Friday, December 17, 2010

Fresh Pots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Coffee:

I love you.

I always knew I loved you. I never had to live the "don't know what ya got till it's gone" with you.

I knew what I had.

Coffee, my coffee, the perfect drink. Black gold. Brings you up, yet calms you down.

Revs you up, powers up the brain. All the cylinders firing.

Like a good Colombian family, our day began with you percolating in the pot, coffee. I received my own first percolator at age three, which my Spanish grandmother would fill with coffee and my brother and I would sit and sip in the warm, sweet soul smoothness of our coffee. We were masters of slowly stirring in the cream till it was the perfect caramel brown.

We just knew how much cream to add, it's part of the DNA we came with.

I was not new to the power of caffeine, oh, no, not then, not now, not ever.

I understood all the coffee jokes, I got it--- I'd even poke fun at my own twitching eyes.

I also confess that it was me that began my husband down this same, indulgent  path. Poor soul, he never stood a chance.One morning, after a particularly focusing round of the bean, I almost had him convinced he could run for president, and win. After one more cup, emitting a Howard Dean primal scream, he was submitting papers.

Coffee. You can have intelligent conversation when you hold a mug in your hand, you are confident with a mug in your hand, you are clever and witty, sharp, focused, and the ideas are firing off in your head like a little boy with a cap gun.You'd be left with such a good feeling, that at times I could scarcely believe that something this good out of Colombia was legal.

My days are built around coffee. Get up, get going, have that cup, be in a good mood, get it all done, do the exercising, the smiling, and wow.. the ideas for the posts... bing bing bing. 50,00 lined up and ready in draft and celebrate me! Woo hoo! Ima get the stuff done today.

I'd finish one cup and start another. People would mention they were cutting down to two a day, and I'd quip, "yeah, me, too... TWO POTS!" Hilarious, coffee made me hilarious.

On the days of that perfect, centering caffeine buzz, where the balance of coffee ingested was just right that you loved everybody and everything and Life is sooooo SO good, you'd look in the mirror and loved that, too, with that youthful, adrenaline cherry flush in your cheeks and only the two second attention span courtesy of coffee to not stare much longer.

To those of you who know just what I'm talking about, your mouth  is already wetting and salivating as you read this post. You have the thought of a good, hot, fresh cup of coffee to hold in your permanently coffee clawed hand, fingers molded by the mug's handle, don't you? You know you can smell it if you close your eyes. Ahhh... nothing. like. it.

But, 'tis a dark day for me here in my small town.

Even my children understand what is happening today. Middlest said today in the car returning from the Doctor, "Mom, I feel so sorry for you. I can't believe you can't have coffee."  Smallest added his points of concern, "You were so much fun, Mom, you'd drink your coffee and then chase us, Mom."  Oldest understands, "Mom, you love coffee. what are you going to do? "

Yes, yes, oh, yes, I do love my coffee.

 But, last week, you remember the night, don't you, Coffee?  Where I found myself sitting up in bed all night, unable to sleep, panicking at the symptoms of the worst reflux I have ever had.

Sensations so bad, I almost took myself in to the ER at 3 a.m.

Promising God anything in exchange for surviving the night.

I endured the night and was able to wait it out until morning. I drove to our family health center and sat outside in the parking lot, awaiting the last few minutes out in agony until they opened for the day.  The staff there allowed me to see our family physician before his other scheduled appointments. At the sight of him, along with being so grateful to finally be receiving medical attention, and with the fresh memories of the longest night of my life just hours behind me, my lips were loosed. I let go the floodgates of truth and disclosed the details of my until then secret two pot consuming lifestyle. He, in his $700 cashmere blazer, decreed the unholiest of the unholies, the diagnosis and prescribed medication along with firm orders of "no more coffee."

No more coffee for your overcaffeinated body. Swallow these three pills twice a day and stay away from your coffee.

Like that. Like.that.

And that's how it went down, coffee.

I love you, I miss you, I gaze at you from a safe distance, where you can't hurt me. I think of all who get to cradle you now, both hands encircling their favorite mug this morning,  feeling the warmth of you and the satisfying almost burning hurts so good sensation of you sliding down their throat.

I think of them,  because it can no longer be me.
I watch them, as they gently blow across your smooth surface before they take that slow, measured sip, then I see them close their eyes and softly inhale the steam rising from their cups.
Oh, the magic of that steam, the steam that opens up more than your sinuses; the steam that gives way to confidences exchanged through lowered voices. I know these moments so very well. 

