thankful thursday par-T

#8 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

    from bjensen2008’s photostream

Awhile ago, poet extraordinaire, Julie Larios, gifted me with the letter “T” on a Poetry Friday when I posted about James Taylor.

So now, I’m sharing some of the things I love that begin with T, the most commonly used consonant in our alphabet, and the second most common letter in the English language, after “e.”

Okay, let me THINK:

from Laura Hartrich’s photostream

Of course, there’s TEA, my beverage of choice. I love it all — black, green, oolong, and herbal, and I’ll take it loose or bagged. I’ve never developed a taste for coffee (gasp!), but offer me a good cuppa and I’ll be your friend forever. I find the whole ritual of taking tea soothing, inspiring, and uplifting, and love all the accoutrements associated with it — teapots, tea cups and saucers in all colors, shapes, and sizes, cozies, cannisters, infusers and tiny spoons. Is there anything more wonderful than a full-out afternoon tea, with tiny tartlets, scones, Victoria sponge and Battenburg cakes, fingertip sandwiches, and biscuits? As the British would say, “it’s so civilized.” And it really is.

        from I Say!’s photostream

TEDDY BEARS: Oh, you already knew that? ☺I do like to read about, collect, and write about them. A good way to judge someone’s character: if they notice a teddy when they enter a room, this means they have a good heart and are in touch with their essential selves. One needn’t be childish, but child-like is a good quality, for sure. Where would we all be without Pooh and Paddington?

photo by Waterloo Station

TAPIOCA: Yum!! Vanilla tapioca pudding is definitely squeal-worthy. Love the chewy little bumps:

photo by whitesugarfairy

Actually, lots of my favorite foods begin with T, like TEMPURA (shrimp, please):

photo by avyxyz

and TOAST (especially cinnamon or with jam):

photo by Marco Varinga

and TARTS! Oh, for beautiful fruit encased in a flaky crust, and the smooth creamy filling. Ever since that dastardly knave stole those tarts from the Queen of Hearts, I’ve been quite possessive of any tart that comes my way. Mine, I tell you, all mine!!

photo by Igotmebabe

TRAINS: I’ve long been fascinated by them, especially old steam locomotives. This could be because, 1) I’m married to a civil engineer, who was designing a railroad in north Africa when I first met him, 2) there were no passenger trains in Hawai’i when I was growing up, so I viewed them as the stuff of romance and fantasy; only people in the movies got to ride on trains, and, 3) when I moved to England after graduating from college, I rode my first surface and underground trains, and was thrilled to discover they were just as fun and fascinating as I thought they might be. You see so much more without the stress of driving and traffic, or airplane turbulence — and what about those dining cars?!

photo by MarkyBon

Remember A Hole is to Dig by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak, a sweet little collection of definitions? One of them, “A hat is to wear on a train,” prompted me to purchase a fuschia hat for my first trip on Amtrak to New York City. When we got to Penn Station, I felt like I had totally, finally, joyously, arrived! I like acting things out from books, don’t you?

TRUMAN: Capote, that is. He wrote my favorite short story of all time, A Christmas Memory, and inspired the main character in my picture book, Truman’s Aunt Farm. He said, “To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.”

by max basili

TIFFANY’S: Because of Truman and Audrey Hepburn and “Moon River,” and the whole idea of having breakfast in a famous jewelry store, I have come to believe, as Holly Golightly said, “Nothing bad could ever happen at Tiffany’s.” I will keep searching for rings in CrackerJack boxes, and forever think of New York as the city of infinite possibilities. Does your heart quicken at the sight of a little torquoise box wrapped with white satin ribbbon? Do you tear up when seeing that yellow cab in the pouring rain, and Holly crying out, “CAT!?” It’s all there.

THEATRE: I think the very first live theatre performance I ever saw was “Manjiro’s Journey,” on a 7th grade school field trip. That hooked me for life. I’m especially partial to musicals, and while living in London, enjoyed some fabulous plays in the West End — The King and I, My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar, Oliver, A Chorus Line, Annie, and Cats, to name a few. The exchange rate was great, too — I can’t believe that back in the early 80’s, ticket prices for full-scale musical productions were only $15 for good seats! Can’t beat that, for seeing Yul Brynner himself as The King, and Rex Harrison as Professor Higgins.

        photo of Theatre Royal, Drury Lane by stagedoor

TIMEPIECES: Clocks and watches are intriguing (especially the haunted ones that work backwards)! Many are beautiful pieces of art, and they all have a practical purpose. Oh, those little gears and wheels and pieces working together with such precision, keeping track of the seconds and minutes and hours of our days. Amazing! What would we do without our alarm clocks? The beauty of old grandfather clocks chiming every hour on the hour, the family heirloom mantle clock, Big Ben, the gold clock with the glass globe and three little balls that rotated one way, then the other. Tick tock, tick tock. I collect character wristwatches, and should own stock in battery companies. At least I’m usually on time for appointments!


