What Coffee Beans MUST Want to Be When They Grow Up…

It’s no big secret that I love all things Peppermint.  My favorite is Peppermint Coffee.

NOT Peppermint Mocha.

Peppermint.

For years, my father-in-law would send me boxes of Publix’s Peppermint Frost coffee beans (sold under the name of Brothers Gourmet Coffee) after he and my mother-in-law arrived in Florida for the winter.

Poppy would literally buy out the three Publix stores near his Melbourne Beach home. When those boxes were delivered, it was like a little slice of heaven appeared on my doorstep, better than anything Santa could ever bring. I would immediately dump a bag into my grind and brew coffee maker, and as the aroma of the peppermint filled the room, my first cup would be ready to enjoy.

Pure bliss.

Poppy sent home enough beans to last well through the first half of the year. I am usually very seasonal with things, as I have issues with anything Christmas-related before Thanksgiving or after Christmas Day itself (*see Seasonal Acceptance Disorder below, which is a self-created and self-diagnosed condition).

However, THAT coffee was so good I made the exception and didn’t think twice about having a cup in May. I would always save enough beans in my freezer for the following season, just in case.

As Keurig brewers became the rage and replaced the traditional drip coffee makers, many retailers stopped selling flavored coffee beans, including Publix.

It was a sad day when, in 2013, Poppy told me he could not find Peppermint Frost coffee beans in any Publix. He probably visited every Publix within a 60-mile radius of his house in his valiant effort to locate them, but it was not meant to be.

It was just as well, since my grind and brew pot shut down around the same time and was relegated to the Cemetery of Faithful Coffee Makers after brewing its final cup.

Santa brought me a new-fangled K-cup brewer in 2013, but all I find was Peppermint Mocha pods, which wasn’t the same.

The allure of Peppermint coffee lost its luster when we lost Poppy in April of 2014.  For the last two holiday seasons, I had a cup here and there, but not regularly. I think it was the mental connection to losing Poppy that made reject any K-cup with Peppermint in it, even hot chocolate.

Until this year.

While shopping at Target earlier this month, I wandered down the coffee aisle, and I did a double take.

fullsizerender-3Candy Cane K-cups by Archer Farms (Target’s brand).

Could it be?

Peppermint, SANS Mocha?

My heart was ready to give this coffee a try.

I bought a box and waited until Thanksgiving to try it, so as to not upset my Seasonal Acceptance Disorder*.

With the anticipation of a wonderful Thanksgiving day ahead, I took the first pod out of the box and put it into my machine. I hit BREW, and as the machine worked its magic, I recognized that sweet elixir of a smell in the air.

When the coffee was ready, I added my stevia and cream. I sat for a moment and just let the aroma dance around my senses as it wafted through the kitchen.

Then, I took my first sip, and I almost fell to my knees.

Holy crap.

THIS IS IT.

These Archer Farms Candy Cane K-Cups brew a cup of coffee that is 98% the same as one brewed by those beloved Peppermint Frost coffee beans from Publix.

What is that missing 2 Percent?

Poppy. If Poppy had sent me these K-Cups, then it would be 100%.

Pure Bliss, yet again.

I’ve had four cups so far this season, with many more to come.

Each sip brings additional joy to my heart as I picture Poppy, the Purveyor of Peppermint, smiling down with that little smile he had, proud that he led me to the right coffee at the right time. Thanks, Poppy.

With each sip of my morning coffee today, I kept thinking that this heavenly flavor must be what each coffee bean wants to be when it grows up. Take that, Chock full ‘o Nuts!

I am not being paid for or compensated in any way for this raving endorsement of Target’s Archer Farms Candy Cane K-Cups. The Candy Cane K-Cups are available for a limited time, so hit up your local Target now before I channel Poppy and buy out their entire supply.

