Just Write

Looking through my Reader at the list of people I follow is disturbing. There are so many writers not writing. Some have not published a post for days, weeks, even months. If you are on WordPress right now reading this, I have to ask…”Are you writing?”

I met a girlfriend for coffee this morning. 🙂

She has the potential of becoming a great writer!

She told me what her sister said about her writing. She said,”You are just doing that for attention.”

That was disturbing for me on so many levels.

We agreed that her sister tried to hurt her, and what she said is mean. I responded with, “I guess it depends whether or not you’re willing to let that stop you.” She is not writing as much as before.

 

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I’ve read a lot of ‘rules of writing’, and had to let them go. The rules caused me to second guess my writing. Do you know the secret of being a writer?

You have to WRITE! It’s that simple.

I’ve taken many a break from posting Blogs. I even thought at one time of giving up writing. It was probably one of the saddest moments of my life, but that is what happens when your break is too long.

It feels easier to quit than to start writing again.

It doesn’t matter how many times we begin again, as long as we don’t quit altogether. I publish more now than I have in a long time, and you know what changed? I did. I stopped analyzing and I just write.

I stopped watching the stats. I stopped caring what everyone thinks. I stopped feeling like a spammer for publishing two posts in one day.

I decided to write for the pure joy of writing, still holding hope that someone would grasp something from it. When I felt an urge to write, (like now), to just let it flow, and stop letting things stand in the way. It has become a priority for me because Lord knows the only way to get better at it is by doing! 

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One of my all time favorite quotes.

Who says you have to have a researched topic?

Some of my favorite Blog posts are written by people struggling to write! They usually have some sort of breakthrough by the end of the post, and feel better. If nothing else, they get kudos for writing!

I begin each day inside my Reader over coffee.

Out of all the Blogs I follow, there may be half a dozen new posts each morning. If I follow you, I want to hear every word you’re thinking.

You don’t need permission to fill up my Reader.

I have plenty of coffee, and I enjoy spending my morning with you. Let me encourage you to forget what everyone else is saying, thinking or doing and just write. And then hit publish. I’ll bring the coffee.

Wear A Cape

It was cool in the house this morning, so I reached over and grabbed my cape. When it was time to manage a Chemex of coffee, I tied the cape around my neck. It’s draped around my shoulders as I type.

Between living in Texas, and going through Chemo, I get chilled easily. If it’s below 60 degrees, I’m cold.

I read once, when you feel a need for comfort, wrap something around your shoulders. All of the shows that have an ambulance in the scene, have the injured person sitting at the back of it wrapped in a blanket. The EMT’s know this secret.

My cape is actually a lightweight blanket.

It comes in it’s own pouch, so my cape travels well. I take it to the grocery store, and movie theater. Anywhere I might get chilled, my cape comes along.

The brand name is ‘Caffeinated Sloth’. You know my love fest over coffee, and the Sloth is a most intriguing animal, so imaging a Sloth on Caffeine makes me smile. I happened upon this blanket in a local coffee shop, and became friends with the owner.

She is a delightful soul, and you can purchase your own cape here. I bought the Retro Paisley for $20.

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I bought this for Mother’s Day.

Today, I don’t feel a need to change the world, but I do want to make a difference. I love how this sign reads, ‘nice tiara’, as if there are some ugly ones laying around. On second thought, a nice tiara might be a marvelous addition while I wear a cape.

Catching a Glimpse

Note to self: “Bake cookies the day before she gets home.”

So the house doesn’t smell like fresh baked cookies when she walks in. The smells lingers, and she’ll ask if I had cookies with my coffee. I’m prepared to be fussed at.

Stepping into the hallway this morning, it felt chilly.

At first, I thought the air was turned down too low, but the air conditioning wasn’t running. The house was quiet and the air felt cool, and crisp. It reminded me fall is coming.

August in Texas means heat, but it was sweet catching a glimpse.

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To Be Inspired

To get in the habit of writing again. Taking time off becomes easier, and soon, you find yourself not writing. In speaking with a friend this morning she said, “Write about coffee!”

My daughter returned from Boston with a brown bag of goodness. Out of all the things she could have brought, she knows my heart. It was a bag of Blue Bottle coffee beans.

The way I view coffee has evolved over time. What used to be my morning ‘wake me up’, is now a magical moment.

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The coffee bloom and a Chemex.

My relationship with coffee became quite serious this year.

Visit local coffee houses, (not franchises), or the coffee booth at a Farmers Market, and ask questions like…

Where do your beans come from? When were they roasted?

When you purchase whole bean, check the bottom of the bag. It should have a roasted date stamped on it. Beans stay fresh for two weeks before they start losing their freshness. Only grind the amount you are going to use.

I used to made my coffee at night, and set the machine to brew automatically for the next morning. Stumbling out of bed, after the beep was the start of my day. I didn’t realize what the machine was doing for me is actually a magical moment. Moments aren’t timed or automatic.

Moments are deliberately made in the present moment.

I placed the coffee maker on a shelf to give away, and pulled out a french press. That is how I made my coffee each morning, but eventually I knew there was more to learn. My daughter taught me the magic of a pour over. It took time to get it just right, but what a challenge to learn!

