My Dilemma

I usually don’t do many blog posts about personal things in my life, but today I would like to share what is on my heart. This concerns one of my greatest loves - taking tea! Please stay with me, I need your help!

Do you like change?

I have noticed more and more people are doing less blogging and even ending their blog. I have slowed down due to a long vacation, and some “life issues” but I still have several ideas (and items) for more tablescapes. I finally find some beautiful yellow (amber) goblets that I had been looking for! Didn’t need them, just wanted them! They were only $3.99 each! Here's a peek, see the etching:

A lot of changes are going on. I don’t really like change, do you? I get comfortable in my life and resist any change. I don’t even want my daily TV schedule messed with! I have enjoyed several daily TV shows for years now. I’m so sorry that Oprah’s daily shows have ended. I’m also sad that Regis is “retiring” from his show soon. I have been a big fan of both of these shows for years (since I retired.) A few other celebrities have also “retired” or plan to. I’m sure (I hope) they will be replaced by someone we will also enjoy.

One of the biggest changes in my life has been with having to change my eating habits, having to give up my beloved black tea, and my chocolate, among other things!! This is the diet I must follow due to health issues. I love black tea, and miss it!!!

I started drinking tea when I was a teenager. I’m a Southerner and also love iced tea, sweet tea! I love black tea, have never cared for green tea or herbal teas. The tea kettle was also on the stove!

I always started my day with a cup of hot tea, I drank iced tea for lunch and dinner and often had a cup of hot tea with my husband at night.

Yellow rose teapot, a gift from my husband!

I adore tea rooms, and tea parties. I started a monthly tea party group in our neighborhood which lasted for several years. I love all things tea, always on the lookout for some new tea item, or new tea blends.

I have a pantry full of different teas!

Every trip we've taken I would buy new loose teas. Friends gave me teas as gifts.

I collect tea cups and tea pots, especially those with yellow roses and have them displayed throughout our house.

Above: Yellow rose tea cups (a few in my collection) displayed in our living room

Teacup Cottage painting by Thomas Kinkade, in dining room

Yellow rose tea cart displays some of my yellow depression glass collection

Guest room has a tea pot on the bed tray

Another tea pot in the guest room

My kitchen is decorated in a tea room décor of tea pots and tea cups.

Above: Very high shelves, between kitchen and dining room.

Top of refrigerator

Tops of kitchen cabinets

Canisters in kitchen (see the tea room!)

I collect tea books, tea cookbooks, tea magazines!

A sampling of my many tea books

A few of my many tea cookbooksMy favorite cookbook from a favorite tea room, Magnolia and Ivy:

Tea magazines

I’m setting the stage here so you will know just how much I have loved tea! It has been a large part of my life!

Due to health issues I have been advised to stop drinking black tea!!! Yes, this is a fate I’ve never expected and having a hard time dealing with it fully. I’ve tried to learn to like green tea and herbal teas, to no avail. They just don’t taste right to me. I hope someday soon I can find a tea blend that I can drink and enjoy. I also can not drink anything with caffeine, this makes it even worse, and harder to find another tea.

If you are wondering why the doctors took me off tea I’ll explain. Five months ago I had an attack from a half-inch kidney stone. I had complications and was in the hospital a week, four of those days in ICU. The side effects and complications lasted over six weeks after the stone was smashed and passed. I had claustrophobia and panic attacks and insomnia for weeks after. Needless to say I never want to go through that experience again

There are ten top things a “stone former” shouldn’t eat: Spinach is the number 1 villian. I’m sure some of you spinach haters wouldn’t care if you couldn’t eat it, but I love fresh spinach salads, and spinach artichoke dip, and spinach stuffed shells!!

The other no-no’s I shouldn’t eat: strawberries, (all berries), sweet potatoes, nuts, beets, but the worse ones for me was to give up the black tea and the chocolate. I have loved my tea, especially at tea parties and tea rooms!.

Oxalates and calcium are the causes of forming kidney stones in my case. The foods listed are very high in oxalates.

The ten top foods/drinks that cause kidney stones. Black tea is on that list. Chocolate, berries, spinach, nuts, beets, strawberries, sweet potatoes, celery and rhubarb are on the list of no-no’s. All very high in oxalates. There’s a lot more things I shouldn’t eat as well, but the top ten are the worst.

There are three columns of what to eat to prevent kidney stones. First column has the absolute no-no’s. Second column has things you can eat occasionally. Third column has what you are allowed to eat. I heard Bill Cosby say once that the only diet that really works is: “If it tastes good, don’t eat it!” LOL! Sometimes this seems to be true!

The doctor gave me these orders plus I researched it on the net and found about the same info. I also ordered an excellent book from written by doctors in NYC, it is “No More Kidney Stones” by John S. Rodman, M.D., and R. Ernest Soas, M.D. My doctor highly recommends this book.

If you have any suggestions of a good decaffeinated green tea or herbal tea I might like, please let me know! I really miss my tea, especially hot tea! I have adjusted to no chocolate a lot easier than having no tea, and I was also a very big chocoholic!!

I don't like change!! Do you? I miss going to tea rooms and having all the tea time foods and desserts. I miss having my tea kettle going!

