Book In My Hands

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My first novel is now in my hot little hands!

My mother ordered the first one and it came today. I feels surreal to old my first work like this. I’ve dreamed of this day since I was little. I’m calm, but happy. I’m calm, but ready to work more into book 2. (having some writer’s block, argh) I want to get outside in this beautiful weather and dance and party with my dear friend Robert. Robert…oh dear Robert! It was you who pushed me to talk to Eden Glenn. It was you who kept insisting that I hook up with Rebel Ink Press. It was you who pushed and pushed me into the right direction to see my dream come true.

To my Parents – Thank you for reading thousands and thousands of novels in this family home over the years. For reading all kinds of genres – Romance, Military, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Mystery. Thank you for keeping as much of your book collection as you could every time we moved around the country. Thank you for putting up with my emotions as I pushed to get what I always wanted – my dream to come true!

To my MPHS classmates – you know who you are! Thank you for believing in me and thanks for tolerating my first manuscript back in school. (THAT piece will never see the light of day) Thank you for being my cheerleaders as I kept writing. Thank you for the party to jump start me out of there. I miss you all so much!

To Dave – Thank you for being there for me throughout this whole experience from 2003-present. Brainstorming with me. Believing in me. Pushing me to write. Being my archival guy. Being there when I cried. Being my first reader and mild editor. For being there for me throughout it all.

To Robert – Thank you for pushing me toward Eden Glenn Thank you for giving me the courage to talk to her on FB. Thank you for helping promote my work and being there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Thank you for putting up with my fears and doubts.

To Eden Glenn – Thank you for pushing me toward this goal in the beginning publishing process and throughout. Thank you for being my mentor, for teaching me the basic noob learning curves. Thank you for cheering me on. Thank you for answering all my questions, and there will be more.

To my Publisher – Thank you for believing in my writing, in this story and the stories to come. Thank you for being patient with me even when I may have been confusing at times. Thank you for teaching me how it all works. I love learning this business! Thank you for believing in me. Thank you from the core of my heart and soul.

 

Now, to relax a bit, dance a bit in the glow of my happiness and re-read book 2 to get back on the ball again.

Soul’s Little Lie: Whispers In The Hall coming soon.

 

 

Soul’s Little Lie paperback at Amazon and BnN

In case anyone can’t find the links to my book for purchase….

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Souls-Little-Lie-Tara-Dobbs/dp/1940315786/ref=la_B00UIESXFC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432588266&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Soul-s-Little-Lie?store=allproducts&keyword=Soul%27s+Little+Lie

Soul’s Little Lie:

Vivian Warren has been practicing magic all her life and has finally found herself face to face with her spirit guide. The sorrow in the man’s eyes compels her to go with him on a journey to his home in Lowell, Massachusetts. Hot on their trail, Detective Jacob Umari must uncover the link between this mysterious man with Vivian and a cold case file. The Soul’s Little Lie series is a haunting, psychological soft horror mystery filled with love, fear, and a glimpse into the workings of a broken heart.

Excerpts can be found here:

Part 1 – https://www.booktrack.com/content/read/f9430a21c6fc415fbd24a3fd1e551b60

Part 2 – https://www.booktrack.com/content/read/ad7ad8ce917245e4a671158035242ed0

 

Soul’s Little Lie paperback is here…

I’m so happy to announce the paperback of my first novel Soul’s Little Lie has arrived! It is a print on demand type of book. Mind, I did not self publish. My books are published by Rebel Ink Press.

You can order it here at Createspace.com:  https://www.createspace.com/5464094

The paperback is in the final stages to be on Barnes & Noble shelves. I will announce that as soon as everything is done.

Please leave reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, OmiLit.com and AllRomanceEbooks.com

Enjoy the hauntings of Vivian Warren’s mind, will she get out of it alive? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Schizophrenia: Walk In My Shoes Part 2 – The Saint Could Not Save Him

Schizophrenia:

A Walk In My Shoes

Part 2:

The Saint Could Not Save Him

I had met him through a mutual friend in November 2002. Dan was tall, lengthy and had hardly any muscle tone to him. As I grew to know him, love him and observe him as I always did with people I got to know, over the years I noticed his muscle mass was shrinking. I had taken him to a doctor to test his testosterone levels and they were quite low, but the doctor said, “That’s because of his age. He’s nearly 40, this is expected.” That diagnosis, in 2008, didn’t set well with me. There was something else going on.

