Tag Archive: incense

It’s a crazy world!

Thanks to Syfy for knowing that I really needed some Stargate today.  Much like Mick, I’m feeling some pretty high-level work-related stress, and for some reason it all just manifested and smacked me in the face around 2:00 this afternoon.  No reason, just POW!  But a little SG1 almost always makes me feel slightly better.  It’s a comfort thing. 

Or maybe an escape thing.  I was only a couple weeks out of rehab when my mom loaned me the first season on DVD.  6 months later I’d seen every episode of all ten seasons.  For me, all that time spent in front of the TV was time spent not thinking about how bad I wanted to pound shots until I was unconscious.  I also didn’t have a driver’s license and was living with my parents outside of Georgetown, so I didn’t have a lot going on at the time.  And as silly as it sounds, it gave me some hope of a world far more interesting and exciting than the one I was living in. 

Now, while I enjoy a little not-so-guilty pleasure, I’m burning a bit of Dragon’s Blood incense.  It’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.  It’s got great texture, melts down to a puddle quickly but burns off easily.  Unlike some I’ve tried, it doesn’t stay goo and burn to a crisp, leaving an unpleasant charred smell.  A little bit does go a long way, so you don’t have to hover over it, which is nice.

I’m also enjoying a cup of a new Oolong tea I picked up.  It’s a 2009 Four Seasons Oolong, from my favorite little tea shop The Steeping Room.  This tea is fabulous, I am a huge fan.  Compared to most of the teas I’ve been enjoying, it’s incredibly light in flavor and texture.  The taste is fresh and bright, and it feels like velvet rolling over your tongue.  A quick bio: Four Seasons Oolong was developed in the 1980s in the Nantou region of Taiwan.  The name Four Seasons comes from the practice of picking four to six flushes a year, considerably more than most teas.  The tea is only about 30% oxidized, and after drying and baking, it is rolled into tiny balls by hand.  The labor-intensive process and attention to detail give this tea an impressive first impression and a lasting appeal, especially when you’re looking for a lighter, airier tea. 

Is airier a word?  Spell-check likes it, so do I.     

Speaking of, I’m thinking of going and taking a spelling and typing test next Monday while I’m off work.  It seems to be something a lot of employers are looking for, and it’s a requirement to get any sort of clerical position at UT.  But of course they’re only open weekdays 8-4, so I’ve never had a chance to go before.  Assuming they’re open, since it’s President’s Day and all.  Wouldn’t that be just my luck?

Well, I should have Mick walking in the door any minute now, which means dinner will be needed in the near future.  I’m gonna hop to it.  Be good, kiddos!

Ok, #tarawebfail.  Just opened up the ol’ dashboard here and realized that the blog I wrote yesterday made it to the draft folder, but didn’t get published.  Thank god for backdating!  No one will ever know…

Unless you tell them.  But don’t you tell them! 

Anyways.  It’s another Monday, back at work, and it’s been a bit stressful.  My coworker is still on vacation, so I’m running the front by myself until Wednesday.  So when there’s not a crowd of people lined up in front of my desk, the phone is ringing off the hook and I’m locking my keys in the book closet. (twice)  I’m hoping that the afternoon will bring better luck, but just in case I’m trying to just remain calm.  I made myself some tea, I’m trying some deep breathing, picturing myself under the trees in the backyard.  I wonder about what all these calming exercises are that they keep talking about in Dune, all the Bene Gesserit training.  I could use some of that.

Speaking of calming, I’m declaring an honorary sponsor today since I don’t have an official one: today’s blog is brought to you by Andanda Traders, purveyors of fine pure incense from all over the world.  I ran across Andanda Traders just a few months ago at the Texas Renaissance Festival; I was in the market for some incence, and saw (and smelled) some rather delicious ones in their cart.  We happened to walk up in the middle of a demonstration, as the gentlemen owner was explaining the use and benefits of burning pure resin incense rather than sticks.  Sticks, you see, dilute the incense with wood-burning chemicals which come from burning the bamboo stick.  Resin burns, instead, on a charcoal, so you only get the scents and sensations of the incense itself.  I was intrigued, and they provide a handy little resin starter kit that is very inexpensive and gives you everything you need to start burning.  From experience, I can say that it’s very different than just lighting a stick and walking away.  It’s a very active process: you have to set up your container, light your charcoal and wait for it to be ready, then add your resin a few pieces at a time, wait a few minutes, add some more resin, wait, add, wait, and so on.  While not practical for just scenting a room, I’ve found that it is very meditative and can be excellent in preparing the mind for different tasks.  I like to sit and burn a little before I begin writing or while I drink my coffee in the morning.  Ananda has some great scents too, most of them imported from all the sorts of exotic locations you’d imagine good incense coming from, crafted from secret formulas passed down for centuries.  That’s how he tells it anyways, and I’m inclined to believe him.  I’m particularly fond of the Nile Temple blend, but have also burned the Nag Champa with great delight. (For those of you who enjoy Nag Champa sticks, give the resin powder a try; it’s different yet familiar and I think you’ll like it.)  Just the other day I ordered myself a few more bottles of the Egyptian Gardenia, Copal, Dragon’s Blood, and Gloria. 

And for those of you who don’t want to put so much effort into your fragrances, Ananda Traders offers Pure Incense sticks as well which don’t have the traditional bamboo core.  Unfortunately, their website doesn’t come with a scratch-and-sniff feature, but you can trust me that all of their products are wonderful.  They also sell perfumed oils and various accoutrement for all your burning needs.  You can find them online at www.theAnandaLine.com

(Other perks: flat-rate shipping in the states and great bulk discounts!)

And since the completion of the Pink Death, I’ve been trying to give my hands a bit of a break; soon, though, I’ll have a nice new (small) project to show you…and since I made it up myself, I’ll even give you the pattern!  And if any of you are on Ravelry, you can find me under the name LadyLascivious.  And, as always, http://hellbent.etsy.com.  I’m still in the process of restocking after the holidays, I’ve got a few things that need to be photographed and posted, but go check it out anyways.  There’s still two more months of chilly weather!  I can take requests now too for smallish projects (sweaters and afghans will have to wait a while), if you’re looking for something in particular.  (Cthulu tea cozies, anyone?)

Well I hope you enjoyed today’s sponsor, and keep your eye out for many more!  We’ve still got plenty of spots open for cheap cheap cheap, so if you or someone you know wants some easy advertising, hit us up!

Happy Monday!

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