Crema

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

One Of The Best Gifts Ever December 23, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 8:04 am

The Barbie Camper.   The Love Pup.  A horse, horse calender, horse socks, soft blanket with a horse on it, Breyer horses, miniature blown glass horse, horse and buggy ride, horse show tickets.  Cookbooks.  Coffee Mugs. These are a few of my favorite things, some   of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  So many more times I’ve been thrilled when opening presents but sadly I cannot recall every gift that made me respond that way.

I’ve always loved celebrations that include gift giving.  Receiving is great, but investigating, buying, wrapping, anticipating, and giving are just as great.  Selfishly what is not great this 2017 Christmas is the lack of family that will gather together on Christmas day.    Nurses work every day of the year and my two favorite nurses will be taking care of sick humans on Christmas day.   And my mother, the person who initiated all the joy of the season for me from earliest memory will not be here either.  It is a very rare Christmas that has not included my mom and dad.  My father now resides in the place Jesus prepared for him so he’s off the hook.  Again, o-so-selfishly, I would rather have him at my house or be at his previous house by the lake.  My mother will be with some of her other kids as she had an invitation to Thanksgiving in Colorado and for Christmas in Iowa.  Those siblings of mine got to her first.  I did not realize there would come a time when I had to get in line to have Mother Mary at my celebration table,  but now I know.  Not so selfishly, I am thrilled that she has all the invitations.

When I married my hubby the summer 1986, I got the best gift ever from Mother Mary right before all of the holiday celebrations began.  She said: “Laura, you will always be invited but never be obligated to celebrate with us.”  I received that gift when young and naive to the dilemma of having multiple families and family members wanting to do the same things on the same days, so many of those days being holidays.  It did get overwhelming sometimes, not being able to say no or change traditions or handle missing out on everything or upsetting people.   One year, we just decided the best way to tackle the complexity of the season’s relational demands was to simply run away to Disneyland.  That my friends, was not the best idea we ever had.  My observation of Disneyland on Christmas day, is that a mass of humans decide to tackle the complexity of the season’s relational demands and run away to Disneyland.  I mean, if you are into holding hands and walking single file through ten million of your favorite strangers, doubling the amount of time waiting for rides, and misplacing your child in the Disney bathrooms, then go for it.

We’ve figured out a few things since then.  No more running away.  There are better ideas.

Here’s a tip for thriving this season of celebration:  Acceptance.  Practice it.  John Ortberg (one of my favorite preacher/writers) defines acceptance like this:  “A remarkable action, difficult to define, yet unmistakeable when we experience it.  To accept people is to be for them.  It is to recognize that it is a very good thing they are alive and to long for the best for them.  It does not mean to approve of everything they do.  It means to want what is best for their soul no matter what they do.”   (From Everybody’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them)

Family gatherings are heading into full swing the next week or so.  It will be fun.  It might be messy.  There may be a 2017 version of crazy making, awkward, not-again, arrrggghhhh, moments with those you are related to by birth, by in-law, by distant cousin status, or something more complex than that.  This year try a little acceptance in place of trying to change people, or hoping they changed this year.  In fact, maybe the very best gift you can give is to grant permission for your celebrations to be less than perfect.  That my friends, is a reasonable expectation for people who are.

I just opened up a box from my mom.  It is full of homemade goodness – more than one kind of Chex Mix, granola, Grandma Rozie’s brown bread made in the coffee can and more.  A very delicious and memory stimulating gift as we are apart this year.  What I am giving her?   I’m giving back the gift she gave me over thirty years ago.  Mom – you are always invited, but never obligated.

But in all selfishness –  I get her in 2018.  I’m first in the asking line people.

Merry Christmas Everyone

Laura Beth DeGroot – The Caffeinated Woman

 

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One of the Best Gifts Ever December 22, 2017

The Barbie Camper.   The Love Pup.  A horse, horse calender, horse socks, soft blanket with a horse on it, Breyer horses, miniature blown glass horse, horse and buggy ride, horse show tickets.  Cookbooks.  Coffee Mugs. These are a few of my favorite things, some   of the best gifts I’ve ever received.  So many more times I’ve been thrilled when opening presents but sadly I cannot recall every gift that made me respond that way.

