The Cat Chronicles Day 57: Independence

It feels like it has been far too long since the day the Wrinkly One disappeared. I spend most of my time watching from the viewing place. Roaring monsters come and go, but the Wrinkly One doesn’t return. I feel my hope waning.

Sometimes, I’ll catch sight of the stupid canine from the next den chasing after the roaring monsters. As always, he seems so happy and carefree. Blech. His cheerful enthusiasm just makes me feel like losing a hairball.

The Wrinkly One’s kit is really not a bad two-legger. Though she needs some prodding sometimes, she keeps the food bowls full…

…And the sandbox nice and clean.

My Queen has always praised her two-legger for keeping her coat nice and shiny…

…Providing her with amusements…

…And knowing all the best places to pet. But my Queen has this two-legger specially trained to her particular needs. She doesn’t know the way I like my coat groomed, or the way a hunter like me prefers to be amused, or my special spots that need scratched. I already have the Wrinkly One trained. She’s my two-legger. And I just don’t know if I feel up to training another two-legger right now, no matter how qualified with felines that two-legger might be.

It’s not that the Two-legger Kit hasn’t made an effort.

She really is a good two-legger. And I know it.

But I just…

…Am not in the mood, you know?

She just isn’t the Wrinkly One…

…And that upsets me.

I know that tone. That’s the tone that says kitty better get out of here, fast!

Heheheh… a perfect hiding spot!

She’ll never reach me under here!

*yawn* I can’t blame her for being mad. But sometimes… if a kitty can’t have the lap he wants, it’s better to just let a kitty indulge in his independence.

When kitty is ready for pets, he’ll ask for pets… in his own time.

Day 56 | Day 58

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Photo Friday #29: Day at the Boardwalk

Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.

–A. A. Milne

Today is:

Helium Discovery Day
Resurrect Romance Week

Custom-Content Highlights:

Skin: [Moonskin] Cherry Skin
Skin: [Teru K] ESkin-nAtural+
Hair: [Aikea Guinea] Modern Love Afro Wrap Hair
Hair: [JS Sims] Lindy Hop Teen/YA/A Conversion
Hair: [NewSea] Kitty Female Hairstyle
Hair: [NewSea] Shero Female Hairstyle
Clothes: [Peacemaker] Too Hot to Layer Tank Top
Clothes: [Sims 3 Store] Crafty Patches
Clothes: [Sims 3 Store] Downtown Boheme
Accessory: [Psycho] Balloon
Object: [Around the Sims 3] Ice Cream Stand
Pose: [Psycho] Balloon Poses Set #8
Pose: [spladoum] (The Best) Blind Date (Ever)
Lot: [Sims 3 Store] The Boardwalk

#28 | #30

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Teatime Tuesday #33: Papaya and Pineapple

Welcome to another teatime! Today for tea I will be looking at a fruity herbal blend that I picked up at Tea Chai Te in Portland, Oregon! I’ve been dying to try this tea iced, and am looking forward to featuring it as part of my Icy Summer teatimes!

This tea, Papaya and Pineapple, is one of Tea Chai Te‘s blends and is available to order from their website. It costs $2.99 an ounce and can be ordered as a single ounce (a rather large and very economically priced sampler!), or in 2 oz, 4 oz, 9 oz, and 1 lb. size options. I purchased one ounce of this tea to try it out.

I’ll admit, the word “pineapple” in the blend sold me immediately (yes, I’m one of those people that puts pineapple on my pizza… deal with it). This tea is “a light and refreshing blend of tropical fruits including orange, pineapple and papaya. Scented with hibiscus flowers, this is a great tea to try iced.” Despite the recommendation from Tea Chai Te, I’ve yet to try this tea iced, I’ve only sampled it warm thus far!

The tea has a very pleasant tangy fruit aroma. You can really make out the scent of the hibiscus! I could tell from the smell this was likely going to be a tea I would enjoy, since I like the bagged tea Passion by Tazo which is also a hibiscus blend with a tangy passion fruit taste.

Now, for regular readers of this column, you may remember when in June I did a Rainbow of Tea, and was incredibly disappointed when two different teas that month brewed different colors for me at work compared to at home (I do the majority of my photography for Teatime Tuesday at home, but am drinking tea at work just as much as at home!) This occured in my Vanilla Macademia Nut Mate review, where I swore the tea steeped green at work (where I didn’t have my camera on me and did not have photographic evidence) but at home it steeped yellow, so I only had yellow photos for my “green” week review. This happened again for Candied Almond, which I remembered steeping orange at work and planned to use for my orange week, but it steeped bright red at home, so I rescheduled it a week later and used it for my red week instead.

