Tag Archives: Coffee

A Signature Smoothie

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I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops. And I’ve spent the past one-and-a-half years trying to recreate the sparks of thought, reflection, and creativity that coffee shop ambience inspires within me.

Well now, I’ve found a solution to the first half of my polar quandary. Instead of cups of gourmet coffee with frothy hearts atop their steamy ceilings, I’ve developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie.

 

An all-natural, caffeine-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan alternative that satisfies the taste buds while nourishing the body and soul.

I drink it after workouts; post-yoga; in-between meals when cravings try to sneak in.

So, now I have the drink to sip. I just need the human company. The live conversation. The tangible infusion of the senses that only a brick-and-mortar shop can provide. That’s my next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though, here’s the recipe:

  • 7 – 8 ounces of Water
  • 20 Raw Almonds + 5 Raw Cashews, soaked overnight and then rinsed
  • 1 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1 T Cocoa Powder (My favorite is Just Like Sugar Cocoa Mix)
  • Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder, Mocha Flavored (My favorite is Vega)
  • 1/2 Banana – Frozen, Fresh, or Pureed (Yes, as in baby food! It offers a sumptuous, custardy texture.)
  • 8 Frozen Cherries

Place in a single-serving blender in this order. Blend for 30 -45 seconds.

 

And may your cup always be filled to the rim.

 

I’m Still Learning About My Internal Queue

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Coffee Queue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m realizing that as I write and blog my tiny stories through this process called Life, I have a queue of lifelong infatuations in my head and heart.

I’m crushing on: lichens, moss, barnacles, Spanish moss, flamingos, wisteria, colorfully painted small towns with diagonal parking, ghost towns, ruins, desolation, diners, cafes, coffeehouses, little white churches, Route 66, antique buttons/beads/lace, and yoga.

 

Yogini

Such disparate passions. How do they all connect?

I thought I might learn by blundering my way through a blog. But, after nearly a year, I still have no idea.

And, yet, I do maintain this one stubborn fantasy: Stitching this seemingly unrelated queue together in the form of vignettes and poems, under the rubric of Diagonal Parking.

So, perhaps another year of clumsy musings and awkward rambling will bring a clearer vision of how I want to write down the bones and form the skeleton of my creative fancy.

Meanwhile, close on its heels is another reverie.

I’d ideally like to take a road trip of indefinite length, and spend time in the indulgence of small towns, explore ghost towns and ruins, ride the asphalt of the Mother Road over and over, dine in cafes, park diagonally, hike and meditate among the lichen/moss-splattered rocks, drive the “loneliest road in Nevada” and let desolation sink deeper into my soul, maybe even squawk with a flock of flamingos and dance the Fandango draped in Spanish moss beneath meandering vines of purple wisteria. And whenever I reach water with a pier, sit with the barnacles and study their formations.

At the moment, I have not a clue how to realize this two-part dream. But, I’m going to set up a matrix and release it. And see what unfolds.

And, if nothing does .  .  . well .  .  . I can always get behind the counter, gaze at the black-and-white checkered flooring, and serve the world its mocha java with a steaming smile.

Or, perhaps, do what I do best: sashay down the sidewalk of Main Street, braid myself into a yoga pose, and observe the world passing by .  . . meditating on all the contradictions and eccentricities it and I contain, while invisibly grinning at my self as I persistently search for the Truth, which I keep swearing to God exists and is accessible.

If only inside a rainbow queue of coffee cups.

Little White Churches

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My heart can’t resist them.

A couple years of living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, circa 1970s, I realized that I wanted to live in a church.

I found a little white clapboard Baptist church near Panther Falls, Virginia.   Abandoned, because the people lost faith in the midst of poverty.   But it was still structurally solid and safely nestled inside a grove of poplar trees and scrub oak.

The steeple looked like the base of an old windmill. Above the door was a round stained glass window, with red and blue hues, that reminded me of Jupiter.

Inside, the pews were lined in rows of horizontal soldiers. A grid work of dark wood and red velvet seat cushions. The room was small but it felt spacious because of the ascending ceiling and the choir loft that touched the clouds when fog descended.

The sunlight that crept through the trees was misty by the time it met the colored windows lining the building’s side walls. The interior was a mixture of light and dark and every color of the rainbow in-between. It was peaceful and solemn.

I love churches when they are empty.

Always have.

Those beautiful little handcrafted edifices without rituals, but with the accessories necessary to conduct one as décor.

A place to be still.

A place to call home.

I was too poor to buy that church and unable to convince the owners to rent it, but I still harbor a yearning to live in that Appalachian church-home.

I have thought lovingly of it for three+ decades. Every time I drive by a little white church of any denomination, my heart rejoices.

After I moved to the village of Estancia, New Mexico, several years back, I quickly discovered that around the corner from my tiny house was one of the sweetest white churches of all times.

Methodist.

Not acquainted with the religion, but I fell in love with the building. And when I learned that the back door was kept unlocked, on weekday afternoons after work, I’d slip in, sit on the red velvet cushion, and gaze through the painted glass windows. Noting that the southern exposures were singed – the edges of Jesus’ garments and the corners of the Last Supper’s tablecloth all charred and curling.

The wooden pews were arranged in arcs, with two aisles, like a huddle around the pulpit. Behind the lectern were tables draped in white fabrics that support forests of white taper candles.

I’d sit silently at different degrees of the arcs. Each radial angle reflective in a different color or shadow. I’d bow my head in some form of prism prayer.

