Zero For Six and Coffee? I Can’t be Serious!

I went for LaVazza Super Crema, but when I saw that the yet-untried LaVazza Gran Espresso had “notes” of cocoa and black pepper, I called my partner-in-coffee crimes, Seth. “I would be honored to try Gran Espress,” he responded. I could hear him grinning. “Notes” it would be.

The cool thing was that I could taste the cocoa, and that the black pepper was so good it made me extremely happy. Having gotten my cup first, I said to Seth, “You’re going to like this.” Sure enough. The uncool thing was that I didn’t stop with one cup, and the second one gave me a bit of a headache.

There is so much to be said for, so much to be gained from stopping with that one cup, that one serving. Savoring, enjoying, focusing on, being grateful for, that one lovely cup. More is not always better.

I don’t think I’m alone in over-endorsing the belief that, as Mary Engelbreit put it, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” Sometimes definitely yes, sometimes absolutely not. It’s called moderation, it’s called balance, it’s called not swinging from one extreme to the other, landing on one ditch or the other–all or nothing! I won’t have coffee for six months!

Why then, am I doing this, if I’m (obviously) doomed to failure? Because what’s obvious is not always true. I may fail now and again, but I’m still moving forward, still learning how to walk wisely in this high place of grace.

So, it’s about grace. God knows I want to do this, to take care of my health, and He knows I want to enjoy excellent French Press coffee with my son. He also knows that I need to move to a place of quality, not quantity, and believe it or not, you can learn that from coffee!

My Zero For Six adventure, as regarding coffee, is Zero consumption of fatiguing foods for six months. I never supposed I would have 100% on this quest. I am simply taking it step by step, and hoping, praying, believing He is with me.

Zero For Six Going Strong

Mostly. I am not even missing non-essential viewing. Not one minute has been lost to TV since I began my four adventures. To re-cap, I began a quest on June 1: Let’s see what happens when (and if it’s possible) I attempt a six-month exit from the lands of: 1) TV watching; 2) fatiguing food consumption; 3) negative words; and 4) non-essential spending.

About that non-essential spending. Well . . . I bought two new outfits yesterday, and I won’t bore you with assertions of how essential these outfits are, of how long it’s been since I bought anything new, etc. I will say that John was trying to get me to go shopping for new clothes, and wasn’t giving up. I will say that there is no buyer’s remorse. I will say that I didn’t buy these clothes because they were on sale, which can often be likened to eating a bag of cookies because they’re low sodium. The satisfaction just isn’t there.

Moving on to what’s the toughest part–negative words. Boy, is this a process. It is helpful to me to keep on keeping on reading Psalms and Proverbs. Not only do I find therein continual evidence of the importance of words of life, of faith, but the help needed to stay the course.

And I pray. There are those tricky little areas that most people, including me, wouldn’t even notice as negativity. But upon further examination . . . when I think about the power of words, and that what I just said was a pronouncement of power, but not for good, I find so much of what I say is enforcing a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. “It is what it is,” is a dumb thing to say. It’s defeat. Talking the problem simply solidifies it in our minds as unsolvable.

I’d like to say, regarding consumption of fatiguing foods, that I’m doing soooo well, good, and fantastic! I’ll simply that that I’m making a bit of progress. My coffee consumption isn’t remaining at zero, but like the purchasing of those above-mentioned new outfits, I am making it special. For instance, yesterday. I split a piece of actually and truly made-from-scratch key lime pie with my daughter at Island Grill in Fort Collins, and had a cup of coffee that almost made me swoon when the server set it down under my nose. Since this was the appetizer and followed with a simply divine burger and cole slaw, I was not at all fatigued. Interesting concept: Food that is sometimes fatiguing can, done right, be energizing . . .

I am absolutely loving not watching. Not simply sitting and watching (and munching) I get a little more excited about life every single day. Might I suggest, ever so gently, that you consider a Zero For Six adventure quest of your own?

Thanks for joining me!

Week One of my Zero For Six adventure is over, and here are some conclusions and confessions.

ON NON-ESSENTIAL SPENDING

I tried more than once to buy makeup and skin care, and finally settled for ordering the ingredients to make skincare at home (from Vitacost.com) and a tube of lipstick and some foundation, both Mineral Fusion. This after I trashed all my old (some 14 years old!) cosmetics and was completely out of skincare. I was using Vaseline.

When I say I tried more than once, I mean I filled my cart with some very impressive products on the Net, and then just couldn’t spend all that money, so gave it up. The next morning I drove to a department store to see if there was one of those cool specials where you spend $35 and get a promo package worth $150 of stuff you mostly want and will use. Nothing doing, plus they were blasting cruddy (non-relaxing, non-uplifting, non-melodious) music and I’m just so over going into stores where the customer is obviously not that important.