Alright folks, I had my camera on me and now I have proof something is going on with the water at work! The tea there definitely steeps off-color! Look at this!

It didn’t photograph great, mind, but when I made a cup of this for myself and Cody at work, our tea was purple! Honest, a bright violet shade! I was so shocked. I mean, I’ve never had this tea ever look that color before. Any time I’ve ever made a tea with a hibiscus base, it has always been a deep shade of red. And, when I made this tea at home, sure enough…

…It was a bright, deep shade of red! So I’m not crazy! There definitely must be something about the water at the library that causes my tea to steep at odd shades! (For the record, it tastes just fine regardless of the strange coloration, and I have the same kettle at work and home, so I’m using the same water temperature and steep times at both places. Therefore, the water itself is the only thing left I can think of causing the change.)

I steeped this tea with boiling water for five minutes. As you can see, in normal circumstances, it turns a rich red and it has a very tangy, fruity scent. You may want to get a cheap hibiscus tea (like the previously mentioned Tazo Passion) and see how you like the taste of the hibiscus flower, because this tea has a strong hibiscus base; if you like hibiscus teas, you are probably going to enjoy this, but if you don’t, then you will definitely want to avoid it. The hibiscus makes a perfect base for the papaya and pineapple notes in the blend, which give the tea a very tangy, fruity bite on your tongue. This is a sweet enough fruit tea you can drink it plain, but it does have a bit of a tart tropical edge to it, so if you want to make it a little smoother and sweeter, add just a hint of sweetener; you won’t need much!

This was boasted as being a great iced tea, so I really wanted to bring out the fruit flavors when I prepared it iced. I’ve read that the flavors in herbals don’t infuse great in cold brews, so I opted to hot brew this blend. But since I’d had problems vacuuming-sealing the last few hot brews I did, this was my first brew trying a mix of boiling water halfed with cold water. I wasn’t sure if that would have a negative effect on the flavor, or if it would fix the vacuum-sealing issue I was having.

I normally make my iced tea in quart-sizes (four cups) in mason jars, so instead of boiling four cups of water like my last few hot brews, I only boiled two cups of hot water. However, I still steeped four teaspoons of leaf in the two cups of hot water (since four cups of water will be in the final mixture, and that much leaf will be needed to flavor all that water). I sealed the jar and let it steep in the boiling water for five minutes, then removed the leaf.

Then I added two cups of cold water. I did not seal my mason jar and put it in the fridge to chill right away. I left it open on the counter for about 30 minutes, allowing it to cool off just a bit, then sealed off the jar and put it in the fridge.

The result? The jar opened with no issues! It had not vacuum sealed like my previous hot brews! So I have at least learned that when hot brewing, this method works to keep the mason jar from sealing itself like Fort Knox!

Now the bigger question… Did brewing it in half the hot water and adding cold water to the mixture make the tea lose any flavor?

Well… if that were the case, I certainly couldn’t tell, because this tea was amazing! This tea is up there with Machu Peach-u and Cinnamon Orange Black in my Top Three favorite iced teas I’ve tried this summer! Wow! Most of the teas I’ve had iced I’m pretty satisfied to drink warm as well, but honestly, after having this one iced, I can say I don’t really think I’ll ever drink it warm again, it was that good!

The hot cuppa I liked sweetened just a bit because I felt it took just a little of the tart edge off, but this iced tea required absolutely no sweetening, it was perfect as it was. Somehow any of the extra tartness seemed to mellow itself out iced, leaving what tastes like a slightly-sweet-yet-tangy tropical fruit punch. This is a tea that I have no doubt would work great as a substitute for punches in recipes, or to freeze into frozen popsicle molds. If you like fruit punch but want something a bit less sweet and packs a little more of a tropical bite, just get this tea and ice it (warm method recommended to really extract those fruit flavors!) I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

How has your summer been going? Only two more iced tea reviews left before we move onto a very special something I have planned for September! But I have to say, I don’t think the weather cooling down is going to stop my fridge looking like this any time soon…

So… much… iced tea! (And yet I still go through it so fast). I was overly amused when I opened the fridge that day and had brews in all the primary colors, hahaha! And if you are wondering how I got blue tea, check out my Butterfly Pea Flower Tea review; they can be added to cold brews to give them a pop of color! That’s actually a batch of Strawberry Oolong! (For the overly curious, the yellow tea is Blueberry Green and the red is the Papaya and Pineapple featured today!)

I definitely think I can say my iced tea technique has steadily improved this summer!

