Tag Archive: starbucks


I’ve been meaning to post for over a week now but haven’t seem to have had the time to get around to it. So I’ll just do a little summary post instead.

The pond is doing well and the little floating trip-leaved things that came in with the cattails have reproduced prolifically. The cattails have increased in number from 3 to 7, and an 8th shoot is trying to grow down into the bottom of the pond. I haven’t decided if i want to move it to the other side of the pond or get rid of it entirely. The water is staying very clear, and there is almost no algae at all. I have a feeling that that would change if I put fish in the pond but I haven’t quite decided about those yet. A PNW tree frog showed up a few weeks ago and stuck around for a couple days, though I haven’t seen them since then. It got up into the 90s so I don’t know if they’ve been really good about staying tucked away and only come out at night, or if they’ve moved on to a better garden.

I built 5 bird houses using a new table saw I bought. I was tired of not owning any power tools beyond a drill, and it was the only saw my neighbor didn’t own, so I bought one. It’ll come in very handy when i build a tiny house I think. The bird houses are all very plain, but they have a floating floor that you just push up and twist to remove so you can clean the house out. They’re designed for chickadees and another bird of the same size i can’t remember the name of right now. The chickadees usually get to the houses first, but they tend not to raise young in the same house twice, so if you put several houses in your garden then you’re likely to get both species.

I went to a tiny house convention in Portland this weekend! It was extremely tedious and long, but I got to meet some other tiny house minded people, and that was really nice. I stayed in the hotel the convention was being hosted in because I didn’t want to deal with the drama of staying with family and because they lived 20 minutes away from the hotel. The convention didn’t teach me much of things I didn’t already know, it just gave a couple little hints that I hadn’t thought of before. Overall I don’t think I would go again, simply because it cost so much. $450 for the hotel and $280 for the tickets. Plus $30 in gas, and $50 for food. So… about $810 for the weekend? or basically a months wages for me. On the bright side I got to see a couple of tiny houses up close! They are definitely smaller than what I had originally thought, but if anything that makes me want them more. We saw a house that was 18ft long and it was super cute. The owner didn’t build out over the wheel wells so the house was narrower than most, but it fit 8 people in it at a time comfortably. it had 10 in it at one point, because a couple of people climbed up into the loft.

The woman sitting next to me at the convention just happened to be house sitting for the woman who built The Lucky Penny, which is a famous tiny house in Portland and one I really like. The house has an arched roof and a skylight that runs about a third of its length. It also has a fold down porch that covers the tongue of the trailer, which is really interesting to me. I think i’ll do something like it with my tiny house. The Lucky Penny is entirely copper themed, and doesn’t have a loft. The bed is on the back wall (the door is right over the tongue) so its the first thing you see when you walk in. Its normally folded in half, and then when you want to use the full thing you slide the slats underneath it out over the kitchen counter and a support beam on the opposite wall and fold the bed out into a queen sized bed. Despite this house being wider than the one we viewed as a class it was much more claustrophobic because the kitchen counter took up so much space. Across from that was a Japanese staircase dresser, which led up to a storage loft that the cat slept in. The entry way of the house had the shower in it (behind the door if the door was open) and a regular dresser for the owners clothes. The bottom of the dresser also hid the cat’s litter box, which you couldn’t smell at all.

The Lucky Penny is a part of a tiny house community, and one of the other owners was gracious enough to allow us to see inside her house. I’m not sure how long the house was but it was definitely my favorite house of the three. It had a spacious loft and a huge great room, and 7 of us fit in without any problem. The woman who built it was a quirky witch who had artwork everywhere. She wasn’t too happy showing us the house because she was kind of ambushed by it, so she didn’t give us the full tour, but I liked her instantly. She had a poster of Appa from Avatar the last Airbender hanging in the middle of the wall and that was the first thing I noticed, haha. Her doors were made out of the long windows you see on the either side of large doors, and she combined them to make very small french doors. Extremely cute. The house had fancy throw rugs and a full fridge, and a small shelving ladder to get into the loft. Three skylights and two windows, which she advised us to only place on the north side of the house. Super cute! If she had been in a better mood, and not busy making jelly from the plum tree that grew over her house, I would’ve loved to talk to her. I left her alone because she didn’t seem like she wanted to be bothered too much.

