7.31.2020



Michigan bed and breakfast faces backlash over Norwegian flag


The right to free speech in America needs to be protected, Princeton University jurisprudence professor Robert George stated Friday.

MICHIGAN INN REMOVES NORWEGIAN FLAG AS RESIDENTS FALSELY BELIEVE IT'S THE CONFEDERATE FLAG: REPORT



According to reporting from WLIX, when Greg and Kjersten Offbecker created the St. Johns inn -- named The Nordic Pineapple -- they installed the flag, hanging an American flag alongside it.
The pair then began to receive cruel emails and phone calls. Some were even convinced that the "B&B" was built by Confederate leaders when, in fact, union workers constructed the Civil War-era building for the daughter of the Saint Johns founder.

Kjersten Offbecker said the flag was hung as a way for her to represent her Scandinavian heritage. However, with the confusion, she took it down because she said it was not worth the frustration.
The Norwegian flag has the same colors as the Confederate flag, but the patterns and symbols are different. The Confederate flag is red with a blue “X” containing white stars.

"It's a combination of a very bad attitude and a great deal of ignorance," George remarked. "You would think that Americans would be able to tell what is and isn't a Confederate flag -- even if it's a flag that, in some ways, resembles a Confederate flag.

 "So, the combination of malice and ignorance is really toxic."

"But, look at how quickly people just turn to outrage and tried to shut these people down because they thought they had broken the rule against wrongthink..." he told host Shannon Bream. "So, the combination of malice and ignorance is really toxic."

George highlighted the importance of speaking up in defense of the free speech rights of those you strongly may disagree with.

"Temple University was under pressure to discipline [Professor] Marc Lamont Hill for some statements that I very strongly disagreed with. But I, nevertheless, threatened to myself lead a protest...in defense of the free speech rights of the very progressive Marc Lamont Hill," he explained. "Because he has every bit of [a right to] free speech as I have or as anybody else has.

"The First Amendment is for all of us," George pointed out.

"It's not the property of the left. It's not the property of the right. It's not the conservatives'; it's not the liberals' [property]. It's everybody's right..." he said.

"And so, we need to protect the free speech rights and stand up for the free speech rights of those we oppose," George urged.




7.30.2020

News....just more China. Move along. Nothing to see here.










Former CIA station chief Daniel Hoffman: The US is 'under siege' by Chinese espionage





The Threat Posed by the Chinese Government and the Chinese Communist Party to the Economic and National Security of the United States: FBI Director Christopher Wray discusses the threat China poses to U.S. economic and national security during a July 7, 2020 video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. Link to transcript

My new credit card arrived with an ALREADY ACTIVATED sticker on it... how is this safe? And why were they lying, anyway? It wasn't.

One of our credit cards expires next month.  We don't typically use this card, and it sits in a drawer in my desk 99.999% of the time, but it's there for emergencies and well... it expires soon.  So about 6 weeks ago they sent me an email to look out for my new card(s) coming in the mail.

Sure enough, last week an envelope arrived with my husbands and my new cards inside.  This time the cards have the 'readers' built in as well - the contact-less readers - where you just basically put your card 'near' the point of purchase machine and it will pay for your item and obviously it's a chip card.  If you use a card, then you also know that if the item you are buying is under a certain amount, you don't have to sign for it most of the time either.

The reason I bring this up is that this time our 2 cards arrived with a big red sticker across them that did NOT tell me to activate my card (like they usually do).  It said it was already 'activated and ready to be used".


Typically the sticker on your new card says to activate your card, and has an 800 or 888 number on it to call to activate, or you log into your account to activate.

This time, the bright red stickers said our cards arrived "ALREADY ACTIVATED AND READY TO BE USED".

I showed my husband and told him that didn't make me feel very comfortable...  they are now sending out the cards already ACTIVATED and READY TO BE USED?   Sending through the US mail.  And they are contact-less cards that just need to be held NEAR the terminal or inserted.  There are no pin numbers or anything.

But, whatever.  We don't usually use it and it lives in a drawer.  So into the drawer it went.

Funny though.  Within a day of delivery I got an email from the card company telling me to be sure to 'watch for my new card' in the mail and activate it when it's received.

And then another reminder this weekend that my new card should be coming and to activate it and destroy any older cards.

And finally, this morning, yet a THIRD email... telling me I should have received my new cards and be sure to remember to activate them.

HELLO?????

You put a bright red sticker on the new cards saying the cards are ALREADY ACTIVATED AND READY TO USE - and don't give a number or website either since they are ALREADY ACTIVATED AND READY TO USE.

Whatever.  I logged in to our account.  Sure enough, a pop-up asking me to activate my card and put in the security code.

Why bother paying to change and design a new sticker, put an 'ALREADY ACTIVATED' sticker on the cards telling you NOT to call or do anything to activate them...  but you do.

The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing?























7.29.2020

Gertrude Stein... now there's a lady I would have liked to have had coffee with.





