Tag Archives: CoffeeShops

A Dream – Almost – Realized

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My impetus for creating this blog was to satisfy my passion of owning a coffeehouse or a diner, and to do this in the most affordable fashion: A virtual rendition of my dream.

And it’s been a joy in many ways, however, nothing short of brick and mortar is a dream fully realized in my inner world.

So, to make it a more tactile experience, Hubby and I remodeled the kitchen and created an in-home diner.

Now I can more realistically pretend to be a baker/waitress:

With bistro stools, granite countertops, and pendant lighting, it’s a hybrid of old-school diner and contemporary cafe. The secret, though, being the purplish hue of the classic neon diner sign that glows throughout my baking space. Nothing speaks my language of diner days more than blue and red blending into purple!

Jayni’s Diner is now open for service, and my first customer arrived fully old-school and driving a T-Bucket:

And what did I serve him?

Bourbon Brownies with Peanut Butter Chips. The Father’s Day special.

And he surely did deserve a special treat. After all, he drove a purple Bucket right into the garage. He honored my theme and devoured my brownies.

What could make a baker/waitress smile any more than that?

 

It’s still not the perfect scenario, however, I’m getting closer to having the real thing. I have the signage and the ambience.

But not the jukebox or the shining silver exterior.

Not quite the full dream.

Almost .  .  .  .

The Sounds of Seething

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Retro flower pot shape bike at a coffee shop.

Coffee Shops, Cafes, and Diners have been, and will likely always be, my temples of contemplation and revelation.

Practicing private thoughts within a bustling public setting works as a nice balance for my mind and soul.

Recently, I sat in a nearby, faith-based coffee shop/bookstore. The patrons were primarily college students – early twenties – discussing philosophical concepts while intermittently glancing at their screens.

They appeared to be harmonizing secular with sacred, in soft tones of curiosity and respect. Their vocabularies were as vast as our Western horizons, and they punctuated their speech with a potpourri of world languages.

To me, an eavesdropper, their conversations sounded lyrical. Almost like improvisational poetry. I felt inspired being nested in such artful ambience.

The moment pushed me higher.

Caused me to recall my own college days, where as an English major, I was in love with words. With the raw materials of my art form.

In the arms of such purity, I was nearly 20 years old when, during an all-night dormitory pow wow, I was coaxed relentlessly into uttering aloud the “F” word. It was liberating. I suddenly had a new relationship with the word. I was less fearful of its power.

Over time, I’ve dared myself to speak aloud every forbidden word deemed as vulgar or offensive to someone, somewhere.

Several of these words became familiar friends; others remained forbidden from my speech.

Eventually, I became uncomfortable with my free usage of cheap, easy words instead of giving space to speaking with specificity and grace.

People, both public and private, have stood me still with their eloquence, and kept me at attention until I absorbed some essence of their artistry.

Until I remembered my own love of language and admonished myself for loosening grasp on this romance.

Most recently and most powerfully, Michelle Obama sent me back to my origin: “.  .  . when they go low, we go high.” A phrase I’ve internally chanted like a mantra each time I seethe with enough emotional passion to drop verbal bombs of destruction.

I succeed and I fail at this.
I reinstate the mantra.

And rest in the eternal truth that all beings will be accountable for their own actions and reactions. That there is no need to judge, ridicule, or make demeaning statements about others’ efforts.

Engaging in inward seething judgment – a seething that remains either silent or shouts outwardly – actually retards my advancement as a human.

It does nothing to adorn my own consciousness. So why indulge?

Instead, if I can love myself enough to forgive myself, I can far more easily forgive others and dissolve any seething words brewing in my inner vessel.

And, just in case I’m too puny to silence my ugly words, I can always subdue the tendency with the bite of a sweet confection:

Pumpkin Cake - Minus Bite

In this case, a dense, chewy pumpkin cake .  .  . recipe compliments of THESWEETWORLDSITE.

I embellished my version of the cake, but her elegant simplicity is enough to associate me with the power and the glory of beautifully heart-crafted and purified creative language. And remind me of my ever-present choice:

The Sound of Beauty or the Fury of the Beast

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My choice; my reckoning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye Boys

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There’s a certain timbre in the coffee shop this morning. Porcelain colliding with wood, with more porcelain. Hushed voices. Whispers mixing with the steam of hot coffee rising.

As I glance back over my shoulder, I think of 2017. I see a mental billboard – a roadside advertisement featuring the famous bad boys. The lineup of naked egos exposed in their full self-glorification. 

Some courting felonies, some hoping for misdemeanors.

 

It was a year of cause and belated effect.

It was the truth of existence in operation, and a multitude of us watched with consciousness and remembrance of our own battles with the many flavors of abuse.

It was the year that Newton’s third law was made apparent to all.

It was a moment of satisfaction for me.

And to those celebrated offenders, I say:  “Bye Bye Boys. You’ve had your day. Now it’s time to go away.”

 

For all the unknown, the unexposed – may you wrestle with you consciences, have tea with your demons, and learn your lessons profoundly. Police Mystery Man

I am cordially indifferent to your individual plights.

