Chocolate Mint Tea

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Temperatures at 6:30 a.m. from 9&10 News.

During the week, I always get up at 6 a.m. when EJ needs to get up to get ready for work. Often he wakes up before his alarm goes off so he gets up, drinks coffee, and opens all the windows so the morning coolness can cool down the house. This morning when I got up, I walked into the living room and exclaimed, “Brrrr! It’s actually almost cold this morning.” I didn’t realize exactly how cold until I saw this weather map. I wore a thicker hoodie when I went out to do my chores this morning. I tried to keep the windows open–I really did–because the meteorologists predict that temps will reach a high of 79 today and then a cool house will feel refreshing. But as EJ was preparing to leave the house, I began closing some of the windows. EJ laughed. I absolutely love cool temperatures, but the 30s and 40s is just a wee bit too cool in the house.

EJ has said that these cool mornings reminds him of mornings at his grandparents’ house when he was a kid. His grandparents lived in this area, and sometimes EJ’s family would travel north from mid-Michigan during the summer to visit them. He and his eight siblings would “camp out” in sleeping bags in the living room, and EJ says that he always woke slightly cold from the chilly mornings. My family also often came up to this area for summer vacations. We would stay at campgrounds in either a tent  (when we were younger) or in the camper (when we were older). Hmmm. I wonder if EJ and I ever unknowingly crossed paths when we were children? My family also woke to cool mornings. My Mom would make coffee on the camp stove before starting breakfast. The smell of coffee brewing on a chilly morning is an aromatic memory.

Chocolate Mint Tea

I ran out of hot coffee too soon this morning so I went out to the garden and picked some mint to make myself a cup of hot mint tea to warm myself. This year I am growing Apple Mint and Chocolate Mint. Both choices were appealing, but I finally snipped off a few leaves of Chocolate Mint. I took the leaves into the house, crushed them, and put them in my tea spoon, which I stirred in a cup of hot water. Then I took a sip. Oh, my goodness! Hot Chocolate Mint tea is heavenly on a chilly summer morning.

Our garden is growing well.

Last year my food dehydrators died. I don’t have the knowledge or place to hang herbs so they can dry naturally, so EJ and I decided to get a new food dehydrator from Amazon. I use fresh herbs from the garden in the summer, but a lot of our herbs will go to waste if I can’t dry them for winter’s use. I really would love hot Chocolate or Apple Mint tea in winter. I let EJ choose the dehydrator because there were too many choices and I couldn’t make up my mind about which was best. He chose one with ten steel trays, a timer, and temperature control. It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow! Whoo hoo!

The grass is getting longer so I will need to mow it this week. I’ve been trying to figure out the best day. I like to mow it at the end of the week if possible so it looks nice on the weekend. It is supposed to get scorching hot on Friday, which means I have to mow before then so I don’t die of heat stroke. It is supposed to rain tonight through Wednesday, so those days are out. That leaves Thursday. I will mow as early in the day as possible while it’s still cooler.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

When I walked Hannah down the driveway to get the mail earlier today, I spotted a different kind of butterfly on the milkweed. I love milkweed. I think the flowers smell like a spice–almost like cloves. They make a wonderful butterfly garden! I tried to identify the butterfly I saw yesterday with my Butterflies of Michigan book. My closest guess is that it was some kind of Fritillary but I have no idea which one. There were about a dozen types of Fritillary butterflies in the book and all of them closely resembled the one I saw. But I’m sure that this butterfly that I saw today is an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Hannah has a few bad habits. One is chasing cats. She gets along fine with Little Bear, Kee-Kee, and Josette because they do not run when she approaches. Luke, whom I accuse of turning to the Dark Side and becoming a Sith Lord, hisses, growls, and swats Hannah whenever she is near, so Hannah retaliates by lunging at him and snarling. She doesn’t hurt Luke, but she looks and sounds fierce. Timmy is sweet but he is a runner and  Hannah chases him whenever she sees him. Timmy spends a lot of time on the beds or in the master bathroom in an attempt to escape Hannah’s notice. We scold Hannah when she chases the cats because we don’t ever want her to think it’s acceptable behavior. Our scolding doesn’t stop her because Hannah is very stubborn and doesn’t give up her vices easily.

Hannah also loves to eat paper, especially paper towels. She knows it’s wrong. She won’t touch a paper towel if she knows I’m watching her. She waits until no one is around and then grabs it if has fallen to the floor or is in reach on a table. Sometimes I have caught Hannah beginning to eat a paper towel, and I have scolded her and tried to pull it out of her mouth. But Hannah stubbornly clenches her teeth and won’t let go so at best I am able to salvage a portion of the paper towel. Often, Hannah poops out paper towels…but I won’t go into that.

