Our Home State of Happiness

coffee-france

cabindoorcoffee.com

Boots here, your Badass Coffee Babe, hoping that life is treating you in a kindly manner on this very lively Friday morning.

You know how it is with travel.  There’s something about any kind of travel that makes coffee even better.  It looks better, smells better, tastes better when I am away from home — be that out on the trail and listening to some early-morning loon song echoing out over the lake or sitting at some busy sidewalk cafe in France or simply parking it at my favorite coffee bar in my adopted hometown.  It’s all good.

Location is irrelevant.  What is relevant is how travel makes my senses take a second look at something.  And then another.  Do some comparisons.  Scribble down some notes in my Pay Attention Book.  Take the time to just think about what is happening all around me.  All while sipping my favorite beverage.

I sometimes think I don’t take this Better Sense of Newness into account when occupying my Home State.  You know the place . . . we all have a Home State.  It might be your front porch,  your desk that looks out at the bird bath, your office with the funky view of the brick wall of Nash Hall.  It’s your over-sized yellow kitchen table that is tucked into the too-tiny breakfast nook or your kind of messy desk in the loft or your easel with the broken leg that is balancing on an upside down apple crate.  It’s that deck chair that wobbles funny while you are parking your back side.  It’s the long bus ride to work or school.

The places that we call Home State are the comfort food for our senses.  We go to them each day without a lot of thought.  We sit and we think, write, paint, eat, take in the passing view from the car, train, or bus.

One thing all of these Home States have in common?  Our morning Joe.  That Cup of Reverence that gets us up and moving and feeling inspired.

Travel.  I sometimes think that I don’t travel enough.  I explore and I wander, but I don’t go a lot farther than my two feet can take me on any given day on the trail.   I think I have too strong of a predilection for grabbing a mug of Joe and putting my feet up on the porch rail and taking in the view of the dogs sleeping in the sunshine and the cat prowling the woodshed.  I guess I’m not the most sophisticated person in the world.  But I sure do know how to enjoy a moment for what it is.  I pour my second Cup of Reverence and think that life is pretty good in my happy Home State.

Here is some of my Home State reading while imbibing my Cup of Reverence.  These books are inspiring and motivating.

 My FAVORITE!
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work Hardcover
by Shawn Achor

http://amzn.to/2chV0V6

And another FAVORITE!
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Paperback
by Charles Duhigg

http://amzn.to/2cGPM3I

And another . . .
The Happiness Project (Revised Edition)
by Gretchen Rubin

http://amzn.to/2c2p7PQ

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The Geography of the Coffee Bean: The 3 Main Coffee-Growing Regions

the geography of coffee

Cabin Door Coffee

Coffee. It’s not just a simple plant in any old garden . . . coffee = landscape + climate + elevation.

Attention all Map-of-the-World Lovers!  Boots here, as promised, to talk more about the Geography of Coffee.   And to keep it interesting, I am going to keep it brief.  As our friend Bill Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”  Now I don’t know that my end goal today is Coffee Wit, but I am going to do my best to stir your interest in the geography of coffee.

Coffee is Geography . . . Geography is Coffee  

The 3 main coffee regions of the world:

  1. Latin America: well-balanced; crisp and bright acidity; more consistent quality
  2. Africa/Arabia: exotic; berry, citrusy/grapefruity, and spicy flavors; more unpredictable
  3. Asia/Pacific: full-bodied; spicy, herbally; depth; pairs well with savory
  4. These regions each have unique and distinct, geographically-inspired taste profiles.

All of this base-camp info will ultimately lead to me walking you through a coffee tasting at the end of all this fascinating Geography stuff.   Next?  We will look at how to “taste” coffee and identify the characteristics that help you to identify region.  But in the meantime, I am feeling some camp stories percolating to the surface.  I might have to explore some of those before looking at coffee tasting.

