Back again.

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No… Wait!  Don’t leave!  Trust me.  You are in the right place.  Blue Jeans & Coffee Beans has undergone a makeover!  I am still tweaking a few things so there may still be some subtle changes over the coming days and weeks.

A few important things to note:

1.  If you are an email subscriber to my blog and want to continue receiving updates via email, you may have to re-subscribe.  The email subscription box is located just under the About Me section on the top right corner of the Home page.

2.  The Recipes page is currently under reconstruction and will be functioning again in the very near future.

3.  Please, let me know if you encounter any problems along the way.

It’s lovely to be back.  I have so many beautiful things to share.

Love & Coffee.

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Blue Jeans & Coffee Beans.

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No nukes…

is good nukes???

No, this isn’t a political statement… but a family experiment of sorts.

I ditched the microwave.  I thought we were ready.  I thought it was time.  And I’m driving everyone crazy!  But it is gone, gone, gone.  

Sort of.

There is plenty of good material/research on the negative effects microwaves have on our food.  This is not one of them.  As a family, we decided some time ago to reduce our use of the microwave as much as possible for a lot of reasons.  Aside from the obvious health concerns, zapping perfectly good leftovers until they resembled barely recognizable, chewy, leathery fare didn’t seem to mesh with the simple, homestead-y life we are aspiring to out here.  

So the microwave… it’s been banished to the utility room to co-exist amongst other appliances such as the washing machine and dryer.  Currently it resides on the floor until I can decide on it’s permanent home.  (Or until I can clear off the laundry counter and make room for it!)   I will probably still use it to heat water on occasion and for warming rice pillows (to toast cold little toes in the winter).

Besides.  I really needed the counter space.  

How true it is… you don’t realize how much you really use something until it’s gone.  I was under the impression that we were truly already living without it.  Until I didn’t have it.  


Day one didn’t go quite like I expected it to.  Things were going along quite swimmingly until around 10:00 am.  This is the time when the morning coffee has often gone cold.  And I usually sneak a cup into the micro for a quick warm-up.  No such luck!  Okay… so I pour my cold coffee into a small saucepan to heat on the stove.  No problem, really.  Perfect in no time at all.  Swish out the pan and I’m good.

Noon.  Lunch.  The kids want leftover spaghetti.  Oy.  Is it sad that I have practically never re-warmed anything in my entire life on the stove?  Correction:  NEVER re-warmed anything on the stove?  I dump the spaghetti into the pot, adding a little water to keep it moist, cover, and heat over medium until it’s hot.  Five minutes.  Not bad!  I could get used to that.

Then dinner.  Shoot!  I have not one bit of thawed meat.  No chicken.  No beef.  No nothing.  

And it’s 5:00 pm.  

I called The Man and asked him to pick up a pizza on his way home from the office.  Epic.  Fail.

I don’t regret it, but it is definitely something new to get used to.  I’m positive there will be more to come on this topic, but until then…

Love & coffee.

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I Voted.

I really did.  I went bright and early.  Around 7:30 am, dragging the kids along with me.  The Man came, too.  And I even got a cup of coffee down the hatch first.  I am fighting a head cold, still on bed rest, and the kids couldn’t even find clean socks.  But I voted.  And we all celebrated with donuts on the way home.  (Even though, I later nearly died choking on a sprinkle from the aforementioned donuts.)  

I am fiercely political, but you won’t hear me ever discuss it with anyone other than The Man or a few close family members.  

I’ll just say this:  Vote.  

Know what you’re doing first… then just go do it.  It’s easy.  It’s fast.  And it grants you the right to complain about your government for the next 4 years.  (Not that you necessarily should…)

I am back home.  And counting the spare change in the jar.  I sent the kids on a “scavenger hunt” around the house to locate rogue socks.  It seems no one has socks.  Yet the hamper is nearly empty and the wash is mostly caught up.  Strange things happen when mama is laid up.
I offered them a nickel piece.  Ladybug said, “How about a quarter?”  Ummmm… no. 

Grab some coffee and go vote already.  And then have a donut.  But don’t choke.

