Ways in Which I am High-Maintenance…and The Surprise!

Ways in which I am high-maintenance: part one of a way-too-friggin’-long series.

In the Cast of Characters page I mention that Himself wakes me every weekday morning with a cup of coffee. Perfectly executed coffee. Which, given my coffee needs, really warrants his consideration as a Roads Scholar.

So, here are the essentials:

Coffee, milk and flavored creamer. Note the artistic emphasis on the flavored creamer in the photo. This is intentional. Although French Vanilla is not one of my favorites, but we were out of creamer, which in my house is cause for midnight runs to convenience stores, and convenience stores open at midnight do not feel particularly compelled to cater to irrational, high-maintenance coffee drinkers who would really prefer caramel-cinammon or chocolate-hazelnut flavors of chemical coffee additives. Convenience stores open at midnight that stock coffee-creamer pretty well expect you to count yourself lucky that there is any place even open at midnight that offers you anything by way of flavored coffee creamer, so you will take the French Vanilla and by God, you’ll be happy with it.

The goal: a coffee beverage that does not taste like coffee.

Step one: Add milk.

Note: I do not typically make my coffee in a drinking glass. A drinking glass suggests that the final two ingredients should be ice and vodka. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I don’t want this post to deteriorate into a bad “Movie of the Week” plot. But, I needed to be able to clearly and precisely illustrate the proper proportions, so I used a drinking glass cause, well, you can see through it.

The key here is a mellow finale which means that the proportion of non-coffee ingredients to coffee needs to be quite high. BUT, using flavored coffee creamer as the sole mechanism for achieving the mellow finale results in a liquid that has roughly the same sugar content as a Snickers bar, and as nice as Snickers bars are, I don’t think many of us want that to be the way we wake up each morning. So the first ingredient, the one that achieves the silky smooth balance without being cloyingly sweet, is milk.

Step two: Add flavored coffee creamer.

Some of my finest photography, don’t you think?

Also, Himself wanted me to be sure and mention that adding the non-coffee ingredients first is the trick to not needing to stir the drink. Why is this important, you ask? I’ll tell you. Because I am psychotic and spoons in coffee drinks really annoy me. And if you use a spoon to stir coffee, you might forget to remove the spoon before delivering the drink and then your wife will look at you as if you have just brought her the head of a stuffed moose instead of a cup of lovingly prepared coffee. So, figuring this crafty work-around out was a way to ensure that this potentially relationship-ending error simply never occurs.

Step three: Add coffee.

Note the color: rich, creamy tan. Not too dark, not too pale. Getting this color requires that the non-coffee ingredients are between 33% and 40% of the total volume of liquid. This particular specimen is on the high end, but is still comfortably within the Golden Proportion and will make me happy.

It only took Himself a couple of weeks during the early dating phase (when, of course, you are expending maximum effort on “looking like a good catch” ) to learn the magic formula. And, hey, we’re married now, so he did good.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…The Surprise!

Since I don’t drink coffee in a drinking glass, here is a photo of the drink in an actual mug (hint: the mug is the important part).

Look! Isn’t that cute! I was goofing around one day and decided to see what it would look like if I put my bubble banner on a coffee cup, and I thought it looked adorable. And then I put words on it, and I liked it more. And then I decided that I’d buy it. Except I didn’t buy one, I bought two. One for me, and one to give away.

On the front it says, “I made a cup of coffee! +10 Points”

And on the back it says, “I left the cup in the laundry room…
for a week. -12 Points.”

And it has the blog web address on it somewhere.

As this is just  a silly little thing that only people who enjoy the blog would find funny, I’m not going to register the give-away on websites, or promote it on BlogFrog. I mean, it’s a mug… not a stand-mixer or a juicy gift-card.  I may tweet about it as a few people there are fans. It’s really just meant to be a funny little goodie for people who have enjoyed the concept of the Martha Points Scale and to show appreciation to a few amazing people who have made starting this blog so much fun for me.