#32 | #34

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The Cat Chronicles Day 56: The Accident

Wrinkly One, what are you doing? Even a cat can’t nap through all that racket, and if anyone is going to be up at such an hour, it should be for no other purpose than to fill the food bowls…

*Sigh* You can’t even hear my mews informing you the crumbly food-bits that don’t have the nice smells are all that’s left in the feeding bowls. Pathetic. No proper feline wants to eat that. But then, you hardly hear my mews these days anyway…

No matter, I’m a great hunter, master of the stand-off, you’d be surprised how long I can sit here swishing my tail and glaring unapprovingly. All things considered, it still beats going out to catch a meal in that much cold stuff…

Wrinkly One, what are you doing now…?

Oh, that is not a good sound. That is the sound prey makes when I pounce on it…

Wrinkly One…?

Wrinkly One? Hey, Wrinkly One! Wake up! You always twitch your face when I groom you here!

Oh, this isn’t good!


Hey, Two-legger Kit! How can you still be asleep after all that noise! This is going to be harder than I thought…

Hey, Spotted Queen! The Wrinkly One is in trouble and the food bowls are in a terrible state! We must wake the two-legger kit, and two yowling kitties make more noise than one yowling kitty!

Heh. That worked, but she doesn’t look too happy about it…

No, no, no, bad two-legger! This is not the time to catnap a little longer!

You are going to get out of this comfy place…

Right now! Or so help me, I’ll swat you again!

You see this? The Wrinkly One is not sleeping in her comfy place! She doesn’t even look comfy! And she forgets a lot of things, but she nevers gets comfy before feeding the kitties!

Hey, Wrinkly One…

Hey, I just gave you a swat, you have to get up now! *pat pat pat* This worked on your kit, why is it not working? Wrinkly One?

Wrinkly One…

The house is so quiet. And the worst part is that I can’t find the Wrinkly One anywhere.

Wrinkly One? You under here?

Wrinkly One? Where are you?

Are you in your kit’s den?

*sigh* No…

She likes to clean the catbox– oh.

Wrinkly One? Are you trying to play with your leafy things out in this cold stuff?

Are you in here, Wrinkly One? I know it’s really comfy, but…

In the end, the Wrinkly One is just gone. She would never leave the den with the cat bowls not nice and full, so I know something is very wrong.

*gasp!* Wrinkly One!

…But it’s not the Wrinkly One. Only her kit returns to the den.

She seems upset…

Can’t find the Wrinkly One either…?

…Are things going to be all right, Two-legger Kit?

For now, I guess we just have to keep believing that will be the case. Your pets are soft and comforting, but only the Wrinkly One knows that special place right behind my ear to scratch.

Day 55 | Day 57

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Photo Friday #28: Life’s a Beach

You don’t need to be the tide to rise and fall, you don’t have to be a wave to touch the shore; just be a little sand-grain and feel them all.

–Munia Khan

Today is:

Play in the Sand Day
Son and Daughter Day

Custom-Content Highlights:

Skin: [Teru K] ESkin-nAtural+
Hair: [Leah Lillith] Alice Hair
Hair: [NewSea] Britney Female Hairstyle
Hair: [Sims 3 Store] Beach Visor
Clothes: [Pizzazz] Sarong Bikini
Clothes: [Weeky] Little Sailor Set
Accessory: [M1ssduo] Blossom Hat
Object: [Lily of the Valley] Beach Fun
Pose: [spladoum] (The Best) Blind Date (Ever)

#27 | #29

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Teatime Tuesday #32: Peach Teas Pt. 2

Welcome back, tea fans! Today for teatime we are continuing our Peachapalooza with a few herbal additions to the awesome peach teas that were featured last week! This sweet fruit makes for a great refreshing icy summer brew during these hot months, so let’s steep that tea and bottom those cups!

First up is Bonita Peach Rooibos Herbal Tea from The Spice and Tea Exchange. They have 1 oz. sampler bags (pictured above) for $5.89 and 4 oz. bags for $22.39.

This tea has green rooibos, orange peels, marigold flowers, dried strawberries, and natural strawberry, peach, and orange flavorings. It is a caffeine-free blend, and Spice and Tea Exchange claims that it is “delicious served either hot or iced.”

This was my first green rooibos blend. While red rooibos has a sort of naturally sweet taste, green rooibos, which comes from the same redbush plant but hasn’t been oxidized, has a somewhat malty or grassy flavor similar to green tea.

I steep this tea for five minutes using boiling (212 degree F) water. The tea smells very similar to the Machu Peach-u tea from last week, though Machu Peach-u steeped a bit lighter in color; this tea is a very peachy orange tone.