Biography

Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Oakland, California, Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life. She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures of modernism in literature and art, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson and Henri Matisse, would meet.

________________________________

Quotes from Gertrude Stein: Wikiquote version

Everybody's Autobiography
When I open a box to chat over coffee I find myself wanting to voice an opinion on our current state of events, current people that I want to throat punch and the sad, pathetic coverage that passes for journalism.  That along with Covid-19 babble is not really what anyone wants to read... or hear... or really, even talk about because most of us are just so so so so so sick of it all. 

That means coming up with 'other stuff' to blog about over morning coffee. 

Which is fine, but I also find myself with some really, really random topics that pop into my head and I actually feel a bigger need to explain why in the heck I even thought of that topic in the first place... and most of the time that ends up being the blog post, as it gets a bit wordy.  And then, I feel like "that's a stupid post" and I delete the whole thing and go along with my day without posting anything at all!~

A conundrum, yes?

When I read a book I love when the author takes the time to tell how they came up with the story.  What little event, comment, tidbit of life grew into the tale they spun and published.  I like that.  Thankfully since I mostly read bio-terrorism, dystopian, horror, apocalyptic, time travel, science-fiction and medical thrillers, I often DO get author notes in my books; I don't think romance (blech) or most genres bother with little notes like that.

I'm currently reading a very 'fast' and 'easy' read - like, the kind you can skim read when you don't really want to concentrate on anything.  It's short 1-2 page random stories of childhood from a not-really-anyone-in-particular person who just decided to write some of them out.  Entertaining. Light. Quick, 5-10 minutes reading at a time and you can put it down and pick it up at random.  (Link here if you are wondering what book it is).  

The thing is, the author is basically the same age as I am, so it's awesome to see him writing about memories of a school trip to Florida in 1984 while I'm suddenly remembering a school band trip to South Dakota in 1984.  I can compare some of his life and memories to things I was doing in the same time period.  He also throws in a photo or two once in a while, which is awesome because again; it's my time period too. Those striped knee-high tube socks and running shorts with the white piping up the sides?  Those hair cuts?  I'm right there with ya, Bo. 

But his style of random childhood stories with no rhyme or reason for each is kind of my style too.  Whatever pops into my head 'kind of thing'.

So this morning, that is where my brain was... is.

But I've got to come up with a 'goove' that is going to work with my new 'work' schedule.  Just as I would normally be getting into my 2nd cup of coffee and starting to chat on Coffee Talking, I'm actually grabbing a to-go cup and my purse and heading out the door.  By the time I get back home any post idea I had for that morning is long gone and the moment for feeling like blogging has past.

But I'll find my morning groove.
It's only been 2 days so I'm sure I'll get into a pattern here by next week.  Or so.



 








7.28.2020



I'm in my jammies, finished off a cup of hot, strong, black coffee and I've not even washed my face nor looked in the mirror, but in about 8 minutes I need to jump into my car and drive 20-ish minutes to a meeting place and take charge of... my charge for the day.  And then drive back home with the aforementioned in my charge, and we will spend the day hiding from the Covid-19 infested universe while his mama goes back to her first day of work.

Yes, the craziness continues during 2020. Luckily I'm in a position to help.

And with that, I am now down to 6.5 minutes so I probably should go put a bra on and maybe throw my hair back in a ponytail.  Or something.








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7.26.2020

Right now I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school though... so there's that.

It's six-something-o-clock in the morning, I'm on my second (or is it third?) cup of coffee and everyone is.... gone.

Some home, some off to work, some off to the airport and the last, to start their drive home.  It was a small little get-together in light of the Covid-19 'thang but it was good.  But a quiet house alone by myself today?  Even better.  Time to re-energize with a bit of solitude before a busy week starts.

In the midst of a busy last 2 weeks, my eating habits have been 'vacation style'.  I even ate things I don't even like.  That was odd.  Because... cinnamon rolls.  I don't like them.  But I had 2 of them for 'breakfast' yesterday... and I don't even like or eat breakfast usually!  Then last night before bed I was waiting to use the shower, standing in the kitchen, picked up my phone to check some messages and the pan of leftover cinnamon rolls was in front of me.  I started to mindlessly pick at one and before I knew it, I had ate 2.  Of a food I don't even normally like.  And over the past two weeks; Pasta. Cookies. Bread. Naan.  Been there.  Done that.  What the heck!?

But now, our 2 busy weeks are over and it's time to get back to what passes for 'normal' life during COVID-19 anyway.  Eating normal needs to happen.

Right now I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school though... so there's that.

 



Insert a LOT of f-words here and that is pretty much the post title going through my head... I'm fed up with all this crap


 A SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER WROTE THIS...



 ABOUT THIS LITTLE WHITE BABY BEING HELD DOWN BY THIS ASSHOLE WITH HIS 'BLACK LIVES MATTER" FUCKING STATEMENT


Outrage sparked from community members over the comment on Facebook from July 22 which appears to be from the account of a metro Atlanta special education teacher.

