Friday, December 20, 2013

Minimalism: A win and a loss

A win
I was at my favorite coffee roasters yesterday picking up my free pound o' beans (punch cards are kind of a pain, but also kind of awesome) when I saw this:
Small picture. Oh well. 
In case the picture doesn't translate into something you're familiar with, it's a "Brewing Cone." Essentially you brew your coffee right into your cup with this thing. They use them in coffee shops, apparently. Well, not really the coffee shops I frequent, but anyway, I've been curious about this whole ordeal for a while now. Like... three weeks or something. Joke. Since I read this post on Tammy Stroble's Rowdy Kittens blog... a few months ago. Whatever. Let's just keep it at "awhile," okay? Jeez.

I have been quite unhappy with my Black & Decker coffee pot (you can see a picture of it here) for longer than a while. It essentially works, but all the bells and whistles that prompted me to buy it? Conked out early on. The only thing I like about it is its reusable filter. I have not had to buy paper filters in, like, a couple of years at least.

Long story short, this thing cost about $3.50 at the coffee shop, which seemed like A) a kind of a cheap investment and 2) a way to get my lug of a coffee maker off my counter. You know what, people? I like a clean, clear counter. That's what minimalism has taught me.

Peg, the owner (who rocks), let me try the cone on over my Kleen Kanteen to gage whether or not this contraption would work for me (I have this insulated "kanteen" in navy and it is the love of my life. Also, this is the only time I have ever endorsed something with a misspelled name. Pet peeve. JUST SPELL IT RIGHT!) and it was perfect. So I got one. And this morning I tried it out for the first time.

Peg gave me some pointers: Don't bring your water to a full boil; that can make the coffee bitter. Bring your water to a near boil and let it sit for 30 seconds and then pour it over your grounds. So that's what I did. And you guys! This was the best coffee I have ever, EVER managed to brew in my own house.

So that was awesome. Other reasons I am in love with this thing: Easy to clean, easy to store, easy to pack up, great to take camping (theoretically, since I've only had it a little over 24 hours and we have not been camping in that time), no more electronic coffee makers that are destined for the landfill in two years because hello, quality is for sucks on those things, and I *think* the grounds and filters are compostable. Let me Google that. Yes! 100% biodegradable!

That's $3.50 well spent.

A loss
Johanna came home with a note from the third grade teachers at the beginning of the month saying that instead of doing a class gift exchange, they would be collecting small items to fill six shoe boxes--three for girls, three for boys--to send to children in need. Johanna was completely jacked about this idea, and so was I. Are you kidding me? Best idea ever! At the store, she picked out toothbrushes (I had sample toothpaste and floss at home from the dentist which she also wanted to put in. Who am I to stifle good oral hygiene?) and crayons. We put these items in a bag and got them to the school before the December 10 deadline.

So imagine my surprise when I go to pick her up tonight and see a literal excretion-load of excrement by her backpack. (Thanks,! You've cleaned up my language considerably!) I was all, uh, what is this? I thought you weren't exchanging gifts! and Jo was all, my teacher was getting rid of her junk.


So what exactly did Johanna come home with?
She's named the snowman "Charles."
Stickers, a photo craft frame kit from that weird foam stuff, posters, "the real story of Santa" on what appears to be restaurant place mats, an ornament with cotton balls and googlie eyes to make what I can only assume is St. Nick himself, and Charles the Snowman, which is basically knit over Styrofoam balls. Also, Charles' nose is about to fall off. Oh, and four candy canes.

Totes* disappointed, peeps. I made her shovel up all her "treasures" into her room, but I'm itching to just throw it all in the trash. She'll notice this soon after receiving it, though, so I must be crafty and wait until school starts back up in the new year. There are only so many fights I'm having in a day, and also: It's not easy having a minimalist for a mother.

And yeah, I said trash. What else am I supposed to do with this? The thought makes me sick, but I just don't think it's fair to pass it on to some other sucker. 


*I started saying "totes" and "adorbs" ironically, except then I said them too much so now I say them un-ironically, but I feel bad about it, so I think that generally makes it okay.

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