Monthly Archives: January 2014

Seattle and coffee

In 2000, I was working in a hospital in upstate New York. When I announced to the team that I was moving to Seattle in a few months, one of the members of our team remarked that Seattle has “great coffee.”

And that person was right on.

Seattle coffee tastes better.



Why does coffee taste better in Seattle?

If memory serves me correctly, Seattle coffee is stronger than any other coffee I have ever tasted. It can have a bitter quality if not done correctly. 

But most importantly, I think that it’s the number of coffee roasters that makes Seattle’s coffee stand alone. Sure, we have Starbucks and Tully’s, but there are also some great independent coffee shops. It’s easier to find a coffee shop or stand in Seattle than any other city I have visited or lived in. And Seattle has some great companies roasting those beloved beans: Vivace, Victrola, Caffe Vita, Lighthouse roasters, Stumptown, Starbucks (of course), Umbria, Fremont, etc. The list goes on, and you can see all of the Seattle coffee roasters in this Seattle Magazine article.

I’ve lost track of my favorite Seattle coffee, and I’m still grieving over this loss. There used to be a small coffee stand in front of the King County courthouse at Third and James, run by a young woman and her husband. She moved her spot, and I lost track of her, but this young woman produced the ultimate cup of java–strong, hot, tasting like coffee must taste in heaven. She always served her product efficiently, adding a smile and her hope that we all have a good day. I do not remember her name (Candy maybe?), nor do I remember the beans she used, but this coffee was the best I’ve ever tasted in my life.

I’ve read articles reporting that Seattle is one of the most caffeinated cities in the U.S., and I do not think it’s just because of all the great coffee roasters we have here. As a Seattle resident for almost fourteen years, I can tell you that there is an energy in this city that I have felt no where else. We are a loud, passionate, and opinionated lot. And we believe that a good cup of coffee is more than a beverage; it’s an experience, another way to extract joy out of every moment we are given in this life. And also, unfortunately, Seattle is an expensive city; one needs to be energetic to make a living and pay bills. Coffee gives us that extra boost, I guess!

The idea for this post comes from my daughter-in-law Kim Voynar, who is traveling back to Seattle today from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Her greatest wish, after seeing her husband and children, is that hubby brings her a “Seattle-quality double tall soy cappuccino, dry,” when he picks her up at SeaTac airport.

Yeah, that’s what it is like to live in Seattle and adore the coffee this city has to offer. 

I will grant you, our love of coffee borders on an addiction, but hey, coffee is legal, right?

Okay, many of us <like me> in Seattle are addicted to coffee.

I drink two cups of medium roast French Press coffee every day.

All right, sometimes it is three cups.

I have three French Press coffee makers, in different sizes, and one percolator, just in case I want to offer visitors a good cup of Joe.

My favorite French Press is this one:




So, if you visit Seattle, and you like coffee, I recommend visiting a number of area coffee shops.

It’s an experience you will never forget!






Pajama days

Today is my first pajama day of 2014 <insert a whoop of joy here>!

My decision to make this a p.j. day was initiated by two factors: The air quality in Seattle is poor these days, and my asthma is making breathing a bit more difficult; and I’m experiencing a little medication side effect which makes being close to the bathroom a necessity <ahem>. It is what it is folks.

But pajama days are kind of fun. I don’t have to take a bus to downtown Seattle, or work, or even go outside if I don’t want to.

Just because I’m having a pajama day does not mean I’m going to be passed out on the couch all day.

Here are some of the things I will be doing with my jammies on today:

  • Cooking <ribs with homemade sugar free barbecue sauce in the slow cooker>
  • Cleaning my apartment (bathroom, kitchen, living room duties, laundry)
  • Exercising to my walk at home video
  • Watching football
  • Getting a book review submitted to Pure Textuality
  • Meditate
  • Sipping my 2 cups of French Press coffee

The perks of having a pajama day are endless, but what it really means to me is that I have a day to hang out without makeup <although I’m still wearing perfume, which is as important to me as Ban deodorant>, relax and unwind.

Happy Sunday, and may you all have a day to relax and unwind.


what the hey, Google? and other random thoughts

WordPress reminded me that I need to post for the week, so here I am.

I have a few things to blather on about, so here goes:

Google, WTF?:

All of a sudden I got a number of emails that did not go into my spam folder; this was in addition to a Gmail chat request from someone named SusieHotPants69 (I said no, naturally). Google has automatically allowed random yahoos on Google+ to send emails to anyone who has a Gmail account (instructions on opting out here. I opted out, of course. And oh yes, Google, BITE ME.

