If We Were Having Coffee 4/19/20: Shelter In Place

Good morning!

If we were having coffee…this Sunday, it would be virtual no matter what since we are still in seclusion. Luckily, we’ve been sharing virtual coffee for years so we’re well aquatinted with the concept. Today we have nice strong French Roast or tea if you prefer. My wonderfully hubby, who bakes when he’s bored, made some chocolate and white chocolate Chip cookies last night that are to die for! Please take a few and tell me what you’ve been up to.

If we were having coffee... I would share that we’ve had an anxious week since we heard last Saturday that my father-in-law had unfortunately contracted the Coronavirus. The hospital checked him over, making sure his lungs and blood count looked good and since he was not coughing or having shortness of breath they sent him home to recuperate. He is over 70 and has diabetes but otherwise is active and in good health and seems to be on the road to recovery, thank goodness. Our worry now is that his wife and the other’s in his house will start to show signs of being sick too. So far so good. This is especially important since his step-daughter, her husband and their 3 year old son came to stay with them when all this craziness started thinking that his rural neighborhood would be safer than their city appartment. Irony at it’s worst.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that those of us in this house, fortunately are doing well health wise. We are also fortunate because since my husband, my son and I are all school employees we are able work from home and still have an income. My only trips out have been to the grocery store every two weeks or so. It’s a very stressful outing. I don my mask and rush through the the aisles grabbing the things we must have. I’m usually exhausted the rest of the day just from the anxiety. I don’t think it’s that I’m so afraid of becoming infected, since our numbers in this area of NJ are thankfully very low, but more that I feel guilty being out, like I shouldn’t be leaving my house at all. I realize that’s not rational but it just goes to show the mental state I’m in!

If we were having coffee…I would share that one good thing that has come from all this time at home is that I am creating lots of artwork and learning many new techniques. I’m hoping to amass enough inventory to open an Etsy store. Here are some samples. What do you think?

Pinterest and YouTube have become my life lines! There are so many talented artists willing to share their ideas.

If we were having coffee…I would ask how you have been spending your days during this unusual time. I hope you have found a way to stay positive and connected. Please visit our host EcleticAli an catch up with some other bloggers sharing coffee, see what’s been happening in their world.

Thanks for stopping.ย  Take care, Be well.

If We Were Having Coffee…2/22/20, Family and Freezing Weather

Good morning! Welcome to a sunny, crisp Saturday in Southern New Jersey. I’m hiding inside for now with a nice hot cup of dark roast coffee and a cinnamon bun. Care to join me?

If we were having coffee…I would appologize for missing our coffee date last weekend. I started a post but just couldn’t get it off the ground. I think the continuous rain and dreary weather last week zapped my motivation. Plus, the third graders I work with, and me as well, are still getting used to our new teacher. Our routines haven’t settled in yet and some of them are pushing boundaries, behaviour wise. I really like our long term sub and I think she will get them settled eventually if we can all make it through the adjustment period. The teacher that left is still waiting on the arrival of her baby boy since her due date isn’t for a few weeks yet and she does check in with advice from time to time.

If we were having coffee…you would hear Miss Dee moving around upstairs. This is her usual wake up time on days she doesn’t have classes. It’s nice that she has Fridays off as well because then she can stay caught up on work and still have leisure time. She has a bunch of group projects again this semester that are time consuming especially when the rest of the group likes to wait till the last minute. It drives her a little crazy. Oddly enough, she is also stressing over her ceramics class which I encouraged her to take as an elective because it thought it would be relaxing! Apparently she is having trouble throwing pots on the wheel which can be challenging. I enjoyed it when I had ceramics back in college just because I loved the feel of the clay and enjoyed watching the weird and wild shapes you could make. Her, not so much. Guess she’s too result oriented to enjoy the process. Probably why she is a marketing major and I was an art major.

If we were having coffee…we could say hi to my hubby, D-man as he comes in from his morning walk. It’s a bit cold for outdoor exercise if you ask me but he is never deterred. Our 24 year old son, Mr D is exercising also but he went to the gym where it is warm. He misses out on the whole “fresh air” benefit of the walk (gym smells are a bit more intense!) but he is planning to head down the shore with some friends later on so he’ll get his fresh air then. The beach in February doesn’t appeal to me but he said he just needs to see the ocean so he can get out of his mid-winter funk. That I totally get.

