Moving right along

Despite my insistence that time SLOW DOWN ALREADY, life continues to zip right by at a maniacal pace. And now we can all stop and consider that statement and laugh at my fickleness, because wasn’t I JUST wishing for 2013 to get here? And now I’m complaining that the year is nearly over and I’m not ready?

I am nothing if not illogical. (No, YOU!)

It’s not clear to me what I feel the need to DO or FINISH this year—I mean, other than the usual sort of “everything!”—but here I am, feeling like time is spinning by and I’m on a deadline. What or when that deadline actually IS remains a mystery, but my brain is convinced it exists. I feel like it may be related to the fact that I’m working a lot and also shoveling all available food into my mouth as often as possible, but who knows. (I mean, I could work less, and maybe take the dog for a walk or something, but let’s not get CRAZY, now.)

So how about a few updates? Yes, let’s!

Otto is now the answer to life, the universe and everything. Thank you for your kind birthday wishes for my husband. Mr. Stiff Upper Lip was fine all day until it was time to get ready to go out to dinner, and then he admitted he just wasn’t “feeling it” so much. Could we just get take-out and postpone the Family Birthday Dinner until Chickie is home in a couple of weeks? Needless to say—in spite of already being disgustingly, over-the-top in love with him already—this suggestion caused me to fall about ten more levels of head-over-heels for him. We got Chinese. We’ll do the “real” dinner once we’re all together again.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but I REALLY like that guy.

First semester of Virtual School: That’s a wrap! Monkey took his final exam for science this morning, and he’s done for the semester. I think I can safely say that his experiences this semester were an incredible learning experience for both of us—he grew leaps and bounds in terms of autonomy and academic knowledge and study habits (what was “get out your syllabus, show me what you have this week, here’s what you need to do…” at the beginning of the semester was “I’ve worked out my schedule for this week, I’m going to go get my work done” by the end), and I learned how to loosen my apron strings and let him just go do it.

To wit: he got so good at managing himself and his coursework, I didn’t check his grades for a while, and then discovered a week or two ago that his science average had dropped by about five points. That seemed like kind of a lot, this close to the end of the semester, so I started poking around in his grades and discovered that he’d gotten a 65 on a major project. Huh. Turns out he’d just done the project without, you know, bothering to look at the scoring rubric. And because I was letting him be autonomous I’d had absolutely no idea. I felt terrible for about five seconds, and then I felt FANTASTIC. Because HEY, he got a 65 and the world didn’t end. And he didn’t even freak out! We of course had a conversation about what went wrong (I didn’t follow the directions) and how to do better next time (follow the directions, OKAY MOM I GET IT), and he did great on the next/final project. Thumbs up on the whole experience, really.

Next semester Monkey will be taking the second half of that science class, plus an introductory programming class. Stay tuned for even more nerdery, because I think my baby is about to have his mind blown.

Speaking of mind-blowing…. I have been chronicling Monkey’s adventures with this year’s LEGO Advent calendar on Facebook, because 1) we’ve never done an Advent calendar before, 2) LEGO is always fun, and 3) the randomness behind each little door is rapidly becoming the most hilarious part of our day. Oh, Monkey tried to do it “right” for the first few days—the fireman dutifully stood in the town center with his bullhorn, the Christmas tree was festooned with the tiny round brick “lights”—but it’s day 6 and he’s given up all pretense of trying to understand LEGO’s intentions, here.

Why, yes, you ARE seeing “some dude wearing a backwards bicycle helmet and stilts impaled on a Christmas tree!” and “a fireman trying to chainsaw his way to the center of the earth.” Plus ye olde yule log appears to be sporting a spare firefighter’s helmet. It’s all just as Jesus intended, I’m sure.

