Friday, February 24, 2012

Dating & Mating: Meet You, Meet Me

In the world of relationships meeting that one person you are willing to spend the rest of your life with; your life partner (or so we hope), can be difficult and frightening.

The Today Show highlighted the cultural trend: Online Dating:The Secret Science of Love at First Byte.  Meeting people online was initially met with skepticism but legitimate businesses such as and, are two of 1,500 companies in a thriving industry of matchmaking.

Computers are attempting to do what friends and relatives have been doing for generations.  Matching people we know with other people, known to friends and relatives, who may make a compatible couple.

Success is a certainty with either of these methods when combined with one key element; your willingness to meet people.  You have to be willing to put time and energy into meeting new people, making conversation, putting yourself out there.  The advantage to employing matchmakers is the person you meet has been vetted and shares your intentions.

Once you've decided to 'step out' paying a company isn't necessary, instead, spread the word to those you know that you are willing to meet whom-ever they think is worth an introduction.  You may be surprised at the number of opportunities friends and family deliver.

You should prepare to experience multiple introductions, some worth investigating and some, not so much.  Let those which are a "definite no" go easily and without personal recriminations.  Extend yourself and explore the "possibles".  A "definite possibility" may be closer than you think. 

If you feel Valentine's Day is another name for Singles Awareness Day it may be time to put out the word to your people and say,  "I'm ready."

Pictures from:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Up? . . . with the Friday Forum.

It's time for a round up with the Friday Forum.  M, office on the north end, has inside knowledge on barista know-how.  M brought in a latte machine making delicious coffee drinks for the Forum.

It doesn't take long to drink through new blends leaving us with our favorite, off the shelf, stand-bys.  Our MOST favorite blend, Magnolia Cafe, blended at Trianon Coffee Brewers in Austin, TX begins with a base of Sumatra coffee beans.  Procuring Sumatran beans at our local World Market, D has begun blending beans here at home, with some success.  He blended 8 O'clock Vanilla Bean with Sumatran beans and produced a wonderfully smooth tasting brew that was well received at the Forum.

A reader suggested another brewer, Prairie Fire Roasters out of Wichita, KS.  Prairie Fire offers free samples online and their Peppermint Patty blend was a current Friday brew.  As always there have been tasty treats to go along with our coffee tests.  Comments from the Forum:

M. in the front office says, "I enjoyed the new coffee today-peppermint patty. It was not so overpowering as I originally thought it would be. It was very smooth. The conversation of new recipes from Emily Bites were very encouraging about great food to make in a healthy way. I loved the Chocolate Banana Oat muffins, fantastic and very low calorie with the wonderful flavor."

M. from the middle office shared, "The lattes were a nice treat. There is something about a cup of coffee brewed just for you that is always a treat….kind of like how a meal always tastes better when someone else fixes it.  I have enjoyed all the coffees and I am in awe of your new hobby, blending your own beans. Who knows…maybe someday we’ll be saying 'I knew Sally when they first started blending beans .'  You’d be a great barista!"

N. at the north end added, "M’s Lattes – This is an annual event anticipated by all! Although it did not take place during our traditional time, the week between Christmas and New Year’s, they tasted just as good in late January. That’s a bleak time of year anyway, right? MLK Day is nice, but hardly enough to lift us out of January doldrums. Anyway, the lattes were delicious and much appreciated. 
Our own blend of Sumatra beans and vanilla bean – Smooth as silk! Well done, D.
My scones – If we can call them 'scones', then they were pretty good. The treats certainly did not have the soft and crumbly texture we associate with true scones. However, they had cherry goodness in every bite, so I guess that counts for something.
New brew from Prairie Fire Roasters – Did not expect to like Peppermint Patty, but I did! Prairie Fire Roasters (does anyone else out there have trouble spelling ‘prairie’?) is a winner so far."

What new recipe, blog, beverage or food have you tried lately? 

Pictures from:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

SAD: Singles Awareness Day

"I hate Valentine's Day, it's SAD." Young, single, female, co-worker.

Me, "Don't let it be sad, there are a lot of people that love you, and that you love, to celebrate on that day." 

"Not on Singles Awareness Day," replied young, single, male, co-worker.

Understanding the play on words brought a chuckle but the seriousness of both these individuals about their distaste for February 14th was real.  That is sad.  They are not the first unattached (young or old) people that have expressed the sentiment that Valentine's Day highlights, like a neon sign, their singleness.

"You can't go to a restaurant because everyone there is a couple," she declared.
"It makes it much more apparent that you're single," he agreed.

This message is not for those who are happy with your singleness, your satisfaction of relationship status is to be applauded, but there is a vast majority who feel as these do. 

So what are the options?

1.  Ignore the day, treat it like every other day.
2.  Show your love and appreciation to those who make your life better, i.e. parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, etc.
3.  Allow others around you to show their love and appreciation of you.
4.  Show your love for humanity by volunteering, i.e. soup kitchen, food bank, visiting an elder care center, animal shelter, etc.

Valentine's Day can be SAD but it can also be an opportunity for you to make it special for someone else.  The choice is yours.

Pictures from:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Your Thread In the Historic Fabric

Hitting the half century mark leads to some reflection across my personal timeline.  At the holidays we made a trip back to the area where I grew up.  My small town, like so many, is decreasing in size with the main street businesses closed and buildings falling into their foundations.

Our two room school house held six grades.  My 1st and 2nd grade was made up of 8 girls.  Our school bus was a red station wagon that made three trips to 'bus' all the kids to school and home.  In 3rd grade the district consolidated.  The burning question in my young mind, "Where did all these kids come from?"  The school will be torn down to make way for a county clinic, the building too old and decayed to bring, economically, up to code.

This church is where I was confirmed, attended vacation bible school for many years and love to attend when we visit my folks.  It was never a large congregation but now there are about 24 regular attenders and my parents, in their early 70's, are the youth group. 

On a country road between town and my home, is the little Welsh Chapel.  My paternal, great-grandmother Mary was the chairman of the Welsh reunion committee in the early 60's.  The Welsh community was already dispersed and there were no regular services.  My dad and mom remember attending the yearly reunion services at the chapel as young marrieds.  The property has reverted back to the originally owners who still maintain the grounds but that, and an occassional burial, is the only activity now.

My life has touched two eras.  I've attended a two room school house and watched computers go viral. much like my grandparents traveling in a horse and buggy and watching a man walk on the moon.  I attempt to hang on to some of these things, as did my great grandmother, by holding reunions and walking down memory lane yet, as I embrace my past I look eagerly forward to the future and all there is yet to unfold. 

What does your historic thread look like?