Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

I Will Hold On Hope

So, I know that I said I’d be away for a bit. But I’ve been at homework for 17 hours straight now (including Blackboard wiping my test clean and a professor pulling reference information off the website). I’m a little…stressed. Just a bit. Yeah.

Since it’s Monday, I thought I’d share some of the music that is getting me through the week. Sarah first introduced me to Mumford and Sons a few weeks ago because of the song Sigh No More. Being the awesome English major that she is, she was quick to point out the major selling point: the words to the song were taken  from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Well, that right there is enough to win my heart!

Besides, look at that crazy arrangement of strings! Bass, cello, violin, viola, drums, guitar, banjo, etc…right there we are looking at something unique.

A week or two after this, one of my classmates chose their song The Cave as the topic for his paper. Sitting in a drab university room, the words really hit home with me…and I think with a lot of us sitting there overall. This one is a little rawer than Sigh No More, but excellent in its reality.

You can understand dependence when

you know the maker’s land.

So make your siren’s call

And sing all you want

I will not hear what you have to say

‘Cause I need freedom now

And I need to know how

To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope

And I won’t let you choke

On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I’ll know my name as it’s called again.

It’s good stuff there…a little rough, but good. I like the fact that their lyrics can be honest, yet they still find a way to make them hopeful.

If you are looking for a slightly mellower sound from them, I have two more for you. The first one has a beautifully British title: Thistle & Weeds.

But plant your hope with good seeds

Don’t cover yourself with thistle and weeds

Rain down, rain down on me.

The other one I love is Awake My Soul. It’s laid back and lyrically poignant.

Awake my soul, awake my soul

For you were made to meet your maker

Caveat time: there is one song of theirs that made me unhappy with them. It’s called Little Lion Man, and despite all the awards it’s won, I don’t see any good excuse for the word they used throughout the chorus. So, I just want to make it clear that I am NOT endorsing that particular song. The others…well, they are just really, really good.

Oh, and you can now pick up the album Sigh No More at your local Starbucks! And, you can hear the songs there too! It’s a nice change from some of the weeping and wailing we’ve had in the stores recently.

There you have it. I hope you enjoy…and have a good week.

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ll = Pause




Brilliant blog ideas are bouncing around in my head. Words that need to be written, want to be written, demand to be written. I want to blog!

But, it’s after midnight here. In 9 hours I have to be in class…haven’t done the reading for this class in 2 weeks (funerals and class cancellations put it on the back burner). Then I have to prep to teach at 2:30. Then, class at 6. Paper is due in that class…I’ve written the title so far.

And so life goes. I’m starting to drown a bit, so I need to step back, take a break. Hopefully in March I will be back on a regular basis. Until then, the posts will be sparse.

Stick with me?


O’re The Ramparts We Watched…Or Something Like That

The National Anthem. It’s got a great story. Beautiful history. It’s the ultimate expression of the tenacity and bravery of Americans in the face of overwhelming odds. Even through the darkest night, with bullets and rockets everywhere, our flag still stands.

It deserves to be sung with passion, dignity, power, and emotion. It deserves to be sung like this:

It does NOT deserve the butchering that it got at the SuperBowl LXV last night. No song deserves this, let alone a National Anthem:

So, there you have it. I must go weep for America’s future now….


Thanks, Dr. Oz….

He is one of those customers. You all know the type- the ones who make you dread coming on shift. The ones who have complicated orders, make unreasonable demands, berate you as you do your job the best you can, put you through the wringer, and then never tip. We have several of those, but one really takes the cake.

He gets a pound of coffee- a specific blend of decaf Sumatra and regular Sumatra. Always. Okay, fine- half-caf, no problem.

In fact, the coffee is the least of the issue.

If you don’t start scooping it before he even walks in the door, he acts as though you are too dense to draw breath. It doesn’t matter if you stand there and recite the order with him- if it’s not ready when he gets to the register, he has to tell you the entire order. EM-PHA-TI-CAL-LY.

He then watches you like a hawk as you walk to the wall, pull the coffee bags (he never brings the coffee to the register himself), and go behind the counter, scoop, measure, weigh, grind, and bag. Then, he…well, wait a moment.

There’s something you all should understand. I’m a closer- I rarely work before 3 pm. When I deal with this customer, it’s at night- like, it’s dark out night. Now, every store has closers like me, and openers who don’t work past noon. Our store has a highly popular opener- he almost never works much past 11 or 12. NEVER at night. Hasn’t for many, many years. Comprende? Bien.

He (the customer) comes in at night. Every night, he asks if this one opener is working. Becomes very upset when he is told that they are not there. Despite our explaining that his favourite barista only works in the mornings, he still comes in late at night for his coffee. Go figure. Apparently, this opener is the “only person” who can get the half-caf right, is the “best employee ever,” and without them working at our location “we wouldn’t stand a chance of staying in business because no one else can do the job as well.”

