Posts Tagged With: Community Coffee

Giraffe Necks and Weak Coffee

Thursday – 11/8/12 – 7:00am – Casa de Misiones – General Cepeda, Coahuila, Mexico

Earlier this morning I had an experience which hasn’t happened since my sophomore year of college, roughly 11 years go. As I was turning on my computer the screen goes all white and then dark again for a few moments before booting up. While the screen was dark and I was looking at it, I saw my reflection. And I didn’t like what I saw. My head looked humongous & my neck was like a giraffe. In college, the same thing happened as I was passing by one of the big ground-level window panes on one of the classroom buildings. I saw my reflection and didn’t like what I saw. Both then and now, I woke up from that initial displeasure with an “aha!” moment. The realization was that the mirror I was looking into was not an accurate one. They were both modern day versions of the circus-mirror effect. The difference is that with the circus mirror I never took it seriously enough to be displeased with my reflection, because I knew it was false. So naturally from these instances it caused me to reflect on the accuracy of the mirrors in our lives, whether they be a physical mirror that shows us what we look like or some person/situation that reflects some aspect of our lives. With both I realized that you have to have a good mirror or else none of your assumptions or opinions will be accurate. Another vital part of the equation is to be able to interpret the results in a good way. If the results are good, you have to build off of that in a way that does not also inflate your ego. If the results are not so good, then you have to be able to build off of that and not let it deflate your will and sense of self-worth.

My other little incident this morning involved coffee. Come to think of it, when does anything in my morning routine NOT involve coffee? Yesterday morning one of our missionaries in training (who is a morning person like me) was up before I was and made the coffee. He appeared to have put about half a millimeter of coffee grounds into the filter to make the coffee. Stuff tasted like flavorless hot brown water. But I didnt’ wanna waste the whole pot, and I also knew that the “brown water” had caffeine in it. So I swallowed my pride, figuratively and literally, and drank the coffee. My morning depended on it. I was determined this morning to educate him on how to make stronger coffee. To me, one of my pet peeves is weak coffee. Seems kinda pointless. I think if I end up in purgatory instead of going straight to heaven, one of my thousand-year penances will be drinking weak coffee day in and day out. Anyhoo, back to my story. I didn’t get up in time to beat him to the coffee maker. But to his credit he remembered what I said yesterday about weak coffee and put more coffee grounds than he did yesterday. Still not quite enough though. Also to his credit is the fact that the only brand of Mexican coffee available here is really weak stuff when compared to my beloved Community Coffee. Ergo I enjoyed my first cup more than yesterday’s first cup but I was still determined that at least my second cup would be stronger. So I took the plastic filter thingy hostage. By “plastic filter thingy” I’m referring to the thing where you put the paper coffee filter and then fill it up with coffee grounds. Once I was sure that the first pot was close enough to being done, I dumped out the rest of it. Put water in the machine. And then I filled that thing up with a Southern-Louisiana-Cajun-appropriate level of coffee grounds, which according to Sid, means at least 1/2 to 2/3 full. Gosh dernit, I want this stuff to curl my nose hair it’s so strong. I want it to be so strong that it puts hair on my chest (a feat usually reserved for a good beer or shot of whiskey). You get the idea. I’m pleased that the 2nd pot was definitely stronger. I’m even pleased-er that I think the bag of Mexican coffee we’re on right now is our second to last, and 6 bags of Community Coffee are waiting in line to take its place.

You know, as I look back on the title of this entry I think someone could easily misinterpret that this entry is written by some innovative Cajun who found a new type of bait to put in his crab trap. I also remember that yesterday we had a class on tips for missionary photography and blogging. But I didn’t think that a picture of a blank computer screen, my neck, a coffee pot, or a cup of coffee would cause my journal entry to be any more interesting than it already is. So please, just use your imagination. 😉

Have a good one. God Bless

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 18

Day 18 – Thursday – 10/11/12

Ah, that’s kinda cool. Today is 10 11 12. 🙂 It’s been an interesting day so far. Generally speaking, I’m feeling more of the hunger by doing the split-meal, which is great. Means I have more to offer up. Next week I’ll try the 3 small snack method, and maybe the following week 2 small snacks between lunch and dinner. This morning we did a communion service at one of our home visits. I love being able to feed others w/Jesus’ Body and Blood. Albert’s visiting the old folks at The Comedor.