* Seasonal Acceptance Disorder: The inability to enjoy seasonal flavors, decorations, celebrations, or media outside of the regular calendar season. Seasonal Acceptance Disorder can cause mental anguish, the shakes, and the need for therapy. Most patients diagnosed with Seasonal Acceptance Disorder can only watch Christmas movies between the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Such patients may experience undue stress and rage upon experiencing holiday displays six months before said holiday, usually taking to social media to express their extreme dismay, and cannot actively participate in events such as Christmas in July without severe side effects.

Taking the Long Way this Autumn

There’s a white-throated sparrow proudly singing his song outside my window, with a wren crooning in the distance. The breeze coming in through the window is cool and crisp. The leaves, soon to be exploding with color like fireworks, are beginning to crunch under my feet as the trees have started shedding this year’s attire.

As much as I hate to see summer end, I find this time of year is truly majestic, and it’s even more symbolic for me THIS year.

Nature’s cycle of life can teach us all a lesson. Each day makes its individual mark of beauty amid the subtle changes which culminate in the end of a cycle. When it’s time for a change, which could very well be a massive change similar to autumn, do it the way nature does…with complete enthusiasm and gusto, with as much color and pop as possible. Then, nurture yourself with sleep and comfort as you adjust and prepare to spring ahead with newness when the time is right.

I am experiencing my own autumn, so to speak, and am becoming who I am meant to be. Even though I’ve been quiet here on my blog, my brain, my typing fingers, and my pens have not. The fountain has been tapped and the words, held hostage for so long, are finally finding their way out and gushing onto my notebook pages and type screens.

Not all words will be shared or meant for publication, and not all words have to do with my Mission from the Universe. Some are quite honestly an amalgam of crap, but they are words that have to be set free from the jail cell in my brain.

Others are deep-rooted, symbolic, filled with hope and promise…words I never thought would end up on paper but nonetheless appear.

Those are the words guiding my path right now. They are directing my journey to the backroads of my Mission from the Universe.

I’m taking the long way this time, and every single step along this less-trodden path so far has resulted in insight, joy, and a renewed appreciation of life.

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Let’s Live This August

My friend posted this meme yesterday. I shared it on my profile, then really thought about what the meme is saying.

August is like the Sunday of Summer.

It sure is.

Don’t get me wrong…I still love every summer day no matter what the month might be.

I just want to hold onto Summer so much. It’s my season, when I am my best self.

June is a new beginning, a giant sigh of relief. It’s full of opportunity and wonder, like January 1 kicks off every year. Anything is possible. It’s refreshing and reassuring. It’s also deceiving, leading us on to believe that there’s plenty of time to get our summer “to do” and “to enjoy” lists completed.

Then comes July, which is like my favorite pillow. I can hug it a thousand times, or play with it over and over, and it never loses its shape. It’s there when I wake, and when I say goodnight to the day. I can sleep soundly with that comforting pillow, free from worries and nightmares. It reassures me that tomorrow is another day when I can still start fresh, no need to really be concerned about the passing days…

As July wanes into August, things change again, ever so subtly. Each day is now filled with a little more urgency. Sunsets get earlier as the sun’s early evening slant changes its angle and becomes less intense day by day. Many of the bright summer flowers have lost their blooms, and nights become slightly cooler by the week. I look back at June and July, and wonder where the hell those days went. I then look ahead at what’s still on my summer goal lists, crossing some things off because there’s no longer enough time to accomplish everything I had hoped to do.

The lone cricket’s serenade that woke me early this morning affirmed that yes, it is indeed August already.

So, what do we do now?

Let’s live in the present and forget our lists.

Let’s hold onto each moment, to each day, to each experience.

Let’s notice the breeze blowing through our hair and feel the rain on our skin.

Let’s put our feet in the salt water and find eternity in the waves.

Let’s savor the ice cream cone, the watermelon, the corn on the cob, the peaches and plums.

Let’s laugh and sing with family and friends.

Let’s be grateful for all that we have, for all that we are, for all that we do, and for all in our lives.

Let’s face each day without worry, without fear, and without strings attached.

Let’s soak up every single second of August without leaving any time behind.

Let’s live.

Let’s live this August.

Will you join me?