A few years later, in October 2012, an old classmate had come into town, finding me on Facebook. We started chatting it up and soon he came to visit to meet my husband Dan. It had taken a week to catch my husband’s work schedule from Boeing to get a chance for the two to meet on a weekend, but little did I know what an eye opening encounter it would be.

I had to nearly force Dan to come meet this old classmate. He was reluctant to do so because it was something new to experience. He never did well with new interactions. New situations, even new foods he had a hard time dealing with, but he trudged along for my sake. All I wanted to do was help him have a better life than the one he was so poorly raised in. After a few minutes, Dan came out of his study.

“Dan, this is that classmate I told you about. This is Chris. We were in NJROTC together in senior year at Marysville-Pilchuck High school,” I smiled feeling the excitement rise in me and behind that excitement of hope in adding Chris to the current group of friends. I had hoped that Dan was going to be much more coherent and sociable.

Dan stepped back a bit, rubbed his neck and stuttered feeling the kitchen counter top with his hand for something to brace against as his anxiety kicked in, “Uh, hi,” is all he said.

“Nice to meet you, Dan. Tara’s told me a lot about you,” Chris extended his hand in greeting, but Dan did not take it. Instead his hazel green eyes widened and within seconds had scampered off quickly down the hall back into his study not saying a word as he closed the door behind him. Chris stood there for a few seconds dumb struck to Dan’s peculiar style of greeting. Without missing a beat, “There’s something really wrong with him,” he thumbed down the hall, raising an eyebrow.

At this point, I was still party in denial of what Dan’s mental state really was. I had been studying about schizophrenia for nearly six years prior cause I had a feeling something was wrong. The novel I had started writing in summer 2009 about a character with schizophrenia was just a cover so I could continue to study on the subject.

“Oh, that’s just how Dan is. That’s normal for him,” I chimed with a smile, but I felt an unease with those words. I knew right then that there was something wrong with my husband of nearly ten years.

“Really, Tara? Of all people, I never knew you to be this thick headed. I know you can see he needs help,” Chris advised as I listened to the tone in his voice of concern for me. It was then I realized that I could no longer hide the fact that my husband of ten years could not be saved by me. It was that very thought: I can’t save him had crossed my mind, is when I knew Dan’s family had not told me the truth about their son. I could feel my heart break when I realized his family’s betrayal.

If they had told me about his mental illness, I would have changed tactics to either find him the help he really needed or I would have left him at the alter. If they had told me the truth first hand I probably would not be writing this right now. I would have gone off to other things, but being the good-natured, whole hearted person that I am, I couldn’t stand by and let no one love him. I tried to love him were his family had failed in not loving him in return.

Little did I realize that Dan would never be able to replicate the love I had for him, back to me. He had no mental understanding of how to love fully due to his residual schizophrenia. It was not until a week after the divorce papers were turned in on January 26, 2012 that I had asked the question again to his half sister.

“Now that I’m divorcing your brother, what the hell is wrong with him?” I fussed. I was tired of the games his family was playing trying to keep me as the angel to care for him.

“What do you care anymore? You’re leaving him,” she fussed in return.

“I have to know so I can be at peace with all of this. I need to know, now tell me, what is mentally wrong with Dan?”

She sighed heavy, “Dan was diagnosed with residual schizophrenia and anti-social personality disorder. He was a sick baby all the time. He was skinny. Had a hard time drinking milk cause he was always so dirty. He constantly had diarrhea, so it was hard to keep him clean. Mom would just leave him on the bed on a towel without a diaper just crying,” at this point I began to cry. I could picture it perfectly as to how he was treated and my heart just turned to dust. “You shouldn’t cry over this. It happened decades ago,” she added. How could his half sister say such a thing about her baby brother? “Besides, I am to blame in treating Dan so poorly, too. I called him weak and I didn’t stand up to him when Glenn,” their stepfather, “would call him names and hit him. I should have stood up against the abuse and loved him more. I’m grateful that Dan had someone so wonderful to love him. It’s a shame you’re leaving him like this.”

