Tag Archives: coffee

Snow days and getting gas.

Photo by Zack Melhus on Pexels.com

I like to tease my husband he is getting old, especially when it comes to things like the weather. I care very little about the weather, I cant control it, and I still have to carry on with my day doing whatever I had planed anyway, so aside from thinking about when I need gas, the weather bothers me very little. For the most part my husband is the same way, however recently, it seems, he has taken a large interest in knowing what the weather will do AND telling you if your wrong about it. Honestly, it’s annoying AF!

Recently a storm was in the forecast, and news reporters started to talk about some snow we were going to get. First of all, they are hardly every right, but also it’s Michigan in February, what did they think was going to happen? People talked about it at work. “Ugh, more snow.” People in the grocery store talked about it “I need more wine!” and home improvement stores talked about it. “come get a generator, snow blowers are on sale.” People counted the days, hours, and minutes until it would start snowing. The night before the snow was going to hit the husband was ready, he had gas for the snow blower and ran to the store to get some supplies…i.e. beer. He warned me that there was going to be a lot of snow in the morning when I wake up. Even told me I could take his truck if I was concerned.

This was one time the weatherman was actually close to correct. The snow started in the afternoon on that Monday. Big beautiful fluffy flakes that danced in the air before falling onto the ground and creating snow covered everything. Occasionally the sun would peek out tricking us to thinking that winter was inviting us all outside to enjoy her creations of the sparkly white fluffy stuff. If you took a step outside however you noticed a not so inviting gift from mother nature, the cold. It wasn’t just cold out, if was fucking cold, that the worst kind of cold you know. The temperatures in single digits and the feels like temperature was below zero. The weather forecasters again talked about it…. Please check on the elderly they said, dont leave your animals outside and remember how quick you can get frost bite they lectured as if this was all of our first time living in Michigan in February.

I put my jacket on and zipped it up tight Monday afternoon as I headed home from work. Roads were fine and clear. Snowing big flakes, it was very cold out even though the sun was out. I live in the outer suburbs, and my drive home is short and scenic driving through the small town I work in then through a national forest and park area. Someone was jogging down the old train track that had been taken out to create a joggers/bike path. “Dumb ass” I thought to myself, no way you catch me exercising on such a cold day. Side note, I often see people jogging, riding their bikes, or walking their dogs on my way home from work. My first thought is always dumb ass. My second thought is usually that it is 4:15 in the afternoon, shouldn’t these people be working? Judgmental maybe? Sure, but I dont know them, and they dont know me. I do get a chuckle out of the fact that most of them are self absorbed enough to think that we are envious watching them being so healthy. Boy are they wrong… Dumb asses.

That is when it happened, my car beeped. I looked down at my dashboard and a light was on. Not just any light, the WORST light, my gas light. The beep, BTW was a signal response, as is the light on, that I am low on gas. For me, being low on gas has always been a thing, and now the pending weather coming to the area just adds to it. No mater how many times the husband reminds me not to let the car get to low on gas during the winter I always do, not on purpose, it is just I have better things to do than get gas, like get coffee! I have never actually run out of gas, an achievement my husband cannot say, if I ever do I will be pissed and have to come up with a clever reason so I dont look like a complete idiot and the husband cant say that he told me so.

So where was I anyway, oh yeah, Monday night, here comes the storm that my husband repeatedly warned me about, and I need gas badly. There are two gas stations, one by my work and one by my house, both I pass on my work route. Having already passed one, I think about stopping at the one by my house, gas is usually cheaper there anyway. Then I get to THE corner, the corner where I go straight to get gas or turn left to go home. The corner that has the turning lane and lots of traffic so there is no changing my mind. I get in the turn lane. I think to myself that I can get gas tomorrow in the morning, it wont be as busy there anyway. I turn left, then right then into my sub and finally home. I walk in the house and think how warm it feels on my face. I can smell the chicken the husband is making and I see the mess in the kitchen he made prepping it. It always feels good to be home, but especially after a cold and snowy commute. I tell him I didn’t get gas, and ask him to remind me that I will need to in the morning. Again he feels the need to tell me about the storm that has already started and will continue all night. Somewhere he uses the phrase “shit ton”, but I wasn’t really listening, I was already taking off my bra and putting on my comfy pants for the night.

