Drink some Iced Tea, drink tea and beer like an Egyptian, More on Marai, Meet Sherry Perkins, lots o
Here's an article from the National Day site:
Tea has been around forever, but iced tea didn’t burst onto the scene and win over America’s hearts and minds until 1904. In that year, visitors to the St. Louis World’s Fair were greeted by exceedingly hot weather.
Tea plantation owner and merchant Richard Blechynden, who was present at the fair, took advantage of the situation by selling chilled tea drinks (instead of hot tea) as a cold refreshment. The rest is history.
On June 10, we fill our glasses with iced tea (sweetened or unsweetened—that’s your call) and celebrate National Iced Tea Day.
National Iced Tea Day Activities
Drink it like Southerners do
Take an hour out of your day to steep some sweet tea, which has been a staple in Southerners' diet for a century or more. Park yourself out on the front porch, rock back and forth in your rocking chair, and sip your icy concoction while reading "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." Don't have a porch or a rocking chair? A living room and couch will do.
Host an afternoon iced tea party
Invite your friends over for tea time. Organize an outdoor seating area, get out your tall glasses and long stirring spoons, and as an added bonus, prepare a homemade tea dessert. That's right — there's a dessert that's made specifically to go with tea.
Brew a unique iced tea
There are many ways to enjoy an iced tea. Find a unique iced tea recipe that suits your tastes. For best results, plan ahead —the most delicious iced tea is steeped overnight for eight hours.
Why We Love National Iced Tea Day
It's a tasty way to boost your antioxidants
Did you know that tea has between 800% and 1,000% more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables? Scientists unanimously agree that tea is chock full of antioxidants, which help fight disease. And it doesn't matter whether you choose green, black, or oolong — all three come from the same plant and contain equal amounts of good stuff.
There are countless ways to spice it up
Iced tea is one of the most versatile beverages out there. Whether you prefer yours with heaps of sugar (in which case you're probably from the South), cucumber slices, coconut milk, lemon, cinnamon sticks, mango sorbet, or even a splash of rum, you're sure to find an iced tea to suit your tastes.
It's a healthy substitute for soda
If you're trying to kick a soda habit or just looking for a healthier alternative to carbonated beverages, unsweetened iced tea is a great choice. It's naturally low in calories — helping you lose weight and consume less sugar. But watch out! If you load your iced tea with sugar, you'll defeat the purpose.
My memories of childhood in the South always included Sweet Tea. In my upcoming short Story "Miss Hattie and the Hoppers" Miss Hattie serves her mysterious visitors from another world some Sweet Tea and then promises them another favorite - Biscuits and Gravy. These days I still drink it but take it with half unsweet tea so that there is still sweetness but half the calories. Here's a recipe.
Perfect Sweet Tea - Summer begs for a cold glass of home brewed tea. Refreshing lemon taste quenches your thirst.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 glasses
8 regular black tea bags
3/4 - 1 cup granulated sugar to your sweetness preference
2 large lemons
Tie the strings of 8 tea bags together in a knot.
In a small saucepan combine sugar and 2 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Add tea bags. Immediately turn off heat. Let sit and steep for about 2 hours.
In a gallon pitcher add steeped tea. Wring out tea bags and add to the pitcher as well. Add 3 cups ice. Fill to gallon line with water. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
For individual glasses, add a slice of fresh lemon and pour over with iced tea. Enjoy!
If you don't want to wait for the 2 hours just wait about 15 minutes until it's not boiling hot any longer. Add tea to a large pitcher with extra ice to help cool it down quicker. Total ice and water should not exceed 1 gallon or it will have a watered out taste.
Egyptian Drink varied according to status and wealth.
The wealthy Ancient Egyptians had a a choice of beer or wine whereas the poor could only afford to drink beer. The Ancient Egyptians dined at low tables and ate food with their fingers. Food and drink was generally served on earthenware dishes but the wealthy Ancient Egyptians were served their drink on vessels made of gold, silver, Bronze or Faience
Everyone drank beer in Ancient Egypt, even the children. Their beer was made from half baked barley loaves which activated the yeast. The loaves were crumbled and mashed into a mixture of water and barley. The beer mixture was sealed in jars and left to ferment. The lumpy result was strained before serving in decanters. Beers were flavored with dates or figs, and weaker than beer today. It was safer than drinking water.
In Book 3 "Opener of the Sky" Marai is getting to know a distant relative Djerah bin Esai and lamenting the cheap beer he is served.
Marai sipped as little of the beer as he could tolerate, wanting to spit but not daring to be rude.
Oh, this is nasty stuff. His women don’t flavor this with honey or dates to sweeten it? Guess I was spoiled with wine and sweetwater across the river.
