Tag Archives: coffee

I forgot I had Something to Say by John E. Stack

What? Is it time again? Already? But, I just wrote a blog a few days ago. It can’t be time again. I have no thoughts, nothing to write about. I’m sleepy, real sleepy. Can I just go and take a nap? The baby is crying again. Baby? I just got her to sleep. Baby? Oh yeah, the noise maker in the swing with colic. What day is it anyway? Is it time for me to go to work? Saturday? Good, then I can sleep in. No, the baby is crying, and someone needs to check on her. But, I just laid her down. Isn’t it Allie’s turn to check on her? Okay, but I really need some coffee. Maybe I can hold her in one arm and feed her, and type with the other. Yeah, that should work at least until she needs to be burped or she spits up. Fun!!  Hey, I’m only a week and a half late in writing.  I feel lucky that I made it at all.

Amid the business of everyday life, we threw a stick in the spokes that help keep things running smooth. We had thought that it was time for us to exit the foster parenting stage of life and maybe try something else. What it would be, we had no idea. Then, back in November, the day before Thanksgiving, we were asked if we could take a short-term placement. She was tiny, but extremely healthy, and we would only have her for about two weeks. It took about two minutes to fall in love with that two-day old and we were sad to see her go.  Including our own natural children, this was the first baby we have ever had that never spit-up.  She had a great snuggly personality and only cried when she was hungry.  Even then, she gave a few minutes of grunts and groans to say, “hey guys, get things ready cause I’m waking up.”  If she got no response, then she would cry.

Over Christmas, our house was empty of babies. That was an unusual feeling, which hadn’t happened for several years. That emptiness was short lived when we received call for another little girl, this one a thirty-three-week preemie. She was eating every two to three hours, so as normal, Suzanne and I took turns feeding her. I often take the late, late night feeding and the early morning feeding. This gives Suzanne time to get some rest since she has the all-day duty. I usually catch a nap or two and drink large cups of coffee.  This little miss is usually awake sporadically from ten at night to around six in the morning.  She also feels that she has to right to be held all night.  We know this because when we lay her down to sleep she wakes up and screams until she is picked up again.  She may scream an hour or until she tires out.  Right now we both stay tired.  In order to stay awake, Suzanne drinks a caffeinated cola.  Cola hurts my stomach so in order for me to make it, I drink coffee.  Coffee, Coffee, Coffee, such a magical potion. This helps me get to work on time and stay awake while teaching a hundred middle schoolers. Sometimes I drink it for no particular reason.

Only within the past ten years have I become a coffee addict. During my twenty years of serving in the Air Force, I seldom drank more than a cup a month. I often made fun of the guys carrying a half full coffee cup with a large brown stain on the front of their dress shirts. They were true coffee drinkers. Most were office jocks with ranks of E-5 (Technical Sergeant) through E-8 (Senior Master Sergeant). What I didn’t realize was that these were the experienced airmen who were often called in for night shift problems and had to work until the issues were resolved. Then they had to also work their day shift. I, later in my career, found out about those long duty days.

Fast forward fourteen years after retirement and our new calling, Foster Parenting.  I find that I am called in for night time problem more and more (it’s that experience thing).  The second child that was placed in our care (ten years ago) was the major reason for my coffee addiction. I’ll call her Little Miss M.  Miss M didn’t sleep except in short bursts. She had the worst case of colic I’ve ever come across, plus milk allergies. This was complicated by a doctor who said, “All babies have gas and eventually, she will get used to the formula”. What a nut job.

Anyway, working as a middle school teacher, I couldn’t just take the day or multiple days off, so I tried coffee. The kick was just what I needed to keep awake after an almost sleepless night. After about two and a half months my attempts at drinking coffee had turned into an everyday thing, whether we have a child in our home or not. Addicted, probably. I’ve thought about giving up drinking coffee (not seriously), but every time I do, we get another phone call, “Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Stack. Would you be ready to take another baby?”  Looks like it is time for a little more experience.

***John E. Stack is the author of Cody’s Almost Trip to the Zoo, Cody’s Rescue Adventure at the Zoo, and Olivia’s Sweet Adventure.

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Do What You Want by Harry Margulies

I think I did something very wrong last night – I had breakfast for dinner. I know it’s not an uncommon thing to do, but it’s been gnawing at my conscience worse than the two 1SoyBaconstrips of soy bacon have been gnawing at my masculinity. I feel as if I’ve committed a sin, or some sort of crime. I disturbed the natural order of things, and I can’t stop fretting about it.