I’ve always loved celebrations that include gift giving.  Receiving is great, but investigating, buying, wrapping, anticipating, and giving are just as great.  Selfishly what is not great this 2017 Christmas is the lack of family that will gather together on Christmas day.    Nurses work every day of the year and my two favorite nurses will be taking care of sick humans on Christmas day.   And my mother, the person who initiated all the joy of the season for me from earliest memory will not be here either.  It is a very rare Christmas that has not included my mom and dad.  My father now resides in the place Jesus prepared for him so he’s off the hook.  Again, o-so-selfishly, I would rather have him at my house or be at his previous house by the lake.  My mother however, had an invitation to Thanksgiving in Colorado and for Christmas in Iowa.  Those siblings of mine got to her first.  I did not realize there would come a time when I had to get in line to have my mother at my celebration table,  but now I know.  Not so selfishly, I am thrilled that Mother Mary has all the invitations.

When I married my hubby the summer 1986, I got the best gift ever from Mother Mary right before all of the holiday celebrations began.  She said: “Laura, you will always be invited but never be obligated to celebrate with us.”  I received that gift when young and naive to the dilemma of having multiple families and family members wanting to do the same things on the same days, so many of those days being holidays.  It did get overwhelming sometimes, not being able to say no or change traditions or handle missing out on everything or upsetting people.   One year, we just decided the best way to tackle the complexity of the seasons relational demands was to simply run away to Disneyland.  That my friends, was not the best idea we ever had.  My observation of Disneyland on Christmas day, is that a mass of humans decide to tackle the complexity of the season’s relational demands and run away to Disneyland.  I mean, if you are into holding hands and walking single file through ten million of your favorite strangers, doubling the amount of time waiting for rides, and misplacing your child in the Disney bathrooms, then go for it.

Here’s a tip for thriving this season of celebration:  Acceptance.  Practice it.  John Ortberg (one of my favorite preacher/writers) defines acceptance like this:  “A remarkable action, difficult to define, yet unmistakeable when we experience it.  To accept people is to be for them.  It is to recognize that it is a very good thing they are alive and to long for the best for them.  It does not mean to approve of everything they do.  It means to want what is best for their soul no matter what they do.”   (From Everybody’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them)

Family gatherings are heading into full swing the next week or so.  It will be fun.  It might be messy.  There may be a 2017 version of crazy making, awkward, not-again, arrrggghhhh, moments with those you are related to by birth, by in-law, by distant cousin status.  This year try a little acceptance in place of trying to change people, or hoping they changed this year.  In fact, maybe the very best gift you can give is to grant permission for your celebrations to be less than perfect.  That my friends, is a reasonable expectation for people who are.

I just opened up a box from my mom.  It is full of homemade goodness – more than one kind of Chex Mix, granola, Grandma Rozie’s brown bread made in the coffee can and more.  A very delicious and memory stimulating gift as we are apart this year.  What I am giving her?   I’m giving back the gift she gave me over thirty years ago.  Mom – you are always invited, but never obligated.

But in all selfishness –  I get her in 2018.  I’m first in the asking line people.

Merry Christmas Everyone

Laura Beth DeGroot – The Caffeinated Woman

 

 

What does Diet Pepsi, my sister-in-law, and Tina Fey’s Bossypants have in common? October 6, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 2:20 am
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They saved my life.

Diet Pepsi out of the soda fountain only is a rare splurge.  Recently it was necessary to keep me away while driving from Florida to Michigan.  My sister-in-law Bethani has a rare sense of humor when delivering accounts of their life. Her version of teaching kids to read in the hallway of a school, my nephews crazy blood types, & the latest adventures of my brother provided  what was necessary to keep me alert on poor radio reception roadways. And Tina Fey…well she is downright funny, certainly sarcastic, refreshingly honest, appropriately edgy and she read me her book Bossypants for hours, thus the  #1 reason I was able to keep driving all the way from our townhome on the water to our 100 year old home in the Mitten.  I am alive and living in Grand Rapids MI.   Thank you Bethani, Tina, DP from the soda fountain.

It is beautiful here.  People from here bring you all kinds of freshly picked apples to say, “Hi, we are glad you are here.” Our girls are here and we can walk to each others houses.  The farmers market is more convenient to walk to than to drive to.  And this 100 year old house has the claw foot tub I asked for in a selfish prayer of want, not need; and it makes me think about my grandma Rozie and her farmhouse  in Iowa that I loved to visit.

Two weeks after our arrival here, we used our packing skills and moving brawn to move my parents from their beloved lake haven in Minnesota to Iowa, where they’ve been greeted warmly and have easy access to grandchildren.  Due to the large amount of recent experience with moving, I thought I would pass on some reality and a couple of helpful tips if moving  is in your near future.

Moving is traumatic.

