async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Coffee Talk: 'Tis the Season for Joy

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Coffee Talk: 'Tis the Season for Joy

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Let's sit down and catch up over coffee! It's the final coffee date of 2020--a year that I think most of us are ready to see come to an end. I'm torn between unleashing on this terrible year and keeping it light and festive. There's just so much to talk about. After spending so much time in isolation, I may just talk your ear off. 

What are you having? Today, I'm enjoying a complimentary cup of Starbucks with half and half. For the month of December, all frontline healthcare workers can get free regular coffee. I'm not a fancy coffee drink person, so this suits me well. 

In spite of all that's going on right now,  I've found that it's the little things in my life that are giving me joy. Pour yourself a big cup of your favorite beverage while we talk about them.


If we were having coffee, I'd share that my wonderful coworkers and I are 'adopting' one of my families for Christmas. Yesterday, I saw one of my regular families, a mom, and her 4 young children, who have experienced a terrible trauma in their lives. When I walked into the room, the kids all ran over to hug me. I was brought to tears. Of course, they were worried they were going to get shots (they didn't). I have several families that are struggling right now, but this particular family's situation is really tough. I am so moved that we are going to help them to have a nice Christmas. 

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that my sectional finally came! You may or may not recall that back in July, I ordered a custom sectional for my family room to replace my ancient sofa and loveseat. The delivery was originally scheduled for Labor Day, then pushed to October, and then December. Imagine my surprise when I received a call that it was here and scheduled for delivery the week of Thanksgiving! In spite of all the issues we had with this order, we LOVE our new sectional. We are going to order one more piece to make it a little bigger--who knows when it will come, lol. As soon as it was set up, Cocoa jumped on the chaise and declared it her spot. I never thought a piece of furniture could bring me so much joy, but there you go. 


If we were having coffee, I'd show you my succulent collection. Last spring, I joined a succulent of the month club. I actually receive 2 little succulents each month. They are thriving and I feel a sense of pride every time I look at them. They are threatening to take over my kitchen table and I may need to cancel my membership. Yes, I'm officially that crazy old lady with all the plants. And I coffeefess that I came home from Trader Joe's this week with a Christmas cactus. My husband just shook his head.

The large pots are my outdoor succulents.
So far, they are thriving indoors.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that in an effort to spark some holiday spirit, we've been watching Christmas shows and movies almost every day. Not the Hallmark variety--that is so NOT me, although if you enjoy those shows I won't judge. No, we started off with Die Hard-yes, it is a Christmas movie-and Christmas Vacation, which is my favorite. We did watch the Kacey Musgraves Christmas Special, which was a little strange. But she's so talented and Daniel Levy was her elf, so I forgive her for any cheesiness.

I'm not wrong here

If we were having coffee, I'd share all the books I've read this month. I finished all my continuing education this year and since we aren't seeing any sick patients in my office, I have plenty of time to read. 

  • A Burning by Megha Majumdar was an interesting story about 3 characters and the dilemma of telling the truth vs. improving their lives and living with the consequences. Kind of parallel to real life right now, isn't it? I found it to be a really rich narrative and a great study of character. Takes place in India, and I enjoyed that too. 
  • When These Mountains Burn by David Joy was so good. A gritty, rural setting with the background of drug abuse and people taking the law into their own hands. It reminded me of Bull Mountain, another book with outlaw sketchy characters. I could not put it down. One of my favorite books I read this year. 
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry. This highly reviewed book left me scratching my head. A story of an author who retreats to her father's beach house to write a novel she's contractually obligated to complete. She has writer's block and it occurred to me that maybe the author of this book did as well. I didn't DNF it because I kept waiting for it to get better. 
  • Win at All Costs by Matt Hart was reviewed here. In case you didn't read my review, I loved it. It's the story of Alberto Salazar and Nike and the exploitation of the athletes under his tutelage. 
  • You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria was another highly reviewed disappointment.  I don't mind a good rom-com but this was so predictable. But I guess that's why people like them, right?
  • Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore was just WOW. A devastating read about women in Odessa, Texas during the oil boom of the 70s. The story starts out with the assault of a 14 year old who is left in the desert for dead. What follows is an exploration of several different women's lives in the town and the pursuit of justice for the young woman who was assaulted. A great read. It would make a great movie, IMHO.
Two books I want to read, A Knock at Midnight by Brittany Barnett and Shuggie Bain by Stuart Douglas aren't available at my library! I'm really surprised because both books are highly reviewed and critically acclaimed. I've become so spoiled by reading library downloads that I haven't had to buy many books at all this year. I do purchase Kindle daily deals on occasion. It looks like I may need to do some book shopping!