I was furious.

I wanted to reach into the phone and smack her face.

I wanted to go back in time and steal little baby Dan away from that awful place!

After that, I called his biological father. You might be asking yourself right now – ‘Why didn’t she ask these questions early on while they dated?’ Oh, I did ask these questions but I kept getting the run around from all of his family, even his biological father until the end.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I would ask his biological mother Jill.

“Let Dan tell you,” she always said.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I would ask his stepfather Glenn.

“Let Jill tell you,” he always said.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I would ask his half sister.

“Let Glenn tell you,” she always said.

Then it came for me to ask his biological father who was hard to get a hold of due to his very busy work schedule and better life with his wife of 20 something years.

“What’s wrong with Dan?” I asked, the first words out of my mouth over the phone. At this point I was at the end of my rope. If his biological father sang the same song as the others, I don’t know how I would react.

This is what I found out from his biological father after I backed up what he told me. Here are my findings. Again, just as in Part 1, all psychological information will be coming out of Writer’s Digest book Writer’s Guide To Character Traits second edition by Linda N. Edelstein, PH.D. Published in 2006. If you want to reference back to Part 1 http://www.psych2go.net/walk-shoes-part-1-brothers-mind-lost/ for the first collection of technical findings, by all means, please do.

Traits Of Children and Adolescents Who Have Later Become Schizophrenic

This disorder is rarely seen in children, and there are few definitive hallmarks in childhood that can predict a later schizophrenic problem. Though there are several characteristics that might indicate a predisposition toward schizophrenia, most children who display some of these traits will not go on to develop a mental illness.

(The above bold text I expressed in the above paragraph is because now, since 2012, there are a small handful of children born with schizophrenia that have been successfully diagnosed. These children are part of a life long study of the mental illness to find a cure. A little later in the article you will understand why I mention this now.)

Possible Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia in a Child:

    • Is unresponsive, withdrawn in infancy; has poor muscle tone

    • Is irritable in childhood; flat in affect; easily distracted

    • Has low re-activity in childhood and adolescence; poor motor functions such as coordination and balance

    • Is shy and introverted; rarely joyful (girls, all ages)

    • Is disruptive; displays inappropriate behavior (boys, all ages)

    • Is unresponsive in adolescence; has poor eye contact, little facial expressions, and lack of voice inflection

    • Is socially incompetent in adolescence

His half sister, during the good times of my marriage to her brother Dan, would tell me stories of how silly he was while growing up. She would jokingly recount, “He could barely hold that large iron skillet with two hands while he tried to chase me around the house cause we were arguing as to who’s turn it was to do dishes after dinner. I can’t believe he was trying to hit me with that iron skillet when he couldn’t even lift it off the ground!” she laughed.

Dan replied, “What? I don’t remember that.” I was surprised at his remark. How could he forget such an important part of his childhood even though his family didn’t know that their son had a mental illness so strong as residual schizophrenia.

During the first few months of getting to know Dan, I found I was falling in love with him. Then one day, in the first week of January 2003, Dan came down with mononucleosis. His parents brought him home to Camano Island to get healthy. I offered to clean his apartment the entire time he was ill. I cleaned his apartment for one reason: to express how much I loved him. It was not to give up my power as a woman. It was out of real love that I wanted to express in this way. It took a week of back breaking labor from ceiling to floor in every room of the Edwardian style house apartment. A single bedroom, with a large square living room with fireplace and hallway attached to the original kitchen.

Later, when Dan was relieved of his illness of mono, the kissing disease, I saw how much further his muscle mass had diminished. The doctor that did a check up on him was surprised that I had not caught the disease since it was so easily transmutable by sharing of silverware and kissing. I had relayed where he got the disease, but he did not believe me considering his mother and stepfather had told me that Dan was born with a compromised immune system.

