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.

The Anchor Piece

Since posting under the bed, my room has become a haven again. My daughter walked by the room and couldn’t believe it. It went from something I hadn’t paid a lot of attention to, to well loved. She said,

“Wow! Your room is more beautiful than mine now!”

For a moment I felt a twinge of guilt.

She noticed the clock first thing and commented on it’s size. I had also purchased some star shaped lights made of paper, to fall onto the drapes. She noticed every detail and reached up to touch the heart shaped ceiling fan pull.

heart

lights

We each have a body pillow, but I wanted a new cover for mine. Good ol’ Google found this Faux fur/Sherpa cover on sale at Target.

bodypillow

I’ve decorated my daughter’s room most of her life, but as she enters adulthood, she does her own thing. Her room changes along with her.

She loved not only the look, but the feel of my room. Most everything was there, but now it flows.

My bedspread is the anchor piece.

A while ago, I bought my daughter the same brand name spread as mine. I don’t buy her things unless I believe she needs it. She likes it but it may change as she continues to evolve.

I cannot bring myself to change mine. It’s classic Peacock Alley and has been with me for many years. Maybe that’s why I wanted my daughter to have the same brand. It will last.

Wherever her wings take her, I hope she will always feel the anchor piece.

Under the Bed

Sunday mornings feel good. It’s the day I look back at what’s been accomplished for the week. A good bit got done, but there’s more to do.

This week I worked on my bedroom.

It had become a place to sleep and not a place to dwell. I was laying in bed one night and all I could think about was what was under my bed.

When was the last time I looked under my bed? What was being stored there? When was the last time it was thoroughly cleaned?

The next morning, I found the answers.

My daughter had a guitar case and a couple of plastic bins of clothing under my bed. She has a platform bed and cannot store anything underneath, so I offered my space. It was a collection of dust and dog hair under there, so this had to change. The top of her wardrobe was empty, so I placed the bins up there. The guitar case is by the back door awaiting storage.

I moved the bed to another location in the room and cleaned the floor during it’s move.

Also, as I was laying in bed that night, I found myself staring at an empty wall wondering what time it was. I rolled over and grabbed my phone from the bedside table, but the light hurt my eyes. I wanted a clock on that wall.

clock
It says Kensington Station, London.

“Go big, or go home,” is my thinking.

I see God working in the details of my life.

The really good stuff is in the details my darling, and sometimes that begins by looking under the bed.

Save the Lizard

It was a long seven minutes waiting for the French press of coffee to be at it’s peak this morning. I normally set a timer for it, but instead just periodically glanced at the clock.

While I was waiting, our younger dog Winnie, began playing with something on the floor. We’ve had a baby lizard living in the house this week and Winnie had spotted the lizard.

I told her, “No no,” and she let it be. A few minutes later our big boy Denver spotted it, but he wasn’t as willing to leave it alone. I grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and scooped the lizard up into it.

It was so tiny. Smaller than my pinky.

I walked outside and released it into the yard. Small acts of kindness are not exclusively toward people. Even if I don’t see a person today, I believe the lizard had a good start to it’s day. The outdoors has to be better than a dog’s belly.

Within those seven minutes I remembered time passes either way. It’s what we do with our time that makes a difference. Being presently in the moment and aware of what is happening around us allows ample opportunity to fine tune our world. To make it better for everyone involved.

What began as waiting for coffee was really the perfect amount of time to save the lizard.

round wall clock
Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

 

Now is the time.

Hey….Watch This!

I live in the country, so the title of this post is a rather popular saying by guys around here. It usually precedes a physical act that can lead to an emergency room visit shortly thereafter. As I sit at my desk this morning typing this, I gaze out the window and see my kind of, “Hey…Watch this!” The foliage has grown rather tall around the pond, and it’s earth tone colors made this easy to miss. Looking carefully…I see Stork!

frog

If you’re not familiar with Stork, go back and read, “Just Breathe” for an introduction. There are two that visit our pond, and this morning, it’s the Great Blue Heron. It’s rare to see him, and you have to look closely to spot him during his visit.

He stands majestically in the water, and moves with graceful intention. I go out onto the porch and sit on the stoop to take in a closer look. He takes three long strides, lowering his head toward the water. He plunges his beak below the water level, and pulls back with a fish. As I’m typing this, he has done this three times that I’ve seen.

He is in the present moment. He is aware of his surroundings, but focused on what’s in front of him. Breakfast.

now

There are distractions. Birds are flying all around, and half a dozen or so are having a party on the pier. A truck rides by on the road above, but it doesn’t distract him. He walks away from the road, finds a quieter spot, and retrieves another fish.

Are you enjoying the present moments of your life? I am guilty of not paying attention to what’s important at that moment. Sometimes I’m too focused on what’s at hand, and I miss what just happened beside me. My daughter trying to tell me what just happened in her day. I’m practicing reverting my attention from work, to focusing on her and listening to what’s she’s trying to share. This is her present moment, and we won’t get it back. If I miss too many of these, she will be less likely to invite me in.

presentmoment

I encourage you to pay attention to what’s around you, and what’s in front of you. A fabulous book to help guide is, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. This book is beautifully written and pure joy to read. Look around and ‘see’ what’s important. What is happening that wasn’t happening a moment ago?

The vacuum is going to sit until plugged in and used. My world is still and quiet at the moment, but that will change as soon as my daughter wakes up and the cat and dog are set free from their sleeping quarters.

Stork has moved on for the day. I enjoyed catching glimpses of his present moment experience. The fish could learn a lot from Stork, and so could we.