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I would like to say upfront that I have not always
I’m not really that lazy now.
I am busy.
I am a homeschool mama.
I work. I like showers.
My family really appreciates food cooked somewhat regularly.
This place isn’t going to clean itself.
So maybe ‘lazy’ isn’t the right term. Let’s instead go with ‘Lady Who Currently Needs a Shortcut Here and There.’
Yes. That feels better.
I’m a devoted homeschooling mama, who has spent the past couple of years learning that killing myself in an effort to “make memories,” isn’t actually in the best interests of my family.*
But I still really, really want to do cool stuff.
When I first learned about Poetry Tea Time, it was an eye-opener for me. I watched Julie Bogart of Brave Writer chat with Sarah Mackenzie in a master class, and I was so inspired that I ordered three books before the class even wrapped up.
And it was THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER.
We weren’t even technically doing real school, but I wanted to start Poetry Tea Time as soon as I could.
And so, we did.
Or at least I tried.
Here is what happened:
Then, I started thinking about tableware. Wouldn’t a cute tablecloth be so perfect? Maybe something with poetry written on it! Maybe Etsy …
I spent roughly two weeks on Etsy.
I then began considering tea cups.
I could buy a set, but you know what would be really neat? If I found special ones for each of us. But where do you get china cups and saucers anymore?
I wandered Goodwill for half a month.
I found some cups, and they were pretty. Some were beautiful. All were delicate and could never make it through the dishwasher. I wasn’t sure they could even make it home in one piece …
And so, I left them there and instead thought about recipes.
We love scones! I could make scones and jam and serve whipped cream, because it’s very hard to find an actual technical definition for “clotted cream,” and does that sound kind of gross to anyone else?
I dug out our scone recipes and made a list every week – blueberries and lemons for zesting, fresh cream and powdered sugar, vanilla and pectin …
But we couldn’t seem to make it to the you-pick farm to gather berries …
Perhaps store-bought jam would do, I decided later.
It would have to. (dramatic sigh.)
And so, the last step was buying tea that everyone would love.
I went to Teavana and walked out with 7 bags of tea, 5 tins, a teapot, an insulated mug, a gift card for a friend and a T-shirt with Oprah’s face on it.
(I didn’t, but it was a near-miss. I’m fairly certain Teavana staff have mind-control powers. Also, this took a fortnight.)
By this point, it was time for school to start, and so I decided to pick a day. I wanted to pick Tuesdays because I had heard that was Julie’s day. But Tuesdays were bad for us …
Were Wednesdays OK? Fridays? Sunday nights? Every other Monday?
You might be seeing a pattern here.
I kept putting off Poetry Tea Time in an effort to make it perfect. To make is sparkly and delicious and homemade and seasonal and local and to make it cost roughly $4,000 …
… Instead of just jumping in and doing it.
And so this year, that’s what I’ve been doing.
I just jump in.
Sometimes, I don’t even plan it, the day just calls for it.
I don’t worry a lot about decorations – we’re not really big decoration people anyway.
I pull out our cute kettle, and our heavy mugs from Ikea.
I don’t try to bake something every time, but I do serve a treat every time. I like going to the Trader Joe’s freezer section and finding something new. We love those little frozen pies, and their lemon bars and macarons.
Sometimes I do bake, or my daughter bakes. But I don’t worry anymore, because I always keep a box of something delicious in the freezer, for Stealth Tea Time.
(You have no idea how cool it is to send your kids off to do something like collect all the library books, and to be able to set up Poetry Tea in 5 minutes. Their reaction? It’s like you set up a Leslie Knope Puppy Party.)
(I couldn’t find a puppy party video, so please accept this one of Ron Swanson dancing while wearing a tiny, fancy hat.)
Finally, I have our old favorite poetry books, but I have added two things we love. Both are “open and go,” type books, and make my life easy. I just pick up where I left off with Poetry Tea Time Companion and Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories.
Boom. Practically instant Poetry Tea Time. (I should make a kit. I will call it Poetry Tea Time in a Box, and it will be in violation of several copyright laws, but it will smell great.)
Because here’s the difference between trying to make a beautiful, perfect tea time and being OK with a pretty, fun and relaxed one in our house:
The latter one is the only kind that can happen all the time.
So if you are like me – you know, busy, a fan of personal and home cleanliness – maybe try a Lazy Girl’s Poetry Tea Time at your house.
I promise your kids won’t mind, and you will still make beautiful, lasting memories together.
* I consider this maturing, not giving up. Also, this post should NOT be taken as an insult to ladies who have got it together. I promise. And you should know that I steal all your gorgeous ideas for special occasions.