Quietly celebrating. It’s been a long couple of months since Chickadee migrated north, and I’m not gonna lie, it’s been really hard to not be the primary parent and not be there all the time. It’s hard because I love her so much and hard because, let’s be honest, I am a huge control freak. It’s also hard because I would not have characterized her as “happy” since her departure. But this week… I don’t know, I will say it under my breath, lean in a little… but… something has shifted, I think. I’m hearing the old Chickadee again, here and there.

The separation has been difficult but important, for both of us. My kiddo has been given a pretty tough row to hoe, but all along I have told her, “If you can get through this, handle all of this, you can do ANYTHING.” And she rolls her eyes at me (yes, I can hear them rolling EVEN OVER THE PHONE), but I have never doubted this to be true. And I think what I’m seeing lately is her realizing that she can’t wait for me or her dad or anyone else to “rescue” her. She has to make her own choices, set her own priorities. It’s not a linear path by any means (though there’s lessons in the falling down and getting back up, always), but after a two-month agonizing period of watching her refuse to take a step, she’s on her way.

It’s so good to see. And in two weeks, she’ll be home with us and when I tell her how proud I am of her, I’ll actually be able to hug her when I say it. (I dunno, the day we were talking on Skype and I tried to hug the camera she just got all freaked out. I cannot imagine why.)

Farewell, old friend. So over the summer we had the infamous coffee puddle incident due to human error, but twice since then we’ve set up the coffeemaker and come back to find a giant puddle of coffee EVEN THOUGH the pot has been placed under the basket as directed. The first time it happened, I assured Otto he’d just done it wrong somehow, while HE insisted that some springy component of the mechanism under the basket must be failing. It was fine after that so I continued telling him that no, it was fine, it was HIM that was broken. But it did it again today when I was the one making the coffee, so it may, indeed, be time for a new machine. INSERT SAD, UNDERCAFFEINATED PANDA HERE. If you have found the holy grail of coffeemakers which does not require me to sell either child to acquire, please do tell me what I should buy next. Otherwise I am probably just going to buy the same one again, and it seems like that plan may be flawed.

(Or—OOOHHHHHHH!—maybe I can get Monkey to make me one out of LEGO. I can see no downside to that plan AT ALL.)


  1. Susan B

    Cuisinart Grind-n-Brew. Makes a fantastic cup of coffee!

  2. JenR

    We have a Keurig. The cups are spendy, but you can fix that by getting a couple of solofil cups and using whatever kind of coffee you usually buy. Fresh, hot coffee in a minute every time. I love it… but that said, I do have a spare, cheap Mr Coffee for when more people are over and we just want to make a whole pot at once. Costco is the best deal for the machine (you get a high-end one with a bunch of cups and a reusable cup there for the price of the machine alone at most other stores).

  3. jodifur

    I love, love, love my Tassimo so much I want to marry it.


  4. sassymonkey

    We love our Technivorm coffee maker but in order to acquire one you really might have a sell one of your children. This may be why we don’t have children.

  5. Mir

    I actually have a Tassimo (and like it), but I need a replacement programmable make-me-a-full-pot machine. I’M NEEDY.

  6. Kate

    What a great post today! I can feel the happiness of 2013 creeping up on us already!! Please let it be so!!!
    Love the LEGOs! Great job, Monkey!!

  7. Amanda

    The basic Cuisinart model has served us well. Plus, my husband likes to point out that it seems to be the default coffeemaker on TV and movie sets :)

    I think it goes on sale regularly for ~$50 at Costco. We’ve had ours for 5+ years and it’s still perfect.

  8. Trish

    I got a refurb cuisinart grind-n-brew about 4 years ago. And even though it stopped grinding after 6 months, it still makes great coffee. Though I’m replacing it this christmas with a kuerig.

  9. Angela

    My husband is the coffee drinker in the household, and we have a Cuisinart coffee maker that does not leave coffee puddles and grinds its own beans.