Say yes if people want to bring you meals when your house is in chaos.  You will not feel like cooking and you do need to keep up your strength.  You may have to succumb to fast food, delivery pizza, ramen noodles and cold cereal.  No one will die.

Even if you are looking forward to it, moving includes loss and grief.  I’m not kidding.  Weird behavior due to grief will be seen in adults, children and pets.  Expect it.  Hugs and ice-cream help.  (So do adult beverages, for the adults…)

Craigslist is an affordable way to get a lot of boxes.  Apple boxes are the very best. Before you start packing, get all your supplies: boxes, lots of packing tape, packing paper, bubble wrap, duct tape, paper/pens, multiple sharpies because they walk away.  Its frustrating to get into the packing zone and not have what you need.

Colored duct tape is Fun and helpful.  Every room gets a different color.  Home depot has a healthy selection.  Secure boxes with packing tape (3M is the best.  Don’t use the cheap stuff  – you WILL swear) and get a heavy duty tape gun.  Put a piece of colored duct tape on top of or across the corner of your box.  This will help you see it from multiple sides when the box is stacked and believe you me, there will be stacks  Sharpies write on that tape nicely.

Write on tape OR number boxes and write on a piece of paper/notebook, the number of the box and list what is inside.  I did both for this last move.  The only thing I have not found is my winter bedding.  Where in the world can a King size quilt hide? I’m slightly concerned I took it to a cleaners in FL and forgot it there.  Why write on the box, even if you are not moving far?  BECAUSE YOU CANNOT REMEMBER WHAT YOU PUT IN THE BOX!  This is a universal fact.  No one’s memory is that sharp when the homespace gets deconstructed then reconstructed.  You can’t pack in a day or two and I promise you cannot keep track of what is in each box.  Keep track of your children, each other, pets,  whatever medication you’re on, phone/computer chargers, your Bible, and a clean pair of underware.  Write on the boxes people.

To pack dishes that you don’t want to break (this is assuming there are some you have that you hope might break so you have an excuse to get new ones.  For pity’s sake, don’t pack those dishes please – give them away and get new ones when you arrive):  put paper plates or dishcloths between each plate.  Make a stack of five or six plates.  Wrap that stack in a beach or bath towel.  Put the stack on its side in a heavy-duty box that is padded on the bottom with a pillow or towels or packing paper.  I just packed and moved two households across MANY states.  Nothing broke.  BOOM Shakalaka!

Throw things away, give things away.  Sell things on Craigslist that you don’t use, are done with, haven’t touched in a year or more or simply do not like.  You won’t miss a thing.  OK, true confession:  I do miss my piano, but it went to a really good home.

You will need things in your new space that you don’t have.  Happens every time.  You will have things form your old space that don’t work in the new.  Craigslist – Thrift – or get what you want that works, fits, makes you happy.  It’s only money.  Moderation people…don’t misunderstand me here.

During the packing and the moving, Rule Number One:  Be nice to each other.  If one person is losing it – let them, bring them hot chocolate, ice cream, coffee, their blankie.  Remember, your turn is right around the corner.  Our rule:  anyone can fall apart, just not at the same time.  You may have to adjust this for the number of people in your household.

Once you’re our and then you’re in, allow time for your mind, feet, heart, eyes, and emotions to move in and find their way around the new homespace.

Have a picnic on the floor of your new place.  Eat favorite food groups.  Call it camping with drywall.   This is a great way to break it in with memory making.

Get used to this question:  “Where is the___?”

People move everyday.  Mission:  It’s Possible!  The rough part doesn’t last forever and there are plenty of good parts.

Do you have a tip or some reality to share on the topic?  Please do.

Feeling welcomed to our new homespace, home state.

Laura

 

The Hubby and The Ham Balls May 16, 2014

Filed under: Birthdays,Cats,Creativity,Fear,Food Stories,My husband,Uncategorized,Writing — lauradegroot @ 11:44 pm
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Disclaimer for my vegetarian/vegan friends:  the following contains material of the meat type.  In no way is it meant to offend or gross you out.

The Vitamix earned its keep.  Today it ground up the last of my ham.

I’ve owned this bad boy for approximately 6 weeks.  The majority of its life in the DeGroot household has been spent pulverizing seeds, blending fruit, and smoothie-ing kale and spinach into our breakfast (pictured below).  The Vitamix came with a recipe book which I’ve read more than once.  Most recipes take less than 5 minutes which means a fresh batch of hummus for a snack, lunch, or appetizer is always an option.  Because the hummus is so delicious and simple, garbanzo beans show up on my grocery list all the time.   That is, until I came home with 2 more cans and when I put them away I realized I already had 6.

