I’m a little tea gadget …

tea ballSo. I have been having all these discussions online recently that involve tea. Since I am supposed to limit my caffeine intake, I have not been actually drinking much tea lately–just talking about it. Then a friend suggested rooibos as a caffeine-free alternative that I might like. (Thanks, Kate!)

Well, yesterday, the tea fairy visited my house and left an interesting selection of teas for me to try (including some rooibos). So, I have to take stock of my tea-making paraphernalia so that I can try one of these scrumptious sounding brews.

The first stop was the kitchen gadget drawer to look for my old tea infuser (commonly known as a tea ball). However, much to my chagrin, somewhere between the re-lining of the kitchen drawers, kitchen remodels and general gadget pruning, my tea infuser seems to have disappeared. It may be in a box in the basement somewhere, but since that’s roughly the equivalent of residing in an alternate dimension, that meant it was time to shop for a new one.

That’s when I found out that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore….

A few of the items I found were unsurprising. You can still get an ordinary mesh tea ball: classic, simple and functional. If you say tea infuser to me, this metal ball (or a close variant) is the thing that comes to mind.

I also saw a brew in mug tea infuserwith a lid:  This is similar to the Melitta single cup coffee brewer. I keep one of these around the house for use during power outages.

Years ago, I remember seeing an electric set called a Mrs. Tea (similar to a Mr. Coffee electric drip pot, but designed for brewing tea). I actually still found some of these for sale on Amazon and eBay.  Back in the day, these were all the rage for people who were die-hard tea drinkers, LOL! Now, they have them that make iced tea as well.

Now for the unusual and the kitsch – the selection here was really widely varied and really interesting:

How about tea infusers that look like tea leaves? Or, what about your very own Tea Rex?

What about a little something for the Sesame Street fan? Bert and Ernie would be so thrilled with a yellow rubber ducky tea infuser, no? Especially one that floats in your cup!

And while we are on yellow, for that special tea-drinking Beatles fan, yes, there actually is a infuser shaped like a Yellow Submarine!

In fact, you can get almost any kind of infuser you would like: robot? Check. A monkey? Yep! What about a “Deep Tea Diver”or a sea shell?They even have one that actually looks like a teapot.

But my personal favorite is one that seems no longer to be available: A shark infuser that floats in the cup.

I mean seriously, who could resist this? Do I hear the music from Jaws playing as I sip my tea?

Keep the court where it is: where the people need it!

According to the NWI Times, on Friday, February 8, 2013, there will be a court hearing about whether to grant a restraining order to keep the child support department of the Juvenile Court in Gary, Indiana. The judge would like to consolidate her court in Crown point. I think this is a move that disproportionately and adversely affects the poor, minorities and women!

This move will inconvenience thousands of people, many of whom do not have transportation.  And just exactly how do supporters of the move suggest that people get to court with no county-wide transportation? Are these the same people who have repeatedly shot down a food and beverage tax in Lake County that would pay for a county bus service?

Remember, generally you are required to appear in court; it is not like an invitation to tea that you can easily reschedule. This will only add more stress to an already stressful situation. And, missed court dates due to transportation issues will be more costly for everyone concerned.

This is a move that would seriously hurt those who can least afford it. The cost in lost work time, gasoline and stress on poor families far outweighs any personal convenience efficiency gained by the judge and her staff. Leave the services where the people who need it are at. I am sure the judge and her staff have cars….