May Coffee -(For Real This Time)

Meditations in Motion

Last week I thought it was time for Runfessions and Ultimate Coffee Date. Turns out, I was half right!

Welcome to the May version of our little chat over coffee. Pull up a virtual chair and let’s begin.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

I am not used to doing long runs by myself. Usually, I do long runs with my husband and running partner, Bill.

Last month an injury curtailed Bill’s running, and I was forced to do some solo long runs, including one in the rain.

Getting wetter and wetter, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. My feet were wet, rain dripped off the bill of my cap, and my running bra felt soggy (TMI?).

Suddenly, I realized how pathetic I was. No one was forcing me to run, an activity I love. I remembered how fortunate I am to have the ability to do it. I voluntarily left my nice, warm, dry spot on the couch and began slogging along in the duck weather.

Immediately, I jumped into a puddle with both feet, shook off the self-pity, and continued my run with a better mindset and a smile on my face.

Sometimes, we just need to remind ourselves of our good fortune, amIright?

Junk Food

When I find a new snack I love, I typically eat it until it is coming out of my ears. I pepper my friends and family with praise of my new snack until I am sure they wish I would just shut up. So, let me tell you about my latest obsession.

The salty snack du jour is sweet potato slices.

I peel a sweet potato, then slice it as thinly as possible. The slices are tossed in a little olive oil (maybe 2 teaspoons, depending on the size of the potato) and some sea salt and baked for 15 minutes in a 300-degree oven on some parchment paper. I then flip the slices over and bake for another 15 minutes.

You have to carefully watch the baking sweet potato slices. One minute they are golden, and the next minute they are brown. I like to pull them out of the oven when they are just the right mixture of gold and brown.

It’s hard to wait for them to cool before eating them, so I usually don’t.

Cephalopod Mania

I have written before about my love for all things octopus.

Last month we watched a show on Netflix called My Octopus Teacher. The movie, which is slow and beautifully filmed, is about a man who dives in the frigid, rough water off the coast of South Africa.

On one of his dives, he encounters a young female octopus, who befriends him.

Octopuses are naturally very intelligent and curious. When she realizes the diver is no threat to her, she quickly allows him into her world. The diver films his encounters with the octopus as she hunts, evades predators, and explores the gorgeous kelp forest she inhabits.

Two words of warning to those of you who may be interested in watching the movie.

First, be prepared for the slow pace of the story. It unwinds very gradually, but it is beautiful and compelling.

Second, the natural life span of this species of octopus is a little over a year. Octopuses are semelparous animals, which means they breed once, then die after laying their eggs.

You understand what I am saying. Don’t look for a Disney-esque ending.

I still loved the movie.

Thank you for joining me for coffee (again). I hope to see you again in June when we gather for beverages and conversation. Maybe by then, I’ll make mine iced.

You can find the places I link up here.

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133 comments

  1. Oh, “My Octopus Teacher”! I’m so glad you liked it, Laurie!

    I mentioned the film in my post last week.
    It was filmed near Cape Town and my running buddies actually know Craig Foster.
    Everyone was so excited when it won the Oscar for best documentary!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand about eating something you love until the cows come home. I found a new vegan, low sugar protein bar that I am addicted in eating every morning with my tea. However, the sweet potato chips sound just as good. I wouldn’t call it “junk food,” as sweet potatoes are good for you. They’re only junk if you eat them with a donut. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I say you can love an activity but still prefer to do it in nice weather. Just a few years ago, I embraced adversity–rain, cold, heat. I’ve become quite the pansy lately. I still go out, but boy do I complain. And actually last summer I had some medical issues with heat. I’ll be interested to see if they continue this summer. Happy running. Right now has gotta be the best time of the year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I need to watch My Octopus Teacher. You’re the second blogger to mention it. Thanks for reminding me to get with it. Your sweet potato snack is our kind of snack. Looks easy to make and delicious.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved the thought of puddle jumping with both feet. The realization of how blessed we are to be able to run is so liberating. Sometimes it takes a deep look at how well we have it to shake off the self-imposed funk.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Us gals can over share it’s our rite, lol. So glad you found your happy puddle. We love the sweet potato cover in mixed herbs & oven roasted, yum to yours too. I wondered what you would think of My Octupus docu, It is visually stunning I forgot about the drama bits but I loved the teeny tiny end. Have a jump in the puddle fun weekend ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are right, a change from negativism to gratitude can do wonders for our attitude.