The special education teacher accused of making a disturbing comment on Facebook is no longer employed with the DeKalb County Schools District, officials confirmed Friday morning.
A Tweet from the official DeKalb County Schools page read, "DeKalb County School District administrators were made aware of the disturbing social media posts on July 22, 2020. The teacher has resigned and is no longer employed with DCSD. Again, there is no place for racism and abuse in our school district."


The educator, Brian Papin, worked in special education at Cedar Grove High School in DeKalb County and was quickly reported by outraged residents to local news outlets and school administrators. The Dekalb County School Board reported that it was investigating the allegation on Thursday and tweeted Friday morning that the teacher was no longer employed at the school:



https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/dekalb-county-teacher-resigns-after-accusation-of-disturbing-social-media-post

7.24.2020

ADD and a 45 Second Task: Took me 2 hours to accomplish a 45 second task of simply restocking the little k-cup holder on the kitchen counter.



When it comes to doing well... anything, actually, my ADD tendencies kick in.   Luckily, I can see the humor in myself though.   Yesterday I walked into the laundry room/pantry with the intention of grabbing the box of coffee k-cups and refilling the cup holder on the counter.  Except, when I walked into the room I saw the vacuum, which reminded me I saw "dog bunnies" on the wood floor in the corner of the formal dining room and wanted to vacuum (dog bunnies... like dust bunnies but I don't have dust as much as I have a heavily shedding dog right now, whose hair forms little dog hair balls that silently gather and float across the floor as you walk by... hence; dog bunnies that I have to vacuum every single day of my life).

So I ended up vacuuming that room, but if you have the vacuum out, you do the whole main floor, right?  So I did.  But then, with dog hair on my mind and the vacuum in hand, I called one of the dogs over (we have 2 but one sheds more than the other) and I had him lay down and vacuumed him too.  Emptying the vacuum canister, I put it back in the vacuum and realized a tiny bit of dust fell off the edge and onto my ceramic floor.

I realized I wanted to mop the floor anyway, so I quickly put the vacuum back and grabbed the mop and some wet swiffer wipes.  I did a quick mop of the floor in the kitchen but decided to quickly mop some of the hardwood floors in the living room too.  Later, after I had that finished and was putting things away I went on to change out some wax melt scentsy things, plugged in two nightlights in a guest bath and up in the guest bedroom and that made me look at the loft area so I moved a couple things around, put something away, folded a blanket throw and tidied up that room.

Back downstairs to the main floor, I saw the deck furniture cushions I had laid out on the deck in the sun needed to be 'flipped' so I went outside and did that.  Coming back in the house I walked by the corner of kitchen and realized we still had a 'regular' coffee pot out next to the frappe maker and coffee grinder that we never use except if there are a lot of coffee drinkers visiting, and our current visitors are not coffee drinkers, so I gathered up the small appliance and put it away in a storage cupboard.  I walked through the house into my office and decided to brew a cup of coffee and check emails so I turned around to go back to the kitchen to get my coffee mug, which I had rinsed and left on the counter.  Back to the office, I looked in my k-cup holder and saw I was down to 3 k-cups and figured I'd go get the box of k-cups and fill that up first.

Back to the kitchen laundry room/pantry, over to the shelf to grab the box and.........

Oh yeah!  THAT'S what I was getting 2 hours previously went into that room to get the k-cups to fill up the k-cup holder on the kitchen counter!   I grabbed the box, went to the office, filled my personal k-cup storage container, back to the kitchen to fill the k-cup holder on the coffee counter and then... smooshed the empty box and put it in the trash.

Took me 2 hours to accomplish a 45 second task of simply restocking the little k-cup holder on the kitchen counter.




_______________________________






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K-Cup Carousel - Holds 35 K-Cups in Black

7.23.2020

I can ramble over water just as well as coffee!

It's after 9:pm and I'm a smelly mixture of bug spray, garlic and a bit of sweat.  I am not done with everything I hoped to accomplish today and I know (I KNOW) I should do a couple more before I head in to shower and fall blissfully into bed to read until the strong, hot, black coffee I drank at 6:pm wears off but.... I don't wanna.

We have guests coming tomorrow.  Normally this weekend we would be hosting a little family reunion of sorts for my husbands side, from all over the country; but this year, well, you know.  Covid-19.   So we didn't plan on it at all, but then our nephews wedding was canceled and he's needing some family support and fun to get his mind off it, so he and my sister-in-law (his Mother) are heading our way to do our own little teeny version of the "Andrews Family Weekend".  Just us, them, and one daughter and her husband who live near us.

We've not had company over to the house since... March.  I'm trying to remember how to host, and trying to get guest rooms and bathrooms 'guest ready' when COVID quarantines have pretty much sucked my brain dry of all social norms.  Gotta remember how to do this!  Ha ha.