 

 

 

 

Day 31 of 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ 2016: Enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 31 Days of Summer Lovin’ Challenge for 2016. It has been a pleasure seeing all of your written and photographic responses to each prompt. The challenge has brought me new friends and new inspirations.

If you enjoyed this challenge and are looking for an August Challenge, head on over to Susannah Conway’s homepage and learn about her August Love 2016 challenge, which starts tomorrow.  She is one of my favorite writers, and I look up to her very much.

I apologize for my lack of participation in this challenge  over the past 3 days. My Internet modem is not functioning, and I’m conserving data on my phone until the next billing cycle. 

However, I have been enjoying life with less technology. It’s more authentic and real. I like to think that my modem crapped out so that I could experience real life, rather than seeing what appears to be real life through a technological device, even if that “real life” is me, just sitting here, writing in solitude.

Come tomorrow, when a technician is scheduled to fix our connectivity issues, I vow to remember that real life is what is important, and that I can get by without wasting so much time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. 

I hope you continue to follow SoulSEAker, because I look forward to documenting my “mission from the universe” in August, as I will be embarking on a pilgrimage to Dublin. Stay tuned my friend!

Thank you again for following me. I am thankful for you, because YOU are helping me find my voice. 

Have a splendid day, and ENJOY it my friend!

Sea Something Today!

When I stop and look around, I see a lot of beauty and history right in my own area.  I bet it’s the same for you, too.  “Busy” and the “to-do lists” gobble up our time like a ravenous hawk, eating our precious minutes away.  At the end of the day, all we have is our memories and experiences.  One of my goals this year is to make those memories and experiences less stress-filled and more smile-filled.

I know I’ve mentioned my list of things I want to do while I am 44 before…I keep another blog documenting my year and my progress towards reaching my goals here.

Number 2 on my list was to see the Statue of Liberty.  I was only there twice before, first as a camp counselor in the early 1990’s, and again with my cousins and family in 1994.  It is only 70 minutes away, and you’d think that I’d see it more than just twice in 44 years.  But I let a calendar and list of things I have to do dictate my life for far too long.  As a result, I made it a priority to see it this year.

I took my niece, who did not know where we were going (which made it even more meaningful and fun).  First of all, it was surprisingly inexpensive:  $7 for parking, and $27 total for ferry tickets/admission to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  I didn’t realize that people buy tickets for the crown and pedestal online months in advance, so they were sold out; however, to add on those benefits is only a few dollars more.

As we rode the ferry over to the landmarks, I looked at the skyline of Manhattan, and took in all of the changes.  I also thought of my cousins from Sacramento…was it really 21 years ago already that we did this together?

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I wasn’t heartbroken about not being able to go inside the Statue, because my niece and I would have had to waste time standing in more lines in the heat.  Just walking around the Statue’s grounds was enough for us.  We also took in Ellis Island, ate lunch, bought some trinkets (including postcards and pins for my collection), laughed a lot, and learned some photography tips along the way.  For a diary-type reflection of the day, please read my blog post from my Living 44 blog here.

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Looking back, what made the biggest impact was the reason I went in the first place:  the Statue of Liberty is right here, 70 minutes away, and here we were, among so many people who traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles just to see this historic landmark, and more people who traced their ancestors’ journey through Ellis Island.

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My point is not to go on and on about the Statue of Liberty.  Rather, what I learned is to appreciate the history and the special places that are close by, and to share them with my family members and friends.  I now have a lot of memories and photographs from a wonderful day spent with my niece that we can both cherish forever.  Instead of sitting in the air conditioning on the couch, I got out there and did something wonderful.  All it cost me was a few bucks, a quarter of a tank of gas, and 500 minutes.

This week, spend some of your minutes on YOU:  find a place close to you and just go there, whether it is a park, a beach, a nature center, a historical home, or a museum.  Laugh and learn, either by yourself or with someone you care about  The minutes you spend will return priceless dividends of memories.

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Please feel free to share a similar experience you made time for this week in the comments below.

Until next time,

Jill