Coffee and Murder

What do a Children’s Author, a Romance Author, and a Podcaster have in common?

When they sit and drink coffee together, they write a great tale of bloody revenge.

Welcome to the first edition of Coffee and Murder with Sherry Shearhart, Melissa Roberts and me: Coffeefitnessunicorn.

It started out as a conversation over coffee: Tales from the Coffee Table then somehow took a dark, twisted turn with violence and gore. And don’t forget the coffee–that was still involved. Never forget about the coffee.

Tales From the Coffee Table is a brilliant idea/concept that Sherry and Melissa do every Thursday and they invited me to join them; I was a little nervous as I haven’t done shared writing prompts in years, and it was my first time writing with these lovely ladies. I was afraid I would be too dark and my prose would be flat compared to their flowery words. I was extremely happy and surprised that they too have a dark, twisted side and we wrote a coffee and murder story together.

Russian Bride Story:

As night became day, she started to understand the truth….

The truth that she didn’t want to accept, but the truth that she suspected all along. It was dark!

Like a black cup of coffee; but not sweet; unless you consider the sweet smell of death tasty. 

The blood trickled down her fingers, and the the taste for revenge was still fluttering in her heart. 

The sweet taste soon turned metallic as her first full revenge was quenched. She waited until the time was perfect.  Revenge had to come at a cost. There was no guilt as she felt like  her conscience was clear she deserved it.

She waited years to sink her fangs into that piece of shit. 

As she bent down , she pulled a knife out and cut out his lying tongue. She walked across the billiard room and stuck it to the dart board.

This will come as no surprise. I was told that I was the weakest link. Coming from  a family riddled with crime. This serves as restitution for the sins of my father. 

I could smell the blood as it dripped from the dart board.  Staining the paint for a life time. Serving as a reminder that my sin is guiltless. I have no guilt or shame for taking the life from someone that took so much from me.  Now, sitting by my fathers grave.

As I walk away with blood dripping from my fingers. I take pride in taking the life of this man and I will never have a date again.  Which is fine with me, now that I’ve found my strength I am confident to sit guiltless with my sins and enjoy a cup of coffee by myself.

The man with no tongue assumed he could order a mail order bride.  I felt sick and cheapened. My brother assumed I had not worth and discarded me from the family. I was abducted from my room and sedated. I awoke in the back of a shipping container and found myself in nothing but my birthday suit.

I knew in that moment that I desired to seek revenge, revenge for the abuse for all that I endured for all of those years, the abuse for the secrets that I had to keep. Revenge was imminent and I knew that I had to do it myself.

Melissa having fun with Coffee and Murder

Rising like a Phoenix, I bit my tongue as a reminder to  do what I had to do, the metallic filled my mouth. The taste of sweet revenge. Every time the anxiety came back for everything that he did to me I would bite my tongue. It was a satisfying and erotic response to coping. 

I sit beside you, my father, pulling out my tumbler of steaming goodness, I inhale and release a satisfying breath. I dip the tip of the tongue and squeeze some blood onto my fingers. I toss the tongue, stepping onto it with my stiletto heel and swirl the coffee with my fingers and lick them clean.

“Oh dearest daddy, you were so wrong about me. You decided I should be discredited. I was a daughter, not a son! In your mind I was frail, I was not allowed a voice. I was only a girl. But I watched and learnt from he back seat of your car. From the other side of the door. Peering through a window of the world you tried to hide from me. You gave your legacy to my brother. He’s so stupid and believed that sending me away at 16 would be a favour and keep me out of the way. I actually blame you and him. 

And since I can’t repay your kindness to you your corpse… Nicholas, oh your precious Nicholas. My brother, he is next. I bring  to you a trophy of what I did to the man who bought me. His tongue  lay at the base of your tombstone, like yesterdays trash. I have his money. A lot of it. It’s enough to pay for all I need. I came here to let you know I am more than alright!  Its a shame you didn’t see my worth. You could have had a queen run your empire. Rot in hell, you miserable bastard.”


Thank you for a great time Sherry and Melissa.

I’ll write with you anytime!!

Tales From the Coffee Table taught me to never, ever underestimate the power of creativity.

To watch the full hour of creative chaos, see video below:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for having me be part of the conversation and sharing in all the laughter; you are a great writing team.

Here’s to all the creatives. Here’s to trying new things. Here’s to facing writing fears. Here’s to creating and shining in a chaotic world.

Go Forth and Be Magical.

