How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


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A Walk to Remember

What choice did we have? The woman had sounded confident. It was about 5:30-ish; lots of time before dark. To this point the walk had been level, but now the path crept up-hill. Intent on our goal, we gasped and wheezed to the top, out of the wooded area. Fast-moving traffic whizzed by on a road a good stone’s throw away. Per instructions, we turned right onto a sidewalk and lo and behold the landmark building gleamed in the distance.

A residential area spread before us, but we turned left and trudged up a road which seemed a dead end. Cars and trucks parked hoods to tailpipes, were all blocked in except the last two in a double row. Up a stone and concrete rise, Mary and I traipsed, careful not to stumble. Next came stairs, a sizeable municipal parking lot, across another busy road, and the mall at last. First we traversed its humongous parking lot. I’m not sure anymore if the other part of the mall next to the liquor store was a hardware or grocery store. We beelined towards the entrance.

At both intersections where we’d crossed, drivers slowed and stopped before we set foot off the sidewalk. Such polite Newfoundlanders. A couple groups of locals outside the liquor store gave us the once-over. We might as well have worn signs: Tourists or No Way from Here.

On a Friday night, I suppose it’s not unusual to find this type store busy. It was jam-packed with customers of varied ages and sounded like party central. Music blared, customers swarmed, and it was hot. Yes, stifling, as if someone forgot to turn the furnace off. We’d decided to buy a bottle each in case next time no store existed within walking distance. I hope fellow blogger, Sally Cronin believes this purchase was for medicinal purposes. Wink. Wink.

Mary had to chat up an employee as I dripped a puddle within minutes of entering. I shop fast except when I’m grocery shopping. Up and down the isles I zoomed till I found something familiar. Mission accomplished, I couldn’t find Mary. If I didn’t get out of there soon, nothing would be left of me. I was ready to forget the wine and escape outside.

You’d think my sister had never been in a liquor store before. It was no different from those at home. I found and grabbed her—she already had a selection in hand. Our lucky day: the cash register was new and not working properly, the cashier needed help, and there were a handful of people in line ahead of us. I wanted to wring out my hair.

Finally outside, I thought I’d never cool off again because we were slogging along at a good clip. We retraced our steps, not once taking a wrong turn. We’d only hiked over one-and-a-half kilometers one way.

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A Meet and Greet had been scheduled for 8:30 p.m. with our tour group. With time to kill, Mary and I sent e-mails and she nodded off in bed. I pulled out my book, curled up on the sofa and read. Though my eyes were heavy, I watched the clock.

At last it was time to meet everyone. Hot and cold beverages and tiny tarts were served. We introduced each other. Two minutes later I couldn’t match a name to a face. The whole procedure took about a half-hour. More than anything, I wanted a bed and pillow. I shut my eyes by 10:30 p.m. (9:00 home time). I’d been awake since 3:15 that morning.

“When you make friends with a Newfoundlander, you make a friend for life.”

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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Corner Brook, Newfoundland

The bus dropped us, the last of the new arrivals at Glynmill Inn, a white and green Tudor Style building. Our accommodations were pleasant, old world and tasteful. We had a sitting-room, a fridge, a bar sink and coffee maker, but no safe; a bedroom in another room and a bathroom. Though a small suite, the beds were heaven, but the pillows too plump for sleeping—at least for me.

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Food wasn’t supplied for this night. A boiled egg before leaving home and a homemade sandwich at the airport while we waited for the flight made for empty tummies. Francis, our guide, had explained where to find restaurants on West Street, the main street in town. We had enough choices and were disappointed the business area seemed miniscule. Along the way we passed two Chinese eateries, one closed until further notice, and a third tiny one. Other offerings were a pizza takeout; Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC); a yogurt place; Tim Hortons Coffee shop, and a wine-making outfit. As well close by were an A&W burger place, Shopper’s Drug Mart and an Esso Gas Station. A whimsical white building tucked back from the street drew our attention: a catering business with a café attached and a couple tables with chairs.

This statue and plaques were in front of some government buildings along the way.

We settled for Chinese, but should have listened to a couple we passed (from our tour group) coming back from dinner. One order would have been enough between us. What a waste, but we weren’t hungry anymore.

I'm the wind-blown looker in purple. Oh yeah, and my sister.

I’m the wind-blown looker in purple. Oh yeah, and my sister.

I have a question. Why do many Chinese restaurants have washroom facilities at the Exit sign, down a long flight of stairs and longer hallway? They always give me the creeps. One may well meet an unsavory customer in this bowel of the earth.

