Welcome to Cat’s Tea House

Sticky

This whole adventure came to be because I realized that I have enough tea stashed away in my kitchen to run a tea house…but I could not honestly say that I had all of the tea I own recently, or even at all.

That’s when I decided that I needed to change this. I also decided that I would make it into an ongoing journal project, to get me writing again and to motivate me to actually do a tea every day. It is far too easy for me to just skip the things that take a little extra time in favor of something quick and technically easier; keeping a tea journal would force me to make space in my busy day to slow down.

And then it occurred to me that I may not be the only one who feels this way, feels that life is just moving on way too fast. So I will endeavor to post my Tea Of The Day, plus whatever thoughts I may have about life and such as well.

I do not intend to include pictures of the teas, I am going to rely on my descriptive powers to convey what the tea looks, smells and tastes like

Welcome to Cat’s Tea House. May your perfect cup find you when you least expect it.


“As far as her mom was concerned, tea fixed everything. Have a cold? Have some tea. Broken bones? There’s a tea for that too. Somewhere in her mother’s pantry, Laurel suspected, was a box of tea that said, ‘In case of Armageddon, steep three to five minutes’.” 

Aprilynne Pike, Illusions

Rocky Mountain High

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Tea of the Day: Rocky Mountain High by America’s Tea

Description: This unique Oolong tea is grown at the same elevation as the Rocky Mountains. Sit back, unwind and embrace the beauty of Colorado with a unique tea blend whose natural sweet floral taste is highly satisfying. Whether you’re just finishing up a day at Breck or enjoying a cool summer night in Denver, this tea elevates your spirits and soothes your soul. You can get two infusions per tea bag with this tea blend. It’s like doubling your money.

Dry tea smells sweet and grassy

Liquor is a light golden green in the cup

Steeped tea smells and tastes more floral than the dry. It is very easy to drink and has a lovely sweet aftertaste that lingers. I can’t say much more except that I really enjoy it.

Tea Rating:5/5


Question of the day: What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?

My husband to be, as is pretty standard for us. I don’t remember the exact details of what we were talking about at the time, but at one point I was almost doubled over because I was laughing so hard.

I’m glad that we still make each other laugh so much.


Random musing of the day: my thoughts on dude clothes.

The first thing I notice is that unless we’re talking graphic tees, with men’s clothes you get a lot of a few items, whereas with women’s clothes you get a lot of different items but only a few of each one.

For example, when buying jeans in the women’s section, you’re lucky to find more than a handful in your “size,” and have no guarantee that any of that handful will fit. Plus, with all the different styles, finding your “size” in a style that you like can narrow that even further.

Conversely, in the men’s section, you have a few basic styles, such as straight leg, cargo, and elastic waist, but a lot more of each size. And once you know what your size is, you can literally just grab and go once you find it. No dressing room shuffle, no angry glaring in the mirror at jeans that are betraying you yet again.

Then we get to the actual quality of the material. Most women’s jeans have either stretch material in the fabric or are made to be softer, or both. This sounds great, but what it means is that the material ends up being thinner. And, even though just about every woman has some amount of thigh rub (even when I was a size for I’d rub holes on the inside of my jeans just from walking), the seams on women’s jeans are less robust as well. All in the name of being comfortable…except that even the comfort thing doesn’t hold up. Yes, lady jeans may be softer….but with dude jeans there isn’t the worry that you’re going to suddenly have a hole somewhere awkward

This is all in the name of being comfortable…except that even the comfort thing doesn’t hold up. Yes, lady jeans may be softer….but with dude jeans there isn’t the worry that you’re going to suddenly have a hole somewhere awkward. Plus your booty is covered. And you have pockets that you can stick half your arm into.

Really the only downside is that you’ll need a good belt because you’ll have to go with a wider waist to fit them over your hips…

Scott Lang: Ant Man Blend

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Tea of the Day: Scott Lang: Ant Man Blend by AEH at Adagio Tea

Description: A blend of orange, lemon, soleil, and white tangerine tea, accented with orange peel. Full of bright, cheerful citrus flavors, to invoke both Scott Lang’s home state of California and his sunny and optimistic personality.