If you have any suggestions and/or recipes for me to try, please share them with me! Keep in mind I can’t have black tea (or caffeine) chocolate, nuts, all berries, or peanut butter.

I can have citrus fruits, but no citrus peels, and no parsley. I can have peaches, bananas, lemon desserts, coconut, caramel, butterscotch, and sugar cookies.

I know there are worse things to deal with than this, but this is where I am right now and it’s a hard situation for me at this time.

Thank you for your interest, if you have any questions, please ask. If you know anyone who has or has had kidney stones you may want to share this info with them. The kidney stone diet is relatively new. I’m willing to try it as I never want to go through that again!

This is what I have now when I have hot tea:

Since I like lemon in my hot tea, this is one green tea I can tolerate (with lots of sugar!) Nothing like my black flavored teas, but okay.

I saw this recently on somebody's blog and can't remember who. If it's yours, let me know and I'll give you credit!

Blessed are those who thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled

Whatever the flavor your tea,

God can still mightily pour out

To refresh another in need.

My favorite tea cup, it's a small tea cup and saucer and keeps tea hot longer. My sweet friend, Judy, gave it to me!

I'm also linking to Lady's Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday. Click on her name for more!



Marilyn said...

That is a difficult one. I love black tea too and would have a hard time giving it up. Here is a suggestion of a Decaf Green Tea that I actually like. You can't find it in the store right now, but when the holidays come along stock up on it if you can find it. It does disappear quickly. It is Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane. Oh it is good. I have about 10 teabags left until the holidays. I got it for my husband, but I like it too.

Karen's Place said...

A while back my doctors asked me to stay off or at least cut down on black tea as well. I love my tea, like you. I own several piece of Royal Albert Tea Rose china, it's very pretty, like yours. My daughter took me a shop in Old Town San Diego to see a lady who is know for her healthy, healing products and knowledge in natural healing. She suggested Buckwheat Tea. It did the trick. Also, I like Fresh and Easy's Green Tea blends. Best wishes with your health issues. Beautiful blog. A fellow tea lover. Karen

Linda J. said...

I am sorry you must give up your beloved black tea. My daughter and husband have issues with black tea and caffeine. My hubby takes decaf with him everywhere. My daughter drinks herbals, especially rooibos. Most tea rooms have rooibos on their menus, however, the food issue could be a problem at afternoon tea. Harney and Sons and some other vendors sell small samples of many of their teas. Perhaps that would be
an inexpensive way to sample some herbal infusions.

Debbie said...

I'm so sorry! I know exactly how it is to not like change, and I feel about my coffee the way you feel about tea. I just don't have as many wonderful treasures as you do.

I'm not any help because the green tea that I drink is the one at the end of your post.

I DO like an herbal raspberry one, though. I don't have any in the pantry right now so I'll have to get some at the store and report back. I'm ashamed that I just know it by the box. I think it's celestial seasonings.

I will suggest one thing for your iced tea. It's not the same as sweet tea... I'll say that right off the bat. BUT that green tea is better iced if you do it as sun tea. The raspberry that I like is good as sun tea too.

Again, NOT the same as sweet tea brewed, but still a tasty drink.

I hope some of the tea experts can help you better.

And... did you finish the book yet?
I'm anxious to hear what you thought about the pie part.

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Have you tried the decaffinated black teas. There is an Decaff Earl Gray that is good. I really can't tell a difference. The rooiboos aren't bad...I prefer that over the green tea. They are now doing blends. I think you will be able to find some that you like without giving up your tea altogether. I too have a cup of hot tea morning and night...even when it is HOT out! I will see if this new tea store I went to carries decaff and what they suggest. I will let you know if I find out anything! In the meantime, have a great Sunday!!

Debbie said...

Back to say that by the last part of that comment I mean that I would love you to do a post about it.

Joa Jane said...

I feel your pain, as black tea is my absolute favorite as well. My suggestion is to look for (or make) rooibos teas that are more full bodied, or have flavor combinations that are appealing to you (within your diet restrictions, of course!). They can have a more full bodied taste than most herbals, have no caffeine and are the best option for those who suffer with kidney stones, as rooibos contains little to no oxalic acid. It is delicious hot or iced. I am going to think on this some more and see what other options I can come up with for you. In the meantime, hang in there! Dietary restrictions are no fun, but after the initial shock and change, it will become routine, I promise you. And feeling better because of the changes is well worth the sacrifice.

--Joa Jane
"La Tea Diva"

Natasha in Oz said...

Katherine I'm so sorry to hear about this. I too love my daily cuppa and don't know how I would cope if I missed it each morning. I have started cutting back on it at night all the same and have been drinking green tea with citrus or spearmint tea mixed with chamomile.

The most important thing to think about here, though, is your health, so if it means not drinking tea then so be it. You are more important than a cup of tea!