I'm swigging cold water... and although I want to go jump in the shower, instead I'm going to head downstairs to put fresh sheets on that guest bed.  Last thing.  Then I'll wash all this bug spray off me from being outside putting up the gazebo and twinkle lights.




If somebody tells you that you drink too much coffee, just stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.





It's hard to find anything positive in our country or world news right now so if coffee is what makes you happy...  drink on man, drink on.







7.22.2020

A photograph of a man kneeling on the neck of a white baby while another person holds the diapered child’s arms is stirring up a massive amount of rage on social media.

Source: link


UPDATE: The Clark County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio has launched an investigation over the photo.

UPDATE 2: The grandmother of the child from the father’s side, who was not involved, says that the child is safe and with her son.

A photograph of a man kneeling on the neck of a white baby while another person holds the diapered child’s arms is stirring up a massive amount of rage on social media.


The man in the photo’s name is Isaiah Jackson and he resides in Ohio. A man with that name was arrested on July 20 in Ohio for a probation violation.

The paternal grandmother of the child wrote on Facebook that the photo was taken two days ago while the two-year-old was with his mother, who is dating Jackson. She told TGP that her son did not find out about it until yesterday morning.

The grandmother, who the Gateway Pundit has opted not to name for the child’s safety, provided us with screenshots of conversations in which the mother attempted to defend the photo when confronted about it, calling the person “ignorant” and claiming that “he wasn’t hurting him.” She also claimed she was not present when the photo was taken.







“When I saw the person holding his arms back it made me so much more upset,” she said. “The fact that he was crying, it makes my stomach hurt. He didn’t have anyone there to protect him or stop it.”
WHIO TV 7 reports that “investigators in Clark County said they are investigating the post, however no arrests have been made and charges have not been filed.” Their report said that according to emergency scanner traffic, deputies, police, and medics were called to two different addresses Tuesday morning in Clark County as a part of the investigation.
“We are looking into this case, however it is still an active investigation. At this point we are actively looking into it and we are VERY early on into this investigation,” Maj. Chris Clark said in an emailed statement to the station.










When you can't find a tiny $.75 balance discrepancy - even going back through transactions for a month. And you need to find that discrepancy. Because your brain is just like that.

Good Morning Coffee friends!

This morning I balanced my checkbook like I always do.  I know many don't bother to do this, or just glance at their balance on a phone app every now and then but I can't comprehend people who live like that.  I have to keep a check register (yep the old fashioned paper kind) in my wallet and the second I use my debit card (as debit or credit) it gets written into the register immediately.  I keep a running total of the balance, I check balance and posted transactions daily and I have a system of using check-marks and date posted to my account in the register as well.

So imagine my surprise when suddenly for no reason, about a week ago, my checking account balance differed from what the bank has by 75 cents.   This never happens.  Ever.  And by George I cannot find the discrepancy anywhere.  I've even gone back a full month with every transaction; deposit or debit/withdrawl and I simply cannot find the $.75 difference.

Now, had this been a Wells Fargo account, I'd expect it.  We had them for years and they were constantly and consistency screwing around with the math and always 'off' - whether it be $.14 or $14.00.  Never a huge amount, typically small amounts around 1-3 dollars but ALWAYS off.  (This is when there were no 'pending' transactions or holds of any type, etc. And balancing one day - but suddenly the next, would be 27 cents missing or the balance would change from perfect balance to $2.13 off, etc. with no record of a withdrawl or reason for the sudden change).   

After awhile I grew frustrated - I figured someone was probably skimming small funds from accounts or something because seriously... every month a tiny little bit would go missing.

But if you're a long time Coffee Talking reader from those years (2008-2011 mostly) then you remember we had a LOT of issues with those scammers and liar-pants and unethical little scoundrels, Well Fargo.

However, the current $.75 discrepancy I cannot track anywhere is from our awesome bank we switched to in oh, 2011 ish and they are always, always, always right on target with the balance, and I've never in 9 years had them had small amounts of money 'disappear' or not add up from the account.

So, I assume it's 'me' and I'm missing something somewhere.  I suspect I've transposed a number somewhere and when I'm skimming/reading/adding/subtracting I'm using the wrong amount.  And seventy five cents is a small amount... I know that.  But my personality doesn't care about that.  My personality sees this as a puzzle I need to solve.  I can't just 'let it go' but I need to keep going over line-by-line data and comparing spreadsheets until I find the seventy five cents.

So that is what my coffee is fueling this morning.  



________________________________________



  Funny Spreadsheets T-Shirt Office Nerdy Coworker Gift

  I Heart Love Excel Data Spreadsheet Lover T-Shirt

















7.21.2020

TGIF, man! Just kidding. And hey, Walmart has precisely ZERO flowers left in mid-July. Or plants. Or... anything.




It's not Friday.
It's not Thursday or even Wednesday.
No, it's just Tuesday.
Some of you will be surprised to realize that.

I'm glad it's not Friday yet.

We have people coming from out of state to visit and although I'm 75% ok with it, that persnickety 25% won't leave me alone.