Unikornos!!

Hello! Hello! Hello!

I’m sorry I have been away from the blog for a bit.

The podcast has been taking more time and creativity from me.

The good news is I am learning a lot about the process and how not to have meltdowns when my computer crashes, like today for example. I cried a little, not going to lie, then shook it off and found a solution the issue that was plaguing me.

A few tears and a fresh cup of coffee and all was well again in the Vitural Coffee Spot(C) world that is Coffee Fitness Unicorn: Coffee Chats podcast.

Today was the big day I announced my partnership with SkyTop Coffee Company and I wanted it to be perfect. The universe decided to smack me around a bit and I took a few hits, then I started to block and fight back.

Life gave me lemons today and got smacked in the face, then batted them away and demanded coffee.

I won and took back the day!! A few bruises but still standing.

Go check out the podcast with Serena Lerner from SkyTop: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/coffee-fitness-unicorn-coffee-chats/id1598651420?i=1000555743794

SkyTop even made the news today: https://cnycentral.com/news/local/manlius-coffee-shop-gains-national-recognition-for-its-specialty-coffee-skytop-coffee-colombian-food-award

Thank you for listening; go forth and be magical my Unikornos!!

Unikornos!!

Best Podcast Episode of 2022 ;-)

Shelly Cole: Madeline Lynn from Gilmore Girls, now author of Blue Highways. Coffee Fitness Unicorn: Coffee Chats

Meet Shelly Cole, author and actor. In her first book: Blue Highways, she shares her hopeful stories and speaks openly about mental illness. You might know her as Madeline from Gilmore Girls. Learn more about this resilient human who works with children, faces her fears, and gets her lahbstah on. https://www.instagram.com/shellycole88/?hl=en https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Highways-Shelly-Cole/dp/B0BB5MX4TN https://www.seedlingevents.com/ — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/coffeefitnessunicorn/support
  1. Shelly Cole: Madeline Lynn from Gilmore Girls, now author of Blue Highways.
  2. Stephanie M. Matthews: Lover of Cookies, Hockey and Rome
  3. Jonathan Edward Durham: Author of Winterset Hollow
  4. Liz Moore Kraus: Memoirist-ish
  5. Kalvin Ellis: Father, Filmmaker, Storyteller

This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor, Google Podcasts, and Overcast.

Here’s a little teaser of the video chat I had with Clare. Check out the podcast to learn more about this badass!!

https://claremorrow.com

https://www.instagram.com/claremorrow_ifbbpro/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ffBp1QdoIoy9ebkyGCJ1Q

Coffee and Mug Color

Black mug or white mug?

According to an article published in 2014 the color of your coffee mug had an influence over the taste of the coffee.

The article states that because we “eat with our eyes first” the coffee in white mugs tastes better because the richness of the coffee is enhanced by the contrasting color. People who drank the exact same coffee in the black mugs claimed the coffee tasted bitter.

I chose to do a little experiment for myself this morning.

I had the exact same coffee in three different mugs, to up the ante so to speak. The coffee had the exact same yummy taste in all three mugs. It could be that I didn’t do a blind taste test, however, I mostly wanted to see if since I “eat with my eyes first” if there was any significance to the coffee looking bitter in the black mug or the two-tone mug. Nope. The coffee looked delicious in all three mugs. Also, I take my coffee with cream and sugar so it looks appealing in the black mugs as well in the white and two-tone mugs. That could enhance the “flavor” in all mugs.

For me, coffee is an experience and it’s all about the mug not the color. I have certain moods for certain mugs. I’ve learned over the years what coffee origin I like, what roast I like and what coffee maker I like so the coffee, for the most part, is very consistent and the flavor is as well.

What changes are my moods and what mug I want to use depending on mood.

Someday I think it would be cool to be in a coffee study so until then, I’ll continue to drink my yummy coffee from any color mug that fits my mood and I am sure it will not taste bitter.

It’s Good to be a Unicorn.

This sticky note is taped on the wall at my desk to reaffirm the things I do.

Why does it feel good to be a unicorn and what does it mean to be a unicorn you ask?

For me, it means that I am happy with being unique and I embrace my weirdness and the choices I’ve made in my life.

My path was (and still is) a long and meandering one. Much like a quest or bildungsroman, my coming of age was very different from what I would call “standard.” Meaning, I went into the military after high school, then worked in corporate, then went university, then back to corporate, then retirement (which just means doing things on my terms), to now being creative and working on the things I put off for 30-plus years.