    Those sweet potato slices sound delicious. I may have to try them. I recently found my love for roasted vegetables, so I think that would be something I would really enjoy.

    Others have said they really liked that movie. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are so right about keeping a good attitude making all the difference in your mood. Good for you shaking it off! I hope Bill will be all right soon. Thanks for the tip about the octopus movie – it sounds interesting, but I will have to think about if I’m emotionally in a place where I want to get invested in a creature that is going to die at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m glad you gave me a heads up on the movie. I know it’s a natural life cycle but it would be hard to watch and fall in love with the octopus and then watch it die. Dogs and cats kill me that way and they live a lot longer than a year.

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  10. Laurie, I’m not a big fan of sweet potatoes in general, but your snack actually sounds pretty good to me. I don’t think I knew you were an octopus fan, but given your interest in–oh, say, cicadas, for one–it doesn’t surprise me a bit. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you enjoyed the movie and were able to finally enjoy your run in the rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill has the same attitude about sweet potatoes as you, Lois. I still make them occasionally and he tolerates them. Even Bill likes this snack!

      Like

  11. I love how your change of perspective changed your attitude during that solo run, Laurie. What a difference! And your spur-of-the-moment decision to jump in the puddle? A perfect action to demonstrate your renewed outlook. Just today as I was cleaning (and wishing I wasn’t), the “get-to” strategy came to mind. I don’t HAVE to clean; I GET TO! I GET TO bend and stretch with cooperative muscles–even at my age! I GET TO enjoy the fruits of my labor when everything will be a bit shinier. And in a few days we GET TO spend time with house guests– our younger son and wife whom we’ve barely seen for a year! Yup, perspective is a game-changer.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I loved My Octopus Teacher! Such a sweet, beautiful film.

    I laughed at your title to your first vignette. I had Poor Poor Pitiful Me on my running playlist for my race last weekend. I do love Warren Zevon!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really hate when animals die in the movie. There are a lot of really good dog movies where the dogs die in the end — I just can’t watch them!

    We have all hard runs like that, Laurie, where we get trapped in those negative thoughts. Good for you for realizing it & shaking it off — literally!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. That sounds like a great snack and a really interesting movie. I usually love nature documentaries… even if they sometimes show how cruel nature can be.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I thought the Soul of an Octopus was even better. I think you recommended it.

    Long runs solo!!! UGH!!! I usually run at least part of the miles with friends.

    My new favorite snack is a sliced apple or two with cinnamon, truvia, raisins and in the microwave on the potato setting.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. If you like Rosemary, try sprinkling a little (fresh or dried) on your sweet potato slices before you bake them. You can thank me later! πŸ˜‰

    We don’t watch much TV, but My Octopus Teacher sounds like something we’d like. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It can be tough to get our for a solo run, especially when its raining! Those sweet potato chips sound great. I used to make something similar but got annoyed with having to slice the potatoes and if I didnt do it evenly then part of them would burn.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yes, it’s funny the things we subject ourselves to. I used to get really nervous before long runs (now I love them.) It was funny that I got so uptight about them- but there was no pressure other than the pressure I was putting on myself. No one was making me do them! It’s good to remember that this is our choice.
    I’ve heard so many people talk about that movie. But I’m glad you warned about the ending. I’m ridiculously sensitive to things like that. But it sounds amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. It was totally our fault for rescheduling the coffee date β€” but we can have coffee more than once a month. I’ve head about that movie. I think I’d enjoy it if I could stay awake β€” not a comment on the movie, just on my state of exhaustion.

