Miss Woodhouse's Musings

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

How One Pound of Coffee Made A Lot of People Happy

One little green bag. It sits on the shelf at my Starbucks, hardly ever touched.

The flashier bags get all the attention: Sumatra, Komodo Dragon, Cafe Verona, Espresso Roast, and Pike Place all come and go. It sits there…quietly, patiently.

Until the other day. Until a poor, frazzled man came in and asked me if we had any organic coffee. You could almost see that little green bag puff itself up. I lead the man over to the wall, and pull it off the shelf: Organic Shade Grown Mexico. The relief on the man’s face is evident. His sister-in-law is coming into town, and EVERYTHING must be organic. Coffee included.

So, I work on getting him a half pound (he didn’t need anymore than that…I got the feeling we weren’t trying to get the sis-in-law to move in!), ground it for him (yes, I do know that doing so means it is no longer Certified Organic, but the man needed help), bagged it up, and he was set to go. I was even able to give him the name of a local organic market in case the sis-in-law made any other odd organic demands. You can find *everything* organic at Trader Joe’s.

(I know two people who are dying with laughter right now. Shall we continue on?)

A few minutes later, E comes in. Now, I love seeing this guy come in for three reasons. One, he’s always pleasant. Two, he sometimes sits and hangs out with his eReader, which is always cool. But the third reason is the best: he loves good, bold coffee. It’s always exciting when you meet a customer who really cares about the coffee, who can appreciate the difference between an earthy Sumatra and a brightly acidic Gazebo. There’s one other customer who is the same, he actually always orders a French Press of something. The other night he and I had a discussion about the different coffees that come to the forefront in the various bags of Tribute Blend. With four different regions in there, sometimes you taste the Sumatra, sometimes the Papua New Guinea, etc.

But I digress.

E comes in, and says he wants to try something different: he wants a Chai Latte with no pumps and 1/3 milk. My shift stood there looking confused, until I pieced together that he wanted a Chai Tea misto. Phew!

Before I started on his drink, I looked at him and asked “Are you sure? I have some Organic Shade-Grown Mexico.”

His face lit up! “Why did you even let me order? You should have just said ‘E, don’t even bother, I know what you want!'” With that, E, and my shift, and I cracked up. So, I made E a venti coffee, and I made a short so that I could fill out my new coffee passport.

You know what? That’s really, really good coffee. And at least 7 people were made very happy…all because of one little green bag of beans.


Super Moon?


Wasn’t as big or impressive where I live, but pretty all the same! Happy weekend!

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One of my dad’s favourite composers is Tim Janis. For you PBS buffs, you’ve probably seen his specials on TV; epic, sweeping music overlaying beautiful nature scenes of America. So, for today’s MusicMonday, I thought I’d share some of his music with you!

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A Starbucks Story

It was the best of closes, it was the worst of closes…actually it was tonight’s close!

We were having a good night. My coworkers were wild and crazy, and there were lots of hugs, jokes, pranks, insults, and songs.

…Justin Bieber songs, but no night is *perfect*.

As much as we hated to do so, shift and I sent our dear singing precloser home a little early to save labour. We were good, we were ahead of the game. We were set to close at 9:30, and get out well before 10.

Then, 9:15 happened. A very, very nice man walked into the store and informed us that he was turning off the water.

Say WHAT?????

I’ve never seen that look of blank shock on my shift’s face before. She just stood there, the Daily Coverage Report about to slide out of her hands. It was…disturbing. So, I jumped in to the situation, chatted with the guy (who was WONDERFULLY understanding), and we negotiated a 10 pm water shut off.

Whew. Disaster averted.

The only problem is that Mr. Water Man wasn’t hopeful that we would have water for open tomorrow. Or for the morning rush. Or, like, until 10-11 am tomorrow morning.

Let’s make a list of why we need water:

Espresso shots

Coffee brewing

Rinsing pitchers

Washing dishes

Washing hands


…just to name a few things.

Oh, and my manager is the opening shift.

So I focus in on dishes. The sooner I could get done, the sooner he could get to work, the sooner we could have water back. Scrub, swish, stack, sanitize, shelve!

It’s now 9:28. Almost there…so close….

…and a guy comes in. Asks if we are open. We say “for a few more minutes” and he says “good, I have a couple of drinks.”

He then proceeds to order:

4 grande caramel frappuccinos

3 grande vanilla lattes

2 strawberries and cream frappuccinos

1 iced grande caramel macchiato

We are down to one espresso machine so I could ensure both got rinse cycles before the drought. We only have out one blender pitcher because we were cleaning the others (see re: coming drought). Oh, and because he is still there, fussing over his order, other orders came in behind him. Somehow, shift and I crank these drinks out in record time, only closing a few minutes after our “shut door” time.

But now we are now *so* behind the power curve.



But there is no recovery. We clock out 10 minutes late, chewing up all the labour we saved earlier by sending Bieber Boy home.


So much promise…so much potential….

Chocolate ice cream? Don’t mind if I do!



I love this necklace! I bought it from Cookie Lee almost a year ago, to wear at work. I loved the blocky silver charms and the way that they contrasted with the round turquoise. Mostly though, I loved the words on the charms. They represent everything that I love about the Starbucks spirit: success, happiness, love, hope, and inspiration.

So, when I’m feeling a bit down at work I put this on, and the jingling of all the charms helps me remember to be legendary!

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Wearing of the Green

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

In the time (well, I did it once) honoured tradition of this blog, I shall now share some of the wonderful Irish-themed videos I’ve been watching this year.

First up, the only time I’ve enjoyed Lady Gaga! Trust the Irish to make her palatable.

I love the raw power of this dance, and the way it features the rhythmic patterns that set Irish Step dancing apart from other types of dance.

The Rockettes are great and all, but let’s just admire this coordination and group work!

Oh yeah, few hours of practice at work there.

Oh! Want to see the shirt I’m wearing today? And Mum? And (I’m hoping), my Irish Aunt? Gotta love Starbucks!

Go Green!

So cute. If I didn’t have to work, my nails would totally look like this today as well:

Since I do have to work, I’m going to be content with my Irish ring!


…and that’s as much Irish frivolity as I can muster up today! May the road rise up to meet you, may the sun shine warm upon your face, may the wind always be at your back…and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand!


Caveat Lector

Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.

Beware the ides of March.

What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19

“Tis the anniversary of that fateful day, the day when a great leader’s best friends reportedly stabbed him to death in the Roman streets. Poor, poor Caesar.

Just because I’m feeling litgeeky today, here’s another of my favourite quotes from Julius Caesar:


(reads aloud)

“Caesar, beware of Brutus. Take heed of Cassius. Come not near Casca. Have an eye to Cinna. Trust not Trebonius. Mark well Metellus Cimber. Decius Brutus loves thee not. Thou hast wronged Caius Ligarius. There is but one mind in all these men, and it is bent against Caesar. If thou beest not immortal, look about you. Security gives way to conspiracy. The mighty gods defend thee!

Thy lover,


Here will I stand till Caesar pass along,

And as a suitor will I give him this.

My heart laments that virtue cannot live

Out of the teeth of emulation.

If thou read this, O Caesar, thou mayst live.

If not, the Fates with traitors do contrive.

Julius Caesar, Act 2, Scene 3

So, dear readers beware! Tread cautiously today….

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