My hands trace the old Larch tree’s brunch in my yard. It’s a somber old, very old tree. I love that tree. It reminds me of one of my favorite childhood books, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
I think there’s quite a mysterious reflection there in trees that we take so for granted. Really if you reflect on Noah’s Arc and how that brought all of the animals and all of Noah’s family. All animals going two by two, and certain animals going seven by seven. The arc was built from wood. Wood brought humanity to life. Wood saved us from the flood. And if you want to go deeper into thinking about wood and the religious history. Which I am. Jesus, our Savior, was crucified on wood to sacrifice and give us life everlasting. That, I had never thought of, in that way. Quite an interesting reflection, I think.
Hurrah for new jobs!! Haha, I am so happy its Saturday evening after a trying week of job interviews I finally scored a great job! Hip-hip-hooray.While my job will be part-time I am hoping to stay on track with my college classes, as well.
In this semester my plan is to accomplish 4 classes successfully. I think my academics are at the front of my agenda, in my life, right now. Even though I have the goal of achieving this degree I am doing my best not to let life slip without smelling the roses. I think that’s something that often people overlook in this life, is just slowing down and enjoying nature and life as it is. Life in progress.
The whole point of growth is “pain” or struggle getting there and once you get there, what then?
You enjoy your accomplishment; but, all the struggle of accomplishing is done.
Why not stop and enjoy the roses of struggle that are planted right in your home, your being, your mind, right now.
Go back to school, go to therapy for your disability, read books to improve your memory. You have endurance, you can achieve your goals.
Maybe, I’m just talking to myself, but I think this could be a sliver of hope for someone else. Maybe just the push they needed to keep persevering, to keep hope in their abilities, to stop and smell the flowers.
Struggle is life and we are all strong enough to fight our own struggles.
Believe in yourself and what you can achieve. You can fight the struggle. You can fight the pain. You can succeed.
Believe you can achieve!
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
-Saint Catherine of Sienna
Well, friends, if you’ve been reading my posts you’ll see that I once dreamed of living in Vermont. What a lofty dream I thought at the time. Well, I ended up on the East coast indeed! I’m here, hurrah! And it only took me about a year. Wow.
I do miss the farm but am absolutely loving my new home! Of course being a farm girl I notice things that other people don’t. So, I’ve been collecting pictures of new plants, trees, and animals. Here are some:
Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.
–A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is an incredible book that I’ve thought a lot about since I moved. I love books I need to get more into the peace of reading them again.
Anyway, back to the European Larch tree. What an incredible tree that apparently had widespread cultivation in the 17th century and many Dukes advocated for their planting! And, interestingly enough, the wood of the Larch tree is used for BUILDING YACHTS!
So, I came across this beauty while wandering around this Appalachian country. This tree has been deemed many names all of which are quizzically attributed. This tree is also very invasive.
I’m sure you’re wondering why the such oppugnant names for this stinky tree. Well, in fact, with a long history in China. This was one of the first trees from China to be brought to the western countries. When it was first brought to Europe and the Americas it was glorified as a beautiful garden plant with its ornate leaves, which lead to its name, Tree of Heaven.
Surprisingly this tree also has a huge environmental protection value! It conserves soil and water, greening saline-alkali land, and purifying the air. Pretty incredible to think that such a stink tree could be so good for the environment.
As, I’ve been writing this I’ve been in one of my favorite coffee shops, The Crazy Mocha Coffee Shop in Sewickley, PA. Incredible lattes with my favorite a shot of pistachio. Crazy Mocha has the funniest logo of a goat with a coffee mug in hand… (I mean in mug in hoof)
In my latest coffee shop BUZZ, I recently visited a Generosta Coffee. This was quite an ethnic place with extraordinarily good coffee. Very bold flavors.
I must say though my favorite coffee shop in my tour a’ cafe has been at a wonderful little coffee shop in Monaca, PA, called The Fountainhead Cafe. I was blown away here by the extraordinary and unique coffee menu. After waxing poetic on all the funny names. I chose the Greek style Frappe. Which was quite a diversion for me as I am a strong advocate for HOT coffee.
It was incredible. For all the coffee enthusiasts this is a must for your coffee shop BUZZ.
Coffee, I believe is like humanity always unique and changing.
So, my friends, I have been searching the cities and towns of the Eastern U.S. for the best coffee shops. And I have found many many coffee shops with excellent coffee. This has been one of my favorite hobbies since I moved to the Ohio Valley area.
Coffee is wonderful.
The best roast is better than wonderful, even, prize gold. Teehee, so let’s start at
Leonardo’s– Steubenville, OH
Great coffee shop also with art from local artists and an ice cream shop. A great hangout for university students. The building is perched in the City of Murals. The coffee is good. Slightly acidic and crisp in flavor. The barista is always fun to talk to.
The Coffee Tree Roasters– Pittsburgh, PA
Excellent coffee. Brighter and more acidic; but good. When I went to this coffee shop, I went “out on a limb” and tried their Costa Rica el Indio roast. Quite exotic and full-bodied but definitely acidic.
The Coffee Bean
Loved by many for not only coffee but also Casino. I, accidentally found this out by walking in, and seeing all their casino chips and slot machines. This is PRIMARILY a drive-through coffee shop.
The coffee here is delicious and my favorite is The Scrap Iron. It’s a dark roasted with a slightly acidic twang at the finish. If you like sweet the “20 below with Shot” as my fiancé calls it is best. The name is 20 degrees Below Zero. The drink actually already has an espresso shot. 2 is better than 1 😉
Next up we have, my all-time favorite,
The Crazy Mocha Coffee Company– Sewickly, PA
Excellent service and astounding coffee! This coffee shop is nestled in the cutest little Hallmark cozy town. While there I had a latte with a very small pump of pistachio. Oh, wowzer! It was so good. And the coffee from that roaster, I tried the Sumatran blend, ha such a dark taste, start to finish, hardly any acidity whatsoever. I loved it!
Surprisingly, the business has been in operation since 1994! Previously “The Dancing Goat”.
Here’s a link to the coffee I strongly recommend for all dark coffee lovers. This coffee is limited time bag which is directly sourced:
Anyway, my mugs empty literally and physically, so friends toot-ta-loo!
To rekindle with a friend from long ago is such a blessing.
This morning I awoke to the sun streaming in my window. Kind of a shock when your so used to waking before the sun. But all in all I feel very blessed today. I visited the church which I unfortunately missed mass this morning due to changing mass times.
This morning being Sunday and since I’m trying to up my protein intake I made pecan brown sugar pancakes.
I used a recipe I found online from a food blog yummy recipes
However, I took some liberties with the recipe including adding brown sugar and replacing the milk with water and adding pecans as a topping. It turned out pleasantly sweet with a nutty finish.
And I was so delighted to enjoy fresh plums that my dad gave me! I ate two today. Absolutely delicious!
With pecan pancakes, plums, biking, church, and coffee for the Sabbath feast who could be unhappy?
God is good!