My alarms goes off and I get out of bed quickly. I am a morning person I guess, I dont need more than one alarm. As I head to the bathroom I look out a bedroom window and let out a sigh. We got A LOT of snow, like a lot, dare I say a shit ton! I shower, get dressed, and start the car, thanking god for heated seats. I look at my phone, hoping that someone from work texted me that it was ok to stay home for the day. A snow day would be nice, I look at the thermometer and it read 3 degrees. I turn on the news to see what the road are like, every station is talking about the storm, how cold it is, how much snow we got and saying to stay home if you can. I remember I need to get gas so I off I go and head to work. I get to THE corner, this time left is gas, right is work. I turn right, I dont know how long it will take me to get to work and I dont want to be late I reason. Truth be told I just didn’t want to get out of the car in this cold. This might be a good time to mention that I did stop at a Starbucks and got coffee. Must have coffee duh. I got to work, with only 3 other vehicles in the parking lot and head inside where I am told that a text was sent out that we could stay home today. I didn’t get the text and made a joke about how this storm was nothing, and for a yooper this much snow isn’t a storm its just a driving challenge. I’m told we wont stay all day, probably only till noon. The installers (I work for a fiberglass install company) are not working today so as soon as all the jobs for the day are rescheduled it will be time to go home.

Around 1:30 one of the guys sticks his head in my office, time to go home as they have competed their work. I make a comment about getting a good head start on a sales project, but am ready to go. Outside it is still snowing, still windy and I still need gas, but the plows and salt trucks have been out and with hardly any cars around I felt pretty good about getting home quickly. I get to THE Corner again, I look at how much gas I have still in my car, its close to E, but not actually on E, maybe on the bottom line of the E. I see the miles I have left in the tank, do some quick math and get in the turn lane. I can get gas tomorrow morning I think, the gas station will be less busy tomorrow anyway. I turn left, then right then into my sub. My husband apologizes because he forgot to remind me to get gas . I tell him it’s ok, I’m good. He didn’t ask if I got gas, just assumed I did I guess. Thank goodness or I would have had to lie to him and tell him I got a shit ton of it!

Is that the sun?

Photo by Burak K on Pexels.com

This morning, as I usually do on a Sunday morning, I got up, put on my slippers and went down stairs to let the dog out. Also, as usual, everyone was was still asleep and the house was very quiet. I went into the kitchen started the coffee maker and picked a couple of dirty dishes out of the sink that evidently were placed there by some sort of spirit or entity that lives in our house at night since no family member ever admits to putting them there. Heading toward the sliding glass door to let the dog out was the first time I noticed it…

Pulling back the blinds and looking out the doorwall, the sun shone brightly hitting my face and flooding the room with it’s warmth. Instantly I woke up completely and for a moment thought that it would be a great day to throw on some boots and a take the dog for a walk. The sun has been missing around here for a couple of weeks now. Sure, it peaks out for a couple of minutes now and again just to tease us, but for the most part Mother Nature has let snowy days be the weather star for awhile now. Snow and cold, and lets not forget covid, have been hanging around to long, much like the neighbor that never knows when its time to leave and go home after a party.

As I stand by the slider and watch the dog stick his nose in the fresh, fluffy snow and run around with a happy case of zoomies, I watch the snow sparkle fresh and white as if the sun is making it shine like diamonds, calling me to come out a play in it like we did as kids. I have great memories of being a kid and playing in the snow. Most of the time the goal wasn’t to go out and do anything specific, the goal was just to go out and play. We seemed to let the day and the snow decide what we would do, sometimes it was a snowball fight or building a snowman. Sometimes we found the perfect snow drift or shoveled pile of snow to dig in and create the perfect fort in. Inside the fort we didn’t really do much, but enjoy the outdoors, and talk with our friends as if we were the only persons in the world living in that snowy fort. As I got older, the U.P. brought many things to do in the winter, ski, Ice skate, sled and whatever else we could dream up. Obviously it snowed, and snowed a lot in the upper peninsula, but that just gave us the opportunity to do more things! Funny, I dont remember many snow storms, but I remember a lot of beautiful sunny days spent outside in the snow.