“You caught mono from your roommate you had living with you for two years. The same person that introduced you to me – classmate Jenny from Marysville-Pilchuck HS.” She had, all throughout those years of school got around. I knew better than to hook up with her that night during the sleepover at Dan’s apartment that late November in 2002.

Onward with my investigation of Dan’s mental state, as I gradually got to know him through his family, I asked a few questions here and there. The case was building. It was then I could not keep this all to myself. Over time I would force him to go to doctors for different medical situations that came up. As I studied, I found that schizophrenics are born with compromised immune systems. The more Dan got sick from odd things, the more I dug into his medical history through the books I read.

This is what he had during my marriage to him in chronological order.

    • Mononucleosis

    • Staph infection

    • Concussion at work

    • Staph infection a second time

    • Concussion at work a second time

    • MRSA once

    • Concussion a third time, along with hairline fractures of his L12 vertebrae when he landed on the stairs backwards

    • Blocked right sinus due to 2in polup which was removed, sight of his own blood pouring out scaring him half to death

Doctor said to me and him, “If you get a third staph infection, the antibiotics will no longer work for you due to your immune system.”

Doctor said to me and him, “If you get another MRSA infection, the antibiotics will not work on you and could counter act against your already compromised immune system.”

Doctor said to me and him, “If you had landed on your T1 vertebrae, which is connected to the nerve system for your lungs, you would have died instantly due to your lungs collapsing.”

As I mentioned a few times already, that schizophrenia can cause low immunity with or without it being a genetic disposition. The reason behind a low to highly compromised immune system in schizophrenia I would say has a lot to do with the chemical imbalance of the brain. What can enhance the low immunity further to also make schizophrenia worse, could be a protein allergy from cows milk. Dan had an allergy to cows milk and breast milk in general, but it was heightened during his teen years with milk having hormones being injected into cows. The high levels of testosterone, a hormone injected into cattle to bulk up muscle size and increase milk production, can cause a low testosterone level in a child born with schizophrenia. This would then create a compromised immune system. With this in mind, what the doctor said to Dan was spot on – with his compromised immunity he was born with and the low testosterone level, it would counter act with any antibiotics he was given to fight off any infections in the future. His body could not produce the amigo-acids needed to build stronger red blood cells to maintain muscle mass which then drastically lowered his testosterone levels and lessen his white blood cell count.

(Now, I will go on record right now that I may have gotten some of my information wrong from trying to remember this from memory. If in fact I have gotten some of the info wrong in the above paragraph, please let me know.)

As to what Dan’s biological father had told me over the phone in mid January 2012 was quite shocking.

“As you may know, I’m divorcing your son,” I began.

“No, this is the first I’ve heard of it. No one told me, not even Jill,” the inflection of his voice was absolute shock. “What brought this on to happen?”

“Dan has not held up his part in the marriage. I’ve done all that I can, but he hasn’t come through. He ignores me at every turn since the second year of marriage. He had odd mood swings. He eats the same foods all the time. He clams up when I confront him on things that are not rational to get in trouble over. He would get into false fits to make me unhappy and then when I’m crying my eyes out and in crisis he would turn around to treat me like a child who needs healing. He got a reaction out of me and kept doing it over and over. Frankly, I’ve had enough. It’s like raising a child that won’t grow up,” I took a breath. My emotions were getting the better of me, “Tell me, Lee, is there something about Dan I should know?”

Lee took a long sigh, “So, Jill never told you, I see. Tara, Dan was a very sick baby when he was born. His mother had mental issues herself and it was hard for me to get her to stop doing drugs during the first trimester of her pregnancy with Dan. It wasn’t until after Dan was born that I divorced Jill and then shortly after she found Glenn who would care for her small family. I dropped all contact from her after that. When I tell you it was hard for me to reach her, I mean it. She was a difficult woman to deal with even when she wasn’t using acid. There was something wrong with her, too.”

At this point, I realized looking back at Jill’s own behavior that she exhibited symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly paranoid schizophrenia with a hint of residual, too. I hadn’t the heart to tell him of her true mental state as it was far too late to do anything for her and to leave him with a possible burden of guilt along with, would have been bad on my part. I felt he knew inside his heart how really mentally unstable she was.