To enter: leave a comment telling me something that gained or lost you points this holiday weekend. Complicated I know, but you are a small but sophisticated bunch so I’m confident you can handle it. Entries open through Friday. I suppose. That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

44 comments

  1. My husband is renovating our bathroom, he found a coffee cup sitting on a 2 x 4 when he took down the walls. That’s got to be more than -12 points!
    I’m not sure I broke even this weekend. I came up with many healthy meals but I did not speak very nicely about the hosts of a wedding shower.
    Aiming to redeem myself today. I’ve made a list.

  2. Hah, fine art/abstract photography at its best!

    I did a lot this weekend. I think my main achievement was playing baseball with the guys yesterday. )A little back story – I have no athletic abilities what-so-ever. It’s really, really sad. I lose my breath just thinking about exercising.)

    So, I think I deserve a few points for actually getting out there, sweating, looking gross, and hitting a few balls infield and catching my one and only ball. I even did a little robot celebration dance afterward.

  3. I cleaned my condo for a showing +15

    I shoved the laundry we hadn’t completed into the closet -10,000

    But I arranged it all nicely in the hamper (in the closet) +1

  4. I was a valiant slug slayer despite being attacked by two tiny mice evacuating the box of pesticide I was using to kill them to finish planting my garden in the monsoon that was the Pacific Northwest this weekend. Award points as you see fit.

    I never enter contests because I already have enough crap, but I really WANT that mug. It’s genious!

  5. I had a busy weekend with many points-worthy
    successes! I’m not going to be shy, ’cause that mug is really quite spiffy (& makes me wish that I had a laundry room to leave it in!).

    + points-worthiness:

    – Accepted that moving into a new apartment is financially out of the question right now, so the boyfriend & I spent Saturday morning cleaning & rearranging furniture to at least make it seem like we are in a different place. It quite thoroughly freaked the dog & cat out, but sometimes they need a jolt of inconvenience & confusion in their oh-so-easy lives.

    – Bought new bedsheets & bed clothes (Martha’s brand!) on sale at Macy’s, thanks to a very elaborate coupon/promo combination.

    – Resisted purchasing a Keurig (on sale, but still expensive) at Macy’s.

    – Made a campfire without the aid of lighter fluid (or death) & crafted perfectly-assembled (& , when bitten into, perfectly messy) s’mores.

    – TOUCHED A PENGUIN. It was amazing. Not sure why that would give me points, but it was rad.

    – Resisted $5 funnel cake at the zoo.

    – Wrote a postcard to my grandparents.

    Hooray for successful long-weekends & give-awaI had a busy weekend with many points-worthy
    successes! I’m not going to be shy, ’cause that mug is really quite spiffy (& makes me wish that I had a laundry room to leave it in!).

    + points-worthiness:

    – Accepted that moving into a new apartment is financially out of the question right now, so the boyfriend & I spent Saturday morning cleaning & rearranging furniture to at least make it seem like we are in a different place. It quite thoroughly freaked the dog & cat out, but sometimes they need a jolt of inconvenience & confusion in their oh-so-easy lives.

    – Bought new bedsheets & bed clothes (Martha’s brand!) on sale at Macy’s, thanks to a very elaborate coupon/promo combination.

    – Resisted purchasing a Keurig (on sale, but still expensive) at Macy’s.

    – Made a campfire without the aid of lighter fluid (or death) & crafted perfectly-assembled (& , when bitten into, perfectly messy) s’mores.

    – TOUCHED A PENGUIN. It was amazing. Not sure why that would give me points, but it was rad.

    – Resisted $5 funnel cake at the zoo.

    – Wrote a postcard to my grandparents.

    Hooray for successful long-weekends! :D

  6. Dude, I’m just saying I want it. :) No begging. No haggle. No who’s-earned-the-most-MP analysis.

    I just want it.

    And I’d use it daily, with pride, and a big, goofy grin on my face.

    Aside from the most awesomest of mugs, I’m impressed you allowed a 7 point window for acceptable coffee drinks.

  7. I wrote my “about me” page for my blog that I have been putting off for about three years +15 Points

    I washed an individual spoon to eat ice cream late last night….leaving the rest of the sink full of dirty dishes. -32 Points

    I always prefer my coffee in the chocolate hazelnut flavor family…. +5 Points for being like Martha! =)

  8. Dude! I don’t even drink coffee and that lovely presentation made me want some.

    HOW did you make that coffee cup?? +50 points for telling us how you did that, umkay? It is awesome!