And if you are interested in this kind of stuff — I am! –then you will be surprised that you can not only taste but actually smell the geography of the bean before you even slurp.

So have some fun today just enjoying the flavor of your coffee.  Appreciate how very far those little beans in their burlap sacks had to travel to give you so much pleasure.

Who doesn’t want a map of the world on the wall? And it’s so inexpensive! I have two maps posted in my cabin: one in the kitchen and one in the little house with the crescent moon cut out of the door.

Rand McNally Signature Map of the World

http://amzn.to/2cu3Ih2

This paperback looks so awesome!  Who doesn’t want to know the secrets to happiness?  I am thinking: I must order this.

Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World

http://amzn.to/2cu1UVw

Have you heard this music?  It is simply the best in collaboration, talent, creativity, and musicality . . . all from around the world.  

 Songs Around The World (CD + DVD)

http://amzn.to/2cyp4u3

5 Lively Factoids on The Geography of the Coffee Bean

the geography of coffee

Cabin Door Coffee

Coffee . . . it’s not just an attitudinal thing . . . it’s a latitudinal thing.

Attention all Geography Cognoscenti . . . aka Map Lovers!  Boots here, as promised, to talk about the Geography of Coffee.  For all of you who haven’t had their coffee yet or for those of you whose eyes glaze over when they anticipate a pedantic and unsolicited lesson on coffee  . . . well, have no fear.  The thing you don’t know about Boots, the Badass Coffee Babe, is that she wants nothing better than to get back to splitting some kindling for tomorrow’s fire, filling the kerosene lamps while there’s still light in the day, and maybe taking a skinny dip in the lake to feel refreshed after all of the chores.

So, here it is . . . delivered in bullet points so that you can isolate the facts from the minutiae.  This is all good stuff that you can toss out to that cute barista while you’re waiting for your beverage.  S/he will think you are a geographical wonder.  Try it.  You’ll see how attractive knowledge is.

Coffee is Geography . . . Geography is Coffee

  1. Coffee beans carry their own unique geography with them.
  2. Geography IS a coffee profile . . . a flavor.
  3. Coffee is more than an attitudinal thing . . . it’s also a latitudinal thing.  It’s grown in the equatorial band between the two tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  4. There are three primary coffee regions in the world. (We’ll get into these soon.  Promise!)
  5. These regions each have unique and distinct geographical profiles. You can train your tongue to identify them . . . which is why when you first smell and then take a sip of black coffee, your palate can tell immediately where those beans were grown.

All of this will ultimately lead to me walking you through a coffee tasting at the end of all this fascinating Geography stuff.  If you are interested in this kind of stuff — I am! –then you will be surprised that you can actually smell the geography of the bean before you even slurp.

So have some fun today just enjoying the flavor of your coffee.  Appreciate how very far those little beans in their burlap sacks had to travel to give you so much pleasure.

Who doesn’t want a map of the world on the wall? And it’s so inexpensive! I have two maps posted in my cabin: one in the kitchen and one in the little house with the crescent moon cut out of the door.

Rand McNally Signature Map of the World

http://amzn.to/2cu3Ih2

This paperback looks so awesome!  Who doesn’t want to know the secrets to happiness?  I am thinking that I must order this.

Happy: Secrets to Happiness from the Cultures of the World

http://amzn.to/2cu1UVw

These mugs might not represent the coffee-growing latitudes . . . but you are going to look super smart when you bring up your newly-learned factoids when someone comments on your mug of the world.

3D Rose mug: Vintage European map of Western Europe Britain UK France Spain Italy etc retro geography travel Ceramic Mug, 15 oz, White

http://amzn.to/2bSv5Tn

3dRose mug_112942_4 Vintage map of the North Pole polar cap Russia Northern America Greenland geography travel theme Two Tone Black Mug, 11 oz, Black/White

http://amzn.to/2cu14YJ

Seeking Higher Ground & Following Random and True Directions

IMG_3112. keep your heart pointing trueBoots here on this beautiful summer day . . . pointing my compass and seeking Higher Ground today . . . and keeping my heart pointed true.

