a true coffee addict

I recently received a very special coffee that I purchased from the Starbucks website. List price was $50, but with my employee discount I paid $35 for a half-pound of coffee. Considering many people spends hundreds of dollars on wines and liquors, I don’t find my acquisition outlandish.

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Starbucks only had enough beans for 790 bags of Panama Geisha Auromar, and I got number 52. It arrived in its own box, wrapped in black and gold tissue paper, with a letter describing where and how the coffee is grown.

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Panama Geisha now part of my coffee collection, in a cabinet stocked front to back with deliciousness!

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I’m pleased to say that this coffee was worth the price! It’s sweeter, and less earthy and herbal, than most of the other coffees offered by Starbucks, and I can taste that hint of fruitiness. I usually like Hawaiian beans the best, but the Panama Geisha is now among my favorites.

 

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Snippets

Life lately, in photographs.

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skinny ≠ healthy

When I tell someone that I need to stop eating junk food, they give me an incredulous look and say,”Like you need to worry about that! You’re tiny!” If I mention something about wanting to work out more often, I get the same sarcastic response.

I really dislike that people think that being thin is synonymous with being healthy. Genetics, a fast metabolism, and an inability to eat large portions in one sitting, have combined to give me a naturally petite figure. But I don’t feel healthy. Prior to March, I was lucky to make room for one twenty-minute workout a week. I had little cardio endurance, and jogging for two minutes completely winded me.

Going gluten-free helped with my diet makeover, because I never realized how many carbohydrates I was consuming in the form of highly processed, white wheat products until I had to cut them out of my life. However, there’s plenty of gluten-free junk food tempting me every time I go grocery shopping. Most chocolates, my biggest weakness, are also gluten-free. Sometimes, I feel like I have a separate stomach just for candy, because I can eat so much of it at once, whereas consuming one small apple with peanut butter fills me up.

So, while I may not look it, I eat a lot of garbage. I wouldn’t mind losing the belly fat that has stuck with me since I hit puberty, but the ultimate purpose of giving up junk food 99% of the time is to improve my physical and mental health. Plus, I just feel so guilty after eating a candy bar, cookie or bowl of ice cream, and I don’t like that sensation!

The response I get from most people when I talk about my eating habits is detrimental to my efforts. I already have little willpower, and when someone compliments my figure and says I don’t need to worry about what I eat, a part of me agrees with them. That gives me the green light to stuff my face with Godiva truffles and Häagen-Dazs, which starts the cycle of unhealthiness, weight gain, and guilt all over again.

It’s high time I really changed things. I’ve considered trying the Paleo diet for a week or two, but my love-affair with lattés and coffee with cream makes that impossible. But I am aiming to cut out as much processed food as possible. Going out to eat is already an infrequent occurrence for me, as I just eat at Chipotle when out with my boyfriend. I just calculated that my usual burrito bowl has about 735 calories, so it’s a good thing that I only go about once a week!

Learning to shop only the periphery of the grocery store is still a work in progress. Too often, I wander into the candy aisle, and I come home with 1,000 calories in chocolate that I eat within three days. I already have a host of minor-yet-infuriating health issues (gluten sensitivity, IBS, chronic pain – possibly fibromyalgia, fatigue, headaches, and nausea, just to name some of them) and I believe that every time I succumb to my desire for junk, every time I let my lack of willpower win, I exacerbate those issues.

So, I may be skinny, but I’m not healthy. I want to change that. I want to feel even better on the inside as people think I look on the outside.

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It’s Willow’s eleventh birthday!

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Well, I don’t know what her actual birth date is. My parents did the math when we adopted her at eight weeks old and determined that she was born in very late March/early April. Since Willow is affectionately known as our ‘silly kitty,’ we decided that April Fool’s Day was an appropriate birthday for our girl.

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I might have also wanted her birthday to be on the first because I hate the idea behind April Fool’s Day, and this gives me a little something else to celebrate instead. I don’t throw Willow a party or bake her a cake, because I’m not that much of a crazy cat lady, but I may slip her a few pieces of roasted chicken tonight…

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Fresh Start

Easily distracted, indecisive, fickle, mercurial – these words describe my life. There’s a lot more to me than my volatile nature, but it is the undertone of my life. That’s why I’ve started yet another new blog.

It’s not in my nature to focus on any one thing for very long, and I have a lot of interests. I’m still trying to figure out where I’m headed with my life, too, and what I really want to do, so there are so many things to write about. Maybe as I blog about my life, things will become clearer. If not, hopefully at least I’ll entertain some people!

Usually, I’m not too vocal about my religious beliefs because I’m so self-conscious. I don’t want people to judge me, or think less of me. But I recently made the decision – after years of thought – to declare myself an Atheist. Every Sunday, beginning when I was a toddler, I went to the local Presbyterian church with my grandparents. I had fun in Sunday School because I got to see friends, make crafts, and enjoy tasty snacks. I was never indoctrinated the way many children are, but some of the teachings and beliefs still stuck with me.

As I got older, I had to move on from the ‘Jesus loves me’ crafts and into the regular Sunday service with the adults. It was time to listen to the pastor preach, and sing dreary hymns, and read incomprehensible passages from the Bible. I dreaded Sunday mornings then. While my parents slept in, I had to don my stockings and trudge to church with my grandmother, who told me that I would go to hell if I didn’t attend service with her.

By the time I was fifteen, I was having panic attacks often, including every Sunday morning. I spent the hour-long church services trying to control my shaking limbs, and doodling on the back of a leaflet in an effort to distract myself from the nausea, the tightness in my chest, and the fear. It wasn’t long before I declared to my grandmother that I would not attend church with her again.

I minored in Religious Studies in college, so I spent a lot of my time learning about many beliefs, including Christianity. I dissected passages from the Bible, I read works of militant Atheists and the most devout Christians. One of my classes was devoted solely to the study of the relationship between democracy and Christianity, and we read from original sources dating back to the 1600’s.

I also analyzed Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and many other beliefs found across the world. I fancied myself a Buddhist for a time, but their beliefs regarding how Siddhartha became enlightened, and reincarnation were far too fanciful for me. It was then that I realized that I was merely clinging to few aspects of Christianity out of superstition and a fear of change, not out of any sort of true belief or faith.

After so much studying of religions and of science, after living on this beautiful, horrible planet for twenty-five years, after watching as Christians try to force their beliefs on others by attempting to ban abortions and gay marriage, I have realized that the only logical conclusion is that there are no gods.

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