Tale Weaver — The Best Part of Waking Up

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For this week’s Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, we have been invited to write about our morning and our need for coffee or tea to get our day underway.

I definitely need coffee in the morning these days, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, unlike most of my school buds, I never touched coffee in college. I thought it was way too bitter for my tastes. But when I went to basic training in the army, I decided to give it a shot. In order to tolerate the close to sludge-like army coffee, I had to add lots of milk and sugar.

By the time I rejoined civilization after my stint in the army, I couldn’t survive the morning without coffee, and I continued to load up my coffee with milk and sugar. Eventually I decided to cut out the milk and just use sugar. But I was anything but a coffee connoisseur. I was perfectly fine drinking instant coffee, black with sugar.

But as I got older, I became more picky about my coffee. I bought a Mr. Coffee machine and bags of ground coffee and made my own fresh coffee each morning before work. I still couldn’t take it without sugar, though.

Then I switched to whole beans, got a burr grinder, and ground my own. Still black, with sugar. Finally I bought a top of the line Cuisinart combo grinder/brewer. My wife and I use only organic whole bean dark roast coffee. She has it all set up the night before and the first thing she does every morning is turn on the Cuisinart so that, by the time I head downstairs, a whole pot of delicious, fresh coffee is awaiting. I pour myself a cup and sit down and read the local newspaper.

I can’t imagine starting my day any other way.

And by the way, I gave up sugar in my coffee. Now I put half a packet of Splenda in each cup.

And that’s my story about my need for coffee to get my day underway. It’s the best part of waking up.

Share Your World — Coffee and Climate

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Time for another series of Share Your World questions from Melanie. Here goes:

If you drink coffee, how do you like it best? Hot, cold, iced, with cream, with sugar or black as black?

I do, indeed, drink coffee. Only hot coffee, only black coffee sweetened with one packet of Splenda.91AC3DFE-3D90-4FA1-A8D3-84E94D02B5D9

In your opinion, what’s the greatest invention of our age?

I’m using it to respond to Melanie’s SYW questions: the iPhone.94C25DF7-A8B9-4F49-8EBA-4B671FB8D0AE

Global warming? Reality or myth?

Global warming (aka, climate change) is reality. The Bible is myth.Once upon a time

Are you an explorer or more a home body?

I used to be an explorer back in the day. Now that I’m retired (and old), I’ve become more of a home body.DB8ADFC3-4E20-4196-96B8-FA8D97D53972

What were you grateful for this week?

Hmm. Other than I’m still alive and well (as are my wife, kids, and pets), I can’t honestly think of anything else. But maybe that’s enough.C0CAC0E9-781C-4507-8991-576E84794DFD

Throwback Thursday — Hangovers and How To Manage Them

When you’ve been blogging for 16 months, as I have, and you’ve published 1,667 posts, as I have, you are bound to have written some posts along the way that you are proud of, but that few people read, fewer people liked, and even fewer commented on.

This post, which I originally published on June 12, 2017, is one such post. This post got six views, three likes, and zero comments. So I thought it might be time to give it another go.


hungoverLet me be clear. I am not suffering from a hangover. I have turned into a teetotaler in my old age. I will occasionally have a beer, very rarely have a cocktail, and never drink wine. So hung over is something I have not been in perhaps decades.

But that does not mean that I didn’t wake up many a morning back in the day drooling on the bathroom floor and with my arms wrapped snugly around the porcelain goddess.

I vividly remember the aching head, the sick-to-my stomach feeling, the dizziness, the thirst, and the general sense of confusion when trying to remember what had happened the night before that landed me in a tight embrace with the toilet.

Who among you has never experienced a hangover? It’s quite common, you know. One study noted that more than 75% of people who’ve consumed alcoholic beverages have experienced a hangover. Many have missed work or school because of their hangovers.

So fess up, you’ve woken up with a hangover, right?

Hangovers have been around and acknowledged since at least biblical times. I know I’m the least likely person to be quoting a verse from the Bible, but, “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink” (Isaiah 5:11). Woe unto them indeed!

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Of course, the best advice for not waking up with a hangover is to not drink too much the night before. But, you know, shit happens.

