I hope the people in your life support your kind of crazy. I’m of the notion that’s what makes life fun is when we align ourselves with souls who get our crazy.
I’m learning to appreciate empty spaces. I told my daughter, “By the end of the year this house is going to look empty, but it will still hold lots of love.” I just came in from working in the yard, and it still makes me smile to see the empty firepit, because up until a few days ago it was full of sticks. Saturday morning, I lit a fire and it was magic.
There’s nothing better in my opinion than the smell of a contained fire. Now, the pit is empty waiting to be cleaned, so it can sparkle all summer long. The fire pit is one of my favorite things, so it will remain in our life. What happened is I had loaded it for a fire, and then walked outside and realized it’s the end of May and I might have missed that season.
I lit it anyway.
Someone walked by and waved hello, and I waved hello in return. It didn’t bother me one bit what he might have thought. I began walking the yard, gathering sticks that had fallen during recent storms and threw them into the fire. It felt productive cleaning up the yard, plus it was a way to prolong the moment. Later on I mentioned to someone about lighting the pit and he said, “Whaaattttt? It’s 95 degrees outside!” Well, it wasn’t when I lit the fire. Was it crazy, or merely outside his realm of thinking?
It was a sunny Saturday in May and a little warm, but if it feeds your soul my darling, by all means…do it anyway.
I received a letter from my friend Dawn over at Aging With Grace. Writing and receiving letters is one of my most favorite things in the world.
She noted the time of year, and thought about the flowers I’ve probably planted, but this year I planted very few. Actually, I bought my first giant bush! It’s a Bottlebrush bush that is well-known for attracting butterflies.
I planted it in front of the kitchen window so we’d have full view of every butterfly show. A few Monarch’s were fast to find it, and it’s a treat to get to watch them up close. My thrive or die philosophy hasn’t worked very well this year, because the few flowers I did plant are definitely not thriving. 😂
A month ago, I noticed some plants popping up near the arbor that I wrote about last year and you can see them here. These were not planted by me, so I don’t know how long they’ve been here, or who planted them, but they’ve multiplied since last year and filling in the empty space.
Maybe that’s the theme for this year, is simply giving the yard some space to fill in at it’s own pace. Looking out the kitchen window at the bottlebrush bush, I noticed a couple of plants from last year breaking through the dirt. I had no idea they would survive the cold and return.
Planting new flowers doesn’t inspire me this year, but the ones that survived the Winter and are making a coming back inspire me to no end!
Driving back from town I turned the radio on, and this song began to play. I haven’t listened to Cody’s new album, Human in it’s entirety, but this song is by far one of my favorites.
To people who know me, it’s no secret I love Cody Johnson. He’s like the underdog who made it big because he never gave up. My guess would be, one thing he did to achieve his well-earned success is he kept singing his heart out. Cody sings so many things I want to say. I haven’t shared nearly enough songs by Cody, so we’ll need to fix that!
All of Cody’s songs are real and raw. When you watch this video, wait until the 2:54 mark and you’ll see how passionate he is about his words. I believe we’re supposed to unleash our passion in what we do and let ourselves love big! The part of the song that hits home for me is when Cody reminds us to chase our dreams, because they won’t chase us back.
If you got a chance, take it, take it while you got a chance If you got a dream, chase it, ’cause a dream won’t chase you back
Tomorrow isn’t promised, so there’s no room for putting things off. Take a chance, and go all in when you do, ’til you can’t.
Every moment allows space with endless possibilities. My goal is to not add so much to it that I ruin the moment.
Our cat has this new thing he’s been doing this week. I make my bed every morning, usually within 30 minutes of leaving it, but Friday I left it a mess. He casually strolls into my bedroom, hops up on the corner of the bed and curls up for a quick nap. He normally does this after I make it up, but today it’s unmade, so that doesn’t seem to matter to him. Maybe it’s the moment he’s after.
Now it’s 2:30 PM and the bed is still unmade.
I walked in to see what remnants were left behind from a Zoom earlier in the day, and spotted my favorite notebook, classic Kate Spade laying on the bed. I love this notebook, but earlier this week, I noticed it was almost out of pages. It was originally purchased to be used as a journal, but somehow transitioned over to notes from work. It has a hardcover, so it also doubles as a sturdy mouse pad.
They don’t make it anymore, but I asked my daughter to search and see if she can find it. She found one that is brand new, still in the package and for sale. She emailed me the link and it was purchased without hesitation.
I’m excited about getting the new one and it feels like having a second chance to use it more intentionally. Notes from work can be placed in any type notebook, as this notebook proves, not everything we love is easily replaced. Here I sit on a Friday, in a messy bed with the cat nearby, simply thrilled to have a second chance.
I bought a candle. That’s nothing new, I know, but it’s taught me well so far.
I posted a picture of it on Facebook. Not surprising for my friends either, but that’s not why it was posted. It was to tag the local business owner who I purchased it from. She’s one of my people who feels like sunlight, and adds to my world. By her inspiration I changed the tagline of my Blog this year to ‘Never Settle. Don’t even think about it.’
To be inspired, surround yourself with inspiring people. Their energy alone feels light sunlight.
I’ve been eyeing these candles for a while. They’re like art, so the price feels more like an investment than buying a candle. My friend who owns the shop said, “Once the candle burns completely out, the artist will refill the bowl with another candle, and I could even choose a different scent.” That candlemaker/artist has no idea what she’s in for!
When I brought it home, the instructions said to let it burn all the way across the first time. I did and blew it out, but have lit is several times since, each time allowing it to burn to the edges of the wooden dough bowl. This morning, I forgot it was lit and it burned for hours. When I walked by, this is what I saw.
Most all of the wax melted and you can see the beauty of the wooden bowl. There’s something strangely satisfying having a flame sitting in wood, but not catching the wood on fire. This candle reminded me to get down to the raw beauty of it all, it helps to walk away, forget about it and let it burn.
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.
Don’t go back to sleep. The day is waiting for us to step into it.
Keep using what we have and get it right.
Follow some instruction. If the first ones aren’t to our liking, find better instructions.
There’s a waiting period after every step.
Let the water get boiling hot, but don’t let it spew. Anything that gets that hot needs a minute to rest.
Watch the time, and be attentive to the red zone.
Pause and enjoy the bloom. Breathe it in.
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.