Flu Season:

Lots of Seattle folks are sick, and there appears to be two strains–one a chest cold, the other a stomach bug. I’ve not gotten really sick, but lost a day of work this week to a headache and chills, accompanied by a cough. Yuck.

The writing:

Excited because my story about a super hero Seattle grandma has taken an interesting turn; the best news is I’m writing, and that’s always a good thing.

My laugh of the week:

Came from a Facebook post. The picture, below, of actor Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead, generated some comments from women that blew me away, kept me laughing far into the night. These women want Daryl Dixon’s baby, they mentioned that they looked at his picture and started ovulating, or their ovaries exploded, you get my drift. Love it. Daryl does not blow my hair back, as a sex symbol, but I love him as a hero. He’s an everyday sort of guy, who never made it big in life before the zombies took over but now Daryl is the MAN. He’s the Bilbo Baggins of The Walking Dead.


Finally, I’m going to say once again that my blogging skills have atrophied, thanks to my use of Facebook. It’s so easy to post, and repost, on Facebook. I’m committed to blogging once a week, and that’s an amazing goal for me,m since a few years ago I was blogging every day.

Oh well.

If you happen to read this, and your in the path of all the cold/snowy weather, I hope you are doing okay.



As a young adult, I avoided making big changes to my life.

It was fear, I guess, of making mistakes . I think it was also about finding a comfort zone for my life, then burrowing in and staying put.

Thanks to getting my heart broken in my early forties, I started to see an excellent therapist. At a certain point in my therapy, my therapist asked me to consider that I wasn’t just suffering from a broken heart. I was mourning all of my unfulfilled dreams (college, moving from a rural town back to the city of my birth). I had wrapped myself like a mummy, in a frantic effort to escape being hurt again. And I had not been hurt, in a long time, but I had not experienced joy either. Life was flat for me, like a bottle of soda pop left open, all of the bubbles that make a soft drink tasty gone.

My therapist told me I had a choice–I could keep myself mummified and keep on being miserable, or I could start peeling away the mummy wrappings and start living again.

I decided to choose living again, and stepped into the chaos of change. I developed a step-by-step plan for myself, starting with my ultimate goal and identifying the steps it would take for me to achieve my dream.

It was not easy, let me tell you. I had diarrhea for a year; a doctor told me it was anxiety, but I believe it was good old fear, plain and simple. I did not sleep very well for a long time. I made some decisions that were kind of stupid. But I learned as I went along my path, and I started to understand that I felt what it was like to be really alive. I had some bad days, but I also had some really good days also (like the day I held my bachelor’s degree in my hands). I learned how to trust my instincts, rely on my own judgment, because I am, after all, the architect of my own life (man, that was a good therapist).

I went on to obtain my master’s degree, and have been lucky to be employed for almost all of the last sixteen years (except for 10 months when I did not work, after the illness and death of my mom. But that’s another story).

So here I am in 2014. I’ve worked for the same nonprofit since 2001, in a number of different positions. In the past year, I have decided it is time for me to move on. At first I was just going to retire and live the life of a retiree, doing volunteer work and whatever else struck my fancy.

But you know, I’m not ready to sit in a rocking chair.

I still need to move on from what I’m currently doing, because it’s time. But I have other options–teaching part-time, writing, traveling, maybe doing some work in hospitals again.

Truth is, I just don’t know where I’m going to end up when I leave my job in mid-July.


I’m on an application track to do some teaching; it may take me months to know if I make the cut.

But that’s okay, because this old girl ain’t dead yet.

I’m embracing the chaos of change again, daring to dream that there is yet another version of my life out there, just waiting for me to grab hold of and wring dry.

And I won’t lie to you, my sleep quality has not been great.

And I’ve survived some gastrointestinal eruptions.


Knowing me, I’m sure there will be more.

It’s important that I keep those mummy’s wrappings off myself, trust my instincts, and take delight in who I am, as a woman, a mother, a grandmother, and a human being.

I had a graduate school professor who asked his students to consider the road less traveled, from the Robert Frost poem:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So, onward and upward.


And yeah, I’m a little scared.

But I also feel fully present in my life.

It feels good.


REVIEW by Beth: 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy by L.A. Sparks (@BunnyBethA)

REVIEW by Beth: 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy by L.A. Sparks (@BunnyBethA).

via REVIEW by Beth: 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy by L.A. Sparks (@BunnyBethA).

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