Tag: Coffee

Coffee, Coffee, Where Art Thou?

Coffee, Coffee, Where Art Thou?

I’m on the search, seeking out that perfect cup of coffee.   Hell, not even perfect, just one I’d choose to sip time and time again.  MY perfect cup of coffee.

I have more time now, well not necessarily more time just a different use of it.  I have different interests and priorities, not job/work but personal/work, now I do what I choose to do with no master other than myself (and my wife of course, lol).  My retirement has given me that.

One of the more recent interests I have chosen to pursue is that elusive cup of the golden nectre, that cup of morning joe, the delicious and aromatic java that teases your senses with it’s intrigue.  If you like coffee you know what I mean.

I have friends that make such a cup.  I aspire to their greatness.  I yearn for the ability to create such a masterpiece that my friend ooh and aah after sipping such a creation.   Oh such lofty goals.

In anticipation of such a result I’ve pulled my bodum and stove-top epresso maker out of storage.  I’ve perused the ‘net in search of tips, how DO I make such a treat?

I’ve purchased a Starbucks blend called Verona, the barista there recommended it as a good “all around” blend, one to sharpen my teeth on as it were.  Once I perfect my technique I can try other, varying blends.  He split the bag and ground half for my bodum (coarse) and half for the espresso maker (fine).  Note to self: it’s espresso, not expresso.  So far it’s only the espresso maker I’ve played with.  One thing at a time.

To this point I have played somewhat with perking time and temperature of the espresso maker.  It makes a potent cup of brew, not espresso really as the coffee is not an espresso bean, but a stiff cup of coffee nonetheless.  I’ve tried mixing the brew with hot water to make an Americano and the result wasn’t good, I got a watered down strong cup of coffee.  Uck.

I will persevere, I have the time, I have the interest.  When I perfect it you can come join me for a cup.

If you have any tips please pass them on, I’ll be sure to give credit where credit is due.

Til then, bottoms up!

Mocha to Go

Mocha to Go

Before I leave on the next leg of my trip I’ll break bread with my current host Diane. I would love to share my morning with her husband Bruce as well but unfortunately he will have left for work a few hours before I awake. He the master of the mocha (sorry Diane) and often performs interesting artistic expression on the tops of his mochas, as seen here.

20120921-233507.jpg

Something happened to the end of this post, it wasn’t uploaded from my phone. I had commented the crema swirl looked like a squirrel. Some here said it was a raven but I don’t see it, it’s definitely a squirrel. Kinda hate to spoil it.

Yearning Again For My Holy Place

Yearning Again For My Holy Place

The days are still warm, the nights pleasantly cool by comparison.  The sun, while beautiful in the dappled shadows it casts, is relentless in it’s mid-day attention.  My plants and lawn are suffering.  The heat, without any accompanying moisture, is causing not only my gardens to stress but their owner (me) as well.

I do my part to alleviate the stress on both parties.  This morning, before the deck repair guy came, I grabbed a nice cup of java (capital C this time) and headed out into the front yard.  I call it my Holy Place, and while I’ve not worshipped there for a while it was nice to return.  The congregation of flowers and plants welcomed me and when they saw I came bearing water they rejoiced.

“I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to.
– Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.
– Elizabeth Lawrence

There were also different chairs there to support me in my leisure, not new chairs but chairs re-positioned from the deck while repairs were under way.  These are wicker, my normal church chairs are Adirondacks.  They are equally as comfortable and beckon me no less, after all it’s the place not the pews.

The sun played off the chairs and invited me in.  I wavered, but my duty to water pulled me stronger.

“Later”, I said, “I’ll come back and visit later.”

Perhaps I’ll take a seat this afternoon when things cool.  I’ll take my laptop and write, or grab a book and read.  A cold drink may be in hand.  It’s those things that bring me the pleasure, that help me to relax and de-stress.

And how can a man who’s retired, early no less, feel stress.  That’s a good questions for which I have not an answer.  Maybe it’s just in my nature, maybe I’m just an uptight individual, maybe depression is having an uncommon effect on me.  I don’t know.

I just know in that place, my holy place, I can chill and feel ok.  Maybe better than ok, I feel good.  I can sit and survey my domain.  I can revisit my holy place and feel the presence of calm.

Coffee, With a Capital C

Coffee, With a Capital C

20120810-091635.jpgWhen I saw the results of this photo’s manipulation I thought Coffee, but not really coffee as the drink, although that what it is, but the stimulating results of Coffee.  Perhaps it’s the result of too much coffee, the edginess you might get, the effect you might see where Colors are Heightened and your Perceptions only appear Sharper.  That kind of Coffee.  The too much Caffeine capital C Coffee.