Dry tea smells very citrusy and bright

Liquor is a light, clear, red brown in the cup.

Steeped tea smells much less citrusy than the dry.

The tea is light an pleasant and slightly citrusy.

Tea Rating: 3.5/5


Question of the day: Did you act your age today?

This question is silly. I’d like to think that’s the point…

What I mean is this: how do you define “acting your age?”

Is it, at 27, going to work and actually doing work and paying bills?

Because if that’s the case then I absolutely I acted my age.

But if it’s being totally serious and no smiles and such, then no.

I spent my lunch playing a game. And a good chunk of my day being excited and laughing. (Wedding planning is great this far out.)

There is a lot of joy in my life and I often get the impression that “act your age” means ignore that. That being an adult means being sad. Or angry. There are a lot of awful and sad things in the world. Sometimes I cry and rage over them.

But today, I chose to be happy and goofy.

If that means I didn’t act my age then I embrace that concept with my whole self.

Sam Wilson

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Tea of the Day: Sam Wilson Blend by AEH at Adagio Tea (custom made blend)

Description: a blend of cinnamon, cream and summer rose, accented with chocolate chip to invoke warmth and sweetness just like Sam Wilson himself.

Dry tea smells sweet, rich, chocolaty, and slightly floral

Liquor is a slightly muddy red-brown in the cup.

The tea has a nice balance of sweet and floral flavors , and doesn’t need much doctoring.

Tea Rating:4/5


Questions of the day: Who inspires you?

I’m a very lucky person in that I have a number of people in my life who I draw inspiration from, depending on what I am doing or trying to accomplish.

Right now, my inspiration comes from my two closest friends.

My one friend shows me (and everyone else) that age is no barrier to accomplishing your goals and dreams, so often when I feel like I can’t, I look to her for that little light of hope I’m missing.

My other friend has been through so much its a wonder in itself that she still can care about other people. But she still does, and I find that to be something to strive for. Plus, when I’m struggling to be calm about a particular situation, she almost always has another way for me to look at it, to be less angry or sad. Even when there isn’t really another way, she believes in my ability to overcome so strongly that it seems silly not to believe, too.

And finally, a quote from Eartha Kitt, when talking about what she really wants from a relationship.

I fall in love with myself and I want someone to share it with me. I want someone to share me, with me” (Eartha Kitt)

Hamilton

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Tea of the Day: Hamilton by America’s Tea

Description: This stimulating black tea is an ode to Hamilton’s work ethic. The faint vanilla flavor is a tribute to the meal that helped seal Hamilton’s legacy.

Dry tea smells like either vanilla cream soda or coffee with vanilla cookies.

Liquor is a dark chestnut brown in the cup

Steeped tea is rich and lightly sweet. Adding sugar makes it smoother but doesn’t otherwise change the flavor. Adding milk actually taste like the cream soda it smelled like at first.

Tea Rating: 3.5/5 (very sensitive to steep time for a black tea.)


Question of the day: Who did you see the most today?

Well…that’s not as easy to answer as you might think. As I’ve been at work most of the day, my coworker who’s desk is closest to mine is currently the person I’ve seen the most, but by the time I go to bed tonight it will be my fiance or my roommate, maybe even a tie since my roommate and I often talk after my love has gone to bed for the night.

Regardless, that’s a question that is not as easy to answer as it first sounds

Comfort and Joy

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Tea of the day: Comfort and Joy by The Republic of Tea

Description: this smooth blend brings notes of rich and warming spices together with well-balanced hits of apple and spice.

Dry tea smells cinnamon and orange to me

Liquor is a dark brown in the cup.

The tea is less flavorful than the scent implies, but this could be because it’s a sample from December that I had forgotten I had. Other than that, a pleasant cup.

Tea Rating: 3/5


I feel I need to write more.

