Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I remember when it all started for me.  My parents would purchase a 3 lb can of MJB Coffee and I would literally beg to be allowed to open the can.
Since I was in first grade at the time, learning to operate the electric can opener AND holding the awkwardly large 3 lb can was kind of tough to be sure...however when there is a will there is a way and I overcame all obstacles in the opening operation.
 As soon as the compressed air would escape...the most amazingly wonderful smell in the world would drift out of the can in one quick poof.
I was hooked.
Little did my parents realize that they had unknowingly set me up with a life long addiction to the bean.
Not only did I relish the smell of the 1,200 chemical components that escaped into the air when I opened the can of coffee, I also acquired a taste for the dark beverage in my glass of milk.
That's correct my glass of milk. Doctored up with the sweet nectar of the bean.
I might have been one of the few first graders skipping rope or playing hop scotch all caffeined up at six years old!  That might of been a contributing factor as to why I was so fast at those activities.
My love of the beverage has not diminished over time either.
8 ounces of bliss

If munchkin # 3 is asked where his favorite place to go with Gampa and Nana is...he answers, without a moments hesitation, "Barista".  It makes my heart smile knowing that I am on the right path to the proper mentoring of said grandchild.  He enjoys a "steamer" (warm, frothy milk with either honey or a bit of vanilla) while we savor our espressos.  
Enjoying a cuppa in Florence!!!
I could go on (and on and on) to share many more "coffee moments"  but suffice to say it is an integral part of my life.  I might not recall my first kiss but I surely do remember my first mocha!
It was in Anchorage, Alaska.
I was alone.
It was in a coffeehouse with people reading newspapers and just hanging out.
If you have ever tried the cans of "flavored"coffees (the ones with the fancy/descriptive/hoity toity names) they are not in the same league.
All of this musing about coffee and cocoa is calling me away from the computer reminding me that it is time for a break for coffee!
Do you have any special coffee "rituals" that make your day?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"A Girl of the Limberlost"

A recent conversation with my mom revealed that she still had a copy of the FIRST novel she ever read.
It is titled "A Girl of the Limberlost".
My mom is a voracious reader and I have her to thank for my own love of literature.  She says that the actual story (A Girl of the Limberlost) was not quite as memorable as the fact that she kept and remembered her first full novel read.
That got me to thinking if I could remember my first "big read".
I could not! 
I have a few copies from the series "The Happy Hollisters" by Jerry West. The Happy Hollisters were a mystery solving/very happy family. I soooo wanted to be a part of that family!  Adventure and mystery solving followed the Hollisters (or at least the kids in the family) everywhere they went!  How cool is that?  AND they all treated each other like they were truly an important part of each others lives.
I think it was one of my earliest attempts to "escape" my not so ideal childhood.
I also have my copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri, that I received as a gift when I was nine.  I am not sure how many times I read that story...and cried/got mad/and happy at all the twists and turns Heidi's life took.  I dreamed of eating goat cheese and gnawing on a crusty piece of warm bread for my dinner.  The straw bed that she slept on even sounded inviting to me (because her grandfather took extra care to make sure it was soft and billowy).  And I believed in "happy endings".
I also LOVED horse stories, and any story that had animals in it. 
Everyone reads for different reasons with mine being mostly to "escape" into the magic of the story.  That would explain why I shy away from anything too gruesome or scary. 
And I also guess it doesn't really matter if I remember that FIRST big read...I'm just thankful that whoever the author was, he or she inspired me to be a life long visitor to the library (and to Powell's City of Books here in Portland!)
Do you remember what was the first read that got you "hooked"?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Public Pools...uck

I have ALL these health reasons to implement more exercise into my daily routine.  A need to lose weight, widespread joint pain, degenerative arthritis in my feet, MENTAL "stuff", a bit of diabetes, oh and the latest to join the bandwagon, HIGH CHOLESTEROL (that one sort of jumped in and moved to the front of the line).
I have a rowing machine, walk the dog and have fun with our JUST DANCE workouts.  None of these have been enough to have made much of a difference in my overall health and achievement of my fitness goals.
So, I have added twice a week swimming to my fitness smorgasbord.  Which is kind of tough since I really do not care for swimming and/or public pools. At All.  Some of the reasons for my dislike are:
Men in speedos.
Water being splashed in my eyes.
The fact that the pool we, (my daughter is accompanying me for moral support) go to is NOT heated.
Locker rooms.
Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go to lap swim.
The smell of chlorine.
The feel of chlorine on my body and in my hair.
Wondering if anyone has chosen to not get OUT of the pool to go to the bathroom.
I DO like the hot tub with all of the jets...(except when a group of men in speedos are in it)
You get the idea.
But swim I will since the alternative of NOT working out is having a counter full of pills to take in hopes that some of them will help the symptoms and not cause irreparable damage with side effects.
It seems hard for me to believe that I actually participated in a (half?) of a triathlon when I was a mere child of 36. 
(I did not care for swimming back then either) however I DO recall the feeling I had when my body was pushed to perform and it did so without too much grumbling! 
We'll see how this goes.  I just want to feel that I can make it through a day on my own steam and WITHOUT the use of extra pain medication.  That (the pain meds) have been a bit more of a challenge to cut back on then I thought they would be! 
As of today's post I swam 12 "laps".  I will update in a month to see how much I have improved and by doing so hold myself accountable to not quit.  :)

Monday, March 04, 2013

Early Spring~Worse Than a Woman PMS'ing

Seedy Cafe Spring? 2013
That's right.
Early Spring weather is like that.  I don't think of myself as a traitor (to my fellow females)...I think of myself as more of a realist.
EARLY SPRING WEATHER can be wonderful and it can be quite crappy.  And it can change in the matter of moments.
The sun breaks through, the crocus bloom and then it rains.  Or hails. Or snows.
Just like that.
To my way of thinking I would prefer to not get my hopes up and continue my hibernation until the weather truly decides to play nice.  For example the other day I was pleasantly surprised (and to be honest a bit dismayed as well) to see a forecast of sunny high of 60 degree weather.  Mind you, the forecast did not commit itself to how long it would stay like that.  It appeared to be long enough to challenge myself to venture outside and do a bit of pruning, weeding and raking.  I was hoping to be able to put it all off until at least mid March, but what the heck, the sun was beckoning (or shaming?) me to go outside.
I do not know if I was more disheartened or relieved when the sunny day turned cloudy and COLD before I could even fill up my compose barrel. 
It's working outside on days such as those that one does not know if they need gardening gloves or mittens, a sweatshirt or a parka.
And so it goes.
I now totally understand why everyone loves Punxsutawney Phil so much. (he is "The Groundhog", or at least one of the few weather-predicting ones that inhabit the United States and Canada) who help us humans with the is it Spring or is it Winter conundrum.

This YouTube Video is a great visual aid to enlighten those of you how these furry guys do what they do.         http://bit.ly/VvhBjh  

Since this whole is it time to go outside or not has really got me in a bit of a state I think I will have to deal with it as I often do when I am PMS-ing.
Eat chocolate instead.