The road ends, but the journey continues...

Tag: coffee & chocolate (Page 3 of 4)

Happy National Coffee Day (snafu)

one tree equals one pound coffee

one tree equals one pound coffee


Today was National Coffee Day.  Need I say more?  Well, yes, maybe. Fully intending on taking advantage of such an excuse to abuse my coffee drinking rights, I brewed a luscious pot of Sumatra with crushed cardamom seeds.  Savoring each sip (gulp?) between bites of leftover homemade cannoli from a dinner made for hubby’s cubie and wife last Friday, I was in bean-heaven.  The pot emptied sooner than later, so I unplugged it and pondered just when to start up a new brew.
Meanwhile, that half cup of java left in my cup got stone cold.
“Aha! I will be discreet and only micro-zap the remains of that last drop of coffee. No need to brew up a whole second pot of coffee in honor of the day.”
Placing the cup inside the microwave, I zapped it.  Not the best of flavor, but a great healthful compromise to imbibing on another full pot of the stuff.
“Ah, well, not the tastiest, but here’s to the Day!”
I was quite proud of myself for sacrificing flavor in the name of restraint.
When I picked up the cup to pour out its remaining contents, I noticed an oddly shaped black bumpy thing on the bottom.  Upon closer inspection, it was the waterlogged body of a pesky fly that had been dominating our kitchen environment for the past few days.
Oh, geez…I drank stewed sumatra fly-juice…

Happy National Coffee Day!

Note: If you’d like to see my favorite previously pubbed coffee posts, click here, and here. Or, just scroll down and read them as limited time sticky-noted posts.

The Lady of Arles (Poem)

The Lady of Arles

The Lady of Arles


 
Echoes of Edith
Chanteuse of a certain age.
Je ne regrette rien
Forty years from Barcelona
Playing her life in Arles.
No regrets. No regrets at all.
 
 
 
 
note: my sister-friend Susan and her husband are playing gypsies traipsing throughout Spain and southern France this month. She keeps my e-mail inbox filled with wordy treats describing eats and events of their day, including occasional photos that wow my (he)artistically starved eyes.  This photo is posted here with her permission.

A Suitcase Full of Chocolate

Quote symbolA SUITCASE FULL OF CHOCOLATE is the film about the life of SOFIA COSMA (1914-2011), a devoted mother, a modest woman of great personal character, a great pianist, and the ultimate survivor. Born at the outbreak of World War I, this remarkable musician began a brilliant career as a prize winner in the Viennese International Piano Competition of 1933. Hitler’s invasion of Austria, and Sofia’s subsequent long imprisonment in a Soviet Labor camp, forced her to abandon her music for many years. This is the remarkable story of her ultimate triumph as a mother, a concert artist in the Communist world, then an American citizen with a new life, and a free woman, who returned to Russia to solo with the Moscow Philharmonic. The life of Sofia Cosma is a lesson about Freedom, that precious commodity which most of us take for granted. It is also a lesson about artistry, not fame. Through unbelievable adversity, this musician made music at the highest level, cared for her family, kept her sense of humor, and remained genuinely modest throughout her life.” Lincoln Mayorga

I don’t remember how I came across this intriguingly titled video trailer, but if not for the name, I know I’d have missed it altogether.  I’m glad the chocolate drew me in…Once drawn in, I still haven’t a clue as to what the chocolate connection actually is, but, that’s part of the continuity of the draw for when the video becomes more widely available to a larger audience.  I suspect it has something to do with Sofia’s eventual escape from the Communist world, but that is of course simply my own speculation.

“In an age when we make heroes out of musicians who struggle with drugs, it is rare to encounter one whose life is profoundly inspiring.”  ~ Lincoln Mayorga

My NaNoWriMo Signature Quotes

One of the fun things about doing NaNoWriMo (besides being a month devoted to writing and a great excuse to down gallons of coffee) is all the geeky stuff that’s available for use during the event.  There are word count widgets (yep, got that!), banners and badge buttons (done those, too) to install on one’s website/blog.  On-site, there’s even push-button access to upload images for use as one’s novel cover (pretty cool, but haven’t done that yet; maybe this year) … just to name a few techie toys.
Then there’s the personalization of one’s NaNo presence.  Along with the usual profile set up, there are numerous ways one can do this.  Over these three years of participating in this creative endeavor, I’ve pretty much kept my moniker (desertmountain) and gravatar (a photo of me and Leggy Lady on the compound, sized-down real teeny tiny) the same.  Mostly just to maintain a sense of continuity within and between each year’s NaNoWriMo.
However, each year’s signature quote has been different.
Interestingly, they reveal something about that year’s novel/project while not specifically chosen as such…a sort of foreshadowing of whatever wanted to be written/worked on during that year’s NaNo.
For NaNo 2012 I pulled a favorite quote from a snippet of Carl Sandburg’s poem, Lesson. peaches in tree 
“Come clean with a child heart.  Laugh as peaches in the summer wind.  Let rain on a house roof be a song.  Let the writing on your face be a smell of apple orchards in late June.”  – Carl Sandburg
Little did I realize my novel for that premier year would revolve around the lessons and seasons of life within The Peach Orchard Project or My Life as a Peach.
My second NaNoWriMo,  I found a quote revealing the effectiveness of fiction as a form of literary social commentary from a favorite author.

