Thursday, April 28, 2011

France -- as close as my coffee cup...

I have me a friend. Yes I do. 

And, I had coffee with this friend in France today.

I'm top row, 2nd from right; Lisay is top row,4th from right

This friend has been my closest friend since 2nd grade in Mrs. Copeland's class. Her family lived on the next block over, and she was considered just another one of my mom and dad's "daughters". Her name is Lisa, but I used to call her "Lisass".  My mom told Lisa and I to stop using that name because it sounded like I was calling her an ass. So, I changed it to "Lisay". (Pronounced "Lee-say".  Why I couldn't just call her by her real name, I do not know.)  I also call her "Lampost Lisa" -- because she loves lamposts.

Lisa was the first one I would call when our cat, Suzy Cat, had a batch of kittens (this was before it was not uncool to have a cat and let it get pregnant and have a litter of babies.) She would come over and we would play for hours with those cats, have kitty races in the back yard, and be sad together when it was time to find them another home.

I was also at Lisa's house safe and sound when our neighbors had a fight and the husband shot his wife, who ended up on my parents' porch.  Scary night.  I'm glad I was not there.  I was with my best friend.

My sisters and I, and Lisa...part of the family!
We were in classes together all through grade school and Jr. High, but in we attended different high schools, because her family had moved a bit further away.  She would come visit my school during lunch hour (we had "open campuses" in our high schools where we grew up) and she and I would play tricks on people. One time, I sneakily got the locker combination of a guy she had a crush on and who had a locker next to mine.  When she arrived to visit, I crammed her into the locker (it as a very tall locker and she is a very small girl).  As I was chatting with him during passing time, and pretending I needed something from my own locker, I tried to keep from laughing while he worked his combination. As soon as that locker was open, he jumped back across the entire high school hallway as if something had hit him while Lisay exclaimed from inside "Hi, Bill (not his real name)!" I don't think he ever forgave me for that.

Another time, a different year, she came over and, again, I crammed her into my locker just in time for passing time.  I was quite shy in high school, and not well known, (besides the fact that there were 2400 kids in the school) so felt I could get away with stuff without being suspected. She began banging on the inside of the locker yelling, "Let me out! Let me out!" Soon a crowd gathered around the locker and they begin to talk to her, asking her who she was, how she got in there. I'm not sure what she answered, because I was standing a distance down the hallway, but soon walked toward my locker. I had to say, "Excuse me, excuse me, please", in order to get through to my locker, and people just were quiet, or I heard them whisper, "She doesn't know..." As soon as I opened the locker, I said, "Oh, hey, Lisa! Did you get enough to eat?" (People didn't know what to do with this, because they didn't know me. Lisa and I thought it was absolutely hilarious.)

Well, through the years, we both got married, had kiddos, and have lead our own separate(d) lives. She and her husband are missionaries in France and the last of their three children is about to head off to college. But, we've kept in close touch through all these years, and last year I was able to visit her with another good friend and her daughter.

And, through the years Lisa has shipped me Starbucks mugs from exotic cities overseas, including those from Freiburg, Madrid, Zurich, Lucerne, and two from Paris. While visiting with her last year I also picked up another from Lucerne, and one from Basel.  Today, through a wonderful thing called technology, we spoke via Skype and were able to chat and enjoy our coffee together while I was beginning my day on my patio, and she was just winding down -- me in Houston and she in her lovely home in France.  It's not actually near Paris, but at least it's in the same country.

Me with my Paris mug from Lisay, she with her Houston one from me
But today we felt like we were right there with each other in body, but also in spirit, despite the miles of separation.  She's a person who has known me for years and loves me all the same.  We've laughed our faces off together, held each others' babies, cried our eyes out together, prayed many prayers together, broken down on the Autoban together, played practical jokes together and cried over the death of our parents together.  She is someone who is unbelievably loyal to me, supports me, encourages me, and makes me smile.  I only hope that I am a good of friend as she is to me.  And, I wish everyone could have their own personal friend -- like my friend Lisay.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bux, Bux will bring us together....

For those of you following my posts on Chicky Java, you know that I am a mad, crazy Starbucks mug fiend. (Be sure to check my previous posts to see what I mean.)

Well, not only do I love Starbucks "City Mugs", I love getting them from other places - either places I have been, or where others have been. My longest and best friend, LISAY, who lives in France, sends me wonderful European mugs -- including those from Luzerne, Freiburg, Zurich, Paris, and Madrid.  I LOVE getting her little surprises every now and then.  My buddy, Migrating Larry, has brought me back many from his many exotic foreign travels.  Now THOSE are good friends to have.  And, my Starbucks chick buds (Patsy Penny, LA, and CeCe's Books), and I are trying to outdo each other to see who can provide the group with the most mugs from their travels.  Finally, LA was able to contribute the other day when her honey went to New Mexico and brought some back for us all.  It's about time, LA!  (Not that she didn't try -- but her home state of Oklahoma doesn't HAVE them -- not a popular tourist place, I wonder?)

And, not only do I love getting them from other places, I love to enjoy coffee in them with the people I love the most.

When my friends come over to my home for coffee I tell them to "pick where you want to go today" by choosing a Starbucks mug of their choice from my collection.  It might be someplace they've always wanted to visit or someplace they had been in the past and would love to relive the memories.