V8 Bloody MaryI was once told that the best way to deal with a hangover is to have a drink, like a Bloody Mary. Especially one made with V8 Bloody Mary mix.

But that is apparently an old wives’ tale. Alcohol may temporarily make you feel better, but it will ultimately dehydrate you and leave you feeling worse later on in the day.

So how should you deal with a hangover? Here is a compilation of suggestions I’ve come up with after an exhaustive search on Google:

  • Drink water. After a night of excessive drinking, your body is absolutely parched. Since many of the negative symptoms of alcohol derive from the dehydration of the body, you need to rehydrate. Coconut water or sports drinks, as well as clear, carbonated beverages like ginger ale or Sprite, might also help.
  • Take Advil. Or aspirin. Some sites warn against Tylenol. Tylenol, which is acetaminophen, has been shown to have liver-damaging reactions with alcohol metabolites.
  • Drink caffeinated coffee — or don’t. Some “experts” warn against drinking coffee if you have a hangover. They say coffee further dehydrates you and is acidic. But others suggest that a cuppa Joe helps you to wake up and feel alert. If you are going to drink coffee, though, it might be wise to take some Advil with your coffee. And drink plenty of water as well, since caffeine causes dehydration.
  • Eat toast and crackers. These foods alleviate nausea and help your body soak up the alcohol in your system. Some sites also recommend a combination of bananas and pretzels, since both salt and potassium are electrolytes that hold water to decrease dehydration.
  • Drink tea. Ginger or peppermint teas can reduce nausea and motion sickness. Green tea is also known to be helpful in stimulating key detoxification pathways.
  • Have sex. There is no research that shows that sex will make a hangover go away, but maybe it will make the time go faster and possibly even make you forget about how miserable you’re feeling.

So there you have it, my friends. If you drink, don’t drive. If you drink a lot and wake up the next morning with a horrible hangover, have sex.

You’re welcome.

Share Your World — Coffee, Tea, or Milk

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Melanie is celebrating her third week of hosting Share Your World since taking over from Cee Neuner. Melanie has posted the following SYW questions:

What Is your favorite beverage?

I don’t know that it’s my “favorite” beverage, but it’s mandatory two to three times a day: coffee.

What is your interpretation of “The Golden Rule”? Are there ramifications to breaking it?

Call me a cynic, but it’s “do unto others before they do unto you.” No, just kidding. Ramifications? Well, what goes around comes around, I suppose.

Sunrise person or sunset person?

When I lived on the east coast, it was sunrise. Now that I live on the west coast, it’s sunset.

Do people in modern society anthropomorphize animals too much?

Yes, except for my dog and cat, who are more human than most people I know.

What were you grateful for during the past week?

After a cool and mostly foggy, cloudy August, it was nice to see the sun shining again. Last week was sunny every day. And this week’s forecast calls for more of the same.

Time To Write — The Old Man and the Squirrel

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As he did every morning, weather permitting, 82-year-old Henry Goldsmith went to the coffee shop across the boulevard from the city park, where he ordered a black coffee and a cheese danish. Then he’d walk across the street, settle down onto his usual park bench, take bites out of his pastry and sips of his coffee as he waited for his little friend to show up.

Almost like clockwork, the small squirrel would run down a nearby tree and stand on the grass just outside of Henry’s reach. That’s when Henry would zip open up the leather fanny pack he wore around his waist and toss a raw, shelled peanut to the squirrel, who would retrieve the nut, sit upright, and place it in its mouth. Once the squirrel finished the first nut, Henry would toss it another. And another. And another.

It was a routine that Henry cherished, so much so that he even named the little squirrel “Rascal.” Henry and Rascal would rendezvous each morning and became the best of pals.

But neither of them, one one fateful morning, heard the sound of the hawk circling overhead.  And neither of them saw the hawk swoop down, grab Rascal with one of its sharp talons, and swiftly fly up and out of sight over the trees.

It was said that 82-year-old Henry Goldsmith, while sitting on his usual park bench taking bites out of his cheese danish, sipping his coffee, and feeding peanuts to squirrels, died that morning of a heart attack.

But what Henry Goldsmith really died of that morning on the park bench was a broken heart.


Written for this week’s Time To Write picture prompt from Rachel Poli.