Cookies and Chemex

I’m getting the hang of this emptying nest.

My daughter has not been home this week. She has a friend visiting and they’re spending time together.

She texted me yesterday before they came by for a visit. It was nice to see them and be included in her life, but it wasn’t sad to see them leave. We do life together, but we have also acquired our own lives.

Today was yet another milestone.

My daughter and I love these little seasonal cookies made by Pillsbury. Yes, they are pure sugar and yes, they are made by a machine, but we cook and eat real food, so this is our splurge.

As I was pondering my choices for breakfast, I remembered the Easter cookies unopened in the fridge. I took one look at the doggos and said, “We’re having cookies and Chemex.”

cookies
I know they’re gross, but we love them.

This was a fine way to begin the day of this emptying nest. Cookies and Chemex.

Moments of Gratitude

There’s something about November that brings gratitude to the forefront. I saw a post written my Michelle GD and signed up for her Gratitude notes. This morning, I found myself looking forward to her email of ‘Day Two’.

Michelle and I have similar philosophies. It’s the little things in life that I’m grateful for the most. In yesterday’s gratitude notes, she asked that we make note of what we see that we’re grateful for, so I took a few pictures.

I bribed myself to go for a walk.

Actually, I thought of it as a reward. I made a Chemex and let it sit telling myself it would still be hot and ready to enjoy on my return. On my way out the door, I snapped this pic of the steam rolling off. It’s a thing of beauty.

Chemex Coffemaker with Bluebottle Coffee

When it was time for brunch, I grabbed Leo.

My daughter brought him home because we use fresh herbs to cook with, and Leo makes chopping herbs fun. He’s our pretty, yet highly functional find. It’s celebratory when it’s pretty and practical. Sometimes it’s just pretty.

She found him on the clearance rack.

BergHOFF Leo Herb Cutter Set

While in the kitchen I glanced at the front door standing open. I told my daughter we need to petition fresh Christmas Trees being available for purchase November 1st. If they were, our tree would already be up and decorated. We love Christmas decor!

We have balls!

Scrolling through my camera roll this morning, it resembles gratitude notes. That’s what a photo is for me. Moments of gratitude.

In An Instant

As I mentioned in a previous post, my daughter met up with a friend she doesn’t get to see very often. They met on the college campus last year, and the friend moved away to attend another campus. The best thing to come out of college, in my opinion, has been meeting this friend.

They stayed out late shooting pool, so her friend came home with her and crashed here. The following morning, her friend woke up and walked through the house looking for coffee. There’s no automatic brew here my love.

But I can make you a cup of coffee that’s memorable. I stood with her at the coffee bar and went through the choices. Chemex, a vessel of coffee, the French press, or a pour over. She was intrigued by the pour over and asked, “What’s a pour over?” This made my heart sing.

Bluebottle Coffee Dripper

I have a confession to make. I’d become really slack recently about taking the time to make a Chemex, or pour over for myself in the morning. I’d walk by the coffee bar, over to the tea cart and turn on the electric kettle for a cup of instant coffee. Within minutes I was sipping on a cup of rehydrated beans, sort of, and not enjoying it.

That’s just not me. I don’t do anything in an instant.

This morning I stood at the coffee bar, remembering the fascination of the friend and treated myself in the same manner as I treated her. “What’s your pleasure Barb?”

The Chemex is what I made for myself.

Photo by Purple Smith on Pexels.com

I remember the friend sitting at our kitchen table sipping the cup of coffee made by hand. The look on her face after each sip was like she had never experienced coffee like that before. I told her, “That will get you going”, and she responded with excitement, “What are we doing today?!”

Yesterday my daughter told me something her friend said about that morning at our table. She said, “Sunday morning was one the most beautiful morning’s I’ve ever had.” Those words were music to my ears and yet it also confirmed:

Beautiful moments aren’t made in an instant.

Know Your Flow

To prepare for sleep, I chose to halt the flow of day into evening. Work was one of them, which was mentioned in the previous post, and we’ll dive deeper into working from home soon. Today we’ll keep walking toward a good night’s sleep.

Photo by Pietra Schwarzler on Unsplash

You know my love for coffee, and the coffee bar was always flowing, until I got serious about a good night’s sleep. It didn’t take long to realize coffee was making me restless in bed. It was tough to admit, but my mind is fueled by coffee, so it would not relax if I drank it late in the day. I would lay in bed and continue thinking just like it was morning.