If we were having coffee…you might ask what I’ll be doing today, since the rest of my family seems occupied. Well, let’s see? A bit more coffee, a scan of the news and social media, some housework and laundrey, then maybe some artwork. A co-worker asked if I would try to paint a portrait of her son’s dog that just passed away. She wanted to give him a gift to remember his furry friend. She sent me some photos and I’m going to give it a try but I’ve always found dogs and cats quite challenging to draw. I never seem to be able to capture individual personalities and the shape of the heads always seem off. We’ll see. If it goes well I’ll show you the results the next time you stop by!

Thanks so much for joining me. Before you go, tell me what you’ve been up to. I hope your week was full of exciting events and some quiet times as well. Please swing by our host site EclecticAli and check out some of the other Coffee Share Posts. Have a great week!

If We Were Having Coffee…2/8/20: Wind Storms and Scholars

Hello!

I’m so glad you stopped by and I’m also very glad that the sun has stopped by as well. It feels like it’s been raining for years around here! I don’t even mind the chillier temperature. In fact, since it is February and we are in the northern hemisphere, “chilly” is absolutely correct and expected.

Let me get you some coffee and a nice fresh baked donut that my husband just brought back from his morning walk. I’m always pleased when his walks take him past the bakery! Pull up a chair. Let’s chat.

If we were having coffee…I would ask you if you experienced any of the crazy weather patterns floating around yesterday? Here in Southern New Jersey we were treated to some hurricane strength winds and possible tornado activity that sent all of the adults and students in our schools into a “Shelter In Place” situation. What that means is that we all needed to move someplace safe, in this particular case that meant the interior hallways where we were away from any windows, and continue our day as best we could. Some of the students were, understandable, bit alarmed but our Principal and the rest of we adults did our best to downplay the situation and keep them focused on other tasks. Luckily, we had the forethought to grab their laptops when we left the classroom so they were able to work on some of their writing projects and math websites. Finally, after about an hour, the warning was lifted and we were able to go back into our class. Fortunately, none of the more severe weather came too close to us. There were towns near the coast (about 45 minutes south) that were hit much harder. I don’t remember having quite so many excessive weather systems when I was young. Perhaps it’s just that we can track them better but I suspect that Global Warming is the real cause.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that we have a sad social occasion this weekend. My son’s girlfriend Miss K, lost her grandmother last week and her memorial service is tomorrow evening. We never had the chance to meet her grandmother, who sounds like a very sweet lady, but Miss K and Mr D have been together for several years and we are quite friendly with her parents so we will certainly stop by to show our respects. I’m always so happy to see evidence of the fine young man my son has grown into whenever situations like this occur. He took it upon himself to purchase a nice plant and a card for her family the night after it happened. Then he spent the evening at her parent’s house talking with them and helping them with any thing he could. He is a really good person to have around in tough situations, just like his dad.

Speaking of the D-man…

If we were having coffee..I would probably brag a bit and tell you that my husband has started teaching a graduate course at our nearby university. The course is in school counseling, which is what he does for a living. It is attended by students in their final semesters doing their in-school internships. He is running an evening class once a week and also supervising the student in their placements schools. I’m pretty proud of him and so happy that he is being recognized for the amazing work he has been doing in the school system for the past 20 years. I’ve always thought he would make an excellent educator. Anyone who has the patience to counsel middle school students, with their raging hormones and tendency for drama as well as aid families in crisis and student in sad and difficult situations all these years and not lose their mind, must have the capacity for anything! Now the graduate students in his class will benefit from his years of experience as well.

If we were having coffee…I would probably glance over at the clock and realize that my Saturday has begun without me! Time to “shake a leg” as my mother would have said.

I’ve certainly enjoyed catching up with you. You should definitely stop by our host blog Eclectic Ali and visit the rest of my Coffee Share friends.

Have a great weekend!

If We Were Having Coffee…2/1/20: Cats and Head Colds

Welcome!

