Sunday, March 27, 2016


** disclaimer:  i blogged [here] about my addiction to mail which is currently being fed (pun intended) by free samples.  
this is an honest, uncompensated (other than two free samples) post about [Blue Bottle Coffee] **

first let me clarify where i live so you will comprehend the need for a mail order coffee subscription.  well, my need for it.  i am in the upper peninsula of michigan.  sometimes considered no man's land.  or where hell froze over.  the closest starbucks is almost 100 miles away.  in another state.  there is a dairy queen, mcdonalds, and burger king within 8 miles of me.  but you can just take so much of mass commercialism before you long for something else.  before i lived where i am right now, this dairy queen was an hour away.

not that i was a huge starbucks fan either.  the rare time that i would cruise thru the drive thru (using a free-to-me gift card) i would order a tall blonde ~ which never failed to embarrass my husband and make me laugh hysterically.  but then i have been known to have a slightly warped sense of humor.  but i digress.

when i got my first sample from [Blue Bottle Coffee,] it did not end well.  but that was no fault of the company's.  i just don't do peach.  the color, maybe. (and to be clear, the kitchen walls of my rented home were this color when we moved in and the first thing i asked was if we could repaint.  they said no.)  but peach the flavor?  not.  you may feel differently about peach.  if so, then i suggest you try their Beta Blend coffee.

and actually, i can honestly say that you should try all their coffees.

the replacement sample that was sent by Mandi ~ their incredibly helpful, gracious, and generous customer service goddess who reached out to me before i even received the first sample ~ was their Guatemala Alta Verapaz Santa Isabel blend.  (which is a serious mouthful to say, let alone type, so it will be now known as GAVSI) 

the card included with my sample states this about the coffee:  "details:  Ever since he was a boy, farmer Luis "Wicho" Valdés has been growing coffee in a high-elevation rainforest.  His farm, Santa Isabel, was granted to the Valdés  family by the Guatemalan president in 1875.  Now, Wicho and his father oversee the estate together.  Located in lush Alta Verapaz, nine months of steady rain extend harvesting well into May.  The Valdés  family has perfected pruning techniques and drying methods to combat pervasive humidity, all while reforesting more than half of their estate's land.  digression:  If a cup of coffee can reflect the character of a farm, surely this one does.  With resilient rosemary, sassy cranberry, and ephemeral jasmine, you can almost see the Caturra trees thriving at such great heights in spite of the never-ending patter of rain."

so ... see that empty pot in the picture?  that was the first pot of coffee, of which my husband drank all but one mug.  i'm now drinking of my second pot (and yes, i know, it is late at night here, but i think the sun is up somewhere, and ever since that bat bit me i've been keeping odd hours.  just kidding.  about the bat.  and one day i will explain the cyclops on my coffee mug ~ it is kind of a funny story about air force squadron call signs.  but that is another blog post)  now, i must clarify something,   [Blue Bottle Coffee] ships beans, so if you don't have a grinder,  now.  really.  and then sign up for their subscription program.  really.  it is that good.  i will be as soon as i can.

once upon a time, i was on a gevalia coffee subscription program, and it was all well and good except that it was difficult to get customer service to make changes to my subscriptions, and since i was single at the time, and could only drink so much coffee, pretty soon i had so many bags of beans i was giving it away.  which kind of got to be a pretty expensive gift.

[Blue Bottle Coffee] is something different.  better.   try it.  and be sure to tell Mandi i said hi.

Monday, March 21, 2016

monday ...

