Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Tag Archives: Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

Simple. Angsty. Excruciating. Enchanted. Bold.

This post is prompted by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. Need some inspiration? Check it Out. Just an FYI, this was the original assignment:

“This week I want you to write a post inspired entirely by one of these words:
1.) Simple.
2.) Angsty.
3.) Excruciating.
4.)Enchanted.
5.) Bold.”

Mama's Losin' ItDear Mama Kat,

I’ve been thinking about this prompt since I received the email a few days ago. I’ve considered many topics and even started writing a few posts, all of which met the fate of the delete button. Nothing flowed. The words wouldn’t come. Maybe I spent too much time writing about Christmas this week that I’m all out of words to write. This should be a SIMPLE task, right? It hasn’t been.

I’m not ANGSTY. Or at least I don’t think I am. Maybe my mom would have called me that when I was eleven. Maybe Hubs calls me that behind my back. I doubt it. However, this week’s Writer’s Workshop is bringing out my inner teenager. She’s a little irritated that a post won’t easily fall out of her head and onto the computer screen. She’s about to put on some black eyeliner, throw on some spiky bracelets, and listen to Emo music all while sitting in the corner with her bangs covering her eyes. One little post. That’s all I want.

It’s so EXCRUCIATING because word associations are usually my strong suit. I love them. I can take a word and run with it like Forrest Gump in an incessant barrage of beautiful sentences that sometimes seem roundabout but usually always get to the point. Not tonight. I even tried to come up with some word associations to use as an example at this very point in the post. None would come. Now I’m questioning all my abilities as a writer. Am I even good enough to participate in the Writer’s Workshop? I’m having my doubts.

Being a procrastinator, I chose to watch a dozen videos of flash mobs on youtube before getting serious about writing this post. I have been ENCHANTED by them ever since I saw Mitch on Modern Family do one. I think the most famous one in the states is the one done at Oprah’s last season kick-off party. Of all the ones I watched tonight this one in Belgium was my favorite (hang in there, it gets all techno-ish at the end):

Now, I want to do one. I’m concocting a plan to coordinate Moms with strollers in the middle of a busy shopping day at the mall. Wouldn’t that be fun? And we could choreograph it to Anita Renfroe’s Mom Song:

How does one go about organizing a flash mob? I don’t know. But I’d sure like to try.

I wonder if I’m even BOLD enough to do it. Probably. I’ve always been able to ham it up when need be. However, organization and planning are not my strong suits. So it may never come to fruition.

I feel like such a failure with this week’s Writer’s Workshop. What can a girl do when she is SIMPLY ANGSTY and in EXCRUCIATING denial that her usual ENCHANTED writing skills are more blah than BOLD?

I don’t know, Mama Kat. I just don’t know. The best thing that came from this post is that I have created a new item to add to my Bucket List (my imaginary Bucket List because I don’t actually have one). I aspire to organize and coordinate a flash mob. When, where, and how, I do not know. All I know is the who and what. But, that just doesn’t fit into any of the prompts you gave.

Maybe next week I’ll find a way to participate in the Writer’s Workshop. Maybe there will be a prompt that will cause the normal waterfall of words to cascade onto my blog in beautiful, natural harmony.

But for now, all I’ve got is this letter. I’m sorry I couldn’t follow through this week. I’m so sorry I let you down.

Many Apologies,

Christan/MamaBearPing

P.S. I’m also wondering if you’re into retro/vintage aprons? I’ve inherited quite a few and I’m not sure what to do with them all . . .

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Coffee by any other name would smell just as sweet.

My roommate in college had a coffee maker. She loved coffee. In fact, that was one of the first things I learned about her. She drank it at all hours. I’m pretty sure it pulsed through her veins. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how a person could love coffee like she did.

Fast forward a couple of years and I find myself married to a man who is addicted to coffee. Even more, he joined the Army. Not many people realize that the official drink of the US Army is coffee. Okay, it’s not really. But it might as well be.

My husband used to be a commander for a company of about 80-ish soldiers. He held this position for both Thanksgiving 2008 and Thanksgiving 2009. And each year, he’d offer up my cooking services to soldiers and their families who wanted/needed a place for dinner. Since we lived in Alaska, and many were far from home, they usually stayed in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.