I miss you.

I still keep you around, just a small amount, in a rolled up shiny off-white bag, hidden behind the vitamins, so that I can for a minute, open you and inhale you and linger on your seductions. But I have thrown the coffee pot away.

Had to. So powerful is your siren's call to me, so weak is my resistance.

Too many weak moments potential.

Too many "just this once, and then, never again," lurkings.

And, now, here I am, coffeeless, at a loss for what to write about, and the only thing that comes to my mind, is

Coffee, I love you.

I wish I could quit ya.

I am tremendously better since off the joe, and on the healing meds. I haven't slept this good and uninterrupted in ages. I move very slowly, as slow as Uncle Joe, and I do stare blankly back and am stuck for a response when you say "good morning," but I feel good. And I haven't slipped off the wagon yet. Those four nights of sitting up awake, in mid-chested pain, pretty much scared the pants off me. So, yeah, there's that memory keeping me unleaded.


  1. Oh. My. Heavens!
    I too L-O-V-E my coffee, so, so much- I can't imagine! Only time I ever gave up "my precious" was when I was pregnant with my first- believe it or not, the smell made me sick!

    How did you work through that horrible headache?

    Glad to hear you are feeling better!!! :)

  2. This video is hilarious! I hope you don't mind, but I'm swiping it to share with some friends!!

    As for the no coffee business, you have my deepest sympathies. I would be crushed. At least you're feeling better.

  3. Oh you poor dear!!! I gave up coffee during both of my pregnancies, but went running back the moment the baby was delivered. I just can't go without it. Fortunately, coffee is still good to me. I can't imagine a day when it's not. :(

  4. oh, sorry...glad you are feeling better...a coffee-less life....sounds like a night mare...smiles. best of wishes...

  5. Oh I'm so sad for you! {sobbing}

    I couldn't do it.

  6. I'm glad you are feeling better! I had to cut back on caffeine years ago and it did help. I feel the same way about my tea but I've never liked coffee. Since I didn't want it I never bought a coffee pot. My husband has to go out and buy his every morning. My daughters love it though and the poor things are so deprived my Middlest asked for a coffee maker for Christmas!

  7. I too had to cut way back on coffee due to reflux so I feel your pain... way back when I easily drank at least a pot a day. I am on prilosec now and after abstaining for about 6 mos. am now able to have a 16 oz. latte about 3 times a week- the latte seems to have enough milk to help with the coffee....chai tea lattes are o...kay.... but not the same. Hang in there... your coffee may not be gone forever! :)

  8. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear.
    First off- have you been tested for the H. Pylori bacteria? That can cause terrible heartburn and ulcers. If not, demand the test.
    That was my husband's problem and he was treated and his heartburn disappeared.
    In the meantime- bless you and I admire your strength and yes, pain is a great motivator.

  9. I only have one cup a day...but I SO love it. I feel for you...and am glad you are better.

  10. Awwwwwwww... I am so terribly sorry to hear you can't touch the stuff any longer. I'm a big coffee drinker myself so I can't imagine having to give it up. But you are doing what's best--and healthiest--for you. What happened to you is very scary and it's not worth returning to the caffeine.

  11. Oh no. How's your head? Whenever I try to quit, the incessant pounding headache forces me to fall off the wagon and mainline a pot of the good stuff.

  12. Your boys were so sweet to you about it! Sleeping good; is so worth no coffee. I gotta tell you though, you are stronger than most. Quitting coffee might take a whole stint in rehab!
    If your husband runs for president, let us know. You have my vote for sure!

  13. I love your son's comment about how you' drink coffee and chase them! Hang in there. If someone were to take away my Diet Pepsi, there would be trouble.

  14. Mrs. Folgers could not be reached for comment.

  15. NO COFFEE? I feel like crying for you. I've been drinking this stuff for about 10 years now, and I just can't back away from Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, my coffee machine. I've got a cup right now. But now I wonder if the coffee is causing my headache this morning, feeding my ever present insomnia, argh.

  16. Oh, my friend, my heart goes out to you.

    I gave up coffee for both of my pregnancies and counted the days until the babies were born so that I could resume my love affair.

    Then, my sweet baby boy had the worst acid reflux and I had to give it up yet again. The lure of the coffee is very strong.

    You were wise to get rid of the pot.

