Focus on Coffee – Day 7

COFFEE & OPEN BIBLE -- MNPlatypus --PX

Well, here we are at the close of another coffee series. I do love posting about coffee. (I said that a few times already, didn’t I?) Today I’ve focused on a cup of coffee and an open Bible because, frankly, that’s my M.O. I’ve spent many long hours with a cup of coffee and my open Bible, just visiting with the Lord and talking over things — all kinds of things — some important, some not. And He enjoys those times as much as I do.

I have a great precedent for those experiences in my natural life, because I’ve sat and visited multitudes of times with my earthly dad over a cup of coffee — just talking over all kinds of things — and it’s always been a happy, comforting experience. As I’ve mentioned previously, both my parents were coffee drinkers, and the beverage was just a normal part of our lives every day. But even after my mom passed away, some of my favorite times with my dad involved enjoying a cup of coffee and conversation together. And I feel exactly the same about my Heavenly Father.

Some people who don’t like coffee don’t like to hear this, but I’m sure that after I’m finished with my work here and move on to the Heavenly realm, the Lord and I will enjoy many more times over a cup of great coffee — only I’m sure what He has available in Heaven will far surpass even the best cup I’ve ever had down here.

I’ve had fun focusing on coffee again this past week. Hope all of you are enjoying your own brand of the brew, and before too long, I’ll probably pop up with another mini-series on this favorite subject.

~


photo: courtesy of MNPlatypus @ pixabay.com


 

Focus on Coffee – Day 5

COFFEE - CLASSIC WHITE

I have a little coffee poem for you today.
Enjoy:

LIFE’S NECESSITIES

Of life’s necessities I’ve made a list.
Coffee’s there, and at the top it sits.
Some think I would give chocolate highest place;
To their surprise that’s simply not the case.
For chocolate, though my fav’rite candy treat,
Which quite enthusiastically I greet,
Still has a drawback, for when I indulge,
It has the power to add another bulge.
Plus it makes me thirsty after all,
So then for something wet I have to call.
That’s why I put it second on my list.
And coffee gets first place, I must insist.
Besides that, coffee always smells so great,
And when it’s brewing, I can hardly wait
For that first sip — so warm and rich and pure.
For agitated life, it’s nature’s cure.


photo: courtesy of Methawee Krasaeden @ pixabay.com



 

Focus on Coffee – Day 4

I do apologize for my “Focus on Coffee” series being a little erratic where posts are concerned.  All I can say is that we’re living in erratic times, and my muse seems to be following suit. Anyway, I’m finally in the mood to do the next post in the series, so here goes. Today, I’m giving you one of my short stories with a coffee flavor. It’s actually one of several stories that will eventually make up a collection titled Elixir of Life Coffeehouse Stories. A few of you may have read this story when I wrote it originally a couple years ago, but even if you did, hopefully you’ll enjoy it again.


AS THE PLOT UNRAVELS

COFFEE & LAPTOP -- Gillie 1864 -- PX

“I don’t know what to do,” Neville groaned, rubbing his hands roughly over his face. Then he pushed his laptop out of the way and leaned both elbows onto the coffeehouse table, propping his chin in his hands.

“What’s wrong?” Clarence, the waiter bussing the table next to Neville’s, turned to question him

Neville looked up, startled. “Oh … blast … I didn’t realize I had said that out loud. Sorry,” he added looking sheepishly around the room to see if other customers had heard. He was relieved to see that Elixir of Life Coffeehouse was having one of its quieter days.

“No problem,” Clarence answered and walked over to Neville’s table. “Can I get you a refill?”

“Yeah, that would be great,” Neville answered, handing the boy his cup. “It’s been a rough writing day.”

The young man returned in record time with Neville’s refill and stayed to talk a moment. “Do you have what they call writer’s block?”

“No.” Neville shook his head and continued. “No, Clarence. This isn’t writer’s block. In fact, I almost wish I did have that dreaded condition. My problem isn’t that I can’t get the story to move along. This story is moving along at an incredible pace. The problem is that it’s writing itself, and my original plot is unraveling as fast as I can put my fingers to the keys.”

“You mean you’re not in control of your own story?” Clarence looked at Neville as if he had lost his mind — just a little. And that made Neville laugh.

“Don’t worry, my boy,” he said. “I’ve not gone bonkers yet. And … thanks for making me laugh. It helps. But to answer your question, no, I’m not in control of my own story.”

“Well, how does that happen?” Clarence asked, really into this new information he was being exposed to.

“Well it’s not too unusual for a writer to get into a novel and find that one of his characters seems to gravitate in a direction other than what he had originally planned — or that the story seems to be flowing toward an ending that’s different from what he jotted down in his outline. But what’s happening in my story is different.”

“How?”