    Add me to the group that is loving the Lego Advent calendar. My six year old has the Star Wars version, and I haven’t had any trouble getting him out of bed in the morning since Dec. 1. He jumps out of bed (well, ok, this is an exaggeration, but there is none of the usual prying and cajoling that is usually required), gets dressed and eats breakfast so he can open and build that day’s droid (or ship or weapon).

    Happy belated to Otto and wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday and a great 2013.

  10. Angela S

    LOVE how successful online school has been for monkey. That is just glorious to me. Esp considering the year you’ve spent in hell. Love it. And yeah, yeah, Otto’s amazing…. :)

  11. Mom2trplts

    Keurig. One perfect, hot cup at a time! (and you can try different types of coffees and teas, and Monkey can make hot cocoa!)

  12. Bob

    I see nothing about being devastated about Dave Brubeck, so I am assuming you are a heathen where music is concerned. Maybe Otto is taking up your slack here?…….

  13. Mir

    Bob, Otto is mourning enough for both of us. ;)

  14. Holly Gault

    Melitta. Pour boiling water over coffee grounds. Always a fresh cup (when you make it). We use an electric kettle to boil water so that we can keep up the use of first world appliances. (Or use the microwave).

  15. Kelly

    we have the capresso grind & brew (i heard reports of cuisinart’s kind of… combusting?) and love it but it was expensive… actually doesn’t get great reviews either, but well it works great for us.

    We loved our basic cuisinart coffee pot and it lasted a long time.

    Good luck – coffee is a must.

    (Happy to hear about progress!)

  16. Jean

    I second the Keurig. I love it so very much and I kinda want to kiss it (no that was not me puckering up to a coffee pot)… :)

  17. Kelly

    and i just saw lego has a friends (aka girl) version of advent calendar… next year that is so happening!

  18. Teresa

    I am so glad this year is nearly over for you! Wishing you and your family a much happier, healthier 2013. I would like to ask about the virtual programming class you found; I have a 13 yr. old nerdling who really wants to try a programming class, and we find that they generally do not allow minors in the local schools we’ve looked at. Also, see: very expensive for a one-off “extracurricular”. Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  19. Barbara

    This caffeine panda loves loves loves the Cuisinart programmable pot, simple and reliable. Not a fan of the grind & brew, too many moving parts for me.

    One caveat, though – the carafe is extremely fragile. If you bang it against the side of the sink, it *will* break. All three times.

    But replacement carafes are affordable on Amazon. So there’s that.

  20. Leanne R

    French press. No filters, no electricity, amazing coffee. I think I just fell a little in love with Otto myself. Way to keep on track, Monkey, and Go Chickie Go!

  21. Mir

    Whoa, y’all have a lot to say about coffee. Okay, just to clarify: Our dying pot is a Cuisinart. No complaints for the first… oh, three years of its life. But now a little reluctant to go Cuisinart again. (And Barbara, I have the thermal carafe version of yours. Harder to break!)

    We keep a french press in with our camping stuff. I dunno that I want to go that route at home, though. I’m lazy.

  22. beth s

    Love the LEGO advent calendars but yeah, they have some odd combinations sometimes. Star wars one so far has a couple guys, and catapult thingy, and a couple ships. Funny when the ship is scaled like 10,000X smaller than the guys but DS doesn’t seem to care.

    I thought Monkey’s scene was a fallen soldier memorial (boots, gun, hat).

    So glad to hear virtual school is good. We may consider it int he future if things don’t get better at our current school.

  23. Diane

    I have the same model Amanda recommends, and adore it. I can hear the beep all the way upstairs in the bedroom – the wonderful beep that announces to the world that I will soon be fit to walk among people again.

    Love the 1-4 cup option; I often make a half pot or less of coffee, and this feature makes sure that pot is HOT. I hate it when the coffee is only warm (though I will continue to drink that once-steaming-hot cup of coffee over several hours, though it becomes stone cold – go figure).

    Anyway, thumbs enthusiastically up on the Cuisinart.

  24. Diane

    Oh – boo. Just saw your comment. I once had a programmable Mr. Coffee – a cliche, maybe, but a workhorse.