For the last two years, we hosted anywhere from 30 to 40 people at our home. That’s a lot of soldiers.

Anyway, I tell you all this to illustrate how many people were at our house. After dinner, with dessert, we’d always fire up a pot of coffee. And another. And another. I think last year we made something like 5 pots of coffee after dinner (this is a 12-cup coffee maker, mind you). Granted, we were serving some of Alaska’s finest coffee, Kaladi Brothers. When Hubs saw how fast we were plowing through our good coffee, he broke out the Folgers. So anyway, soldiers love coffee.

In Anchorage, there are little coffee shacks on every corner AND almost just as many coffee shops in every strip mall. There was even a coffee shack on post. And a coffee stand at the military hospital. And a Starbucks and a Cinnabon (who sold Seattle’s Best) at the BX/PX Mall.

With all these strong influences in my life, how could I not like coffee? How could I not drink it? For many years, I successfully escaped the romanticism of coffee and coffee shops. Even when all my friends frequented Starbucks, I rarely did. And if I did, I purchased a cider or hot chocolate drink. I would have a cup of coffee with my dad on Christmas, because that was OUR thing. My dad was the only one in the family who drank coffee. I drank it on occasion. So, every Christmas morning, after mom pulled out the Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls (love my mom, but she can’t bake if her life depended on it), dad and I poured the coffee in our mugs, grabbed our cinnamon rolls, and settled down in our respective present-opening positions. And that was my coffee experience from ages 18 to 27.

Then something happened. I had a baby. And I resisted (though life might have been a little easier had I given in to coffee’s lure). Then I had another baby. And I held my ground. Then I had ANOTHER baby. And I relented. I gave in. I let coffee take me to places I had never gone before (mainly the place that gave me enough energy to do at least one housework task each day, as opposed to none).

Now coffee has me in its clutches. But I’m a snob. I only want the good stuff. I’m so much a snob, that I drove an hour and a half away to a coffee shop here in Ohio that uses and sells my beloved Kaladi Brothers coffee. I beg my friends from Alaska to mail it to me (and thankfully, they do). I drive 45 minutes about every two months to get the stuff we drink everyday. I’m that much of a snob and I’m that in love with the stuff.

Why do I love coffee? Let me count the ways:

1. It’s cheaper than booze.

2. It makes me happy, and by default, makes my kids happy.

3. Because I had a friend in Alaska who I loved, but didn’t always get to see. And coffee was our excuse to get together.

4. It’s just as good iced on a hot summer afternoon as it is steamy hot on a cool autumn morning.

5. My in-laws LOVE it and need it to survive. In order to score points (outside of my charming wit and exceptional good looks), I drink coffee to please them.

6. When I post about my love affair with coffee on facebook, all my friends comment back. Well most of them. At least those of them who love coffee as much as I do. Do I live for facebook comments? Not really. Okay, maybe a little.

7. There’s just something about holding that paper cup with a cardboard sleeve or the big mug that says, “Life is Short. Stay Awake” that makes me feel, I don’t know, grown up.

8. I stay up too late writing blog posts and have to get up early to take care of my kids. Need I say more?

9. I used to wonder what was so good about coffee that my high school History teacher didn’t mind having such bad breath. Now I know.

10. I enjoy being that lady who can answer “yes” to the question “Would you like a cup of coffee?” when I’m at someone’s home AND being that lady who can ask “Would you like a cup of coffee?” when other people visit mine.

I’ve fallen in love with the stuff. I don’t think I can give it up. I now feel an even stronger bond to my roommate (sort of. I haven’t called her in years. Maybe I should do that). I think that my relationship with my husband has gotten better (okay, that’s probably not because of the coffee). My kids love me more because mama’s happy in the mornings. And the afternoons. It’s my happy hour beverage. And my happy hour is only happy if it has caffeine. And lots of it.

This post is written in response to a prompt from this week’s Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out her blog, and sign up for her weekly email updates.

Mama's Losin' It

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