He continued, “She also drank Diet Coca-Cola, nearly five cans a day, every day since she was married to me. I had looked into it that with the mix of drug use and the constant consumption of the Diet Coca-Cola which has the sweetener aspartame in it, both factors kept eating away at her brain. Whatever was left of her genetics, I’m sure she passed on schizophrenia to Dan.”

Then it dawned on me. Glenn had tried for decades to get Jill to stop drinking the soda, but she refused. Jill was in a trance to consume the same foods and drink all the time. Exactly the same behavior as Dan. She would black out and her short term memory loss got worse. Not to forget, that Glenn continued to bully and name call Jill, too. All the while, Glenn not knowing that he had married a mentally unstable woman who desperately needed medication to control her ever growing symptoms of schizophrenia and at last, she was on medication for her seizures. Her seizures were caused by the constant consumption of Diet Coca-Cola and the drug use in the past had eaten away at her brain. Her brain looks like Swiss cheese, the doctors said, which Glenn had told me later about.

With this realization that Dan, my husband of nearly ten years, was born with residual schizophrenia due to a woman who herself was schizophrenic and took drugs and drank a nasty artificial sweeter to make it all worse without her being conscious of what she was doing to a fetus so early in gestation. Never mind the fact that with the constant bombardment of verbal, physical and mental abuse from Dan’s stepfather, half sister, and possibly countless school piers bullying him making his mental state worse, he would have still had schizophrenia even if Jill never took drugs or ever drank the soda for decades.

To conclude part two, Dan was born with schizophrenia and with the abuse he was given he also developed anti-social personality disorder. When someone hides crucial information about someone just for the sake of protecting them from possible harm, is in fact harmful. To expect a person to suddenly swoop in to care for your ill adult sibling or adult child just cause it is covenant to do so, is also harmful. If you love your family member who is so ill in the mind, you would be in good graces with them and medical professionals if you would not hide the facts from everyone cause you are ashamed.

Shame and a hint of false pride is what kept his family from helping Dan get the proper care he needed. Along with the fact, that now in the year 2015, neuroscientists are finding new workings in the brain of how sensitive a chemical imbalance can be. How malleable the brain is from auditory, vocal and physical stimuli during early development is so very crucial these days.

Join me again for Part 3 – Schizophrenia: A Walk In My Shoes – The Ones Left Behind, where I will discuss about classmates, customers, neighbors and friends that I watched in horror as the disease, they might not even know they have, consume their lives into a viscous cycle.

Short Story: Three Coffee Pots

I wrote this little short story back in 2010 while I was still married. The situations in this story are all true. Enjoy the laughs. Let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Thank you.

“Three Coffee Pots”

By: Tara B. Dobbs

Coffee can be drunk in many ways. This smooth hot or chilled liquid can be drunk at any time of the day or night. It only takes seconds to prepare into the machine, and takes minutes to create through the machine. What kind of machine you buy from a store, given by a friend, or find at a thrift store can make a different in the taste of that first cup you pour out of the pot. It’s not just how the beans are roasted that makes the difference, it’s the machine that really makes or breaks that first cup in the morning. Here I shall give an in depth comparison between three totally different machines. The very lives these machines lived and some that are still living.

The first one, a very unlikely candidate for any bachelor living in an apartment, was a 32 cup restaurant coffee dispenser. My boyfriend, now husband, had been living in the same apartment in Everett, Washington since 1996 after being honorably discharged from the Army after the Gulf War. He would tell me stories of the ‘Army coffee’ he consumed then. How black and very, very strong it was.

Joking that, “There’s Army coffee and maintenance coffee. Army coffee are these little single serving packets in a soldier’s MREs. Pour twenty of these into one cup, you’ll be awake all day, but you’ll crap your pants. Then there’s maintenance coffee or gentleman’s coffee. You can degrease parts with it and strip rust right off of steal.” I shuddered to think of such horrors if they were ever true.

When I moved into the apartment in the Spring of 2003, I met the coffee machine. There it was, sitting proudly on the mantel corner of the fireplace. It’s shining, tall cylindrical body but slightly dulled silvery appearance, with a black top and black four legged base gave a looming presence. He had told me stories of how he came across this machine and I could only imagine the stories it could tell if it could talk.