  25. jeeni in ks

    We have a Hamilton Beach Brewstation Summit. It only requires one hand coffee to get a cup of coffee which might’ve been nice when your hand was broken. Also nice when holding a wailing child, they don’t seem to understand that mama needs to set them down for just a minute to get some coffee or else the wailing will drive her insane…or maybe that’s just my life.

  26. Jen P

    We have this cold brew system: and it makes the best coffee I’ve ever had. It basically makes a coffee concentrate and then you can make it by the cup at whatever tempature or strength you want. Making the concentrate is something of a science, but I cannot say enough good things about the taste. In fact, I forgot to grab my cup this morning and had to drink regular coffee and woe was me. I know it seems weird, but oh boy, is it good.

  27. Mom24@4evermom

    We have the coffee maker you have and you have now made me paranoid. :)

    We only get puddles when one of us makes coffee and forgets to check that the carafe was emptied. Just sayin’.

    So glad the countdown is on to time with your girl.

  28. Brenda

    I love Monkey’s Lego interpretations. When we started with Legos, we’d go through the instruction book and build the things, but it wasn’t long before we dumped everything together and built whatever came to mind. My dad build a table with a pit in the middle, so we could all sit around the table building stuff but keep the plastic feet-killers contained. Legos always make me think of my dad. :)

  29. Mom24@4evermom

    PS So glad you updated that you’ve been updating on FB, because I have heard nary a word. FB changed the settings you see, so helpful they are (not).

  30. Karen R

    Yay, Monkey and Chickadee! On the coffee maker — DH is the only coffee drinker here now that YD has moved out. I make him cold brew coffee concentrate in a large french press. A quarter pound of coarse ground coffee, and a quart of filtered water. Stir once after the grounds have had a chance to soak, and let stand for up to 24 hours. A second stir at some mid-point gives more robust coffee. Press the plunger, decant, and refrigerate. Two tablespoons of concentrate added to 7/8 cup of hot water yields a fresh cup of coffee. Or pour ice water over it for iced coffee.

    The grounds can be rebrewed twice more, but the result is full strength, not concentrate.

  31. Mara

    I, too, have a Cuisinart. It occasionally does the coffee-on-the-counter routine. If yours is like mine (stainless steel carafe with a lid that keeps it hot for a long time and lets you stop/ pour), then what it requires is a REALLY thorough cleaning (I mean with Q-tips, pipe-cleaners, etc) of the LID– getting into all those inner channels. Grounds and etc get stuck in there, coffee can’t drip through. Get Monkey on it since he’s done with school, and your coffee will again fall into the pot.

    I know it’s less fun than buying a new one, but for a frugal mama, perhaps the triumph of fixing it… ?

  32. Karen

    I have a happy Mr. Coffee with programmable timer. He has never given me any trouble!

  33. SusanTW

    When Consumer Reports tested coffee makers this year, they rated one or two Mr. Coffee machines highly – think at least one of them was termed a “best buy”. Surely wouldn’t break the bank.

  34. Brigid

    Am I the only one with the Muppets singing Moving Right Along on repeat in my head???
    (Ha. Maybe I was, but surely I’m not alone anymore… Evil laugh.)

  35. Little Bird

    So glad to hear/read that things are getting better, coffee maker notwithstanding. Yay for Monkey to take a “loss” with grace! Yay for Chickadee for taking those steps to further growth! I’ve often thought the phrase “if momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy” was a a bit off. It seems more like “momma ain’t happy if the kids ain’t happy”.

  36. Karen

    As a sometime stay at home writer (depending on which job I have at the moment) I have killed two Cuisinarts in the course of 5 years. So, if you’re as caffeinated a writer as I am, you might be correct to mull the Cuisinart decision.