Now I do things for me—not because I have to.

I never embraced my unicorn-ness until now. I’ve always been different and I’ve been proud of that, but now I don’t let the fear hold me back like I did for the earlier part of my life.

For example: I wanted to be a radio DJ back in high school. I think I would have been good at because I love music and I believe in the power of music. My mom was not having any of it and told me I had to find a real career and get a real degree.

Well here I am 35 years later doing a podcast because I freaking can and I am having fun doing it. People have been telling me they like my voice, they like the show and they like the content. I am beyond jubilant with this feedback.

That joy was 51 years in the making and I regret nothing. I now have the confidence to put myself out there and have fun. I am powerful, creative force for good with loving intentions and a joyful spirit, trying to create a better world for myself and others.

Shelly Cole: Madeline Lynn from Gilmore Girls, now author of Blue Highways. Coffee Fitness Unicorn: Coffee Chats

Meet Shelly Cole, author and actor. In her first book: Blue Highways, she shares her hopeful stories and speaks openly about mental illness. You might know her as Madeline from Gilmore Girls. Learn more about this resilient human who works with children, faces her fears, and gets her lahbstah on. https://www.instagram.com/shellycole88/?hl=en https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Highways-Shelly-Cole/dp/B0BB5MX4TN https://www.seedlingevents.com/ — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/coffeefitnessunicorn/support
  1. Shelly Cole: Madeline Lynn from Gilmore Girls, now author of Blue Highways.
  2. Stephanie M. Matthews: Lover of Cookies, Hockey and Rome
  3. Jonathan Edward Durham: Author of Winterset Hollow
  4. Liz Moore Kraus: Memoirist-ish
  5. Kalvin Ellis: Father, Filmmaker, Storyteller

When I think about how much fear held me back and how much farther I could be now, I just have to remind myself that I needed to grow on my terms and cool my jets. It seems that my life is a constant hyper-speed of delayed gratification. I work hard and fast for a very long period of time for some sort of reward. My life is very much my tattoo: Festina Lente—to make haste slowly.

Festina Lente:
https://anchoreditions.com/festina-lente,
my tattoo meaning

You’d think I’d be tired always going at this pace but it works for me. I have two speeds: go and stop.

I will keep unicorning until I can’t unicorn any more.

Coffee and Grief

This is what a widow looks like…

This is what a motherless daughter looks like…

This is what a fatherless daughter times two looks like…

This is what grief looks like…

In four years I lost 3 family members. Not including being estranged from my bio-dad in 2010 after grad school graduation. He up and left with his new family and never made contact with me again. That’s why my step-dad of 40 years became my “Jad” (his name was Joe so I called him “Jad”). That’s a lot of loss in a short period of time.

I learned how to handle my first loss in 2017 with the help of friends, family, a therapist and a personal trainer. I spent 5 glorious weeks in Rome learning to heal through food, coffee, culture and a long-term friendship. For once someone took care of me. I didn’t have to think, just heal. It worked. I was healing.

I went back to work ready to face new challenges and be a better person having gone through the hardest thing I had ever experienced in my life. Not to mention the trauma and PTSD from that experience. It was so bad that I couldn’t watch hospital scenes on TV. Even though my brain knew it was for drama, it was still too close to home. I spent a lot of time in the hospital; I’d log 14-16 hours in the room keeping my late wife company. I even slept with ear plugs, eye mask, face mask and gloves. It wasn’t great sleep so we all decided that I should sleep at home even if it was only for four hours.

My best friend would come and get me to help me recharge; we would go to Denny’s, Chili’s, or grab coffee somewhere. As a caregiver you have to learn to take care of you too. It was hard to leave, but it was important for my mental health as well even if my heart didn’t like it.

I became a widow at 47. We had an amazing 10 years together. It wasn’t all sadness and sickness. We went to Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. We had a great life and I am thankful to have been there for her. Vanessa was a sensitive and beautiful person and she wanted me to mourn her, but not be lonely. She wanted me to be happy and find love again.

I thought that would never happen because who wants a widow? We’re damaged, sad, stuck in the past, or you’re competing with a ghost. These were my thoughts. I figured I’d be alone for the rest of my life, untouchable by another because the other person would think I couldn’t be in love them as much as I loved someone before. I had massive fear of rejection. Massive fear of loneliness and massive sadness.

Never knowing or realizing that I was very much wrong.

