Many mornings I conduct science experiments to find the perfect number of mugs of coffee. That is, the number of mugs I can drink before my stomach starts to hurt.
If I make one batch of java in my wonderful little French press, I’m only going to get two mugs of coffee that day. No pain. But what if I drink more? Is three the pain threshold? Or is it four? Bring me another refill, waitress, I’m doing research for science.
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Before Eden woke up, Jen whipped up pancakes from scratch. She put berries and slivered almonds on top and warmed up real maple syrup. When it was ready, she carried a cup of aromatic hot coffee into the bedroom. The coffee did its magic and Eden stirred.
“I made breakfast,” Jen said. “Pancakes.”
“Oh,” Eden yawned. “I can’t handle gluten. But you’re really sweet.”
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The burn searing down my throat told me I’d let the water get too hot before slopping it onto the coffee grounds waiting in the French press. But I sipped again, heat or no heat, because that first mouthful of coffee in the morning was the thing I waited for all night. The reason I get up is that first cup of coffee. Hello, new day, it’s great to see you.
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I made it from scratch. The crust, everything. I even pitted the cherries by hand after I picked them off the tree. The cherries were a little tart – just the way I like them. That was the best pie every baked in the history of the world. I wish I had a piece right now.
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Her rattletrap Ford died in Austin, Texas on July 9, 1975. She wandered the bars on 6th Street until she found a fellow musician willing to loan a couch to crash on for a few days. Her new friend took her to a spot down by the river where a waiter dumped a bucket of crawfish on a piece of butcher paper in the middle of their table. She stared at the mess. She was supposed to eat that?
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Out in the middle of nowhere, AKA Cline’s Corners New Mexico, there’s a wind turbine that looks like an egg beater. It’s one of those failed designs that was supposed to be better for birds than the windmill type wind turbines we mostly use. I convinced my granddaughter that the Cline’s Corners turbine was used to scramble eggs for the restaurant below. People can be convinced to believe anything at all.
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She stood in the kitchen, staring. She couldn’t choose. A banana? An orange? Some strawberries? Why were there so many choices? She couldn’t think it through. Maybe some coffee would start her brain – shake it into deciding mode. But there was no coffee. The pantry was devoid, completely devoid, of coffee.
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She was straight when she made the cake, but by the time it was cooled down and ready to frost she’d shared a couple of joints with Sal from next door. Adding the frosting felt rather creative and joyful as she did it. Later when she looked at it, it looked done by a kindergarten child and not creative at all.
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It was her first Christmas alone. She was a survivor when everyone else in the family was gone. Tom and Janet from work invited her over for Christmas dinner. Staying home for a good cry sounded better, but she forced herself to go. The first thing she saw when she entered their apartment was a tray full of fudge and divinity and powdered sugar covered cookies. Just like her mom always made at Christmas time. She . . .
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Happy holiday remembrances usually involve the smells of wonderful things cooking and baking while mothers or grandmothers labored in the kitchen. The rest of the family waited eagerly for that announcement, “Dinner’s ready,” so they could crowd together around a table and praise the food and eat too much. If you had a happy family, and happy memories, you’re really remembering the love. Do that. Remember the love.
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