  17. Empress, how was that for serendipity, two coffee posts. You and I, kindred spirits. I too have had the scourge of reflux. It is a terrifying thing. I would equate it to a heart attack that just never stops. The Agronomist succumbed to gall stones and reflux too. We abstain except for when we go out, and then a cup is allowed. We are managing, but something is missing... so I've turned to chocolate, and my blogging chair has strangely become quite small as of late. Oh well, at least I am sleeping.
    I feel for you my friend.

  18. Oh, my poor Empress - sorry to hear about this. I can totally relate to your past relationship with the java - but it can be a love/hate relationship for some. I'm glad to hear you're doing better - take care of yourself & I'm sure you'll be back to your perky self in no time. On a happy note, it's obvious you haven't lost your sense of humor. Convincing your husband to run for president! hahaha!!

  19. Oh girl, no allowda have coffee onnacounta it gives ya the gerd? SUCKS big time! I'm with you and Dave G. Nothing better than a fresh pot. I am terribly sorry for your loss. :(

  20. Poor, Empress! I must admit that I've never had a love affair with coffee, and the smell makes me woozy. But, when reading your post I decided to replace "coffee" with "chocolate", and was in hysterics by the end. Poor Empress, indeed.

    I'm glad you're feeling better, and hope you can find a (legal) substitute soon.

  21. Awww, I feel your pain. At least a little bit (reflux due to hiatl hernia, but had to give up all caffeine 4 years ago due to another health issue). Tea isn't the same, it's true, but there are wonders in a good cup (or pot) of tea that are tremendously restorative.

    Good luck!

  22. I never had a cup of coffee until I moved to L.A. I drank tea or nothing. Suddenly L.A. demanded coffee. Then I switched back to tea because it was cheaper and more cost effective. No soy milk required was also a bonus.

    Somehow, in the last year, I went back to coffee. And every time I run out of a bag I say, "No more" and every time I buy it again.

    A few days ago I had this mid chest pain that I now realize as being what you had. Acid reflux. I took 3 Tums and it went away.

    If it ever comes back I'm moving in with you.

  23. Oh my goodness, you poor thing! I usually limit my intake to 1 cup a day, but would be lost without it!

  24. This is TOO weird, but I HAPPENED to be looking in my SPAM box and there you were with this REALLY nice comment about my blog. How ROYALTY ended up in with the trash I will never know! Anyway, that brought me HERE to your kingdom. I like it here. Seems like a nice place to summer. Anyway, I'm now a subscriber. Anyone with 4 boys to my 3 deserves my admiration as well as a deep curtsey!

  25. I'd like to extend my sincere sympathies to you on the demise of your coffee pot.

    As a prolific coffee drinker I have no idea how you are managing this extremely trying event. Have you murdered anyone yet?

  26. OH Empress - How could this have happened???

    Let the others go without but not you - you are too good - too kind - too compassionate.

    I will be thinking of you always as I lavish in the warm red glow of the coffee pot's power light.

    Stay strong sista - but...if you fall off the wagon, I have some killer Peppermint Mocha Cream waiting:)

  27. I gave up coffee for 20 years and then succumbed to its siren song. Coffee is my mistress, the one that I don't hide from anyone.

    Oh, that wily gal she keeps me hanging on. Fortunately I have managed to keep it down two cups a day, also known 128 ounces. I have a very large mug.

    Sorry to hear that you had to give it up, but feeling good is always worth it.

  28. Good for you. And that means more for me.

    A possibly uplifting aside: I JUST bought today, on a whim, a wickless soy candle that smells like the inside of a coffeehouse. I am inhaling its aromatic greatness even as I type this. Let me know if you'd like the link to their website...I swear I'm not trying to sell you anything, Empress. Just an interesting coincidence.

  29. As I sit her with my cup of hot water w/lemon, I feel your pain!! I'm so sorry you've joined the world of the coffeeless. It's a dark and very sleepy place.

    It IS a siren song that I still succumb to more than I should and I pay a terrible price but alas, I lack your strength to throw away the coffee pot. You impress me Empress!

  30. Oh Empress, this is so hard for's like coffee-lovin' is in your DNA. So unfair, and I would have SUCH a hard time giving up my one 16oz mug each morning. But the fact that you're feeling much better? And the chest pains are gone? Well, that right there makes it worth it.

    But still, oh so hard. Writing a Dear John letter to your coffee was an important first step.

  31. Best line in this one: "You were so much fun, Mom, you'd drink your coffee and then chase us, Mom."


    Though I totally share your devotion to the brown gold (having studied in Austria during college and discovering Viennese coffee houses, I never was the same) - it sounds like this is probably a positive change. Because "the Mommy hopped up on caffeine chasing her small fry" is not the way you want to be referred to in the 'hood.