Enter Brandi. She didn’t run because I was a widow. She didn’t feel like she was competing with a ghost. She didn’t say the wrong things, in fact she said the most perfect things to me. I had no idea someone would ever love me the way she does. I had no idea that my late wife gave me tools to help me understand Brandi’s sensitive heart. And because Brandi and I went through so much trauma we are able to really help each other and work together to fix a situation or work through a problem. We both see signs that Ness approves of this relationship. I know that Ness and Brandi would have been great friends had they ever had the chance to meet.

When I told my in-laws about Brandi they were very happy for me. We met up for dinner and I told them all about how we met at her coffee shop and showed them pictures of her and us. They were thrilled that I was happy again. Mind you, I had tried to push them away after I came back from Rome. They knew what I was doing and they weren’t having any of it. We still talk and text regularly. Every few months or so just to check in, catch up on who’s doing what, our various travels and just connect. This family has been my pillar. They are understanding since we all went through the same trauma and we were all there when the crap hit the fan. They broke the mold with this family and I am so glad they stuck around and didn’t let me push them away. Love you MKamps!!


Grief is a bitch.

There is no wrong way to go through it, only the way you feel.

I woke up every day waiting to be on the other side of it. The sad, sleepless nights, the unhungry moments that lead to poor diet and unhealthy weight loss sucked, but I had to go through it my way to understand what rock bottom, for me, felt like. It felt like shit and the only thing that got me through was coffee.

I met friends for coffee, even if I couldn’t drink it, I still ordered it because I loved the smell. I loved how my favorite coffee shops felt like a warm blanket in my sad lonely world. Coffee was my solace in Rome. And coffee is what brought Brandi into my life.

Coffee and I have had a very long and open-relationship; we’ve always been there for each other.

Grief and coffee are very much linked for me. My mom loved coffee, she introduced me to coffee (see https://coffeefitnessunicorn.com/2021/10/26/coffee-lover-not-coffee-snob/comment-page-1/#comment-241). At the hospital we would see a little coffee cart outside a patient’s room (we didn’t know that was actually something you didn’t want to see as that meant it was very bad for the patient and that was a way for the hospital to provide comfort). I had to switch to decaf when I was a very fresh widow as my emotions made me feel sick to my stomach daily for several months. Then I was able drink half-caff for a few months after that until I could handle full strength once again. Grief and coffee were battling with me. Grief felt like it was winning, but coffee never gave up.

Grief maybe a bitch, but coffee is a badass warrior who always fights for me.

Coffee and Reconstructive Kidney Surgery

Mom. Mom. Wake up. We need to go to the Emergency Room.

These are the words I said to my mom as I stood at her bedside at 4am with the worst pain of my life.

My mom, who normally takes 15 minutes to wake up, throws back the covers, proceeds to fly out of bed, grab the keys, and drives us safely and swiftly to the hospital emergency room.

What killed me the most about that experience was the look of sheer terror on my mom’s face.

They ran tests and more tests and had no diagnosis, a lot of guesses but no real answers. So they sent me home to see my GP later that morning after they got pain under control.

He knew what was wrong and he knew it was bad. He sent us to a Urologist who saw us immediately and he said the funniest and scariest thing you never want to hear a Urologist say.

He said, “you feel that? That’s your kidney. We shouldn’t be seeing or feeling it.” Then he asks the funniest question: “do you drink beer?”

No, I drink coffee, lots of it.

Well, that’s the problem. If you drank beer we would have caught this a long time ago.

How much coffee did you drink last night?

I’m studying for finals for undergrad, so I had three Venti lattes.

Yup, that’ll do it. Your blocked kid. You’re going to need surgery.

Whaaaaaaaat!!!!! I have finals!!! I can’t have surgery. It’ll have to wait.

That’s not up to me kid, you’ll want to talk to my colleague she’s the expert. I’m old school, I’ll cut you halfway around the middle, take half a rib and leave you a 12″ scar and it’ll take you 4-6 months to heal. She does robot-assisted, reconstructive kidney surgery. She’ll leave you with a few small holes and a few weeks recovery time. Go talk to her to see if you’re a good candidate for her surgery. Best of luck to you kid, good luck with finals.

So off we went to see robot-lady. She asked a lot of questions and drew a diagram of what she thought my problem was. She said, “you have UPJ. A congenital condition. It’s a miracle you weren’t diagnosed with this earlier. You’re 37 that’s amazing.”

The simplest way to describe it is: you have a kink in your kidney straw.

