But this year, we made an exception.
To preface this story, I need to tell you that I am not a coffee drinker, but I do enjoy the Starbucks, or any coffee shop experience. The idea of the uberchic people sitting around engaged in quiet conversation, reading the newspaper or surfing the Internet while sipping some three-to -seven word coffee blend as new age music is playing softly in the background is very appealing to me. So, I have acquired a taste for a well blended latte or cappuccino as sort of a "means to an end" excuse to insert myself into this environment.
However, as he is a wine connesiour, my husband is also a coffee connesiour. He loves all types and all kinds, and Dennis being "Dennis", has researched the subject thoroughly. A cup of coffee in it's rarest exotic form or straight from the Mr. Coffee machine is a part of his daily routine.
So, it is with all of these things combined that this past year, we came to purchase the joint Christmas present you see above......a beautiful espresso machine that automatically does everything a coffee shop can do, just without the perky barista. The traditional coffee pot sitting to the left is for nights when Dennis is working late, writing reports and does not have the luxury of stopping to make an individually stylized cup of latte or cappuccino every 30 minutes.
If you can dispel the preconceived notions you have (with good reason) of my life here in the mountaintop woods of rural Arkansas, complete with snakes, bears, animal body parts appearing on my porch, 7 rescued dogs, water problems, snow, drought, and other issues associated with moving into a house that was abandoned for 17 years..........please know that I DO have moments of extreme civility.
Each morning begins between 5:30-6:00am when I let all of the dogs out to run, feed and nurture the older more frail ones, check on the water level and do whatever other chores that might need immediate attention.
But after that, I set aside an hour or so of "ME" time. I make a beautiful cup of cappuccino (like the one I made this morning pictured at the top of this page), I turn on television and the computer for the latest news and world events, and along with a piece of almond biscotti, I am transported to a quaint little bistro in Tuscany, Seattle, Toronto or San Francisco..............that is until Bob the Beagle whines and tugs on my pant leg for a Beggin Strip or the trash tuck comes and all seven dogs howl in ear drum rupturing unison and I am brought back into reality.......otherwise known as LIFE.