 

As far as I know, animals (except for the human type) aren’t obligated to start their day with a cup of coffee and end it with a slab of lemon meringue pie. If an animal likes pie, he 2Coffee:LemonPiewill eat it regardless of the hour, without fearing societal pressure to stop behaving like an animal. I never harass my cats for eating cans of turkey pate with shrimp sauce for breakfast. In return, 3Lasagna:CatEatingthey never harass me for eating cold lasagna for breakfast. It’s an understanding we have with one another; they enjoy vile food, and I enjoy Italian food. Does it really matter what time of day we shovel it into our bodies?   

 

I’m pretty sure we have Fred Flintstone to thank for this. Every weekday at exactly five p.m. Fred’s foreman at the Slate Rock & Gravel Company would yank the tail feather of a bird that for some reason always seemed surprised, despite his feather getting yanked the same way at the same time every day. 4FredFlintstoneThe poor thing would screech, just as you would if someone pulled on your tail. Fred would hear the bird wail then slide off his dinosaur crane and head straight for rush hour traffic – with a smile on his face. Everyone else in the town of Bedrock did the same thing; they punched in for work at nine a.m., and punched out at five. If you IMDb the Flintstones like I did on one of my more productive days, you would note that Fred ate his breakfast at eight, had lunch at noon, dinner at six, and a slab of ribs while at the seven-thirty drive-in show. Fred set the standard. He lived the ideal schedule. And I blame him for why we’re all so…persnickety about when we do things.

 

Here’s something you may not know: there’s a giant biorhythm machine that was built by a mom and buried beneath a giant clock in Greenwich England that5GiantClock:Omelet rules all humans. It
dictates when it’s dinnertime, and it informs us of the things we’re allowed to eat for that meal. It specifically dictates that after five p.m. it’s only proper to eat dinner-ish things – not omelets, waffles, or fake bacon.

 

Baked potato with toppings.I’m not so much bothered that I’ve been programmed to reject a loaded baked potato for my morning meal. It’s that my entire day is governed by a set of rules; the same rules that define the parameters of when I can wake up, go to bed, and take my mid-afternoon nap.

 

Realistically, I realize I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.Man lying in bed sleeping I just hate having to hear about it the next day. You went to bed how early last night? You ate a bologna sandwich for dessert? You attended a matinee?

 

I envy the people who work the night shift – except the part about staying awake past my bedtime. I bet these folks are all smiles, all night long, what with their empty freeways, 8IHOPlogoempty gyms, and always-available seating at those 24-hour restaurants. By the way, did you know those restaurants allow you to order breakfast, lunch, or dinner any time of the day? You would think that would make them immensely popular, but reservations are never necessary. In fact, they don’t even take reservations. Why? Because they always have available tables in the middle of the night since people are too chicken to mess with the order of things.

 

I think I’ve had enough of living my days the way I’m supposed to. I don’t want to drive on the freeway when everyone else is, so no more rush hours for me. Instead of reading a book before I go to bed, I might read one before I wake up. Man reading book in bed.And speaking of sleep, I’m going to start taking my mid-afternoon nap right after breakfast. For me, prime time TV will start when I say it starts, like as soon as something I feel is worth watching comes on. And just to unnerve the authorities, I’m going to eat a meal of steak

11SteakandEggsand eggs – the most daring, bipolar meal of all. Take that, Mr. Flintstone.

 

One day people will catch on and start behaving more like animals than they already do. Animals have taught me that I can have all the pies 12Bears:PieI want, just by sneaking up on them while they’re sleeping. They’ve always beenPouring Fresh Coffee smart that way. I believe I’m going to join them – right after I finish my morning coffee.

 

 

 

* * *

Harry Margulies is the author of The Knowledge Holder and the to-be-released The Weight of the Moon. When he’s not writing about romance, money, women and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about, he’s frittering his precious time as a cartoonist.

Soy bacon courtesy of Arvind Grover
Steak and eggs by Alpha (Melbourne, Aust)

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For the Price of a Cup of Coffee by Calvin Davis

thumbnailCAZ5PHH5This time next month, I’ll be sitting in a café on the Left Bank of Paris, sipping an espresso or munching a croissant while perusing endless streams of humanity streaming up and down Boulevard Saint Michel. September is the ideal month to be in Paris. Most tourists have gone by then. And Frenchmen have returned from their month-long August vacation. Many cafes, shuttered in August, reopen for business.