It seems as if some days my compass gets swiveled around and I find myself turning around in circles.  I think we all experience this from time to time.  Not knowing which way our compass is pointing or from which direction the winds are blowing or how high the river is going to rise.   There are so many uncertainties in life.

It is when I am out in the wilderness and trying to figure out which way to go on a “gently-used” (read invisible) trail when I most have to rely on my compass.  And on my internal compass — my intuition — as well.  There is something about aligning my intuition with the jittering of the compass needle that makes me feel ultra-alive.  Add to this a tiny and disconcerting sliver of the great unknown that lies ahead . . . you have a pretty good recipe for being in the moment.

Well, I am here now clacking away on the keyboard, so that must mean that I chose the right and true directions out there in the woods.   Still, this is not to say that I haven’t arrived home or back in camp without some mean bruises, scrapes, blackberry scratches, and nettle stings to remind me that lucky as I am to feel “found” again, it wasn’t without some discomfort along the trail.

Like life, we don’t really ever know if we have chosen the perfect directions . . . those directions that lead us to a sense of home, unscathed and happy.  There are always going to be forks in the trail, creeks to be forded, blazes that are tricky to find.

I once asked an old-timer, this tough Bull of the Woods, why blazes were cut so high up on the trees?  He answered me with one word, “Snow.”  Blazes, the recognizable scars you see high up on trees, are marked to establish a true line.  This line is run by what is called a “random and true” line method, ensuring that the trail can be followed through the woods.  Blazes are cut high up on the tree to allow for them to read during the wintertime’s heavy snowfall.

If you have ever been on skis or snowshoes in the forest in the dead of winter, you know how amazingly well a trail can hide in the wintertime.  So, a resounding Yay! for those who have gone before us with the foresight of cutting those blazes high for us — no matter how high the snow gets, we are still able to follow that random and true line.  [And I sometimes wonder if this foresight was learned partially by some tough-love from Mother Nature.]

So, if you are going to be relying on blazes, you have to take your eyes off the ground and look up for that random and true line that will lead you back home.

All of this to say, the change-ability of life is inevitable.  But the compass, if I trust it, will point in the direction that will determine my new destiny. When I think on it, true directions aren’t always going to be the Easy Path in life.  Sometimes it means doing what I have to do, reminding myself on a daily basis that this current paradigm is temporary.  That sometimes life kind of sucks and I feel kind of lost . . . and it’s up to me to get out my compass, line up with true north, and head off on a new adventure that will lead me out of my current temporary into a whole new feeling of temporary.

I listen to this music and see all of the collaborative effort that went into its recording.  It takes a lot of energy to make stuff like this happen.  I respect it. And I also respect the effort that people put into reaching a higher level of consciousness.

Here is some great music for you to check out!  Click on the images/links below.  Have a fantastic day, listen to good music, follow the blazes, and head in your true directions.

Keep your heart pointed true.

Songs Around The World (CD + DVD)

http://amzn.to/2aPFLSX

PFC 2: Songs Around The World [CD/DVD Combo]

http://amzn.to/2aPFpvh

PFC3: Songs Around The World [CD/DVD Combo]

http://amzn.to/2aPFfUK

Playing For Change: Peace Through Music: DVD

http://amzn.to/2aSQf0E

Journey to Your “When I’m Gone” Place

IMG_3119Love this!  Take a moment today to dream about where your “When I’m Gone” place is . . . and then go there, if only in your mind.  It might be Paris or it could be that high mountain lake where you go camping every year.  Take some time today.  It only takes a moment.  Shut the door, put your feet up on the desk, close your eyes, and just imagine.  Breathe.  Dream. Open your eyes.  Life is good, isn’t it?

“He who travels has stories to tell.” – Irish saying

Tell your story.

maps III