Monday Mellow Yellows – Yellow Coffee Mug

For my birthday last year, my best friend bought me a lovely bright yellow mug for my coffee. She knows yellow is my favorite color.

yellow mug

yellow mug (Photo credit: chilcy)

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My Favorite Place to Read and Write

Starbucks Mug

Image by Schtumple via Flickr

I Don’t Have To Go Far….

Sigh. My BED. Lying down on my stomach, sideways, across the bed is my favorite place to read and write. It is really an uncomfortable position for anyone who has Fibromyalgia/Chronic Pain like I do but I continue to do it. It helps me think. My elbow joints are always tender and they throb in pain and I do know it’s partly my fault but it probably won’t change my guilty habit unless I am forced to medically. My other place on my bed is using a 1970’s brown cushion pillow with back support that I have had since college. It’s true, I still use it and it has those silly arms and it looks horrible, but it still feels good. We refer to it, at home, as “the brown thing.”  My husband insists it’s called a television pillow. Okay.

I have gone to the library on many occasions to write but got distracted by the silence. Since our kitchen is being demolished soon so we can renovate it,  my peaceful haven on my bed will be unthinkable for two months. I will be surrounded by dust and noise, LOUD noise, and there will be no relief at home. That is when I will head back to the library because I will be seeking the silence that troubled me before.

However, I am determined to bring my computer to Starbucks next week to see if I get inspired. It’s a good excuse to people-watch and treat myself to a nice cup of coffee in a mug instead of the take-away paper kind. I have a feeling I will be surrounded by young moms and toddlers, I was young once and did that too. It’s worth a shot. Perhaps a double.

P.S.I’m not thrilled that my favorite reading and especially writing spot is my bed but it does come in handy during those long, arduous, winter months.

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I’m Sorry, Birdies

Cardinal

Dear Birds Right Outside My Bedroom Window,

I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize for muttering bad words and complaining about your recent happy chirping while I was desperately trying to get more sleep at 5:30 AM. How dare I complain when I feed you and encourage you to visit?

I love watching all my birds but a special apology and shout out go to the “Cardinal Family” who brighten each day with their flashes of red beauty across a white sky. I feel especially guilty because you KNOW I always welcome you with great love and joy. I always smile when you come and I listen joyfully to your songs and I watch you feed each other; you are a blessing of nature. Again, I am so sorry; please forgive this one mishap. I feel bad enough, believe me. Those who really know me will tell you how sincere I am. If you would like, references are available on request.

Since this happened a few days ago I have been wracked with guilt. There was no reason for me to take my grouchiness and lack of a good night’s sleep out on you. No excuses. Your songs were beautiful, as always, and I know you were just talking to each other and singing and you have every right to do that. Even though my cranky rant was muttered into my pillow, I know you heard me. I am a disgrace to human kind.

I see the bird feeder is running a little low on your favorite black sunflower seeds. For my punishment, I will drag my lazy behind from the bed to the outdoor shed and refill it immediately. I’m sorry that you don’t like me wasting seeds by throwing them on the grass for the squirrels, but they are my friends too. We all need to share and you know they can’t reach YOUR bird feeder anymore.

Rest assured birdies (and no pun was intended) I will not complain again. Instead, I will try to enjoy the (um, early) day and I will sit down at the kitchen table with my extra-strong mug of espresso/Starbucks mix and I will raise my cup to thank you for all the good times we have shared.

Your Friend,

Hibernationnow

Coffee vs. Tea

19-century porcelain tea- and coffee-cups styl...

Image via Wikipedia

Coffee And Tea

Mmmmm. In the morning, when I first wake up, I look forward to very strong coffee that either my husband makes or that I make. We generally use about 3 scoops for a large mug and it is aromatic and strong. It is not for the weak or instant coffee drinker. Generally, I mix Cafe Bustelo (espresso) with some sort of flavored coffee to balance the taste. I’ve had coffee from the grocery store, like Hazelnut Creme or Vanilla Creme mixed with Starbucks (as a treat) or espresso.

I have favorite mugs as well, mostly thin-lipped, some classic like a Starbucks mug, some entertaining like a cow mug or a yellow mug with a thumb holder or a bull mug my husband bought me in Malaga that has a top to keep the coffee hot. If there ever is a morning that I don’t feel like a cup of very strong coffee, I am sick. Very sick. When I am sick, with a sore throat or a bad cold, I drink tea with honey and lemon. However, for a stomach virus I drink tea with milk and sugar only. In the fall and winter, when my daughter comes home from school, we drink a cup of tea together. My favorite tea-cup is one from my friend Sarah, a petite, red and white flowery design that belonged to her grandmother. I feel honored that she gave me that cup with a box of English tea she loves and now, that I love. I drink that tea every afternoon; sometimes my daughter keeps me company and she drinks green tea. I love those times together.

For me, it isn’t a matter of coffee or tea, it’s both, for different reasons, different times and different lessons to learn. I gather my thoughts with one cup and yet another one calms me down, and of course, in the early morning, strong coffee, a hearty roast, kick starts and welcomes me to start the new day.

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The Joy Of A Lovely Cup Of Tea

It's Teatime!

Image by The Infatuated via Flickr

I’ve always been an avid coffee drinker, super Starbucks strength. I have a cup of strong coffee every morning, without fail, made the same exact way, with Fat Free Half and Half and one packet of Truvia. I’m hooked on coffee in the morning but only drink that one cup a day, which I am sure is equivalent to 3 cups of coffee if made by anyone else.

Why is that you can have a “good” cup of coffee but a “nice” cup of tea?  The only time I used to drink tea was when I had a stomach ache and then I would begrudgingly drag out the tea tin. Stomach ache = peppermint tea. A cold= Lipton tea with lemon juice and sugar or honey. That was it. I never enjoyed it, it was like a prescription for an illness or ache.

Just recently my son received a goody box from England filled with all types of delicious Cadbury chocolate and a small plastic bag with tea. He offered me the te so I decided to try it and made myself a cup. It was strong, earthy, bold. I didn’t use milk, or honey or sugar. I sipped it with delight. After that, I dove in the cupboard and reached all the way in to the back shelf to get the old container of tea which housed my own collection. I was pleased to find that I had an assortment of tea:  Lipton, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange Pekoe, Chai, Chamomile, Green and Black tea, Sleepytime tea and my new personal favorite, Jasmine tea. The scent alone of Jasmine tea is enough to ensure a great, big, smile of relaxation and a deep, soothing breath.

I find coffee drinking a sociable act but a cup of tea for me in the afternoon is quite solitary yet peaceful. It has become my new afternoon ritual. It gives me the opportunity to gather the day’s events together and gives me time to rethink and relax before  making dinner.

I still  use the one of the same mugs I use for coffee  but it doesn’t feel right. Tea requires a more dainty,  pretty cup. I need to buy one, a pristine, flowery tea-cup, perhaps one found in a thrift shop where I can imagine it was owned by a gracious older lady.  I drink tea differently too. While I happily slurp my morning cup of coffee, I sip tea, gently, lovingly and with more respect.

Now I have two things to look forward to each day, one in the morning when I am barely awake and one in the afternoon when I could use a break.  I sniff the scent of the tea container smelling rose, fruit,  nuttiness, a soothing peppermint. It can match my mood, it can comfort my soul.

In this world, that is scary and unpredictable, it’s comforting to have a new routine that gives me pleasure. We all need to make nice things happen for ourselves and appreciate them. I put my troubles aside, I sit down in a comfortable chair and I quietly sip my tea. It’s like sipping a little piece of meditation.