    I want that coffee cup. Even though I JUST told you I don’t drink coffee. Is this wrong?

    I would say I lose 15 points for bringing a salad to a barbeque, and forgetting the dressing that goes with. That is ridiculous.

  9. Let’s see: I made two sit-down type meals on back-to-back nights. And the family was made fat and happy.

    But, I also through a real hissy fit when we lost internet AGAIN yesterday (it’s been an ongoing source of hair pulling frustration this last month). I think the little hamsters that make everything spinning keep dying. Just a guess.

    Points? You decide….

  10. Does Friday count as part of the weekend? Because I really want this mug. I mean, I REALLY want it, and I’ve been witty in the past, but I’m not witty today. And I spent the weekend in “Mommy Time Out” down in Wilmington (NC) with my sister, so if I’ve only got Saturday-Sunday to count, I’ve got nothing. Except meat/veggie prep for last night’s homemade pizzas. I do have that, but it’s weak and probably won’t score me my must-have MP mug.

    However, if Friday counts then prior to leaving for my girl’s weekend, I:

    – Completed and put away every article of clothing dirtied by two children and one fully-grown man.
    – Neatly laid out all of Child #1’s sports uniforms for easy weekend access.
    – Cleaned all main living areas, even going so far as to throw away dead wildflowers languishing in week-old water in crystalish drinking glass.
    – Replenished milk, bread and at least one fruit item to give the Husband a fighting chance at nourishing aforementioned children.

    There are definitely points there, right?

    1. OK, since I just read that it IS acceptable to leverage Friday as part of the weekend, I’m coming back to assign points. Here we go:

      – Completed and put away every article of clothing dirtied by two children and one fully-grown man. (+10 points)
      – Neatly laid out all of Child #1′s sports uniforms for easy weekend access. (+4 points)
      – Cleaned all main living areas (+3 points) even going so far as to throw away dead wildflowers languishing in week-old water in crystalish drinking glass. (+ 3 points — because disposing of dead flowers = extra credit)
      -Letting flowers languish in the first place (-5 points)
      – Replenished milk, bread and at least one fruit item to give the Husband a fighting chance at nourishing aforementioned children. (+2 points)

      Subtotal: +17

      +1,000 points (see below) for gettin’ my WWE on Martha-style. Brings my official tally to 1,017 Martha Points. Boo-yah, baby.

  11. I lose/gain Martha Points much in the same way I lose/gain body weight…frequently. This weekend was no exception:
    ~nursed two very high-fevered children WITHOUT complaining +20 points
    ~opted to take out my frustration with cranky children on unsuspecting husband – 10 points
    ~finally cleaned out the hallway linen closet +5 points
    ~bought a set of new towels so I wouldn’t have to oxi-clean the old ones -15 points
    ~managed to NOT snack-binge throughout the holiday weekend + 5 points
    ~made up for lack of snacking by eating enough at mealtimes for both me and a linebacker – 10 points
    Total points: deficit of 5 points
    I’m not proud. I want the cup.
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

  12. P.S. It sounds like Liz may want this mug almost as much as I do. If you are feeling conflicted, let me just say that I am fully prepared to don a lacy apron (over sweats) and wrestle her in a vat of homemade chocolate pudding. Because cute coffee-containment vessels are worth fighting for. No kidding ;)

  13. I stayed home from camping with the family to scrub & seal the slate floor in the kitchen. But instead I spent the whole time on the sofa reading books & eating sushi. -20 points

    I also stayed home to set up & fill the swimming pool which I did get done. +10

    When my husband called me on their way home from camping to ask what was for dinner I said “whatever you pick up between there & the house” -10 points

  14. I made a vodka lemonade with strawberries and basil this weekend: +250 points.

    I drank nearly all of it myself, rendering me useless for several hours: -??? points?

    That mug idea is super cute. When I get my new logo I may make one of those too.