Friday night and on vacation, we had to find a liquor store. After dinner Mary accosted approached a woman unloading her car in front of the catering establishment.

“What is it you want?” She pointed to the Esso Gas Station. “You can buy beer at all gas stations, but wine only in a liquor store.”

“Is there one within walking distance? We don’t have a car.”

She pointed to a tall building in the distance where we’d find a mall and a liquor store next to it.

Behind the inn, stairs led a long way down to the water’s edge. With time to kill and the improvement in weather, my sister and I decided to explore the walking trails and maybe find our way to the tall landmark on the hill and a bottle of wine.

Long stairs to the water’s edge (The Humber River).IMG_1446

Our target: the tall white building (our landmark).

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The path is long, but the way is scenic.

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Feathered friends enjoy the water.

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A bridge to cross.

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Intent on our goal, we crossed the bridge and met a fork in the road. Which way? Another walker, a smiling young lady came towards us. I suppose we looked lost or out of place. She was from Australia, but knew Corner Brook. “Not this way. You want to go there.” She pointed in the opposite direction.

“But the white building in that way.”

“Trust me.”

Quick Facts:

  • Corner Brook population about 20,000
  • 1986 First sighting of coyote in Newfoundland (but they don’t chase moose)
  • Newfoundland Pony has unique DNA
  • 1997 declared Heritage Breed of Newfoundland and Labrador

Next on October 16:  Don’t Panic. A Walk to Remember

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page.  


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Chongqing: Day 17, Part 2 – to Guilin Tea Plantation

I felt rushed through the zoo and we were. Next on the agenda was a local flight to Guilin. We had to get our luggage checked and be ready to board by 11:10 a.m. for an hour flight. There were no unexpected surprises at the airport this time: no wands shrieked, nor gongs rung; no high-pitched voices nor thumping feet. Everyone had packed properly and wore no heavy metal.

A boxed lunch was served on board again, but I don’t recall what had been on offer.

Upon landing, our new tour guide, thirty-something Lily, met us at the airport. She was an attractive young woman, who appeared reserved, but approachable.

  • Population Guilin: 1 million, includes 5 urban districts. Total equals 4.7 million
  • Lots of Limestone mountains
  • Yao Mountain only earth mountain, also the highest

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  • Small buildings only up to five storys high
  • Lakes and two rivers
  • Have 4 seasons
  • Living standard is okay
  • Tourism main source of revenue
  • Tax-free for business
  • Minority regions, tax tree
  • Good transportation
  • Major fashion manufacturers: Shanghai & Kenton
  • Southern port of China

We were surrounded by limestone mountains from the airport to Guilin. What a sight to see.

  • Specialty chili paste: local taste is hot
  • Herbal medicine
  • Fermented tofu
  • Persimmons, kumquats, oranges
  • Local wine (53% made from rice), named: Three Flower
  • Natural wine quarry
  • Local beer: Lee Cham
  • Hometown of local painting
  • Ocean pearls about 300 miles (km) from Guilin
  • 10 army bases present because close to Vietnam border
  • Rice has two crops a year. Ninety percent of rice farmers suffer rheumatism and arthritis

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Frolicking in a tea field. I couldn’t balance the hat on my head.

Tea Quick Facts:

  • Guilin area known for Chinese Tea
  • Tea Institute does research on tea properties (founded in 1965 near Yao Mountain)
  • Same tea bush, different tea from different parts of the bush
  • Tea picking is in the morning
  • Osmanthus tree, a relative of cinnamon (use only flowers not bark for tea)
  • Flower tea: Jasmine, Osmanthus
  • Green tea has caffeine, radiation-resistant for people use computers for long hours
  • White tea regulated and produced in limited quantities for export
  • Oolong tea, you must have clay pot (colour is red but like black tea) but different taste

Tea Disruption

  • Most popular tea? Depends on age and type of job (social standing)
  • Tea for modern people: “Puer” tea compressed into a hard block
  • Puer tea (expensive) you cut off a piece to make tea
  • Puer tea: good for stomach, detox high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism and good for losing weight

We were invited to a tea tasting after the tour. I wasn’t fond of much of the tea. One couple liked the Puer tea and bought a box.

~ * ~

Additional Information:

Tea farm outside Guilin:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_Bzr8s45i8

How do they make it? Puer Tea Production:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6mewXlWlmY

 ~ * ~

Next on February 13th, To Yangshuo: Day 17, Part 3 – Countryside

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Rights Reserved Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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On the Yangtze River: Day 15, Part 5 (To the Locks)

Forecast:  overcast skies and temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees C. Fog, mist and cold, damp air had already set up shop.