If we were having coffee…you would probably say, “Who the heck are you!” Understandable since apparently I only post once every six months! The thing is, I just bought myself a cute little Chrombook and it will make posting so much easier than using my old Ipad which crashed on a regular basis. Hopefully I will be motivated to post more often now. So sit, have some hot french roast coffee and a chocolate chip muffin. I’ll fill you in on my week and you can tell be about yours.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you that my head is stuffy and the sky here in South Jersey is a soupy foggy mess. Fun Saturday, huh? It will be because, aside from going to see the new Star Wars movie with the D-Man later on today, my day is mine to do with what I choose.

I started out the morning by fighting with the cat over a bird feather. D-man found it on one of his walks and brought it home for the cats to sniff since neither ever gets to sniff and actual bird. Darby has become obsessed with it. She kept jumping on the kitchen counter (a big no-no) to get it off the windowsill over the sink. I took it down for her to sniff but she tried to eat it. I put it in the pocket of my robe but she pawed at my pocket attempting to stick her face in it! Finally, I put it inside a plastic jar and sat on the floor. She can still see it but not smell it so it seems to have lost it’s appeal.

Darby!

Cats are weird.

Speaking of weird cats, the other one, Dash, has skin issues. The vet said it’s like psoriasis only in felines. He’s developed a weird bare patch on his chin and, because he is all itchy, he has licked the back of one leg bare with his obsessive grooming. Now he is on steroids. Once a day we mix it with his food. Luckily he is not a finicky cat and will eat almost everything (whether it’s eatable or not.)

Dash!

Like I said, cats are weird.

If we were having coffee…we could talk about tomorrow’s Super Bowl and the party that we go to each year, but since the Philadelphia Eagles ended their season on such a disappointing note I’d rather not talk about our American football at all. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Let’s instead talk about you. What’s been happening in your world? Do you have any weird cats in your house or other pets, perhaps? (Speaking of weird animals, did you read the recent article about the iguanas that were falling from the trees in Florida. Apparently the weather had gotten so cold that they were forced into a sort of frozen hybernation? Talk about weird! If you haven’t seen it you should Google “Frozen Igunas falling from trees” It’s very interesting)

Have you too been struggling with headcolds or allergies or other germ related illnesses? I work in an elementary school surrounded by little 8 year old Petri dishes so believe me, I understand germs! We have hand sanitizers in each classroom and the custodian spends part of each day disinfecting the door knobs and hand rails. I hope that you have escaped the worst of the germs and are enjoying this Saturday doing something fun.

Thanks so much for stopping by. With any luck, I’ll be serving coffee again next week. We’ll see how it goes. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you can, please stop and visit the rest of the posts at our host site EcleticAllie.

If We Were Having Coffee…Sunshine and Sand

If we were having coffee this Saturday you would have had to travel a bit further southeast to find me here at the Jersey Shore (and, BTW, the “Jersey Shore” we go to is nothing like the TV show, not even a little).

Miss Dee and I are enjoying our annual girls weekend at the beach. Today’s plan involves no plans at all, going with the flow and totally relaxing. We left the boys at home. They have tickets to a Phillies game tonight so they don’t really mind.

If we were having coffee we could sit by the pool and enjoy the sunshine. The beach is about a block away so we could even walk down there and watch the waves. The condo we stay in here, thoughtfully shared by my husband’s stepmom, is in the quiet, family friendly area of Wildwood Crest. The beach is huge but at this time of the year it can get still get rather crowded. Since Miss Dee and I like to have space we go to the beach in the morning and pool in the afternoon so let me get right to catching you up on my week.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that STEAM camp this week went very well. The children enjoyed learning about Inventions and Inventors. We designed new cars and got to see a cool demonstration by a Tesla Model X car. We learned about the advantages of electric vehicles and it even “danced” for us, flashing its lights and opening and closing its wing doors in time with music!

The campers made hydrological elevators with Popsicle sticks, created their own board game, learned about lasers and really got into the Invention Scavenger Hunt we put together. It was an exhausting but fun week.

If we were having coffee I would invite you to put on your swimsuit and accompany us to the beach. We can continue our chat, have a swim, do some people watching and just relax! I’m so glad you stopped by. After you’ve brushed off the sand, visit Eclectic Ali, our Coffee Share host and catch up with the rest of the Coffee Crew.

If We Were Having Coffee…Fireworks, Films and Felines

Morning friends!

