Coffee and Pie and Bears

One more thing to be thankful for.  Pie!  Ok, two things.  Coffee and Pie!

I LOVE pie! and coffee. and bears.

I went with this one. I think it sums up 3 o’clock coffee (and life).

Last summer, I was poking around the shops in Stillwater and discovered the artist Sue Rowe‘s awesome bears.   Art prints, books, T-shirts, magnets, you name it – all with beautiful (sometimes really funny) bears.  After about an hour of hemming and hawing over which to buy,  I had to make up my mind.  I think it was getting close to 3 o’clock.  Why the hurry?

In our house we have this…I don’t know what to call it.  An event? A celebration? An extra meal?  That’s it.  It’s the fourth meal of the day.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 o’clock coffee. 

Unless you are a fan of “second breakfast”, but that’s another story.

I was introduced to this wonderful habit by my ex-father-in-law.  Otherwise known as the Silver Finn.  I don’t know if it was a Finnish tradition or he made it up, but it is a very very good idea.  It’s not all about coffee either.  It’s about taking a break.  Sitting down for some coffee and a TREAT.  Pie please.  Or cookies or cake or…you get the idea. It’s even better if you have someone to share it with. If it’s been a good day, you feel better after 3 o’clock coffee.  If it’s been a bad day, you feel better after 3 o’clock coffee.

I love my 3 o’clock coffee.  I seriously never miss it.  I pack a thermos for Rollo when he goes to work.  We bring something to the beach or on the boat when we are in Florida. We ride bikes to the bookstore just so we can have the cream puffs at Barnes and Noble.

I am amazed (and saddened) that not everyone does this.  I am amazed there isn’t some law that you have to have 3 o’clock coffee.  If you don’t want the coffee or the pie, you could just lie down on your mat for a nap, like in kindergarten.  Does that even happen anymore?  It should.  The world would be a far happier, friendlier place if everyone took 3 o’clock coffee.  Or a nap. Or both.

Some of the best pie ever is at Joseph’s Family Restaurant in Stillwater.  I don’t even really want to tell you about the rhubarb delight  (if you don’t already know).  Or Rollo’s favorite Chocolate Caramel Supreme.  Clink on the link for a photo gallery of 24 of their pies.  It’s pie porn.

The only pie that compares with me is a piece of homegrown homemade huckleberry pie at Two Sister’s Cafe in Babb, Montana – right outside of Glacier National Park.  It was really good, but I did have a hiker’s high (and appetite) going at the time.  I would have to go back and try it again to really judge which is better.


The Five Days of Halloween

I didn’t blog at all last week due to a scary situation.  (more later on that).   To make up, I am going to try to post something for every day of this Halloween week.  Scary, tricks, and treats!  Maybe even a guest blogger.

This picture is a few years old, but I love it!  Yes, they are mine.  Yes,  I was a little ashamed for dressing them up. But only a little.  Their costumes and, I think, their expressions match their personalities.  The angel and the devil are gone now.  Just us “witches” are left.

What are you dressing your pet up as?

An angel, a devil, and a witch walk up to your door…

Magical Realism


I’m not new to writing, but I am new to blogging.  To having my possibly odd thoughts out there for all to read. I am not sure I want you to read them.  Meanwhile, I’m working (and working) on a novel (which I hope you will read).

All this has brought up some questions. What am I going to blog about? What’s my tag line?  What IS a tag line? What’s my genre?

Trying to come up with answers has me thinking about what I write.  And about my life.

I am easily entertained. By simple thing, I guess.  I can spend an hour hand feeding the chipmunk on my porch.

I can walk the same trail in the woods every day and find something new every time.  Lately, it’s snakes. I tried to show a little snake to two nice ladies pushing a baby carriage at the nearby nature center recently.  They weren’t entertained.  Sometimes, I wonder if people think I’m slightly off.

But off or not,  I like exploring, and showing someone what I find.  I’d like to blog about that.  To “show” you what I see.

I like to meet all different sorts of people and hear their stories, especially if they’re a bit “different” themselves.  I’d like to blog about that.  To “introduce” you to them. Someone suggested the tagline might have to do with oddballs.  (You know who you are.  Chris T.)  Oddballs?  We aren’t odd.  We just aren’t quite…ordinary.

As far as the genre of my novel, I just discovered something called magical realism. Some of my favorite books appeared on a list of best magical realism at goodreads.  Practical Magic (or anything else by Alice Hoffman), The Time Traveler’s Wife, or Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen.

Goodreads defines Magical Realism like this:

… is a literary genre that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction…

Ok.  But I think this is a better description.  It’s from an article by Bruce Holland Rogers.

If your view of the world includes miracles and angels, beast-men and women of unearthly beauty, gods walking among us and ceremonies that can end a drought, then all of these things are as ordinary to you as automobiles, desert streams, and ice in the tropics. At the same time, the whole world is enchanted, mysterious. Automobiles, desert streams, and ice are all as astonishing as angels.

I love that.  I think we could all use a little magic in our every day life.

But don’t we already have it?

Albert Einstein said – “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”

I have this quote framed in my office.  With a pine cone, the skeleton of a leaf, and a feather-each of which I think are miraculous.  It’s probably obvious that I prefer Albert’s second way of seeing things. I’d like to blog about that.  About all the miraculous things I see in every day life.  I want to show you every one of them.  I’d like the tag line to be “everyday miracles” or something like that.

But, I don’t have blinders on.  I get it that life sucks sometimes.  Non-miraculous things happen.  Bad things happen.

Barn burnt now I can see the moon? (who said that)  I’m not going to try to blow sunshine up your skirt.  My metaphorical barn has burnt a few times and, yes, most of the time, in the long run, the view got better.  But still, whenever the flames start,  the first thing I ask is, where’s my horse?

Is the glass half full?  That’s a good thing, right?  But what if it’s poison? Half empty?  Bad thing?  Then again, maybe it was good whiskey.  And I drank half.  So far.

So how about if we substitute extraordinary for miraculous?  I try to see the extraordinary in ordinary life and ordinary people.

That leave room beside the miracles for the extraordinary sorrows, anger, frustration, and extraordinarily assholes clueless, mean, or just plain stupid people.   Maybe some things fall in the middle.  Things that just make you go Hmmm.

So,  how’s this for a tagline…finding the extraordinary.  Everyday.  Here’s hoping yours is of the miraculous variety.