All in All it was a good weekend and I definitely made at least one new friend. Today is Monday and I’ve got a phone interview in nine minutes so I really should stop blogging. After that I have to run to Kent to pick up the bee boxes my aunt finally finished, and then I need to check on the hives there before rushing home to shower and head to work at 3:30. This week is going to be insanely busy for me. My boss scheduled me incorrectly so I only get one day off (this is the second time she’s done this to me) and I work close to 40 hours which I’m not happy about. I also have some guys coming to blow insulation into the house on Wednesday which makes it my longest day of the week. I work 3:30am to 8am (yes, 3:30 in the morning; we’ve decided to open an hour earlier) and then have to be home by 9 to spend 6+ hours supervising the insulation process.

Did I mention we caught a flemish giant rabbit that was on the loose on Friday? My sister has decided to adopt it. Its grey and as big as my smallest dog. Absolutely ridiculous.

Anyway, I have to run!

The Best Day This Season

My aunt works as an administrator at a very small “hippie dippie” elementary school. Kids there work with teachers to decide the curriculum and the day to day events, and the school is in the middle of 12 acres of woods. Last year a garden was installed, but teachers haven’t had much of an idea on what to do to keep it going. My aunt asked me to come over and tour the facility, and potentially spearhead the garden projects as a volunteer. So I went over there Friday to take a look. Their garden consisted of 13 wooden raised beds, wood chip pathways, and 4 rain barrels. There were a few sad kale plants, and some strawberries that were still in their pots sitting on top of the dirt in the beds. The rest of the campus was much more promising, with several play areas and an outdoor class room in the heart of the woods. It’s exactly the kind of school I would’ve loved going to as a kid!

I spent a couple hours on Thursday finding fun pictures of projects on the internet, and typed up a single page of ideas. I met with the head and assistant head of the school (and my aunt) to talk them over. Ideas included a worm bin, a bat house, a bee/bug hotel, a brush pile for snakes, and a few arrangements for planting food crops so they look fun, like a bean teepee. Everyone loved my ideas and saw how they could easily be integrated into several different areas of the curriculum. My aunt even said I was over prepared, which is one of my absolute favorite things to hear. I’ve been asked to come back with more ideas and some more in depth components at the end of next month, where I will present everything to the entire faculty. It’s not a very big school, but its still something like 20+ adults, all of whom are old enough to be my parents. So it’s a little intimidating, but I’m excited because everything I/they want to do is extremely easy stuff that will be perfect projects for the kids to do and learn from.

From there I went straight over to Starbucks to work a 5 hour shift. I slipped right back into my work like I had never left, and customers were happy to see me which was great. I loved being back in my old store. The cherry on my day was one of our regular customers telling me I had the best skin she’s ever seen. She asked what I did to keep it so smooth and I told her I started by shaving the top layer of it off every morning, haha. Then I use some avon moisturizer and I’m all set!

The day went surprisingly quickly, and we managed to close the store in 25 minutes! I even got to close with my best friend in the store, the assistant manager. We had some help from one of the new hires. I forget his name, but he’s a senior in high school and he seems pretty cool. I’m only going to be working there a 2-3 days a week but I think that will be enough to keep me busy and allow me to get my dose of starbucks fun, haha.

A Flowering Canoe

My official last day at Starbucks was Friday. I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone by; but even more unbelievable is how much I’ve changed. When I first started working at Starbucks I was this timid person with a bad case of anxiety and I don’t know how I managed to survive the first month. I felt like I should quit every day because of how stressful it was, but somehow I managed to push through and I’m really glad I did. Next week I’m going away to school, and instead of being nervous about it I’m actually kind of ok with the whole idea. I recently decided it was time for me to stop being so reserved and have a little more fun with my life. I’ve always been a very stoic person, with a fixed personality and a tendency to judge people a little too harshly. I’m not saying I’m any less judgmental, but I think Starbucks definitely help bring down that wall I’d had up for so long. I had fun almost every day at work, and even when I was bored I was still glad to be doing something.

