Steven Smith lead a remarkable life by any standard, but especially by the standard of tea lovers. He co-founded Stash, Tazo, and the eponymous Steven Smith Teamaker brand of teas. I remember reading his obituary three years ago and thinking wow, a) gone too soon – 65 felt young for someone who has done so much and probably had a lot more on his bucket list and b) what the heck am I doing with my life? I admire people who find the right blend of passion and aptitude early in life and achieve wonderful things.

I will be content to help my state save natural resources and balance my need for extensive data and excel skills with my business math shame. RIP Steven Smith, native son of my city.

I love his little tea houses and snagged this pretty postcard two weeks ago when we stopped by with friends visiting from out of town … more effusive iPad love ensues, blah, blah, blah. There are so many painterly bush options to explore. I am cultivating a love-hate relationship with the Shale brush, but do love the unending possibilities of changing the whole look of an image with a capricious click on the background color button.

My inner Japanophile loves the pretty matcha more than its taste. I worked on this off and on during the last week to unwind after work or during lunch hours and, yes, during tea breaks too.