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Friday, November 2, 2012

Everyday Gratitude

I noticed my friends have started sharing things they're grateful for and plan to do so all month.  I have lots to be grateful for this year.  The beginning of the year started off rough with a job change, and then a wreck that changed everything.  

While I have lots of HUGE things to be grateful for, and there are many people whom I still owe many thanks, I wanted to start off with some of the small things that make me happy.  Two small things that make my day are long socks and coffee. Strange, I know.  People understand coffee, but the long socks? 

Since the wreck, I have noticed that certain areas of my skin perceive touch, heat, and cold differently.  Both of my lower legs, from the ankle to the shin and my mid to lower back are sensitive to cold.  So, I've stocked up on T-shirts and I'm always looking for long socks.  I've already begun to feel the seasons change.  I wonder what's in store for me in January!

Coffee is another matter.  Every coffee drinker understands the pleasure in coffee, and even some who don't drink coffee love its smell.  I have been drinking coffee since I was about 15, and I've enjoyed it almost every way imaginable.  Weak coffee, I drink straight up black, moderately stiff coffee needs creamer, and espresso, well, either it must be gulped like a shot, or it needs everything in it, the works: creamer, flavoring, and schlag (whipped cream).  I just really enjoy coffee; decaf or regular.  Right now, I have a favorite.  It's decaf espresso roast from abcreserve.com.  I have a history with this brand, so like all coffee drinkers, I'm biased, but since I have time to blog, I will tell you the story of my history with ABC, or America's Best Coffee.

My friend, Hubert and his brother Ronald opened a coffee shop in Arlington, TX around 2004.  I stopped in before work a few times, and thought it was a pretty cool place, and the coffee is way better than the McDonald's of coffee.  I was recently divorced at that time, and I needed a place to go after work, and I'm much more comfortable in a coffee shop than in a bar.  In a short while, ABC became to me what Cheers was to Sam, Diane, Karla, and Norm.  The regulars became friends.  Some are coffee shop friends, and others are more lasting friendships.  The people I met at ABC became part of my support network, helping me through one of the most difficult episodes of my life.  Most of them did not know my story, but their very presence and interest in me as a person made a huge difference in my life.  It is most unfortunate that Hubert and Ronald sold the store. The coffee is still wonderful, but the atmosphere that my friends brought to their business is not the same.  That I can order and brew my favorite java is a privilege that I missed during my travels.

I have been on a cleanse the past week or so.  One of the requirements of the cleanse was that I give up my stimulants, or caffeine.  I opted to drink decaf (I know, it's not exactly stimulant free, but it's better than no coffee.  Having coffee is better for me and for all around me).  Lately, I have been wrestling with getting the best brew.  At my house, with the equipment I have available (a leaky cuisinart espresso maker, a krups il primo that leaves sediment in your drink, a borrowed drip coffee maker, and a french press), the best brew for my buck is the french press.  I'm not willing to spend a ton of money on a machine, and I want some good coffee.  Is that too much to ask?  NO, I say.  So, I finely grind my beans, put them in the french press, pour on boiling water, steep for approximately four minutes, and voila!  I have awesome coffee.  For those purists who are screaming to yourselves, "NO, it should be a coarse grind for a french press!" I know.  I just like it this way.  At my house, I can brew my ABC coffee any way I like.  So, order your own, and brew it the way you like it.