Would it be too much to make them spray their luggage with Lysol upon arriving, strip down, throw their clothes into the open washing machine, wash their hands and don a mask before I hug them hello?


_____________________________________________________

Yesterday I had a list of about 5 items I needed at Walmart.  I had mentioned I wanted flowers... yeah, none of those existed.  No, really.  Walmart was wiped out... as in all of their entire, huge, gigantic outside lawn and garden area was wiped out of plants, flowers or vegetables.  Empty. Shelves had nothing but a little dirt on them.




Then, in one tiny corner I found a small shelf with some old, dried up, mostly dead garden plants.  They were obviously going to be throwing them in the trash within a day or so and getting store credit for them, and no one had bothered to water them all week so not only were they dead and dying, but their soil was shriveled up into a hard knob in the center of the little plastic planters that held them.

But I was so desperate for something that yes, I was that lady.  The one digging through dead to plants to find the most undead plants to buy.  And I did.  And do you know they were were NOT EVEN ON CLEARANCE?  Nope I paid full price for those suckers.  Well... I was probably the 'sucker' but still.  Even the cashier ringing up my sale looked at me in shock and said, "These are ringing up full price!?"  "Yep.  I know, right?"  She also agreed the store was probably just getting ready to toss them and get the store credit.

But I took them home and put them in the sink and let them bask in the gloriousness of water.
Then I carried them out and planted them in my new-iwsh (but empty) planters, in the brand new soil and watered them again.

And I'll be darned.  The jalapeno and tomato plants were perking up!  The zucchini look all yellow and lime green yet, but aren't droopy... zucchini grow like weeds typically so I have hope they'll come back.  I also remembered that a few weeks ago I tossed some seeds into my indoor containers to grow 'whatever' and sure enough, the ones I marked "cauliflower' were about 6 inches tall - on spindly little stems - but never-the-less I pulled those little plugs out and planted those out there among the jalapeno, tomato and zucchini plants.  



Since I didn't find any pretty flowers, my front step plants are still bare.
I'm tempted to put in some realistic looking fake flowers and plants.
I'm not joking.
I've got some wedding decor leftover that used realistic flowers.
And with COVID-19 it's not like we are regularly having visitors so other than spying beautiful flowers from afar as they drive by... who will even be close enough to inspect them?

Hmmm.

But first... more coffee.





















7.20.2020

Another BS survey but yeah, I clicked and read the results. And? I don't fit their mold. People who like certain ice cream flavors find love younger



People who like certain ice cream flavors find love younger
Source


The study was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Breyers, Southwest News Service (SWNS) reports. In it, 2,000 Americans were split up by the favorite ice cream flavors (limited to the basics: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry).

Fans of vanilla ice cream may not find love until the age of 25 (once again, on average), but at least they don’t enjoy doing laundry (instead, they seemingly prefer washing the dishes). They also like dogs, tend to be introverted and are usually night owls.



Obviously I wasn't included in that survey.
I love vanilla ice cream. 
But I married at age 18 (not 25)... after 3 years of dating.
I like doing laundry!  I despise doing dishes with every ounce of my being.
I do like dogs compared to cats I guess - but only big dogs.  Any dog under about 60 lbs. might as well be a cat. 
I'm a weird chatty-introvert who loves solitude but I am sooo not a night owl.  In bed by 9:pm and reading myself to sleep.





So much for ice cream flavors telling about someone's personality!

Monday Morning Coffee Talk - quiet and random - nothing earth shaking. Join me at the kitchen table and chat if you wish!

It's amazing how productive I think a day is going to be for me... when I'm laying in bed at 4:00 am and haven't actually gotten up yet!  

Today starts a very busy week... but the first thing I really need to do is run to Walmart.  One of the two (2) retail stores I've allowed myself to visit since quarantining in March.  After being gone all last week, I came home to dead and dying flowers in the flower pots, and empty planters.  90+ degrees, full sun and no rain really did a number on the deck and front step flowers.

With everything negative going on, I need me some positivity and 'pretty' in my life along with the groceries and household goods.  This house is where I'm at 99% of the time so some brightly colored, cheap flowers and plants isn't too much to ask for....

One little random positive:  Last night on a whim, I looked up some of the primitive campgrounds that have been closed all of 2020 due to Covid-19. I've been looking them up almost weekly and always see them listed as "indefinitely closed due to Covid-19 until further notice" but last night, I did a double take.  They are now listed as open!  Woohoo!  Nothing I can do about it right now due to some things we have going on, our schedules, my work load and frankly?  The 100 degree heat.  But it's good to see it's open.  Hopefully I can find a couple days to get away.  I really need some camping and hiking in my life right now.

