Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Good morning!  It's Tuesday and that means it is time for a cleaning tip.  I hope these tips help improve your morning cuppa' joe.  Since today's entry is about coffee...have you ever heard of Boca Java?  My mother gave me some yummy berry hot chocolate from them.  If you go to their site click on the Operation 3 Million Cup link.  It's a great way to say "thank you" to our troops.  
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Coffee Grinder: Grind up a cup or so of rice in a coffee grinder to clean the grinder and sharpen its blades.
Coffee Maker:  Cleaning your coffee maker the right way will keep every pot tasting the best it can possibly be. It should be done at least once a month, to ensure good tasting coffee.
1.  Mix a full coffee pot with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts of water. For extremely slow coffee makers, use full strength vinegar and add a tablespoon of baking soda. In the area where you usually add coffee, put in a filter.
2.  Pour the mixture into the water reservoir of the coffee maker and turn the coffee maker on.
3.  Wait until the mixture has completely run through, toss out the filter and shut the coffee pot off for 3 minutes. Pour the vinegar and water mixture down the drain. Rinse the coffee pot, and fill again, but this time with with plain cold water. Use another clean filter.
4.  Run the plain cold water through the water reservoir to remove the mixture completely. Pour this water down the drain also.
5.  Run completely through, turn the drip coffee maker off and let it cool for 5 minutes before using it to make coffee. If you are cleaning a coffee maker that hasn't been cleaned regularly, repeat this step again with a fresh vinegar and water mixture. (*Repeat the rinsing process to make sure all of the vinegar and water solution is completely gone. )
6.  Never wash the coffee pot with soap, this will bind with the oils deposited by the coffee, and will leave a taste behind. Do not wash in the dishwasher, for the same reason. Instead, put about two cups of crushed ice, 1/4 cup rock or table salt, and 1/4 cup lemon juice (bottled or fresh is fine) and swirl around the pot. Measurements are not that important, just "guestimate". For tough stains scrub using a paper towel or clean (not soapy) dish towel. Rinse thoroughly. This is how restaurants clean their pots, for that rich taste that is so elusive at home.

A few more tips:

  • Cleaning your coffee maker takes away hard water deposits, old oils from previously brewed pots, and other impurities that can make your coffee taste bad.
  • Clean a brand new coffee pot prior to using.
  • Never pour water into the reservoir by using the sink faucet or hose.
    For a richer taste, sprinkle a dash of salt on the grounds before brewing. Restaurants do this also.
  • Here is a copy of my horoscope for today from the Daily OM.

    April 17, 2007
    Safe In Love

    Capricorn Daily Horoscope

    The presence of loved ones and good friends can comfort you greatly today. Whether you are coping with some challenge or simply feeling low, you may feel compelled to surround yourself with people you care about. The affection they subsequently give you will likely lift your spirits and do much to restore your usual confidence. Since you no doubt understand that these special individuals will be there to keep you safe and nurture you no matter what happens, you may find that you are more willing to immerse yourself in the unknown. Even if you do nothing more than revel in the tenderness of loving people today, you will likely feel wonderfully uplifted.

    The love of important people in our lives can serve as a secure foundation for our outer-world endeavors because knowing that we are cared for grants us a higher degree of self-confidence than we might otherwise have known. We can courageously take risks and embark upon endeavors that take us outside of our comfort zones because we know that we can retreat into the affectionate embrace of the important people in our lives if anything should go wrong. Likewise, simply knowing that these individuals believe that we are capable of achieving great feats of emotional and intellectual fortitude provides us with much of the strength we need to prevail over adversity. You will feel the weighty comfort of the tenderness of those who love you today, and the security this comfort affords you will help you grow as an individual.

    Hmm, not likely.  Although it would be nice.  I've been in this...um, I don't want to say depression because I've been down that dark road before and this isn't quite as bad as it could be.  Let's just call this a "blue funk", yeah...that sounds kind of right. 

    Anyway, spending time with some of my friends and family would be great right about now.  Maybe just what I would need.  However, since I moved to Toledo seven (long and lonely) years ago, I hardly ever see any of my friends from my world before.  My biggest regret is moving to Toledo and I long for the day that I can move back to my small town where I have friends and family.  Most of my time here has felt like some sort of exile to me.

    Besides of which, Rylie is 3 now.  It won't be that long until she has to start going to school.  I would much rather prefer her going someplace, anyplace, other than Toledo public schools.  Even if we didn't move back to Bowling Green.  A small little town (a wee village comes to mind), where everyone knows everyone else, would be my idea of heaven to raise a young child.  I know, I know...and every child (especially teens) idea of hell.

    Anyway, this "blue funk" is something I am going to have to face head on soon.  Before I end up with a hair cut like George W. Bush.  Ewww!  I guess I ought to explain that one, huh?  Everytime I begin my descent into a "blue" period I start cutting my hair.  Now, I've spent the last 4 or 5 years growing out my hair and it was almost to the middle of my back. 

    However, the past week or so Icut probably, at the very least, 1/4 inch off my hair every day.  The first day I cut probably 2 inches off.  Then from there I just kept waking up and not liking the way it looked and cut a wee bit more off every day.  It is now about shoulder length. 

    Surprising it is  a pretty straight cut across the back, from what I can see with my little mirror looking back into the big mirror.  LOL  Although I'm sure that a professional hair dresser would have something to say about it. 

    Hopefully, spring will come bouncing in, like a cheerleader on speed, and that will help get me out of this mood I seem to be stuck in.  I think if I could get outside in the sun and out of my little world, here in these four walls, that it would really help.  Maybe, if the weather doesn't start to perk up soon, we could scrape up enough money for me to get a month worths of visits to a tanning booth.  I think even the fake UV rays would help my mood.  At this point I'd be willing to give anything a shot to avoid looking like Dr. Phils twin sister. 

    Have a great day.
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