If we were having coffee I would invite you inside the house for coffee and apple cider donuts because this…

definitely says it’s way too humid to sit on the porch! The soupy New Jersey air is actually attempting to infiltrate the house but we’re keeping it at bay thanks to the air conditioning. The cat’s kinda annoyed because she can’t keep a proper eye on the squirrels. I’m just happy I don’t need to leave the house. D-Man left an hour ago to mow his mom’s lawn before it got too bad but I’m hoping he’ll stay in after that.

If we were having coffee…I would tell you we went out with friends last night to see the film “Yesterday.” I quite enjoyed it. It certainly helps if you are a Beatles fan since so much of the movie centers around their music but, it was a sweet story anyway. Absolutely no CGI, explosions or aliens which was a nice change from most of the other films we usually go to see. (Which reminds me, Spider-Man Far From Homeis definitely on next weekend to-do list!)

If we were having coffee…I would ask those of you here in the United States if you enjoyed any special Independence Day celebrations? We have a lot of traditions for that holiday.

Miss Dee and I always attend the town “Miss” pageant the evening before. The winner this year was a former student at the elementary school where I work so that always makes it fun. The newly crowned “Miss” then rides in the town Fourth of July parade the next morning. After the parade (which was a rather hot and humid event this year), we head to my father-in-law’s home for a BBQ.

My in-laws have a lovely house and a large yard in a very wooded area. We always make sure to cover ourselves in bug spray since they also have zillions of insects! My FIL ends the day by setting off fireworks, a tradition that has made me nervous since my children were wee. It makes me even more nervous now since Mr D is old enough to help light them!!! Happily we made it through another year with no casualties although one box fell on it’s side and started shooting out stars in random directions. That was exciting.

We usually end the night by attending our town fireworks. Traditionally, this is a nice way to end the day but this year Miss Dee and I were both wiped out. I suspect it was mostly because of the heat, so we decided to opt out. We both took long cold showers and then watched the first episode of Stranger Things 3! For us, this was every bit as exciting as the fireworks!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that we acquired a new kitty this week. He was abandoned in front of an animal hospital where one of my son’s friends work. She told him that if they didn’t find a home they would have to take him to the shelter. We have been looking for a friend for Darby since we lost our sweet senior cat Chrissy earlier this year so we thought we’d give him a try. He’s all dark gray and quiet the charmer, always rubbing against you and purring, very dashing so we’ve took to calling him Dash. The vet said he seems to be about 3 years old and well cared for. He is currently living in the laundry room and we’ve been introducing him to Darby slowly. There’s been a bit of hissing but I think they’ll work it out in time. Stay tuned!

Miss Darby is still considering whether or not a new brother is a good idea?

Well, if we were having coffee, we would probably agree that Ive been monopolizing the conversation! Time for you to tell me what you’ve been up to. Let me refill you cup. Have you done any traveling? Seen any movies? Read any good books?

I’m so glad you stopped by. Don’t forget to visit our host Eclectic Ali, see what she’s been up to and visit the rest of the Coffee Share Gang.

If We Were Having Coffee…Baseball and Country Line Dancing

Hello! Hello! I’m so glad you stopped by!

If we were having coffee on this lovely summer afternoon, I would probably offer you lemonade or mango juice as a substitute for hot coffee. I tend to drink a cup every afternoon no matter what the temperature but I know that’s not for everyone. We also have some leftover brownies that the D-man made for a party we had this week. Help yourself. They have chocolate chip cookies in the center, one of my hubbies many brownie variations. I’m pretty sure he could write a book!

How has your week been? Mine has been a blast! Monday kicked off my first full week of summer break. Yahoo!! It’s been a very full few days. Let’s see…

Monday I did some cleaning and cooking to get ready for our get together that evening. It was graduation night at the middle school where D-man works and we traditionally have the whole staff back here after the ceremony. It’s a chance for them to relax and celebrate the end of the year. He works with some really great people. It’s hard to believe that this will be his 22nd year there. Retirement is peeking around the corner!