    I am so with you on having coffee drinks NOT taste like coffee. I may have to try this. I almost gave you crap for using creamer (fattening!) with fat free milk, but when you explained the concept…I got it. :)

  15. Two things:

    1) One of us has the recipe wrong. I start with the flavored creamer, dilute to taste with milk, then add the coffee.

    B) You left out the recipe for the coffee itself. This is critical to achieving the proper finish on Himself’s coffee, which is often (but not always) left au natural (i.e. black). It is as follows: Costco Sumatra beans, ground at the store on the setting one step finer than ‘drip filter’ and stored in the freezer once home, 1 tablespoon grounds per cup (that’s per coffeemaker cup, not our 16oz. mugs) plus an extra half tablespoon no matter how many cups you’re brewing, and finally, unbleached filters are preferred. Hope that clears it all up.

    And did I mention yet in this comment how very, very much in love with you I am?

  16. I came to see Himself’s response and saw that Laura wants to wrestle.

    All I have to say is…It’s ON like Donkey Kong!

    1. Damn — you stole my Donkey Kong line! ‘It’s on like Frogger’ doesn’t sound nearly as menacing. Bring it, girl. I’m ironing my apron and doing girl push-ups as we speak.

  17. I don’t need a coffee mug, but darn that is fantastic! I drink my coffee iced out of my reuseable plastic straw cup. I’m all green and shizz.

    I made a fantastic beach themed cake +350 points
    I left my cake platter at my friend’s house -100 points
    I did countless loads of laundry +25 points
    I let my hubs do the cooking -100 points.

  18. Spent a week researching the “strawberry cake..in the cake. not on the cake” for the 6 year old’s birthday party. +10 points

    12+hours on my feet, prepping for the open water camping trip +20 points

    Spent the weekend in wet neoprene, eating mostly on the fly, and none of it good for me..-25.

    Not looking good for the home team…

    Wore PVC corset and skirt -20
    Added apron and heels to complete the ensemble. Also, I baked cookies like that +15

    ..and I still have that party ahead of me. Oy.

  19. Let’s see, I completed my dining room makeover in one weekend without spending money and posted about it (+ points). Then decided I wanted to change part of it even before I posted (- points). I hung an arrangements of plates in an ingenius way without platehangers so the just the lovely plates would show (+points). 2 days later, 2 of the plates fell off the wall and broke which is why I’m not sharing my plate-hanging secret (-points). Did I mention that those two plates were sort of antiques? (- a bunch of points). As a blogfan, I would love that mug!!!

  20. Absolutely LOVE this mug!! A must have! This has me written all over it! I think I get -10 Martha Points just about everyday because I don’t make my own non-coffee tasting cup of java and instead go to Starbucks! VERY BAD! I’m giving myself +20 for only going to Starbucks once this holiday weekend, even though the reason was because there was no Starbucks within at least a 30-40 mile radius!!

  21. Wait, wait, wait.

    People are leaving multiple comments which is going to throw off my mojo with this random number generator.

    Plus 3 points for being anal about processes.
    Minus 5 points for being a complainer.

  22. Ok, that’s not coffee, that’s a coffee-flavored milkshake, but hey, whatever gets you movin in the morning, right? That mug is adorable and hilarious!

  23. I just posted a nursery makeover that I had nothing to do with, and linked up to many, many,and then many more: Look What “I” (Made, Did, Created, Designed, Worked On) Blog Parties. Not only is that likely worth -20 martha points, I think I might have to go to Blogger jail. Or, at the very least, pay a fine for blogging misrepresentation. I love your mug. I sense it may feel at home in my hands. They are not manicured, and do not like to cook meals. They would much rather be holding a cool coffee cup to remind their owner of a very funny blogger who makes the world a happier place!

  24. i agree KLZ. plus, i need to get an extra chance or two…i did bestow upon you the lovely Chicago Dog afterall.

  25. Well lets see I put a load of laundry on, which should score me some points, but then I forgot about it so son put mine in the dryer and then on the floor (bad son) when he wanted to do his . Definitly lost points when I forgot about my laundry – Martha wouldn’t do that now would she? I love the mug, by the way.