Love & Coffee.

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C is for Cookie.

It’s National Homemade Cookie Day!  

It seems like there is a national holiday for just about everything these days, but I’m not necessarily complaining.  Life is short.  Why not celebrate the simple pleasures of life?  

(And while I am at it, I should probably address the fact that National Coffee Day occurred just this past Saturday, September 29.  I didn’t forget.  I didn’t miss it.  In fact, I was celebrating and cavorting lavishly on a beautiful weekend away with good friends, good music, and good food.  And of course… the coffee was flowing freely all weekend long.  It was good to unplug and disconnect for nearly three days.)

Today is a breathtakingly beautiful beginning to October.  The colors are just starting to turn, the country breeze is hardy, and I am watching legions of leaves flitter and float by the bay window.  I could only wish the temperatures were a bit cooler and the days a bit shorter, but all in good time.  All in good time.

The kitchen is positively crying out to be fired up and filled with the aroma of a warm, buttery cookie on such a day as this.  I can think of nothing better than my Grammy’s Sugar Cookies, cut into pumpkins, leaves, and apples with a fine dusting of sugar.  

So I am off to craft some sweet kitchen magic with my three sweeties.  Enjoy the day.  Grab a coffee.  And be sure to eat a cookie or two.  After all, it is a national holiday… 

Grammy’s Sugar Cookies

Sift together:

2 ½ c. flour
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

Add:

½ c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs (unbeaten)
1 tsp. vanilla or ½ tsp. nutmeg
1 T. milk

1.  Beat together on medium speed until well-blended (about 2 minutes). 

2.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill for about 2 hours.

3.  Roll to ½ in thickness on lightly floured board.  Use cookie cutters to cut.  Sprinkle with sugar.

4.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes.

Song for a Monday…

   

Love & Coffee.

 

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Crayons in the Fridge.

The house was still quiet.  The children all snug.  First light was barely streaming through the vintage lace curtains in the dining room. 
I opened the refrigerator, searching for inspiration for the morning’s nourishment.  
And there they were.  
Crayons.   
In the fridge.
Sitting atop the lettuce and aside of the bagels. 
How could this be, you ask?  For anyone already acquainted with my life (or this blog), there can be only one explanation… 3-year-old, Lovey.  Like they were heaven-dropped, just for me.  I could do nothing but smile.  Surely, this was a love message from my sleeping angel, meant to be stumbled upon at this precise moment in time.
Just for me. 
I like to think God does something similar.  Dropping love messages in completely unexpected packages at the most appropriate of times.

Just for me.

I really thought we had this figured out.  I thought I had a plan.  But there He was, right in the center of life, making it all a little more interesting.  
Come early March (or hopefully February), there will be one more of us.  If I have still left you guessing (and possibly because I am still wrapping my head around the idea and having trouble putting it all into words), this means… baby.  
Another one.
And believe me, no one could possibly be more surprised (or undeniably thrilled) than us.  (I get to decorate a nursery.  Happy dance.)
For me that also translates into massive coffee withdrawal.  I’m basically dying.  My 4-a-day habit has waned into a 1/3-cup-a-day-fill-the-rest-of-the-cup-with-skim-milk-routine that just isn’t cutting it.  
I need a good decaf, preferably water-processed and chemical-free, so I can psychologically fake out my brain for the next 18 months or so.  
Taking recommendations now.  
Ready.  
Set.  
Go.

Love & coffee. 
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Update.

For anyone who was following Grayson’s story from my previous post (Speechless), I thought it would be appropriate to share an update.  
Grayson passed away late Sunday evening.  
He was 4.  
Hold your babies.  Hold them tight.  And please, pray for Grayson’s family.
“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
   ready to rescue you.  
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
   if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”
Psalm 34.17-17 (The Message)

Speechless.

I have been particularly moved and affected by the story of this 4-year-old boy named Grayson.  He is losing his battle with cancer.  

Words fail me.  

We were acquainted with this family when we were living in Oklahoma several years ago.   

Please, go to their blog.  
Read his story.  
And pray for these sweet people.