Since it was my last day, and I was closing with my best friend in the store (the assistant manager), we decided to try and beat my record closing time of 25 minutes. The schedule always gives us 45 minutes to close, but during those 45 minutes you’re not earning any labor for the store because no customers are coming in. So the faster you close, the more hours are available for people during the day time. I had gotten into an argument with a coworker earlier this week who no one likes because she’s got a horrible attitude, and she critiqued the way I closed because I did things that hindered work during the hour before we close the store. She would rather we leave everything until after we close, than do things early and have to change the way we move in the store for a short time. She was part of the reason I wanted to beat my closing time of 25 minutes. As if breaking the record wasn’t challenge enough, we got a new person in 3 weeks ago and he’s still too new to fully understand what we have to do in the store. I wrote him a list and he’s actually pretty fast (he closes in 35 minutes) but I still have to take time to explain things to him and that slows me down. I decided to close bar side (the side that makes the drinks) because that’s my fastest side and I knew the new guy would get help from our assistant manager with the other side of the store. Can you guess how long it took us to close the store? A whole 15 minutes. It’s the fastest close of any other employees on staff.

I know its something silly, but I honestly feel so proud knowing that I started that job with the self confidence of a naked mole rat and ended up being genuinely the best barista that store has seen. Customers were hugging me goodbye and wishing me well all week, and I even got a “we’re all proud of you” from the coworker everyone hates (though I learned later there were ulterior motives for her). This job was one that went against all of my beliefs and in the end it made me a stronger person with more skills and an even sharper wit. I’m sorry if this post sounds arrogant, but I really haven’t had too much to be proud of in my life and this job was one that made a huge impact on my life.

I’m truly hopeful that it’s given me the tools to succeed in this next stage of my life. I’ve only got a week left before I have to be properly moved into my new place, and before school starts up. I’ll be in a completely different part of the state, with no ties to anyone, and nothing holding me back except for myself. I often dream about living in a world where the only thing holding me back is my imagination, and I was so busy with that concept I overlooked that I was holding myself back in every other way. This new school might be a challenge, but if there’s anything I’ve learned this summer its that nothings impossible. I juggled two jobs and was working 60 hour weeks without days off at one point this summer! 2 years ago I could barely bring myself to do yard work!

Oh, I forgot to mention. I cut all of my hair off. It hasn’t been this short since I was in elementary school. When my aunt saw it she actually had to get some pictures of me as a toddler out because I haven’t had my hair shorter than 4 inches my entire life. The edges and back are shorter, but the top is about three inches long and still has some curl to it. I’ve got a lot more freedom with this style. And today my mom and I went shopping, so I’ve got a few new clothes for school. I bought a pair of red pants even. If you knew me in real life, you’d know that red pants are something I’ve never been up for. I’ve actually always hated the color red. I decided it was time for a change though, with me moving out and going to a new school, and getting a new job (not sure what yet) and finding new friends. Why not wear something I’ve never worn before? Get a haircut I’ve never had? My life is in a state of such chaos that it’s actually not even scary. I’ve got more opportunities today than I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I finally have enough confidence to go and utilize them.

I always said 19 would be the hardest age for me. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I actually kind of promised myself it would be, in that way I have of promising things. I know this is going to sound silly, but if I set my mind to it, I usually can get things to happen the way I want. Things I don’t even have control over. I like to joke with people about being able to cast spells, which I don’t do in such an artistic way, but I do like to think I have a certain sway over things if I empty my mind and frame a thought a certain way. “To think without thinking”, if you remember me talking about that from years ago when I was rereading the Eragon series, haha. What I’m getting at is that when I was younger, 14 or 15 perhaps, I decided 19 would be the year I struggled with the most. Whatever I faced before then, whatever I faced afterword (if I survived it), nothing would be as bad as the year I was 19. I think about this a lot, because I really almost didn’t make it through to my 20th birthday. There was nothing special about being 20 as far as I was concerned, it was all just about not being 19. So over the years, as I thought about what my life would be like and what growing up might mean for me, I half-consciously “cast a spell” on that year. Or rather, a curse. If we’re being honest, I’m actually better with curses than I am with spells. If you can even call what I’m doing by thinking a certain way about the world “magic”. I only really call it that because I have no other word for it, and it sounds so much more fun to me than anything else I can think of.

