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

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Peach Lemon

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Tea of the day: Peach Lemon Herbal Tea by Kroger Select

Description: Private Selection Peach Lemon Herbal Tea is a premium blend of real fruit pieces and herbs, with notes of hibiscus and lemongrass.  Delicate peach flavor and a hint of sweetness.

Dry tea smells just like the name, like peach lemonade

Liquor is a light, slightly murky, golden brown in the cup

The steeped tea smells pretty much the same as the dry, just a little more lemon.

The tea is surprisingly bitter at first sip, but as I kept drinking that bitterness went away, leaving a pleasant drink. The tea stays peachy throughout and because of the lemon, it is not overly sweet. The tea really needs no sugar at all (at least not to me.)

Tea Rating: 4/5 (but only because of that bitter shock right at the beginning).


A couple days ago I was up in my office space straightening up, which I hadn’t done in a bit because I’m in the habit of picking up after myself as I go, so if I’m the main person using a given space it doesn’t get cluttered very fast.

It was night and I had my little table lamp on rather than the overhead light, so the room was lit with a warm glow.

I sat down in my desk chair and just took a moment to look around, and it was then that I realized something.

That room is filled with art. Actually, our whole house is filled with art. Video game posters, photographs I’ve done or done by people I know, art prints from local artists, paintings, coloring book pages, wall hangings, puzzles glue together, a cross stitch piece, a small quilt…art.

There are a lot of differnt things, and not all of it really “goes together,” but the end result is that our home is welcoming. It’s relaxing and comfortable, and reflection of the people who live in the house.

It is a mish-mash, but one that is full of life and personality, and something I would never trade for magazine clean and unified.

 

 

Earl Grey Sterling

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Tea of the Day: Earl Grey Sterling by American Tea Room

Description: a blend of fine Sri Lankan and Chinese black teas with classic oil of bergamont, sprinkled with a rare Silver Needles creates a smoky, elegant Earl Grey

Dry tea smells rich and sharp with a touch of citrus 

Liquor is a dark, almost chocolate brown in the cup 

Steeped tea is basically a perfect Earl Grey. Rich and full-bodied with a bit of bite, with a lovely citrus finish. Sugar just highlights the silver needle and bergamont. I could drink this tea all day.

Tea Rating: 5/5


Three years ago Friday (September 8) I shared this picture on my Facebook page:

3yearsago

This huge stack of paper was the hiring paperwork I had to do before I could start my first non-retail job that I had since my last job as a student worker at the university.

I remember being very excited and proud of myself and very much looking forward to it.

I had no idea that less than 6 months later I would be out of a job and feeling like I was failing as an adult.

Or that by one year after that I would be in a long-term relationship with my now fiancé.

That year was certainly a wild ride.

It’s something I think about a lot, particularly when I’m unsure about my path or worried that I’m doing the wrong thing. It’s a kind of comfort to remind myself of how little I knew I had no way of knowing then how things would turn out and even my imaginings fell short of what actually happened. The reality of where my life went was both harder and better than what I had dreamed of

It’s a kind of comfort to remind myself of how little I knew at the time. I had no way of knowing then how things would turn out and even my imaginings fell short of what actually happened. The reality of where my life went was both harder and better than what I had dreamed of.

Whatever happens now is the groundwork for the future I can’t conceive of

Vanilla Comoro

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Tea of the Day: Vanilla Comoro by Harney and Sons

Description:  A natural sweetness and rich flavor makes Vanilla Black tea an irresistible delight. Its aroma awakens memories of baking sugar cookies with your grandmother. The Comoro version is decaffeinated, so you can enjoy our favorite vanilla dessert tea and still get a good night’s sleep

Dry tea smells like, well, vanilla.

Liquor is chestnut brown in the cup

Steeped tea smells of vanilla too, of course, but also has a richness to it. It does indeed smell like sugar cookies, sweet and buttery and warm.

The tea tastes very like it smells and only needs a touch of sweetener. Sugar makes it lighter in flavor, honey adds a little more depth. Add a touch of milk and you get a very soothing tea that tastes good all the way to the bottom of the cup, or even cold if you leave it to sit for a while.

Tea Rating: 5/5


Today marks a small, yet significant, milestone.

I have now delivered (or had delivered on my behalf) the photographs from my third commissioned photo shoot.

It’s an interesting feeling.

On the one hand, I feel accomplished and proud of the work I’ve done.

On the other, I realize that I still have plenty I can learn and room to grow and get better, so I feel humbled and maybe a little intimidated.

I can look back and what I did when I started this photography thing, and what I did most recently, and clearly see things I’d like to do better.

But I also see improvement.

So, I’m feeling motivated, if a little nervous.

I’ve made some improvements to my photography page, paid a small amount for Facebook to boost one of my posts, and set up and linked an Instagram account to my business page.

This weekend, I want to work on creating a logo for my business, because to me that’s the next logical step.

I don’t know how long my motivation will last, so best to take advantage of it while I can.


So, if all of the above was a little boring to you, there is something I think anyone can take from this.

There is no reason not to spend time doing something you enjoy, even if you’re not great at it. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money on it; even now some of my favorite raw shots were done with a point-and-shoot camera that was a gift.