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  20. Ha! No-one made you go on the run. Yes, I so get that. The sweet potato thing I have done as chips but now I can buy them from freezer aisle. I am baking them, along with a small fish piece for my Monday night meal. I make the fish into a wrap with cos lettuce & tartare sauce. For this post-oral cancer me, it is almost like eating normally!!
    Denyse #weekendcoffeeshare

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  21. Great job on changing your mindset! It’s amazing how much of a difference that can make.

    Those sweet potatoes look/sound awesome!

    I need to watch My Octopus Teacher! (Will definitely have to brace myself for the ending though–I don’t know why but I absolutely thought they lived longer than that. :[ )

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I used to feel pretty pitiful running alone. I think my last injury and the pandemic has helped me change my perspective! I’m so grateful for the run, or the long walk, even alone now.

    Thanks for the tip about My Octopus Teacher!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Laurie – I’ve heard a few mentions of My Octopus Teacher from other bloggers – not sure if it’s my “thing” but it certainly sounds interesting. Glad you managed to find your positivity during your wet run – I’m envious of anyone who can say that they love running – I just don’t get it, but I’m still incredibly jealous!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I love the sweet potato slices, I need to make some and they look pretty healthy πŸ™‚
    I haven’t watched My Octopus Teacher yet, I need to soon, especially since it was filmed at a beautiful coastline I love and know well.
    Have a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Totally agree about reminding ourselves of our good fortune, even in crappy situations. I’ve been doing that a lot the past month and it has really helped with my mental health.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Laurie, Good for you to change your mindset and make your run in the rain enjoyable. The “I get to…” is way more satisfying than the “I have to…”. Sweet potato snacks are delicious. Thank you for your #WeekendCoffeeShare.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. LOL, I loved your poor little me section. It’s not raining here, but when I’m walking in the wind or cold and wishing I was sitting inside, I remind myself that I can walk. The section about octopi caught my attention, not because I know much about them, but because I don’t. What an invigorating post today. Thanks for the caffeine break. I feel more energized now! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I am just in the door from Atlanta and the hotel we stayed at was across the street from the aquarium. The decor of the entire hotel was sea creatures and our floor was shat? Octopus! It was weird but fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The sweet potato snack sounds delicious – I would not be waiting for it to cool either! That’s a sad ending for this type of octopus and that was a new word I learned. Because I took the bus to work for years, I’m not so apt to walk in the rain, but I do sometimes get carried away on a beautiful day and walk more miles than I would normally (six on each weekend day). We do what we love most. Soggy bra – I laughed. For me … who could tell wet, not wet or was I even wearing one!? I am not my mother’s daughter in that respect. πŸ™‚

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    • The sweet potato snack is delicious. My favorite combination of flavors – sweet and salty. I am most definitely not my mother’s daughter in the bra region either! Thanks for the laugh, Linda! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • It sounds good – I like salty and sweet combos too and was just telling a fellow blogger I like peanut butter on banana bread and date nut bread. She said I’ve been hanging around Parker too long. πŸ™‚ I’ve not had either of those treats since my mom’s been gone as I don’t bake, but I love that combination. Glad I gave you a laugh and Happy Mother’s Day Laurie.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My grandson Henry loves a salted caramel truffle candy Bill used to buy. Now that we don’t eat sugar anymore, we don’t get the candy. We bought some for his Easter basket this year! Thank you, Linda! I did have a good Mother’s Day. My youngest son made dinner for all of us. It was delicious!

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      • Yes…I am proud of him. He is an excellent cook! When he graduated from high school, we wanted him to go to school to learn to be a chef, but he wasn’t interested.

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      • That’s too bad – he might have enjoyed it after the schooling, especially the book work was done. I am looking forward to seeing what job Nathaniel (Anne Mehrling’s grandson) lands once he’s done with school. When I was at the community college I mentioned to you the other day, we had a culinary program and every Friday, the budding chefs would create meals and serve them in “The Gate Room” which was a fancy dining room with the students dressed like waiters. They were always great meals and often had themes.

