Misha Crews

Stories from the heart. Books that feel like home.

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Here’s my deep thought for the week:

We live in turbulent times. Sometimes it can even feel irresponsible to be happy, when there is so much bitterness and pain in the world.

But true optimists aren’t “head-in-the-clouds dreamers.” They are boots-on-the-ground, eyes-on-the-prize warriors. They look on the bright side because that’s the side that matters. And they won’t stop working until all sides are bright. For these people, failure is not an option; the only acceptable ending is a happy one.

So don’t feel ashamed of laughing through the bad times, or finding levity in dark hours. Let your goofy grin disguise your steely-eyed determination. See the world the way it is: beautiful, underneath and in spite of all the tragic mess. And keep working until others can see it that way, too.

Hugs to you, friends! And thank you for brightening my life.

I’ve been back in Virginia for eight months now! It’s so great to be back in my beautiful little town, hanging out with my hubby and my sister, treading all my familiar paths and finding some new ones. When I got home, there were three main things on which I wanted to focus: writing (of course!), downsizing/tidying up (my never-ending quest), and becoming more physically active. Here’s a little story that illustrates why that hasn’t happened as rapidly as it should have.

Tea and spices

I love chai tea. (Side note: I recently found out that “chai” actually means “tea,” so when we say “chai tea,” we are actually saying “tea tea.” But I digress.) It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s caffeinated — essentially, it’s the perfect substance. Also (don’t faint) but I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of coffee I drink. It’s been a hard road, friends, I won’t lie! Anyway, not long after I got back to Virginia, I started having these crazy cravings for a masala chai latte. But that delicious beverage is hard to find here in the country, so I decided to try to make my own.

I found some chai spice tea bags online, and that temporarily sated my thirst. It was fun playing with different sweeteners and trying coconut milk and other things. But then one day, when I was supposed to be writing (of course!) I got to thinking, how amazing would it be to make an authentic masala chai from scratch. Oooh, something shiny! What a great distraction!

I spent thirty minutes searching out recipes online, (this is the one I liked the best from the Feasting at Home blog) and I found that, although I have almost all the ingredients on hand (I would have to find cardamom pods, but that’s not completely impossible, and would be a good excuse to put off writing a little while longer), it seems kind of labor-intensive for a single cup of tea. So I then spent another thirty minutes looking for bulk teas to buy online. And finally, finally, after having spent two hours from the initial thought of “I’d love a chai latte,” I had to actually knuckle down and get some work done. But I’m not done with this whole tea thing.

When I was writing this post, I got interested again, and found this recipe from the Oh, How Civilized! blog. This one, because it’s focused on a large batch of tea, actually seems more like something I could do. So, I’m going to try it out and I will let you know how it goes. But now, I really, really have to do some writing.

Oh look, something shiny!

Cappaccino

Like most writers (and people), I have been very inspired by the life and writing of Maya Angelou. This quote, from her poem Human Family, is a beautiful example of her wisdom, humanity and artistry.

Read the whole poem here. It will warm your heart.

Here’s hoping that Ms. Angelou’s words continue to spread and inspire!