I've been missing the taste of black tea so much since I cut out caffeine, but then I came across a decaf English Breakfast, and then a decaf Lady Grey and an Irish Breakfast, and finally a decent chai. It's so wonderful to enjoy black tea again. I finally understand why people drink non-alcoholic beer when they can't have the real thing.
Adagio Teas makes a decaf chai; I enjoy it, but it doesn't have a lot of kick, and it leans heavily on the cinnamon. I just ordered a decaf masala chai from Arbor Teas, so we'll see how that compares to my favorite masala chai from Rishi (which, sadly, does not come in a decaf option).
(One of the many reasons the Imperial Radch books delighted me: how important tea is to all the characters. I can relate.)
My main hobby these days appears to be cooking and baking, and I've decided to embrace that instead of trying to redirect my free hours back to writing and/or various craft projects. Cooking/baking = a very practical hobby for a busy working mom—I mean, we all have to eat, so I might as well enjoy the process of feeding myself and the rest of the household.
I've been looking for ways to use up some of the plain homemade yogurt that I make, and having discovered how easy lassis are, I kind of want to make them all the time. Mango lassis are so delicious. My daughter wanted a berry smoothie, so we also made a raspberry-banana-yogurt smoothie with some of the raspberries I froze from our bush in the backyard this summer.
Next on my list of things to bake: Coconut Rum Banana Bread (from The Kitchn Cookbook). No idea if I'll like it, but that's part of the fun.
As for the rest of my free time, my dad wrote a book he wants to self-pub, and I agreed to do the design and layout before I knew I was going to spend a couple months recovering from strep AND pneumonia AND a colitis flare-up. He was as sympathetic as his nature allows, but he still wanted to have pages in hand by January 15 if possible. So I spent a good chunk of my holiday time off banging it out, and got the first draft done. He's paying me my freelance rate for the work, so it'll generate some extra income, which is nice.
Next Tuesday I have a colonoscopy (I get one every three years, so this is not my first rodeo), which means it's time to pick my colonoscopy book! Not sure yet what it will be. It needs to be engrossing enough to distract me from the...grossness, but light enough that it doesn't require close attention. (Last time it was the latest Harry Dresden book.) I'm also considering a colonoscopy movie or two. Maybe Jupiter Ascending and/or Magic Mike XXL, neither of which I've seen yet.