Some people would say, “Stop drinking coffee Barb.” Well, I love superb coffee and enjoy trying beans from all over the world. Life’s too short to deprive myself of something meaningful, but there’s a balance.

Now, I stop the flow of coffee by 2:00 pm and sometimes before noon, which is instrumental in a good night’s sleep. I’m learning a good night sleep takes discipline and saying no to the flesh. One day, my daughter offered me the rest of her Chocolate Cold Brew after 4:00 pm, and I regrettably poured it down the sink.

Life will tempt you on your journey. Walking out to the mailbox, this was waiting inside the box.

Blue Bottle Coffee Subscription

Normally, I squeal with excitement when Blue Bottle arrives. A month ago, I would have raced into the house and started the kettle for a Chemex. My excuse would be, “I haven’t tried this blend before!” It’s tempting to blow a good night’s sleep, but now I know better. When we know better, it’s time to do better.

They say, ‘go with the flow’, but I’m good at adding to the flow until it becomes a white water rafting kind of day.

I watched my actions as the morning flowed into afternoon and then evening. When it became night, I felt trepidation because I had crossed my boundaries that day and wasn’t sleepy. I hadn’t had a successful night’s sleep in months and I don’t believe we’re supposed to dread going to bed.

There is a flow to this life, and being mindful of what flows into my day and at what time is an intricate part of having a good night’s sleep. Coffee now has a slow flow and a stopping point.

Maybe it’s not coffee for you, but if you’re having trouble relaxing your mind to fall asleep, there’s something in your body from the day that thinks it needs to stay awake. Know your flow.

A Level Life

You can smell the coffee. Not that it’s being made, but that so much has been ground and brewed, it lingers. The coffee bar is in the middle of the house, so you could say, it’s at our core.

This morning as I was writing down my completed actions of the self trust cultivator, everything I did took place in the core of the house. Fed and watered the animals in the hallway. Brushed my teeth in the hall bath, and began a load of laundry in the hallway. Started the Chemex at the coffee bar.

What took place in the core, fed everyone’s core.

chemex

There’s a flow in life, and it starts at the core.

Our cat let me know his water bowl was empty by hopping in the kitchen sink trying to find water. He knows what a water spout looks like, and was hoping to find some in the sink. It took me a minute to figure out what he was doing, but when I put him on the floor, he went to the bathtub, another water source.

Then I saw his empty water bowl.

When the balance and flow of life coincide, it feels like everything is lined up and level. After I took this picture, it was reassuring to see how everything lined up. The level is sitting on the corner of my desk, and that wouldn’t be good to have a desk off center. It would effect the balance of every task at the desk.

alevellife

My first full-time job was working in a custom frame shoppe. I learned so many life skills with that job. Every cut of the frame, glass and mat was based on precision, and performed by hand. We relied on math for it to fit together perfectly.

When cutting the mat to go around the picture, we’d leave 1/2 an inch more mat at the bottom. Once in the frame, the mat looked equal on every side, but adding that 1/2 an inch at the bottom is what made it look even to the naked eye.

Thanks to that job, I have a keen sense of awareness in being centered. I lay that little level in the picture above on everything. After hanging a picture, it gets the level laid on it.

If you feel off centered, or unbalanced, start at the core and then take in your surroundings. The core craves balance, but our surroundings can have a negative effect on that. It could be something like a picture hanging crooked, or a piece of furniture that’s been knocked off center.

Our wood floor has a flow of the grain, so all the rectangular tables in our home are pointing in that direction. They are flowing with the grain in the wood floor, along with the center of the house which is like a long rectangular core.

Find a small level and lay it on all the areas of your life.

My hope for you is to live a level life.

To Do Better

I’m still going through, cleaning my archives. I’ve gone through 2014, 2015, 2016 and am on March 2017. I’ll share some thoughts once I’m done, but my best advice for now is…Don’t wait six years.

I took this meme out of an archived post to share with you. I went through a phase of using way to many memes in my posts. 😍

calendar

This morning called for a strong Chemex.

To have the Chemex, I had to tackle something new. Their square filter. I only have one regular filter left, but there’s an entire box of the square ones in the pantry. Why you might ask?

Because I never figured out how to use them.

This goes back to the whole ‘follow the instructions‘ thing. YouTube to the rescue.

The original Chemex filter is folded into a square. I always thought you had to unfold it to make it work. Now, there are some baristas who get really fancy with it, and refold it, but the Chemex is such a simple process, I knew this filter had to be simple as well.

