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the weekly tea
Tea Ice Cubes
weekly tea: tea ice cubes
Summer is here, and June in Colorado—while still avoiding the horrific heat dome that hit the northwest US—was still our second hottest June on record.
My new adaptation is freezing tea (herbal or otherwise) in ice cubes. It works in everything: tap water, sparkling water, more tea… These are basically the only things I drink, but I bet it would be good elsewhere. As the ice cube dissolves, the flavor slowly seeps into the water, giving it a flavor that goes from subtle at the start to delightful as you hit the end.
Here are things that I have enjoyed making into ice cubes:
  • Anything with hibiscus: this becomes a bright red
  • Anything with butterfly pea: this turns a brilliant blue. It’s also an indicator, so if you add a squeeze of lemon, it will turn purple.
  • Lemony or gingery herbal teas give a light yellow.
  • Ripe pu-erh: this makes a dark chocolate color. If you don’t have any ripe pu-erh and you like coffee, that would work, too.
I know I’m focusing on color here. Flavor does matter but honestly… Sometimes you just want a cool colored ice in your summer drink that tastes a little bit like ginger.
You can make these in regular ice cube trays, but there are also some really cute molds, if you want to go for it.
This is one of those things that ends up feeling like a relatively inexpensive (maybe $20 to get the ice cube trays) all-summer luxury.

So this was a week, wasn’t it?
If you have been paying mild attention to the news, that this last week is the kind of thing that would induce anxiety in people with a much less robust anxiety production response than I have.
It started with the debate, and then with the post-debate discourse. Shortly after that, the Supreme Court started dropping Terrible Opinions. I am not at this point going to go into detail. I don’t want to downplay them; I have in fact been muttering about how terrible some of these could be for a while now. (Some of them ended up much worse than I imagined.)
Instead, this is the point where I pull a reverse Cassandra: instead of telling you how horrible things can get, only to not be believed, I want to tell you the reasons we should feel hopeful even in light of extremely bad things (also to not be believed by some people).
I find hope in the number of people who are enraged by a Supreme Court that has announced that not only do they believe themselves above any corruption inquiry, but that the President is (effectively) above all laws. I find hope in those who are increasingly realizing that something must be done, because the more of us who think that way, the more likely it is that something gets done.
I find hope in the fact that we have been through this before as a country. We’ve been in a place where the incredibly wealthy dominated business and politics, racial resentments were stoked, and US immigration fever was stoked to a pitch that included riots and murders. We got out of it.
The great thing about studying history is that you remember this: Nothing lasts forever. We can and will rip this apart, and hopefully, make something new and better and longer lasting. There is reason to hope. There is reason to build. There is reason to look around you for a thing that makes the world a better place and to make it better.
They will not win forever. Keep going. We can do this.

Speaking of hope…
This week—until Friday, so two more days, we are running our third Romancing the Vote auction—all proceeds are given directly to Fair Fight and Vote Riders, organizations that help mobilize voters.
This is important not just for the top of the ticket, but also for all the things that are on ballots this November that will measurably change lives. The right to choose is on ballots in multiple states. State legislatures will consider legislation that could radically change how the leadership of the country is chosen, like the Popular Vote Compact.
I added three more because I don’t know what restraint is. Here they are.
5. A rainbow fairy tea set with a selection of teas. I’ll work with you to send teas that you can drink and might like.
6. A Trial by Desire deep dive: Trial by Desire was my second book. The first version of this book that I wrote never got published. I call it a “version” but it was actually a completely separate and different book. The second version was written, and then massively changed in edits. You’ll get copies of each of the three versions of the book: the first unpublished manuscript (basically a complete novel, but I don’t promise that it’s good or publication ready), the second version (changed a lot, got made into an ARC), and the final version.
7. Drafts of SOCK GREMLINS (the code name for my goofy novella about a sock gremlin), starting with draft 1 and moving to the final copy. You will get the drafts alongside my editor.

And since we’re here and talking about shouting out things we can do—one of my purchases in Romancing the Vote is an entry to Claire Willett’s Zoom-based grant-writing master class for nonprofits. There are 100 slots, $100 each, and about half of them are gone.
For me, my desire to volunteer for non-profits is greater than the extent of my social battery even during the best of times; I’m hoping that this will help me offer services that leverage my unique talents.

Reminder: The Earl who Isn't
"I am the very definition of heroic. I even have a motto."

Andrew spread his arms wide. "Everyone should have enough."
You all will get first access to the cover of THE EARL WHO ISN'T next week, but just in case you missed it last week…
Preorders of the next (and final) book in the Wedgeford series are up!
Preorder The Earl who Isn't on:

Until next week!
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