Today’s blogging prompt was to ask a colleague to interview me. So I decided to ask another blogger to do the honors. According to Jeanine Byers’ “About Me” section, she is a lifestyle blogger whose credentials include being a certified extreme self care coach and mindfulness coach. She is also a tea consultant with Steeped Tea. In addition to that, she is the chief experience officer with the Mindful Tea Society, which is an online membership group for women seeking a peaceful and positive weight-loss experience via a supportive group.
So without further ado, here is the interview!
What would you say is the primary topic you blog about in Alice’s Grand Adventures?
Living with gusto and enthusiasm. Living larger than I am. Living with a sense of wonder at the beauty of the earth and the stars. Living with the realization that even familiar spaces can be explored and can be seen with new eyes. And maybe even laughing a bit because life can also get really silly. If only people would embrace their silliness.
Have you ever thought about creating a course on visual journaling? Or creating visual journals, to sell?
I admit that I’ve never thought about doing that! I have, however, thought about putting together a course on creative writing, with a focus on helping people through writers’ block, which affects everyone. Too many people think that they can’t write! That’s just not true! If you can talk, you can write. Some people struggle with the physical aspect of writing. That, however, is no longer a barrier. There are many speech-to-text options available now. It means that, literally, if you can talk, you can write.
And now, I’m thinking that the second course could be the visual journaling course. When we exand our horizons from just the written (or spoken) word to visual images. The visual journal could be an actual book or it could be something on the computer. I know many people who have a real gift for the various paint programs that are on computers. They create really amazing images, and they could write the stories (either invented stories or stories from their own lives) or poems to go with those images. I have found that creating visual journals is a great method of self expression, and I would love to see more people do it, to realize that it is something that is accessible to everyone.
I don’t yet know how to design a visual journal. For now, I’m going to call that a work in progress.
Do you have a self care routine?
I don’t know if you can call it a routine but I do like to do things that help my mind, my heart, and my body. A warm bath with a nice smelling bath bomb and some good music is one method of self care. Another is to walk along the river, which is a beautiful and soothing place to walk. I would use candles but that’s not an option because it’s a violation of my lease. A more self-indulgent method of self care would be the hot chocolate bomb. It seems to be a bit indulgent but, to feel happy and cared for, there are times when self-indulgent is exactly what you need. Another form of self care would be the physical fitness routine that I’ve been doing since January. I can feel my progress. I’m getting stronger. And feeling stronger is another way of helping my mind, my heart, and my body.
Would you say that you are a tea lover? How would you describe your relationship with tea?
I love to drink tea. It is truly a cup of joy for me. After all, I am Alice, and Alice went, albeit unwillingly, to the Mad Tea Party with the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, and the Dormouse. It was an odd event. Alice never was able to experience that suspension of disbelief that she had somehow accidentally fallen into a world populated by strange rabbits and playing cards and babies that turn into pigs. The tea, however, was the very real thing and she was willing to accept the tea.
For me, the tea is the very real thing. It was the thing that bonded me to my parents. My mom liked to ask me if I wanted to have a Tea-Par-Tea. I made the tea for us, and we had tea and conversation. For a while, my mom was writing a novel, and she was so animated when she told me about her characters. The time when she was most likely to do that was over a cup of tea. She loved drinking her tea out of large mugs. Sometimes, she told me that my mugs were too small and that I needed to drink out of a big mug.
After my mom went into the nursing home, days went by between my cups of tea. It was hard to adjust to a solitary cup of tea. No more Tea-Par-Tea. It felt as if the magic was gone.
But now, the magic of tea is slowly coming back. I have been tasting different types of tea. I now have loose tea and tea balls. I think that my mom would want me to remember her with each cup of tea. I now drink my tea out of a big mug and I smile because I think of her drinking her tea out of a big mug.
Do you ever eat in response to response to stress? If so, what triggers you?
I think that it depends on the amount of stress. If it is an extreme amount, then no because eating would give me indigestion. If it’s less stress, maybe. But in general, stress isn’t the thing that motivates me to eat too much. For me, the trigger is boredom. I am an active person and I really don’t like being bored. When I’m bored, I think that a taste test might be a good thing to do. Except how many taste tests do I really need? Oh! But it tastes so good. How could it not taste good? It’s… French cheese… Uhhh, you finished it. Again, I think, as I lick my chops. And now, I’m sleep. Naptime!
Fortunately, I’m entering the season in which I’m less likely to overeat, because I’m busily working on gardens. You don’t gobble down food in the garden since, if you drop it, it’s going to get very dusty and unappetizing.
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Wow, that is a very difficult question to answer. How do I pick just one? Well, it changes from day to day. Right now, I am going to pick “The Red Balloon.” It is a French movie that was made in 1956 about a boy and his relationship with a balloon that follows him everywhere. It is a movie about imagination, about how a free spirit can triumph over conformity and dullness. It is about magic and it is about the gentle spirit of a boy. Very few words are uttered, which adds to the wonder of this delightful movie.
What is your current favorite song to sing?
Right now, it’s “The Skye Boat Song.” It is a Scottish song that was written in the nineteenth century about the escape of Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Stuart) to the Isle of Skye. It’s sung as a slow lullaby, and I find it very delightful to sing in that style.
If you were in a karaoke bar, can you think of a song that you would sing?
Oooh, that’s a really hard question because I literally have no pop music in my repertoire. Except at Christmas time. I can go to the karaoke bar once a year and sing, “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” That’s a fun song to sing. At not-Christmas time, I would want to sing “How much is that doggie in the window” because it’s hilarious but I don’t know if that’s a karaoke song or not.
Has anyone ever compared you to another singer and, if so, who?
N9t really. People have compared me to artists, such as Henri Matisse because I like bright colors, but I’ve never been compared to another singer. Probably because I mostly sing choral music so I have to blend with other singers and not stick out and show off my vocal style so much.
What are you most looking forward to in a (somewhat) post-COVID 2021?
Travel, I think. I’m full of wanderlust. My last big adventure was a walk with Voices for Creative Nonviolence in coastal Georgia, from Savannah to King’s Bay to protest nuclear weapons. It was a good experience. Such a beautiful place to walk. That was in September of 2018. It seems like a long time ago, now. In fact, the walks that I took with groups were some of the early reasons for maintaining this blog. I wanted to have a place to share stories and pictures about the adventurous walks that I took through different places. Over time, the blog included more close to home adventures and artwork and creative writing exercises. But exploration was always the main motivation and I hope that the world has recovered enough to permit that sort of travel.