The 1:00 a.m. time slot to pass through the locks had been cancelled due to poor visibility. After being forced to drop anchor, the captain started up the engines around breakfast to make up for lost time.

I felt claustrophobic while surrounded by such solid and towering—sometimes rock and other times cement enclosures—on our side of the ship. We waited our turn. I noticed only one boat / ship behind us, smaller than ours.

8:05 a.m.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles (8:05 a.m.)

The barges had lined up: (10;58 a.m.)

10:58 a.m.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

 

Slow progress towards the beginning of the locks (11:05)

We lingered over a late breakfast rescheduled an hour later than usual from 8:00 to 9:30 a.m. The promised excursion to the Goddess Stream had been cancelled because our late entry through the locks and we hadn’t arrived at the correct destination. The optional tour to the fabulous White Emperor City   (360 Yuan or $60.00 USD) was also cancelled. Some people may have been put out, but no-one can control the weather and everyone’s money was refunded.

The days have been so slow and lazy (mostly reading), I find it difficult to realize this is only day three on the ship.

To prove how lackadaisical I’ve become, I forgot all about taking note of the offerings for lunch.

It took all day to go through all the locks.

 

At 5:30 on Deck 5, a movie ran about how the Three Gorges began, and about the displacement of 1.3 million people in the process. Though the documentary was a number of years old, I was surprised to learn the narrator’s name: Jodie Foster. I wished the film had covered up to a more current date.

Three Gorges Quick Facts:

  • The first gorge (Wu Gorge) is 76 km. long; the second is 44 km and the 3rd, 8 km.
  • The Gorge generates clean hydro power. Air pollution control (no pollution). Population: 1.3 billion; India is #2 in population
  • The dam is 1.4 miles long and 700 megawatts per turbine x 32 turbines
  • 3 million people were displaced when the land was flooded
  • Reasons for displacement was flood control and for tremendous additional hydro
  • The young people were happy about the move: new houses, television and radio etc.
  • The seniors were not happy because they had generations of history, living there all their lives
  • This is a mountainous geography.
  • There are three man-made tunnels on the way to the gorge, the longest is 3.6 km.

By 3:35 p.m., I noticed we were in the clear and out of the locks.

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie

Late Dinner rescheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Salads

Cold pasta; fruit with mayonnaise; cherry tomato salad; lotus root with orange; bean curd with shallot; stewed duck in soy sauce

French, Italian and Thousand Island dressings; romaine and chunks of red cabbage; sliced red cabbage; onion rings; sliced cucumbers; real bacon bits; raisins and Parmesan

Sliced peeled oranges; sliced watermelon; cantaloupe and honey melon; Longon

Mains

Black Pepper Sauce; Mushroom Sauce; stewed pork Hungary-style; roast potatoes; steamed pork slices with pickles; baked cabbage with cream; stewed chicken with bamboo shoots; pizza with pineapple (and banana); diced pork with pineapple; stir fry vegetables; steamed white rice; cream of pumpkin soup; mixed mushroom soup; Chinese fried noodles; and buns

Desserts

I had three glasses of wine at dinner, and then a fourth to take to my room, following the Guest Talent Show. After the movie on Deck 5, I asked at the bar about buying a (cheap(er)) bottle for my room, the same as the local brew poured freely at lunch and dinner. This wasn’t possible / available for purchase. Instead of Jacobs Creek Australian wine ($33 / bottle USD), I was shown a bottle of Dynasty (China’s best local wine) at $21.00 USD. I wasn’t that thirsty. I had paid $10.00 USD, less than half, in Shanghai for the same bottle at a tiny grocery store on a side-street.  Yes, it was good at that price and I was not willing to pay more. I have never  paid so much. Hong Kong will be my next wine shopping.

Guest Talent Show:  (Only Four Acts)

  • The French group from Quebec
  • A Spanish group
  • Two Spanish dancers surrounded by their full tour group
  • Robert (our Beijing tour guide) sang a solo.

After the short performance Bonnie and Loreno danced to the twist when dancing music played and people got up to dance. Not me.

Afterwards, I read for a while and gabbed with Sue until 11:30. That’s a record for us, and I enjoyed my glass of wine. What a great idea. I’d seen others leaving the dining-room with a glass—and had my Aha moment.