I don't have any funny or crazy things to chat about this morning.  It's just some quiet, rambling coffee talk as my head is swimming with about 83 things on my list of "TO DO" this week and I'm trying to prioritize and plan the smartest way to accomplish what needs to be done.  We have two out of state family members coming for the weekend.  We typically hold our annual big extended family get together in July for my husbands side.  Due to COVID-19 quarantines, wonky work schedules and more it's not happening this year but 2 are still coming.  One just had his wedding canceled completely last month, due in big part to COVID-19 on many levels; and he needs some emotional support from family to help him remember life is good....   so some family time will be nice.  I just have a LOT of prep to get ready for guests now as we were gone all last week, and frankly?  We've not had anyone over to the house since the COVID quarantines started last March so guest rooms haven't been on my radar... cleaning, fresh sheets, menu planning, grocery shopping...

I got this.  But first... coffee.







 
























7.19.2020

News: When you aren't sheep and you dare to question the wording on documents you are being forced to sign......

Kentucky couple fit with ankle monitors, placed on house arrest, for refusing to sign quarantine documents


A Kentucky couple was fitted with ankle monitors and placed on house arrest after the wife tested positive for coronavirus but refused to sign self-quarantine documents, according to reports.

Elizabeth Linscott said she got tested for COVID-19 as a precaution because she was planning to visit her parents in Michigan. She received a positive test result but showed no symptoms.
She said the Hardin County Health Department asked her to sign documents agreeing to call them any time she left her house. The young mother claims she never refused to self-quarantine but said she would not sign the documents because of how they were worded, WAVE reported.
“My part was if I have to go to the ER, if I have to go to the hospital, I’m not going to wait to get the approval to go,” Linscott told the station.

After opting not to sign the health department papers, Linscott said she received a text message informing her that the situation would be escalated and law enforcement would be involved, KABC-TV reported. Her husband, Isaiah, said he was greeted by officers at their front door later that week.

"I open up the door, and there's like eight different people, five different cars, and I'm like 'what the heck's going on?' This guy's in a suit with a mask. It's the health department guy, and they have three papers for us. For me, her and my daughter," Isaiah Linscott said.

"We didn't rob a store. We didn't steal something. We didn't hit and run. We didn't do anything wrong," Elizabeth Linscott added.

The couple said they were fitted with ankle monitors that go off if they stray more than 200 feet from their home.

Elizabeth Linscott said that although she never refused to self-quarantine, “that's exactly what the director of the public health department told the judge."

"I'm like, 'that's not the case at all. I never said that,” she said.

If she did need to go to the hospital, Linscott said she planned to take necessary precautions like informing healthcare workers that she recently tested positive.  The couple now plans to hire an attorney.













Apparently you can't get me to go to Starbucks even when you give me 'free money' to do so! (Unintended topic)

This morning I'm sipping my typical-regular-Sumatra coffee.  My go-to coffee even though I really hate to support Starbucks and it makes my stomach turn to do so... but I like this coffee right now and haven't found another easily accessible and affordable dark roast coffee I like better to replace it.  Yet. 

Speaking of not supporting Starbucks (when companies get political and spew their views, I put them on my 'you are dead to me' list) I got a reminder email from Starbucks yesterday.  It seems I haven't used my Starbucks gift card and they wanted to remind me I had unused 'free money' on it!   This is a gift card from someone years ago and when I saw my "you have a balance!" email I tried to remember the last time I used it.

I think I nailed it.  Back in 2017 we went camping at the beach.  We had a 2 year old and an 11 month old with us.  The morning we packed up to leave for home we decided to stop and pick up a breakfast sandwich for the 2 year old to eat.  As Mr. Coffee was getting gas, I spied a Starbucks literally right in front of me, and it just so happened I had a gift card in my purse that I never, ever use (gifted from someone who knew I loved coffee).  We decided to go through their drive-thru as it was mere feet from where the car was, and was easy access (verses trying to fight beach traffic and find a McDonalds or similar).   So we went through drive through, got a scone, a breakfast sandwich, some juice and a black coffee. Pulled out of the parking lot right onto the highway we needed and zoomed out of town during heavy beach traffic; any other time or place we never would have dreamed of stopping at Starbucks.

That's the last time I went to Starbucks.  The time before that was 2012, it was a Starbucks inside a grocery store in the midwest where we were attending a wedding and stopped for coffee early the next morning as we left our hotel.  

So yesterday, seeing a reminder email from Starbucks that I still have ten bucks on a gift card just made me shake my head and smile.  See?  Starbucks is basically non-existent in my world so even though the card is in my wallet, I never ever ever ever think of using it.

Since the person who gave it to me spent money to do so, I really, really need to remember to use it up.  Otherwise Starbucks just got 'free money' for nothing.  Can't let that happen.  So, note-to-self "use up that darn gift card!"




Hmm.  I did not AT ALL plan on discussing Starbucks... but you know how it goes.  I just chit-chat about whatever random conversation topics come up.  It's just the coffee talking again.



















7.18.2020

Coffee's On Again!


It's been quiet around Coffee Talking because I was having my morning coffee on deck... at the beach. 