My dog is back at the door now, still covered in snow, but wanting to come in quickly. I look at the thermometer and see that it is 6 degrees out. Dare I say, back in the day, six degrees meant nothing to me. If the sun was out then it didn’t really matter what the temp was, we were going out to have some fun outside. Letting the dog in I turn and think how cold 6 degrees is. As least it isn’t minus 6 degrees right? The dog and I walk into the kitchen and the smell of coffee is filling the air and calling my name. I pour a big mug and look out the kitchen window where the sun is still shining across the clean smooth snow in the back yard and hitting the frosted, slightly snow-covered trees making them shine in the early morning brightness of the day. Maybe I’ll run some errands today, maybe I’ll go see a friend or shop at an outdoor mall. Between winter grey and covid none of us have been out much and today seems like it might be the day.

As I enter the family room, I sit with my coffee in both my hands warming them and turn on the news. The dog jumps up next to me on the sofa and puts his head on my lap. The weather man, who is way too happy for anyone’s good by the way, says that the cold is here to stay for the next few days and with that will be more snow coming down. “Get outside” he says, “take the kids sledding” he says, it’s a great day for it! Who does this person think he is? He is not the boss of me. I grab a blanket and get comfortable with the dog to enjoy the quiet of the house, the warmth of my coffee and the sun shinning through the windows. I think to my self that running errands can wait, I dont need to go shopping, it warm here, in my house, with my dog and my coffee. The dog doesn’t need a walk he just ran around the back yard for a whopping 5 minutes, that’s enough exercise for today right? Once the family has woken up this can be our own little house snow fort, but with a fireplace, and a coffee pot… and snacks!

Must, have, coffee!

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

So for those of you that dont know… which is most of you, I wear hearing aids. I’m not deaf, one ear has only about 10 % loss in it, but my other ear is has much more hearing loss that would require surgery to correct and even then there is no guarantee that it would work. I decided I would try hearing aids before anything else. I also wear glasses for reading. Let me tell you, hearing aids, glasses and face masks dont mix well behind your ears.

I often stop and get coffee in the morning on my way to work, just like a lot of you. Living out in the “burbs” there aren’t a lot of options for coffee. I usually go to my local grocery store that has a Starbucks in it. Last week, as I’ve done 100 times, I stopped on my way to work, parked my car in the grocery store parking lot, put on a mask and went in to buy my $5.00 coffee. It was icky out. Icky, a weather term meaning cold, dark, half snowing, half raining… icky. Inside I probably put on my glasses to see the key pad when I used my debit card, and then took them off again once I finished paying, then picked up the coffee and headed back to my car.

Once in my car I put the coffee in the cup holder, took off my mask and headed to work. Then, at work, it’s just the same but in reverse order. Put on my mask, grabbed my coffee and got out of my car and went into work. After a covid check-in I head to my office and get to work knocking out the dozen or so emails that I got overnight. With most people working from home it was near 10:00 o’clock when I needed to get up and leave the office. That is when I noticed that I only had one hearing aid in. The aid in my right ear, the one with most hearing loss, was gone. The aid doesn’t really help in that ear anyways and I just didn’t notice it was gone. Frantically I searched my office, the jacket I was wearing and even my purse. Being so “ick” out I decided NOT to go look in my car thinking that I would find it when I leave the office to head home.

At the end of the day I jumped in my car. I looked around the front seats and even in the cup holder, bummer, no hearing aid. Thinking I needed to search between the seat and the console I headed home thinking I would look once I got there. Again I looked around in the car, reaching under the seats, noting I probably should give the inside of my car a good cleaning, but didn’t find it this time either. Going into the house I told my husband that when I took off my mask in the car my hearing aid must have got caught, flew off, and is someplace in my messy car. He laughed and said good luck finding it.

Over the next few days I only half looked for it. Every time I got in the car I would look around, tuck my hand into crevasses of the seats, console and floormats, each time thinking how I needed to REALLY give the car a good cleaning. Four days later the weather is still “icky”, but I needed a coffee, so the routine begins. Park in the lot, put on the mask, buy the coffee, go back to my car. This time, the ground was wet and a little slushy. I’m holding my car keys, the $5.00 coffee and I’ve added a slice of lemon Iced cake… which by the way is amazing, and I’m in a hurry to not be late for work. Of course, I drop my keys on the ground, better than dropping the coffee or the lemon ice for sure! I put my coffee and cake on top my car, bend over to pick up my keys, and there it is! My hearing aid! Evidently I parked in the exact same spot that I had parked in 4 days earlier, and lying on the ground, dirty and scuffed up was my hearing aid. It was missing the little rubber end that prevents the aid from going to far into your ear canal and was wet and dirty looking but it was there and it had not been squished from other cars driving over it. Feeling amazed and lucking I grabbed it along with my food and headed to work.