“I bought it at a restaurant supply store that two friends introduced me to when I first moved here,” he said proudly as he unplugged it at the base taking it off the mantel and carrying it to the kitchen. Opening a can of Foldgers coffee, he proceeded to make a whole pot full – a 32 cup maker full. “I bought the machine, a three pound chocolate bar, and a five pound can of coffee. I had no furniture, but I at least had a coffee maker.”

“You drink out of this?” I asked, turning my nose up at it.

“Yeah. I make it on Monday morning before work and drink out of it all week. It saves me time and money this way,” he replied as I nearly lost my cookies.

“I’m so glad I don’t like coffee,” I added as I walked out of the kitchen.

As time passed, I watched in horror as he would do the same thing every week. Make a machine full for a whole week. Making the coffee from this machine for more than three people at a party or basic gathering is a logical idea, but for one man alone? No way.

One day, in late 2003, he headed off to his parent’s for the weekend to help around their house. It was late and I was bored. Casually I walked up to the mantel and glared at the tall; silvery beast. Unplugged it from it’s base and carried it to the kitchen saying, “You’re mine! Finally I get to see how dirty you really are.” I had only seen him once clean the machine out and this was my chance to clean it myself.

The water ran in the sink taking longer than usual to heat up. I opened the top, poured out the contents and looked inside. To my astonishment I didn’t see a ‘clean’ basin, as he had claimed was clean. Looking with the kitchen light there were crusted burnt coffee grounds and coffee liquid at the base and around the sides. Filling the basin with hot water and loads of Dawn dish soap, I let it soak for a few hours. I could remember the elbow grease it took me to wash it. It was a serious workout to say the least. After an hour of scrubbing, the inside and outside of the basin shone brightly like new chrome on a classic car.

Once he came home I made the 32 cup amount for him.

“What did you do to my coffee maker?” he asked, seeing how clean and shinny it now was. “You cleaned the taste right out of it!” Of course he was joking. If he wasn’t, that may explain his upset stomach he sometimes got from drinking from such a dirty machine.

All was well for many years. He still used it as usual making the full 32 pot. Until one day, in mid 2005, I started to protest to him that he should get a new coffee maker. I loathed that monstrosity. Drinking so much coffee was unhealthy in many ways. I soon told his stepfather of the situation and urged me to get rid of it.

“It’s healthier to drink just the first cup. After that, the coffee becomes acidic and can rot the lining of your stomach over time. How can he drink so much and let it stand in the pot heated for so long?” the old man was sickened by the thought. I agreed with him completely.

For a whole week I protested to him. “You can’t drink out of that thing forever. You keep drinking coffee from it all the time even after work and from that you stay up for hours on end. I wake up in the middle of the night sensing that you’re not in bed and I find you drinking more at the your computer desk.”

One faithful day, he tried to make another pot full. After pouring the water and putting the grounds in the filter, he turned the switch. Nothing happened.

“You broke it!” he yelled. I came running from the bedroom seeing him taking it apart. “You broke it with your hate. You broke it with your hatred for this machine!”

Looking inside the mechanics of it, I saw that one of the wires had frayed and broke away. “The maker died on it’s own. I knew it was going to die soon.” I got up and danced. I was elated that it had died finally. “This means you have to buy a new coffee maker! You have no choice now!”

A few days later, we went to Starbucks down on Colby Ave. There we purchased the Starbucks Barista Aroma coffee machine. It was a little pricy, but I figured it would be worth it. The amount of coffee made was considerably less than the restaurant 32 cup machine. He could easily make two cups or just twelve cups at a time. By this time also, I grew a taste for coffee starting with Starbucks Frappachinos.

You might be asking, ‘Why not buy a more basic brand like Mr. Coffee or Black and Decker?’ My experience with those in my parents’ home is just the same as any other ‘basic’ coffee maker. Brewing the coffee and then letting it stand in the pot on a burner creates an acid that can be toxic to the stomach. The Starbucks coffee pot itself was made like a thermos, so there is no worry of burning. However, drinking from a full 12 cup pot over time isn’t good either. It’s only good at the fist cup that is poured.