He thought of Deka’s sweet honey beer, too -- humble but sweet, and smooth
Even in the wilderness, years ago, Houra knew how to make a decent grain beer. She should have passed on the recipe to this young man. This is awful.
The Ancient Egyptians cultivated their own vines which produced both red and white grapes. Wine was only drunk by the wealthy Ancient Egyptians. The method for producing wine by first pressing the grapes and then treading the grapes and the resulting liquid produced the finest wine.
A lower grade wine was produced from squeezing juice from the left over pulp, pips and stems. Wine then had to be sieved before pouring. The wine was placed in wine jars which were labelled to indicate the vintage, or date of the wine. Wines were a favorite drink and came in different varieties of red and white, sweet and dry.
But What About Tea?
Ancient Egyptians drank herbal teas rather than black tea. Without refrigeration they couldn't create ice. Most of the time the tea was made from flowers and had medicinal or hallucinogenic properties. It could also create poison. In Book 2 "Going Forth By Day" Ariennu discovers King Menkaure is addicted to an opium based medication called "Sweet Horizon" It also contains nightshade and blue lotus. In certain proportions it is fatal. She introduces a calmative tea she calls "White-flower tea" for pleasant dreams and peacefulness. This is chamomile tea. Yes, there's evidence the Ancient Egyptians DID use it for healing. Here's the scene:
Breaking protocol, because she knew she could get away with it, Ari pushed her way toward the throne. One of the butlers handed her a slim gold beaker of calming flower and basil tea to test.
She knelt, gazing seductively at the king to let him know she might still be able to provide him company if he needed it later on. She sipped his drink and then offered the beaker over her head.
The king’s eyes met hers, saw her sensuous smile, and then flashed grateful recognition. She had suggested he drink her mixture instead if the expensive wines this evening, just to keep his body cleansed in light of the tension this huge gathering created in his heart.
“I bless you, Lady Arrienu,” his voice spoke just a above the rabble coming from the gates.
Last week I posted a recent interview of myself. As I do with all my interviews, the second week features a character. I'm presenting my main character from Children of Stone Marai bin Ahu.
My name is Marai bin Ahu or Marai son of Ahu.
I’m not a man who likes to talk too much.
Living alone for fifteen years and avoiding most people will do that to you, but I’ll try.
See, I thought the goddess Ashera was punishing me for ignoring my wife when she was sick and with child.
When she and the baby died. I blamed myself. Here’s the view from my cave home. And how I looked at the start of things.
I sang to Ashera one nightI heard voices that told me not to be afraid.They could heal me—they loved my singing.
Well, when the voices told me to go into the wilderness and the little orbs led me, I found this big shining place smack in the middle of a dune.
I thought it was the goddess Ashera. I mean I’d been singing for her almost half my life.
But it wasn’t.
There was a bed full of crystals inside.
The Children told me to lie down on them and oddly enough it didn’t hurt me when I did. But then I went to sleep When I woke up I was changed. I didn’t know it at first but 5 years had passed.
I’m more fit and even stronger than I was before. I was always very strong and big. My hair which had been a wooly and tangled mess turned silvery and so did my eyes and there’s this little silvery looking stone just under the skin between my eyebrows. It helps me do things I could only dream about before I had it. In a way, it’s like a little person or spirit that guides me.
I can hear thoughts most of the time. I can walk through other worlds instead of just dreaming. I can speak the language of animals. I can control storms. I never get any older. I can learn things fast. I can slow time, see through men’s dreams. Like Addad in my ancestor’s country.
I can change shape into a bull and bring forth dark lightning and storm from my hands.
I did that only once before and when I was done, thirty men lay dead.
I’m not sure how much damage I would do if I tried it again, so I don’t.
To the good, I can love a woman like a god.I would say the goddess Ashera must have put in a good word for all my years of singing to her.
Many years from now (Yeah I can go to the future, too) Some will call me Serapis, the minotaur, Zeus and even Yaweh because of my home in the cave in the Sin-Ai.But more about that some other day!
The Children of Stone placed some secrets in my heart that they said would only be unlocked if I was educated by the priests of Kemet. I was also supposed to take a box of them to give the priests to help with the unlocking.
Along the way I met these three ladies.
Without too much of a “spoiler” as she calls it, we lived in the market district of the sojourners where the trade value is low, working and selling sweet grass bundles for smudging and date candy. After a year, we met Lord Inspector Wserkaf.He’s also a prince. I don’t know what his mission was but I knew he was my connection.
He had this crystal disc that looked like one of the little orbs turned into crystal with the Eye of Truth symbol carved on it. It meant things were about to change forever.
Want to know more? Ask me anything…
Well you wanted to know about the Love of my life? Well I love all three of my ladies, but my sweet Naibe-Ellit is special to me.