    No helpful suggestions for a replacement pot though, I have given up on brewing entirely and gone with the Toddy cold brew system, which makes a cold concentrate, it is quite good. Still not a full pot, but you can have coffee as strong or as weak as you like it. You can find it on Amazon if you’re interested.

    If not…well then carry on…

  37. bj

    we have the Breville:

    (with built in grinder). For full-potters, who want to wake up to coffee, it’s been working very smoothly. The grinder is working without hitting the top (like we did with our old one), the coffee is strong enough. We’ve had it about 3 weeks, and so far, all is well and we are soundly caffeinated.

  38. Otto

    For the record, I didn’t “get” jazz until I heard Brubeck at the 1995 Newport Jazz Festival.

    I dug out my pictures from that day last night, the day I matured.

    A little.

    Or not.

    Maybe I just developed another obsession.


  39. el-e-e

    I only mention because no one else has: my coffee pot is a Black & Decker TCM700 8-Cup Thermal Coffeemaker. (I had to look up the name.) It’s been great. Stainless steel carafe, that is the most important part, since I break the glass ones regularly. It’s good for lazy people, I can confirm!

  40. Arnebya

    I have no coffeemaker advice or opinion as I am not a coffee drinker BUT I am hear to say you and Otto are raising some mighty fine folks (even though I typed fighty mine at first. I’m sure that’d make sense in whatever language it may be in.)

  41. MamaChristy

    I love French Press coffee now! Dead easy and the coffee is great. The trick is to coarsely grind the beans so you don’t get grounds in your cup. We make ours and pour it into a thermal carafe and I’ll never go back to the other kind again.

  42. Tenessa


    COFFEE MAKER. Including the one with the thermal carafe with the same features. Water collects on the lid of the coffee maker (like it does with the steam and all), but this coffee maker is designed to DRAIN THE WATER DOWN THE BACK OF THE MACHINE. There is constantly some sort of water puddle on my countertop that I can’t seem to keep dry. It is infuriating. There is even a little overhang above the power cord so the water doesn’t run back into the coffee maker. It’s a brilliant design, really.

  43. Erin

    I have nothing to say about coffee–but I do want to chime in and say, as a college professor, THANK YOU for letting Monkey be autonomous! I wish more of our students were able to manage their own time, take responsibility for their failures, and figure out how to improve next time (follow the directions, indeed). Instead, so many of my students make mistakes and then PANIC and either (a) drop the course unnecessarily, or (b) beg me to make it better. If only my students had the kind of autonomy you’re instilling in Monkey.

  44. NTE

    I know nothing about coffee, coffemakers, or coffee puddles, but I’m glad to see the little pieces of happy poking through. I especially like the adventures of the Lego advent calendar, and will have to seriously consider one next year, even if I have to open all the little doors myself.

  45. Genevieve

    So pleased to hear about Chickie and Monkey doing well. Otto, as we all knew, is a mensch.
    And I adore the Lego Advent calendar posts, and today’s illustration, more than you can know.

  46. nicole

    we love our platinum keurig and I keep a large french press around when I need a full pot. nothing beats the taste of a cup of french press.

    the plain ole Mr. Coffee gets high consumer reports ratings though.

  47. Jennifer

    We currently use a Keurig, but before that we had a Cooks brand from JCP that was fantastic. We even saved it because of just in case.

  48. suburbancorrespondent

    Those signs/hints of improvement are so encouraging! It may be a long road, but at least she is on it, right?

  49. Rayne of Terror

    Hmmm… You are opening your Lego advent calendar opposite of the way we are doing it. I started the boys at 24 in order to count down the days. BUT we have never done an advent calendar before last year, so I could be doing it backwards.

  50. Nelson's Mama

    I love my basic Cuisinart and am on my second one – I believe the first one lasted over six years.

    Glad Chickie is coming home for Christmas :)

  51. Anna

    Thank you for the small update on Chickie. It’s a Big Thing, I know, to let her go and even more to watch her improve from afar. I secretly hope for lots of details on her every day. Which is hard for a couple of different reasons. It’s just one of those crazy-internet caring things.