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“Settle down with the garbanzos now Laura.”  I know I know.  I always want more of a good thing and got a little crazy with chick peas.

The Hubby has had his eye on the Vitamix for some years.  Not a new one, but the one that he could possibly inherit.  Thankfully, the relatives who own said Vitamix are in great health.  No impending inheritance…  So I suggested we save up our “funny money” & birthday money to buy our own.  The Hubby immediately labeled an envelope,  we accumulated the funds, and recently purchased the item our children now can inherit!    (But not for MANY years girls).

I can’t decide if this marvelous machine is a toy or a tool.  Either way it is a creative outlet and helps me live out my love language:  “Love people; Cook them tasty food.”

Back to the ground up ham.  I did a small batch at first.  Used the pulse button on level 5.  I didn’t want to make ham glue.  When I poured…shook…well, kinda poured-shook-scooped the ham out onto a plate I felt like something special happened in my kitchen.  I threw a little into my almost scrambled egg.  I gave Pekoe the cross-eyed kitty a few bits in her bowl.  Calvin ate them.  I gave Pekoe a few more bits in her bowl.  (Rabbit trail…Pekoe will only eat wet food.  All her 11 years of life – no dry, no cat treats, however she loves ham and pancakes.   Cats Are Weird.) I did give Calvin one ham chunk even though he stole Pekoes.  And then I talked to the ham.  “I just don’t know what to do with you yet.”

I might be lonely.  Or just really excited about making my own ground ham.

Grandma Rozie came to mind.  She used to make such good meat.  That may be where my affinity for things made with ground ham started.  Ham salad, like tuna or chicken salad, was pretty common in the midwest, best served on a soft squishy buttered white bun.  Even better was ham loaf, like meat loaf, with BBQ sauce on top.  And then there are the ham balls.  Ummmmmmm.  My mouth is watering right now.  They too are baked with a sweet and sour or BBQ sauce of some type and because of their shape, every bite comes with sauce.

The credit for the idea to use the Vitamix to grind up that ham goes to…….The Hubby!   He suggested it in hope of getting some hamballs.  I debated, I procrastinated, I almost gave up and just sliced it.  So why the emotional drama over meat?

I was afraid it wouldn’t work and I would end up with nasty ham paste, a clogged up Vitamix, and wasted time.  That’s the truth.  Ridiculous fear in this profoundly mundane thing of life.  Truthfully,  fear (ridiculous or not) often has a stronghold in the somewhat and profoundly difficult things of my life too often.  I’m working on a project about fear Knots and fear Nots.  My hope is to discover, then have as my own, tools and truths to fight and conquer fear and anxiety.

I will reach a mile marker this year – getting half way to one hundred.  Some people when facing this age,  set goals and train for triathlons, conquering high mountains or long bike journeys.  My goal is to live the second half of my life un-afraid.  I’m training for that.  On my desk are notecards with 34 of the 365 verses where Scripture says “do not be afraid/anxious/worried.”  These are some of the tools and truths I hope to understand and use to run my race.

And, like I share the wonder of the Vitamix, I hope to share what I learn about what it takes to live un-afraid.

Back to the ground up ham.  I think I know what I’m going to do with it.  Its time to call mom for a ham-ball recipe.  Hubby, this is your lucky day.

 

 

The Doors Calvin Opened April 25, 2014

Filed under: Adventure,Courage,Dogs,Expectations,new places,Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 2:46 am
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The trademark of an official Floridian is that one will not go in the ocean during the ‘winter months because one thinks the water is too cold.

After 18 months, I am officially not a Floridian.  Though the water is chilly at first some days, if you stay there a wave or five, it is warm enough to enter.   Call me Coloradoan.  There are still many times I sit or walk on the sand and feel like I am on an extended time away from Colorado.  Not vacation exactly, maybe in-between there and somewhere else.

I think I was attached to familiar and would like that status again.  With the exception of a few good restaurants, a church we attend, some great people we hang out with,  and the ocean, South Florida still has an awful lot of unfamiliar.

“Unfamiliar is part of the adventure,” so say’s my confident-self.

“Listen Polly positive, where in the heck am I and what am I supposed to be doing here in this foreign place?, ” replies my cynic-self.

That dialogue needs interrupting, re-writing, a new perspective.  Or I am going to miss out on something.

 

It is dawning on me that walking through new doors, going to new places, meeting new people, trying new things could be done with  wide-eyed expectation.   Too often I respond with fear, defensiveness,  sometimes unwillingness.

