Life is Good

I woke up at 5:00 am. The house is really dark that time of morning. I reached over to turn on the lamp beside my bed and with one click the room was illumined. Glancing at the floor to my surprise there is a puppo curled up sound asleep. The click of the switch caused her to raise her head and give me a squinting look like, “Really?” Another click, click, and the lamp goes off resuming darkness.

Sitting in the dark, yet knowing it’s a new day.

I decided to go ahead and do my meditation, and then stumble my way toward the coffee bar to choose a coffee method. The French press sounded simple enough. I put the kettle on, but instead of turning on a light, I lit a nearby candle. During the day, I don’t think much about having a candle lit, (there is always one lit) but in the darkness is when it puts on a show!

I was so mesmerized by the candle, I forgot about the press, and didn’t do a very good job. The water was too hot, and I used too many grinds, so all it took was one sip to realize, this is not magical. I took another sip, trying to make it work, but just couldn’t do it. It was awful!

The beginning of the year, I changed my tagline for this Blog, and it was time to heed those words. “Never settle. Don’t even think about it.” The second sentence is the most important part. I can think about something long enough and settle into the idea of it, and it doesn’t seem that bad. That’s where the settling mindset begins.

I don’t want a life of, “It’s not that bad.” No darling, I firmly believe, “Life is good.”

The First Step

I woke up at 4am, and couldn’t decide whether or not to go back to sleep. It’s amazing how many tiny choices we make in a day, with each one altering the next.

I began thinking of my French Press and how I haven’t used it very much. It was one of those things Barb ‘had to have’, but I couldn’t get satisfied with the taste of the coffee. I have read articles from coffee experts, and the instructions that came with the press, but this early in the morning, I wanted some simple steps. Google led me to an article by the easy to follow woman behind Gimme Some Oven.

Her way of making it just made sense to me, so I hopped outta bed at 5:00 am, and strolled quietly into the kitchen with instructions in hand, ready to try again. There are several steps involved in making a French Press, but anything that’s worthwhile has steps.

First I had to see how much water the press would hold. It held 4 cups, so I poured the water into the gooseneck kettle and sat it on the stove to bring it to a boil. Then waited. After it begins to boil, the water needs to rest for a minute, so I took it off the burner to rest.

I opened the timer on my phone and set it for 4 minutes, and poured the freshly ground beans into the French Press, just going through the steps. The hot water was poured just over the bed of grinds, about 2 inches, and stirred with a wooden chopstick to wet every grind, and the timer began.

My favorite part is watching it bloom. Putting my face over the press, I inhaled the magical aroma. If it’s really good coffee it should bloom, or foam up. The more it foams, the better quality. After one minute had passed, the rest of the water was poured in and the lid was put into place. The screen rested on top of the water with the plunger standing up.

I watched the countdown of time ticking by with the numbers illuminated blue in color. It was interesting when the timer got down to the last 30 seconds, the numbers turned red.

The one thing that bothered me about using the French press in the past was the feel of the pressing. I know how it’s supposed to feel when you press the plunger down with the palm of your hand. It should have some resistance, and not be effortless. This time it had plenty of resistance, so in the past I hadn’t poured enough in.

Le Creuset Café Stoneware French Press

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t go back to sleep. The day is waiting for us to step into it.
  2. Keep using what we have and get it right.
  3. Follow some instruction. If the first ones aren’t to our liking, find better instructions.
  4. There’s a waiting period after every step.
  5. Let the water get boiling hot, but don’t let it spew. Anything that gets that hot needs a minute to rest.
  6. Watch the time, and be attentive to the red zone.
  7. Pause and enjoy the bloom. Breathe it in.
  8. When we begin to press through and there’s resistance, it’s normal. Nothing worthwhile should feel like an easy plunge, just continue to gently press.

Was getting up early, and trying once again to make a French Press worth it? You better believe it! That was excellent coffee. Keep trying and be willing to go through some steps to get to where you really want to be.

It all begins with the first step.

Keep Washing Mugs

It feels like I’ve been washing coffee mugs all week. Walking through the house, making my way to the kitchen and picking them up on the way there. I’m not complaining my darling.

It’s actually a blessing. Used coffee mugs equal out to really good coffee consumed, and magical moments. When the tray that holds our mugs is empty, I see it as a good week!

empty
Empty mug tray.

The tray for the mugs is a cake stand.

I fell in love with it at first glance. Knowing it was a cake stand made it an even sweeter purchase, (‘cuz you know how I feel about cake), but I envisioned it holding our mugs on the coffee bar. When it’s empty, it’s a beautiful reminder of what it holds.

This meme has been on my mind.

becomemoreaware

I was given a subscription to Blue Bottle Coffee for Mother’s Day. Micheal, over at Kuched, reminded me a while back of the French Press. Mine had seen better days, so I ordered a new one for Mother’s Day. The color I wanted was out of stock, but I believe it’s worth the wait. It’ll be here tomorrow.

lecreuset
Caribbean Blue by Le Creuset

Life doesn’t gets much better than mugs full of Blue Bottle coffee. Walking through the house picking them up to wash, was like gathering up moments. Becoming more aware my darlings of what’s truly worth your one, short, important life.

I’ll keep washing mugs.

Take a Minute

The house is quiet and still, but it wasn’t. Two days ago, my daughter brought home a puppy.

She went to meet a friend for lunch, and puppy went with. I have some errands to run, but decided to take a minute and enjoy this quiet moment.

press
‘Velvet Blaze’ Grinds by Summer Moon

A small french press enhances a moment. It’s actually a moment within itself, and I could feel myself relaxing through every step of the process.

I’m having trouble keeping up with the days.

It’s December, and we are counting the days until she leaves for  England. In two weeks, she will board the plane. Then, the following week is Christmas, and next comes the New Year! I remember counting down the months, not days.

I poured a cup of brew from the press.

day
Décembre.

Strolled by our wood calendar, and flipped the block to the right date. This calendar shows me what day it is, and takes less that a minute to flip.

Be encouraged lovely. You have more control than you realize. Just breathe, and take a minute.

Fast or Slow

I used to be afraid of aging.

Back then, it was for vanity reasons, but I’m not afraid anymore. I like growing up, and learning new things. Now, to just process it all.

I woke up at 6:00 am, grabbed my water bottle, and stepped outside to sit in the porch swing. We have a feral cat that has hung around for a while now. We feed it, but have never been able to get anywhere near it. It looks like she may be pregnant, and as she hopped up on the porch, I heard her purring.

She was full of love, and shared it with me.

It took a while, and much circling on her part, but eventually, she hopped up into the swing. I was amazed being this close to her, so I reached out and lifted her into my lap. She didn’t know what to do. She started kneading my robe, and lifting her face up toward mine.

It was scary for both of us. I wanted to keep my face in tact, and she wanted to trust.

live.-simply

My daughter has me hooked on fresh pressed coffee. I know right? Always the Keurig, but not today! She gave me precise instructions lastnight, so I tried to recall it all this morning.

Get the kettle of water almost to a boil, then take it off to rest a minute. I measured the beans, and placed them in the grinder. Kept looking at them to make sure they didn’t turn to dust. Dumped them in the carafe, poured in the water, and the lid went on with a slight press. It didn’t look right. It wasn’t as dark as hers, but I am learning.

Once it was done, it was a robust cup of coffee. When I poured the cream in, I had to use a spoon to stir it. That was new. Normally the cream would just mix right in, but this stuff was thick! It seemed to take a long time to go through a lot of steps to enjoy this fine cup of brew. It was more than worth it.

 

I have spent many years rushing through life, but today, it’s all about the love. What used to be fast is now slow.