Tuesday I had a very nice lunch date with my sister. We talked for hours and finally had to make ourselves leave the restaurant and go home! I spent the rest of the day helping my son finish up his packing since he was leaving for Greece the next day. Neither of us has ever traveled internationally so we felt the need to double check everything. He and a group of friends went over there to meet up with another friend who has been studying and playing basketball in New Castle England. He is finished now so he met them in Athens on Thursday and then today the group went to Mykonos Island for a few days. So far it looks like an amazing trip and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

Wednesday Miss Dee and I met my (step)mother-in-law Denise at a local recreation center for a County Line Dancing class. Anytime that dancing involves actual steps as well as knowing left and right has never been my thing but it’s nice to try new things, right? Denise has done country line dancing before just not for a few years and Miss Dee danced a bit in school plus she has natural grace and rhythm so they did pretty well. Me? I danced like I had two left feet tied together at the knees! It was fun to watch the rest of the class and I didn’t break anything but I don’t think I’ll go back. I think the nice lady teaching the class will be okay with that!

Thursday I taught my craft class for the ladies at the Senior Center. This week we made these cute ladybug photo holders. It’s amazing all the crafts you can do with a bag of rocks! They seemed to enjoy it and they are always so much fun to work with.

Friday, after running some errands and getting a much needed haircut, D-Man, Miss Dee and I went over to Philadelphia to watch the Phillies play. It was an extra special baseball game because they had a ceremony to officially retire my all time favorite players, Chase Utley. Even though he spent his last few seasons playing ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chase will always be a Phillie because of the important role he played in helping us win the 2008 World Series as well as his amazing skill and passion for the game. His wife and kids were there and he got a huge ovation as he came onto the field to give his speech. Even though the current Phillies team lost the game that followed in spectacular fashion it was still worth the trip just to see this former second basemen.

As you can see, it’s been a fun yet busy week for me! Let me refill your glass and you can tell me what has been happening with you. Don’t forget to visit our coffee share hostess, Eclectic Ali and see what she and the rest of the crowd have been up to!

Thanks for stopping by!

If We Were Having Coffee…Busy mornings!

Happy Sunday morning!

If we were having coffee I would welcome you up onto the porch and hand you a cup of French roast coffee or whatever beverage you preferred. There’s lemonade, tea or crisp cold ice water. We are looking at a sunny Sunday here in Southern New Jersey with a high of 79 degrees. Perfect!! I’m enjoying it while I can before the stifling humidity returns.

How has your week been? We’ve been slogging our way through the last two weeks of school, trying to keep a lid on the students building excitement and maybe get a little bit of learning done as well. It’s been a bit of a challenge! I may need to give myself several pep talks just to get through this final week.๐Ÿ˜Š

Thursday morning, some of our fifth grade students put on a talent show for the rest of the school. There were only 9 acts but they ranged from dancing or singing to comedy and karate! I give each one kudos for being brave enough to perform (I’m a behind the scenes girl myself.) It was a fun way for us to start the day and a fun way for them to cap off their time in elementary school before moving on to middle school.

Friday morning I accompanied the third grade class and teacher on their annual walking tour of our town. The final social studies topic for that grade is always about communities including founding and development of ours. The culmination of that is a visit to the many places we’ve learned about. I love that we live in a town that is walkable and has an actual Main Street with a library, small stores, restaurants and police station/borough hall. We toured the police station and the local museum and checked out some other landmarks including our Veterans Park and an old stone horse watering basin that still stands just next to where the railroad station used to be. The students really enjoyed the trip and behaved very well.

Saturday morning Miss Dee and I went shopping for new kitchen appliances which was fun. Mine are all over 15 years old and showing serious wear. The D-man and I decided last month to take out a small loan in order to do some updating around here. New counter tops (our current ones are red laminate, straight out of the 80s!) and appliances are the big purchases. Ahh, to have an oven that actually keeps the proper temperature and a dishwasher with a door that doesn’t drop down spontaneously scaring the sh#% out of us and the cat. I’m simply tingling with anticipation!

Miss Dee thinks I might get nostalgic and start missing the red counter tops. I’m not so sure….

That’s the thing about home ownership, isn’t it, there is always something that needs fixing or updating. I’ve got a list of other summer projects as well. I guess we will see how much of it gets accomplished. Usually something has to really start bugging me before I’m willing to spend money on it. I’m kind of cheap, and the fact that no money is coming in during the summer makes me even cheaper!๐Ÿ˜Š

So now it Sunday morning and you might wonder what my plan is for today. Well, after all those busy mornings, I think that this one will be spent sitting on the deck, reading a book or working on some art work. That sounds just about perfect, like the weather! I’m so glad you could join me for a chat. You should run on over to Eclectic Alli and visit with the rest of the Coffee Share crew. I’m sure they’re serving up some great conversation as well.