In my office I pulled out the hearing aid, brushed off the grime, sleet, and whatever else ended up on it. Thinking that there would be no way it would still work I removed the old battery and put in a new one, and put it in my ear. I worked! How lucky is that! Four days, in “icky” weather, in a parking lot of a busy grocery store and it still works! I felt extremely lucky, but I also felt stupid. How could I have lost a hearing aid in the first place? Who does that? Feeling lucky I bought a lotto ticket, but didn’t win, that’s ok. I have learned not to put my hearing aids in until I’m someplace where I wont be putting on and taking off my mask multiple times and to take better care of these hearing aids until I have ear surgery. As for my car? It is still really messy inside, but I no longer feel the need to clean it. Today it is still “icky” out anyway.

weekends are for cooking… shows.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

I dont know about you, but the older I get the less I sleep in on weekend mornings. It sucks, but I guess this is what I am now. I have learned over time to find ways to still unwind and relax a little. My husband, who clearly hasn’t grow up, still sleeps in late on the weekends just like he did in college. One way I decided to relax on the weekend is that that I should not have to do anything house related until he wakes up. Seems reasonable right?

Another way I do it is with a really good cup of coffee and biscotti or bagel in the morning. I use my Bialetti Moka coffee pot to make a cup or two just the way I like it, grab a salted caramel biscotti sit down, turn on the tv and watch cooking shows. Sometimes our dog Cerberus will lay at my feet, or on my lap (he is to big to be a lap dog, but sometimes tries). For some reason making your own cup of coffee, even if it takes a little extra time is extremely satisfying. The smell permeates the house as it begins to brew on the stove top and you know it going to taste way better than the coffee you buy from the coffee shop on your way to work in the morning. By the way, I buy a lot of coffee from coffee shops, but more for convenience on my way to work than anything, Damn you Starbucks and coffee beanery!

The cooking show, or shows usually, that I watch have to be equally satisfying. I dont want to watch fast moving quick witted shows where the cooks spending their time making jokes, or traveling from location to location offering quick and highly edited versions of whatever food they are making. For me, on weekend mornings, I want to watch shows from hosts who have calming voices, show you the best julienne cut or brunoises dice technique while standing in “their” kitchen preparing a meal that you know is going to taste like heaven for their family or special people in their life. These shows are what I imagine I would look like when I am preparing food for the people that I love, comforting, inviting and delicious. Cooking shows draw me in, holding my cup of coffee with both hands just below my chin as I watch intently thinking how good these recipes would taste if I made them for dinner tonight, or even cooked for that matter.

You see, I dont cook. I CAN cook, and I actually am a pretty good cook. My friends often complement me on my cooking when I do it. I just dont like to cook, in fact I kind of hate it. Buying the ingredients, measuring, cutting, mixing etc. all of it is what I dont like, and I really dont like the clean up afterward (but who does). Maybe its the mess, maybe its the anti climax of eating it all and then having nothing to show for it, maybe it is the rules that you must follow to create the dish, I’m not sure, but it’s not for me. I often say that because I dont like to cook my sons are now both pretty good cooks, they had to be. This is only partially true, I obviously always cooked and fed them, but I also encouraged them to make something for themselves if I was making something for dinner that they did not like. My husband also can cook, and now that I am working and he is working from home, he often has dinner ready when I get home, and I love that!

So here I sit, in my favorite chair, dog at my feet with the perfect cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and all is right with the world. The cook is making salted Carmel pancetta that looks like it would be crazy delicious. ” I should make that” I think to myself, knowing I wont. I take a sip of coffee holding it with both hands as the warmth from the cup makes me exhale a relaxed and content sigh. I hear my husband waking and moving around upstairs and think that it is time to clean the kitchen or vacuum before we get late into the day. It is the weekend and I have many things to do, but cooking probably wont be one of them.