Day 4 – I drank the Kool-Aid. No, wait, it was just water with cloves in it.

Sunrise on the final day…

And did you know that water with cloves in it is super yummy? It has a nice little spice/tang to it. Never thought of that before, but I’ve really enjoyed it the whole time I was there. I even sometimes added some of my pomegranate flavoring (I know, I know, that stuff is probably horribly bad for me), but it tasted amazingly good when it was mixed with the tang of the cloves.

But to get more to the point.

I’m a vegetarian now.

No, I’m not joking.

Yes, it will last.

To be fair, the idea of becoming a vegetarian is possibly the fault of Ron John. No, not the surf shop, although that would be pretty damn funny. I fully place the blame on my ex-boss and his boy toy. (I just think it’s fun to call them Ron John, kind of like Brangilina…) Because of postings that I saw from them, I went down to eating meat once a day. And I was good with it, but I would sometimes eat meat twice a day, and then I’d go a few days without eating it at all. But it wasn’t a “thing.” It was an effort, and not necessarily anything I thought I’d go on with forever.

That last day of the retreat though, I went for my early morning walk, and I realized that while we’d been planning a big steak dinner to celebrate our anniversary and my coming back home, I had no urge to eat the steak. It was completely unattractive to me. I thought maybe I’d eat some mashed potatoes and whatever veg there was on the plate, but the streak…no. Just no.

This craw fish clearly didn’t know I wasn’t a threat. When he saw me coming on the path, he tossed his little claw into the airs with a threatening “I’ll cut ya!” stance. (I wasn’t actually afraid of him, but I avoided him anyway.)

I text Patrick and asked him how he’d feel if we didn’t have steak, and, by the way, how did he feel about it if I was a vegetarian? Like from now on?

To his total credit, he didn’t bat an eye. I went into super reassurance mode – I wouldn’t stop him from eating meat, I didn’t want to force him to change, yadda yadda yadda. He was totally fine with it. If I didn’t eat meat, it didn’t bother him, and if that meant we’d have some meatless meals, then we’d have some meatless meals.

I talked to one of the hosts there to find out about going vegetarian, and she had some advice about proteins, how to break it to people that I wasn’t eating meat any more, and reassured me that, as long as it was in my heart, I’d stick with it. She even offered to do a little ceremony where I could make a promise and get a ring to help remember my feelings. That felt a bit overdone to me, but I could understand why it might help.

Getting in the car after packing up was like breaking some kind of spell. Getting my keys out of my purse, where they’d be sitting for days, waiting patiently. I hadn’t even thought of them. I didn’t want to go anywhere while I was there, and part of me worried that I had somehow forgotten to drive. But it was time to get in the Jeep and go home.

Of course, I hadn’t forgotten how to drive, and I never exceeded the speed limit on the way home. (Fact checking note: The speed limit, in fact, may have been exceeded on the way home.)

honey grove texas building
My favorite building in Honey Grove, Texas!

My Google-Fu on the drive had hit its weak spot. It didn’t take me home the same way I had gotten there, so some of the images I had hoped to capture on my camera didn’t show up. The drive was slightly faster, but not enough to make up for the lack of sightseeing. Boo, Google! Boo!

On the way home, I stopped at a Starbucks. My first since Friday. I are my sandwich and drank my coffee and wondered how it would feel to get back on Facebook. Part of me almost wished I could skip it forever – walk away from FB. But the lure of the connections were strong, plus it had started sending me nasty emails, reminding me that I had people “waiting” on me. Really, FB? Getting rather clingy there. It’s not attractive when you get like that.

But I logged in. Checked in on what I’d missed. Not a lot.

I was back to reality.

Oh, and, by the way, I’ve already booked a meditation retreat for the end of June. I’m ready to go!

(And if anyone has a good website or two with vegetarian meals, please share them with me!)


Why my coffee experiment failed

Other coffee earrings I made and have up for sale! https://www.etsy.com/listing/205737178/stir-your-coffee-earrings?ref=shop_home_active_16
Other coffee earrings I made and have up for sale!

Apparently, I need to go back to school. (Wait, I’m already in school!) I guess I need to go back to science class, then.

Because my coffee experiment failed. It failed hard. In week two, when I had determined that I could have two cups of coffee, I actually managed to finish both weeks two and three, all in a mere seven days. Except not in a good way. More like I just drank way too much coffee from Starbucks on those days.

So I went ahead and looked up the steps of the scientific method:

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Do background research.
  3. Construct a hypothesis.
  4. Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment.
  5. Analyze your data and draw a conclusion.
  6. Communicate your results.

Well, I asked a question – can I cut down on my Starbucks addiction?

My background research…not so much. I seem to have skipped that part a bit. I mean, I noted that I drank it almost every day, but I didn’t pay attention to how often it really was or how badly I was really addicted.

My hypothesis was that I could make it with one day a week of Starbucks simply because I would know it was better for me in multiple way.

I tested that hypothesis. And, well, again, not so much.

So here I go, analyzing my data:
I was miserable for the first week.
In the second week, I revised the Starbucks allowance, and I still managed to fail at keeping it down.

The conclusion:
I can’t go down from almost seven days a week to one day a week. It just isn’t going to happen.

Now let me communicate the result:
I will try to keep reducing my Starbucks intake. I will actually keep track of how often I buy it, and when/why I buy it. (E.g. am I always buying it mid-day? In the morning? In the evening? When am I buying it so that I can sit in Starbucks and get some work done versus when am I buying it because I want to bring it to school so I will stay awake in class?)

