Hello, and good day! Welcome to my tea party! Much like the weekend coffee sharing event from Part-Time Monster, my monthly Sunday tea party is where I want to catch up with friends, old and new! This is also a way for me to introduce you to some great new blogs and people that I have virtually met along the way! In addition, I want to share my great love of tea, and all things TEA!
Happy Valentines Day!
I hope you have found some time to tell the ones you love how much you enjoy their company!
So let’s begin. Please come in and have a seat. Make yourself comfortable… What kind of tea would you like?
Since our last tea party in January, I have been busy! How about you? Towards the end of January, I got to meet one of my favorite blog friends and author, Wendy Anne Darling who also lives here in Colorado. You can read all about our fun visit here.
Two of my best friends had book releases this month, Melissa Barker-Simpson, with her book, Brothers in Arms, and Ronovan Hester, with his book, Amber Wake – Gabriel Falling, along with co-author P. S. Bartlett. I am so proud of all the hard work they put into their books. You might want to check them out if you are looking for a good read!
I have been writing like I am possessed by the very fairy nymphs I am writing about. I must say the journey in writing my book, The Swamp Fairy, has been an interesting and educational experience. I feel like I put every emotion and my entire soul into my writing. If not for my trusty writing muses, Sugar and Spice, I don’t know what I would do. They seem to lend me their brains as they sit with me in my creative room, hour after hour.
Sugar and Spice after a long writing session with Mom!
In his own words:
“…in a world that seems to rush around at an even faster pace than ever, I’d like to take a few moments to have yeez consider how important it is to acknowledge publicly the many wunnerful folks who populate Blog Land… there are already gazillions of splendid Awards, recognising the goodness of so many of our fellow scribblers and readers… supporters all in their own way, worthy of a thousand special ‘thank you’ nods… the intent of these CHAMPIONS AWARDS is to differentiate those fine people who go that extra special mile for others… my fervent hope is that this will circulate and ‘viralise’ (new WURD, Mabel, settle down) and trigger your own CHAMPIONS AWARDS for those you know deserve it!
Thank you, Seamus! I am honored beyond belief to be honored by such a giving friend who works so hard to promote others on his blog, on Facebook, and Twitter.
I have the BEST blog friends! <3 Thanks for making me feel so special!
I told you I had a couple of special guests I wanted to share with you and here they are!
First up is my friend Melissa, from her amazing blog, The Aran Artisan! If you haven’t met her you will want to check out her blog! It is a delightful mix of family, farming, crafts, and a life filled with wonder and love! Whenever I visit Melissa’s blog, I feel like I know her in real life. She is so comfortable to be around. So come on in, have a cup of tea and chat with Melissa for a bit!
Happy Valentine’s Day from Melissa, the Aran Artisan
How fitting that Colleen has invited me over on this celebratory day of love to discuss tea–something near and dear to my heart, and something which we share a passion for. Thank you, Colleen! It’s such a delight to join you today for a cuppa and to connect with your friends and readers.
As a home farmer and gardener, I grow many plants used in making hot tea, iced tea, and fermented tea (also known as kombucha). My husband and I are working to combine these plants into an area all its own, making a proper tea garden. I’m going to tell you about a few of these plants, but first, some facts about tea…
Most people have heard the term ‘tea leaves’. Used, in general, it refers to the plant Camellia sinensis which tea- white, yellow, green, oolong, and black- is made from.
Tea can also be made from one or a combination of the flowers, fruit, seeds, roots, and leaves of other plants. Technically these are not teas at all, containing no tea in them, but are tisanes, an infused drink made with plants other than Camellia sinensis. Here in the western world, we rather call them herbal teas, and so it is. The fact is many of these herbal teas contain fruits and spices also. With all this choice, there are endless combinations that can be created to suit the palate of each tea drinker.
Today I’m offering one of my favourite tea blends which is made using four herbs. It’s modified from a packaged tea that was served at a massage therapist’s office I used to visit, and is both delicious and healthy. Honestly, I don’t care much for the taste of liquorice, but I do adore both the herbs fennel and tarragon. The flavours combine so smoothly that there’s only a hint of liquorice taste and it’s well balanced with the other herbs.
1 tsp. French Tarragon leaves– With a liquorice flavour, it’s high in antioxidants, vitamins C and A, and is an excellent source of minerals, calcium, iron, zinc, and more. It aids digestion and is calming and destressing. It is not recommended during pregnancy, though.
¾ tsp. Peppermint Leaves– Peppermint has so many benefits. The ones that I find it most useful for within my family are for relieving nausea, cold symptoms, and headaches. It’s also a digestive aid, reduces flatulence, and is an excellent source of potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, and magnesium. There are many, many more comforting uses and it’s worth researching.