Yes, I quietly slipped away for a week, but am back home and ready to jump back into life.  Well... actually let's rethink that.  Because for the past week I was more into 'life' as we used to know it, and now that I'm home, I will be back into... quarantine.  Not 'life' but that weird thing we now call 'normal, everyday life' that is not normal at all.

Back to quarantines, staying home for the most part outside of carefully planned (and masked, and sanitized) outings or errands.  But mostly... home.

The beach is something we planned and put down a deposit for the first week of January.  We gave the dates to our extended immediate family, told them where we'd be and invited them to join us if they wished and could.  They wished.  They could.  And while I held my breath waiting to see if the beaches and home rentals would be 'open' during the quarantines, they were and we did.

Had it been a busy hotel or condo, things might have been different.  Had it been a busy beach city, things might have been different.   Had we insisted our vacation needed to involve meals 'out', excursions, shopping and such... might have been different.

But we had rented a private home, in a smaller, 'out of the way' beach area.  We always do our own meal preparations and cooking on vacations, we never go 'out' to eat and just lounging in the rental, on the deck or at the beach with our extended family was enough 'activities' for all of us.  So we stayed "HOME" all week (our rental home)... and life was grand.

_________________________

I started quarantining at home the first week of March. During March, April, May and June, I ventured out to get groceries every 2 weeks and that was it.  

The first week of July,  I took one day, went to a couple retail stores that had reopened, to get some items we needed... and that's it.   Other than that, March through July I went no where.  Did nothing.  Quarantined.


But for one gloriously 'almost normal' feeling week, we enjoyed a vacation at the beach.  Basically quarantined in our house rental and the beach... but that was fine with us.




I'm back!
See you in the morning for fresh, hot coffee and conversation.........







7.10.2020

Procrastination and avoidance is in the genes..............

When you have kids, you don't get to pick and choose their personalities.  DNA is DNA.  You get what you get.

And sometimes your kid inherits traits from your spouse and 'his side' of the family that drive you bonkers.

You may find that some of their personalities are compatible with yours and some are not.  You love them whole-heartedly of course, but one or two of your children certainly may take more patience than others.  Just sayin.....

Enter, my son.

He's funny and kind and wonderful and giving.  He's steadfast in his faith. He's one of the most ethical and moral people you will ever meet.  He's got a work ethic that you don't find in 20-somethings today (or even most 30-somethings!)  He is quick-witted and thinks at warp speed.

But....  oh what a procrastinator on things he doesn't want to do or think about.

He also hates reading, studying or anything remotely connected to the task of reading or studying. Taxes, for example, are a task that involves reading and thinking.  So consequently it's an issue he likes to 'not think about'.

Skipping ahead (longer story made short) is for the past two years he's been responsible for his own taxes, he's ignored the topic until literally the last second and then I get a panicked text or Facetime call and I scramble to help him get them done from 1000 miles away by way of computer and cell phone, also using snapchat, photos and screenshots.

My texts and comments to 'find someone to do them' is ignored and sure enough...  "Uh, Mom?" at the last second.

This year in March I told him to find someone local to do his taxes for him this year.
He ignored my text.
Over the next few weeks I sent two more texts reminding him to do his taxes this year... and asking him if he had done his taxes.
Silence on those text responses (although he answers everything else, he avoids answering the uncomfortable... that's where his father's DNA comes in. Along with the procrastination... ugh!  JUST DO IT AND IT WILL BE 'DONE'!)  Ignore it and goes away, right?

I stopped asking.  But my other (responsible) kids and I had mentioned it in passing conversations.

And obviously, because of the virus quarantines, the tax deadline was moved to July.

Just yesterday I told my youngest daughter I was positive her brother had not done his taxes because every time I brought up the subject it was met with silence and he avoided my questions/texts/snapchats.

He is flying out this afternoon for a family vacation.
She laughingly said she bet he would make me help him do them this weekend.  I said I didn't think so because that would mean he would have to bring his paperwork and all his information with him on vacation and he wasn't that prepared.

I said I wasn't going to even ask about it...  he's old enough to deal with the consequences himself.

This morning at 5:30 am I got a series of photos and captions on Snapchat.   It was a long funny-not-funny series of photos with short captions of a longer conversation when read one after another.

The short version is something like this:

Uh, hello Mom.
So, my friend mentioned he forgot that taxes were due by the 15th.
I forgot about taxes.
I guess that means I need to do my taxes.
Um, so do you think I could call you after work and we could do them before I fly out today?
And could you find and send me the link to the website I used last year to do them?

He gets off work at 1:30 and his flight is at 3:30. 




My face.





7.09.2020

License renewal during this COVID crap... not an easy task

Mr. Coffee had to renew his DL today.  Now, most of our DMV's have been completely closed for a couple months.  There were only a a tiny handful open in our entire state during the quarantines.  This week most of them were opened back up in some capacity, so this morning, needing the 'Real ID' version we gathered all the bazillion items they need (utility bills, birth certificate, yada yada) and off he went. 

