Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul: Stories Steeped in Comfort

Overview

Is enjoying a cup of tea the favorite part of your day? Is the brewing of a 'cuppa' a ritual that centers and calms you? Then let Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul help you reconnect with yourself in the silent intimacy and introspection experienced while sipping tea.

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Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul: Stories Steeped in Comfort

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Overview

Is enjoying a cup of tea the favorite part of your day? Is the brewing of a 'cuppa' a ritual that centers and calms you? Then let Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul help you reconnect with yourself in the silent intimacy and introspection experienced while sipping tea.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623610647
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 637,006
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1
Delectable Delights

The Last Great Tea Party

Andrew and I awoke to one of the coldest January days ever recorded in Milwaukee. The actual temperature was twenty-two degrees below zero, with a wind-chill factor of seventy below. Most schools in southeastern Wisconsin were closed because the risk of frostbite was too great for children waiting for school buses.

The furnace was running almost constantly, but the house was still cold. I was wearing two pairs of pants, a turtleneck, and a pullover sweater, and stood shivering in the kitchen. Just then, Andrew, my almost-six-foot-tall eighth-grader, walked in and asked in a perfect British accent, 'Say, Mum, don't you think it's 'bout time for a spot of tea?'

I laughed as I grabbed the teakettle to fill it with water. Andrew was in drama class that semester, and he was fascinated with his Scotch, Irish, English, French, and German ancestry, especially the different accents of each language. I looked closely at my son, whose father had died five years earlier, and was filled with appreciation at what a warm and easy relationship Andrew and I had developed over the years.

'Why, certainly, my good man,' I declared with as much drama as I could muster.

Andrew's eyes twinkled. He knew the scene was set. From that moment, we became English subjects. My British accent was muddled, but I tried to mimic the drama in Andrew's more perfected version. 'Do you fancy a spot of Earl Grey or Jasmine? English or Irish Breakfast? What flavor grabs your fancy this brisk morning?' I asked.

'Say, Mum, what is the difference between high tea and low tea?'

'Well, lad, low tea, which is usually called afternoon tea, is generally served at a low coffee or end table while the guests relax on a sofa or parlor chairs. High tea is served at a high dining-room table in the early evening, our traditional supper hour. More substantial foods are served at high tea, you see.' As a woman who had never had a cup of coffee in her life, but who loved tea, I was enjoying this opportunity to draw my son into my wonderful world of tea drinking.

Andrew rubbed his hands together as if warming them over an old English kitchen fireplace. 'So, Mum, let's have low tea on the coffee table in the living room. I'll make the preparations while you put on the kettle.'

Before I could remind my son that I had work to do in my home office, Andrew cleared the low, round oak coffee table of magazines, grabbed a cotton lace runner in the dining room, and spread it across the table-half closest to the sofa. Then he retrieved a centerpiece of silk flowers from the marble-top chest in the hallway and placed it behind the lace runner. For the final touch, he moved our small, solid oak mantel clock to the coffee table. The clock's rhythmic ticking, which could now be heard in the kitchen, made it seem that we were actually living in a drafty old English manor outside London.

Next, Andrew opened the china cupboard and retrieved my small English blue and white teapot, two delicate, antique, hand-painted bone-china teacups and saucers, the silver cream-and-sugar set, and a silver tray.

'I do declare, Mum, I can't see my face in the silver. It's in dire need of a good polishing.'
'I'll get right on it, Master Andrew,' I said with a wink.

Andrew set the table with two sandwich plates trimmed with flowers and gold paint that he found behind the silver. Then, in the drawer, he searched for two perfect napkins, settling on dark green linen, with a large, hand-embroidered yellow maple leaf on each corner.

'Here, the tray is ready. Gleaming, don't you think?' I proclaimed proudly. He smiled as a glint of his true English heritage shone through his eyes, and his face was mirrored in the silver.

