends itself.  No parent should deprive a child of it’s true spirit and dignity to abolish all crippling encryptions.

Yet, in this video?  I was so proud to see this little boy waking up. It was called firstly “Respect”  Jackie Chan found his “Katsu”  he was a broken man whom was suffering from extreme guilt.  The young student found his universal adaptive sensibility thru the body. He found is indomitable spirit.

My G.G.F said that there is something called “The hot water of Wisdom” That true friends can yell at each other without the stickiness of friendly deception.  Hot water kills most bacteria and parasites. If we are too sweet we become a cesspool of sugary fermentation.  An intoxicating mess.  No one wants to always be around people where they must please them. It is exhausting not to be ones true self.  Therefore, perhaps the truth is cleansing and healing. Wisdom from a real master, of which they barely now exist.  They give you the medicine of wisdom. They possess the alchemy of the absolute reality.

I always wanted to study a physical discipline. Even Kung fu Panda became a hero after all.  I want to be a carpenter like Jesus. Build a vast palace inside of my interior world. I don’t want to fight and have tantrums when the first thing in life goes awry.

When I met my husband and his father. For me they were survivors. Somehow, I intrinsically realized?  A veteran is not a matter of politics. It is a warrior whom cultivates peace through hard won experience. Surviving loss and battle scars.  Yet, my G.F.F. says?  Your mind is like a feather!  Instead of like steel and iron. He said, you use your mind like it were just a blunt butter knife, when it could be a great sword of Damocles.

The Italian way seems to be?  We eat no matter what disaster!  We put our mind into the here and now. We are too valuable to lose precious time where we could be crafting a great celebration of life and love. We are too much of keepers of traditions, in our recipes to let lives sorrows stop us from showing God, just how much we love our families.  How much we love all that God has given us in this banquet, to throw our lives away by wasting away.  But most of all? Food!  Enter a great diva.  She is able to transform your mood, your body and your soul.  Providing you healing. Game changers for your overall fleeting moods.

A great Zen master is relentless in watching his heir.  He knows that a great harvest cannot become  lost in a single moment of arrogance. His students are brilliant but humble. If we are shattered or daunted by lifes hideous notions?  Great men would become extinct.  I admire the devotion of great teachers.


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