  52. Steff

    Bunn, love the Bunn!

  53. Susan

    This one absolutely rocks. It also has a hot water chamber so you can have almost on demand hot water. Cous cous? Piece of cake. Hot tea? Yeah, baby. Hot cocoa…kid can do on his own. Oops…didn’t put enough water in that boiling pot of something…problem solved.

    Oh yeah, and it makes damn good coffee too.

  54. addy

    I have no suggestions on the coffee maker. Keurig and french press here. Love both. Gave up on the programmable after it ruined the cabinet fronts from one too many spill over coffee puddles……. Yay for Monkey and Chickie!

  55. Melody

    I keep waiting for someone to say how wonderful BRAUN coffeepots are. I’ve been married 13 years and have had two. The first pot was used, the carafe broke at the office where I worked, and THEY THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE THING! I pulled it out of the trash, took it home, and bought a replacement carafe. I don’t remember what happened to it, but I’m now on the Braun that has an insulated carafe, and it’s still going strong. The coffee is awesome, the pot turns itself off after 20 minutes or so and I have the reusable filter.

    As to Chickie, I am so glad that she is improving. That is such a gift! Monkey sounds like he is really coming into himself. Awesome.

  56. Melody

    Ha threw not through.

  57. Gretchen

    Mr. Coffee programmable. Definitely. Before I went Keurig I used one for years and it.

  58. Gretchen

    … and I loved it.

  59. Navhelowife

    I have a Hamilton Beach one with a thermal carafe. I like it.
    I don’t like Keuring or the press and brew coffee makers. I don’t think the coffee tastes like regular coffee, and it certainly doesn’t taste like espresso. French press is okay, but give me regular brewed or perc’ed coffee and I am in heaven. I do like the Melita – that is how my mom made coffee when I was growing up – although her coffee could peel paint off the walls since she never drank any so had no frame of reference.
    I do use a Keruing at work, but found tea little pod things that I like very much.

  60. RuthWells

    Good news makes me glad. I wish for easier times in 2013 for all of us!

  61. ~jennifer

    I’m really surprised no one mentioned the Bunn coffeemaker. It’s the only one we’ve ever used (and my parents AND my grandparents!), the water is always hot so you get instant brewed coffee, and it does.not.break. They are famous for their wonderful-ness. But, alas, I guess the flavor-of-the-month coffee makers with all their bells and whistles get the attention.

    Good luck in your search. Coffee is important. :)

  62. Christine in Los Angeles

    I have a Chemex (? spelling), a percolator for the stove-top, an electric percolator, a drip thingie from Gevalia, and a French Presse that was my Christmas gift from my daughter’s cat, two years ago. So, I have five (yes, five coffeemakers), and still can’t make a good cup of coffee. I think it just smells a lot better than it tastes.
    Now, when it comes to a good cuppa tea, Breakfast Black plus Earl Grey, and I can face the morning, with eight or nine refills through the day.
    So glad everything is improving, and your kids are doing fine … and I’m hoping you’re looking-out for an Otto-type for me?
    That Otto will have a swollen head by the time we’re through.
    God bless, Christine

  63. Elizabeth

    Brubeck. Saw him live first in New Orleans, again in NYC. May he rest in peace.

    Also sounds like Otto’s photo archiving system is significantly more advanced than mine– please share?

    I don’t drink coffee regularly — (what, you think having caffeine before facing NYC is a good idea? It’s already so crowded, loud, tense…dialing it up with caffeine wouldn’t help) but have an old-school stove top percolator, a French press, and a Keurig. The Keurig has been worth it to me because I don’t have to sweep each of the four times a day my elderly father-in-law makes coffee. I showed him how to swivel the sink spigot head around to refill it, so I don’t have to mop on a daily basis, either. It’s far more expensive than anything I would buy myself… but my version of Otto insisted that we do whatever it takes to avoid my hiding and weeping in our bedroom while picking coffee grounds from between my toes after I had to take off my socks and slippers because they were soaked. I think of it as a coping mechanism– husband gets to avoid my martyr’s complex while his dad has great coffee, and I can sweep on a semi-weekly basis. (Didn’t say martyr’s complex was gone– just, I’m working on it.)