TOKYO: A shopper’s paradise, vegetable sandwiches, bullet trains, bowing, sushi and somen, the only place in the world where I feel TALL!

photo by /\tus

Well, Julie certainly gave me a letter that suits me to a T, since I could go on and on — tales and tunes, tortillas, telephones, television, tomatoes, twilight, trunks, tulips, titles, To Kill a Mockingbird, teachers, tolerance, Tin Man, taverns, and tableware (don’t get me started on how much I love to set the table)! And there’s typewriters and travel and tuxedos and tête-à-têtes. And I can’t forget TAKE OUT!

       photo by Swell Dame

Okay, I’ll stop. I’ll be happy to give you a letter, if you like.

For now, to Julie and to you, I’ll say, “Thanks!”

photo by quillynilly

Ta Ta !!


“Wake at dawn with a winged heart, and give thanks for another day of loving.”
~ Kahlil Gibran



 Certified authentic alphabetica, handmade especially for you with love and tippy top thanks.

21 thoughts on “thankful thursday par-T

  1. THAT was a TERRIFIC post. We have so many THINGS in common: tea, toast, teddy bears, tempura (veggie for me), character watches, and Truman. I used to read “A Christmas Memory” and “A Thanksgiving Visitor” outloud to my husband on those holidays, but can’t do it any more without breaking down. TIME for some TEA and TOAST.


  2. We could be TWINS! You, too, with the character watches? Thought I was the only one. Every Christmas we watch the video of “A Christmas Memory” starring Geraldine Page. What a classic. And teddies and tea parties are a given . . .


  3. You know, I didn’t really get into tea until after I went to London. Now it’s my beverage of choice when I want that cozy, nostalgic feeling.


  4. Same here. Before I moved to London, I enjoyed the occasional cup. But then I realized what an institution tea drinking really is — and green tea has such great health benefits.


  5. Not my cup….

    …I don’t really like tea.

    I do like coffee.

    But I could be “so civilized” like the Beatles, if I drank tea….


    Once upon a time I drank tea. TONS of tea! Out of a canteen. That I wore at my hip. On an ammo belt.

    (You can’t see the canteen here but it’s on the other hip)

    How uncivilized.

    Not like the Beatles, at all.


  6. T for me Too!

    I’m having my mid-day Lady Grey tea break right now and am thoroughly enjoying your blog!!


  7. Do you still have the canteen?

    Not the original, anymore.

    I got it at an Army surplus store and it was WWII vintage–metal with probably lead welded seams. I replaced in with a plastic one.

    Then I stopped carrying it all together. It’s a tool belt now. That I never wear as I’m not much of a “Tool Guy.” It does have my drill bit chuck on it, so it lives on a hook in the garage (when I remember to put it back).

    I won’t tell Paul. But if he invited me to his house, I would drink all the tea he offered and pretend to like it very much!


  8. This was so much fun to read. As for timepieces – I have a counterwatch: a watch that runs backwards! 😀

    I’d like a letter, please?


  9. A counterwatch? Wow.

    A letter, let me see — should I be mean and give you X or Z? No, I’ll give you the best letter of all, since you’re an Apple. “A”!


  10. Oh this is a lovely post and now I have to go back and find what letter Laura gave me and see what I can do.

    Help me learn to love tea more. I can no longer drink coffee and my organic chai place isn’t consistent enough anymore. If I can find a tea I like to start my morning I would be so happy. But I am overwhelmed by all the options. Suggestions on some I should try?


  11. Are you off coffee because of the caffeine?

    If not, a good Twinings English Breakfast will wake you up in the morning. For anytime drinking, I stick mostly with green tea (Celestial Seasonings, Bigelow, or any other brand that looks interesting at Whole Foods). If I’m looking to supplement desserts, I usually opt for a darjeeling (again, Twinings is good).

    If you’re avoiding caffeine, then you might have to look into herbal teas, which aren’t officially “real teas,” since they’re not made from tea plants. When I go the caffeine-free route, I pick up Red Zinger.

    Have you ever tried Constant Comment (comes in both regular and decaf)? It’s pleasant enough.

    In general, I stick with the tried and true — I know there’s a whole range of more expensive, “gourmet” teas,but we have so much tea in the house already that I’m reluctant to buy anything new right now :).

    My husband swears by plain Tetley or Red Rose tea bags.


  12. Terrific!

    What a great list, Jama! It’s amazing what floats up to the surface based on just one letter, no? That photo of the Beatles really takes me back….


Comments are closed.