 

I have only one sorrowful loss in this whole mess:  Garrison Keillor. He’s been my inspiration and a source of cynical, wickedly humorous Americana entertainment since 1980.

I’m angry that his fictional small-town tales and homey music have been removed from the terrestrial radio waves and the intergalactic currents.

Radio theatre is a dying art, as is impromptu storytelling.  I want the best to remain for as long as possible.

So desperate was I to find a replacement, I searched Podcasts and settled on “Welcome To Night Vale.” It seemed like a strong contender until I reached the episode of the three vomiting dogs.

Too rude, crude, and unattractively graphic for my taste. I unsubscribed.

Now, I’m back to the eloquent emptiness Garrison left behind.

And my anger deepens. I don’t know if it’s directed more at him or at Minnesota Public Radio. It’s a selfish and selective anger – Yes.

I want my small-town fantasy safely back on the radio each week, while I want him to scurry along and correct his wrongdoing.

Just get it right, Mr. Keillor. You’re an Anglican, a man of fair faith and intelligent virtue.

Just get it right with the Lord and get back on the airwaves.

Please.

From all of us at the coffee shop .  .  . we thirst for your witty gossip, disguised as provincial-minded chatter, to stimulate our decaffeinated minds.

One smart conversation begets another. And soon we can again have a community of cafe culture that enlivens the imagination.

I raise my cup of mocha chai to you. I need this gift restored.

 

 

Mocha Chai

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I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops.

I’ve spent the past couple years reflecting upon the thrills and memories that coffee shop ambience sparks within me, and also experimenting with some confections and drinks that my taste buds associate with coffee shop culture.

Last year, I developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie that worked well for my caffeine-free lifestyle. This year I have a soul-soothing alternative for anyone seeking a warm, nourishing drink.

Mocha Chai

For a 12-ounce mug:

  • Combine 8 ounces of Rice Milk and 4 ounces of Water in a small saucepan.

Add:

  • 2 Whole Cloves
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Whole Black Peppercorns
  • 1″ Piece of Cinnamon Bark
  • 1/2″ Piece of Fresh Ginger Root (No need to peel)
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder

Step 1:  Stir together and bring to slow boil over medium heat on range top burner.

Step 2:  Once the liquid begins to boil, reduce heat slightly and allow mixture to gently boil for 3 minutes.

Step 3:  Cover pan and let sit while placing in the mug:

  • 1 Teaspoon Dark Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Oil (Udo’s is my favorite)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coffee Liqueur
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chocolate Liqueur

Step 4:  Pour liquid from pan through a strainer into the mug.

Step 5:  Stir well.

Sip and enjoy on a chilly evening. Or, anytime, really. It’s a drink that warms and relaxes the body, mind and heart.

A Signature Smoothie

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I began this blog with a dilemma: hating coffee, but, loving coffee shops. And I’ve spent the past one-and-a-half years trying to recreate the sparks of thought, reflection, and creativity that coffee shop ambience inspires within me.

Well now, I’ve found a solution to the first half of my polar quandary. Instead of cups of gourmet coffee with frothy hearts atop their steamy ceilings, I’ve developed a recipe for a Mocha Smoothie.

 

An all-natural, caffeine-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan alternative that satisfies the taste buds while nourishing the body and soul.

I drink it after workouts; post-yoga; in-between meals when cravings try to sneak in.

So, now I have the drink to sip. I just need the human company. The live conversation. The tangible infusion of the senses that only a brick-and-mortar shop can provide. That’s my next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the moment, though, here’s the recipe:

  • 7 – 8 ounces of Water
  • 20 Raw Almonds + 5 Raw Cashews, soaked overnight and then rinsed
  • 1 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1 T Cocoa Powder (My favorite is Just Like Sugar Cocoa Mix)
  • Handful of Fresh Blueberries
  • 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder, Mocha Flavored (My favorite is Vega)
  • 1/2 Banana – Frozen, Fresh, or Pureed (Yes, as in baby food! It offers a sumptuous, custardy texture.)
  • 8 Frozen Cherries

Place in a single-serving blender in this order. Blend for 30 -45 seconds.

 

And may your cup always be filled to the rim.

 

The Grind

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Mocha Muse has its very own newspaper, The Grind. It may contain a quote, a poem, song lyrics, snippets of overheard conversation or fascinating facts about creativity/life. So, leather sofa in Home Interiorsnuggle into the sofa, unfold the paper and reach for your morning cup of coffee.

Here’s the twenty-sixth issue. . . just click on newspaper to enlarge, then continue to click until text is readable for you!

 

 

 

Thanks to: Mitch Hedberg

Daily Déjà Vu

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2001

 

 

One day a plane hit a building

then another plane

then another building.

 

My father sent me a newspaper clipping

a full front-page photograph with a caption

and an enormous bold black headline

as angry as a cold black fist in the pit of my stomach.

 

Since that day the grey tones of life have diminished.

 

Black and white is louder now.

 

Two bold choices scare me.

 

I get terrified when the comfort and safety of colors fade

when poetry can’t take me home

when coffee shops are tense with lying laughter

when the vice of black and white squeezes my crystal soul.