The Perfect Cup

I’ve drank some sad coffee this week, and it was of my own making. One morning I made a cup of instant just to use the frother, and it was too strong. I misjudged the balance between the oat milk and grinds.

I moved on to the French Press, thinking I wouldn’t get it wrong, but there again it was bloody awful. I didn’t weigh the grinds and just took a wild guess, before placing them in the press. There was not enough grinds for the amount of water heated, so it poured out and resembled muddy water.

I had all the tools at my disposal for good coffee, and had received beans from three different coffee roasters. My daughter walked by the coffee bar and asked, “You got enough coffee?” My response was, “Yes my darling I’m trying to decide which one I like best, and have it narrowed down to two.”

This one resonates at the moment considering all the rude boys I’ve encountered while learning to date again.

Wild Gift Coffee, Austin, TX.

By Wednesday, I needed to savor a really good cup of coffee. This is when we go back to what we know, and I know the dripper will produce the perfect cup. I chose a cup from the coffee bar and measured the grinds and water specifically for that cup. That first sip was soothing and everything running through my mind for the day ahead melted away, as I embraced a moment of bliss.

It took constant practice to make what I classify as the perfect cup. I can’t control every part of my day, but I can control how it begins, and every step can lead to a sad cup or a perfect cup. Make it a priority and choose the perfect cup.

Feel the Music

Back in my Network Marketing days, it was often said, “Find somebody who has what you want, and do what they did.” It sounds simple enough, but what they don’t tell you is everything they had to go through to get there.

Walking into the house from tending the yard, I’d left the music playing and this is the song I heard. This was 2017, right as Sheeran was becoming well-known, but this duet was still a dream come true for him. I’m posting the actual video so you can see the look of awe and wonder on his face.

It’s obvious he feels honored to be there and have this opportunity to sing alongside Andrea Bocelli. I love the look on Ed’s face as he walks through the hallway lined with awards and photographs. He sees proof of what years of work and dedication will bring, and it shows as he takes it all in.

For the duet to come off without a hitch, Ed had to learn Italian and said, “If you’re going to be the best at something, let it be Italian.”

Andrea obliged doing this remake with Ed out of the love for his son, who is a huge Sheeran fan. As you’ll see in the video, they are sitting in a room full of love. When the song makes it’s final cut, Ed says, “Its exactly what I wanted.” I’m not sure if he’s referring to the song, or the feeling in the room.

Click here to watch video.

Feel the Music

My post on dating apps has been pulled back into drafts. I may do a mini-series of my experience using the apps, but here’s what I’ve seen across the board. It’s all about putting yourself out there. Making yourself emotionally, mentally and physically available.

It’s easier being single. I get to do what I want, anytime I please, and thoroughly enjoy my life, but the part I miss is when the ‘I’ becomes ‘we’.

No relationship is perfect, but I believe it’s so important that we have them. I don’t believe we were created to roam this earth alone, but over time we get used to it and it begins to feel good. A new normal. We know what to expect, because it’s only us in the picture.

I love on people, and have even made it my job to do so. I get paid to make peoples lives easier and in some ways better. My life motto is, ‘Leave them better than I found them’, so I have love in my life, but I miss the being in love.

There’s no other feeling like it and love will find us when we make ourselves available to be found.

Strength and Beauty

One of my daughter’s favorite things in our yard is something I didn’t plant. It was here when we moved in, and it survived this year’s snow and ice storm. I began pampering it in March, and have paid attention to it along with all the other plants and shrubs. It bloomed the first of June, but the blooms are now fading.

It’s a young Crepe Myrtle, and I’m thrilled it bloomed this year. Being young it’s resilient, and hasn’t stood here long enough to toughen up, but it will.

It was early morning and the rain had stopped leaving it partly cloudy. The sun was trying it’s best to break through and claim the day. I headed out the door for a walk through the neighborhood, letting my feet lead the way with no certain route in mind.

I turned on one of my favorite streets, and luckily had my phone in my pocket to capture this picture. As I stood there in awe, I wondered how long this Crepe Myrtle has been standing here. It’s a tree that calls for you to sit a spell and listen for it’s stories.

After taking this photo, I continued my walk and it began to rain. It wasn’t heavy, just a fine mist that felt good to my skin. I wondered how much rain that Crepe Myrtle has stood through. My guess would be enough to reach it’s roots, because that’s what it takes to grow in strength and beauty.

Breathtaking

I’ve been caring for it since March.

My philosophy while caring for flowers is: “You’re either gonna thrive or die.” I shower them with love, and a lot of them have been loved to death.

This one plant in particular is a Hibiscus, which is relatively easy to grow. When purchased, it wasn’t in bloom, but the picture on the tag showed what it was going to look like in bloom. Let me just go ahead and say, the photo didn’t do it justice. It has been a while since the purchase, so I had forgotten what color it was, but remembered it was unique, and one I haven’t seen before.

It would grow a bud and look like it was going to bloom, but the bud would fall to the ground. It would just drop off thanks to some type of insect eating it from the inside, but I just kept giving it the same treatment as everything else in the yard. Everyday I’d look at it and see buds, but wonder if it was going to bloom.

It was just a normal morning in the yard, hose in hand with my back to the Hibiscus. I was making my way around to it, when I saw one of the buds had opened into a bloom and gasped at the sight of it!

It was so much more than I imagined that it took my breath away. That’s the kind of life He has planned for us lovelies. Breathtaking.

Sunday at Noon

Some days I feel like my life is one big Zoom. It started out as part of my job, but now I love it.

I purchased a monthly Zoom account and Zoom with people all over the world. The free version gives you 45 minutes, but we kept running over using a full hour. At first I saw it as an investment in my Team, but we use the time to invest in one another. I’m so pumped once the call is over my daughter steers me away from the coffee bar.

