Gallery: Art Connections Gallery 123 N. Main Street on the Square in La Grange, Texas.
979-206-2222 http://www.artconnectionsgallery.com/

See additional work on my website

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jobs and Coffee a la Leslie

Leslie D'Allesandro Hawes, the fairy/faery lady, has been telling her hippie stories and lately it has been about obtaining a job. Leslie is the best colored pencil artist I know! She is a great writer as well. Go check it out, but be sure to come back and read about my life and coffee. Her post about looking for a job touched me and the first comment on that post leads to a wonderful blog about coffee, with sketches made with coffee. ........

Latte in Blue, 2
Pastel 5 x 7 inches

I painted this latte back in 2007 and wrote a little about how I started to drink lattes.

I started drinking coffee probably when I was about 10 years old or so back in the fifties. At that time, no one worried about children and caffeine. I never liked breakfast food. My Mom worked so she would leave and it was up to my sister, Barbara, to make sure I was ready for school. She would fry bacon and an egg and toast or make oatmeal. I don't do plain eggs (did you know that?), I don't particularly like cereal and I don't care for anything sweet for breakfast, so didn't think about pancakes or sweet rolls, etc. So, much to my sister's chagrin I would get me a cup of coffee with cream (real cream skimmed off the top of the milk) and sugar. I would have a piece of toast or two loaded with butter (real butter) and be very satisfied. Barbara also braided my hair and she would pull it so tight so it would stay for a couple of days that my eyes hurt. Ouch.

That went on until my Dad realized I was using the cream that was for butter and whipped cream, and instructed me that sheepherders (sorry, but he was a cattleman) were the only people that used cream in their coffee! If I wanted to be a cowboy, I was going to have to drink my coffee black like they did on cattle drives. Well, I was going to be a cowboy, so I never used cream in my coffee until we went to Bolivia in 1974.

I drank coffee all day when I was around the house or working. Before microwaves, I would just drink it cold if I forgot about it for a while. In Bolivia they made a thick dark coffee by pressing water through the grounds. The grounds had sugar already added. They would pour about 1/4 of a cup of the "syrup" into a cup and fill with hot water. Most then added 3 or so teaspoons of sugar on top of that. Not a favorite for me, especially for breakfast. I liked it after dinner, but a little stronger than the usual mixture. For breakfast they added hot milk instead of water. I began to like that, but it was not coffee to me, just a good drink, somewhat like cocoa. I didn't know that that was somewhat like latte, right? I do like strong coffee and have an espresso once in a while.

I imagine it was Sue Modrak, my Michigan painting buddy, that introduced me to drinking lattes. You can read about that in the link to the post about the painting above.

About five years ago, I found that I am gluten sensitive. I was anemic and it was suggested that I cut down on my caffeine. I have been drinking decaf coffee and Cokes since then. I had withdrawals from the caffeine of course, headaches and the works. I still have decaf for breakfast and usually the other half of my little pot after dinner. It is not the same...... The taste isn't bad, but I miss the caffeine.

Oh, but I did get to be a cowboy for a while. The best job I ever had. I worked for a month gathering cattle for the Wilsons. But that is another story...............


fishing guy said...

Jo: What a neat painting of your old lover. I never drink coffee but will have a Diet Pepsi to kick start the engine in the morning.

Jo Castillo said...

Fishing guy, I read my comments in my e-mail before I open my blog. I read yours and saw the "lover" and thought "What ....?" Took me a second to remember what the post was about. LOL I do miss my caffeine.

leslie said...

Hi, Jo!
Great post about coffee. I didn't realize how large a part it has played in my life until I started writing stories. It is ubiquitous!

When you talked about what your father said about "only sheepherders using cream", I giggled.
I was told that eating onions or bread crusts or other things I hesitated to eat, would "put hair on your chest", a euphamism for being strong and proud. It seemed my grandfather thought "hair on your chest" was a good thing, so, boy, I wanted some of that! :)

If I were told that I could only have bread and coffee for the rest of my life, I could live with that!

Jo Castillo said...

Leslie, Ain't that the truth about coffee and Dads. I could live on coffee and bread, too. A little sad as it has to be gluten free and caffeine free now. Boo hoo.

Regina Calton Burchett said...

Great story Jo, that I just came across when I clicked on your cool coffee cup painting. It reminded me of your cool coke and chips painting... hmmm, may be a theme here. :-)

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Regina, oh yes. I do like coffee. This summer we had coffee quite a bit as some of the small town cafes didn't do dacaf. I had a couple of caffeine withdrawal headaches again. It was worth it! Ha. Maybe I will get back to the snack paintings again. :)

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About Me

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Bastrop, Texas, United States
I Grew up in a small town , Magdalena, New Mexico. I enjoy art and the pleasure other people get from my work. I always donate some of my sales and art to charities, especially for children. That started in Bolivia with Para los NiƱos. (Link on sidebar) "I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." -- Winston Churchill


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