David and i spent most of the weekend sleeping and sick with migraines and allergies, making it fairly certain that even if snow is still on the ground here in the upper peninsula and in our forecast ... spring is here somewhere.  i slept about 20 hours on saturday, and David napped off and on for about 10 on sunday.
Doctors Ara Gorn and Troo Per

i did see some buds on the lilac tree yesterday when i tucked a wad of my hair in the branches for the birds to add to their nests.  i'm not losing my hair as much as pulling it out when i brush it, and so have changed from a brush to a comb.  but i still gather my hair for bird nests.  if Trooper or Aragorn were long haired (and i'm grateful they're not) i would be gathering their hair as well.

i've been doing a lot of reading lately ... previewing books, and thinking of signing up for Holley Gerth's "You Are Already Amazing" book club [here] ... i've also been working on a book proposal to submit to a publishing company, and looking into some writing opportunities that pay. 

i believe there are changes coming.  good ones.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

true confessions of a *a-holic ...

first ... i must confess that i'm the type of person who goes to a party, sits on the floor and makes friends with the dog or cat.  always have been.  always will be.  just who i am.  if that makes you uncomfortable, don't invite me over.

and ... i love ladybugs, so for all those who complain that they stink when squished and pinch when caught ... probably don't want to ever come visit me because i don't squish them.  i brought all the hibernating ladybugs from the old house we rented to the new house we're renting.  so there.  they make my house plants happy by keeping the soil bugs, and aphids under control.  and make me happy when i see them crawl across my monitor now that it is starting to warm up outside.  happy happy happy.

... i love getting mail.  i'm a mail-a-holic.  seriously.  as soon as i learned to read and write, i was filling out postcards from my dad's magazines and mailing them off for freebies.  i was caught when a key chain from prudential life insurance arrived with a "piece of the rock" in it.  as i got older i got pen pals, then would send out newsletters, birthday cards, and for many years, almost 200 Christmas cards on December 1st, having spent Thanksgiving weekend writing in the cards and addressing them by hand (back in the day when postage was less than $0.30!)  now, however, my card lists are shorter, newsletters gave way to blogging and facebook, and i now have email pals.

but recently, i developed another addiction ... to freebie samples by mail.!  it is like Christmas every day the mail comes!  i've decided that i will start giving a critique on some of the samples that i receive ~ an honest opinion, not one that is paid for by the company.

Lettering Delights
Naughty Biscotti Font Sample
there has only been one affiliate link ever on my blogs, and that was for [Lettering Delights] because i love their fun fonts.  (and i've never gotten any money from them, so no idea if anyone has ever clicked thru, but i still love the fun of them) otherwise, i've never really wanted to get any affiliate links because they always seem to be a distraction on other blogs i've visited.  i like readers who will focus on my words, not the bright, shiny, blinking lights on the sidebars.

some of the samples have been a disappointment ... like the beta blend coffee beans from [blue bottle coffee].  or.anything.else.  i'm hoping they will send me a sample of another of their beans so i can give them a positive shout out and not a wash-my-mouth-with-soap shout out.  {an update:  i reached out to the company and asked for another sample, and they will be sending one out soon.  their beta blend is a mix of candied orange, white chocolate, and peach ~ which i'm not sure how they do that with coffee beans, but i'm not a fan of peaches, so i'm sure that is why i didn't like it.  i'm hopeful that the replacement sample is more to my liking, but whether or not it is, i'm very pleased and impressed with their customer service.  two thumbs up and a big toe!}

especially since one of the links i've followed for the samples also led me to getting [this] French press coffee pot for FREE! (well, i paid shipping, but jeepers!  A $120 savings?  for $8.50 shipping?!?!? oh yeah!)  [sign up here for another great Amazon discount program!]

one of the samples i have been really excited about is the [rest easy] sample i got from [Komega6].  i'm definitely planning on doing some shopping with them in the future!  both David and i have had positive results using the rest easy blend.  i love love love homeopathic oils, and treating my various complaints and ailments naturally rather than with poisons prescriptions.  i'm really looking forward to trying their recover blend to see how it works with my fibromyalgia and arthritis.

the other that i've been thrilled with were [Kind healthy snack bars].  yummmmmmmy!  they are now a must get for my winter car survival kit, my purse, my spring/summer/fall car survival kit, my desk drawer, my bedside table, yeah, pretty much everywhere!

so there it is.  true confessions.  for now.  and honest opinions.

expect more.


and honesty.