Neville shook his head and sighed. “I’m not sure how it’s happened, but every character seems to be taking on a brand new identity and making his own decisions. The guy I had pegged as the hero has suddenly become the villain, and the woman he loves is rapidly developing feelings for his best friend — which means he will probably end up killing his best friend — he’s already entertained the idea — and maybe even offing the woman as well.”

“But does it matter who ends up being the villain and the hero — I mean — as long as you have one of each, it’ll come out even, right?”

Neville chuckled. “Well, it’s not quite that easy. My publisher assigned me a contract to do a specific kind of story. One that will be a believable sequel to my last three novels. They were moneymakers, and I’d hate to mess up a record like that. I spent the money I made on them, and now I need more.” He rubbed his face agitatedly again. “Besides that, I’d be breaking my contract if I didn’t give them what I guaranteed.”

“MmMmm, you do have a problem,” Clarence said, so engulfed in the conversation now that he just sat right down at the table beside Neville.  They both sat in silence for a moment, and then Clarence asked, “Well, why don’t you just delete all that part that changed and go back to your first chapter and start over on the story you intended to write. That would take care of it wouldn’t it?”

“Well, that’s the other problem. I’ve totally lost track of the story I intended to write … and besides ….” He paused and glanced off to the side, lost in thought for a long moment. Clarence waited, figuring Neville was trying to work out a plan.

Suddenly Neville looked back at Clarence with a smile on his face. He looked serene rather than agitated, and Clarence was a little confused. “You figure something out? How to stop this runaway story?”

“Nope,” Neville said, grinning wider. “I’m not going to stop this story, Clarence.”

“Huh?”

Neville reached over and rested his hand on Clarence’s shoulder. “Clarence, my boy, I’ve made a decision. I’m going to give this story my whole heart and soul and let it lead me wherever it wants to go.”

“But what about your contract and all?”

“Blast the contract,” Neville said, beginning to close up his laptop and slip his notes into his briefcase. “If that publisher can’t see the truth about the value of this story, then he can sue me.”

“But –”

“No more ‘but’s‘ my boy,” Neville answered, rising from his chair, laptop under his arm. “This is the best damn story I’ve ever written in my life, and I’ve just decided I’m free enough to give my creativity its own head and let it take me to my destiny.”

He slapped down his last five dollar bill as a tip for Clarence and headed out the door, whistling.


photo: courtesy of Gillie 1864 @ pixabay.com

~~~
~~~

Focus on Coffee – Day 3

COFFEE ORANGE CUP -- Kalhh -- PX

Today, I thought I’d share a few vintage 1950’s coffee commercials. Some of the old coffee TV ads were absolutely horrible. These 4 are not some of the worst, but I’m pretty sure the last two would be considered a little too “sexist” to make the grade for today’s TV broadcasting. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little visit down coffee memory lane. I can’t believe we sat through these without groaning. And I find it hard to understand how we used such tiny, fragile-looking cups during those years. Not all of these commercials show the tiny cups, but several commercials from that era do.


 

 

 

 

 


 

Focus on Coffee — Day 2

COFFEE SET - SUNFLOWER -- Alexa_Foto - PX
photo: Alexa_Foto @ pixabay.com

Wow, when I saw this coffee cup and saucer, I just could not resist posting about it. It’s absolutely beautiful, and it makes me want to brew a fresh pot of coffee right now. Unfortunately, all I have is a picture of this set and not the real thing.

I do love unusual coffee mugs. I have one shaped like an owl, one of red cut-glass with a pedestal, one that’s huge clear glass with dancing snowmen all around it, another that looks like a big pink bowl and is covered in pictures of cape cod shells, a delicate white cup and saucer trimmed in gold with a raised fleur de li on the front of the cup, another rather heavy glass mug from the Smoky Mountains — tan with dark brown interior, and with a black bear hanging onto the handle. Oh, my list could go on forever. Even just my collection of Christmas coffee cups would fill an entire post.

My sister and I both love coffee cups and mugs, and almost every time we go shopping we purchase at least one. Now, that doesn’t mean we have a place to put them when we get them home. We both have cabinets full of cups and mugs, and we both say that we need to stop buying them. But — well — it’s just soooooo much fun when we come across another one that catches our eye. And it’s even more fun to fill them with coffee and sip from them.

Needless to say, I have a lot of choices when I get ready to pour my coffee. It would be great fun to use a different one for each cup of the day, but to tell the truth — since I don’t have a dishwasher — and I have so many other interesting things to spend time on besides washing dishes — I avoid soiling too many in any 24-hour period. So I confess that I generally choose one cup for the day and use it all day — for coffee or tea — whichever I’m having at the time.  Oh-oh — did I say tea?   Well, excuse me. I know this is a “Focus on Coffee” post, but sometimes — just occasionally, mind you — I do get a hankering for a cup of hot tea. But if it came to being forced to make a choice, coffee would certainly win, hands down.

Now, I need to go online and see if I can find someplace to purchase this lovely sunflower coffee set.  In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying your own coffee this evening.