As a natural connector, a liaison of resources, being unfamiliar is frustrating.  I am not helpful to people because of what I don’t know.  Instead I really need connectors, liaisons.    I’d rather be needed than needy.  Just being honest…  I’m aware this is a struggle, and I’m trying to let it simmer down.

Recently I  entered a place where familiar doesn’t matter.  I walked through a door that Calvin opened.   My ordinary yellow labrador, who prefers people over retrieving anything,  took me to a place I otherwise would not have gone.  The place was something like neutral territory.

Just over 6 months ago, Calvin and I took the Therapy Dog International (TDI) test.  We trained for 6 weeks and passed, even though he had to repeat the “leave it”  task.  (meaning to walk calmly by a row of bowls filled with temptations; balls, toys – no problem;   dish FULL of dog treats – problem).  Once the paperwork was complete, we just had to find a place to go ‘visiting’.

One day in the park, I met a man with a friendly goldendoodle  who was TDI certified.  He told me to contact a local Assisted Living community where they often went.   Calvin and I have walked through the doors of that place for many weeks now.  Because of my time working for a hospice in Boulder, I am fairly comfortable in the setting.  Staff and residents appreciate dog visits and Calvin is pretty good with the Elders.  He has leaned up against a few, threatening to topple them as they give his head a good scratch, but   we are working on that!  One particular man, who is somewhere between 95 and 100, (the age changes a little each time I am there), calls Calvin the beast.  Yet, when his thick fingers find just the right spot behind the ear, Calvin sits perfectly still, not even tail movement.  It mesmerizes me because this is the only person that makes Calvin goes that still.

A request came through TDI for an organization wanting therapy dogs.  The organization was a women’s drug and alcohol rehab center. This would be a big commitment as  back to back groups of women have about an hour outside having a snack, a smoke, a visit with therapy dogs.  We decided to try it once.  The outdoor setting is a circular space with a concrete half wall, bench all along the inside of the wall, shade tree in the center.  Attached to one side  is a gazebo .  A chair blocks the one way in so the dogs may wander from person to person.  Only one pup likes to play with the ball.   They all enjoy attention.   There is no familiar-unfamiliar.   No one is from there, knows someone there, or thought they would be there one day.   I’m surprised to find myself  there; ordinary me with my ordinary yellow lab.  I’m surprised by the women I hang out with.  They could be my best friend, my daughter, my neighbor, my mother, me.  Being Floridian, Coloradoan, Georgian, Texan, or New Yorkan doesn’t matter.   The neutral space was leveled by common love of dogs, being loved by dogs, and sharing dog stories.  I’m so glad I didn’t miss this.

We continue to visit there.

Maybe familiar isn’t all I need.  Maybe being Floridian isn’t the goal.  Maybe the struggle will give way to expectancy.   Maybe Calvin will open another door.

If he does…I’m going in.

 

Calvin and a few of his fellow visitors…

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This Is Dangerous April 8, 2014

Filed under: Cookbooks,Cooking,Dessert,Food Stories,Mother Mary,Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 2:47 am
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Frankly I’m disappointed with the publicized Foodie world.

They made my favorite food a bad 4 letter word (“carb”); they send mixed messages about what To Eat and what Not To Eat.  They make talented cooks/bakers/chefs cry on television when they are kicked off-let go-voted away from the kitchen because what they made was not good enough.  They claim: sugar – bad; salt – bad; fat – bad = Flavor – bad.  They tipped the food pyramid upside down.  They hail the praises of a food or beverage and the next thing you know, that very item lands on  the questionable or “bad” list.

Last night we had a local college student for dinner.   He is a storytelling foodie and appreciates home-made.  When he inquired about dessert, I realized I had none.  That didn’t sit well with the love language part of my being.  So, while I was talking on the phone I pulled out Mother Mary’s Cookie Book and landed on ‘Brownies From Heaven’.  From start to completion – 30 min.  Topped those hot  chocolate babies with some home-made hot fudge.  I was not going to send that boy home without dessert.

So today here is what is setting on my counter .
20140407_153851“This is dangerous.”  I spoke that out loud after cutting one, then two, then 3 small…really pretty small…like bite-size small, well maybe two-bite size small pieces.  The knife is sitting on top of the pan of uncut gooey goodness.  Hot fudge stands by…dangerous right?  My Grandma Rozie probably never ever said those words looking at the same food.  I’ll bet she would have said: “This looks Delicious.  There sure are an awful lot of brownies for Grandpa Rozie and I.  Who could I share them with?”