19 was my cursed year, in which I would be tested to the point of breaking, and if I made it through I would be happier. That’s the curse I set for myself. I can’t tell you why I did this, and I knew it was going to be hard, but at the time it sounded like a good idea, and having made it through I really don’t think it was all that bad of a plan. Survive one year of misery and live the rest of your life knowing you can weather anything. I’m not saying the years before being 19 were easy, because they were only slightly less terrible than being 19, but I can say that 19 was the hardest age for me without a doubt. It was kind of like tempering steel really. I’ve started rambling a bit, haven’t I? And worst of all I’ve lost my train of thought.

What I’m trying to get at is that I think the worst is behind me, and that I’m extremely thankful for everything this summer brought to me. Before now I felt like a lost little canoe, caught on a rock in a great wide river. Unable to move, crushed under the weight of the passing water. But now I’ve dislodged from that rock and there’s nothing holding me back. With paddle in hand, I go bravely forward into uncharted waters confident in myself but willing to change. A flower who has been hindered by the passing storm, but whose brilliance bursts forth in the sun that follows.

Yesterday my mom and I took time off work to go and walk around Evergreen’s campus. I needed to talk to the academic advisor and the finical advisor to make sure the classes I wanted to take would cover all the credits I needed. It sounds like I could be done in just a year of school! After we finished with the advisors we walked over to the housing part of campus and quickly found my cousins old apartment. Evergreen has two types of housing, the traditional dorm room setting, where you either live alone or with one other person and share a communal bathroom and shower, or an apartment setting on campus, where you share a large apartment with 3-5 other people. Since neither of those options sound appealing to me I’m looking for alternatives off campus. We also went over to the food garden they have, which required walking to the complete opposite end of campus, and a quarter-mile walk through the woods. It’s a fantastic campus; you’re literally in the middle of a forrest. I was excited to find that they had chickens and 4 beehives at the farm, but there was a class there so we didn’t walk around. I’ll be taking a food farming course next spring and will be spending all of my time there.

My mom works with a woman whose sister owns a house in Olympia, so once we finished on campus we decided to drive over and check out the house. It’s a cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath that was built in the 30’s. Its got an attached single car garage, and arched doorways throughout the house. We didn’t get to look inside, because we weren’t sure if anyone was currently living there, but my moms friend/coworker was telling us about it via text. The yard is all grass, and I could potentially be allowed to do what ever I wanted to with it. The surrounding neighborhood is SO CUTE. Everyone had gardens full of flowers and food, and several houses were painted with non-traditional bright colors. There was even a cob bench at one house! It looked like something you would normally find in Northern Portland. My cousin has shown interest in moving down there with me, and pretty much the only thing he said he wanted was a garage for his motorcycle. We haven’t heard if its available to rent yet, but I would love it if it was. We think rent right now is currently $900 a month, and if my cousin split that with me then I would only be responsible for $450. Because of how my parents set things up when they got divorced, my dad is required to pay half of all of my education costs, so we’re trying to show that living off campus is the cheapest option and hope he agrees to it. Living on campus would cost $680 a month in rent, so right now $450 is a much better option. And because he would have to pay half of that, I would only be responsible for $225.

One of the other cool things about Evergreen is that a bus pass is a required part of your tuition. You pay $1 per credit for your bus pass while you’re attending, so I’ll only have to pay $16 a quarter. The bus stops 2 blocks away from that little house and theres one that leaves campus every 20 minutes. Downtown is a 5 minute drive from the house too, and food and shopping centers are not even 3 blocks away. There’s a park across the street, and a fun little community garden thing 3 houses down. I don’t know how much my cousin will like it there, but right now it looks perfect to me.