In September, The City of Light stretches, yawns and awakens from its summer nap, reassuming its more natural routines, free of some of the foreign visitors. The metropolis on the Seine once again becomes the property of the natives.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Paris. From time to time I have to return, to recharge. I was born in America, but I discovered years ago that my spiritual birthplace was not Virginia, but Paris.

Paris, where sitting in a café, sipping coffee and discussing art, literature…or even cooking, is not considered a waste of time, but a fruitful use of the same.

Paris, where it’s OK to be eccentric, even weird (being both are encouraged, if not celebrated). Where you can paint your hair green or blue, and either color is considered an artistic statement, not a sign of stupidity.

Paris, where you can sit all day over one cup of coffee and write your novel, and no waiter will dare tell you to move on, that you cannot not lease a table with the price of one cup of Java.thumbnailCA8PHDKJ

Paris, where if you don’t kiss the woman whose hand you’re holding, the French consider that an affront and insult to their culture and conclude that you lack good taste…if not good sense (regardless of how ugly the woman is). Paris, the one place in the world where you can be yourself and not worry about what others thinks.

Paris, where you can be eccentric and not worry about it, because in the City of Light there is always someone who is weirder than you. So you’ll be among friends.

Instead of yakking about the city I love, I’d better start packing for my trip. I’ll be sitting in a café in Paris soon. I hope I see you there. I’ll be looking for you. You’ll be able to identify me. I’ll be the guy with the electric blue hair.

**Calvin Davis is the author of The Phantom Lady of Paris.

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Give Me A Break

Trash canI think it is a good idea if a blog site has a trashcan and trash-bag available for such things as this post; the non-essential, frivolous, probably not worth reading, but maybe something to make you smile a little. Smiling is good, not as good as a really deep-down, shake-you-up laugh, but good.

I have discovered that there are different levels of break times. When someone says, “Take a break,” it is important to know just what kind of a break they are suggesting you take. The one with the highest acceptability level is the cigarette break. Because of the not smoking in public buildings law, which applies to most work places, we no longer have people working hard at their job with a cigarette or a cigar hanging from their mouth, or a pipe clenched tightly between their teeth. That has effectively cut down on the amount of work done but not on the amount of smoking.

Smoker 1Now I am not an anti-smoking nut. Used to smoke 3 packs a day minimum, plus a cigar or pipe after dinner, all of it inhaled deeply and deliciously, coating my lungs with tar and giving my blood the needed shot of nicotine energy. I still love the smell of tobacco smoke. I will stand down wind of a smoker just to get a whiff of that old, familiar love. I started when I was in the Navy and could buy a carton of cigarettes at the ship’s store for 80 cents a carton. That’s right 8 cents a pack. It’s a wonder I’m still alive. But I digress…

Coffee breakThe second unquestionably acceptable break at work is the coffee break. Because someone often joins you with his or her cup of coffee it is a good thing because it is a social break. We all know how important it is to be sociable and that is the reason Facebook is such a phenomenal success. In fact we are social creature like; elephants, bats, whales, gorillas, ants and all sorts of other creatures so a social break is highly acceptable.

1 mugI’m not an anti-coffee person either. I used to drink 16-20 cups of coffee a day, probably to wash down the nicotine. I still drink 3 to 4 cups a day; I mean mugs of coffee, you know the big ones, the kind of coffee mugs I make which hold a minimum of 16 ounces. You know when a can of coffee states that it makes 120 cups it is talking about those piddling little 8 ounce cups.

Cloud 1However, when you walk away from your desk and go outside for 15 minutes without a cigarette, or a mug of coffee, not smoking or being social, but just admiring the sky and the passing clouds, that break is considered a waste of time.

May all your waste-of-times be delightful ones.

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Paul’s book The Telephone Killer published by 2nd Wind Publishing is now available on Amazon and from the publisherKindle and Nook versions just $4.99.

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Rolling in the Thanks by J J Dare

In my life, I’m thankful every day for the typical things: family, house, car, health, and so forth. I’m moved by Thanksgiving to reflect on a few of the other things I’m thankful for.

1. I’m thankful for coffee in the morning. Without it, I never wake up and am extremely boorish the entire day. Coffee is my java crack. Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is what I’d mug someone for, so watch out.

2. I’m thankful for cinnamon-vanilla creamer. It’s another muggable commodity to me.

3. I’m really thankful for my feet. You never realize how much you miss them until you don’t have them. Thankfully, I still have mine and they get me where I’m going and, occasionally, where I shouldn’t go. Thanks for staying with me, feet.