“A book, too, can be a star, ‘explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,’ a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle

I plunged deep into the realm of my characters.  They cried out for justice in an unjust world while I grieved the passing of the ugliest and hardest of my street people characters who died a hero, defending The Woman Who Didn’t Belong.
This year’s signature quote jumped out at me while reading, When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams.  It gives me hope that the creation of (he)art as truth is an important endeavor; one which compels me to soldier-on in doing.

“To withhold words is power.  But to share our words with others openly and honestly is also power.” – Terry Tempest Williams

Me & Leggy Lady on the compound ~November 2010

Me & Leggy Lady on the compound ~November 2010


Honesty is an undeniable foil, it flashes whether bidden or not.  In order to be true to myself, I have to speak.  I must share my words, my music, my (he)art, my Musical Non-Fiction, regardless of whether or not it is seen, heard or read.
 

On Rewards, Reaching 25K and Mr. T

Note: this entry was written last year, but never posted.  I thought it appropriate to send it out On Day 12 during NaNoWriMo 2014.  Heck, it was fun to write; so it should be fun to read.  Enjoy! (ahem, notice my current word count in the sidebar!)

Day 12 (NaNoWriMo 2013)

Today as I took a short procrastination break after reaching a little over the halfway mark on my noveling, I opened an e-mail sent to me within a few minutes of my landmark word count victory.  My middle child, Michelle, had inadvertently sent on an appropriate reward for having reached 25K.  Sent as an encouragement and motivation in lieu of our normal lengthy conversations, her timing was impeccable.nanowrimo

Milestone indeed, but I’m not really one to bribe myself with rewards in order to reach personal or business goals. Continue reading

Ecco là – Coffee Beans – è Finito!

Thought I’d spice this up a bit with some of my good ole Italian…besides, a picture is worth a thousand words, so if there’s any question of what that title means, just take a gander at this:

Coffee Beans Means Love to Me, back & quilt label

Partial view of quilt back with label signed and dated


Yep, Coffee Beans Means Love to Me is no longer a WIP, but a completed project.
Last seen on the table ready to be basted a few posts ago, I experimented with using large quilter safety pins.  In general, I liked the way they held the 3-layered sandwich together while I machine quilted.  However, the holes they left in the fabric after being removed left me wondering why I didn’t just do it the way I’ve always done it.
Basting together pieces of (he)art

Basting together pieces of (he)art*


Live and learn.
Perfectionist that I am, I feared I’d wrecked the whole thing.  Then I remembered: part of our between homes experience was embracing the ‘strange life path’ He had for us.  So what’s a few microscopic pin pricks?
Still living.  Still learning.
 
Finishing Coffee Beans has been freeing.  A sort-of final transition stage where our between homes past has been pieced together into something beautiful to be seen in the ‘now’ as a reminder while we proceed into the ‘next’…
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

The road between homes has ended for now, but the creative journey has not.


*creative confluence: Coffee Beans Means Love to Me (2014), my NaNo Novel, ‘The Woman Who Didn’t Belong’ (2013), my hand scored original arrangement of ‘Mo Giolla Mear’ written while I was ‘Swimming with Swans’ in IN (2010), favorite guitar strings and an old photo of me with an anonymous horse in Montana during Spring Break (circa 1977).
 

WIP: Coffee Beans Means Love to Me

Note: the title of this post refers to the name of my current quilt WIP
As mentioned in a prior post, I’m a quilter from way back when.  For the most part, I prefer to work with what is at hand, supplementing materials as needed during each individual project.  As a result, my projects display differing degrees of scrappiness appropriate to their ultimate use.  Whether utilitarian or artistic, literal quilt blankets or wall hangings, craft or fiber art projects, the underlying theme is always one of creating pieces from what I have on hand.  Very much in keeping with the fundamental value of making do with what one has, then augmenting as the need arises.
While living on the compound in the desert outside Las Cruces, NM, I worked retail at the JoAnnFabrics in town.  Just being in the store each working day was creative eye candy to my soul.  I couldn’t make quilts due to our living circumstances, but those creative juices had free roaming privileges within my mind. Continue reading

Fun with Sourdough

I love to cook and bake.  Since I have featured my homemade sourdough breads in two previous articles (click on recipe name for article or here & here), I thought it appropriate to share my original recipes.  Also included is a muffin/quick bread recipe that I adjusted to help use up excess starter.  (Which is great with a cuppa joe!)

The following recipes assume one has sourdough starter on hand (Mother).  If not, there are numerous ways of obtaining some, including starting one’s own via bread cookbook recipes.  However, sourdough starter is kind-of the ‘zucchini’ of the baking world.  When one begins baking with homemade starter, it usually overtakes the kitchen!  Hence the infamous ‘Friendship’ breads make their rounds among neighbors periodically with an accompanying ziplock baggie containing 1 – 2 cups of starter. 

Are you ready to have some fun? Continue reading

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