I think figuring out these things will help me because I’ll have my background research, and maybe there will be a redo of the experiment in another month or so…but with more reasonable requirements on me…


The Great Coffee Experiment – Part Two

I did it!

I made it a week!

And during that week, I realized a few things…

  1. It is super unbelievably hard to avoid buying coffee 6 out of 7 days a weeks.
  2. It might have been slightly unrealistic to think I could go from 7 days a week of coffee to 1 day a week of coffee.
  3. I will definitely not be able to keep this up for the month.

I know, I know, I’m going back on my word pretty quickly. But here’s the thing – I did it, even though it was hard, but it’s going to get harder.

Next weekend, I have to make a run up to Dallas, driving a friend’s daughter up and back and staying there for two days.

I cannot make that drive without Starbucks. Seriously, it just is not going to happen. Starbucks is part of my driving mojo. It’s magic. It keeps me going when I’m tired, and with a four to five hour drive through the middle of nowhere, I’m not sure how else I can make it.

So I’m not dropping the challenge. But I am going to adjust it.

Instead of dropping to one day a week, I’m going to allow myself two days a week. That means I can buy it on the Friday when I drive up and then again on the Sunday when I drive home. It means that when I’m absolutely exhausted or stressed, I can go ahead and get it without wondering if I’m ruining my week by having it so early.

I’m still going to try to keep it to once a week, but if I can’t, it will be okay. Maybe next month I’ll drop back down and see if I can do it. But life is about being flexible, and I’m not going to make myself miserable when all I need to do is flex a bit.


The Great Coffee Experiment

Coffee earrings!  Currently for sale in my Etsy Shop!
Coffee earrings! Currently for sale in my Etsy Shop! https://www.etsy.com/listing/205840676/drink-your-coffee-earrings?ref=shop_home_active_6

I’ve decided to issue myself a challenge. I’m going to go four weeks with only four Starbucks drinks.


If you know me, you know that sounds like it’ll be impossible, but I think it’s completely do-able. I’m committed. (Yes, yes, this is where all the “you should be committed” jokes can go.)

Now, keep in mind, I’m not giving up coffee in general. I’m not that crazy yet. I’ll still be able to make myself coffee.

But I figured out that by going down to four Starbucks drinks per month, I would save over $100 in those 28 days. So half-way in, I’m going to deposit $50 into savings. At the end, another $50.

Can I really do it?

Okay, honestly, I’m not entirely sure.

Why am I going to try to do it?

Because I want to teach myself something. I want to teach myself that Starbucks is a luxury item. I don’t need it. I might want it, but that’s a whole different thing than need. And if I’m going to spend time complaining about being poor and not having enough money to do things I want to do, maybe I need to cut back on those things that make me poor.

There are other benefits to the great coffee experiment, too. Other than saving a bunch of money, I’ll also be saving calories. Right now, I drink almost 200 liquid calories a day. And a lot of that is sugar because I like mochas, and I can’t stand their sugar free syrup.

It will cut back my footprint a bit. Less driving if I don’t need to go buy coffee. Less paper and plastic from the cups I always get. I’ll be using plastic tumblers and cups that I can bring home and wash when I’m done with them.

It’s also good because if I can get myself to give up Starbucks, what else can I give up? What other money can I save every month to save up for something good – something worthwhile?

I need to cut back and save, and this is a good first step. Now I just have to figure out what step two will be…


Heinlein was right!

Okay, so everyone who knows me knows of my habituation. (And thank you to the League City Police Officer who was kind enough to explain to our small group the difference between an addiction and a habituation – we are not “addicted” to coffee. We are simply habituated to it!) So here I am at a Starbucks in a part of town I don’t normally hang out in, but I have a job interview in about an hour, and I needed a quick coffee and some lunch.

First, I knew the area wasn’t really my comfort zone when I saw the stores surrounding the Starbucks. It’s like the Galleria vomited out all their top sellers. If you walk in with anything less than three credit cards, you will be lucky to be able to afford a pack of gum. A slight exaggeration, maybe, but I’m not joking all too much. We’re definitely talking about stores that a mere adjunct can’t afford to shop in. Not even their sales racks.

The baristas here all drive luxury cars. At least, I assume that from the fact that my convertible is the cheapest car in the lot. From my window seat, I can see the line of VWs, Lexi, and BMWs. Another PT Cruiser might show up at night. You know, when the cleaning crew is here.

So what does all description of the 1% have to do with Heinlein? You may be asking yourself that question, and I won’t keep you in suspense any longer…

The bathroom was filthy. Seriously, these people have never learned how to use toilets before from the amount of piss all over the seat. And the floor was covered with used paper towels that had just never managed to make it into the garbage can (which was a nice covered one with plenty of room left).

Now, if you don’t know Heinlein, maybe you aren’t making the connection. But he had a lovely little bit once about how you could tell a lot about a society about how they treated their public bathrooms. If they had any respect and caring for their fellow man (or woman), the bathrooms would be clean and well maintained.

I think it’s pretty clear that the 1% using the bathroom here sure don’t care about their fellow women…either that, or they’re just too used to having a maid dogging their footsteps and cleaning them up.

Worst Starbucks bathroom ever.

The 1% should be ashamed of themselves for that alone.