Do I have bad timing, or what?

Only me.  Ugh.   Let me tell you. . . 


I’ve been playing the idea of going vegan or plant based for a little over a year now. Probably longer, I kinda stopped counting. I have cookbooks, I’ve tried recipes…     Well, this month I finally decided to try it.  I’m going 100% vegan (though, I should and will say plant based, because I’m not going to be living a vegan lifestlyle, it’s just my diet at this point. And since it’s for health and not moral reasons, I probably won’t be eating the vegan ‘junk’ food as much. So really more plant based, but I’m getting off track… )  And if after a month, if I feel like I’m missing out, or if I feel like I’m not getting the energy/nutrients I need , then I’ll reevaluate.  (And for the love of God, if one person comments on protein….   I knew even before making the transition protein isn’t an issue. So I’ll save you the trouble.  Look up the RDA of protein for women.  Got it? (Hint: 10-30% of your daily calories should come from protein!) 

Now. Let’s look up some things.  Beans. Tofu. Peanut butter.  Whole wheat pasta. Oats (and by proxy, oat flour). Nutritional yeast (which is in a TON of vegan food. Dark greens. Mushrooms.. Potatoes….  

Etc, etc, ad nauseum, and so on and so forth until the cows come home.   Lots of protein sources that are eaten at many, if not all meals. So, we’re good.  🙂  Now, if we’re talking B12 and D3, then you have a valid argument, but I say to you : fortified nutritional yeast, and sunlight. 🙂  


Moving on to the stupid part of my planning. 

Today, is the first day of Lent. 

I’ve never participated in Lent. Always assumed it a Catholic thing. (Which, is ridiculous now that I think about it. I’ve seen non Catholic friends with that ash mark before… Not sure why that didn’t click. But! It didn’t. 

Tosca Lee, an author I read (and am blessed enough to chat with on occasion – such a sweet woman.) put out a Lent Study Guide, based around Iscariot and bible verses .  I LOVE that book.  And I haven’t done a study in a while, so I figured — why not? I talked to a few friends about it; and their thoughts on it… and I decided to give it a shot. I don’t have any strong feelings or convictions against it… and if I do it once, it’s not a contract that says I need to do it yearly. So I’ll do it, and see how it goes and how I come out of it. 

Brilliant woman that I am, I decide that I’ll just use Lent to kick the animal product habit.  To which my husband, (who isn’t observing Lent, but is a mad perfectionist!) quickly reacts negatively.   I can’t do that – I’ll be cheating. I was thinking of giving them up anyway… so it doesn’t count. 

Really hate to admit it, but if you look at it from the religious viewpoint, that would sort of be a cop out. After all, it’s more about drawing closer to God and worship than about giving something up.  So, back to the drawing board. 

I had a few half baked ideas, but nothing that seemed to work.  Matt made some suggestions, but they weren’t quite right either. 

What in the world do I have or do, that I don’t need, but that I love, and going 40 days without would be challenging? 

And it hit me. 

And I hated it. 

I walked around for a day or two just shaking my head. No . Nope. Not happening. The stars aren’t aligned, Mercury either is or isn’t in retrograde – whatever would keep me from committing to this stupid, stupid idea. 



Which, of course, tells me that I’m sadly, on the right track. THAT adverse reaction to the idea of going without for 40 days?  (47 if you count Sundays… )  Yup.  That’s the winner. 


So, with a very sad heart, I’m waving goodbye to my sanity today. I am making it official. Not so I can brag, but so you all can call me on my crap, if I ‘forget’.   I’m ditching the coffee for 40 days. 

That hurt. That physically hurt to type, and I’m still wincing.  This, this will certainly be a trip. Not only have I tossed dairy and meat… but we’re adding coffee to the mix. And… AND… Im closing at the stinking coffee shop for the rest of the week.   I see soy hot chocolates in my future…… 

I should note. I cannot remember the last time I’ve gone more than a few days without coffee.   This will either be miraculous, or disastrous. 

But if I go down, I’m taking you all with me.   You’ve had a fair warning….



FINALLY GOT IT… Now… to learn how to use it.

I know, I know.  This is a pretty delayed reaction to probably the one purchase I was more excited to make than anything I’ve ever bought, (or had bought for me) in my entire life. 

But… there honestly, hasn’t been much to say. 

Funnily enough, the espresso machine and grinder arrived on Valentines Day — along with more car issues. But… that’s quite a depressing subject – one I don’t care to go into. 🙂 

Matt and I invited our friend Ashlee over for dinner, and we figured we’d test out the machine.  Sure, we’d have some flops… we had to dial in the grinder anyway.. but by the evenings end, SURELY we’d have a good drink, right? 

HA. That, is all I have to say. HA. 

We got all the pieces out of the box — slicing Matt’s finger open in the process, might I add…. and then spent a good thirty minutes piecing them together, and removing packaging. 

The machine came with the following:  A specs sheet, which I suppose is similar to those little slips in purses that tell you it was inspected by # 27… but this went way into detail.  It had a quick start guide, that showed all the fun parts. And a very short, simple walk through of making espresso.  It also had a little book on the espresso machine. And ANOTHER little book, all on the heat exchange system. 

Some not-so-light, reading. 


So, we’re pretty close to turning it on for the first time, and then the book tells me — if we can’t find a black plug… stop immediately, and look inside the machine.  This black plug, is important, and can sometimes fall out during shipping. 

Black…. plug? 

None of us had seen a black plug. 

The book never quite says what the black plug is for, either. 

So we search. 

And we Google search. 

Images show a YELLOW plug… is it the same? We don’t know! 

I try calling Vibiemme — (in Italy.) they aren’t open, (really? I wonder what time it would have been in Italy… maybe they have weird hours.. ) and they have Marc Anthony (in english. this company is Italian.) as their background music to the recording that tells me their hours.

Finally, we deduce that this yellow plug, is in fact our black plug, and it has SOMETHING to do with steam. 

We finally break for dinner. Amazing quiche-  and organic tomato soup. Mmm mmm. 


Then, we go back to the espresso machine! We want coffee! 

I turn the dial a couple times on the grinder – because I know that it’ll initially be too fine, so why not? 

Long story short, THAT turns into a night of constantly pulling shots that look nothing like espresso. NOTHING. BLACK . OIL. Ugh. 

We finally give up. I’m so mad I can’t see straight… I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong… BUT… the house smells like coffee, so at least there’s a plus, right? 

The next day, I talk to the folks over at , who basically tell me I have to start from scratch, and just let the fine espresso choke the machine, and work my way up to the grind that works.

Really… it’s a duh thing. I felt so stupid, but I digress. 

That night, it took me maybe ten – fifteen minutes, and I had my first semi drinkable shot.  I did some more tweaks – and had a gorgeous shot. Made an Americano with it – yummy. 🙂 

Still tweaking it a bit, learning the quirks and such. Using hot water from the water wand is still a bit odd, it still has the new machine taste to it.. I keep running the water through it after I’m done with the machine, hoping it’ll hurry and lose it, so I can make coffee for people! 


I couldn’t be happier with it. It steams milk SO fast…  I get these gorgeous looking shots… I do however have to go in and lower the brewing pressure just a touch. Which, I imagine will make me have to tweak the grind. 

I also still need to order a knock box and a scale.  But, baby steps. 🙂 


Of course, this does NOTHING for my espresso addiction.  But really, I haven’t’ been using coffee syrups much.  Either nothing, or honey, has been my flavor of choice lately.    I still doubt I’ll ever drink straight espresso shots, but most people who own machines like this seem to gravitate that way. 

So, we’ll see! 


Next step – learning latte art!