Coffee and Comfort Zones

I think I am in love.

I just went to Trader Joe’s (one of my favorite places on Earth) in search of some of the staples I buy from that wonderful establishment. I came home with a load of them, and more. Okay, a lot more. 

If you don’t have a Trader Joes in your neighborhood, you should move. Well okay, don’t move, but seriously email the corporate office and demand one. The place just rocks. I actually drive 35 minutes to get to my “neighborhood” store. It’s the same either way on the highway, so I suck it up. Country living has its low points.

Anyway I was wandering today as I had already gone and done a bigger shop recently at the Stop n Shop around here. Post week-long power outage, I must say I am gun shy to fill the refrigerator. Oy.

Today at Traders I was in search of just a few things and I was just taking my time perusing through the store at all the items already stocked for the Holidays. I wasn’t buying those, but hey, it got me in the spirit anyway. Pfeffernussen, gingerbread, stuffing, turkeys, peppermint sticks. Ahh. So nice.

I realize I am getting off track not telling you about my new love.

It’s Trader Joes Wintry Blend Coffee. I know, kind of let down being just coffee, but let me say… WOW!

First, I am a pretty boring coffee drinker as far as coffee drinking goes. The kind I usually buy — and was stocking up at the sale at S&S the other day — is the same kind a  nice man  pointed  out that his 90-year-old mother drinks and ran to get some for her.

Chock Full of Nuts. I know. My own parents drank it back in their day.

My sister, the coffee diva herself, calls it crap whenever she graces us with her presence from LA. She brings her own Peets. And her own press. Like I said, coffee diva.

Back to my coffee story. So I am feeling a little boring in the coffee department. The once in a while Vanilla Latte from Starbucks is about as crazy as I go. I know, slow down right?

Well today I just said Why the Hell Not? So I picked up the Wintry Blend and read the label.

Are you ready?

Arabica coffee sprinkled with cinnamon, cloves and red and green peppercorns. Very sassy. And for a not-so-sassy coffee girl, well, it’s like a red strapless wedding gown! Well, maybe not red.

I know it’s just coffee, but let me tell you… I don’t even drink coffee past 11 a.m. and here it was 2:30 when I got home and I brewed myself a pot. It did not disappoint. It’s like an early Christmas. There is a little zing on my palate right now as I type this.

So you are probably thinking that this post is about coffee. And you’d be W-R-O-N-G!

It’s really about taking a step outside who you normally are. Trying something new. Leaving your comfort zone. And believe me, I have a very comfortable comfort zone. Some might call me stubborn, some call me chicken, some just roll their eyes and ignore my lack of willingness to step outside my box.

Well, today I did and I found something I like a lot. Yes, it’s just coffee, but who knows. 

Tomorrow I might dust off some of my computer files and give that novel I am desperate to write  another shot.

I’ll be sure to have a pot of Wintry Blend coffee to help spice things up.

How about you? Have you tried any new things in life lately?

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Potty Mouths

We’ve had some trouble around here lately. I mean other than the power being out for a week. We’ve recovered from that. Aside from an empty fridge and a pile of laundry, we are back.

No, this kind of trouble is the kind that comes out of the mouths of babes. My babes to be exact.

My fourth grader came home and told me about an “incident”at school. He said a bad word. He was caught. He had to go to the principal’s office. Spend the next day in her office during recess. End of story.

Good parents as we are, we talked to our son about making good choices, what kinds of words are appropriate for school, for a Boy Scout, for a kid who wants to be a role model on the student council. He agreed he screwed up big time and learned from his mistake.

In a letter to his principal, part of his school-imposed penance, my son said he has seen the error in his ways and would “never, ever” do it again. He’s 9 so the “never ever again” part, well, we’ll see. I am hopeful, but not naive.

So as it was, when her brother was writing the letter to his principal, my kindergarten daughter was hanging around. Half-coloring, half-listening to our conversation. She knows her brother got in trouble. She knows he went to the principal’s office. And she knows that, aside from delivering the attendance list, it’s not a place where you want to have to spend time.

She is also five and is curious.

She wanted to see what would happen if she said a bad word.

So, as nonchalantly as possible, she dropped this one on me. “Mom, what is a penis?”

Oh just great.

So as grown up as I could possibly try to be, I let her know that we don’t talk about private parts or say bad words at home or at school. I said I certainly do not want my daughter going around saying words like that in our house, or at school, and the next kid who said a bad word was going to get his or her mouth washed out with soap.

I played the scene in my mind of Ralphie standing in his bathroom following the incident with the F-bomb and his friend Schwartz. I love that movie!

So about the soap — I feel that I am the only one who needed to know this was an idle threat.

That was last night.

This morning, my daughter came down stairs and she looked worried.

When I asked her what was wrong, the tears started. She said she was afraid that her brain would make her say a bad word and that she needed to get her mouth clean before school. She cried and begged me to wash her mouth out with soap so she didn’t say any bad word and end up having to go see the principal.

Poor little thing.

I explained that it didn’t work that way, that the soap was for after the bad word was already spoken. I told her that soap really doesn’t taste good and that she should trust herself that she wouldn’t say anything bad because she is a good girl.

No go.

She was stomping her foot and demanding through her tears that I clean her mouth out NOW!

I marched her into the bathroom, grabbed the soap and told her to open wide, assured that this little exercise would end there.

It didn’t.

Now before you go and think I am a big meanie, I didn’t actually stick the soap in her mouth, but she did taste it for a nanosecond, if that. 

I asked her how she felt and if she thought the soap did the trick.

She looked at me, said “Bunny”,  smiled and said “Yes. I think so.”

I think she’s cured. No bad words will be leaving her clean mouth today.

If only everything could be that easy.