Additional Information on the locks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8vBOzfkcdQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HKrLbtfkAc

~ * ~

Next on January 16th – On the Yangtze, Day 16, Part 6 (Ghost City

For more related posts, click on China tab at the top of the page

© 2015 All Right Reserved TAK


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Beijing Day 5, Part 4: Special Peking Dinner

When the bus dropped us off, we walked to the restaurant down an alley and a weird sidewalk, up-heaved and not finished, or maybe under construction. We entered a shopping mall and took the escalator to the second floor. The women wanted to look around and shop. We hadn’t been in a Chinese mall yet. Again, no time. I didn’t care about actual shopping, but I wanted to compare a mall in the east to what we knew at home. From our rushed escort, I’d say they are comparable.

Fancy caving of Peking Duck

Fancy caving of Peking Duck. Check out the wind glass on the table.

Our heads swiveled as if at a tennis match, but Robert whisked the English 8 into the most upscale restaurant we’d been to so far. All the restaurants thus far wouldn’t be mistaken for anything by Chinese. Excepting the staff, we might have been anywhere in the world. Our table, tucked in a quiet corner with no other patrons around, put the idea into my head that we’d been bad. (small joke)

Asked for our preference, our glasses were blessed with a splash—my guess—an ounce of wine. (Proof positive: Don’t do this at home, kids. Today I ran a test. I measured an ounce of water and poured it into a similar glass. I was right. Sometimes I amaze me.)

Appetizers

  • thin beef slices
  • radish
  • salad (didn’t write what kind)
  • vegetables

As expert as a surgeon

As expert as a surgeon

The opened bottle waited on the sideboard. What a group we are. No-one jumped to order. All meals and tips were inclusive but not the extra wine. At least when you buy a bottle of wine in a grocery store or liquor outlet, you can haggle over the price. You don’t ask the price of wine in a restaurant and then decide not to order. Right? Was it good? It wasn’t memorable.

The duck was presented and carved. An expert carver, every cut precise. Yes, we all tasted it, but no-one liked it and what an embarrassment to leave so much uneaten. Okay, I’ll tell you why: it was dry and tough. My apologies to the chef.

  • Rice
  • Beef and onion + red and green peppers for color
  • Sweet and Sour chicken (familiar, almost like home)
  • French fries and shrimp (yes, together)
  • Chinese cucumbers (the tiny ones)
  • Chicken and tomatoes
  • Soup (made no notation re kind)
  • Pulled duck meat and onions
  • Something like a tortilla for the duck meat

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Wouldn’t you know, the one night we had an early evening, we ended up in a traffic jam, but not for long. My feet were killing me but felt better than the previous day. These new shoes I bought for mega bucks were comfortable but my feet perspired like fish in a steamer.

I needed bandages for the blisters. Couldn’t find the ones I KNOW I packed. Lucky for me we had a drugstore next to the small variety store on one side of the hotel. What an experience. Neither the druggist nor the cashier spoke English. Pantomime, hand signals and short of removing my shoes, we finally found regular bandages. I shook my head a lot and the druggist showed me a roll of gauze suitable for a bullet wound to the chest.

On my way back to the hotel I slipped into the variety store and for $3:00 U.S. bought a large can of Chinese beer. You know, to celebrate the bandages and yes, it hit the spot.

CCTV station in the background. Looks like a pair of pants.

CCTV station in the background. Looks like a pair of pants.

 

Some Quick FACTS about WORK:

  • Average salary $1,000 per month in major cities / less in smaller ones
  • White collar workers $1,700 per month
  • Working for government, same salary but allows discounts for detergents, soap, condos,
  • Working for government has good healthcare and other benefits even if salary low
  • Late to work once, maybe twice, 3rd time you’re fired
  • Unemployment rate 4 – 5%
  • 70% of companies are privately owned
  • Big imbalance between the rich and poor
  • Lots of floating population from rural areas and outside the city try to move to Beijing
  • Both parents must work
  • Grandparents live close by and look after child while parents at work

Family:

NO matter how many young children we came across—not hordes—not once did any one of them flip out, scream, cry, cause any kind of fuss. How does that work here? As well, lots of grandfathers and young fathers interact with the young child. By far, most of the children have been boys.

  • Babysitter for newborn good paying / competitive job = $1,500 / month
  • Rather hire grandma / grandparents who live close to help with childcare
  • Maternity leave is 6 months with pay
  • Second child penalty 60,000 Yuan ($10,000)
  • Twins or triplets are considered one pregnancy and not penalized

Next on August 7, Luoyang, Day 1, Part 1: Domestic Flight

To read more related information, click the China tab at the top of this page


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Coming Soon, but When?