I have a call each week with some part of my Zen Habits community. It made me wonder if I could do something similar here in WordPress. This year, community has been a large part of my heart and you are my community. By reading your Blogs I’m sensing some of you are tired and becoming weary in the well doing.

Sunday at Noon has been on my mind for a while now. I knew it was a Blog title because it was three words, but didn’t know the rest. Then I was checking my bank account and saw the Zoom charge and heard, Sunday at Noon. Starting in July, I’ll hold space via Zoom for whoever needs lifting up. Come and let me see your face, Sunday at Noon.

These Two Chairs

We have thought about buying a couch for as long as we’ve lived here.

I spent time cleaning over the weekend, and then did some rearranging of the den. As I was moving furniture around, I remembered the couch sitting here the first time we saw this house. It sat right underneath the window sill, and ran the length of the wall. Three years later, we still haven’t bought a couch. 😂

Sitting at the coffee table this morning, I looked across the table at her chair. It was empty. She is out, living her life, which I want her to do. She called and was excited about new tires for her Jeep. Her father took her tire shopping, and I sat and listened as she described every detail. That’s my girl excited about tires!

The main reason we haven’t bought a couch is these two chairs. They were designed and made around 15 years ago, for a formal living room which you can read about here. They are extra wide and the cushions are stuffed with down, so you can curl up and never leave. If we get a couch, they will have to go into storage, because neither of us can part with them.

These two chairs have held us up during every ‘love of my life’ breakup. They are wide enough to hold a box of tissues and a blanket. The fabric is formal, so I looked into having them recovered, and because they are so well made, the estimate started at $800 per chair. New fabric is not in their future.

Nowadays, her chair is empty more often than not, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Through the years, the one place we always go to be seen and supported is these two chairs.

All that Peace

It’s easy to give away pieces of ourselves to everyone around us, but we need to keep some of that peace for ourselves. We love our people, but I’ve heard we need to treat ourselves like someone we love.

This meme by SC Lourie is sitting on my desktop wanting to be shared. I don’t know about you, but I need this reminder and printed it out to view regularly.

SC Lourie/Butterflies and Pebbles

It’s a give and take, and I do better at giving than receiving. I love people and it brings me joy to give away my smiles, my laughter, and pretty soon some hugs, but it’s also a responsibility to give that all back to me. Otherwise, I won’t have anything to give and that would be a sad day Inbarbsworld.

To have all that peace, I do peaceful things, like going for walks. Just a stroll around the neighborhood, and taking some deep breaths does wonders. My coffee intake has gone from sipping the magical brew throughout the day to drinking a couple of cups. I light candles to enhance the atmosphere of the day. The one I have burning right now is a frosted pine scent and smells like Christmas.

To keep all that peace it’s best to not let anyone take it. People aren’t allowed to walk into my life and take my peace (family included). Be kind to yourself my darling, and take a moment for yourself to gather up all that peace.

Feel The Music

I heard this song last Sunday, and began composing a post after publishing To Be Seen. Unfortunately, I’ve been messing with it every day this week up until the final moment of it’s scheduled publish.

I shared this song with my daughter and told her it’s up next for Feel the Music. It didn’t take her but a moment of listening it to recognize the voice singing is Pink. My favorite part of the song is how she lays down her sword to dive into the pain. I don’t do that nearly often enough, but look forward to the day my sword can retire.

My daughter is my biggest fan, and I’m hers. She is my first like on a post and knows beforehand when one is going to be published. This one was scheduled for 10:00 am, but I haven’t heard from her this morning, so I’ll wait. We always show up for one another, but the timing of our lives doesn’t always align. The timing is not as important as the doing.

If she were here she’d say, ‘Stop rewriting the post!”, but maybe that’s okay. If nothing else she sees that you can rewrite your story down to the very last minute. I do know at some point to stop typing and kick it into cyberspace.

That’s all I know so far.

To Be Seen

“It’s better to be seen than viewed”, said the cashier at the gas station. That phrase has stuck with me for almost a year. We were just making small talk, and then those words fell out of his mouth as I headed toward the door.

The people who walk through our lives are important, and we need to pay attention to who steps in and what they say because most have a message.

When we first moved here, there weren’t many people walking this neighborhood. There was the occasional runner, or someone would zoom by on a bicycle, but no one just strolling the streets. A year ago I began a simple habit of walking to the end of the street as a friendly presence in the neighborhood. I’ve met a good many neighbors and been doing this for long enough now, when they see me coming they stop and talk.

The time or day doesn’t matter so much as the doing.

This is not considered exercise. I literally step outside in whatever I’m wearing and stroll the nearby streets. My daughter got tickled at me one day when I walked out the door and forgot to leave my glasses at home. I was wrapped up in my favorite cardigan and my glasses were still sitting atop my head as we strolled, but it didn’t bother me because I want to be seen for who I am.

A writer.

To be a writer, you need to release your words. To be a good neighbor, you need to keep them.

An excerpt from the book.

I enjoyed all of your fun comments on my previous post Embracing the New. Here’s a couple of photos I shared in my Fearless community taken with my new phone. I wanted to capture the tiny detail of the yellow flower blooming, and it did that, but it also but picked up every vein in the leaves. I love how the pot sitting below is blurry like it’s not supposed to be the focus.

Focused on the details.
The bigger picture.

We do not see our size. We do not view ourselves with accuracy. We are far larger, far more marvelous, far more deeply and consistently creative than we recognize or know.

Pg. 48 of ‘A Right to Write’, by Julia Cameron.

Here’s to showing up in true form and allowing ourselves to be seen. Much love-Barb.