So, one of the morals of this story is that frugality can either be deprivation, or it can be an open door to creativity, often resulting in a better quality and healthier outcome. And of course, there’s that lovely smug feeling that comes of spending less and getting more. How smart are we? Pretty smart.

ON NON-FATIGUING FOODS

I dropped the ball here a little, both at The Sugar Mouse tea house on Thursday in Laramie, Wyoming, and then again Saturday night, when I made chocolate no-bake cookies (they had peanut butter, so that makes them real food, right?). But then this morning I read Honey, God’s Gift for Health and Beauty, which caused me to sweeten my blueberry muffins with honey rather than sugar, and to give my leftover no-bakes to my son, who has no belly fat and a great love for no-bakes.

From there I researched benefits of drinking vinegar and honey and went to town for organic (with the mother) apple cider vinegar. I already have raw honey, so upon finishing this post I’ll make this amazing elixir and partake!

As to coffee, I actually went to a coffee shop and ordered herbal blackberry tea, iced. Delicious! I didn’t have any coffee at all, all week long, until a very tiny cup (1/4 cup of coffee, 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream) today, telling myself that I will allow myself one cup per week. So, we’ll see how that goes.

ON WATCHING

I scored A++++++ on this one. There are so many other marvelous and fun and creative things that get done when the TV/laptop/phone is off. I love it. Yes, there were a couple of times when I wanted to watch something, but it was only when I was thinking of eating something fatiguing . . . As I’ve said before, these habits, for good or for not-so-good, go together.

It was helpful that I didn’t take a martyr’s stance, that I checked my thoughts before speaking them. I might have thought a few times that it would be nice to sit down and take a load off, watching something totally fun, such as Decoy Bride, or that it wouldn’t hurt to watch whatever John was watching. After all, it was Friday night . . . But I didn’t speak it, didn’t talk about it. Instead I settled in with a stack of books, my journal, pens, and highlighters, and read old favorites such as The Shape of a Year by Jean Hersey, and Candy Paull’s Abundance. I prayed as I read from the Psalms, and also had a couple of lovely phone conversations. Best of all, I did some some very in-depth listening to my beloveds as they shared their hearts. This simply doesn’t happen when you’re glued to the tube.

Determined not to be even a little bit tempted to watch an episode of Poirot tonight, I made a library visit and came home with Francine Rivers, Victoria Holt and of course, Agatha Christie. I was completely surprised by the ending of By the Pricking of My Thumbs, and I keep marveling at the mind of Agatha Christie, and wondering when my non-watching time will become writing time. Fiction, I mean–the writing that stretches me, calls me, eludes me, and won’t leave me alone. As my daugher Rebekah said when she was little and things didn’t go smoothly, “Oh, sigh.”

ON SPEAKING GOOD WORDS

I noticed and noted that I don’t need to worry about the negative words of others–I have plenty of my own. I read Lindsey Roberts’ free booklet, The Company You Keep and among so much rich and uplifting information, I focused on the idea of being good company to me. I really enjoy myself when nothing but faith, thanksgiving, and great expecations come out of my mouth.

And of course, what you fill your heart and mind is what comes out of your mouth, and then what becomes your life. So, maybe out of all four of my Zero For Six quests, this one of is most important of all.

Tea, Perhaps, My Dearest?

In my Zero For Six non-fatiguing foods adventure, it’s not going quite like I planned. I eliminated coffee four days ago, and until today I felt like the living dead. I suppose I was just getting all the poisons out?? Anyway, today the headache is gone and the energy is back! So glad.

Coffee will now be something I have as a very special treat, if at all. I’m so NOT against coffee–it is truly one of God’s greater ideas–but my body is protesting, and I am listening. It’s so tempting to blame everything but the real culprit–that food we love best. Diabetes? Oh, that just fell out of the sky because I was stressed. It had nothing to do with the fact that I put sugar in my coffee, sugar in my tea. I eat sugar at breakfast, lunch, dinner and any opportunity in between. And so it goes.

“I only drink one or two cups of coffee,” a friend said, holding onto her “mug” which was more like a jug. If your cup holds a pint and you drink two of those, let’s just be honest and say we drink a pot of coffee every single morning. If that quart is extra strong, light roast, filled with sugar and fake cream, you aren’t being very nice to yourself. You will, sooner or later, end up with a fatigue issue.

May I suggest that it’s time for a spot of tea?

This is another example of how good habits overlap, or sustain each other. In choosing tea instead of coffee, I am eliminating a substantial amount of money spent on the very best coffee (must be brewed in my French Press), as well as the only thing truly suitable for such coffee–organic heavy whipping cream (the non-organic has carageenan and it makes my joints hurt). Tea, on the other hand can be bought in bulk for pennies a cup, and it is perfectly fine as it is. Just a beautiful color steaming in a pretty cup.