  32. Oh I am humbled. I prostrate myself before you as your loyal subject my Empress. You know coffee. You know the power of the mug. You know coffee! I weep in recognition.

    I too had my coffee swept away from me in a single doctor moment relating to tachycardia, peri-menopause...death if keep consuming…single mum of little beautiful boy. Again I weep in recognition.

    So well written...I really didn’t weep...just chuckled and groaned in equal measurement. Awesome!

  33. I am with you. It is so hard being a Colombian who can't drink coffee! I didn't know how bad your reflux was! I have started drinking Cafix. It's fake coffee made out of Barley and molasses. You get it at health food stores. It doesn't clear your mind or become your best friend like coffee does, but it just simple feels good to pretend that you are drinking it. That's what I do....

  34. P.S. LOVE the video!!!!!!

  35. I am so sorry for your loss.

    But happy for your sleep.

    I loathe coffee.

    Unless it is frozen and contains large chunks of heath bars.

  36. Empress!! NOOOOOO!! I can't believe you no longer have joe as your best friend! "Tis very sad, my friend. But I'm glad you're not in agony anymore. Oh, the perils of age...

  37. I am so sorry for your loss.

    But truly. This was one of your BEST posts. 'A rousing round of the bean' - too good. But coffee didn't make you hilarious. YOU made you hilarious.

    I told my friend in the comedy group who smoked too much pot the same thing. Unfortunately for him, pot really did make him hilarious.

    But you? You're golden. A nice, decaf golden.

    However. Who will your husband drink with? He goin' cold turkey too????

  38. That video is a hoot but I'm still glad I never drank coffee-- Can't stand the taste or smell.

    Merry Christmas and glad you're sleeping so well. jj

    PS Stop by, I'm having a giveaway.

  39. Ha ha! Totally rung true because I am the exact same way with my Pepsi.

    Dave Grohl has to be the funniest rock star ever.

  40. I did a couple years without coffee & Coke. Then I started adding small amount of decaf to steamed milk for cafe au lait. And it was good.

    Glad you are feeling better!

  41. Coffee makes my day - my day revolves around coffee - I have playlists titled coffee house, coffee house lite rock 1, indie coffee house, coffee house 80's - even my music is influenced by my love of coffee!

    I like it dark, strong and warm!

    BTW - that video of David Grohl is hilarious!

  42. I am so sad for you.

    I went through a reflux induced coffee break-up several years ago. It turned out to be an ibuprophin induced ulcer. I was able to go back to my pot+ a day. Do look into the ulcer theory, it may save you. Unless you really wish to remain decaffeinated.

  43. Oh my dear sweet lady! I don't know how you are doing it but health comes first and sleep.

    is your head pounding? the withdrawls are murder.


  44. Well, believe it or not, I have never actually had a cup of coffee in my life. However, I am no stranger to caffeine addiction! I used to drink 2 litres of Coke per day then I too had to quit cold turkey when I got prego the first time! Admittedly, your incredible ode to coffee has me thinking I may be missing out on something here...hmmmm....

    You can do it lady, & I am glad to hear that you are feeling better! :-))

  45. My sincerest condolences at your loss...

  46. You are STILL hilarious without that coffee, so no worries there! (BTW, I loved the "two pots" joke!) My sister has reflux and no longer can drink coffee, so I have witnessed your pain firsthand. I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I always wanted to be. I can remember sitting around sipping Coke from a coffee mug when I was little while I emitted a hearty smoker's laugh to my imaginary friends while sipping the coffee. Back then, the two went together in my head. I have always needed professional help.

  47. Michelle says:

    Oh no! nonononono!

    What are we going to do when I come see you???

    Just one cup? Be good till then so you can have one cup.

    Oh, no, I'm with your boys, how can this be true? I can't imagine you without coffee.

    I'm so sorry.

  48. I've given up coffee many times so I know both the painful withdrawal and the amazing health and vigor you feel afterwards. But I always get sucked back in - it's the emotional tie more than anything. Boy this post really spoke to me. I wish I could do it for good but I'm not motivated.

  49. Could you do decaf just to get a fixbut without the evil?'re stronger than coffee. You can do this empress!
    PS. I have that same love affair with my coffee too but I only drink 2 cups ;)

  50. I'm sorry for your loss. I have to admit, I'm not surprised. I've had about 3 sips of coffee in my life and each time I thought my belly was on fire. Might as well drink battery acid.