As we waited for the water to heat and I carefully arranged sandwiches on the shining silver tray, Andrew dashed off to his room where he scoured his childhood collection of 160 hats, hanging on all four walls, for a proper hat to wear to what was most certainly going to be a very proper low tea.

My handsome son emerged wearing a plaid tam my godparents had given him after a trip they took to Scotland and England. Andrew had also slipped into an old man's floppy green herringbone sport coat I'd picked up at Goodwill to wear in my workroom on cold days. I stood back and looked at my son. The hat and jacket had transformed his tall, trim body into a gentleman as striking as an English lord.

'Mum, don't you suppose you need a proper hat and skirt for the occasion?' He winked at me and shooed me off to my bedroom to change.

I headed for my own five-piece hat collection and emerged with a simple beige wide-brimmed straw hat with a single feather protruding off to the side. To my cranberry-colored sweater I attached an antique round pin with multi-colored stones that had belonged to Andrew's great-grandmother. A long black matronly skirt pulled on over my pants completed my outfit.

We were the perfect lord and lady. The teakettle whistled. As I poured the water into the proper teapot and added loose English Breakfast tea encased in a large chrome tea ball, Andrew tuned the radio to an FM station playing classical music. He offered me his arm as we entered the living room and made ourselves comfortable on the sofa.

By now, my character in our English play had evolved into a sort of beloved great-aunt who lived in a castle high on an English countryside and was absolutely delighted that her young nephew had dropped in for an unexpected visit. Suddenly, I wanted to know everything about this young man as I watched him carefully pour tea into the hardly-ever-used delicate teacups.

'So, tell me, Sir Andrew, what are your plans? Where are you going in this great adventure of life?'

Andrew leaned back on the throw pillows behind us as he sipped his tea and stroked his chin. 'Well, it's a long road, you know. I still have four years of high school after this year, then college. Sometimes I wonder how I'll ever afford to attend college.'

I reminded him that financial aid would be available just as it had been for his older sisters and brother. We talked about how he might get into one of his dream schools if he kept up his grades.

We slid into conversation about girls. Andrew looked out the floor-to-ceiling windows into the barren treetops and said slowly, 'The girls. I think they all think I'm a geek.'

'Oh, surely not! Why, Andrew, my good man, you're handsome, smart, funny. I bet the girls love you. You just don't know it yet.'

Andrew sipped the steaming tea. Then he turned and said, 'I don't fight much, so they probably say I'm a wimp.'

My eyes rested on Andrew's size-thirteen feet, which proclaimed that his six-foot growth spurt was not over. I reassured him that not fighting was much more manly, something the high-school girls would certainly appreciate.

As time passed, we talked about music, sports, weather, God, and the school mixer coming up the next week. We watched a squirrel on the deck outside the windows eating corn off a cob. I felt myself opening up to the sensitive young man before me. I told Andrew how scared I was the year before, when I quit my regular job to start a business in my home. I told him I was lonely sometimes. He nodded, poured a tiny bit of skim milk into his tea, and picked up another tea sandwich. I took a deep breath and continued, 'Someday, I'd love to meet a wonderful, interesting man with a great sense of humor and deep faith.' I looked into the eyes of my son, pretending to be my nephew in drafty old England, and said, 'I'd like to get married again someday, Andrew. I don't want to grow old alone.'

The cold morning turned warm and wonderful as we each took turns talking and listening intently to what the other had to say. We both revealed parts of ourselves that had been neglected. Every so often, Andrew poured more tea for each of us. As he picked up the tiny sugar tongs, he'd ask, 'One lump or two, Mum?' Then he'd politely offer the plate of tiny sandwiches.

On that cold winter day, when I was forty-eight and Andrew fourteen, we were transported into a world we both knew would only exist for that one morning. We would never again have a tea party like this one. Andrew would immerse himself in school, the basketball team, the junior-high band, his friends, the school play, the telephone, and video games at his best friend's house.