 

Focus On Coffee — Day 1

COFFEE SIGN -- Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Well, as all my regular visitors know, I do love coffee. But I’ve noticed that during this past couple months — with life a little topsy-turvey — I’ve needed a lot more coffee than usual. So I figured it’s time for another coffee series right here on my online home. I’ve done three other series on this subject over the years, and you’ll find links to those posts in my navigation bar. Now I invite you to join me for the next 7 days as I once again focus on the elixir of life itself: COFFEE!


TWO YELLOW COFFEES -- Alina Zakovyrko - PX
photo: Alina Zakovyrko @ pixabay.com

I really, really — make that really, really, really — miss having coffee with friends. Most of my friends love coffee as much as I do, so when we have a chance to stop the world for an hour or two and sit and share our lives with each other, one of the first ways we think about is meeting for coffee.

It does’t seem to matter a whole lot where we meet. We’ve had a great cup of coffee at any number of Denny’s, McDonald’s, Cracker Barrels, IHOP Pancake Houses, and Local Corner Cafes. But, oddly enough, we don’t generally frequent actual coffee houses. Most of the time when I’ve had coffee at a place that is supposed to be specializing in a variety of coffees — or their own iconic coffee, such as Starbucks — I find their offerings too strong and harsh, and so do most of the people who make up my friends group. It’s almost as if those coffee houses are trying too hard to make their coffee “special” when the truth is that coffee is already special just being itself.

Now I mean no disrespect to coffee houses in general — or to any specific coffee icon either. And if any of my readers really enjoy those coffees, please don’t let me sway you at all. Keep enjoying your own choice.

I think I’m probably a person who likes drip coffee best. I grew up with my family making coffee in an electric percolator, and I did enjoy that. My grandmother and my mother-in-law both used a glass stove-top percolator, and I enjoyed that as well. But when the home versions of the drip coffee makers became really popular, I found that they made coffee every bit s good as those percolators, and since electric percolators are priced close to $70.00 these days, I’ve cast my lot with the drippers.

Of course, coffee is so great, not just because it smells amazing as it brews and tastes delicious– when made from the right kind of pot — but because it has all kinds of comfort connotations attached to it. I’ve mentioned this fact before, and it still holds true. All during my growing up and young adult years, my parents brewed a pot of coffee for each meal — and if we had friends over for an evening, coffee was part of the event. I also realized at an early age that when there was something going on in the family that was especially stressful or required lengthy discussions and decision making, we generally relied on a pot of coffee to help us along in dealing with those events as well.

So, undoubtedly, my love of coffee comes from some pretty deep roots. But regardless of where it came from, the wonderful thing is that it’s still an important part of my life. I do enjoy just sitting alone at times and savoring a great cup of coffee — and maybe a book — or my art journal — or sometimes just the silence of aloneness. But then there are those truly special times when I get to enjoy coffee with friends. And right now, it’s those get-togethers that I miss so much.

But it’s nice to know that we’re still living in a world where two ordinary things — a simple cup of coffee and a visit with a friend — become quite extraordinary when coupled together. And they go a long way toward making life worth living. So right now I’m lifting my coffee cup in a toast to those special occasions and the hope that it won’t be long before they are a regular part of life again.



 

It’s the Principle of the Thing

I was just meandering through some of my old, old flash fiction this weekend, and happened across this little story. I decided that during this unique time of absenting ourselves from routine cosmetic care, this little gem might lighten the day for a few people.


BARBER POLE - CLIPARTIT’S THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING

Albert, the town barber, whistled as he walked the few blocks to his shop, key in hand. But as he rounded the corner, he saw that he had a customer impatiently waiting at the door.

“I thought you’d never get here!” the customer said.

Albert’s eyes grew round.

“Come on,” the customer urged. “Let’s get inside.”

Albert unlocked the door and followed his customer in, returning his keys to his pocket and unfolding a clean cape, while all the time never taking his eyes off his guest.

“Well, don’t just stand there,” the customer said, now in the chair. “Quick! Get me shaved.”

“Oh … I couldn’t!  I just couldn’t!” Albert said, as he gently wrapped the cape around the customer. “Why, that’s the most perfect beard I’ve ever seen.”

“What!?!?”

“Why, it’s thick and velvety, with perfect color. Every barber longs for a customer with a beard like that to care for.”

“Don’t be ridiculous!  What’s wrong with you, man?”

“I’ll delight in trimming it for you, but I could never shave it off.”

“But you must! I’m not leaving this chair until you do!”

Albert shook his head.

“Now look here,” the customer shouted. “I’ll pay you double your normal price. But get me shaved now!”

Albert looked genuinely concerned, but continued to shake his head.

“No, it would be a shame to do it” He said. “I’m very sorry if it upsets you, M’am.  But I will not shave off your beard.”

~~~

 

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