Aside from the fact that there were two months between my post last week and the one before it, I notice that I feel more disconnected from my own thoughts when I’m not doing at least a little writing.

I’m not doing as badly as I have in the past in similar dry spells because I am getting my creative brain a workout because of the photography class I’m taking this summer…but I do find that communicating with my loved ones is a little touch and go as of late.

So, I’m trying a thing: keeping a five-year journal. I fond a list of questions, one for each day of the year, and starting today, I am going to at least answer the daily question. The long-term goal is to keep this up so that I can look back later at it and see how my life has changed and how I have grown.

I can’t promise that I’ll post every question every day to here, but I do hope that it will inspire me to write more often. After all, what’s the point of having a blog if you don’t write in it?


Question for July 10: What happened recently that made you proud of yourself?

I listened to the feedback for my photography class midterm (my instructor does little videos so he can show us what he means). This grade was 3 times what the previous assignments had been, with the same amount of time to do it. The feedback was positive, and he closed with “keep up the good work.” It’s a small thing, but it feels good. It’s good to know that I am actually improving on the skills I already had since I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to effectively learn the mechanics of photography and get better. Maybe a silly worry but it was there.

Flora Tea

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Tea of the Day: Flora Tea by Dryad Tea.

Description: Flora is the protector of the Flower Fields of the Spring Coast. She ensures that the flowers grow to be beautiful and that no one harms them. In honor of Flora, this tea has bounding berry and floral notes, blended wonderfully in this caffeine free tea that is sure to brighten your day

Dry tea smells like honey and roses

Liquor is chestnut red brown in the cup.

Steeped tea smells richer than the dry, like currants and incense made of flowers.

The tea itself tastes of raisins and berries, sweet but not cloying, but is better without adding sugar.

Tea Rating: 4/5


Today, a little musing I had on timekeeping and space travel


September 41, 2065

No, that’s not a joke, as ridiculous as that looks. This is what happens when you try to keep Earth time on a non-Earth world.

But I’m getting ahead of myself a bit. I’m allowed, I’m nearly 80 years old, although my shipmates insist I don’t look a day over 40.

Anyway, back to the story. I am part of an expedition to a second world that we humans are looking to call home. It’s Earth-like, slightly bigger than Home, with a slightly faster rotation but roughly the same amount of travel time around its star—hence the extra days in the month. We haven’t been able to agree on what to call it–we travelers refer to it as Landfall, the brass at Home want to call it “Tierra” and the locals call it “ushkatok,” which roughly translates to “home water.”

Yes, there are locals, and no, they don’t use Earth letters, that’s just as close as I can get to how it sounds. Fortunately for us, the locals are friendly, and an aquatic race who can’t survive for long on the land, so basically the inverse of us. They call themselves “Butanbau,” which is, roughly, “the people” in English and are looking to travel to the stars same as us. They have lots of neat technology and cool telescopes and long range communication equipment but have found actual space travel to be a problem they can’t quite get their fins around.

That’s where we come in. They’ve been sending communications out into the void for a while now, since the early 2000’s, but it wasn’t until 2045 that we were able to pick it up and understand it for what it was—a message…that we could not understand at all and seemed to just appear out of the “empty” space between us and the Sun.

As you might imagine, this caused quite the stir.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth a strange collaboration between codebreakers, linguists, communications experts and astrophysicists, and more months than anyone wants to admit (but apparently fewer than the Butanbau had expected) we were able to figure out that the message had come from about 200 light-years away, closer to the center of our galaxy, and what it said….and that it hadn’t taken 200 years or more to reach us.

Like I mentioned before, the Butanbau are a friendly race and part of their message was a simple explanation and a very complicated mathematical formula for how they got their message to us, along with instructions for how to build a similar array to talk back.

I’m not a math person, so the simple (ish) explanation is: sub-space. Basically, there is a part of space that is somehow above regular space so if you send a message (or a ship) through sub-space, it takes way less time to travel than it would through normal space, something like how you can fly to a destination faster than you can drive to the same place. Except, because gravity behaves differently in space than it does on the ground, it’s a ton less time. So, a message from Home to here and vice-versa takes a couple of hours rather than a couple hundred years.