And since it’s summer, it’s the pefect time to try iced teas such as blackberry sage black, ginger peach herbal, or just plain Lipton sun tea. Pure refreshment, and with a lemon or lime wedge on your iced glass, quite a treat.

Pandemic, or Plandemic? Land of the Weak, Home of the Safe? NO!!! LAND OF THE FREE, HOME OF THE BRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just got an e-mail from a favorite local coffee shop saying we can now come in and get coffee to go – must wear masks, blah, blah.  Hip, hip, hooray, we’re “allowed,” they’re “allowed”, everywhere people are asking tyrants for permission to breathe, practically.  Through masks.  Most of which don’t work anyway.

So, I wrote them back, but haven’t yet decided to send what I wrote.  After all, they’re desperately trying to stay in business.  Still . . .

Here’s what I wrote:

What fun!  Exactly how are we supposed to drink coffee with masks on?  Let us know when we’re “allowed” to come in and act like free people – meanwhile we’ll make coffee at home (please Master, can we take our masks off at home?).  Yes, I know this is not your fault, and I feel for you and every other small business owner, but these kinds of mamby pamby e-mails are insulting and tiresome.  Just sayin’.
If I were you I’d refuse to play this stupid game, and consider suing the powers that be who, incidentally, do not own small businesses.  You could sue for damages to be distributed among other local businesses, perhaps.  Of course any funds you get will ultimately come right out of your own pocket, as a taxpaying small business owner.  The folks responsible for perpetrating this fraud (yes, “fraud” – do your homework, or simply read my husband John’s thoughts below) won’t lose a dime.
And yes, Business Owner, I know this is easier said than done, but you are bowing to the theft of your consitutional rights.  Remember, give the devil an inch and he’ll take a mile (or your business).  Or your country.
You, Small Business Owner of America, are our economic backbone.  Straighten your spiritual backbone and stand up straight.  You will be amazed at what God will do if you REFUSE TO FEAR.
P.S.  Let me know if I can put my money where my mouth is via giving to your legal expense fund.
My husband John’s thoughts:
Almost 1 million people die of the flu or  complications caused by flu every yearand as of 2017 2,813,503 from a number of other causes, and never have we responded in this delusional way.
In 2019 there were 251,454 U.S. deaths — almost 10% of all annual U.S. deaths — resulting from medical error, making it the third leading cause of death in the country. Where is the hue and cry to ban doctors?
Just a few more points to ponder and questions for you:
  • Since when do we quarantine the healthy along with the sick?
  • Since when do we destroy the lives and livelihood of a huge majority of the working class of the USA to “save” people who are veulnerable to the flu?
  • Who will decide in the future what supposed diseases we’ll have to be imprisoned for to “save” us?   Will we be incarcerated because of arthritis outbreaks?  Or allergies?  Or lactose intolerance?  It is a very very, very short step from where we are now to totalitarianism.
  • Where in the Constitution of the United Staes of America does it say the government can strip you and me of our Constiutional rights because of an epidemic?
  • Since when is it okay to inflate death numbers with suspected or unproven cases to justify what has been done to the American people?

And just one final word from me, Bev:  Let us remember the world is watching, and that it’s not “Land of the Weak, Home of the Safe.”

Percolator Parties and Other Fall Bequeaths

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I’d been thinking I wanted an old time percolator for some time and just couldn’t find the very thing.  And when a dear friend spotted this one in an antique shop, she said she saw my name on it.  Yay for the Holy Spirit working through dear friends!

This same friend has given me a very fine and perfect old-time picnic basket, egg coddlers, and more.  But for today I want to talk about my percolator.

After brewing up a few fine pots of coffee and tea, it quit.  I was sad, to say the least.  Oh, well, I thought, it still looks lovely on my kitchen counter, and I’m all about making the kitchen beautiful.

But my dear husband fixed it!!!  It simply needed a new resistor in the cord, and it’s off to the races again (the sound and sight of the brew gurgling up into the glass cap is the sound of joy).  Actually, it’s been off to the balcony in the chilly Rocky Mountain mornings for what we now call Percolator Parties.

Monday’s coffee Percolator Party was simply a Welcome-the-Morning, and Glory-in-Fall party.  Tuesday dawned bright and chilly and my daughter Hannah and son Seth joined me for chicory coffee in heated mugs with heavy cream, and to solve the little conundrums that make up our world.

On Wednesday the day sneaked up without early morning Percolator Party time, so we were ready on Thursday and chose to try a specialty Chai-with-chocolate tea, about which I had reservations.  But there are those special times when the first sip of an excellent tea changes things, sets them aright.  As I sat in the early morning chill, wrapped in a quilt and watching the golden apricot aspen leaves quake, I took one of those rare and wonderful universe altering sips of tea.

One after another, members of our household came out onto the balcony to savor the morning, to partake of our new and beloved delight, Percolator Partying.

In the Fall.

How far is Heaven?  Some days, not that far.