  26. I should have read more closely. I didn’t realize I was supposed to leverage my own point scale! You being the Mother of all Points Martha, I just assumed you would do it. Besides, I’m still not sure if I can count Friday’s activities or not.

    BUT for challening Chicago Girl to an apron-clad pudding brawl, I am hereby awarding myself +1,000 Martha Points ;)

    1. OK, 1,000 points may be excessive for a fight that has not yet ‘officially’ occurred. But I think 20 points is fair for coming up with the idea and being ready to hit the road for Vegas to face Liz in front of a sell-out crowd.

      Therefore, I believe my final tally is +37. I haven’t gone through all the comments to see where we are in the running, but I’m feeling significantly less smug…

  27. Oh, wow, the competition for this is big! Hmmm…I really want it! Please secretly email me and tell me how to be the winner (I won’t tell anyone…I promise).

  28. Oops, two comments in a row (points or no points for that?)
    That description of how to make the coffee sounds an awful lot like how I heard that the proper English tea must be made…cream first (of course, I may have that backwards).
    Can I get points for not being able to remember what I did over the weekend…it’s kind of like a disability. Heck, I can hardly remember what I did yesterday!

  29. I am currently growing a human and am really really really sick. That should count for about eleventy-million points right there.

    I have also done the following:

    1. Not killed anyone.
    2. Not maimed anyone.
    3. Changed a really gross poopy diaper. (gag)
    4. Have prepared meals containing (gag) meat and cooking.
    5. Have only burst into hysterical tears twice.

    All of these occurred over the holiday weekend.

    I can’t drink coffee yet (and as much as I love it, it makes me gag along with anything else that has a smell right now) but you better BELIEVE I’d rock some raspberry leaf tea in that mug until I can again.

  30. I think you’re going to have to set up a cafepress.com/marthapoints shop, so all the “non-winners” can buy a mug, too! :D

    I washed ALL the dirty laundry in the house! +20 points

    I only folded one load and left the rest on my bedroom floor. -30

    D’oh!

  31. New to the blog, but love it. And, want to play. :) Any competition is appealing to me, but the apron-clad pudding wrestling and super-groovy mug really motivate.

    As background, I am domestically disabled – allergic to dust and all cleaning products and can only seem to set my oven to one temperature: burn.

    This weekend, I:
    – volunteered at the art festival (+10)
    – had too many beers (and a corndog) at the art festival and wound up purchasing some very “interesting” art that involves glitter and stenciled pigs (-60 because that is how much the art cost me – in dollars)

    – cleaned the entire house (+100)
    – locked the kids in their room with a laptop and a Netflix DVD to do it (-20)

    – made margarita cupcakes (+50 – bonus points because I made them from scratch and didn’t burn them)
    – received a text from my husband that night saying the house “looked beautiful” even though I left the oven on all day and almost “burnt the whole thing to the ground”) (-200 because it was on for about 11 hours)

    – made 3 liters of margaritas for my sister’s party (+30)
    – shared said margaritas (+5)
    – acted as “designated drink filler-upper” at party (+10)
    – woke up with such a headache that even the thought of taking the kids to the pool as promised made me want to hurl (-50)

    Because this is my first time playing, please feel free to adjust points as appropriate. By my tally, I’m at (-125). Maybe I should just keep to myself…

  32. Well, I love the mug. I want the mug. I think it’s funny that Liz keeps leaving additional comments!

    Fat free milk and creamer? Guess what I use? HEAVY whipping cream. No wonder I won’t be seeing anything but a mom-style bathing suit this summer!

  33. let’s see…

    made snow pops for a party +5
    didn’t turn out like i wanted -8
    found out i could freeze them and they were actually better +15

    these things were AWESOME!!!

  34. This is simply fabulous.

    I’m stealing your milk recipe. I personally love vanilla soymilk in mine, but the milk + 1/2 & 1/2 thing sounds delish.

    Also, I’m wildly in love with you, too.

  35. +10 for making an awesome hamburger
    -5 for the kid not eating it!

    +10 for making a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting…if i win i will share the recipe!

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