I don’t necessarily see or feel that this morning.  My morning brew today is conjured up using decaf grounds so I wouldn’t experience such things.  I have found the capital C Coffee to be counterproductive.  It does NOT help my mood.  Necessary at times but not today.

I struggle still this morning with the doldrums of past days.  I question whether to even write or journal about it as it sounds like so much whining.  I consider posting to another blog of mine, one that is private and not for public consumption.  I consider not writing at all.  None of these options bears fruit at this time.

I come back to my original intent of this venue.  It was to communicate how I was feeling, what progress if any I have been making along my journey.  It might mean something to someone, or help them along their way.  Isn’t that what we all want, to help someone else?

I must admit in some cases that journey may have been obscured by fancy writing or stories of humor and light heartedness.  There have been stories of Dad or perhaps family tribulations with other members.  All along though it should reflect where I am on my path, on a road where the way is marked by colors and light or one where the ruts along the way are bouncing me from side to side.  One where my full attention is spent solely maneuvering my way through the myriad of obstacles, trying to stay on the road.

So I don’t know where the road will end.  This particular section of the trip seems to be more challenging but as always I will survive, and along the way try to learn something.  Maybe you can learn something too.

Morning Pages – in the Afternoon

Morning Pages – in the Afternoon

I have been quite faithful in maintaining my journal, or morning pages, and most days quite look forward to it.  Today was no exception, however the day started off at a pace faster than I first appreciated and I missed that first crucial step, relax and write.

Perhaps there are no “good excuses” but the tasks that took me off my schedule were dealing with some of Dad’s taxes, taking the car in for service, and then once I returned home just generally procrastinating and fussing about.  I think my biggest mistake was having the 3 or more cups of coffee during all of the above.  Caffeine and relaxing are not known to be synonymous, at least not in my book.  How someone can go to a coffee shop, drink coffee and write is beyond me.  Don’t get me wrong, you have all my admiration if you are able but the ability escapes me.  If I stay away from the 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee perhaps, otherwise forget it.

What works better for me is where I am now, sitting on my deck listening to the subtle tune of wind chimes and gurgling water.  The weather has turned for the better with the sun coming out and a mild breeze at my back.  My yard is coming to life with buds on the Magnolia tree and the shrubbery greening up.  Every so often the fragrance of spring wafts through the air and I feel so happy.  Life is good, this is what retirement means to me.

I came out to the deck after the above described procrastinating and finally sat down to complete my morning pages, in the afternoon.  My morning journal has been something quite helpful to me, beginning initially as a means to diarize my “feelin’s and emotions” and then later progressing to what it has now become, more a hardcover chat with myself.  It’s where I can record anything and everything, no topics left unturned, but primarily just a method to let some of my thoughts out.  It’s amazing how the process of writing down something, anything, can establish a flow of thought, of ideas, and feelings.  It was these thoughts and feelings that I want to capture here, so here I am.  I don’t want to neglect my paper pages but as I started to chat with myself in them I realized that here was where I wanted to be, not only on my deck but writing here on this blog.  Why?  Can’t say exactly, other than my hope is to inspire some thought within someone else, perhaps inspire them to step onto their deck or into their yard, and let the beauty of life surround them.

As you can likely discern I am in a relative good place right now, such has not always been the case.  If you’ve read any of the other drivel on this site you can attest to that.  It has been a journey, a trip through time, place, and mood.  Much of it good, some of it not so.  I don’t believe it’s over and should you choose to follow you will some day see the great reveal.  You will know…..who I am.  Not only the technical details of who I am, like name, address, and social insurance number, but who I am inside.  The complex thing they call Dwayne.  I often waver in my desire to come out of the blog closet, to post the address to this site on Facebook, or to Twitter my thoughts and provide a link back to this blog.  Even my closest family is not aware (that I know) of this secret location of my darkest thoughts.  If they do they have certainly not shared that knowledge with me.  And that’s fine.  When the time is right I will do that, it’s just not right yet.

In the meantime it’s just you and I.  I’m not sure who “you” is but even if I’m writing to myself I’m opening up a channel in my existence to a higher power.  Some say “God” and some say just creativity.  Whatever it is I feel more alive, and somehow more at peace.

As always any comments are most welcome,

Signing off,

me