When I renewed mine this spring (pre-quarantines) I chose a smaller DMV about an hour away because it was smaller and less busy.  He said he wanted to go to that one as well, so he left and drove an hour plus, to a tiny town that has a population of about 6,000.  He arrived and was immediately told by the DMV worker he needed to leave because there was no way he was getting in today.  They were only open 9-2 and he wasn't going to be served.

One of the men waiting said he was the last one they accepted and put on the wait list... he had arrived at 6:45 am to wait in line for them to open at 9:00 am.

Mr. Coffee then drove an hour the other way to another DMV location.

He arrived, donned his mask and went up to the doors.  They tested him (temperature and questions) and then took his cell phone number and told him to wait in the car.  They were having everyone wait out in their cars and calling when it was your turn.

They told him they were packed but would update him.

He went to his car and waited a little bit...  the phone rang.

They told him they were full but there was a slight chance he might get in today.  He was to wait in the parking lot and they would call to let him know *if* he was getting in.  He might not, but he was to wait for their call.

I asked him, "So, you could possibly wait out in the parking lot in your car for over 4 hours and then still not get in?"

Right.

Not cool.  He stayed for a little while and considered it; but knew it might be a complete waste of time with nothing to show for it.

The reason Mr. Coffee HAD to get his license renewed today is that it expired last week.   
And this was the only day he had to try to get this done.

So believe it or not, he set off to drive to yet a THIRD location.  Now this one isn't a DMV but a small satellite courthouse location.  You can't get a 'REAL ID' version there; only a regular renewal DL that does not have the star and won't qualify to fly domestically as of next October, 2021.  HOWEVER:  at this point, half the day was gone, he had been driving for a couple hours just trying to get in SOMEWHERE to get his license renewed and this was getting ridiculous.   The courthouse location was another 40 minutes in the other direction. 

He called them first.  They answered (which is unbelievable because I know... they almost never answer their phone!)  They said they were a little busy but he absolutely would be able to get in.  Just a few people in front of him.  So off he drove to this other little tiny town - population 2000.  He arrived at the courthouse location and....?  They were closed for lunch!  Bah ha.

Of course.

But he waited.  And they returned and opened the doors and he got in.  Got his license renewed. 

No it's not the 'real id' he'll need as of next Fall - but we hope at some point in the next YEAR he'll be able to get into a DMV without camping out all night in line as if he was trying to get concert tickets for a big concert, and get his 'REAL ID' so he can fly.  Until then?  We don't care.   He has his license renewed... it took many hours, much wasted time, wasted gas and 3 different locations but it's done.







Don't mind me... it's just the coffee talking again.



____________________________



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Coffee Talking: Today is Death Wish Coffee, Avoiding the News for Mental Heath and Passports are being Printed and Mailed Again!

Good Morning Coffee Friends...  I'm dragging this morning, but I should be awake here in a minute as I'm sipping Death Wish Coffee this morning - courtesy of my husband, who brought me home some last night from work.

I know he was being sweet and bringing me a nice strong, bold coffee because he knows I love it but....  let's admit, walking up to your wife with a smile on your face and quietly offering her a coffee pod that says "DEATH WISH" on it could be taken in another way....  ha ha ha.

So I was in an awesome mood yesterday, and then last night while Mr. Coffee was working out, I was basically just hanging out waiting to head into bed and read so I found myself online and I did what I shouldn't do.  I started to read the news.  Before I knew it, I was angry and grumpy.  I've seen a quote attributed to a few different people, so I'm not sure who said it originally....


If you don't read the news, you're uninformed.
If you do read the news, you're misinformed.

Sigh....

But I know I'm a much happier and better person when I avoid stupidity, hate, negative social media accounts and the 'big' news media sources.

________________________________________________

I think I mentioned in a post a couple months ago that this spring I decided to renew my passport.  It wasn't expiring until next spring, but I wanted to be sure to get it done so it was a check mark off my longer term 'gotta do this' list.

I got all the paperwork done, got the photos and mailed it off the first week of March.
I got a confirmation email from the gov passport office it was received on March 11th
They shut down the offices for the COVID-19 quarantines March 12th.

Having all my personal information, photos and my passport 'out there' somewhere for 4 weeks during a regular renewal time frame is bad enough; but to have it 'missing' for the past 4 months has not... been comforting.  I knew it was perfectly safe and sound but when your official passport is out of your hands, your sight and half way around the country for four long months, it's still a bit nerve wracking.

The gov started to slow-open offices and sent out emails saying they were slowly starting to process them in the order they had arrived before quarantines.  I got an email on Monday saying mine had been printed already and was being mailed out.  I have been getting text updates it's supposedly already being delivered today...  ahhhh!

I know it's silly but I'm so excited to have my passport back in my hands safe and sound!!

So if anyone else reading this has also been waiting for their passport that the paperwork was sent in right before COVID-19 quarantines... they are on their way!!!














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