Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Confess, I'm Addicted...

...   to coffee mugs.
They MEAN things to me. Important things. It's not JUST about drinking coffee, you know.

When I am drinking my morning coffee out of these mugs, it means it is officially summer vacation for me. Or, rather, I don't DRINK out of these mugs until it IS summer vacation for me. It's not allowed. I have to drink out of this mug
the one with the sunflowers at the top. Yep, I'm about to reveal one of my many ... strange and lovable quirks (um, some might refer to it as something less desirable, less, uh, cute... like some form of insanity, or some form of mental defect, that it could matter so much what coffee cup to use, but don't listen to them)
OK, so the mugs at the top, I got at the Dollar Store once upon a time, who knows how long ago, and they quickly became the epitomy of summer for me, with their bright colors and flowers. Not only do they make me happy in the morning, but I also get to decide, do I feel like it's a blue day, or a yellow day or a pink day or an orange day today? Did you know days, and feelings, have colors you can see, and feel? Yep.They do.
 I put those mugs away during the winter, because they are clearly NOT winter mugs. It wouldn't feel right to drink coffee out of those when it is cold and snowy outside. Those are only for front or side porch summer coffee drinking.
Now, the one below it, with the sunflowers? That was a Dollar Store purchase too. I love sunflowers. But for some reason, it is ok for me to drink my coffee out of that one in June, when the weather is warm, and nice, and SUMMER (please, I'm a teacher. Do NOT confuse summer, the season, with SUMMER, my vacation!) is right around the corner. If it feels like summer, and looks like summer, but I still have to go to work, then it's that mug, not the top ones.
The one next to it says something like "If your dog thinks you are the greatest person in the world, don't seek a second opinion."  One of my best friends gave that to me, with the directions in it for how to make an individual microwave mini chocolate cake in the mug. The mug is special because it came from her, has dogs on it, and I can make chocolate cake in it. What a combination. Oh, and yeah, I can drink coffee from it too, and think of her, chocolate, and dogs, all at the same time!
Minnesota on the left; Maine on the right. I actually don't like drinking coffee out of the Irish Pub one, too heavy and bulky, but I bought it because I had THE. BEST. TIME. EVER. (ok, well, one of them) in this pub in Minneapolis while on a summer conference trip with a bunch of friends from school. GREAT music there. We weren't able to get out of the city on that trip, so although I can say I've been to Minnesota, unfortunately, I haven't seen the lakes and all that I would have liked to. All I can say is, if I ever had to go back, I would definitely go to Kieran's Irish Pub. A great memory. And the loon on the Maine mug brings back tons of Maine memories. Lakes with loons, a cabin with my parents on a lake so clear you could see the rocks and fish at the bottom even in the middle of the lake. Kayaking with my kids on a Maine lake. Blueberry season, dogsledding in winter, coast, mountains, etc.etc. I love Maine. I love thinking of Maine. I usually use that mug a lot in August, which is when I always went to Maine (except for dogsledding. That was in March. But there are other mugs for that, more suited for THOSE memories,specifically)
Rooster mug - a recent Dollar General acquisition to further enhance my morning coffee,  mornings spent with my chickens. New love, chickens. New mug. Cardinal? Nice pottery mug from a little independent pottery store near me. Cardinal is because my mom LOVED cardinals, and so every time we see one, now that she has passed away, we think of her. I got one for my dad, too, but he seldom drank out of it. I know he misses my mom more than anybody, but he seems to be lacking the gene for coffee mug connections. Anyway, I seldom drink from that one, but sometimes, in the winter, when I have a day when I am really missing my mom, it is the perfect mug. And I almost always end up seeing a brilliant flash of red in my back yard, stark contrast to the white, on that day. We have a pair of cardinals who nest nearby. I hear them often, see them less. But, almost without fail, if I use that mug, I see one.