She scared me at first. She was stunted and fat, an idiot and an animal-woman, with a mis-shapened face. From the start I think she loved me. Even with her flaws she knew inside I loved the goddess and tried to find the goddess in all the women by being kind to them. Other men in their lives had enslaved and used them. I was on a mission to help the Children of Stone and thought if I could help the women look a little better and be healthy they could find husbands who would treat them well. I didn’t realize at first that it was going to be me. I took them to the place in the sand and we went into a deep sleep so the Children could repair them.
As she went to sleep her broken thoughts told me “I’m the Lady, I’m the Lady” which meant she understood she was part of the goddess. It was like a magic spell. When she woke…
I was terrified. All my dreams of the goddess and how she would save me with her grace and beauty came walking toward me.
It was too much. A man can’t lust if his heart is melted through with adoration.
She waited patiently for me to calm down, listened to how my heart had been broken by the death of my first wife Her voice… did I tell you how it compels people to love her?
She is love. When we shared our bodies the first time, I lost all sense of time and place. We became part of each other –healing and sharing.
Here is an excerpt from Voices in Crystal that leads up to the moment she healed me with her love.
Naibe lay back, on the cloak he had spread for them. Taking his hand in hers, quietly guided his caresses, first to her face and then to her mouth so she could kiss the palm of his hand before she placed it to cup and stroke her full, round breasts. The sliver of moonlight cast a translucent paleness over her light bronze skin.
She was the daughter of the moon and Lady of the Sea and Stars, lifting her breasts for him the way his goddess always did in his dreams. For the briefest instant, her skin seemed to shimmer with the light of a million pearls.
The stars in her eyes swirled up to fill her hair with the beaten gold-starred diadem. Marai's body nagged like a lead weight as she urged him to enjoy her touch.
"You do see the face of a ghost, when you come to any woman, not just me.” The young woman paused, understanding a little more of the depth of his self-inflicted curse “It forbids you your joy..." Naibe frowned a little, tracing Marai's brow to reassure him. "She wants her story told, she tells me...just once more before she can release you to me. Your shame and grief has only given her ghost the power to remain here. It feeds her honey and sweetest cream...not the dust of the dead. Tell me of her, so that we may ease her, and speed her way into the stars... She has wandered here far too long..." The soft voice lulled. Her hand smoothed his hair again.
That she could see into his thoughts, comforted him. He knew at that moment, he could tell her everything in his heart.
These were aching things that he had never told another person, not even his sister Houra. Marai reflected for a moment, becoming somber.
"Her name was Ilara.” he began
The next author we'll meet is Sherry Perkins.
Sherry Perkins has worked as a licensed practical nurse for more than thirty-five years and has experience in psychiatric/addictions nursing, nursing-care coordination, and risk management. She earned a BS in health sciences from Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and has spoken at public health functions on topics such as addiction prevention and treatment, prevention of teenage opioid deaths, and connecting patients who are resistant to treatment with appropriate services.
A mother of four, Perkins lives with extended family on the Delmarva Peninsula, where she enjoys collecting shells and sea glass; reading mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy; doing organic gardening; and following the Dave Matthews Band around the East Coast. At the End of the Rainbow is the first in a series of books inspired by a visit to Northern Ireland and a yearning to return there one day.
Taken from the arms of her mother, a girl is raised by a family so alien to her that she hardly knows how to describe them. Nor is she able to describe the longing she has to return home, to see again the mother she misses so desperately. When she is given the chance some twenty years later to do just that, she takes it, beginning a journey of unexpected joy and sadness.
Her companion is her faithful dog, and someone with a surprising connection to her past. Together they learn that family is what you make it, and that love is more than a human emotion. A short story for shifter readers.
On Amazon, Kindle and always free on Kindle Unlimited.
Blurb Dr. Beth Ann Butterbaugh, DMV, loves a good mystery.
She comes across mysteries every day in the course of
a busy veterinarian practice. An analytical mind, an intuitive
nature, and a friendly bedside manner go far in solving
those healthcare mysteries. But she hardly expected to
stumble into the middle of a murder mystery. Except that
is exactly what happens on a crisp autumn day when she
receives an urgent call to attend to an injured horse found
wandering by the roadside.
She’ll need more than a friendly bedside manner though,
to solve this tragic mystery and the ones that come after it.
Maybe the new sheriff in town can help with that. He’s
recently relocated from the city. Row houses, traffic jams
and big city homicides are familiar to him—not soybean
fields, relaxed living or feisty veterinarians.
It will take both Dr. Butterbaugh and the sheriff—with the help of a battered horse and the occasional bit of interagency cooperation—to solve the wave of crimes occurring in their coastal, farming community before more lives are ruined.
What happens when a hometown veterinarian meets a big city detective? A murder mystery of course, with a battered horse, a folk festival, and old friends in the middle of it.
On Amazon, Kindle and always free on
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