½ tsp. Fennel Leaf– Also liquorice flavoured, but milder and different. I can’t quite describe it. When eaten right off the plant, it doesn’t have the same zingy mouth numbing sensation as French Tarragon. It may be a bit sweeter. Its benefits are also great…an appetite suppressant, a breath freshener, a diuretic (relieves water retention), and is high in vitamin C, potassium, iron, folate, and fibre. My children pick it off the plant and gnaw on it throughout the day. The seeds are easy to harvest and can be dried and crushed for use in tea also.
½ tsp. Basil Leaves– In traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, basil tea is used to treat cold and fever, heart and eye problems, and to give stress relief. It’s an excellent provider of vitamins K and A, as well as high in manganese and iron.
I use fresh herbs when possible because it’s easier to just cut and brew. If using dried, which might be necessary for winter when plants are dormant, then use the same ratio as above. If combining fresh and dried, keep in mind that dried herbs are more potent and a general belief is that 1/3 the amount of dried is needed vs. fresh herbs for the same flavour to be imparted. Brew up a pot and see what you think. Experiment and adjust the individual amounts for your personal taste–just remember, it’s a good idea to keep notes.
Warning: Most medicinal herbs have warnings attached, especially for pregnant women or people with major health issues. When in doubt, please consult your doctor or a local herbalist before using these herbs for medicinal purposes.
Also Note: The nutritional value and benefits I’ve listed above are not all-inclusive, far from it. If one appeals to you, visit the library, a bookstore, or search the internet for reliable sources to research it further in depth.
I got my first herb book in 1994 and my most recent one two months ago at Christmas. The following reference list is where I looked to confirm the health information mentioned above.
‘The Pleasure of Herbs’ by Phyllis Shaudys
‘Herbal Renaissance’ by Steven Foster
‘Holistic Herbal’ by David Hoffmann
Again, I’d like to give big heartfelt thanks to Colleen for having me into her home today. It’s been my pleasure!
Melissa in the middle with two of her lovely daughters
I’ll leave you now with this Irish Proverb–
‘Life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it.’
Cheers! Melissa Xx
I want to thank Melissa for being so kind to share her passion for tea and for growing all things natural in the lovely paradise of Ireland. Make sure and connect with her on Twitter @aranislandgirl.
My next guest is Barbara Venkataraman, who wrote the book above called, Teatime With Mrs. Grammar Person. She is here to share a spot of tea and to tell us about her BOOK GIVEAWAY OFFER, so make sure to read how you can enter to win this entertaining and fun book!
Allow me to introduce you to Mrs. Grammar Person, a lovely lady who reminds us of Mary Poppins or Mrs. Doubtfire and who offers witty and helpful grammar advice all blended together in a nice cup of Earl Grey.
If ” I could care less” sounds like nails on a chalkboard to you, you will love this book which endeavors to entertain and educate while teaching grammar through a series of humorous vignettes.
You will learn the difference between “complimentary” and “complementary,” “affect,” and “effect,” and “discreet” and “discrete,” through tea-time tales served with a spoonful of sugar.
And there’s more. Although by no means a complete survey of the rules of grammar, Mrs. Grammar Person addresses such bugaboos as when to use “whom” or “who,” and “it’s” or “its”.
There’s also a helpful discussion of when to use the subjunctive tense. Then there is Mrs. Grammar Person’s soliloquy on the word “get,” one of those words that has many, many uses and which we all use with alarming frequency, but which, if we want to write well, we would do well to avoid. And you won’t want to miss Mrs. Grammar Person writing in verse!
Mrs. G.P. is so pleased to make your acquaintance that she is giving away FIVE of her Kindle books in a random drawing.
To enter, please comment on this post with your e-mail and your personal pet peeve, be it grammar or syntax, so that Mrs. G.P. may soothe your jangled nerves while offering tea and sympathy.
Fear not, Gentle Writer, Mrs. Grammar Person is here and she has the answers to all of the questions you never thought to ask. As a dedicated and serious grammarian, she will do what it takes to be entertaining and enlightening, but never vulgar or coarse. Heavens, no! Where are her smelling salts?
Warm and witty, Mrs. G.P. makes grammar interesting with rhyming, wishful thinking, story-telling and a champagne toast. You are cordially invited to join her for a spot of tea!
Find Teatime With Mrs. Grammar Person
on Amazon … BUT DON’T FORGET! TODAY, let her know your pet peeves in grammar by leaving your email address in the comments (along with your grammar gripes) to be entered into a drawing to win her book! FIVE KINDLE BOOKS WILL BE awarded by the author.
Author, Barbara Venkataraman
Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.
She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.
Her popular Jamie Quinn Mystery Series includes: “Death by Didgeridoo,” “The Case of the Killer Divorce,” “Peril in the Park,” and just released, “Engaged in Danger”–the fourth Jamie Quinn mystery!
Follow Barbara on her blog, “A Trip to the Mobius Strip,” at barbaravenkataraman.blogspot.com.
I promised you sweets and here they are!
Thanks for stopping in to celebrate the month of February with me. I hope you enjoyed our tea party and the chance to visit with some new folks, and learn a bit more about teas! I know I loved it!