Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Potpourri No. 40

Sweeping the floor of life, here are some recent tidbits I’ve come up with…

Hot Tea
I’ve tried a couple more hot teas since I last wrote. I heard a lot of people rave about Earl Grey tea, which is a black tea with a citrus hint to it. Well … the word “hint” suggests subtlety, but that wasn’t my experience. I tried an Earl Grey Latte (AKA, a London Fog) from Starbucks and could barely choke it down. It tasted like someone had dissolved a bar of Irish Spring in water and given it to me. That was my initial reaction, anyway. I soon realized that it tasted like eating orange rinds, with the extreme bitterness that you’d expect from doing that. Not pleasant at all. A few days later, I tried English Breakfast, which is a pretty standard black tea with a malty quality to it. It was much better, but nothing overly interesting to me. I’d like to find a hot tea I could enjoy, but I’m struggling a bit in that department. Of course, I love chai lattes, but those are sugary and more of a treat than anything. Speaking of, I tried my first homemade chai, using Lipton® Spiced Cinnamon Chai. It’s not bad, but much better with a dash of Irish cream creamer. I also stopped at a nearby coffee shop called Sunset Coffee to try a drink called the “Chai of the Tiger” at the recommendation of a friend. It was very tasty and different from other chai lattes I’ve had. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Irish Cream steamers (steamed milk) I’ve gotten in the past, but crossed with a freshly baked oatmeal cookie. Now, tell me that doesn’t sound good!

Iced Tea
Being such a fan of chai lattes, I’ve now tried a couple of iced versions of the drink, one from Beans & Brews and one from Starbucks. They’re very good. I’ve also tried some more at-home mixes of iced tea, including Lipton® Tea & Honey Mango Pineapple Iced Green Tea (which has a very vibrant pineapple flavor but is very good), AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng (which has a faint apricot taste), and AriZona Pomegranate Green Tea (which tastes the most like punch of any tea I’ve tried thus far). Lipton® Blackberry Pomegranate Iced Green Tea remains champion of the mixes I’ve brought home. It has the best flavor of all, and so it’s what I drink the most. As such, I have to credit it with all of the health benefits I’ve been experiencing with tea lately. Just like it saved me from gout, I’m now wondering if it’s staved off strep throat, which Melanie, Eddie, and Peter all recently had.

Golf Tee
Speaking of illness, we were feeling kind of desperate to get out of the house after several days of staying at home, trying to recuperate. And so, on Saturday the 28th, we went to a place called FatCats. FatCats features numerous bowling lanes, an arcade, billiard tables, and a 9-hole, pirate-themed miniature golf course. It’s called “glow golf” as the place is illuminated by black light. It’s pretty cheap to golf, so that’s what we did. It didn’t last too long, but it gave us something to do and inspired us to use our digital camera for the first time in a month. (We’ve used our camera on only two occasions since 2015 began. Don’t ask me why.) Here, enjoy some photos:

Beegy just pushed the golf ball around with his club, which made going up hills like this incredibly difficult.

If you’ve read my blog consistently over the last several months, you’ve seen a religious transformation taking place. In November, I wrote about attending Community of Christ for the first time and said it left me feeling excited to return to LDS church, where I hoped to “infuse it with some of the good I am finding elsewhere.” I concluded that blog entry by saying, “Maybe, just maybe, being LDS is my cross to bear.” A couple of weeks later, I mentioned feeling drawn back to Community of Christ despite my intentions to attend LDS church. I said, “I keep thinking it will be a while before I go back [to Community of Christ], but something always brings me back sooner than I expect.” It took me longer than it should have to admit that God was leading me into Community of Christ. I was resisting the idea because I just couldn’t fathom leaving the LDS Church. I felt wholeheartedly committed to the LDS Church, and my theological beliefs weren’t changing. And yet, by early 2015, I was finally coming to terms with the spiritual impressions I had been receiving since the fall. I wrote on my blog: “I continually see evidence that God is leading me to Community of Christ, whether I like it or not.” This is when push came to shove for me. A few days later, I was on my knees in fervent prayer to God, begging for clarity. My spiritual impressions were leading me somewhere I never would’ve imagined—out of the LDS Church. That had certain implications, as I’d always been taught, and so I laid those concerns out to God and pleaded for direction. The next day was one of the most spiritually profound days of my life. I feel like God came into my heart and mind and worked a miracle, quieting absolutely every concern I had—concerns that had gnawed at me and paralyzed me for months. All that was left was an overwhelming sense of love and joy, one that left me giddy and euphoric quite literally for days. It’s what inspired this post, a post I wrote just two days after knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would be joining Community of Christ in answer to God’s call. I didn’t make that explicit in the post, but I allude to it. Since then, I’ve made it clear that I’m changing religions, as evidenced in this post about my upcoming fellowship in Nauvoo and more explicitly in this post about what my faith transition does (and doesn’t) imply. And now, as the next step in this journey, I am pleased to announce that I will be officially baptized and confirmed into Community of Christ on Sunday, April 19th. I’m making it official. Melanie too. Parents aren’t unanimously happy or supportive, and it breaks my heart that this is causing anyone pain when it seems so absolutely unnecessary. But all in all, I’m deliriously happy.

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