I’m about to go start preparing the food I’m making for our missionary community dinner tomorrow night. Roasting some pumpkin seeds, attempting to make “dulce de calabasa” (lit. – “sweet of squash”), and some homemade chips. The “dulce” is actually more of a pumpkin than a squash, and I’m using my grandma’s fig preserve method to prepare it. Put some sugar in the pot and some water, then the pieces of pumpkin. Put it over low-ish heat until the water and sugar combine to a syrup-like consistency. The chips are easy to make. Bought some fresh corn tortillas yesterday, letting them dry out and get stale/hard. (I was told to do this by one of our mexican missionary wives.) Then fry ’em up! Lots of food related activities during my fast. How ironic…

Seemed like I had a few small things test my patience this morning. Heated my coffee too long in the microwave and caused it to boil over, thus losing a few precious ounces of Community Coffee, my favorite coffee in the world, of which I am running short and will probably run out before the groups arrive in November with more of it; bumped my head on a shelf in the office; got interrupted with whatever I was doing when one of the missionary couples knocked on our door. Very small stuff indeed. But it serves perfectly to highlight my struggle to overcome selfishness & not let small things get to me. I ended up stopping myself, recognizing that I was needlessly getting stressed, & offered up my fast/hunger as a prayer.

In regards to the missionary couple, for some reason I seem to always feel a bit impatient when they come over. Maybe it’s that whole “life on my terms, don’t interrupt me, I’ll come to you” struggle that I’m trying to overcome. Or maybe it’s because they need help with stuff more often than the others and that causes me to recoil and be impatient and selfish. But it’s odd that I’d react that way because they are very generous with us. Felt some more grumpiness again this afternoon. Not sure if it was because there was the usual noise and distraction at the prayer meeting we went to, if it was the hunger that caused it, or if the fast is peeling away the layers and revealing to me some things about myself that I need to work on. I definitely don’t WANT to be grumpy. Who in their right mind would want that? Regardless of the cause, I know it can be fixed, and that gives me hope (and a smile 🙂 ). As I was reading Blessed Pope John Paul II’s encyclical “Veritatis Splendor” (The Splendor of Truth), I came across a very encouraging Bible verse which seems quite appropriate for my situation: “As for you, always be steady, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” –2 Timothy 4:5–

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Sid’s 40 Day Fast – Day 7

Day 7 – Sunday – 9/30/12

Last night even after I ate supper and wasn’t hungry anymore, I didn’t have that full feeling. And because I was so accustomed to it before the fast, I was thinking of ways to eat more food. Ultimately I decided against it, feeling like it would defeat one of the purposes of the fast, which is to grow in discipline and self-control.

In regards to my mission post discernment, the only places I can see right now are Spain and The Phillipines. But discernment means being open to other possibilities too. What if there’s another location I haven’t thought of? What if I’m called to return to Big Woods? What if God calls me out of missions? It’s hard to imagine those possibilities but I feel like I have to be open to them too. I also wonder if I should be discerning mission partners or not. Of course I have some ideas, but I guess I’ll focus on the “where” and the “who” will make itself clear.

Another thing I noticed this morning opened my eyes. One of my mission partners, Albert, likes to drink alot of coffee. I noticed this not only because I see him drink gargantuan amounts of the stuff at all times of the day, but also because the bag of Community Coffee that we had been sharing is disappearing quickly. (keyword: HAD) No way it goes that quickly if it’s only me drinking it. So, I brewed another pot this morning and poured myself a cup and Albert one last cup. Once the rest of the coffee cools, I’m gonna pour it into a container labeled “Sid’s Coffee! Do Not Drink!”. That way the coffee will last me as long as possible in October before the group arrives on November 6th-ish.

I’m doing this because my Community Coffee is a piece of home (it’s made in South Louisiana) & I LOVE it! (emphasis on the word LOVE) While I LIKE other types of coffee, I LOVE Community Coffee. When I agreed to share my coffee with Albert, I didn’t realize how much of it he drinks throughout the day. Ergo, no more sharing this precious gift from my mom. I feel like I’m justified in doing this small thing, because we share in other ways. But part of me feels like it might be a tiny bit selfish. That’s the good thing about this fast. It’ll give me a chance to think and pray more about it than I normally would, so that I can learn from it (update: I ended up gifting Albert with a bag of Mexican coffee to get him started. Felt like that kinda helped to balance things out)

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