But it didn't matter because on that coldest day of the year, during those precious three hours as we stumbled through a mumbo jumbo of British phrases and inadequate but charming accents, my youngest child and I ate, drank, talked, shared, laughed, and warmed our souls to the very core. Andrew and I not only created a cherished memory, but we wrote and directed a play at the same instant we performed it. There was no audience, just Andrew and me, and cups of very good tea.

Patricia Lorenz


My Best Cup of Tea

A woman is like a tea bag:
you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
Nancy Reagan,
paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt

I worked for three years in the Republic of Botswana in southern Africa. Coming from the lush green forests and many lakes of northern Wisconsin, this land that was mostly Kalagadi Desert, with its vast expanse of tan sand, tan prickly thorn bushes, and gigantic tan termite hills, was at first sight startling in its sameness—except for the cloudless sky, which was brilliant blue. It was a period of drought. But it did not take me long before I saw and was enchanted by the beauty of the Kalagadi and its people.

The capital city, Gaborone, had a reservoir for water, making it like an oasis in the desert with its glorious scarlet jacaranda trees.

Botswana had been a protectorate of England until 1966 when the country gained independence peacefully. The English culture had a significant influence on the Botswana culture, the most enjoyable being tea drinking. I was working with the Botswana Council for the Disabled under the Ministry of Health. When I wasn't working in the villages, which was most of the time, I occasionally attended the official meetings of Parliament in Gaborone. There was always a formal morning 'tea break' when the government's business stopped, and tea was served to everyone. Then the cups were gathered up, and the pending business continued.

The cups of tea that were a true communion to my soul were those in the villages. On one trip with Nchele, the local health worker I traveled with, we rode through the Kalagadi Desert over illusive roads deeply rutted in fine sand, only stopping for a potty break behind a termite hill. We were on our way to a family who had been reported to us as needing our help. They had a three- or four-year-old little girl who only walked on her knees.

It was a very hot, dry, teeth-clacking jostle for three hours in a four-wheel-drive Jeep. Botswana had been suffering drought for three years. The sun and heat made mirages of silvery pools of water ahead of us on the desert sand. As we approached the family grounds, a scrawny goat nibbled on a stunted thorn bush, the only vegetation surviving the three-year drought. As we walked past the water barrel, we could see that it was nearly empty of the precious water the family had to carry from a very distant standpipe. As we neared the family's 'yard,' which was bordered by a foot-high enclosure made of packed mud and manure, we called out 'koko,' the polite way of announcing one's self. The father called out 'tsena' (enter). A cloud of dust enveloped us as the children began to dance around us, squealing in joy.

As soon as the mother saw us coming, she went to the water barrel and scooped out a small amount of precious water with a battered pan already blackened from ages in the fire. As the water heated, she put in a handful of bush tea leaves. We sat on goat skins placed on the packed sand, and the tea was poured into a large tin cup, then offered to me. The mother offered it with her whole heart and a smile as brilliant as the blazing, hot sun, as though the water barrel had been full. As we all shared that one cup of tea, I knew there would never be a better-tasting cup of tea in all the world.

Shirley J. Babcock

Sweet Dreams
­Tea is a meal for all seasons;
it's also suitable for all occasions.
Angela Hynes

'Why does he always have big projects on a Friday afternoon?' I wailed when I walked in the door after work.
'What's the matter, dear?' my mother-in-law said from the kitchen.

I threw my purse onto the counter. 'Oh, my boss. He had me work late again. I didn't get out of the office until six o'clock. Now here it is almost seven. Why does he do that before the weekend?' I walked over to the refrigerator and opened it.

'Don't worry about dinner. I made lasagna,' she said.
'Oh, that was nice of you. Let's chop up a salad to go with it.' I pulled out the lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes. We shared a cutting board, and chopped and sliced together, filling our bowls.

The lasagna came out of the oven hot and bubbly. It was delicious, but my mind swirled with thoughts of all the work waiting for me on my desk Monday morning. I was still miffed at my boss. We rinsed off the dinner dishes and put them into the dishwasher. My husband was on a three-day business trip, and this was the first night of my mother-in-law's visit. She'd be spending a few weeks with us before returning home.