Honestly, I find the taste profile very similar between the two teas. Both Machu Peach-u and Bonita Peach Rooibos have a rich peach flavor, and the vegetal tones of the actual tea are hidden beneath the strong flavor. I’d say the biggest difference between the two blends is that Bonita Peach Rooibos has some subtle flavor notes of orange beneath the peach in the aftertaste. This is also a very naturally sweet tea, and I can drink it fine without sweetener. Adding a little sweetener, to me, does make some of the peach flavors pop a little more, and does bring the strawberry notes in the tea out more, which I didn’t really taste at all when the tea was unsweetened. Either way, it is a very delicious, fruity blend, with a great peach taste! My volunteer at the library, RoseAnn, really loved this tea!

Since green rooibos isn’t oxidized, I’ve read that it can be cold steeped fine without losing its flavor (it is far more similar to green teas than red rooibos in this regard), so that is how I decided to prepare it for an iced brew. I’m always happy to get to prepare a nice, cold steep! Here is a finished, strained Mason jar of Bonita Peach Rooibos, iced and ready for consumption!

This tea iced is great! It has the strong peach flavor of the warm brewed tea, with a clean, refreshing taste! It tastes fine sans sweetener, but I enjoy it even more when it has been sweetened. This is a very fruity tea and a great choice for a summer cool down!

The last peach tea in my collection is another herbal, Country Peach Passion by Celestial Seasonings, which I originally sampled in their Fruit Tea Sampler. Back before I got into loose leaf teas, this was one of my favorite boxed brands of tea, and I really enjoyed this sampler pack of fruity flavors, especially the Country Peach Passion; I went out and bought a separate box of it after I’d used up the sampler bags!

This tea contains orange peel, rosehips, hawthorn, chamomile, natural peach flavor with other natural flavors, blackberry leaves, hibiscus, peaches, citric acid and paprika for color.

I only had four teabags left, so I used them to prepare a quart of this tea iced. I’ve had plenty of warm cuppas of this tea in the past, and fond memories of it bring back a sweet and pleasing peach taste, but I’ve never tried it (or any bagged tea, to be honest!) iced. I have read that herbals fair better with a hot steep (or at least a hot rinse), so I decided to give this tea hot steep first. I let the teabags steep in boiling water for five minutes covered, before removing them. A word of warning, these teabags are designed in a pillow format and don’t have strings on them, so use tongs to remove them from the hot water! Allow the water to cool a bit in the Mason jar, then cover and pop in the fridge to chill.

And here it is, iced Country Peach Passion, after a hot steep! This tea had a very strong peach scent! I was very curious how this would taste!

I always remembered adding sugar to my Country Peach Passion warm brewed… but perhaps that was simply becaused back then, when I was a bagged-tea-drinker, I hadn’t expanded my pallet enough to start experimenting with trying tea sans sugar. Because I tried this iced tea without sweetener and found it very naturally sweet! It is very peachy, as I remember, but honestly, now that I’ve switched to loose leafs, the flavor just can’t hold a candle to last week’s Machu Peach-u or the Bonita Peach Rooibos above. It just falls a little flat, it doesn’t feel as fresh. If you’ve never had loose leaf teas and you simply don’t know what you are missing, this is certainly a passable peach flavored tea. Otherwise, I’d really pass it up for something higher quality, or consider using it as a mixer if you want, say, to make a black iced tea peach flavored. It would probably do well to be used for making a peach-flavored Sweet Tea.

So how do all the teas from this week and last week hold up? My two favorites for iced teas were the Lychee Peach Black tea and Machu Peach-u White tea from last week. They are very different teas with very different flavors. If you want a black tea with a very distinct fruity flavor, the Lychee Peach is a great choice; if you want a light, refreshing peach drink, the Machu Peach-u white tea is a great choice and it is so easy to cold brew. White teas are very low on caffeine, but if you are completely caffeine intolerant, then go for the Bonita Peach Rooibos, which has a very similar taste profile to the Machu Peach-u but is a caffeine-free herbal. And if you are really dying for some peach iced tea and simply can’t put in an order for some loose leaf, then try out the Country Peach Passion; you can mix it with some black tea if it is too sweet for your tastes!

#31 | #33

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The Cat Chronicles Day 55: Rose’s Scrapbook: Snowflake Day

That night, Earl came to visit. He built a snowman outside of Rose’s garden, as if he wanted to leave her his own Snowflake Day gift. I was incredibly touched. Since it was after the party and Rose was asleep at the time it wouldn’t make sense to include the photo as part of her scrapbook, but I still wanted to share it. You can view it here.

Day 54 | Day 56

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