The first time we dealt with this guy at night, it was me, a shift, and my manager. We all stood there, slightly in shock. The manager tried to laugh it off with the customer… “Yeah, that employee is pretty popular.”

“NO. You all would go under without him.” (EM-PHA-TI-CAL-LY, remember?)

*blink* O-kayyyyy then.

He left at last, his coffee in hand. We stood there, silently looking at each other. Wordlessly, the shift reached over and pulled off three pieces of receipt tape. Scribbling something on each of them, she quietly pinned them to the inside of our green aprons with paper clips. I glanced at what mine said.

Chopped Liver

The three of us burst out laughing. “That’s so we don’t forget what we are without the morning crew.” my shift declared.

This customer has made us feel the same way every visit since that night two years ago. We treat him nicely, but there is still a tenseness to the transaction.

And then, a miracle. They came in the other night, and I immediately started scrambling for the coffee wall to pull the pounds I needed, calling to him as I ran “half-caf, right?”

“No, just regular.”

I swear, I stopped dead in the middle of the café. The shift behind the counter halted too. No? NO? NO!?!?!??!?!

“No,” he continued on. “I was listening to Dr. Oz, and he said that the process used to decaffeinate coffee is worse for you than the extra bit of caffeine. So, it’s just a pound of regular coffee now.”

Do you know how much FASTER his order goes without the measuring and scooping? Without having to assure him that yes, it was the right amount of caf and decaf? Oh, bliss. This is a change we like.

Thank you, Dr. Oz.


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Droid Wars- 1.2

Ah, the live blogging returns! Remember this? Well, Mum had to get a new Hero, so we’ve got to set stuff up. Here we go again….

11:39– Starting up!


Me- “What’s your password?”

Mum- “I don’t remember. The usual.”

Me: “Well, that’s not working.”

Mum- “Don’t you remember when we set it up?”

Me- “No, because you wouldn’t tell me.”

Mum- “No way!”

Me- “Yes, you said you would remember, I asked you to tell me for backup, you said you wouldn’t because you would remember, I said you should tell me anyway, you said you’d remember, I said you wouldn’t, you said you would, I said I would blog it, you said ‘Don’t!'”

Mum- *laughs* “Oh, that’s funny. You should blog that!”


Mum- “Wait, you mean that all those people with gmail accounts have a Google account? I didn’t know that’s what the G stood for!”


Me- “You…spelled out all the numbers in your email address?”

Mum- “I did?”

Me- *facepalm*


Me- “Here, you can search for Ringdroid.”

Mum- “Is this going to wake my brain up? It is almost midnight!”


To be continued on the morrow….

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Beyond The Door There’s Peace, I’m Sure

It’s hard to write a blog post through a haze of tears.

But, this post had to be written. Needed to be written. Deserved to be written.

I’m hoping that my regular readers (and those who know me in real life) will recall all the times I’ve talked about this dear little customer of mine: a 15 year old girl who has spent the past few years fighting a rare cancer with determination and tenacity. For those of you who are new, please just take a minute to review this post about Ashley. If you have a little extra time, I’ve also mentioned Ashley and her family here and here.

Ashley is amazing. She fought to stay a normal kid through horrible circumstances. She stayed informed on her treatments, and made calls as to when to push through more pain, and when to take a break and just enjoy being with her family and friends. People rallied around her and her family with support, prayers, and wonderful memory-making gifts.

I can’t imagine how hard it is to watch your child waste away, to watch a disease slowly drain her of life, day by day, sometimes breath by breath. How hard it is to help her be a normal kid when nothing about her life is, or is ever going to be, normal. What it’s like to watch her siblings try to come to grips with the concept of death at a far too young age. For me, it’s been hardest to watch the effect of Ashley’s illness reflected in her father’s eyes. It was hard to hold him while he cried and told me the saddest news of all.

If you are reading this post, it means that Ashley is now out of pain. Her suffering is over…her fight is finished.

…and we are mourning her.

I called her dad earlier, and he said something that is so, so true. Her life had a purpose, and she did not leave us until that purpose was filled. She has touched hundreds and thousands of lives; she’s inspired countless people. Her purpose here is over…it is now time for us to learn from her life, and live the lessons she embodied.

Make the most of each day. Fight to be normal. Treasure memories. Make time for those you love. Never miss a chance to hug someone or brighten their day. Live. Laugh. Love. Like I challeged you all earlier this month:

Live with intention.

We love you, Ashley. <3

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on,
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven.

Would you hold my hand
If I saw you in heaven?
Would you help me stand
If I saw you in heaven?

I’ll find my way
Through night and day,
‘Cause I know I just can’t stay
Here in heaven.

Time can bring you down,
Time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart,
Have you begging please, begging please.

Beyond the door,
There’s peace I’m sure,
And I know there’ll be no more
Tears in heaven.

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same
If I saw you in heaven?

I must be strong
And carry on,
‘Cause I know I don’t belong
Here in heaven.