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      • I think being a chef involves long hours and lots of work in the evenings. It is not always a job that goes well with having a family. He is probably better off doing what he does now. I enjoy hearing about Nathaniel too. He has made some fabulous dishes for Anne and her family! We went to a chef school to eat once when we were in New Orleans. It was fantastic and so inexpensive.

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      • Yes, you’re right Laurie. The dinner hour(s) are when the chefs get the chance to shine. I like seeing Nathaniel’s creations. A friend of the family was the pastry chef at a big hotel in Detroit for many years and then he left that job and started an authentic German restaurant and his entire family worked there. He still continued to create fancy tortes and made wonderful Christmas stollens which we would get every year. They closed the restaurant and his wife died shortly thereafter. I know Nathaniel would like to be a pastry chef.

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      • Yes, chefs work while everyone else is having fun. Mmmm…I love those German pastries. When my middle son went to college in Delaware, there was a German bakery near campus. They made the best Hamentaschen. I don’t know if I am spelling that correctly or not. I love the apricot version.

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      • Yes, working hard creating nice dishes. When we visited Germany in 1979, my father’s uncle had retired from being a chef on a train his entire working life. He loved making German pastries. I just Googled Hamentaschen and I think he made those with plum filling one time. These Hamentaschen remind me of Kolachy.

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      • I just Googled kolachy. I think you are right. Plum filling sounds delicious! I usually get apricot. A chef on a train !?!? That sounds like an interesting occupation. I bet he has a lot of great stories to tell.

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      • Yes, I think they’re similar. My mom used to make them with apricot or raspberry. My friend Ann Marie brings over a dish of them at Christmas and Easter time for me. Yes, I think it would be an exciting job too … he didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak German so I didn’t hear about it personally. He had been retired awhile when we visited over there and died shortly afterward. He made a plum kuchen for us, which was his specialty. My mom used to make a pear kuchen and put chocolate curls on top. She made that for my father as he was German.

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      • Mmmm…raspberry sounds very good too. I think the choice at the bakery we used to go to was apricot or prune. Wow! Your mom must have been quite the baker. Pear kuchen with chocolate curls sounds wonderful.

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      • She did like to bake … that pear kuchen was just for special occasions as I recall. It was wonderful and whipped cream on top of it. It’s a wonder I was not as big as a house.

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  30. I have been wanting to watch that documentary. Glad to hear you liked it. I LOVE sweet potato chips. They are delish. Thanks for linking up and have a great Mother’s Day weekend.

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  31. Hi Laurie, This was a fun post. I can’t run due to bad knees but I well recall backpacking in the rain, feeling miserable about having been caught out in it until, like you I recalled that I chose to be here with a great friend enduring it and the possibility of some great memories right there in front of me if only I got my attitude back under control. Great memories indeed.
    A different great friend and I decided one day to make a bunch of home made potato chips so we sliced and boiled and salted and laid them out to dry but at each pause in the action, we stopped to joke around, and eat some of the fruit of our labor. The afternoon wore on. A beer or two may have been involved but the bag of raw potatoes got smaller, but near the end of the experience, we noticed that our pile of finished chips was not getting any larger, in fact, we had almost none. When all was sliced, boiled, salted, said and done, we’d cooked and eaten the whole bag of spuds. More great memories, but I could not face chips for a while after that.
    I may have to check out that movie. I had a brief encounter with an octopus in a tropical fish store once and was amazed at how smart that little guy was. I would have bought him on the spot but I had decided I was not wealthy enough to do salt water aquariums and only had fresh water. That hobby was expensive enough as it was. They are amazing critters. thanks for the visit.

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    • Hi Gary. Thank you. Making potato chips with your friend sounds wonderful! I think I would have eaten them until I was tired of them too. I know what you are saying about the salt water aquaria. I looked into them at one time, but they are so expensive!

      Like

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