Team Time Review: Hyson Rooibos

South African Red Bush Snob here. And today, I would like to speak openly with you about the state of Rooibos Tea in America.

Not really. I just want to review a Rooibos that’s actually decent—and available in the U.S.A. After having fallen in love with tea time, and specifically Rooibos, while visiting South Africa for a missions trip in 2004, I have grown accustomed to a certain level of quality in my Rooibos. 95% of what I have found in the States doesn’t remotely live up to my standards.

But there’s a pre-bagged, reasonably easy to come by brand that I can endorse. The Hyson Tea company’s Rooibos.


Rooibos is a naturally caffeine free herbal tea made from a plant found only in South Africa (natively at least). This is known as Red Bush tea. True Rooibos only comes from South Africa.

Rooibos has a delicate and earthy sweet flavor, too often corrupted by add-ons by other brands (such as Celestial Seaonsings’ Madagascar Vanilla). Twinings offers Rooibos as well, but I am unimpressed. However, Hyson, a brand I recently discovered I had already been drinking for a couple of years, offers a pure, unadulterated choice in Rooibos that even this purist snob can approve.

Hyson’s process and packaging (out of Sri Lanka) has kept the smoothness of what one could get in South Africa, while leaving the strength of flavor, and the delicate aroma intact.

So, if you’re looking for a good Rooibos and don’t live in South Africa, try Hyson.


Overall rating: 5 out 5 stars for tea you don’t personally obtain in South Africa


Winning NaNoWriMo 2017

Each with a bottle of ginger beer in hand, my husband and I celebrate another win for us both! My darling husband, this insane maniac filled with humor, deep thinking and weirdness has won this evening, for his 11th of 11 (3 of which he wrote by hand)! And I’ve won my 7th of 8!

We have won. And it feels darn good.

I embarked on a journey of new genre and found my way through on November 22. He tread his way through a new genre and completed less than an hour ago. Together, we kept each other entertained, intrigued and slightly annoyed as we kept interrupting each other to excitedly deal with playlists, uploads and other inspiring acts.

This has been a forever treasured November–our first NaNoWriMo as husband and wife. 2017 will always be full of joyous firsts for us. And now, we look forward to more adventures, more firsts, and many, many more NaNoWriMo wins!

If you’re still writing, KEEP WRITING. You’re so close! You can do this! Matt had 4,000+ words to go as of last night, with a full work day planned today. Yet he did it long before midnight. You can do this, too! Keep going! Keep going! Join us in our win.



A NaNoWriMo Search History, For Your Amusement (and Mine)

As a writer, especially one writing in a new genre, one has to do a lot of research. Quite often, this research is quick, single word searches. Other times, this research involves heavy topics that one must read thoroughly before understanding that one word you were looking for. And today, as I do these types of searches, I laugh over the variety of topics researched. So, for your amusement (and mine), here’s the list of all topics researched this week. (If we tossed in the subjects I’m researching for my husband, you wouldn’t know what I was writing. ;))

  1. bounty hunting license laws for Washington and Idaho
  2. license laws for carrying a weapon across state lines
  3. Prokofiev, Soviet composer biographical information
  4. quotes on paranoia and internet security
  5. DeLorean & gull-wing
  6. the city of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho
  7. lyrics for the greatest Christmas carols of all time
  8. what name sounds like apel?
  9. where is Apeldoorn?
  10. Romanian mens’ names
  11. Romanian surnames
  12. great mug sayings
  13. lyrics to specific Christmas carols
  14. stores known for selling Christmas decor
  15. Seattle location for FBI offices
  16. best seafood restaurants in Seattle waterfront

7 Writer’s Quotes

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”
—George Orwell


“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”
—Robert Benchley


“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”
—Virginia Woolf


“For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.”
—Catherine Drinker Bowen


“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
—Samuel Johnson


“I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.”
—Richard Ben Cramer


“One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block, WD

NaNoWriMo Day 2

Day 2 has hit. I’ve only written a few hundred words, but I’m okay with this (especially since yesterday I had already exceeded the minimum for today as well). I have to function in this world, making a living, cooking, cleaning, blah, blah, blah…can’t entirely stop everything for NaNo, much as I’d love to.

Thus far, I’ve figured out where my lead character and her husband live, what the premise behind the mystery is and a few key factors in what isn’t the mystery. I could very easily be going about this all wrong, but I’m okay with that. Exploring the writing of a new genre is supposed to be filled with errors, mistakes, inconveniences and new discoveries. I have the feeling that will definitely happen a lot in this one.

I haven’t quite found the narrator’s voice, nor the exact location of where the story is taking place. I’ve picked a generic region of the country, even a large town to focus things around, but, yeah…nothing beyond that.

What discoveries are you making in your novel this year?

NaNoWriMo Has Begun!

Here we go people! It’s November 1, and it’s time for our 50,000 words! The world needs our novels, as NaNo says, and now it’s time to let them shine!

This year, I’m taking on a whole new genre from anything remotely ever written by me before. With brand new characters, a totally new setting, and lots of crazy humor happening–at least, that’s the goal.

I’m excited to take on a new genre. But, I will still have that element of music here. I can’t help myself.

And to start things off for my butt-kicking, Krav Maga instructor turned bounty hunter/jazz singer leading lady, here’s the theme from Cowboy Bebop (don’t judge it by the name, seriously!).