Coffee, Anyone?

Yes, I know, that’s not a coffee pot above. But, as you’ll soon find out, I’m not what you’d call a coffee drinker.  I can honestly say I have about three or four cups of coffee a year and usually don’t finish the cup. And still, I occasionally crave it. Not sure why, exactly. I’ve even gone so far as to buy a cup of Dunkin’s and about a quarter through it, I stop. It’s delicious, but, as I’ve said, I’m not what you’d call a coffee drinker. But as I also said, I occasionally have a craving for a cup.

This morning was one of those times.

I have a coffee maker. Not a K-cup type—that would be wasted on me—but a drip type (I’m so not a coffee drinker that I’m not really sure what it’s called). It’s only worth breaking out for company. This morning, however, I figured there had to be a way to brew coffee without it.

So, I took a coffee filter, which has been hanging around since the last Probstock (not the mini, mind you, but the full blown Probstock family gathering), and the container of Folgers (same era, so probably too stale for most folks), a pair of clothespins and a mug. I heated water in the coolest tea pot ever (a gift from my youngest) which I use for tea and, more often, hot chocolate, which is my favorite hot beverage no matter the season.

Once the water was heated, I poured about three ounces into the filter and allowed it to percolate down through the paper into my mug. Afterward, I added two scoops of hot cocoa powder and another four ounces of water. I know, I know, right now all you true coffee drinkers are shrinking back in horror, crying out, “but that’s not real coffee.” And I get it. You’re right. For your average coffee drinker, it’s not. But what about all those fancy, confusingly- named coffees you all buy at specialty coffee-type places? This is my version.

Looks a little like mud…

Anyway, to get back to my story, once I made myself a steaming, fragrant mug of cocoa+coffee using a filter and a couple of clothespins I drank about a third of it and dumped the rest down the drain.

That’ll do for this quarterly craving. Maybe next time I’ll make it out to a diner.

The Chicken Teapot and the Fantastically Lovely Day

Today was one of those days that ended up being exceptional, and for no particular reason. The purpose of my excursion was to find a local “fruit stand” (a misnomer, if you ask me) in order for my daughter-in-law to buy some thyme plants for her little garden in the backyard. I wasn’t exactly sure where this place was located, so we headed out on this fantastically lovely day for a little adventure.

Well, being Memorial Day weekend, and a fantastically lovely day (oh, did I say that already? I can’t help the repetition—the attributes of the day were just part of the many factors making up the exceptional excursion), so naturally yard sales abounded. I tried to ignore them, turning my eyes away from all the items of someone else’s clutter, determined not to add to mine. Fat chance.

The blue sky, fresh air and front yards full of treasure beckoned. I must say, I did manage to resist all manner of furnishings crying out for an application of paint to make them into what I like to call “practical art”—my usual weakness at yard sales. Instead, I fell in love with a uniquely-shaped chicken teapot. Not that the teapot possessed a chicken shape. That would have been too much even for me. No, it is a square-ish ceramic pot with a painted scene of chickens. I couldn’t walk fully from it. I kept returning again and again to the place where it sat until I felt compelled to ask the price. For a yard sale, the price was a little steep, but I bought it without haggling. Lauren (the above d-i-l) announced how proud she was that I had managed to ignore all the furniture we’d seen and that despite the price of my adorable little chicken tea pot, I deserved the occasional splurge. (God bless her.)

Chicken Tea Pot close up

“Someday, my kids will be cursing me, because they’re going to have to get rid of everything I’ve collected,” I commented to the gentleman seated nearby, whose yard we were perusing for items of irresistible interest. He laughed. So did I. I wasn’t about to let the thought of my demise at some future date and my children being burdened by my possessions ruin this fantastically lovely day.

This is a heartleaf alkanet, which has the prettiest, tiny blue flowers, which you should be able to make out to the left (I hope).

Our next stop was the “fruit stand” itself (eventually located), awash in lovely color, as tables and wagons and graveled paths laden with annuals, perennials, and the very thyme we’d been hunting met our delighted eyes. We spent quite a bit of time hunting thyme and everything else, leaving Stauffer’s with the thyme in question, as well as chives, a heartleaf alkanet (a what? I’d never heard of the shade-loving plant, but it’s beautiful), and a pot of coral bells, whose burgundy leaves are a treat.

Coral Bells - nice color, right?
Coral Bells – nice color, right?

However, we were not finished. The open road, the blue sky, the fresh air continued to call to us. So off we went, to Somerset Nursery, where we ogled more plants. Naturally, I couldn’t walk away empty-handed. I cringe as I write those words, because I really am not a spendthrift. In fact, I am usually most obsessively frugal. Oh well. Blame it on the fantastically lovely day. (Right now, the writers of my acquaintance are also cringing. I don’t think they will approve of my disproportionate use of adverbs and adjectives in this blog—again, blame it on the fantastically lovely day.)

Lauren's garden, which will have all the makings of a delicious salad soon.
Lauren’s garden, which will have all the makings of a delicious salad soon.

Afterward, made light-hearted by our unexpected fun, we headed home to grace the waiting soil with our finds—with the exception of the chicken teapot, of course. That little beauty is planted on the windowsill in my kitchen, where it will neither bloom nor bear fruit, but will remind me of this wonderful day whenever I see it…

Now who could resist this?
Now who could resist this?

(Yes, that is my hope, and not that I will be reminded instead of the fact my children will one day be forced to stick a price tag on all my treasures and set them out on a table in the sun for some other bargain hunter to find—but hey, such is the cycle of life.)