CoffeeJitters has moved to

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CoffeeJitters' New Home at

For my birthday last week, I went out and bought myself a domain name. I am now the proud owner of Yay! I've been meaning to do this for a very long time.

I am porting all of the past posts, and all of your lovely comments, over to my blog's new home at, and then I will be putting the blogspot version of this blog to sleep.

There is quite a bit of work to do on the new blog, and the heavy construction won't get started till after school ends the first week of December. In the meantime, I will continue to post as my schedule allows to the new location at

Information for Subscribers:

  • People who subscribe to CoffeeJitters by email should see no difference in their service.
  • For those of you who subscribe through an RSS reader, the Feedburner feed will port over to the new location so there is no need to make any changes.
  • The Atom feed, however, will go to sleep with the blogspot blog.
  • If you're not sure whether you subscribed to the Feedburner or the Atom feed, please just resubscribe using the feed button near the top of the page at
  • If this is all entirely too confusing for you and you don't know what to do, leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do to clarify the issue.
And just for the sake of redundancy: the new address for the blog is

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baby Update - Week 20

At week 20 of 40, we're halfway through this pregnancy adventure and halfway to holding baby in our arms. We had the anatomy scan last Friday and, despite baby's hiccups, we were able to take a close look at the brain, spine and kidneys and even the tiny little fingers and toes. After assuring that everything looked healthy we got to move on to the little tidbit of information everyone has been desperately waiting for: It's a Girl!

Here's a picture of our beautiful baby girl's head and shoulder in profile.

This is my contribution to Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Suggling Snakes

Who knew snakes could be so cuddly?


Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle
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Monday, November 10, 2008

A Blessing

Shortly after our engagement, Mr. H and I were at Bellevue Square in a stationary shop. He was at one rack and I was at another with my back to him as we quietly read through greeting cards. Out of nowhere, a Buddhist nun with shaved head and grey robe took my hand, then reached out and took my soon-to-be-husband's hand and placed them together. She said a few words we didn't understand followed by "Very Happy," squeezed our hands, bowed, and walked out of the store. We turned to each other and at the same time said, "We've been blessed." Then, hand in hand, we ran out of the store to follow her. Up and down the mall we searched, but she was no where to be seen.

I've always wondered why she chose us. I don't know why I just remembered that story, it comes back to me from time to time. She was right, we are very happy. And very thankful for her blessing.
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Friday, November 07, 2008

Bird Bath: the Eagle Edition


I grew up in Alaska with lots of bald eagles around, but I always pause to appreciate them when I see them. I've had the pleasure of watching them in all sorts of different behaviors, but this is the first time I ever watched an eagle take a bath. Granted, this took place in a zoo, and animal behaviors can be different in captivity. I still thought it was pretty cool to watch.

He would splash his wings around in the water and even repeatedly dunk his head under water to splash it up over his body. At first I thought maybe he was just trying to cool down, then I remembered that I was wearing a winter coat.





This is my contribution to Candid Carrie's Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

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Monday, November 03, 2008

What Fuels Your Vote?

My goodness the hate mail has been flying around this past week. Lies, hate and bigotry are all alive and well in America, my friends, and for some reason, they're congregating in my email in-box. I had to read through my spam box just to take a break from the nastiness in my in-box.

I don't like to do this in my blog, but I want to take a few moments to talk about religion because, out of all the nastiness I received in my in-box, by far the most inaccurate and hateful messages were from the evangelical Christians in my life.

I was raised in an extremely conservative christian church by an extremely conservative family. It wasn't until I became an adult and experienced other churches that I really began to understand that the term "God's Love," a term that was thrown around every day throughout my childhood, really is supposed to mean love. Fear ruled the day. Christians, I was taught, were supposed to be fearful, to live their lives in fear.

So let's talk about fear, because most of the hate mail I've received this past week has been motivated by fear. Anytime a work is translated, including the bible, the translator has to make millions of decisions about which words to use. And words change meaning by their use over time. The word fear, for example, can be understood to mean respect (as in fear God), or it can be understood to mean the source of hate (as in fear everything you don't understand). My belief is that fear, as commanded in the bible, is intended to mean fear-respect rather than fear-hate (check out I John, 4:18-21). The best way to counteract fear-hate is knowledge. Real knowledge, not just assumptions fueled by emotions. Do some research. Study the issues. Use real sources rather than the chain hate mail that lands in your in-box.

Two great quotes from early in the last century come to mind:

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."


"I have seen the enemy, and it is I."

Muslims are not the source of evil in this world, the source of evil is the fear that resides in our own hearts.

So I'm asking you now: is your vote fueled by fear and hate, or is your vote fueled by compassion and knowledge? Vote your conscience, but ask yourself first: what rules your conscience? Do you have peace in your heart or fear? Do you have to lie to make your case? Do you avoid research because it causes you to question your decision? Do you get all of your information from others whose lives are ruled by fear and hate?

The definition of bigotry is fear based, unreasoning attachment to one's own belief, with narrow-minded intolerance of differing beliefs. Let's let go of fear and bigotry for a day, and give our minds and hearts a bit of a workout.