When my daughter brought home Blue Bottle, I graduated to the Chemex. This has been the most challenging, yet rewarding of all! I don’t have it mastered, but I keep trying.

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The Chemex.

My daughter has the Chemex down to a science, and an amazing cup of coffee is a science. A Burr type grinder crushes each bean, instead of emulsifying them with a blade, so they are uniform. You can weigh the grinds, (my daughter would), but I don’t go that far. Even after using a French Press, Blue Bottle taught me how to improve. To time the steep for 4 minutes, and no more. Then press the brew, and how much resistance the press should have.

In the heat of the summer, cold brew is refreshing in the afternoon, so today I ordered a bottle to make it myself.

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Hario Cold Brew Bottle by Blue Bottle.

There is always something to improve upon. I went from having ‘just coffee’, to altering my morning routine for this moment. Now when I awake, I drink a bottle of water to give my body time to wake up. The Chemex is complex, and it’s early, so I wait for my daughter to appear. She makes a Chemex, but if she’s not here, I do a pour over, or French Press, and practice with the Chemex after I’m fully awake.

My friend asked me this morning, “What inspires you?” Well my friend, you do, along with a really good cup of coffee.

 

I Want Normal

The life my daughter and I share is not normal. We care for one another at a very high level. We watch each other, and learn how to do so. We are now down to the details.

I bought a new toothbrush holder, and noticed the openings are large enough to hold more than a toothbrush, so I put my razor in it. I recently noticed she had followed suit. Her razor now stands beside her toothbrush too.

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To love one another like God loves us. Unconditionally.

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Fresh flowers in the house as often as possible is normal.

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She makes her famous crepes when I need some extra care.

At a young age I told her, “Everything has it’s place. When you take something from it’s place, you need to put it back when you’re done using it.” We know where things are.

When my daughter visits her Dad for the weekend, I want it to feel like home when she returns. Her room is never messy, but I go in and change her sheets, open the blinds, add fresh flowers if we have them, and light a candle.

I don’t have to ask her to do things. She knows when she’s away from home, this feels good to come home to. She has been shown to uncover the beauty.

When I am gone for the day, she goes in my room and makes the bed, opens the blinds, and lights my candle. Not because I asked, she just knows what that feels like.

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She surpasses me. I didn’t take time to make cookies throughout her life, but she knows I love them. After a long day on Thursday, I walked into the house to these.

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And yes, I made a coffee pour over to go with them!

Our kids are watching. What are we showing them?

My daughter is now watching me stretch and grow myself. This year, I’ve been doing the hard stuff. Cleaning house in more ways than one, but that will be another Blog.

My daughter has gifts and talents to make this world a better place. We are called to use everything God has given us, so I am walking through every door He is opening.

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All of the notes I left for her when she was a child have come full circle. She left this on the fridge for me last week.

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I told her, “I am happy for us, that this is normal.”

Listening for quiet

Making a coffee pour over has a calming effect over me.

Once I go through all the steps of setting it up, I’m forced to slow down, and enjoy the process. Watching as the boiling hot water, slowly escapes from the spout of the pour over kettle. It hits the coarse grounds, and they begin to bloom. (My fave) Today, I poured the water very slowly, in attempt to keep the bloom alive for as long as possible.

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That magnificent bloom.

I listened intently during the process. When the water first hit the grounds, and the liquid drained into the empty cup, it was noisy. I could hear it trickling. As the cup filled with the hot liquid, the trickling became quieter, and quieter.

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I knew the cup was full when it was completely quiet.

Give from the Heart

Do you ever feel led to buy something, and not sure why?

I was in an antique book shoppe, and found a copy of one of my favorite books. It was beautiful, and I wanted it, but I already owned a copy. So, I left the shop without it.

Not getting the book bothered me for weeks, but I didn’t need it. Then God revealed it wasn’t for me, I was just supposed to buy it. It was to be mailed to one of my dearest friends. I called the shop, thinking it might be gone by now, but it was still there, and has been mailed to my friend.

This happens to my daughter too. She was in a coffee shop in Austin, TX, and saw a newly released book about brewing the perfect coffee, at home. She felt led to buy it, but we know how to brew coffee in numerous ways, so it wasn’t for us. She brought it home, laid it under the Christmas tree, and waited for God to reveal who it was for.

Our favorite coffee shop is Chaparral Coffee in Lockhart. It’s right down the road from our house, and we go there frequently. The coffee is excellent, but we love the people who work there. They take such good care of us, and we feel loved. The book was to be given to the owner, Austin.

You never know what day and time he works, but we trusted that today was the day! God had it all lined up.

We walked in with the book, and there he stood behind the counter. We ordered our drinks, and he made them in our favorite house mugs. I paid for the Chai Lattes before giving him the book. I didn’t want him to feel obligated to give us our drinks. He loved the book, and was very thankful.

We had just caught him before his shift ended, but as he was leaving, he walked over, and stood between us, as we sat on stools. Wrapping an arm around our shoulders, he squeezed us and said, “Merry Christmas girls! Take those cups with you.” We were stunned, but hugged him back.

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You just can’t out give God when you give from the heart.