Over weeks (or has it been months?), I received a couple of reminders from Microsoft Account Team: account linking will soon be discontinued. To prepare for this change, ‛coming s-o-o-n (not when—but s-o-o-n),’ I was to setup all e-mails from Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo in one place. . . yada, yada, yada.

Soon? When would Soon arrive? Who, in business, says Soon without a specific cut-off date?

July arrived and e-mail continued as usual. I expected Microsoft to be reasonable. Within three days or a week of the actual deadline, I felt confident they’d send out a final warning. I imagined a calendar and a red-circled absolute drop-dead date.  I am so loopy sometimes.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

This past Monday morning I worked back and forth, in and out of my four Inboxes until…I could not. My menu of emails evaporated and only my sign-in account was still active. I thought I’d log into one of the missing ones after I tracked down my login. Nothing doing. All accounts were erased, gone, no longer accessible, vaporized on that infinite highway somewhere in Sputnik Land.

Take any bill you pay. Doesn’t it specify a due-date. If you’re late, don’t you get a warning and one last chance before your hydro  is cut off, for instance? If not, they used to send reminders. (I pay my bills as soon as they arrive in my Inbox so I haven’t noticed in recent years).

ALL my fault. I gasped and didn’t bawl too long. I accepted total responsibility for this flaw in my character. I sucked it up and set to work for I am the Reigning Queen of Procrastination. I suppose, at last I’m queen of SOMEthing.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

To replace the lost accounts I kept the working account in Hotmail and opened another one as a backup. In Gmail, I already had an account and set up an alternate also. For two days, I struggled and gave up, came back with new inspiration, and proceeded to the finish line. Whew.

Yay. . .

I setup a new e-mail account for my blog. Ha! Microsoft scoffed, and told me that account did not exist after I had input all the information for Let’s Cut the Crap. And on and on my week deteriorated. I hate arguing.

A friend of mine told me today she had once received notification from G-mail about some unusual activity taking place on her account; someone from Mexico tried to hack her. They warned: change your password. This notification made her feel special, cared for, a valued user of their service.

I received a similar forewarning from Microsoft a year ago, but it appeared as a yellow banner above my ‘Add A Message’ box when I tried to send a note, and was immediately blocked. Three months of requests, begging, hammering my head against the wall made MSN tone-deaf and blind. To me.

My accounts are working now, but appear unstable. That’s for next week. I can’t live on the wild side for more than a couple of days without a long rest in between.

My ranting done, I’m ready for a nap and a cold compress, or maybe an Excederin.

Perhaps a nice glass of Rioja…?

~ * ~

By the way, the request for help I sent out my blogging friends on how to change my blog e-mail has proved to be most helpful. Thank you to those who contributed instructions. Without them I would have pulled out all my hair.


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Move Over Oprah

I’m too easy—and maybe simple too. The absolute truth is I know I’m easy to please. Maybe not quite that easy, still, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

When I was much younger, I could never make up my mind about anything—so many choices you see. Also, because anything was possible, I had a problem making up my mind. I drove more than one cashier in the variety store insensible with impatience while I chose penny candy on the occasion I had a quarter to spend. That’s all behind me now. These days, I don’t need much other than the basics. In no particular order, I also enjoy wine, books, a phone and, of course, access to the Internet (which is iffy around here of late).

Now what excite me are the little things.  Allow me to borrow a cliché: Do small things amuse small minds? Nothing’s wrong with my mind; I prefer an uncomplicated life now: quiet and unassuming.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Permit me to spill my guts. My latest discovery is the humble can opener. I used to have an electric one in my last house (attached at eye-level over the sink), but when I moved, I decided not to deface my awesome new kitchen cupboards. I stuck it out with an old-fashioned manual opener until it became too blunt, I suppose, and cranking on that useless device made my eyes bleed wrecked my fingers.

I kept forgetting to buy a new one. A few weeks ago, I chucked the rusted old pain-in-the-wrists and bought a new one: Starfit in white; under $10.00; works smooth as butter; slices off the whole top of the can, not just the lid; painless to use—and whisper quiet. It was love at first sight.

Starfit

Starfit

And now, every time I need to open a can—which sad to say isn’t often—I smile and turn pink with pleasure. I pat my new domestic-device-friend and we get the job done.