Just think about it.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Skull Sticks


This just seemed like an appropriate picture to post for Halloween. I took this photo at the University Street Fair last spring.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby Update - Week 17

At week 17 of 40, we're nearly halfway through this pregnancy. We had a doctor appointment on Friday that went very well, although the doctor was concerned that I haven't gained any weight and I was told I need to eat more. She used the doppler to listen to the baby's heartbeat. I didn't cry during any of the sonograms, but for some reason, listening to that heartbeat made me well up with tears. Perhaps just because I had my eyes closed which made it possible for my imagination to take over.

Things changed over the weekend when I started feeling a great deal of discomfort. After several calls to the consulting nurse and a handful of tums, the consulting nurse sent us to the ER on Sunday afternoon. By this time the discomfort had graduated to excruciating pain. After 5 hours in the ER, they determined that I have gall stones. Baby is fine. Now I'm on a non-fat diet. They gave me some pain and anti-nausia medication and told me to call my doctor in the morning. I have an appointment to see my doctor today to figure out how we will treat this moving forward. It may just be a watch your diet and wait and see kind of thing as they really don't want to operate during the pregnancy.

I'm still in some pain but feeling much better now, although completely exhuasted. My big task for this week is getting caught up on all the homework I fell behind on over the past several days.
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Do You Really Think the Same Conservative Tactics Will Solve this Mess?

The belief in Trickle Down Economics contributed to this problem, it is not the solution.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don't Step on My Catheter

Don't Step on My Catheter
by Michael H. Schwartz

Don't even think about treading on
That tempting little hose of soft clear
. plastic lying on the floor
There are plenty enough ways to
Incur my wrath without committing
That most heinous act of barbarism.

Mind your step, you fool, watch
Where you put those uncoordinated
. blobs you call your feet.
Its not just the punishment
That should prompt alertness on
Your part, nor even humanitarian

Compassion to guide your steps aright.
But think on this, the balance
Of all the laws of physics and the
Cosmic glue that holds the
Universe together, lie at risk

Of total disintegration at
The touch of toe on tube.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Year Later

It was one year ago today that my father passed away. I'm still learning how to wrap my brain around this fact. I keep wanting to call or email him. His email address is still sitting there in my address book while his instant messenger icon keeps telling me he's not available.

So much has happened in the past year: I finally quit my job, I'm back in college, I'm pregnant. Dad would have been thrilled about all of these things.

At his funeral, a family friend stood up and told us about a time she went to visit him in the hospital. Before she left, she asked him if there was anything specific he would like her to pray for on his behalf. He paused to think for a while, and then, at a time when any one else would pray for the pain to stop, or a cure for cancer, or wisdom for the doctors or something else along those lines, my dad said this:

"Pray that my conversations will be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, and that I will have the strength and wisdom to answer any question that is asked of me."
Yes, my father was something of a poet, but this was actually a paraphrase of a bible verse.

This quote of my father has stuck with me over the past year. First of all, my conversations could most certainly use more grace. I've been told over and over and over again that I can only control my own reaction in a conversation. The truth is that there are ways to counter hate and bigotry gracefully. I just have to learn how to do it and then I need to teach my child.

The second part of that statement has stuck to me as well. My father was a quiet man and was not in the habit of drawing attention to himself or making himself the topic of conversation. I, on the other hand, was irritated that I didn't know very much about him and that he didn't just, unprompted, broadcast all his stories to us. How simple it would have been to ask him some questions rather that sitting there waiting for him to open up.

I'm not bringing this up for the purpose of beating myself up, I have something else in mind. Do you have anyone in your life who is quiet by nature? Someone who is humble and not at all likely to make the conversation all about them? When you talk to them, is the conversation usually about you? Or do you ask them questions too?

I wonder how many people out there would be open books, if someone would just ask.

I'm paying more attention now, to see who's waiting for me to ask them a question about themselves. I'm not advocating an interrogation, but a genuine interest combined with a couple questions could make a big difference.


Tune in tomorrow and I'll treat you to Dad's poem "Don't Step on My Catheter!"
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Crow on a Log


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

This Needs to be Heard

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Raindrops on Flower Petals



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Monday, October 13, 2008

October always makes me think Orange





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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Most Like an Arch This Marriage

Most Like an Arch This Marriage

By John Ciardi

Most like an arch—an entrance which upholds
and shores the stone-crush up the air like lace.
Mass made idea, and idea held in place.
A lock in time. Inside half-heaven unfolds.

Most like an arch—two weaknesses that lean
into a strength. Two fallings become firm.
Two joined abeyances become a term
naming the fact that teaches fact to mean.

Not quite that? Not much less. World as it is,
what’s strong and separate falters. All I do
at piling stone on stone apart from you
is roofless around nothing. Till we kiss

I am no more than upright and unset.
It is by falling in and in we make
the all-bearing point, for one another’s sake,
in faultless failing, raised by our own weight.

The Collected Poems of John Ciardi (University of Arkansas Press, 1997)

6 years after our first date and I wouldn't change a thing.
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© Judy Haley. All rights reserved.