Carrots, Eggs or Coffee – Which Are You?

Here is a wonderful story on learning to thrive through adversity.  I was unable to find the originator, so I cannot give proper kudos to them. 

All of us go through moments of boiling in our own life.  How we respond to these challenging times will determine our destinies.  Enjoy the story and then ask yourself which of the three items:  Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean, best describe how you handle the boiling waters of life. 


A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.


Carrots, Eggs or Coffee pots boiling story   Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the 1st, she placed carrots, in the 2nd she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In 20 minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, Grandmother?”
Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?
Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?





How Heavy Is Your Glass of Water?

End of summer

This is for everyone to ponder.  It is usually around the end of summer, just prior to those upcoming, important and sentimental Holidays that we begin worrying.  That is, worrying more than usual perhaps.  Hopefully this will help you this year.  Let me know what you think.

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight Doesn’t Matter. It depends on how long I Hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to Put the Glass Down.

Glass of water

Forever Young

Always a way out of depression girl

On this warm, humid summer afternoon, I’m smiling while being loved by  three fur babies – my dogs, Miley, Casey and Mabel.  During my life, I escaped somewhat the throes of cancer with surgery and medicine.  However, the miracle of childbirth was stolen from me.  Still I consider myself very fortunate.  After all, I’ve lived thus far a fairly long life with many experiences to speak about.

One such I have was my youth, growing up during the 50s and 60s.  In 1966, my dad bought my very first guitar (inexpensive and hard to play).  He promised that if I showed him true interest and kept with it, he’d buy me my much desired Gibson guitar.

I couldn’t do it alone, and pleaded with him to allow me to take lessons.  To my surprise, he said “yes”.  I studied hard, and played my little heart out.  Used the Joan Baez Anthology of Songs Book to guide me.  In 1968, after bleeding calluses on my fingertips, the light in my eyes shone brightly when dad gifted me my  Gibson guitar.  For Christmas that year, students of the conservatory played a Theater type Auditorium amidst family, friends, neighbors, and strangers.  I had a partner, another shy girl, to help play and sing two songs.  First song was House of the Rising Sun, by The Animals.  My second song was “Blowin’ in the Wind” …

Well, my partner couldn’t make it through that 1st song.  Truth be known she ran behind the curtain without playing her guitar or singing a note.  You guessed: she had stage fright to the ‘nth degree and I had to finish – alone.  I muddled through, and I think more because I wouldn’t give up, I received a standing ovation and very long applause!  After the 2nd song, another rousing round of applause to which I smiled brightly as my teacher brought me flowers.  What a night!

By the way, I still have that Gibson guitar today although I haven’t played in years!   ‘Til the end of my life on earth, it will be a prized possession holding Forever Young memories.

On this tropical Labor Day afternoon, lazy and enjoying my fur babies asleep at my feet, the song Forever Young by Joan Baez plays in the background.  And I smile – she is my reason for playing the guitar. To hear the song click:

The lyrics:

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
And may you stay forever young

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
And may you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
And may you stay forever young

Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young

Joan Baez then and now   Joan Baez was, and still is, my very favorite singer, a legacy that spans the decades since the 60s that has opened hearts and been a call-to-action for compassion and conscience, and that still holds a powerful sway today.

Her effortless guitar playing, key changes from major to minor and quiet melody could not soften the impact of a line like, “Show me the countries where the bombs have to fall”.  That line has as much resonance today with the Syrian chemical atrocities as it had when the 60’s protest movement was birthing and Baez was on the rise.  I find myself wondering, where are the Joan Baez musical equivalents in a world that today needs torch songs of protest and concern more than ever?

And so it is, on this somewhat somber summer afternoon at home, I’m reminded in music of  Forever Young … the song that reminds us of Joan’s truth-telling and integrity as an artist.  A song that celebrates the light overcoming the places of darkness.

We all face challenges in our lifetimes.  It’s all in how we address those challenges – how we believe in ourselves, take steps to keep persevering, until we finally and often brutally begin to understand how basic and simple our needs truly are.

Andrea and Brutus

My dearest friend visited us yesterday.  Andrea brought her boy dog, Brutus to visit.  My three girls and Brutus were introduced and immediately I think my girls began to flirt with him!

Bottom line – these are the things I remember sweetly and lovingly.  Perhaps if you look back on your lifetime’s span thus far, you will enjoy yourself and remember you are, and may always be, Forever Young.


My treasured Gibson Guitar.