What would you tell me over coffee? What's bringing you joy during the holiday season? Much like Thanksgiving, it looks like we will not be getting together with my extended family this year.  Are you watching holiday movies? What's your favorite? Have you read any good books this month? 

I'm linking up with Coco and Deborah for the Ultimate Coffee Date and with Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness

34 comments :

  1. Your sectional is so nice! I runfess I waited 9 months for a sofa once. Apparently it was coming on a slow boat from Germany. Ugh. But it was nice once it arrived. The succulents are cute! I've got my share spread around the house and I've got a large pot of them from Home Depot I had outside in summer 2019 and they're still thriving!

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    1. I'm loving my new sectional. The photo just doesn't do it justice. I'm going to get more pillows--you may need a crane to pry me out of it after the COVID is over!

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  2. Joy is a good thing, always. And I agree that Die Hard is a Christmas movie. :)

    That is so sweet of you guys to help out that family. The best way to forget your own troubles is to help out someone else!

    It's funny, it turns out that there is a Christamas cactus & a Thanksgiving cactus. I thought mine was a Thanksgiving cactus -- from the photos I saw online. But it's just beginning to bud out so I guess it's a Christmas cactus after all! They're also extremely easy plants & so pretty.

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    1. In my younger years, I had a Christmas Cactus courtesy of my grandma. It started blooming in the summer. Apparently it wanted to be an Independence Day Cactus. Who knew?

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  3. I have watched a few cheesy Christmas Romcoms just for fun. They make me smile so why not? I love the idea of the succulents bc I really don't do well w greenery. Maybe I will get a subscription for my daughter. Our MRTT group usually adopts a family but they were not doing it this year. Instead, we collected gift cards and were able to help a few families so that was heartwarming. Enjoy your new couch

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    1. I like succulents because you can neglect them and they're still there for you! :p

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  4. I struggle to find the motivation for home decor updates, but once we finally do something, I usually find it does spark joy. Like, we finally got black-finished kitchen stools that coordinate with the “new” kitchen cabinets we put in 2.5 years ago, and they look so much better than the wood-finished ones! I think we need a new sofa — we are wearing it out sitting on it during our at-home leisure time!

    Always love your book recommendations, even if it takes me a while to get through a book. ,

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    1. We were well overdue for a new sofa and once we made the decision, the wait was painful!

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  5. That's wonderful to adopt the family over the holidays. Our church always has a couple of families that need assistance, as well as numerous area kids (on a "giving tree") that we can help as well. The sectional looks nice!

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    1. It's especially meaningful since I've known this family since the oldest was born. Their situation breaks my heart. I'm so glad my team was up for helping them.

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  6. I do miss when I worked at my previous jobs and we adopted a family and we celebrated the holidays together. Working from home is kinda depressing. But I decorated and of course, I watch holiday movies.

    Thanks for the book recommendations. I am a big reader and am always looking for new ones.

    I starting collecting succulents. I love them. i do practically nothing and they live (TJs has nice ones.)

    You do bring joy with your blog - thanks.

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    1. Well thank you Darlene! I could have gone down the path to the dark side too, but I think that wouldn't have served anyone well.

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  7. The best book I read last month was The Last Flight by Julie Clark - I think you were one of the many people who recommended it. I've been on a really good reading streak but the well seems to have run dry. Definitely bookmarking Valentine.

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    1. That was a good one! So was Valentine. You'll have to let me know what you think.

