Throwback Thursday

This wonderfully huge mug was given to me by a very dear (to my heart) person, ten years ago now (i used to call her “Zanna”, but she is all grown up with adorable children now). Since 2007, it has seen many renditions of Latte and cappuccino (yeah I know, but I added extra shots).  My current favorite is a Mocha Breve latte.  I think that is the correct name.  Doesn’t matter – it’s good:  1 Cup half and half (which you should steam and twirl), 2 T. Cacao powder, 2 packets stevia, 3 shots espresso.  It takes the chill off the day, and the edge off the lack of sunshine.


Cold Brew

If you’ve known me very long, you have probably heard me say I don’t like cold coffee, and perhaps you’ve noticed I tend to heat it hotter than just plain hot.  I do love it extra hot.  And black.  I never liked those fluffy cold coffee drinks they need a blender for or even iced coffee with sweetened condensed milk etc…  nothing cold.  Not even a little less than very hot.

Until now.  Cold brew is ground course (my preference anyway) and brewed on your counter in cold water for 12-24 hours, then strained and put into the refrigerator.  THIS is good.  It smells good, it tastes good, with not a hint of bitter.  It is almost too easy to drink too much.  I never thought I would say that about cold coffee.  Cold brewed black coffee.

I dIMG_1210ragged my feet regarding the garden, earlier this spring.  Even when it wasn’t raining or storming, whenever I thought “I really should go out there and see what they’re on about”, there was immediate and thunderous disinterest.  My usual seriosity about flowers fell on a deaf heart.  My whole being radiated the message (to the garden) “go away, I am busy”.  Being as old to this world as I am, I didn’t worry too much about myself or the garden, and sure enough we are back on friendly terms again.  All things planted that are needed and the roses and I are back in each other’s good graces.

After today’s battle, I walked back into the house and it smelled like fresh coffee grounds.  Usually when you walk into our house, you smell coffee.  It lingers nicely.  On a fishing day though it may smell like fish.  It’s worth it. Summer is on.

“Quick now, here, now, always-
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.”


Carpe Diem -The Ides of October


Autumn is my non-wordy season.  I’m not sure why but maybe my soul is battening down the hatches before the real cold sets in.  I learned a long time ago that to have an orderly life, one must focus less on time management, and more on managing your energy.   If you know yourself well, you know how long you have before you won’t be able to keep doing what you’re doing.  We sometimes surprise ourselves though – both ways.  I’ve had to go on long after I would have ever thought possible, conversely I have also  run out of all things before I was truly done.  But none of us can handle life totally alone anyway so we help each other.

But I was thinking about the upcoming time change as we remove ourselves from daylight saving time again, and it occurred to me that today is one of those notable days we don’t even know about – October 15 = The Ides of October.  The middle of each month was significant in roman calendar figuring and sacrifice days (ew).  The ides were on the 13th of other months, but in March, May, July, and October it was the 15th. Ides = the middle. Doesn’t seem like it for the 13th does it? But let’s take a very brief tour through the history of calendars:  The ancient Romans tried hard to make a calendar to work, but they kept getting behind and needing to add days or weeks, so in 46 B.C., Julius Ceasar hired a mathematician to help him with one that would try to take into account all the ancient roman holiday days (nones and ides mainly) and yet still be 365 ¼ days long for each year.  Not an easy task.  In fact the calendar seemed to be an object of continual discussion/argument over the years.  Then in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII  got help to reform the Julian calendar officially.  Not surprising then that it is called the Gregorian Calendar.  So while there were a few adjustments made even after that, plus it took a long time to reform the whole world to the Gregorian Calendar, the modified Gregorian calendar is what we use today.  It is evidently, difficult to keep it in line with how the solar systems moves (in fairly regular formation), in addition to keeping Easter tied to the vernal equinox.

Julius Ceasar was murdered on the Ides of March in 44 B.C. but it probably had nothing to do with the calendar thing.  But that did give rise to what was called the “Roman Empire”.   What the senate feared from Julius Ceasar, was tyranny.  What they got after assassinating him, was just that.  They could not salvage the Roman Republic, which was based on the Greek form of governance (and on which the United States government system is based).   So began the Roman “Empire” (insert imperial march a.k.a. darth vaders theme here).   So on that note, I wish you a Happy Ides of October!

Carpe capulus,

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.

Mostly sincerely, ~Pam.


The REAL Issue


By late spring here in Minnesota, you can finally see what is left of the roads.  The sequence of rain, freeze, melt,  snow, melt,  freeze, repeat through the late fall and then deep freeze all winter, you get deep and extensive potholes.  The changing states of matter of all that H2O in the crevices of the pavement causes it to crack apart once it all thaws.  Shockingly so, sometimes.

I’m actually not complaining about all that.  It’s taken care of eventually by our taxation and our penance in the form of long waits on highways.  What I’m complaining about is my seeming inability to drink coffee from my travel mug without spilling coffee on myself.  So here is my tutorial-to-self:

1) Carefully put the lid on, because that would be a stupid way to get coffee on yourself

2)  Leave the mug in the holder until you get out the driveway

3)  When you get the urge to have a sip of coffee, first check for potholes.  If there are none ::chuckle:: then go ahead.  If there are, goto 4)

4)  If the potholes can be avoided safely, do so.  You can have a sip now.  If they can’t and this section is one hole after the other, you have 2 choices:

5)  If you can brace yourself you can probably drink your coffee on the rough terrain.  If you slow down a little you may get by another week without an alignment, but you might still have to do a load of laundry.   Otherwise hold off for another bit until you get to more manageable sized potholes.

I guess the conclusion of this is that to be aware, is to avoid much wasted coffee, extra laundry, and embarrassment.  Navigation and awareness.

Until next time, Pam.2013-07-04 16.22.28