The point is to do it anyway. There is a lot of joy to be found in the making or the doing of something that you’re not being actively paid to do

I’m thinking, in particular, about artsy stuff like photography or drawing or writing or wood carving and so on, but enjoyment is not limited to that.

If you enjoy reading, or running, or making goofy faces at dogs or anything else that you could do but you don’t do, what’s stopping you?

If the thing is not something that actively hurts you or someone else, take the time.

You’re allowed. It’s ok to have fun.

Besides, who knows? You might be able to find a way to turn doing what you love into something that also makes you money (so you can do more of that thing you love).

 

Nirvana

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Tea of the Day: Nirvana by the American Tea Room

Description: A heavenly blend of Japanese sencha with peony petals, berries, figs and kiwi make this green tea the perfect tea for inner reflection

Dry tea smells very like tropical fruit and not much else

Liquor is a lovely light gold in the cup

Steeped tea still smells fruity but less intense than the dry.

The tea is light and sweet but not so sweet it is cloying. Because of the sweetness it needs no sugar. Side note, there are chunks of fruit in it, which I love.

Tea Rating: 5/5


Question of the day: How many miles did you drive/ride today?

Not really sure, maybe 10? What is more significant is that I walked about 3, with two large dogs. It actually went surprisingly well, after the dogs figured out that if they each pick a side of me and stay there they don’t get in each other’s way or stepped on.


In other news, I have been writing in this blog for three years! I started with this post, and though I have not written as often as I did in the beginning, or as consistently as I had intended, I am glad I’m still here, still writing.

This blog has even helped me communicate things that I could not have in one conversation, or even several, and writing about some of the tough spots in my life has helped me work through them. I still can’t 100% say why I decided to start a blog, but I’m really glad I did.

Life has been interesting these last few years, and I don’t know where I’m going aside from some major mileposts along the way, but I hope to still be writing 3 more years from now!

The General

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Tea of the Day: The General by America’s Tea

Description: This malty-flavored tea is bold enough for even a five-star general to enjoy. Take a sip, and you’ll feel like you just saves the world from Axis powers.

Liquor is a rich dark brown in the cup

Dry tea smells bold and a touch grassy, almost like an oolong tea

Steeped tea smells malty, as advertised. The grassy is still there, but muted. 

The tea tastes very strong and coats the mouth, which is pleasant, if a little astringent. Adding sugar lessens that aspect, but makes the aftertaste more bitter.

Tea Rating 3.5/5


Two questions today, because I started this yesterday and never finished it


Question of the day (August 9): What made you compromise? 

It’s an interesting wording for this question: a “what” rather than a “who,” when my experience has always been that you make compromises for the sake of a person (or persons) you care about. Sometimes, like in a work setting, you will compromise because if you can’t reach a middle ground nothing can be done and work grinds to a halt.

Regardless of the setting, though, compromises are made because of people, not because of things.


Question of the day (August 10): Who do you look up to?

My parents. More specifically, my mother. I know I don’t tell her enough, but I am more than a little inspired by her story.

She worked hard in a highly technical field serving her country and providing for her family while also working on college classes so that she could eventually become a librarian. Talk about drive! What’s more is that she is now doing her dream job, the job she went to school for, which is a dream that many never achieve.

Now that I know what my dream job actually is, I can only hope I will be so fortunate and driven as she was (and is) to actually end up where I want to go. I am really lucky to have such a great example in my life to try to emulate

Manhattan Hustle

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Tea of the day: Manhattan Hustle by America’s Tea.

Description:  “Manhattan is often described as the cultural capital of the world so we brought you a tea as diverse and hardworking as the people of Manhattan. We sourced the best black teas from all over the world and then perfectly blended them together. The result? Watch your productivity skyrocket and focus intensify with your first sip. This tea will inspire you to hustle.”

Dry tea smells strong and slightly sweet

Liquor is a dark brown in the cup

Steeped tea smells more like coffee from far away, slightly bitter and rich

Decent tea, but definitely needs some kind of sweetener

Tea Rating: 3/5


Honestly not sure why some of my post in a different font than the rest of it.


Question of the day: What is the one thing you want to accomplish tomorrow?

Get all of my bills paid. With online banking and bill pay, that is not a difficult thing to accomplish, but it is important for peace of mind so that I can relax over the weekend.


Yesterday, I spent most of my day feeling fuzzy and out of contact with the world around me.

Today, I still feel a little fuzzy, but also motivated to create. It’s a rainy day and I have a couple of ideas for photographs in my head that I think would actually benefit from this weather.

It almost feels like my creative self was tired of being ignored and so rattled the cage (i.e. the rest of my brain) so that it would be given space enough to be let out, to breathe. I often wonder if other artistic folks have the same feeling, like they have another person living inside of them that is not always in sync with the rest of them, or at least not always content with being ignored.

I know I feel better when I don’t ignore my artistic/creative urges, but I also find that it is easy to push them aside as being less “important” as other concerns that are more traditionally practical.

Ideally, at some point in my life, I’ll be able to have a job that allows me to be creative so that the practical and impractical become one and the same.

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…