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  8. The Succulents Are Perfect For The Hubby As He Has The Opportunity To Fabricate A Lovely Vertical Stand As Your Christmas Gift - Win Win - And Dig Those Karma Coupons Of Yours - Well Done My Dear - Way To Be An Inspiration - Big Hugs

    Cheers

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    1. Yeah, not holding my breath for that...lol! I'm on the hunt for something I can assemble. Sigh

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  9. That is a nice sectional. I can't imagine waiting that long for it. I purchased a Christmas gifts 2 weeks ago and it said expected delivery from Dec 11th- Jan11th. Boy I hope it gets here before Christmas. My sister and I are big fans of the Hallmark Christmas movies. It just puts us in the holiday spirit.

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    1. One of the gifts I ordered for the family we're adopting is maybe going to be here on 12/17. Fingers crossed!

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  10. That's a really nice gesture of Starbucks! Well deserved.

    I like the Die Hard movies. I agree, definitely in the Christmas category!
    What do you think about "Love, Actually"? For me, it's the best movie for this season.

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    1. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never seen 'Love Actually'! Maybe I need to add it to my to watch list.

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  11. Les and I want to replace our family room furniture and that sectional is exactly what we've been talking about! It looks great.

    2020 gave me one last kick - I had a horrible fall out on my run Monday and am now sporting my first black eye (along with other scrapes and bruises.) I've been fascinated with the way it has changed each day (weirdo, I know.) It started as a large bump above my eye and has now turned into a large dark purple ring completely surrounding my eye. Good thing I'm staying home these days...

    Bringing me joy? I'm slowly pulling out my Christmas decorations. I'm too beat up to do it all at once, but it's really fun to revisit some old friends - I have things that my mom and grandmother made.

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    1. Geez Kathy!!! I hope you're ok! I actually am glad for masking when I have some kind of facial eruption or something. I hope those bruises fade quickly.

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  12. We've done so much to our home this year, I wrote a blog post called Hygge in Kansas and included pics of *everything*

    My new bike is ready to be picked up so I'm doing that tomorrow; wish me luck. I'm a runner not a cyclist but I can't run right now so cycling it is. Also I'll take any tips about gear.

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    1. I love my bike! Number one recommendation is a helmet. I had a bad crash a few years ago but only suffered road rash. It's a great anecdote to share with my patients who insist they are good bike riders and don't need one.

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  13. Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie! LOL

    Your new sectional looks great!

    I'm looking forward to spending some more time reading during my time off later this month and I will definitely be back to peruse your reading lists! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I hope you find something you like! I know, I have so many books. I just love to read.

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  14. Free coffee at Starbucks? Nice! It's a small gesture and you health-care workers deserve so much more. Glad Starbucks is expressing our collective gratitude. Helping "your" family out for Christmas is so generous. What a wonderful way to remember the reason for season.

    Thanks for the "Win at all Costs" reminder. I definitely want to read that book.

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    1. The free coffee is such a nice gesture! I know I appreciate it.

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  15. I haven't gone to Starbucks yet but I might! I don't usually drink coffee but have been more tired lately, so maybe it'll keep me chugging along, hehe.

    That's so awesome of you and your coworkers! <3 I've been trying to keep a lookout for any patients of mine in similar situations but haven't found any yet (that I know of).

    I'm glad you finallyyyyyy got the sectional!! <3 It looks awesome! (Totally understandable, Cocoa! :P)

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    1. I've got a few families that are in tough situations but none so much as this one. The best thing of all is that when I got to work yesterday, there was hardly anything left on the gift list. Truly amazing!

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  16. OMG, Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie!!!!

    So your sectional look exactly like my sectional, just in a different color! How funny is that. Even the dog is in the same spot. Luna loves the chaise portion, although right now she's balled up on one of the accent pillows, like the diva she is.

    I love that you are helping one of your families. Today we made cards for children who will spend their holidays in the hospital, and this weekend, A will sponsor a gift box for foster children. Tis the season to do extra good.

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    1. I'm in love with my new sectional and the only bad thing is that it's so comfy, I don't want to get up!

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  17. I just finished two very good books. The Cold Vanish (about people who go missing in North America....it follows a story that happened where I live) and Dead Mountain, the story of some Russian college students who disappear while hiking.

    Love the couch!

    Generosity is the true gift we give not only to others but to ourselves. 💝

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    1. Those books sound great! I will look for them. Thanks for the recommendations!

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