Just like the 32 cup maker, my now husband, we married that very year, would still make a full pot of coffee just for himself on the weekends. It took me many, many months to get him to stop drinking a full 12 cups in one day. Again, just like the old restaurant maker, he would stay up late hours having drank the whole thing and not gone to bed. He did after much whining off, drink one cup or two cups a day. Not much else went wrong with this coffee maker until late 2009.

I had called Tulalip Casino Resort to see if they had any rooms available during the Valentine Day weekend. Sure enough, they had one room left. A room with two queen sized beds on the top floor where children were not allowed. Not only was this a spur of the moment outting, I wanted him to have a nice birthday on me. We got to the room and found a Keurig coffee maker on top of the open bar. I thought it was the cutest one cup coffee machine ever.

The first day there, I made him a cup. I did as instructed by the manual. Soon after the cup was ready. The coffee came out perfect every time. The samples on the bar even had tea and hot chocolate. I had myself a cup of Earl Gray tea the next morning. I was so impressed with the machine I knew I had to have one.

Once we came home from our little weekend, just like clock work he made a full pot of coffee with the Starbucks brand machine. As he did so, the machine started to act up. I cleaned it afterward with vinegar and hot water a few cycles through. All was great, until I saw him drinking the whole pot again to himself. I finally realized what I had to do.

With the money I had left over from grocery shopping one day in the Spring of 2010 at Fred Meyers grocery store, I picked up one of the Keurig basic models and a few of the assorted K-Cup packages. I couldn’t wait to take it home and make my first cup. If not for myself to make the first cup, at least for my husband when he came home from work. Of course I couldn’t help myself and made a cup anyway. I like having creamer in my coffee. Never black, I could never stand it black. The machine was so easy to operate, of course all coffee makers are easy to operate, but this machine at least to me was special.

After a few days of using it, at least one cup for my husband and one for myself each day, the machine stopped working. I cleaned it out like it suggested, hot water and vinegar. Still nothing. I then proceed to call the company to see what could be done. They instructed me to mail in the K-Cup part of the machine with a special number taped on it. I did so and then a few weeks later a new Keurig machine came in the mail. I turned on the new machine like normal and it worked just fine. Along with this new machine they sent an assorted collection of K-Cup coffee flavors and brands. It was fun trying out each one as no two coffees or teas are created equal.

Now, it had seemed my husband had been successfully whined off of a large amount of coffee. Starting from 32 cups, then to 12 cups, 6 cups and then 4 to 2 cups. Now he drinks one cup in the morning before work, and one cup before bed. However, if I’m deep in sleep, he’ll make a second cup and I’ll know this because the leftover grounds have been dumped into the sink. Call it, woman’s intuition. You’re probably asking, ‘what ever happened to the Starbucks machine?’ we still have it and use it for company when needing to make more than one cup.

I do, on occasion think about the large 32 cup coffee machine that graced it’s presence into my life. I can only imagine the stories it could tell of the long nights that my husband stayed awake typing at the computer. The faces of friends and family walking past it and stopping only for a moment to refill their cups with the brown ‘bean juice’ contents inside. Did the 32 cup maker have a soul? I’d like to think so. Even though I hated that my husband drank so much of the boiled brew for days on end, I did not hate the machine itself. The 32 cup restaurant coffee maker lived a long life a top the mantel of the fireplace. I will admit that I too took at least one, maybe two cups, from it in the morning just before it died, but only when I cleaned the machine myself. I believe this coffee maker had no fuss about me pouring creamer into the cup afterward. All it cared about was making my husband happy all throughout it’s life in that simple apartment.

A few months just before the coffee maker died, I drew a picture of it, depicting it shining in all it’s glory. Inked it in black with hatch markings and stippling dots. Immortalizing it forever on card stock paper for an art project exam. The simple inked art piece still lays in my portfolio folder to this day. Sometimes, just sometimes I wish the coffee maker never died. I knew the coffee maker died only doing what it loved most – brew a full pot of coffee for anyone who needed a cup at any time of day or night.