It’s ridiculously simple.

You don’t unfold it at all. You simply separate the layers. Three layers on the spout, and one lays on the rest of the opening.

chemex

I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be difficult.

Maybe it’s like a lot of things in life. You don’t know until you know, but when we know better, we get to do better.

On My Own

My daughter is out of town this week.

I’m trying to take care of myself without her. She’s in charge of protein shakes, and I’m coffee. This morning I had to make the protein shake by using the Ninja, on my own.

The Ninja blender is the best blender I’ve ever used. You could drop in an iceberg, and it would emulsify it. I nearly sliced my finger off the first time I cleaned it, so it’s had my respect ever since!

But, I did it. I began my day with protein, and then moved onto Chemex. She’ll be proud.

My daughter reads instructions. I’m a dedicated instruction reader when it comes to putting things together, and how to properly use machinery, but somewhere along life’s journey I stopped.

When my daughter is here she makes the shake, and I clean the blender, but I know better than to get anywhere near it’s blades.

I thought I was so smart squirting dish-washing liquid in, filling it with warm water, and turning it back on, like making a shake, but with bubbles.

After it runs for a while, simply rinse it, take it apart, and let it dry.

Ninjaclean

My daughter said, “Yes ma’am. That’s how you’re supposed to clean it. I read it in the instructions.”

I need to go back to reading the instructions. 😀

Moment For One

We’ve enjoyed cool mornings this week in Texas.

The front door is open so the screen door is being enjoyed. As I look around the house, I see things that need to be done. The floor is so dirty thanks to the doggos, but that dirt is not going anywhere without my assistance, so it can wait.

I chose the Chemex for this morning’s coffee enjoyment. I just love how it’s called, ‘a vessel of coffee’. The café cups were sitting at eye level on the top part of the coffee bar. I plucked one down and poured myself a moment.

cku1y8reqtoj2ja1n3rk

I can have a moment all by myself.

And to be perfectly honest, it’s what I prefer nowadays. I haven’t met a man I’m willing to share my life with. My life is so quiet, you could call it serene. That doesn’t seem to be the norm these days, with lives being dictated by technology.

I don’t even know where my phone is at the moment.

The café cups came as a set of two that I use with my darling daughter, but she’s not going to be here forever, nor would I want her to be. She will eventually live her life to the fullest without me everyday, so who will use the second café cup?

I’m depending on God to show me this time.

Until then, I’m content in my moment for one.

That is Enough

I was thinking about her comment while making the morning Chemex. It was in response to this meme I posted for SC Lourie.

She was having a hard time being a single Mom, but what stuck with me the most was, “I feel like I fail my children everyday.”

I want her to know, that’s so far from the truth my darling.

tuesday

I wasn’t paying attention to the pour of the Chemex. The boiling water hit the grounds too fast, and they slid down the filter in spots. It wasn’t pretty, but that’s what distraction does.

It was no big deal. I resolved to drink it, and if it bothered me too much, I’d make another one, because that’s what I do. Start over as many times necessary until satisfied with the end result.

chemex2
The Re-do

The only failure is not trying again.

Just show up, and keep trying your best. Start over as many times needed, and you won’t feel beaten. Kids watch what we do, but they don’t grade our performance. They don’t expect perfection from us, but I think we do. You woke up to a new day, and sometimes my darling, even that is enough.

Enjoy the Good

I asked my daughter, “Have you noticed the coffee bar smells like coffee?” Walking by the bar, you can smell the various grinds from it’s frequent use. She introduced me to this roaster a month ago.

stumptown
Stumptown Coffee

I just love the name, ‘Hairbender’.

She used it to make a Chemex for us to share. Once that one was empty, she walked through the house and yelled, “You want another Chemex?!” This quarantine thingy is working quite well.

Yesterday, I found myself standing in the aisle of paper goods at one of my favorite stores. A lady was standing there along with me, six feet apart, and we’re wearing masks. The aisle was fully stocked with toilet paper. We were mesmerized by the sight of it.

I asked her, “Did you ever think seeing toilet paper would bring complete happiness?” She shook her head, and said, “No.”

I decided to check out the cold brew display, and there it was, the mighty Stumptown chilled and ready to drink. I hadn’t tried this one before, but it suddenly became my new favorite. What’s not to love?

stumptown

Life is changing, but for the better.

The time is right to enjoy the good.