    Good luck finding the pot of your dreams!

  64. Amanda

    I wonder if the thermal pot makes a difference with the Cuisinart. We’ve *never* had puddled water or coffee in the 6+ years we’ve had ours (glass carafe – which we’ve never broken either, and we are very klutzy people!).

    But we have hard-ish water (even with a softener) and run coffeemaker cleaner (weird blue stuff) through it about once a month. So maybe that makes a difference too?

  65. deva at deva by definition

    I am the only coffee drinker in my house (tragic, I know), but I like bran and black and decker for big pots of coffee. I have currently a french press and a keurig. I keep telling my fiance I need an electric kettle which would make the french press more accessible on weekday mornings. I don’t think it’s gonna happen.

    there’s my .02 and rambling tossed in for free?

  66. Angela

    Cuisinart Grind and Brew, or the Cuisinart Brew Central (the Brew Central just doesn’t grind your beans for you). We’ve had our stainless steel model for YEARS and never had a problem. Also, I see it in movies and TV shows all the time…so it must be THE coffee maker to have! :) While you are at it, buy yourself one of the gold-coloured permanent coffee filters and you’ll have a great, reliable no-fail coffee system!

  67. Lisa Kay

    We have the same Hamilton Beach Brewstation Summit that Jeeni has and I absolutely adore it! In fact, it’s the third Brewstation we’ve had and I won’t buy anything else, simply because I like the lack of breakable carafes.

  68. Kady

    I see fans of the Hamilton Beach Brewstation here, but I have to report that we’ve been pretty disappointed with it. And when your first morning coffee experience is disappointing, that is a pretty tough start to the day. Two main issues. 1) the coffee doesn’t seem to stay hot. I remember seeing this comment in the Amazon reviews when I bought it and I ignored it. Bad move. 2) the one handed dispenser can be annoying. We always end up pushing the whole machine back as we try to fill the cup, and it takes FOREVER to fill up a coffee cup. Granted, we could be manhandling it a bit in pursuit of coffee, but, come on.

  69. Mandie

    Do you grind your own coffee? We have a Cuisinart as well, a 12-cup with a glass carafe. We’ve had a few puddles and a few bad mornings since we got it 4 years ago. However, we’ve been able to attribute it to 2 things – 1. Not cleaning the machine regularly. 2. Grinding the bean too finely.

    I’ve found if we get too aggressive with the grinder, we end up with bad words, puddles, massive cleanup, and a very bad start to the morning. Since we made this discovery, we’ve been fine.

  70. Sharon

    so, my SIL has this lovely christmas village, like norman rockwell, with the little houses, and the dear caroler figurines, and the loverly ice pond with magnetic skaters, and fake glittery snow puffy stuff, and the happy villagers.
    many years ago, one year, she stumbled out with coffee (sorry, no advice there, we’ve broken all of them) to find the lurid green dime store army men advancing on the village, wriggling through the fake snow, tanks at the ready under the glistening trees.
    baby jesus needs protection from the bad “ponti pilot” guy (ask your sunday school teacher what kind of plane a ponti plane is, i dare ya).
    this was the same year the boy cousins all made camouflage colored easter eggs, and the take-home from catechism was that saints are “whoop-butt” fighters. my children, being methodists, felt fairly cheated about the lack of gore in the methodist “catechism”.
    glad to hear about chickie! we just had the nicest thanksgiving making my now adult children (with the severe anxiety, schizophrenia, etc) decorate gingerbread castles with their cousin’s baby children. they were so sweet and careful and tender.

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