Sitting in this church – alone – always washed me clean. Something about the simplicity of white that calms and renews.

I don’t yet understand my passion for little white wooden churches, but they invite my heart in.

They inspire confession.

When I feel filthy, a white church is my soap and washcloth.

And often I have some crazy sense of unclean.

I am always housecleaning; I am always heart-cleaning.

What am I obsessed with washing away?

Vacuuming some sin from the floor boards of my heart?

Scouring the toilet bowl of my soul?

Dusting the mantle of my mind?

Why is life – so messy – that I devote a lifetime to cleaning my space-of-being?

That I sit in empty churches to inhale purity?

That I focus my meditation upon the white fabrics draping from altars?

Sometimes I find my inner being crawling through the tunnels and webs of woven fibers, searching for the secret of the shroud.

I have never understood this passion for textiles either.

Maybe because fabric is tangible. Because I can see it constructed from its source – from the flax plants and silkworms and cotton pods.

I can track its progression. I can touch and smell its existence. I can also get lost in the fantasy of its lavish embroidery and festive beadwork.

I’m no fan of the new gospel churches that believe in bare warehouses as places of undistracted worship.

I need the distraction of beauty.

Especially the pageantry of ecclesiastical textiles.

I like sparse, but I need highlights of fabric embellishment. Lightly speaking: Holy dust clothes move me.

Sometimes I think that my deepest faith lies in empty churches and fabric. Somewhere in the honeycombs of stitchery, a wing of truth waits.

In a dust mote. In a spider’s dew-damp leg. In a tendril from a tightly-plied linen thread.

It’s absurdly simple. And mind-twistingly complex: sitting in empty white churches, contemplating sacred textiles, I find some sort of rogue religion.

And how happy was I, after remarrying, to find a tiny, tattered, white church about a mile away from my new home on the prairie.

A safe haven.

It offers peace of presence: Just knowing it’s sitting there .  .  . wind-beaten and bare .  .  . on a lonely dirt road.

A bit like someone’s stained and gritty coffee cup left behind.

Edible Good Luck

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Holidays can be very flexible, if we give them permission.

And if a holiday doesn’t get celebrated on its calendar date, well .  .  . nothing is really lost. Its spirit will unfold when the time is ripe. All will remain aligned in this infinitely vast universe whether I forget or remember.

Personally, on New Year’s Eve, I’ve abandoned the ritual of crafting lists of rigid resolutions in favor of sighing into the agility that yoga practice has taught me. Now my importance is: exhaling deeply, contemplating expansively, embracing whimsy.

I’m not a holiday purist.

But I do enjoy New Year’s. And I did neglect to post this on the absolute first day of 2016. What I’m thinking is that the whole weekend is the holiday. It’s been stretched like chewing gum since it fell on a Friday. That makes it extra special.

Now getting around to edibility, what I want to say is that since my younger self dug some pretty deep roots in the Appalachian South, you could say my grey matter is soiled with some superstitious belief that eating a feast of black-eyed peas and collards will start the new year with luck and money.

Some years I remember; some years I blithely forget. I’ve never kept track of either one’s luck factor. So who knows what brought good fortune or poverty in any given year?

This year I semi-remembered. We ate “luck and money” Southwestern style: Spanish Rice, pinto beans, doughy white tortillas, green broccoli.

It may sound aberrant, however, here’s the full Southern blessing:

Rice for riches,

peas for pennies,

collards for dollars,

cornbread for gold.

TRANSLATION:

Rice symbolizes wealth and community.

Black-eyed Peas, because they swell when cooked, represent prosperity.

Collard Greens symbolize dollar bills.

Cornbread, cooked to a rich saffron yellow, looks like bars of gold.

 

My thoughts are this: Sometimes Southern-style white rice is accompanied by pickled beets. So.  .  . since a little bleeding of red is auspicious, because red is for rubies, why not Spanish Tomato-red? It’s a jewel tone.

And Pinto Beans; they swell also. So, prosperity should be well represented.

Broccoli. Lightly steamed. Emerald in color. Shade tree in shape. My father always insisted that money doesn’t grow on trees, but, I refused to fully believe. It’s a forest of glistening emeralds.

Doughy White Tortillas. I think “dough” says it all. Besides, do gold bars really back our currency these days?

Regardless,

To all, Blessings and Good Fortune and Prosperity in this nascent year, whether you eat your luck or disguise it in alternate forms!

And check out #3 on the list of New Year’s Resolutions in the photo above: “Drink Good Coffee.” Mocha Muse Coffee Shop supports this one!

 

 

**Reference Source: Our State, for the Southern New Year’s Blessings and Translation.

The Grind

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Mocha Muse has its very own newspaper, The Grind. It may contain a quote, a poem, song lyrics, snippets of overheard conversation or fascinating facts about creativity/life. So, leather sofa in Home Interiorsnuggle into the sofa, unfold the paper and reach for your morning cup of coffee.

 

Here’s the twenty-first issue. . . just click on newspaper to enlarge, then continue to click until text is readable for you!

 

 

 

The Grind - (8-24-2015) Rhythmic Coffee Spilling

 

In my experience, waitressing can be a dance. A form of art in motion. A balancing act with a tray of plates or a single coffee cup perched in the palm of a hand.

It may look like drudgery to the untrained eye, but, actually it can be transformed to performance art.

 

 

Reference Source: UberFacts