Wednesday, September 26, 2018

ShimmerScale FlutterTail

Meet Lina's 1st pet fish...a male red & blue Crowntail Betta (pronounced bet·ta, like “bed-tah," not bay-tah) fish, which she named ShimmerScale FlutterTail., swimming...good appetite (not picky, from the moment we brought it home, eats appropriate number of pellets twice a day)...was not stressed with transition into conditioned water. He responds to Lina singing and follows her fingers. Lina is thrilled with her new pet. He loves listening to Lina play the piano and talk to him and he watches us intently. She makes drawings for him to look at...

He quickly began building bubble nests on the water's surface..."this behavior is a strong indication of a happy, healthy betta."

I took her to a local pet shop on the first day of fall. We got a basic, inexpensive setup (Lina is only 10 1/2 years old and this is her 1st pet ever, low maintenance...easy to clean, easy to feed, tank fits on her dresser). ShimmerScale FlutterTail LOVES resting in the leaves when he naps!...but there's still empty space in the tank, so we will go to the store soon to find a little hideaway for him (like a smooth log or cave) and a floating toy to keep the fish stimulated. He is playful, smart and curious...and loves attention.

Lina is an animal lover...she is gentle and had MANY interactions with live animals over the last decade - at ranches, farms, petting zoos, as well as visiting with other people's pets (she loves goats, bunnies, horses, dogs, birds, sea creatures etc.)...she even took a veterinary class for tweens. I figured now she is old enough to help care for a pet, observe it & learn about it...train it. When this pet passes away, she will begin to learn how to cope with grief. Then, we will move to a new home...and know what we're allowed to keep there, in terms of she can have her next (higher maintenance) pet.

Monday, September 10, 2018

A Divine Drink

Lina nicknamed mama's favorite drink "heaven in a bowl." So YUM, relaxing & warm. Perfect while transitioning to cooler temps. Chamomile & lavender & honey tea latte:

More cafés should offer this delightful drink...except our society is all about go-go-go, so coffee is king (haven't had a drop in 2+ years and feel GREAT!)...people are exhausted, pushing themselves to stay up later and later and wake up earlier and unhealthy for their bodies and their minds. We get all the sleep our bodies need overnight (Lina, 11 hrs; me, 9 hrs) and we wake up energized (naturally), then I have a bit of English breakfast tea (no sugar). Lina never drinks soda (never has)...and doesn't have a ton of sugar daily and then crash (like many kids do). I do not de-stress with alcohol, not even wine (like many adults do), and I just drink it when socializing at special events a couple of times per year. A simple cup of chamomile tea helps me feel calm & unwind at night. Lina & I did not get sick yet (not even one cold) in the last 16 months! (Lina never had the flu, no infections.)

The chamomile & lavender & honey tea latte was a $5.50 indulgence recently (maybe I will learn how to make it for myself at home) at Couleur Café in Park Slope...we also ate the most yummy brunch there:

The 10 year old loved the scrambled eggs with cheese (ate every bit) & bacon & roasted potatoes...I loved the "bacon cocotte" which was 2 baked eggs (cooked perfectly in a small casserole dish), with Gruyère cheese and bacon + a side salad. When I was working hard at an office job in Manhattan, earning a decent salary, I used to love eating brunch at restaurants every weekend (usually both Saturday and Sunday) for years...but as a stay-at-home mom...I don't have brunch in our budget for once per week or even once every month...but this was sooooo worth it ;--)