How to Make Coffee and Change the World

There are many things I love about Medical Teams International, but I shall start with the most important.

These people do not kid around when they make coffee.

For sooth, when the folks who work at Medical Teams International make coffee, they do it like every last one of them is a sleep-deprived mother of five. It’s strong, it’s opaque, you can eat it with a fork, and it will keep your heart revved on Maximum Speed for at least 4 hours. You guys, these are the people you can trust to change the world. ...  read more

Grandma Mabel’s Banana Bread

Greg’s grandma Mabel made a mean banana bread.  Which is nothing compared to her accomplishment of raising 5 children to adulthood and only once forgetting a child at a gas station.  But, since I don’t have her recipe for raising children, you’re stuck with banana bread.  Sorry.  I assure you, my disappointment in the trade-off is greater than yours. ...  read more

Vacation Schadenfreude: The Drive Home

“Can you wait 5 more minutes ’til we get to a rest stop?  Then you can pee.”

“I can’t wait!  I’m going to DIE!”

“Surely, you’re not going to DIE.”

“I AM!  I am going to DIE.  It’s an emergency, I tell you.  I have to go NOW NOW NOW.”

“You know what, Mom?” my daughter replied. “If it’s that bad, maybe you shouldn’t order such a big coffee next time.” ...  read more

Caffeine: Strong, Dark, and Yes, Please

Today is Day 8 of Single Parenting.

And today is the day I’m doubling my daily caffeine intake.

Ah, caffeine.

I love you, caffeine.

Several years ago, I cut caffeine out of my diet entirely.  I felt so self-righteous.

“Do you want some coffee, Beth?”

“No, thank you.  I don’t drink caffeine.  It’s poison, you know.” ...  read more

Freshly Squeezed

When we took Abby (12) to her birth country of Vietnam two years ago, I introduced her to Vietnamese coffee.

Vietnamese coffee is thick, potent, and laced with sweetened condensed milk.  It’s a hit of caffeine and sugar that’ll strip the enamel off your teeth and make the dead sit up and bark — all in one fell swoop.

It’ll even allow a 10 year old kid to keep moving all day in a time zone opposite her own. ...  read more

The Number Nine

Miss Aden turned 9 years old today.

Waking Up Nine

Here’s something you should know about Aden:  She was born without a verbal filter.

Aden says what she thinks and plows ahead at full speed into conversations the rest of us would avoid.

(Or maybe she wasn’t born this way and it’s a learned behavior, but since that implicates me, I’m going to go with genetics.) ...  read more

Schadenfreude

What fantastic entries in the Overwhelmedness Contest, ladies and gentlemen!

I am deeply impressed with the messes you all have made of your lives through the simple acts of being thoughtful parents, hard working employees, and community volunteers.  Ain’t it grand?

The smartest thing I did all week was to bow out of judging the contest.  My sincere and public apologies, Kim and Sally.  You have your work cut out for you. ...  read more