Thursday, February 23, 2012

Talk Thursday: Coffee

When I was in grade school we took a field trip to the Butternut Coffee Factory. I must have been in the fourth grade, early enough to allow for a second field trip there a year or so later. While not so sure of the year I was old enough to be totally seduced by the aroma of roasted coffee. Coffee, a warm, rich, deep brown heavenly scent that I knew should taste just as it smelt. Two problems: First I was, what? Ten? Second I let my mom (the queen of instant Folgers) made the coffee for me. Gagging isn’t the memory I retain from my first sips, disappointment is, disappointment that the flavor wasn’t the heavenly aroma that filled my cup. Regardless of how much milk and sugar I added.

In the third grade, Helms donuts were deliciously yeasty after we toured the bakery, tasting just sweet and yeast as the smell that permeated every inch and molecule of that clean odiferous building where they rose, baked and boxed. Milk - thankfully didn’t taste like Adore Dairy Farms smelt on a cool October morning, and it taste even better than the milk poured from the cold glass bottles delivered twice a week to the back door stoop. It was even better, because it was chocolate – and few second graders – especially back in the early sixties thought anything was better than chocolate milk. But coffee, nope in the four grade coffee sucked.

The aroma of fresh ground coffee, even Folgers, is seductive. First is wafts warmly up from it’s packaging promising a warm, deep full flavor that evokes soothing thoughts. Whether it’s a frosty morning in winter, a wet morning in spring, a warm golden summer morning, or a crisp clear fall morning nothing starts the day off better than a pot or three of rich bold coffee served hot That heavenly hot liquid that caresses my tongue and soothes the morning beast in me. Served best with quiet. Now as an adult good coffee taste just as it smells. The best cup of a pot - is always the first cup from the pot, the cup taken while the grinds are still dripping fresh.

I adore coffee.

But through life I have learned a few things. 1) caffeine is the worst thing (besides a bad relationship) that you can put in a woman’s body. 2) the older I get the less I can consume. My Nurse Practitioner tried hard to limit me to two cups a day, I cut a deal with her… sort of… I can have all the coffee I want before noon. I try hard to stick to that deal… and I take extra calcium to ward off the effects of caffeine on my aging bones. Oh, and I sweetened the deal, although she is still waging war for two cups a day… I have gone to half caf before 9am, when I get to work. Work has Portlands Best Brew, delicious, but not the French Roast I use at home…. But still darn good.

To paraphrase Homer Simpson…..Yummmmmm, coffee…. What it can’t do!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Talk Thursday: Poetry And Prose

Don posted a Talk Thursday topic on Poetry and Prose. Poetry makes my heart sing. To craft a poem makes me feel complete, but I play by some sense of poetry rules. When I first hit the internet Psam introduced me to her Friday night poetry group. At the end of each session a topic would be named for the following night, usually a phrase, and the challenge would be on.

Sunday mornings back then were quiet in my house. I would wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee and sneak off to my computer and craft a poem based on the week's topic. I would endlessly read each and every line over and over, knowing that I could not move on to the next line until the former was complete. One of the poems that I crafted back in those early days remains a perfect in my heart, a window to how the wind and nature speaks to my core.

The Elementals

The morning mist sets on the moors,
above the heather wet,
and holds the light close to the ground
the moist, damp air its net.
The churning waves sent from the sea
batter the rocky beach,
the salt spray flies to meet the mist
where moors and ocean reach.
I raise my arms up to the sky
in praise, my morning rite,
drink of the day into my soul,
of salt spray, moor, and light.

The mid day sun rides on the sky
where Gulls and Petrel soar,
fields of blue, are the air and sea,
mauve, heather on the moors.
The foam peaked waves, crash to the sand
below the granite cliffs,
where churning winds, gear up to rage,
a gale wind strong and stiff.
I raise my face up to the sun,
drink in the wind and light
its strength and peace rain over me
I breathe eternal might.

The western sun has gone away,
dusk heralds in the night,
a storm brews strong upon the sea,
waves gather strength and height.
Dark churning clouds are rumbling deep,
and flash with brilliant light.
Tempest winds howl over cliff and land
and blow with all their might.
I stand and breathe the elements,
drink in the raging sight.
its pain and brute force bolsters me
in life's continual fight.

The morning mist lays on the greens,
a bonney day begins,
the birds are winging on the sky,
the bees are buzzing hymns.
The churning ocean will reach the cliffs
and kiss the basaltic rock.
The breeze will freshen on the bay,
and ruffle on the loche.
I stand in awe, in silent peace,
I bow my head to pray,
for the wind and rain, sun and mist,
I thank God, every day.

© 20 July 2000 Calista Cates-Stanturf

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Surrounded by Love

I have begun several blogs, finished none, and posted even less. Today is my birthday, I began telling people I am 56 several months ago. I say it as if to combat the fear of becoming older, but darn it I worked darmn hard for each and every one of those years I’m owning them. I have been extremely blessed.

Besides some addictive gamesn and connecting with old friends, the good thing I love about Facebook is my birthday. I’ve never been one for telling people it’s my birthday, the attention is kind of embarrassing. So seeing the birthday wishes and love on Facebook is so kewl and unembarassing. But the best thing of all about having my birthday is the love and the birthday songs. It’s my thing to call those I love and care for and sing the Birthday Cake Polka. Today I got wonderful songs from my grandson, my daughters, my brother in law, and calls from my sister and my cousin, from those I love and who touch me. I am blessed.

The outpouring of love and good wishes had a side benefit – the last three weeks, oh crap, since the week before New Years have been stressful, I'm ready to be done with 2012. Equipment failure, torturous high winds, flooding, seemingly endless hours on air spewing endless emergency information, a major onair promotion (Radio Auction), personnel problems, and stress – stress – stress were all seemingly wiped away by the love, the joy, the well wishes. Gone. At least for today, and then I will slay more dragons. But for today the love and stress relief… divine.

Of course the cake and chocolate are pretty darn awesome too. Thank you for the birthday wishes and love.