A toilet paper eater….

I have been finding our toilet paper unrolled a little from the holder in the bathroom, and torn at the ends. Since Timmy spends so much time in the bathroom, he was my prime suspect–even though we have never had a cat who unrolled toilet paper until recently. I need to apologize to Timmy. Last night I walked into the bathroom and found Hannah on the floor in front of the toilet paper holder slurping down toilet paper as if it were noodles. She must have thought she had died and gone to Heaven when she discovered the endless rolls of toilet paper! I should have suspected her all along. It will be a battle to break this bad habit of hers. So far, she is winning. I don’t know if we have been able to help her overcome any of her vices. Hannah is such a stubborn girl, but she is also funny, playful, loving, protective, and a complete joy to have around.

Speaking of bad behavior…I became aware of a situation in which a guy accused officers of racism and of religious persecution when they were called in when a store wanted him escorted off their property and banned from returning. Later, the guy tried to get the officers fired for misconduct. (I later learned they were cleared.) This guy claimed in a video that he was “only trying to tell the store clerk about his Jesus.” He was “Jesus this” and “Jesus that” and “No weapon formed against me will prosper,” and all sorts of religious-speak. He never mentioned that he had shouted obscenities at the clerk for almost a half hour after she asked him to stop. I watched the video and the officers were calm and polite. They were being neither racist nor persecuting him for his faith. Here’s a hint: No one likes to be abused–verbally or any other type–and you aren’t suffering discrimination or religious persecution if you are  receiving consequences for your horribly bad behavior. Does the guy really think he was a “witness for Christ” when he shouted obscenities at the clerk or insulted the officers and tried to get them fired? It’s more probable that he drove them away from ever being receptive to the true Jesus. And if a person cries “racism” whenever someone disagrees with him or resists their abuse behavior, they cause people to become deaf to accounts of true racism.

I will try to calm down and breathe. But this sort of abusive fake religious person really upsets me. I think they are the worst sort of people because they misrepresent the true Messiah and turn people from Him. Here’s an idea: If you want to be a “true witness for Christ,” maybe you ought to treat other people with respect, consideration, and kindness. Don’t be deceitful. Don’t be abusive. Don’t swear at people. Don’t falsely accuse them. Don’t try to get them fired for politely doing their jobs. Grrrr. And please, people, be careful who you support on social media. Everyone on his FB page were supporting his “stand for Christ.” Not everyone is honest and you don’t always know the whole story.

10 Comments on “Chocolate Mint Tea

    • Chocolate Mint does have a hint of chocolate flavor in it. It’s amazing.

      Your photo and mine do look the same. I was actually able to identify today’s butterfly–the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail–but couldn’t pin down yesterday’s one except I think that it is probably some kind of Fritillary. Sometimes they resemble each other so closely that I can’t tell them apart.

      Are you going to get hot, hot weather this weekend? It’s supposed to be terrible here. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Fritillary butterflies are always so beautiful too – I never got any of them around here. Some Monarchs with the Butterfly Bushes and lots of Red Admirals – they liked the cone flowers. The Tiger Swallowtails are beautiful. I didn’t have too many of them … that blog post, that was the first time I’ve ever seen a butterfly at the Park, except for the Cabbage White small butterflies.

        Oh yes, us too … 90 starting Thursday after tomorrow’s rainy/stormy event which begins overnight and lasts until sundown Wednesday night. Saturday will be a record breaker with 95 and 105 heat index. Ugh with a capital “U”. We haven’t even gotten to the “Dog Days of August”!


      • I seriously don’t know how people in the southern states survive scorching summer heat! Hot days are a test of endurance. Try to stay cool, Linda!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know either TJ – I hate that feeling of lethargy that the humidity brings. You try to stay cool as well. Hopefully it is over by next Monday or Tuesday they say (they also “say” wrong a lot as well).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I saw this beautiful Gulf Fritillary AND a Tiger Swallowtail on a fellow blogger’s post … how does a fat caterpillar grow into something this beautiful? Yesterday morning I was walking up the hall, and a centipede ran along the wall in the hall. Panic set in and I ran for my swatting shoe … came back and went to hit him (don’t care about guts on the wall … needed him smashed flat) and he moved and I panicked, fell out of my right slipper, lost my “edge” and he scurried in front of me and into the bathroom – into the little cupboard. I brought all kinds of stuff out into the kitchen as I had visions of him sitting on my soap, toothbrush, all in the cupboard – I’ve not seen him since Tuesday morning and you do not want to know how I went to bed last night. Little table by my bed, and put a piece of cardboard on top, then my slippers, covered them with a paper towel. Please do not go into my shoes, or bed, or anywhere … OMG. Here is the post with the beautiful butterflies or we used to call them when we were young … “flutterbyes”:


    • I love butterflies! Thanks for the link. I’ve been also wondering how caterpillars can turn into such beautiful creatures.

