Tagged: Rosary

Experience coffee

There is something about a new, fresh warm cup of coffee.

Or espresso. Or however you like your hot concatenated beverages.
there’s something about the pouring cream, or steamed milk or creamer into a cup.
there’s something about grinding the beans.
It’s the process, I think.
Scoop, scoop, close the lid, grind.
I love this part. Right now, I’m still going through already-ground coffee.
I had bought some huge cans of coffee before I  bought the grinder. I just re-grind to freshen it up a bit.
Or if I’m making espresso, I grind it finely.
So there isn’t a noise yet, when I grind, except the wind of the machine.
It’s soothing. It spins, I watch. Great.
And it’s almost like I’m making it.
So much of brewing coffee coffee is not making coffee.
Most of the making part comes after. Adding cream (yes please) or sugar (no thanks) and stirring it.
Making it the way I want to drink it. That’s my favorite part.
But I also know a good cup of coffee starts with good beans and a good grind.
So I enjoy the grinding part. Sue me if it’s not really grinding. It’s like a little refresh grind for my pre-ground beans.
Tap tap into the basket.
Another favorite part. Especially trying to keep all the grinds in the paper liner. Every time I find some grinds in my coffee, I remind myself that I should put the grinds in while the basket is not over the water reservoir. Doesn’t happen. Find grounds all the time.
Oh well.
Then the machine takes it over. But I can still hear the dripping (a little). I don’t have a percolator. I have an internal coffee catcher, or whatever.
I leave the cover open so I can smell it brewing.
Then I hear a final few sizzles on the hot plate and know it’s done.
I used to have a thing about big, tall cups. I liked to fit my hand through… the handle.
Not so much anymore.
I found two cute tea cups at a thrift store almost a year ago and I use those when I’m at home.
I can… cup the cup with my hands, and if I want to, I can fit a finger through the handle.
It makes the cup go faster, but then I drink it while it’s still warm. That’s a common problem I have, not drinking it fast enough.

So, coffee is in cup. What’s next?

Cream. Creamer. Creamier. Yes, yes and yes. Please. A lot.
I used to be excessive about this.
Not since I got the espresso machine. Sometimes I use half and half with a spoon of flavored syrup in my regular coffee: tastes like espresso and steamed milk, way less work.
I know that store-bought flavored creamers are crap… but, whatever.
Again, sue me.
I may not be that pure of a coffee purist.
I like French vanilla creamer.
Sometimes Bailey’s Irish Cream, sometimes some chocolate.
Whatever is my fancy when I’m at the store.
I used to buy that powdered cappuccino.
Meh. I would rather have steamed milk and espresso.
Tastes better.
I like to make coffee on Mondays and Tuesdays and espresso when I have more time.
Or when I haven’t ran out of milk.
It’s nice to come home from Mass and make a cup and think about the homily or readings.
You have to focus on espresso. You have to start steaming at just the right time.
The focus lets you pray. Sort of like the Rosary. Sort of.
God bless.
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Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 6)

— 1 —

The steeple chase on Saturday went so well!
I gave away my Blessed John Paul II Rosary (that I loved!) to a 19-year-old girl that I talked to the whole day. Before I left, I switched the Rosary I was carrying in my jacket for that one. I had this feeling that I would want the JP2 one for some reason. I didn’t feel sad about giving it away at all. She wanted to learn to pray the Rosary, and I hope that helps her. She was a blessing to talk to.

— 2 —

I posted some photos yesterday of the Steeple Chase. Check those out.
I’m going to be creating my own steeple chase soon, that I’ll post here with a list of churches in Milwaukee and routes. I think it’ll be something I do on my own. And get some real prayer in.

— 3 —

Looking over 1 and 2, I realize that these quick takes are focused on me. A lot. That’s not the greatest thing.
I want to work on that… so…

— 4 —

I’m keeping an updated prayer list on my Evernote account and will add them here.
Travis, Jenny from the steeple chase and my coworker’s fiancé. Pray for them.

— 5 —

Does anyone link up their menus? I’ve seen a few blogs that do it… I’m thinking about it. Then I can share the blogs that I steal use recipes from. Maybe I can add more food photography, too.

— 6 —

I’m falling behind on my Lenten Observations.
It’s hard. (complaint)
I’ve been sick and not wanting to do anything really… even I don’t believe my “excuses.”
I’m going to catch up this weekend… well, no. I don’t need to catch up. I just need to get on track again. It’s not about some huge penance I need to make because I missed several days of Rosary. I should be going toward it with an open heart, out of love not obligation. That’s the attitude I want.

— 7 —

I only have to work until 12 today! Then, drive for 3 hours and work some more. Ho hum.

God bless.

For more (and better!) Quick Takes, find everyone else at Conversion Diary!

Lenten plans

Like every other Catholic, I’ve been thinking about what  I would abstain from during Lent this year.