Take care and best wishes for a great week.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

I'm so sorry to hear you have to give up black tea Katherine! I'm afraid I'm not going to be any help, only wanted to say I understand your frustration and yes change can be very difficult. Take care:@)

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

I hate change....seems as though when things change they all occur at the same time (like Regis and oprah)
I am so glad that you are doing well, how scary ending up in ICU with a kidney stone?!
At some point I am sure you will find your favorite new tea!
Love the tour of all your tea pots and yellow depression ware

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I am so sorry to hear about your health issues, Katherine. I hope you find a good blend of tea, you can have.

Our daughter has had to give up all caffiene also and J has had to give up some of his favorites, due to health issues and how they react to the medications he takes. It really is difficult to make these changes and I understand, as I too have had to make a few dietary changes due to health.

I don't have any advice, but did want to let you know I'll be thinking of you as you make this transition.

Adrienne said...

Change is never easy, especially when it's nothing something you chose to change! I'm sorry you have to deal with these health issues and give us some things you enjoy. I found that I enjoy green tea that is blended with something else. I love green tea with jasmine or peach. I second Marilyn's suggestion about Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane tea. If you like it, you could stock up at the holidays. Praying for you, my friend.

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Having had several kidney stones myself...I can understand not ever wanting to go through that again. Actually, I have not had one for quite a few years. I was told that the only way that you can know exactly what caused your body to form stones was to have yours evaluated. Did they do that? I've been drinking tea and coffe for years since my last one without and problems.

Joanne Kennedy said...

Well I love everything to do with tea. The china, the parties, the tea food. But I hate the actual tea! I've had many tea parties and always fill up a pot with diet coke or lemon aide for myself and other non tea drinkers LOL

I feel for you though. My sister had two stones that caused her to end up in the hospital and had to have surgery on one. It was a long time before she was back to normal.

She too was told to stop the tea as she drinks it all day like you. She didn't listen and ended up getting another stone.

So, please listen. I know it will be hard but you can keep trying the different ones you are allowed and maybe one of them will end up being something you like.

Good luck.

Sarah said...

Katherine, I know what you mean about change. I had to switch to decaf drinks years ago. I don't know if this will help, but Republic of Tea has some delicious decaf teas. Ginger Peach is one of my favorites.
Good luck! ~ sarah

Lallee said...

Katherine, I know how special tea is to you and what an adjustment this is for you. I don't have a flavor to recommend, but I hope you find a replacement soon that you are satisfied with. Do you like Chai tea? It's one of those you love or hate. I love it iced in the summer. It cools me right down.

PEA said...

Oh Katherine, I can well imagine how devastated you were when you were told not to drink any more black tea. I don't care for change either but when it comes to our health, we really don't have a choice. It's always so hard to give up a favourite drink or food, though. Giving up chocolate would be the hard one for me! lol I'm not really a tea drinker although I do enjoy Tetley's Clarity Blueberry Ginseng herbal tea (caffeine free)...they have various flavours which are all really tasty.

You have a fabulous collection of tea related items:-) xoxo

Kathleen said...

I had heard that about tea and kidney stones. My friend drank a lot of iced tea, and the doc said to stop!
I don't drink that much tea, or coffee either. I like my one cup of decafe in the morning though.
I love your yellow depression glass, it is gorgeous.
I don't have time to blog much in the summer, too many other things to do. Once a week or so, that's it! Life comes first!

Rettabug said...

Katherine, I am heartbroken for you, that you'll have to give up so many "good" things but I completely understand. I will have to go through my tea cupboard & see if I have any that would qualify as non-black & caffeine free.

I had NO idea all that food was to be avoided with kidney stones!! My bad! DH has had one floating around in his bladder for almost 6 months. He FINALLY called to make an appointment for the surgery to remove it. he's on Plavix & the cardiologist didn't want him to stop it for a full year after his ♥ attack. Ugh! Please pray that his surgery goes easier than YOURS???


Rettabug said...

I just requested that book, No More Kidney Stones, from our library. THANKS!!

romance-of-roses said...

Katherine, Absolutely love the yellow rose on the tea cups. Yellow was my color for many,many years till I discovered pink. I also cannot have chocolate or caffeine, I am allergic to chocolate so if I have a craving for chocolate I have carob. Carob candy bars taste just like chocolate.

Connie said...

Hi, sugar! I'll leave a comment here but respond privately after I eat breakfast with my Love Bunny. Eager to talk to you.

Martha's Favorites said...

Hi Katherine: When I visited your post, I felt like I could have been home. You are so many of the same things I have. We decorate the same way. To top it off, you hate change, so do I. I am so sorry about the new lost of tea in your life. I too am trying to stop drinking tea for health reasons. It is the hardest thing to do. I will say a pray for you. Thanks for joining Tea Cup Tuesday. I am so glad you did. Blessings, Martha

Kathi said...

Hi Katherine, Giving up tea would indeed be very difficult. I'm so sorry. I feel that way about peanutbutter and black coffee. Was not sure if you mentioned mint tea. I love Safeway's blend of mint and camomile tea. I also have enjoyed peach tea, both hot and iced. I suppose any one of could be at risk for this if we continue in our habits. I eat all of those things on the no no list, even to excess. Every morning I have peanut butter on toast and black coffee, I have that all day long. Again, I'm so sorry and I hope that some how you can find new favorites. Kathi