"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Name Is Jan....

Hi. My name is Jan, and I am a coffeeholic. I just reached full understanding of that fact this morning. I am now able to admit it.

I have been out of coffee at my house for two days, now. I didn’t worry too much about it at first, because I was getting up early and going straight to work, where my first task of the day would be to make coffee. It wouldn’t be long before I would smell the rich, aroma and have my first cup. So I didn’t need it here at my house on those days.

Today though, is my day off; I reminded myself to be sure to pick up coffee when I went into town yesterday after I finished work.  I got busy, however, and it got much later than I had planned; I completely forgot to pick up coffee. As I was unlocking the door to the house last night, the thought hit me like a sledgehammer. Oh no!!  I forgot to get coffee!!  I looked at the time: 11:02 pm.  All the stores were closed; it would be too late to go get any so that I might have my morning pot…er, uh…cup...my morning cup!  Ok. OK! Whatever! My morning pot!  I always drink a morning pot!

Almost my first thought this morning was: NOOOOOO!  I have no coffee! So as I went about my morning routine, I contemplated what I should do.  I had no car today, either. There is no espresso shack, or grocery store within walking distance. I realized I was simply out of luck and would have to go without my morning brew. 

Disgruntled, I tried to think if there was anything at all that I could do. I knew I had about 1 tablespoon of coffee left. No where near enough to make a pot, but if I was careful I bet I could figure out a way to use that tablespoon of dark, rich, black gold.
Make-Shift Melitta

Walking back to the house from feeding the horses, it hit me! I remembered how much I enjoyed my first cup of coffee while I was staying at my mom’s.  I would be the only one drinking it at her house, and while there, I always woke before anyone else. Therefore, I always quietly made myself a cup from her Melitta.  It was always soooooo good!

I knew I had once owned a Melitta, years ago; but doubted I would be able to find it, even if I did still have it. After some thought, I realized I could just put a filter over my coffee mug, boil up some water and pour it carefully over the tablespoon of coffee I had placed in the filter. I had already ground the coffee a bit finer, believing fine grounds make the coffee a bit stronger and richer. If I was very careful, I knew I could pour the water slow enough so as not to make the coffee too weak.

I carefully started to pour the boiling water over the coffee.  Oh duh! The now wet filter quickly sunk to the bottom of the cup.  Ok, that wouldn’t work; my coffee grounds would be everywhere, and they would also loose their intensity needed to make a good, strong cup.

Think, think, think!  What could I use?  My canning funnel!! That should work. I eagerly got the funnel out of the cupboard, but soon realized because the opening was much larger than that of a Melitta, my filter would still sink. 

But where there is a will there is a way! I got out my scotch tape and carefully taped the filter to the funnel. 

That’s when it hit me!  I am an addict!  If I am taking this much effort improvising, to make a cup of coffee, I must be a coffeeholic! 

Nevertheless, I continued.  I slowly poured the boiling water over the grounds. When I saw the crema come to the top, I knew I would have success.  I let the coffee dribble to the bottom of the cup, checking it periodically to make sure the color was right, and that I wasn’t making it too weak.  Oh, yum!  I was able to get more liquid than I thought I would with this small amount of coffee. Not a full cup, but morning coffee just the same!!  Ahhhhh....

I’m happy now!  There see; I’m not addicted!  I’m going to be just fine!  After all, I have coffee!

Black Gold

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Uncommon Understanding - Spending Treasure XVI

“Something Good About You”

How it would help in the work of the day,
As we pass by, on the busy highway,
To have someone say, without much ado:
“You know, I heard something good about you!”

When you’ve bestowed comfort to those in pain,
Or cheered one who’s lost, to take heart again,
It helps when you’re weary, to hear someone say-
“I heard something good about you today.”

When you have suffered the undeserved lick,
And harsh words around you fall fast and thick,
A friend comes and says when you’re feeling so blue:
“You know, I heard something good about you!”

And when I have covered the last rugged mile,
I know there is One who will give me the smile,
And say from a heart so kindly and true:
“Come in - I know something good about you!”

This was one of my favorite poems when I was young. When I was in junior high or maybe high school, I cut the poem out of the paper and tried to think of a creative way to display it. I’m not sure who wrote it, and please don’t beat up on me too much for any incorrect theology. ;-)

Anyway, I decided to make a small plaque with the newspaper clipping displayed on top of worn, parchment paper.  My mom had beautiful, old fashioned handwriting; so I picked out some pretty stationary and had her write the words to a song (or something) on the stationary, but I had her write the words in the form of a letter.  I just needed some words in her pretty handwriting. I also had her date the “letter” with a date from the 1800’s. I burnt the edges of the paper to make it look old and worn, or maybe like it had been salvaged from a fire. Next, I wood-burned the edges of the flat piece of wood to which I adhered the poem and letter.  I was going to shellac the pages to finish the plaque, but I never got that far. Neither did I ever get a hanger put on it. And yes, I know! It didn’t really turn out that well.

