Once I wake up (and luckily not to a jarring alarm clock) I get out of bed, gingerly, checking out my various aches and pains and I hear my dog’s thumping tail so I go to greet her. Before I even start my ritual of a very strong cup of coffee, I sit on the green couch, and she pulls herself into my lap and I hug and kiss her. I know the exact way she likes to be stroked, she shows me where and when, she nuzzles against me. I let her out, feed her, rinse out her slimy blue water bowl and refill with fresh, cold water. It’s only after that, which is true love, that I put water in the tea kettle, put a #4 Melitta filter in my old, cracked plastic, brown coffee cone and use three heavy-handed scoops of strong, espresso coffee mixed with a dark roast. A large serving of fat- free half and half, one or two Truvia, (or Purevia) depending on the strength and wait anxiously for the tea kettle to screech. I like to have my coffee alone so I can gather my thoughts and plan for the day. I listen to the cardinals tweet outside at my bird feeder and watch the yellow finches eat breakfast. There is no better way to start my day.