Thursday, March 31, 2016


Title: Heidi

Author: Johanna Spyri

Published: 1980 by Watermill Press (originally published in 1881)

Pages: 343

Genre: fiction

Obtained: given to me as a child

Summary: Heidi is a five year old orphan who has been living with her Aunt Dete since she was one.  She is now going to live with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps.  We follow along as Heidi becomes accustomed to her new life on a secluded alm in a cottage with her reclusive grandfather.  When she is eight we go with her to the city where she is to be a companion to a girl who is not well.  She again has to become accustomed to a whole new way of living.  Finally she returns back to her much loved home in the Alps.

Thoughts:  This was a slow paced, relaxing, simple children's story.  The writing was clear and easy to follow.  The author had wonderful descriptions of the settings, especially the Alps.  The characters were interesting and had distinct personalities.  The conflicts in the story were common problems children might face and could relate to, such as moving to someplace different, meeting new people, learning new things, and doing something wrong and being afraid of getting caught.
     The lessons in the story were good ones.  Heidi loved to help people and always put them before herself.  Nature, eating well, learning, keeping things clean and tidy, God, helping others and doing things to make people happy were all important to Heidi.  There were many references to the bible and God.  Heidi learned how to pray in the story.
     I really enjoyed the humorous and heart warming parts in this story.  I also liked the characters.  It is a long book, especially for a child, but I wanted to keep reading it.  Even though it is slow moving in places I still felt as if Heidi's life was adventurous and I wanted to follow along and see how things would turn out, not only for her, but for the other characters as well.  I enjoyed this book.


Tea: Happy Tea

Company: Art of Tea

Obtained: gift

     Art of Tea is based in Los Angeles, California.  This company hand blends and custom crafts their teas which they get directly from growers.
     "Happy Tea" is a combination of green teas, fruits, and flowers.  When you open the package there is a sweet berry aroma.  The leaves are browns and greens of all shapes and sizes.  There are small red and brown chunks of fruit mixed in.  The tea is packaged in an airtight, foil-lined brown bag.  It is plain and neat and does a great job of protecting the tea.
     I followed the recommendation of using one tablespoon of tea leaves for eight ounces of water. I thought that was a lot of leaves for eight ounces of liquid, but I did it anyway.  I brewed the liquid for 3 minutes (the package recommended 3-5 minutes).
     The liquid was a medium brown color with an orange tint.  The aroma was of berries with a floral scent in the background.  When I tasted the tea, the floral flavor was prominent with a hint of berry flavor.  I expected this tea to have a sweet flavor, but I wouldn't describe it that way.  It also tasted weaker than I thought it would.  So, I decided to try again.  I tried brewing the tea for 5 minutes.  The tea tasted the same, just stronger.  I liked it better brewed for 5 whole minutes.
     I would recommend this tea to those that like light teas that are floral and fruity combinations.  

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