      Some people might think you overreacted when you saw the centipede, but not me! I totally understand! I always cover up at night because I don’t want a spider (or other creepy crawlie) crawling on me. Shudder.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t like knowing that centipede is at large. I could not put my slippers on the floor. And the centipede is still alive on the plastic dome – it is going on six weeks. I am very unsettled by the centipedes. My flying ants have vanished as did the sink ants – the Wikipedia article was right – gone in about 36 hours. OMG.

        Yes, those butterflies were so pretty and since we were discussing Fritillaries and Tiger Swallowtails. When I had the butterfly garden back in 2010-2011, my friend and neighbor Marge bought me a butterfly garden book and a book on moths and butterflies and then she decided we should have a milkweed plant like you just planted recently. I took the following paragraphs from a blog post back in 2013 about what happened:

        That same year (2010), Marge was walking through the Wyandotte Art Fair and visited a tent where a woman was selling “ready-made Monarch butterfly kits” which guaranteed, over the course of a few weeks, you could watch your baby caterpillars grow, form cocoons and later you could release your own Monarch butterflies into your backyard. The kits were essentially a huge potted Milkweed plant, where a half-dozen Monarch eggs had attached, and mosquito netting wrapped around the plant and pot, plus a “how-to” pamphlet. Marge excitedly called me from the Fair to ask if I was interested and she’d bring one home for me. Sure I was game! After hanging up the phone, I had visions of Monarch butterflies by the dozens gently flitting around my head and landing on my shoulders while I worked out in the yard. I got my kit and kept it in the basement so no birds would try to peck through the netting and get to the caterpillars. The eggs hatched and the baby caterpillars emerged. We ended up having about eight baby caterpillars apiece. Monarch caterpillars ONLY eat milkweed and these little buggers started eating the milkweed plant with great gusto and soon stems of empty leaves littered the dirt in the pot. I watered the plant daily and monitored the progress of the caterpillars which grew in leaps and bounds. Marge and I reported on our “babies” daily via phone, e-mail or with over-the-fence chatter. Soon, it was obvious that the milkweed would run out before the caterpillars were ready to form their pupas, or cocoons. Oh-oh, now what do we do? The resourceful Marge contacted the woman who sold her the kits and in an effort to preserve the Monarch population, the woman rushed over with large handfuls of wild milkweed she pulled off the side of the expressway in Flat Rock. She brought enough for Marge to share with my caterpillars. Well, chomp, chomp, chomp – those caterpillars ate like teenaged boys. We neared the end of our milkweed stash and thankfully the cocoon process began with multiple greenish-gold pupas being formed. We had to “tie-off” each cocoon and suspend it on a thread in mid-air in a safe container, to guarantee the butterfly would not escape somewhere, before we could take the container outside and release each one individually. We followed the procedure to the letter and awaited the first emergence, with as much anticipation as the recent Royal birth.

        Marge had one release that quickly flew out of the container, but who could tell if it returned to her yard or not? The Monarch butterflies do look the same, after all. None of my butterflies emerged. I had five cocoons left, and rather than risk all being “duds”, I contacted an Allen Park woman, whom the local newspaper had featured the week before. Karen Hofman turned her backyard into a haven for Monarch butterflies by growing only milkweed. She has nurtured hundreds of caterpillars through their release and documents their development and release with photos. I looked her number up and within hours I handed over my cache of cocoons and wished her good luck. She later contacted me to say three of the five had emerged and were beautiful. So our Monarch butterfly experience was a little bit of adventure, and somewhat of a debacle, but a learning experience nonetheless.

        The caterpillar does all the work but the butterfly gets all the publicity.
        ~Attributed to George Carlin


      • That is an incredible story and an awesome experience! I’m glad we have so many milkweed growing on our hill. I hope they spread. I have hopes of clouds of butterflies fluttering within our property. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad you liked it TJ – I started to write you the story, then remembered I wrote about it awhile ago in my blog. I didn’t send the whole post as I was talking about the yard and wanted to share the milkweed story mostly. I hope you have beautiful butterflies fluttering around as well and you’ll grace your blog with photos of them.

        Liked by 1 person

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