Regardless, I have kept that little plaque within close possession for all these years. I may not have always had it displayed, but there have been many times throughout the years that it has been exhibited in some strategic place in my home.  It has usually sat on a dresser or someplace like that. Recently, it has been on our bedroom window seal, but it has become one of those objects that you barely notice, simply a part of the d├ęcor that blends in and you simply don’t see anymore. 

I started thinking about my maternal grandmother the other day, and a part of who she was made me think about my little plaque. One of my fondest memories of Grandma was how she would always be sure to say something nice about you, or compliment your actions. However, she was careful to say it not to you, but to someone else. The important thing, though, was that she always made sure that the one she was talking about would hear her complimentary words. 

I love that.  I think everyone knows that remarks made to someone else about you mean so much more. I guess because one tends to believe the words must be true, or they would never be said. There would be no hidden agenda if they are said to someone else.  I guess conversely, that is why it would hurt much more if one were to hear negative remarks about oneself between two people.

After thinking about my grandma and her deliberate and uncommon habit, I decided to get out the plaque and read the little poem once again. I thought it worth a share. And while I know it may not be theologically correct (We all know our “goodness” will not get us into Heaven.) the thought behind it is so sweet and possibly just a bit rare. I love that my grandma was one of those that knew the importance of a good word. What a beautiful and thoughtful lady, with a heart of uncommon understanding…I like to think she has heard (seen) me tell you.   :-)

Friday, June 8, 2012

I've Been Watching You

I guess it's time for another country song.  Every once in a while the lyrics to a song will really hit my heart.  This one came out about 6 or 7 years ago, I think.  Hard to believe it has been that long ago.  But I heard it on the radio again, today, while I was at work, and I was reminded how much I love it.  I decided to share it. It really is touching. For those of you that haven't heard it, the link to the video is at the bottom of this page.  It really is worth a view, even if you don't like country.

Artist: Rodney Atkins
Lyrics for Song: Watching You

Drivin’ through town just my boy and me
With a Happy Meal in his booster seat
Knowin’ that he couldn’t have the toy ‘til his nuggets were gone.
A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath.
His fries went a flyin’, and his orange drink covered his lap
Well, then my four year old said a four letter word
It started with “S” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”

He said, "I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you."

We got back home and I went to the barn
I bowed my head and I prayed real hard
Said, “Lord, please help me help my stupid self.”

Just this side of bedtime, later that night
Turnin’ on my son’s Scooby-Doo nightlight.
He crawled out of bed and he got down on his knees.
He closed his little eyes, folded his little hands
Spoke to God like he was talkin’ to a friend.
And I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to pray like that?”

He said, "I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We like fixin’ things and holding momma’s hand
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do; so I’ve been watching you"

With tears in my eyes I wrapped him in a hug.
Said, “My little bear is growin’ up.”
And he said, “But when I’m big I’ll still know what to do.”

"‘Cause I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I want to be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
By then I’ll be strong as superman
We’ll be just alike, hey, won’t we dad
When I can do everything you do.                                
‘cause I’ve been watchin’ you."
hey yeah
uh huh

See official video here

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spring time Treasures!

Well, I finally got my garden planted last weekend - Memorial Day Weekend. I don't know why I said finally; I don't usually like to get it in much earlier than that. But I don't like to get it in much later, either. Because of the cooler temperatures up here, the last week in May is just about perfect.

Let's see; what did I plant? I know I posted everything last year, but I have come to like doing that, because it is an easy place for me to refer, each year, if I want to see what I planted in the past and how early - or late, as the case may be.

And so the list (in no particular order):
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Walla Walla Onions
  • Spring Onions
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
I guess that's about it. I love my garden. I love hoeing, watering, weeding and watching for the first sign of any little green life popping out from the rich, brown soil.

I went out today to see what might be coming up so far. There wasn't much; but it can't be long now.

While I was checking on things, I noticed some Bumble Bees on the flowers of my plant. There were 4 bees! So I decided to snap a picture.

The bumble bees seem to be more plentiful this year than they have in a long time. I love them; I think they are so beautiful and they do not bother, they only want to get the sweet nectar from the flowers.

The hummingbirds are also very plentiful this year. That is unusual for us. But I have really enjoyed watching them. While they are plentiful, the blue birds are rare this season. I'm not sure why. I don't believe I have seen a Mountain Blue Bird yet this spring - anywhere! I believe I have some Westerns nesting in my box, but I have seen them so rarely, I'm not convinced they stayed.

So there you have some of the things I will be keeping track of this spring. I enjoy every minute of it.

To top off my day, today, the sunset was absolutely incredible tonight. This photo doesn't really do it justice.

Oh, and one more thing! My Western Larch that my brother and sister-in-law gave me a few years ago are all doing so well! They are so soft to the touch and growing leaps and bounds now. Out of the ten they gave us, we only lost two. This year, I think they are to the point of being strong enough that they will all make it.

I simply wanted to share some of my springtime treasures. It's quite likely there will be many more. After all, spring is off to a good start and I'm sure the warm sunny weather will offer up treasure of all kinds.  I'm going to enjoy every minute.

Friday, June 1, 2012


To any who may be interested, check out the changes: http://watchfrommywall.blogspot.com/

With Love,
Jan  :-)