4. I’m thankful for sticky notes. Or, in lieu of sticky notes, paper and tape. I would take a pic of my desk area, but you can’t really see it because of the many notes attached to it. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if there is really a desk at all. Like kudzu, the notes may have taken over and eaten the object underneath.

5. I’m thankful for the ability to tell when I should trash a story. As Dan used to say, you can dream of being an opera star, but if you can’t sing, you should find a new dream.

I really wish I could write a regular romance story. I can start it but it quickly veers off into suspense, murder mystery or supernatural. Maybe it’s a reflection of my own life – not the suspense, murder or supernatural, but the offbeat things that have happened to me through the years.

As in other endeavors in life, I’m thankful that most of the time I “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.”

Here’s a little Thanksgiving music to put you in the mood (yes, “Jingle Bells” was originally written in 1850 as a Thanksgiving song). This version is a mash-up from the wacky, weird, wonderful Dieter Meier:

~
What are you thankful for?
~

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch

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Coffee, Island Style

There’s a light mist falling this morning on the island of Yap. I stumble down three flights of stairs to the outdoor dining room. A thatched roof covers a spread of a dozen tables, all unoccupied. A waitress looks up from something she’s doing behind the tiny bar, gives a smile and asks,  “Breakfast?” She seems to wish I’d answer, “No just taking a walk.”

I hope this place is serious about opening at 7:30 a.m. I arrived last night after about 18 hours on various airplanes and I don’t even want to know what time it is back home. My body is telling me I’m on a different planet. What I need is coffee.

By the time I decide where to sit,several people from my group have arrived. The young waitress brings us menus. I can hardly read this; the type is some wiggly font in sky blue ink on a light blue background, the morning sky is dark and there’s no artificial lighting. We all decide it’s not our eyes, it’s the brain that’s not working. If only we can just get some coffee. With a general consensus, we all ask for coffee with varying degrees of desperation.

She seems to turn this request over in her mind. “We don’t have coffee made,” she finally replies.

I think, “That’s a bit odd for a restaurant, but, okay, how long can that take?

The waitress asks what we want to eat and goes on to take our orders. She vanishes and we watch the rain fall, wondering if it will put a damper on our activities.  We make small talk, subdued, only half alive. More people come. The waitress hands them menus.  They request coffee.

Without any awareness that this might be received badly, she declares, “The coffee, it is locked in the closet and only the owner has the key. He’s still at home.”

Looks are exchanged. She continues, “We called him. He’s coming.”

I feel the brittle veneer of collective tolerance beginning to crack. Five minutes pass. Ten. Then a male appears with food trays. Some people are making do with juice. I pick at my plate of eggs and slices of exotic, unknown plant life but mostly, I’m craning my neck trying to see if anyone’s making/bringing the coffee.

Suddenly, a scowling middle-aged man zooms in, his flip-flops slapping like they’re punishing the ground.  He’s got a key in his hand! He opens what we imagine to be the closet of ambrosia. Applause breaks out. He doesn’t seem to appreciate this token of our appreciation.

Ten more minutes. Ah hah! Could this be it? The waitress appears carrying a tray with a porcelain carafe on it. With her comes the waiter, who carries a tray of cups. We can’t wait for him to set out the cups and put that pot on the table. But this is not to be. They set both of these trays on stands about five feet from each other and a good 20 feet from our table.

The waitress slowly takes one cup and one saucer and carries it from the dish tray to the carafe tray. She then pours one cup of coffee. She brings the cup to the table and sets it down in front of the person on my right. I have to restrain myself from lunging at it. He asks for sugar. I want to strangle him. Maybe she’ll go grind some sugar cane or something…this could delay my cup of coffee for another hour! Fortunately, her co-worker has that task. He smiles and says “Okay,” and disappears into what must be the kitchen while she walks back to the tray of cups and repeats the process one cup at a time. What is this, some sort of Yapese coffee ceremony?

Five minutes later, I’ve got my coffee, which thankfully, I drink black. The sugar and cream haven’t shown up yet. Somehow, everyone remains polite. Maybe it’s the jet lag, or maybe our amazement at the way things are done. We’ve heard of “island time,” but we’ve now been through the initiation.
Mickey is the author of the mystery novel, School of Lies, published by Second Wind Publishing.
visit her at http://www.mickeyhoffman.com

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