The bad thought about something so good startled me.  Food is not our enemy.  Food is not out to harm.  Food actually isn’t confusing.  Those brownies are Good.  Nothing bad at all about them.  The only bad thing would be for me to act on the temptation to eat the rest of the pan, one bite-size piece at a time, in one sitting.  I’ve let too much bad publicity influence my food thinking.

Yesterday I was invited to a cooking class in a friend’s home.  She had a chef come over and teach us to make paella.  A number of firsts happened during that class:  first time seeing and using a paella pan; first time seeing a whole squid beheaded, de-tentacled, relieved from its fins and cellophane backbone, then cut in rings.  I am proud to say, I didn’t look away, though near to gagging.  While de-veining shrimp I heard it repeatedly called the ‘poopsac’.  That was a first, and the last time I will let a vein stay in my shrimp. First time using real saffron threads, spanish bomba rice and spanish paprika.  Not the first time I’ve seen a chef with their own knife bag with professional tools, but it was the first time I was allowed to use one of those knives.

Yesterday was the first time I’ve eaten authentic spanish paella with chicken, chorizo, shrimp, calamari, and mussels.  First time I’ve participated in its preparation.   Yes, I ate the tender squid and the mussels too.  If I ever make it for you – I might leave those ingredients out unless I find out you love squid and mussels.   Then I would put them in for sure.

First time I’ve had someone tell and show how to “layer the flavors”.  It takes time.  And that time is worth it.

People, Food Is Good.  Learning about it, looking at it, preparing it, shopping for it, eating it.   Let’s not be bamboozled by the negative food PR.  I decided to listen Grandma Rozies voice in my head and share the brownie love with a friend who has twins on the way and a house full of kids and company.   Don’t worry hubby – I’m gonna leave you a big-bite-size one.

Eat all things in moderation.  Enjoy food.  Even brownies.  They really aren’t dangerous.

 

 

 

Where Did I Go? April 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 7:43 am

It it time to answer this question:

“Where did you go?”

Geographically, I went 9.3 miles North and East of where I previously picked up my mail.  We bought our place in November, spent 3 1/2 weeks remodeling, moved in December and 2 days later our girls came home.

We celebrated Christmas as a family.

The college girls returned to school.

We unpacked boxes, hung things on the walls, gave more furniture and stuff away.

Then, wonderful people kept showing up – in the kitchen, on the deck; coming for dinner; staying over.

We unpacked the storage spaces and under the beds where we just “put things for now.”

Still more giving away, loaning out, a little storing.

In the leaving of one place and coming to another my desk/space disappeared.  I got a portable computer – but somehow the lack of location has become a new obstacle  of sitting down to write.  And I had been on such a roll.  Why in the world is it so hard to get started…again?

I still have no desk.  I’m sitting on the patio, looking at the boats, the water, listening to the neighbors chatter. (BTW – sound travels loudly over water).  And I am starting again with this messy little note, explaining where I’ve gone.

Sometimes it’s helpful to go back to the basics when beginning again, so I will copy here what this blog, Crema, is meant to be. (From my website:  Lauradegroot.com)

espresso: a strong coffee brewed by forcing steam under pressure through darkly roasted, powdered coffee beans.

crema: the tan-colored foam that forms on the top of espresso–the simple, yet joyful evidence of coffee done well.

Crema is a place for writing about the simple yet joyful evidence of life done well. Not perfect mind you – not the writing nor the life, but observations of lessons learned, beauty noted, insight grasped. It is a space for stories about my favorite things, current events, and the activity of God.

Crema – the foam – is a part of the espresso beverage. It is the visual lure of espresso, the aroma, the mouthfeel, the flavor, the aftertaste of espresso.

Crema – the writing – is a part of life. It is in telling the story I share awareness of the sensation of Life, the flavor, color, commotion, the sentiment.

I most often enjoy crema, the beverage, in conversation with others. I am hoping that will happen here in Crema, the blog, as well.

I hope not to be gone so long this time.

 

 

 

 
followingthewatershed

wa·ter·shed (noun) 1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. 2. an event or period marking a turning point, a change of course.

Life with Emily and Matt

(and two kiddos make four!)

Ellen Brock

Professional Freelance Novel Editor

created for the love-light.

stories of a life captivated by an imaginative, creative God.

Crema

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

Don't Ask the Fish | Christian Daily Devotional

noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

Big Fat Sweaty Guy

The personal blog of Derek Brouwer.

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