'I'm sorry I came home in such a crabby mood. I didn't mean to take it out on you,' I said.
'Don't worry about me. I can handle it. It's you I worry about. You shouldn't get so upset over work.'
'I can't help it. My boss drives me crazy!'

'There were bosses like that in my day, too. There's only one way to deal with them,' she said.
I was all ears, ready to hear the words of wisdom on how to put my boss in his place, how to tell him not to give me an overabundance of work, how to make him appreciate all that I do for him. 'What's the secret?' I asked.

'A cup of tea.'
'Tea? How can that help?'
'Let me show you. Sit down here on the sofa,' she said as she patted the end.
I did as she directed. I sank into the soft pillow back and kicked off my shoes.
'Now close your eyes and relax. I'll be back in a few minutes.'

I could hear her footsteps on the tile and knew she was in the kitchen. I listened as the cupboard door creaked when she took out some cups. The water ran in the sink. Then I heard the ping-ping-ping of the burner lighting on the gas stove. Minutes later, the kettle whistled.
'Okay, open your eyes,' she said.

She stood in front of me with two steaming mugs. Dangling from the side of each was a string with a square piece of paper at the end.
'Here,' she said as she handed me one of the mugs.

I took it with both hands. It wasn't too hot, just nice and warm. 'Thanks,' I said.

'Don't thank me yet. Sit and enjoy.'
She joined me on the sofa, and we sat with our cups in our hands. I took a sip. It was good. 'What kind is this?' I asked.

'It's a favorite of mine. I bring it with me wherever I go.'

I felt myself relax as I sipped the tea, warmth flooding through not just my fingers and hands, but through my whole being. I felt calmer.
'So this tea—it makes bosses go away?' I asked, smiling.

She laughed. 'No, nothing will do that. But it will make you forget about it for a little while.'
We sat, drank, and enjoyed each other's company. We talked about some of the things we wanted to do while she was visiting. Time flew by. Soon, we were both down to the last drops in our cups. I got up and took the mugs to the kitchen sink.

'That was really good,' I said, then covered my mouth as I yawned. 'I'm ready to put on my pajamas and go to bed.'
'Me, too,' she replied.
'How about tomorrow night we watch a movie after dinner?' I said.

'Sounds great. I'll even make you another cup of tea.' She began climbing the stairs to the guest room. 'Good night. See you in the morning.'
'By the way, what was the name of that tea?' I asked.

She stopped halfway up the steps, turned her head toward me, and smiled. 'Sweet Dreams,' she said.

B. J. Taylor

©2007. Patricia Lorenz, Shirley J. Babcock, and B. J. Taylor. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patricia Lorenz. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 7, 2010

    Shill.

    Irrespective of the book's merits, the person who wrote the other review for this book is a shill for the company who has posted the exact same review for this and many other "Chicken Soup" books. That is a reflection on the publisher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2007

    Charming coffee table book, perfect for holiday gift

    This book is the perfect present for the holiday season (or any other special occasion). For those not knowing what to give as a gift, this little tome will definitely please male and female friends and relatives with its inspirational true stories of the tea drinking experience and how it has brought people together in fellowship and family. First off, this book looks a bit different from the usual Chicken Soup book - the cover is about an inch smaller in size and the inside pages are an off-white color (instead of the usual bright white) which makes reading easy on the eyes. The cover is shaded with a color reminiscent of brewed tea - a nice touch. It's a pleasure to hold this book in my hands. And it's an even greater pleasure to relax with this book for an uplifting spell of reading enjoyment. I always feel better after leafing through a Chicken Soup book, and this one in particular. I thrive on 'feel good' stories. I appreciate the life lessons that the authors provide, and I get a kick out of seeing how they incorporate those lessons with the joy of tea drinking. Pass the cheese tray, friends, and relax with a steaming cuppa - and this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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