See what I mean? I’m easy to please, and when I’m happy, I’m over-the-top ecstatic. If only everything in life was this simple. Sigh.

I cannot afford even one of Oprah’s favourite things, but do I care? I prefer the simple life now. Should Oprah want one as well, they can be found anywhere.

< * >

What should you replace but keep putting off?

< * >

Please note:  This is not a paid endorsement. I’m just sharing my enthusiasm.


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Flash in the Pan – Tablecloth

MH900437986“Tony, slow down.  You’re going to choke.”

Rosa’s husband swallows, grabs his wine glass and glugs it like water. Spilled drops trickle down his double chin onto the bib he’s fashioned. He rolls his eyes but avoids her gaze. One hand yanks out the chin apron and chucks it to the floor. “Can’t a man eat in peace?”

He rises with a lurch. Wine spills, stringy pasta sprawls, and glass shatters on the tile. With a bark of laughter, Tony gawks down at his belt.

Cheeks on fire, Rosa covers her face. “Saturday night and I can’t take you anywhere.”

~ * ~

The word limit for Tablecloth is 100 words. I used all 100. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.


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Hot Flash – Wine

“You on for girls’ night Friday?”

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

“Nope. They’re your friends, not mine.”

“So what’s up?”

“Sally Devine is ba-ack?”

“Here? But it’s thirty years—”

“Since Joe hammered Pete.”

“Heard she divorced Joe.  And Pete—?”

“Sally and Pete, heartthrobs.”

Anna’s Pete?

“You didn’t know? More wine?”

“Poor Annalyn.”

~ * ~

The word limit for Wine is 50 words. I used every one. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for the rules and join us.


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How’s Yours?

For Christmas, my daughter surprised me with a Keurig (coffee brewing system), which gives me a choice of three cup sizes. My old coffee maker works fine, I wanted to blurt.

A sample box of a dozen pre-measured, prefilled cups came with it—Italian (dark) Roast—too strong for my taste. Since Keurig carry so many brands, I would have preferred a box of assorted coffee instead. In my notebook, I made notes about two dozen varieties I had to purchase. These are a few:

  1. Timothy’s Original Donut Blend  – a somewhat watered down taste of coffee, with overtones of molasses.
  2. Brown Gold 100% Peruvian Medium –  full-bodied coffee, with rich overtones of peaches. Yum.
  3. 100% Costa Rican Brown Gold, Mild – beautiful cup of coffee. No added notes but a ‘feel good cup of coffee’.
  4. Breakfast In Bed Woolfgang Puck, Medium – a full bodied coffee. Nice aroma, but with a slight aftertaste; still, not bad. This one proved disappointing. I had high expectations because of the brand. Nothing outstanding here. No notes or overtones.

Not that I’m a wine connoisseur by any stretch, but it struck me odd that I should make comparisons to wine when I wrote these notes. When I went back to the coffee supply store, what a surprise to see all the coffees had similar descriptions as above. Woohoo.

Thank you Microsoft

Thank you Microsoft

Why I’m not crazy about the new-fangled coffee machines is so many customers are now buying premeasured plastic pucks and cups. Throwing this plastic in the garbage drives me nuts. I found out if you rip the cups apart and remove the paper or fibre filter, they are recyclable. A bit of a bother, I know, but let’s face it we’re already too lazy.

Keurig also make a reusable cup you can fill yourself. I believe they sell separate paper  filters for these, but am  not sure. You fill these with any kind of coffee you like, perhaps a favourite you already enjoy. My problem is the machine makes only one cup at a time. You need to dig out the compacted grounds, rinse, dry and refill for next one. Somewhat of a pain if you have a friend over for coffee. For best results you must use ultra-fine grind coffee in the refillable cups or the end result I found disappointing.

Did I need a new coffee machine? No. Was I over the moon when I opened my gift? No. Once a cup is made I must drink it up or it will get cold. I hate cold coffee. It so happens that Kuerig coffees are delicious black and cold, but I still prefer mine hot.

I’m content with my old drip coffeemaker. I can pour a third or a half-cup at a time, and I get to drink it hot. My cat jumped up on the counter last week and knocked the coffee pot off because I set it, clean and empty, next to the drip coffee unit. It smashed on the floor. Instead of buying acomplete new unit, I replaced the pot for $2.99 at a second-hand store. Now my coffee is always hot again because my cheap little coffee maker has a burner, and keeps my pot hot.

The Keurig is nice, but too expensive for every day use. I like lots of black coffee each day.

What’s your story? How is your coffee?