If We Were Having Coffee…Prelude to Summer.

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If we were having coffee on this fine breezy morning in Southern New Jersey, I would probably start off with “Hey, remember me?!” It’s been a while since my last coffee post or any post of any kind.  Why return now, you might ask? Well I work in an elementary school and because that wonderful thing called “summer break” is almost upon us, I now find myself with more time to do fun stuff, like blog writing and blog reading.  I can’t wait to catch up with the many things that have been going on with you all!

So lets chat! What’s been up with you?

Seen any good movies lately? (went to see ENDGAME few weeks ago. LOVED IT!!! It needs an entire post of it’s own so stay tuned).

Read any good books? (Just finished “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Excellent read.  I highly recommend.)

Gone on any new adventures? (Hubby and I are in the midst of planning a trip to New Orleans to celebrate our 25th Wedding anniversary which was on May 21st. The trip will happen in November when the weather is more agreeable!)

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This cutie is enjoying having us around more too. She is such a social cat that I think she might be part dog!!!

How’s life been treating you and your family? Our family is doing well.  Mr D is wading his way through “adulting,” working in one of our neighborhood schools and taking classes towards getting his certification to teach special education. He was also best-man in his friend’s wedding a few weeks ago which was fun for all of us to see!

Miss Dee has bravely conquered her junior year of college and is enjoying her well earned break.  She has also started seeing an anxiety counselor which is really helping her get a hold of her stress levels. It is helping her focus on all the wonderful things about her like her creativity and compassion. Having all her friends back home for the summer really adds to her joy as well!

As for the D-Man and I, with the kids no longer being kids, we are enjoying more and more  time as a couple including a weekend at the beach and dinners at new resturants.  I think it’s shaping up to be a pretty good summer around here.  I hope the same holds true at your house.

I’m off to read some other Coffee Share Posts. Stop by and visit Eclectic Alie, see what she is up to and visit the rest of the Weekend Coffee Share.

 

If We Were Having Coffee…Lazy Sunday (finally!)

If we were having coffee…on this bright, crisp afternoon in Southern New Jersey, I would say, “Sit!! Relax! Please pardon my PJs!” Today I’m feeling lazy and enjoying, what feel like, the first “do nothing” day in forever!! Although last Sunday I was also doing nothing but that was because I’d gotten socked with a combination flu-sinus infection so I guess it’s actually the first chose-to-do-nothing day. I’m still dragging a cough around with me but at least I no longer feel as though I’ve been hit by a bus.

So, happy February! I’m pretty psyched that Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow and that Spring is just around the corner. Let’s face it though, Phil’s gonna say whatever gets him back in his warm bed the fastest. Personally I’d have bitten the guy with the hat the minute he reached in my door, but I’m a bit cranky in the morning anyway.

If we were having coffee… with I’d tell you all about the wonderful visit we had last night from my nephew Kyle and his fiancรฉ. They are visiting from California and its the first we’d seen them since they got engaged. If you happen to have read my yet-unfinished-series “Adventures in Hollywood” you might remember that it was Kyle that my sister Linda and I went to visit last November. He showed us the sites and we met his lady then although they weren’t betrothed at the time. Her name is Tuka and she’s originally from Persia/Iran but has been in the US since she was a little girl. She brought the most amazing eggplant dip to share. We plied her with typical Jersey food (hoagies and Tasty Cakes!). We are definitely smitten with her and cant wait for the wedding. They are talking about a destination wedding to Iceland so they can be married under the Northern Lights. Sounds very romantic but I’m not sure how it will fit our budget! Guess we have a few years to think about it.

Hanging with Kyle and Tuka last year in Venice Beach (Can you tell I was a bit cold?!)

Well, I do need to get a few things done today so I guess I should finish up this chat. I hope you enjoyed your French Roast and conversation. Please stop by Eclectic Allies‘ and visit the rest of the Coffee Share Posts!