  51. I'm sorry but this is crap. How can you take this sitting down? It's 2010 (almost 2011) for Peet's sakes (yes that Peet's) and the doctor's solution is to make you give up the only thing that makes life worth living? Not good enough. Fight back. Unless you've made peace with this decision, then ignore my rant. But if you haven't, then demand a solution! Do they have you on medicine? Like Protonix for example?

    Well anyway, if this is what it is then I will support you in whatever way I can and I am so sorry for you.

    Hugs in this tough time.

  52. Omgoodness!!! I am so sorry you have to give up the drug of choice. :( Praying you heal well and don't have withdrawls symptoms. Love you, Majesty. Hope you get better soon.

  53. No coffee forever?? Or just until you recover? Why is it all or nothing - couldn't you just cut down to 1 or 2 cups a day? This reminds me of my dad who used to eat a huge Asian noodle soup bowl of ice cream a day, until he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and told by his doctor not to touch a single dessert again. Oh, the look in his eyes!

    I'm a coffee lover too and I can feel your pain. Would decaf work, just to get the taste?

    I somehow missed your post from 2 weeks ago when you were not feeling well!! I am so glad you are better, and that your attitude about giving up coffee is ok too. Hugs!

    (PS Tea is a different but also nice alternative!)

  54. I don't do coffee but I used to do Diet Coke, I gave it up in April and I can't say that I feel any better without it but my stomach probably has a few less acid induced holes in it!

    "You'd drink your coffee then chase us" oh my! Fun image running through my mind!

    Stay Strong! You can do it!

  55. I have said to my fiance, I would only give up coffee if I were told that one more sip would kill me...and then I would say goodbye to the world with that last sip.

    I don't know how you're doing it, but dear gawd, I cannot imagine the strength it is taking. You are my hero.

  56. The tea drinkers of the world stand up and applaud your strength and willpower!

    The Starbucks people want to have a word with you....

  57. Oh, you are ALL making me laugh here today.

    THANK YOU so much for the sincere sympathy and BIG electronic love.

    Yes, it's sad...I have so much to do, and my day never feels like it's starting without the pomp and circumstance of that first cup of java.

    Hold me.

  58. Hey there, have not seen you out and about so thought I should stop by and say Hello - and now I understand you are shivering under a cover somewhere hiding ...
    Come out soon!

  59. Oh no Alexandra...I can only imagine having to quit coffee. If someone suggested that to me I just might bite their head off!

    But...sitting up at night with severe chest pain? Not good and I'm glad you are already feeling better and well rested. Love your ode to coffee:)

    Stay well and Merry Christmas to you!

  60. Also, I just had the chance to watch this video and holy cow--that was hysterical (and thank GOD dave grohl is on the mend).

  61. I DID take that trip to the ER. I was handed a Dear John letter from my beloved chocolate. Garlic signed the letter too, along with so many other tasty loves. I feel your pain (quite literally)!

  62. Seriously sorry. No joke. Messing with my coffee is liking toying with my emotions. But health...that's good too.

    I wish I could write a wittier comment, but my coffee has pretty much worked itself out of my system at this late hour.

    You're still funny and an incredible writer.

  63. Let me start with my sincerest sympathies for both the caffiene withdrawl and the reflux - not fun. I am glad to hear you are feeling better. Now, can I say, I would like to print your Ode to Coffee and frame it and give it for Christmas gifts. It was so well written, so spot on, so funny - so true! Can I also confess to reading it while drinking my first cup of the day. Oh, bliss and joy. Hugs and Kisses to you and also - have you considered tea? I use it to moderate my own '2 pot' a day habit...
    Tina aka Three In The Bed

  64. I felt great when I gave up coffee but I couldn't give it up forever. I need your will power!

  65. I feel your pain. Literally. Because I've had reflux since pregnancy. Switched to half-caf and prilosec (not together) and manage ok. I even get half-caf espressos. But cold turkey? You are a stronger woman than I (well, it's not like that's news to me).

  66. Coffee at the age of 3? Do you remember sleeping at all as a child? I think you win the coffee lover of the world award. I don't know anyone who could throw down 2 pots. You're my coffee idol.

  67. my heart just broke in a million pieces!! Your love letter to the drink that makes my world turn was beautiful and sad.
    I'm going to get some coffee, it just feels like the right thing to do



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