Last week was no exception. One of my sweet sisters came to visit me from the Pacific Northwest. Previously, she had sent me a Starbucks mug from LaGrande, Oregon:  However, LaGrande is not a large enough market to have their "OWN personalized" Starbucks mugs like they do in other places. (Could be the same fate that has attached itself to Oklahoma...)

So, while she was here, I personalized the LA GRANDE mug myself, and Sis and I were able to enjoy our Starbucks from the others' respective cities.  We relaxed, reminisced and enjoyed each others' company, allowing ourselves to "slow down", laugh our faces off, and "take in the love."

Not only does coffee have one of the highest amounts of antioxidants in the American diet, spending time sipping a cup of Joe with a good friend has more benefits than just physical health.  Taking time away from my schedule and heading to "the Bux" on Monday mornings with my chick buds gets me revved for the week.  And My Boyfriend, J-GQ and I always look forward to getting up early on Friday mornings before school and work to have "face time" over our favorite drink and goodie at "Starbuckles". We've done this ever since J-GQ was 4 years old (he is now 14).  We thought that he would not want to once he got to high school, but he looks forward to it as much as he did when he was younger -- we ALL do.  It's a great time for us to reconnect, especially when we haven't had the planned sit-down meals we'd like due to our busy schedules.

So, yes, our buddy Bux brings us together.  It's the simple things in life that bring me the greatest joy and that connect me with the people I love.  (And, it doesn't hurt that it comes in "instant", either.)


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Here in Wales with a nice cup of Joe!

Good morning!  I am now in Cardiff, Wales!  I was actually here a couple of weeks ago, but did not post about it, but I am back again and thought I would have my coffee with you from here today!

I'm sitting here in Bute Park and gazing at the magnificent Cardiff Castle.  Wonderful!  Tom Jones even did a concert here once, if you like Tom Jones.  My mom did.  There are a number of wonderful Castles in Wales... I'd love to see them all!

For those who don't know, Cardiff is the largest and most populated city in Wales and is also it's capital.  Right now the temp is sitting at about 53 degrees (Faherenheit). The temps and average rainfull are actually not too different from Seattle in the month of March, which has highs/lows of 53/40.  (Average rainfall in Cardiff is 42 inches, which is actually more than in Seattle, which averages about 38 inches).  Houston gets 46 inches, but it usually comes down in buckets all at once, rather than a slow drip like Seattle.  Since it isn't raining in Cardiff right now, I am no certain how the rain comes down.  I am assuming it is more like Seattle.  But, because of the rain, it is beautiful in Cardiff.  It doesn't get too hot in the summers -- only about 70 degrees.  That's a nice temp! 

I'm sorry I don't have any photos to post... my camera is not in Cardiff.

So, when I really (physically) go to Wales, I will be sure to take my camera.  As it is, I will just have to settle with dreaming about it while drinking a cup of Joe from my Cardiff Starbucks mug that Migrating Larry brought me back from his recent journey there.  Thanks again, Migrating Larry!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This morning, Amsterdam; Tomorrow, Wales

I'm in Amsterdam right now. I'm sitting at the edge of the canal, enjoying the wonderful old buildings and the houseboats everywhere.  Some are actually ships, some are what are called "arks".  This bustling city is the largest in the Netherlands and boasts about 1.2 million people.  Bikes are everywhere.  There are more bikes than cars.  And, it's about 37 degrees.  Perfect for my cup of Joe.

Oh wait, I'm not literally in Amsterdam.  I'm here in my living room drinking some Starbucks from my Amsterdam mug that Migration Larry brought me back.  He finds thrill in the hunt when he travels to exotic places to try to find me Starbuck's mugs. Yes, this is why he travels.  (I think I've even gotten him to start collecting.)

Codemeister and The Ric inform me they have "Beer Bikes" in Amsterdam.  I've never been on one.  Like Codemeister says, " I don't know, but beer and exercise seems kinda counterproductive either way you look at it."  I tend to agree.  I think I'll stick with the 'bux in the mug and the butt in the chair. Ain't nothin' better.

Tomorrow -- Cardiff, Wales!  Can't wait!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Purpose of Your Life on a Starbucks Cup

Love this!!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

10 things I learned at Starbucks today...

1. Chicks always get the runaround by dudes when they take their cars in to get fixed.

2.  Sometimes those you don't know come through better for you than people you have known for years.

3.  Twitter is a very superficial means of communication.

4.  Don Miller and Jim Chaffee are enjoying drinks with umbrellas in a tropical land.

5.  Husbands bring us great _______ (fill in the blank)

6.  When it's time to go, it's time to go.

7.  The reduced fat very berry coffee cake may have less calories (a mere 350) , but is not NEARLY as tasty as the pumpkin bread (390 calories.)  Goin' back to the pumpkin bread.

8.  Antibiotics create not-so-pleasant after-effects.  Especially for chicks.

9.  Apparently, when taking your car to get serviced, the service dudes eat lunch in your car.  My friend, Patsy Penny, has the lunchbox to prove it.

10.  Sitting on the hard chairs in the corner are not recommended.  Go for the comfy ones if you plan to sit here for any length of time -- even if they are stained and stinky.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two new ones!

Migration Larry often brings back mugs from his exotic travels overseas.  I just got these two neato mugs from his recent business trip!  According to his wife, he loves the "thrill of the hunt"... Thanks for hunting, Larry!

Sure love adding to my collection!