365 Days of Earrings

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Bare Essentials: Coffee, Cream, and a Pruning Saw

 This morning I woke up to a very cold house--34 degrees outside, no heat and 54 degrees indoors... I put on my fuzzy blue sweater and headed downstairs to make coffee.

I've had a tough coffee week. I ran out of cream on Tuesday, so I went to Safeway and bought half and half on my way to school. Even with cream, my coffee tasted lousy. Too cold after that long drive, I told myself.

But on Wednesday, even when I added extra cream, my coffee tasted lousy. I poured my second cup for the road, but hardly sipped it on the way to school. On Thursday, I didn't even pour a second cup. Maybe I'm loosing my taste for coffee, I thought.

Finally, on Friday morning, I looked at the label on the cream: fat free half-and-half. The ingredient list is endless, with corn syrup, carrageenan, sugar, and assorted ingredients that "are not normally found in half and half."

That's because half and half contains two ingredients: milk and cream. That's what half and half means!

Friday evening on my way home from school, I stopped at Safeway and bought half and half. This morning, as I sipped my coffee, I realized that I am not just addicted to the caffeine but also to the fat in the cream. I could almost feel the soothing effect of the fat entering my system. Does it affect the myelin in my nerves? Supply a boost of energy to my mitochondria? No idea.

But as the infinity scarf that my daughter Kathe knitted for me slipped over my head and I headed out the door, I felt a glorious sense of well-being.

I took my camera with me, so that I could snap a photo of the obstacle that stood in my way as I returned home with groceries last night: an oak tree fallen across the drive about 3/10 of a mile from home, one of the many casualties of last Saturday's October snowstorm that have been dangling and ready to fall.

Last night, using the beams of my Forester's headlights and the pruning saw that I carry with me, I cut the two trunks of the tree. I trimmed the many branches still attached to the trunk. Then I eyed the 15 feet of tree that still stretched across the drive. Bending my knees to protect my back, I swiveled the trunk a foot at a time until it lay parallel to the bank, rather than stretched across the road. 

Good thing I snapped these pictures on my way out this morning, since by the time I returned home my husband John had chainsawed the whole tree into next year's firewood. The evidence of my woodswomanly feat had vanished from the road!

I think last night's tree adventure made my Saturday morning's coffee with cream even more of a pleasure. I chose this pair of earrings that I made last summer to match my sweater, and then added the infinity scarf for contrast.

Cozy clothing, coffee with cream, and a pruning saw under my passenger seat. Perfect preparations for a brisk fall day.

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