In other news, I’ve finally applied for a job at the company I do my internship with. There’s a position opening for a volunteer coordinator for the composting program I already went through. Its actually a really funny story. A friend of mine sent me the job listing on Friday, and I didn’t have time to apply over the weekend. On Monday my internship called me to ask if they could write an article about me for the composting program I had taken. I was working when I got the call, but I did the interview for the article during my lunch. Since the job position is essentially what the interview was about, I asked about it. I was encouraged to send my resume and a letter of interest explaining why I wanted the job to my interviewers boss. I sent it off just after midnight that same day (well, technically Tuesday I suppose), and got two phone calls, a voicemail, and an email from the woman that’s hiring the next day. Work was too busy for me to call her back, so I sent her an email when I got home. She was out of the office yesterday, but told me to call her today at 11 to talk about the position. Working for this company has been a goal of mine since I started interning there over a year ago. I would love it if I got this job. It pays $15 an hour (half again as much as I make at Starbucks) and I would only have to work evenings and weekends. Which fits almost perfectly with my current work schedule at Starbucks. I only work until 5:45 and I don’t work weekends.

Anyway, I need to go have breakfast and get ready for this interview I have in an hour. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Caffeine Addiction

There seems to be a potential for caffeine addiction. I tried my first ‘double shot’ anything today (for the record, I ALWAYS get a carmel mocha frappachino with whipped cream. Most of the time I get a grande (medium) and I usually ask for the sauce instead of the syrup. Today I added a double shot of espresso. The cashier woman immediately suggested that I have the drink made a very specific way because of how the flavors would end up combining and how it would taste. She said I should have the sauce on the bottom, the drink blended, and then the espresso put on top of the mixed drink (so it can mix in slowly and cause everything to be stirred as it all heats and cools itself), with the whipped cream on top and carmel syrup drizzled over it. She put all of that on my cup. It’s the most high maintenance drink I’ve ever heard of. That said, it was rather fantastic, and managed to wake me up slightly. A normal cup of coffee puts me to sleep. I’m thinking of buying a reusable cup and having them write all of the instructions on there permanently. It was a really good drink!

The rest of my day wasn’t as exciting. My friend… Jo will call her. Because I technically know three J’s and describing them all is too much work. Jo and I have been friends since middle school and currently go to college together. We even did the Japanese exchange program together in 2007. She works in the mall now, but can’t drive, so I decided to give her a ride and experience the mall before it was technically open. We got a Starbucks (this was the first one of the day and not as exciting as the double shot that came later) and then walked around for a bit because she was early.

I came home and had lunch and then drove back to get her. We spent virtually the entire day together. I like Jo, but the girl does not know when it’s time to politely ask to leave. So I have to not-so-politely tell her its time to go. It’s kind of become a long standing joke between us, because she has never once asked to be taken home; I’m always the one to say it’s time to leave. I know, it’s terribly rude of me, but 8 hours with someone is too long when neither of you are fully awake or excited about the day. We rarely hang out but when we do it’s usually a full day thing. So I don’t feel so bad about that.

In other, much more exciting news, I felt the first drops of rain of the season today! It has been months since I felt a real rain drop! I’m a complete Washingtonian. I love my rain. I think it should rain more during the summer really. We basically have 3 months of a drought and then it dumps for the rest of the year. If we could have a longer summer with more rain in it, that would be great. Oh, and proper white winters. I would love to be snowed in sometime. That’s one of the main reasons I plan to live off in no-mans land in the foothills somewhere. I want it to snow so much that I can’t walk out the door. That’s years down the road though unfortunately.

Ok, that’s all the rambling I’ve got for today. I miss blogging, but my life just doesn’t interest me enough to type a full page out about it every night anymore. I don’t know how I managed to continuously talk about my life day after day. Nothing happens in it! Ah well. Someday that’ll change I’m sure.