So she runs tons of tests to see if she could even perform the surgery as there is a major artery that she needs to be sure is safe to not be affected. After many nuclear tests and tons of peeing in cups, it was determined that I was an excellent candidate for this procedure. She asks when I would like to have the surgery?

At the end of the year. She looks at me and says, “no, seriously.”

I am serious. It’ll have to wait. I already missed some finals and have to make them up. This will have to wait until December. It was July. She agrees begrudgingly and says, “no later. We’re booking it now.”

I said you got it. I literally had my robot-assisted, reconstructive kidney surgery the day after my last final of the year in December as promised. I was back in school 4 weeks later to finish out my last year of undergrad.

The surgery was a success! Everyone was jubilant, especially me as I could now drink 3 Venti lattes without issue while studying for finals which was awesome since I still had two more years of university.

Sometimes I can feel my scar tissue pulling inside when I’m dehydrated. I simply drink some water and wash it down with some coffee (see blog: https://coffee-musings.myfreesites.net/coffee-sexy/i-m-going-to-wash-down-my-water-with-a-cup-of-coffee).

Coffee: I Can’t Quit You.

I tried.

It was the worst two weeks of my life.

Can you imagine an avid coffee drinker not drinking coffee?

What was it like you ask?

It was horrible.

Why did I do it?

Well, I thought I would try a 30 day detox program that came highly recommended.

I had to clean out the fridge, the pantry and myself.

Part of that cleansing was to purge the body of toxins. I thought no biggie, I am not a sugar freak and bread and chips and salsa are my only real weakness so this should easy peasy.

I was totally in. I bought the products and I had the meals planned out; I was ready for this program.

Then the “coach” sent out the message: no coffee for the next 30 days.

WHAT. THE. Literal F*#% do you mean no coffee for the next 30 days???!!!!

Coffee is not toxic!! Coffee is the opposite. It has many benefits, we know because it has been studied.

I sent a message back saying I would have never signed up for this if I had known that this was part of the deal. SERIOUSLY!! But I already paid some exorbitant amount for the program so I might as well try.

She said, “just try it for a day. If you can survive the headaches and grumpiness, keep going for the next few days after that.”

I had to warn everyone I worked with that I was trying a new detox thing and no coffee was part of it. I was not happy. I was in a bad mood every freaking morning. Which is very out of character for me. I always wake up ready for the day and excited for my first cup of coffee. Now I had nothing to look forward to other than mood swings, crankiness, agitation, and a poopy mood in general.

It was one week in and I was over the initial shock of the lack of coffee. I kept a journal to see how I was “feeling” when I already knew how I was feeling: f@#$%^ pissed. There were a lot of ugly words written during that time. Words that scared and surprised me 0_o

I was through the second week and still being “coached” through the program. I bombarded her daily as to when I could have just a sip of black coffee. I never drink black coffee, but I was so desperate to have my friend back I was willing to drink it black.

Finally after two weeks she said, “go ahead drink your coffee if you want, but you won’t have the same results since you weren’t able to stick to the complete program.”

I said, “EF the results!! Never, ever take away my coffee again” and walked away from the program.

That was the first and only time I quit coffee. It was the worst two weeks of my life. I’m sure my team, my boss, and my coworkers were just as happy to have my happy, coffee-loving-self back.

Then I hired a real Coach and Personal Trainer; I asked her if she would ever take my coffee away and she said, “no, never. I love coffee” I knew I had the right Coach. After eight months following her program I had amazing results and was in the best shape of my life with all the coffee I wanted.

She took nothing away; she allowed me to have anything I wanted. The only thing I had to earn were my soy cappuccinos (which are now oatmilk cappuccinos) and cheat meals. I was eating up to seven meals a day and I was super toned at 48!!

I apologized to coffee for quitting it for those two weeks and promised to never quit it again.

Thank you coffee for understanding and thank you Coach for NEVER, EVER taking my coffee away.

Here’s my first blog about Fasted Cardio: https://coffee-musings.myfreesites.net/coffee-sexy/what-s-the-best-part-about-fasted-cardio

Food, Fitness and Fun

This weekend I had the pleasure of chatting with my friend and former coworker, Angela Yee, about food, fitness and fun.

What was supposed to be a 1 hour chat turned into a 2.5 hour chat. We had a lot to share and look forward to telling more stories about our fitness journeys.

Here is part 1 of the Instagram Live.

Thank you for listening and watching.

More coffee and fitness and unicorning to come…