Moose's Brew. Cool mug, large, cool shape. Saw in every store in Anchorage. Told myself I DID NOT NEED ANOTHER COFFE MUG. Bought in anyway in Homer.  Makes me laugh at myself. Mug next to it is a Dahla Horse Mug, an icon of my Swedish upbringing. I only use it at Christmas time, which is when I drag out my Swedish Dahla horse, and my straw goats, and my Tomten books. I love that part of my heritage, and love to be reminded of it at that time of year.   "Life is Good" mug. Very heavy, very small inside. Good for hot cocoa, not coffee. Doesn't hold enough.  But I LOVE the "Life is Good" marketing - what a great thought to start EVERY day with. Life IS good. And, it has a dog on it, so I love it. The dark blue one is one of my VERY favorites. I bought it at Jon Van Zyle's very own personal house in Eagle River, Alaska, after spending an afternoon there with Jona (his wife) and him. We toured his kennels, saw his paintings, watched his wife make jewelry, and I drank the BEST cup of coffee out of some expensive coffeemake rimported from Europe at his house I have ever had, bar none. And that mug NEVER fails to retrieve those memories for me. Sometimes I have to put it away. It brings back TOO much of a trip that I wish were more a part of my life, and to look around me sometimes and realize that it was just a slice of another life that is not mine is, once in awhile, too much for me. In general, I love memories of places I have been. But I often grow restless, and wish that I could do more than visit. I wish I could LIVE different lives, or pieces of them, in different places, rather than having settled ten miles from where I lived my whole young life. No worries, but just thoughts for another day!

Mug my oldest son brought home for me from his trip to Ireland. Hand made pottery. Tells me it was very expensive, which is perfect for him. He is my child to whom money saved means nothing. If you have money in your pocket today, and want to buy something today, then buy it, and let tomorrow take care of itself. NOT my financial plan, and it makes me weep with frustration for him, but on the other hand, it is nice to know that if he spares no expense on himself, he also is generous to a fault for others as well. He saw this mug, KNEW I would like it and want it, and, brought it home for me, the perfect souvenier from a country I long to visit someday. I love how the inside of the mug has swirls in it, and I love how the handle has a flat,straight piece sticking out across the top, not just a "normal" rounded mug handle.
My favorite, favorite mug. Hand made. Bought in a tiny store in Homer on the spit. Rough surface where the raven is. Blue, one of my two favorite colors of all time, and the color that I most feel when I am in need of coffee (not, as in, I feel BLUE, like sad, just I feel BLUE, like the color - I'll explain that some other time. I think it even has a name, when you can assign colors to feelings and things, but i can't remember it now) And it has ravens on it. Need I say more? ok, sure, then, I will. Ravens are cool birds. They cluck, they squawk, they steal dogfood from bowls, they sit on top of lampposts, and roofs, and make noise and are just really, really nifty birds.  I love them. I wish we had more of them here. Generally, we have crows, which I also like, and very very occasionally, I will hear a raven. In our patch of woods we own, 20 miles from where I live, I am sometimes lucky enough to hear a pair of ravens. But I digress. This is my favorite mug. A favorite mug is an important thing to have, I think.If you are one of those people who just grab any old mug that is clean, and within reach, without giving any thought to what your coffee will taste like in it, or what you feel like that morning, please don't tell me. I don't think I could handle knowing most people don't give their coffee mugs a passing thought in the morning.
OK, so I don't have a lot of addictions; I can live with this one.
The only other one that might rival it? Tshirts. Yeah, I'm just as bad about collecting meaningful T-shirts. The good thing is, with both my addictions, I can at least USE them.
My aunt collected decorative spoons.
What do you do with those?


Coloradocasters said...

Most impressive coffee cup collection. I find it fascinating how you use certain cups for certain occasions or even moods. My coffee addiction is much less restrictive. When it comes to selecting a cup in the morning…it simply needs to hold coffee and be clean.

The Moose Brew cup is ideal! I may have to do an Internet search and get one of those shipped ASAP. A larger cup could cut my morning trips to the coffee pot in half. Nothing says good morning to me quite like a cup of coffee. I raise my coffee cup and toast to you and your coffee cup collection.

Leigh said...

Im loving your coffee mugs!!! I have one favorite mug that I drink out of every morning. Ok, its not actually one but two they are exactly the same because one may not be out of the dishwasher by the next brew. Mine is a solid pink coffe mug with the breast cancer awareness ribbon on the side. If by some chance I dont have my coffee in one of those mugs I feel all out of sorts... kind of like that feeling when you take off your wedding band and then forget to slip it back on.. makes ya feel like your walking around in public naked! Got to have my pink coffee mug! :)

Peruby said...

Mmmm! I have my favorite coffee mugs, too. If the blue one is clean - it is my first choice. Then a tall autumn-leaf one, then another blue one with a watering can picture... then... yep.