The Right to Write

You gotta write everyday and I just learned Morning Pages don’t count as everyday writing. Those pages are simply there to catch yourself thinking.

One of my most loved writer’s is Julia Cameron, and I’m going through her course, ‘The The Right to Write.” Listening to Julia’s sage advice is similar to listening to my Mother if she would’ve written. This course was given to me by my son for Christmas. He asked what I wanted this year, and I know how much he usually spends on me at Christmas, so I told him about the course. The course has more meaning as a gift.

I imagined sitting and watching hour long videos, but that was only in my mind. Julia is smart in making each video one minute or so long, and breaking each lesson into tiny clips, which leave you hungry for more.

Not everything you write is meant to be published. I believe that’s the beauty of the Morning Pages. I can lay exactly how I feel to the page. Julia expressed the importance of writing them by hand, instead of typing. She described typing on a keyboard instills speed and accuracy, but writing on a page by hand brings depth. Those ‘first thing in the morning’ thoughts run deep, which I’m grateful not to publish.

Everyone has a Writer in them, but writing wants to be released everyday. If you need a permission slip, here it is my lovely. You have the right to write.

The Coffee Bar

I’ve written quite a bit about coffee, so it seems fitting to highlight the coffee bar, it’s magic, and staying in that magic.

In the post Wide Open Spaces, the coffee bar was dismantled to allow room for a work related project. That was in September and the project was complete mid October, and then it became simply space. I’d walk by and try new things with it, but it always looked cluttered, and nothing seemed to fit. We didn’t know what to call it, and I’d refer to it as ‘what used to be the coffee bar’. That was a weird mouthful of words.

Then, one day my daughter referred to it as, ‘the coffee bar’, and I knew immediately what she was talking about. It was destined to be.

The Coffee Bar

Reassembling it this week, I saw where I crossed the line before. What began as a coffee bar, fell over into a beverage bar and housed coffee and tea. Our hot tea collection has grown this year, so I left it in the kitchen on the tea cart. Everything on the coffee bar relates only to coffee, well, except for the flowers. 😊 The top level remains empty for creative space.

Life is tricky, and we need to stay in our magic. Tell me a magical part of your life. I missed the coffee bar whenever I walked by and saw it empty. Now, I get to stand there once again and feel the magic of the coffee bar.

She’s That Neighbor

When she told me she was moving, I was happy for her, but sad for me. We didn’t have to see one another everyday to know we had each other’s back. She was my neighbor.

When we had the snow and ice storm earlier this year, she texted me for a Chemex filter. I placed some in a ziplock baggie, and made my way through the snow to her back door. I loved the fact that with everything we could run out of, the Chemex was a priority.

That day confirmed, she’s that neighbor.

I’ve written about ‘M’ before in Just Say Yes and that Blogpost was written through inspiration from her. I can’t fault her for moving because she went back home to be near family, and it’s a joyous occasion when we know where home is. Thursday was my birthday and she revealed herself in a magical way.

I noticed a car parked in front of my house. A woman stepped into the yard smiling brightly, and holding a bouquet of flowers. I stepped outside to meet her and she asked, “Are you Barb?” I nodded my head in agreement, not fully certain what was going on. She strolled down the path to stand in front of me, held out the bouquet and said, “Happy Birthday from M!”

She remembered my birthday and asked a friend to bring flowers! I felt her presence in that moment. Today, she lives in Kentucky, but we chat every week. I believe we’re closer now than when she lived behind me, but that’s how it happens. People like her move into your heart, not just your hood.

Now, she’s in a new neighborhood where she’ll make new friends and soon they’ll discover. Not only is she a forever friend, she’s that neighbor.

Prop Yourself Up

My feet were resting on the step as I placed the piping hot cup of Joe beside me on the wooden planks. I was watching the day begin sitting on the front porch, and not even in a chair, but on the porch itself. My gaze shifted to the Hibiscus that showed me something yesterday that I needed to keep in my memory bank. This beauty was still propped up.

The tomato plant was done producing for this season, but I wanted to reuse that planter it was in. I saw a slender piece of bamboo in the middle of the plant, and for some unknown reason decided to keep it. Laying it on the porch, I dug the retired tomato plant up and placed a new plant in the planter, leaving the piece of bamboo resting on the porch.

Afternoon thunderstorms were coming in, as the wind began blowing through the yard. That’s when I noticed the Hibiscus hanging over the edge of it’s planter. Two branches that were connected had broken free from one another but could still flourish on their own. One just needed some support to help it stand up straight again.

I remembered the little stick of bamboo from that morning and grabbed a twist tie. I stuck the bamboo into the dirt beside the weighted branch, stood it up and attached it to the stick with the tie.

It was like a gift to take in the morning in such a simple way. Not knowing at the time why I kept the little piece of bamboo, it’s purpose was revealed hours later. The Hibiscus was saying, “Hey Barb, You know how to prop yourself up.” This is true, but I’m at a point in my life where I would welcome a stick of bamboo.

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.

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.”