The revelation that sub-space is a thing that exists caused quite the stir at Home. This meant that the way we understood the Universe needed to change, a lot. Many people thought the message was a fake, that it was too much like science-fiction to actually be true. Thankfully, there were enough people in high enough places that believed that it could be true to immediately begin building not just communications arrays but sub-space engines, and then ships. We even were able to improve on the Butanbau’s communications array.

Then began the experimentation, testing, and tinkering. On engines, on, ships, on people. We learned a lot, though there were some setbacks early on that almost made the human race as a whole throw in the towel on actually using subspace to travel. Truthfully, I’m not yet convinced that keeping at it was the best idea.

But anyway, it was eventually found that it takes a couple of years to travel in a ship between the two worlds because sub-space is…small. This isn’t quite the right way to describe it, of course, because it’s more like a combination of trying to squeeze a big object into a small space and being very deep under water at the same time. Our ships’ engines have to force subspace to bend around us, and they can only do this safely for a few hours at at time. Safely meaning without overheating, exploding and destroying the ship. And then there’s the stress on the human mind as well. Sub-space does wacky things to our perceptions so although the engines operate within acceptable parameters for 6 hours and 24 minutes in sub-space, we limit our dives (or flights, take your pick) to 3 hours each, with 3 to 6 hours in between each one, depending mostly on the state of the crew.

I’m not going to go into how we figured out this limit of human endurance here. It’s not exactly pleasant and some good people lost their lives or their minds (or both) in the name of figuring out how to do it. Suffice it to say that there is a range of reactions to sub-space, none of which are particularly fun, and some people are better suited to it than others. We have also found that a person can be sedated and travel through sub-space with no ill effects other than that of the sedation. Thank goodness for small favors. However, because it is necessary for there to be people awake to monitor the ship and its instruments, the trip to Landfall was limited to those three-hour dives I mentioned before.

I’m here not to be a chronicler, although I enjoy writing, but rather to help keep everyone on an even mental keel, at least as much as is possible. I’m the lead psychologist on this ship, and also the oldest person by a good 20 years or so. There are 200 of us all told, from all walks of life but with one thing in common—we’re among the best and brightest in our chosen fields. With the possible exception of myself. I would not call myself the best or the brightest, but I was recruited by quite literally the leaders of the world so here I am. I miss my husband something fierce but I was promised that either I would be heading back after a year or he’d be on the next ship here in 6 months, depending on if I could stomach staying or not. Plus, because of the magic of sub-space we send messages back and forth every day.

20 years and 18 days after we first received the message from Landfall, we have arrived.

Satyr Dreams

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Tea of the Day: Satyr Dreams by Dryad Tea

Description: The dreams of Satyrs have long been speculated to be great things full of whimsy and beauty. This tea was created to embody those dreams in deep black teas and floral notes with a very light undertone of hazelnut.

Dry tea smells like dried roses

Liquor is a light chestnut brown in the cup

Steeped tea actually doesn’t have much of smell and its flavor is very mild. Floral and sweet. This tea needs more time to steep than you would think, as the longer it steeps, the better the flavor is. I noticed that the flavor got stronger towards the bottom of the cup, but I think steeping it for a full 5 minutes instead of just 3 would have the same effect.

Tea Rating.: 4/5


 

They say:

“Put down roots”

Or

“Go back to your roots”

In such tones that imply that this is always a good thing

 

Like any other blanket statement,

this idea is flawed.

 

Adapting to change and growing

sometimes means moving “uprooting” if you will

This is an important part of life

 

Also, going back to where you came from

…when where you came from almost killed you…

Is not what I’d call “a good thing”

 

And sometimes,

(more than we’re usually comfortable admitting)

we put down roots on empty air

and only think that we’re secure

 

via Daily Prompt: Roots