Chocolate, coffee, meat… all serious options for me this year. Well, not so much chocolate. I don’t eat it that much. But coffee and meat, those make up the bulk of my diet. (well, kind of)
I want to do something challenging, but I also don’t want to be crabby at  eating only vegetables for the entire time. I gave up meat in 2011. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but I wasn’t eating Paleo back then either. Beans and rice and grains were OK, so I was OK. Now I couldn’t go back to a grain-based diet, so cutting meat is not an option for me. At least not right now.
Giving up coffee would be a good challenge for me, except I just gave it up for January… so, I talked myself out of that. And, anyway, I didn’t even make espresso this morning because I didn’t have make time for it. I had a really early meeting and I just didn’t want to get up earlier to make coffee.
(So, I bought a sugar-full cup of cappuccino at a gas station. Bad decision, though it was tasty.)
Anyway, I haven’t really made an effort of alms giving in my past Lenten observation, so I wanted to do something with that this year. I know there have been words spoken about how CRS does it’s charitable work, but I’m going with them anyway, in solidarity with the church.
They give out those rice bowls at Ash Wednesday service, and I’m actually going to use my this year.
I decided to give up… complaining. That’s right, no more, “Oh, it’s so cold, this sucks,” or “I hate spinach.”
When I make a complaint, I’m going to put a nickel in. When my roll of nickels is gone, I’m going to start with dimes. Hopefully, by the end of Lent, I’ll still have some dimes left, and I’ll be doing something instead of just complaining.
For example, here’s what will happen:
Walking to my car… oh, no, I have to scrap the frost off because it was so cold last night.
Nickel in the rice bowl. And I pray for those who don’t have cars and gratitude that I do have a car.
Hopefully, it works out like that.
I’ll be letting my coworkers and my boyfriend know the situation, so if they catch me complaining I’ll be accountable.
I’ll be adding a Rosary (I did this a few Lents ago), in the mornings with my cup of coffee. I’ll make the coffee and pray. And if I have meetings, I’ll pray in the evenings. If I’m going to Mass, I’ll pray there.

Birthday review

I did make it to Mass for my birthday Friday. I went to a small chapel with some discalced Carmelite friar celebrating the Mass. There was also a whole family of secular Carmelites in front of me with scapulars and all. Beautiful.
Then my boyfriend took me out to dinner. Then we went ice skating for the first time ever!!!
That’s right, I, at 26 years old (and counting) had never been ice skating before. Of course, my boyfriend was pretty skilled at it. He’d done when he was still in school.
I was so nervous, and my boyfriend was a little scared to let me hang on him when I first went on the ice. I thought I would fall. I kept thinking I would fall, in fact.
But I never did. And soon enough it was like I do it all the time.
It really is just like rollerblading, which I used to do a lot. The blades weren’t that sharp (we rented some at the facility), but they worked.
Then we went to the apartment and played Phase 10 (love that game) and drank wine.
It was a wonderful, perfect, happy birthday.
I’m starting to realize that I really am in control about how I feel about things. I could have had a horrible birthday just by the way I thought about it.
Instead, I set myself up to have a great day, and it worked out. Regardless of what I did with my boyfriend, I would have had a great day. Just spending time with him would have  been great.
God bless.
Also, prayers for Pope Benedict XVI and the College of Cardinals as they go about finding a new pope for us. Pray for the Holy Father’s health.

Reasons to go to Daily Mass

In an honest effort to change the bad habit I’ve started this year (I wrote about it yesterday), I set my alarm for a bit early this morning and made it to daily Mass.

And I have a story, that I’ll share another time. But I wanted to put together this list. These are not in order… except the order that I thought of them.

Ten reasons to go to daily Mass

  1. Knowing the Mass inside and out. It’s soooo easy to follow along during a Sunday Mass. There are so many people around, that if you say the wrong words during Mass no one notices. On a weekday, there are old women and some men. They notice.
  2. Reflection on the origins of the Mass. I think about this a lot, especially after reading Scott Hahn’s The Lamb’s Supper. In a daily Mass, there’s a lot less singing (usually), there’s a lot less extra glamorous stuff. It’s just the cut and dry Mass, the focus always on the Lord. It’s beautiful. It might take a while to get used to, but it’s worth it.
  3. Quiet time starting your day. Or ending it. It’s hard to get away. Mass makes it easy.
  4. It’s short. Usually about 30 minutes. A little longer if it’s a school Mass. Worth it to see kids learning the right way to participate in the Mass.
  5. Making friends and connections. We pray for each other at Mass. And when we see each other, we remember.
  6. Create personal devotions. I love the Rosary. I love it so much, I have one hanging in nearly every room of my apartment (along with other sacramental items), I have one in my jacket pocket. In the summer, I keep one in my bag and in my car. Every morning before daily Mass, a Rosary is prayed aloud at church. It helps me keep that tradition. Other devotions can be “caught” from others, too. I see people praying the Holy Father’s intentions and other global prayers. Beautiful.
  7. Get to know your priest. Daily homilies are much more personal, and usually more spontaneous than Sunday homilies. It’s because they are short and there aren’t a lot of people in the “audience.” My priest often shares personal experiences during the week that he doesn’t touch on Sundays.
  8. Get to know the Bible. You’ll hear the entire thing if you went every day. If you can’t go every day, you’ll at least get more familiar with the geography/places of the Bible and the writing itself. It’s complicated and good to hear it aloud frequently along with reading it privately.
  9. Be with the Lord. Even if you can’t receive communion, you can still be with him. Christ is present in four ways in the Mass: in the Eucharist, in the priest, in the Word of God and in the assembled people of God.
  10. Reminder to share the Gospel. I always feel great after leaving Mass. It’s kind of like feeling good after working out (or anything you love). A beautiful thing happens in the Mass, and we get to be a part of it. When we go daily, it serves as a reminder to us that we are a part of that beauty even outside the church doors.

There are probably more reasons. I know there are. But that’s a start.

God bless.