Category Archives: Coffee


[bon-uhmeebonuh-mee; French baw-naw-mee]


  1. frank and simple good-heartedness; a good-natured manner; friendliness; geniality.

Frank and simple good-heartedness. I type this out and just sit and stare at it with a smile. It warms the cockles (as Trish would say). Frank and simple. Not overanalyzed, not complicated, just old-fashioned good-heartedness. Assuming the best about people. Letting benefit defeat doubt. Holding doors, buying coffees, shoveling snowy driveways, picking up things dropped.

The amount of bonhomie I’ve experienced in this town is outrageous. I’ve been gifted snow boots, a down comforter, plants, warm jackets, a coffee grinder, firewood, and bags of coffee. I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again right now, Ketchum isn’t even a fair case study as the setting of my How to Make Friends in Your Thirties book. The book will be short. “Move to Ketchum, Idaho.” Subtitle: “Where bonhomie reigns.”



adverb, go kerflooey

  1. to cease functioning, especially suddenly and completely fall apart; fail.

I don’t wake up easily. Alarms make my skin crawl. So I’m thankful for an evening job. I wake up because my body feels ready for it at 9:00, knowing there’s fresh snow everywhere. I get out of bed, start boiling the water, and get a fire going by the time the kettle whistles.

I have the entire day off and I sit on the floor, listen to the fire, sip some dark roast, and stretch my sore legs from the adventure the day before. There’s no where I have to be, so I can drive further north into the Boulder Mountains and not worry about time, except for the setting sun. I am planning to tackle a snowshoe trail called Psycho Adventure because, well, it’s called Psycho Adventure. But I feel fire in my calves. My legs went kerflooey after back to back to back snowshoe trips, even after a long soak in the hot spring. Psycho Adventure might have to wait until tomorrow, so it might be a Starbucks and Taco Tuesday kinda day. Kerflooey legs aren’t so bad. And there’s always tomorrow. Psycho Adventure could even be worth setting an alarm for.







[spoo-nuh-riz-uh m]


  1. the transposition of initial or other sounds of words, usually by accident, as in a blushing crow for a crushing blow.

Dord of the way! The fow  is snalling and I bapped on my stroots and walked to Barstucks for a cup of coffee, a Bristmas Chlend. Mmm. Up to twelve inches are expected and I’m going to have to sluy a bed! A bright sled red.




  1. worship of the sun.

After leaving a highly air conditioned restaurant, I went outside, stood in the sun, and closed my eyes and savored how the sun felt as my goosebumps diminished. I then checked the Word of the Day and laughed when I read the meaning. The weather in Colorado has been so lovely; the sun warms at the same time the breeze cools. I do not think I’ve adjusted to Mountain Time yet so I still wake with the sun and go to bed when it does.

My cousins and I caught the Perseids meteor shower, seeing at least a dozen within the hour. We gasped, our smiles lighting up the night like the stars.

Early morning hikes full of wildflowers and chipmunks start my day off right. I bring my morning coffee along; my Yeti cup is heavy but my coffee remains hot and I take my time and bask and sip and repeat.

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A lady going down the mountain while I was going up asked, “Are you alone?” I told her yes and she replied in a shockingly demeaning way, “Well, good luck!” I looked at her leather purse, sandals, and lack of preparation and wanted to reply, “I have three bottles of water, my trusty Merrells, a stun gun, a map, a knife, a raincoat, matches, a compass, a fleece, a protein shake, cashews, peanut butter, a journal to write about people like you, etc.” but instead I replied, “Thank you.”

Estes Park receives afternoon showers which force you to rest and get ready for tomorrow’s hike. I have been worshiping the sun for sure, and respecting the clouds and trying to get off the mountains before the thunder rolls. I’m thankful and I’m tanned.


[sak-sikuh-lin, -lahyn]

adjective, Botany, Zoology

  1. living or growing among rocks.

I sat in the sunshine at a coffee shop called The Daily Dose in Crested Butte and enjoyed about half my daily dose of caffeine. I shared a campsite with a father and his son last night and I could not have enjoyed myself more. The campground was full and they took pity on me and if you want to hear the whole story, you’ll have to buy my next book about making friends!

I have to really plan ahead and not rely on internet because the prettiest places don’t have a connection, so I started making some calls and taking screenshots of directions. My new friend, Garrett, recommended I see the canyon at Glenwood Springs so I called the campground on the river and said, “I might be dreaming, but do you have a tent site available for tonight?”

She laughed and said, “I might have ONE available right by the river!”

I booked it quickly and spent too much money.

The Hanging Lake is only six miles away from the campground. I have been warned that you have to get there at around 5am to even get a parking spot. And when I read reviews about how it’s like Disney World because of all the people, I immediately think “Eh, I don’t need to see that.” Then I see a photo and I think, “Well, I could wake up at 5…”

I set up camp and then learned they have showers! The last several places haven’t had running water, so this is a real treat. I feel like a million bucks. I will say though, it was nice making friends while filthy because I felt like they really liked me for me, not because I smelled nice or had pretty hair.

I sat down to eat the rest of my freeze-dried chili from yesterday that I had in my cooler which didn’t have ice in it. I also poured some Woop Woop red wine. I sipped and waved to the rafters floating by. I checked the weather and saw that rain might be headed my way. It was about 4:30pm. Then it hit me, I bet everyone else in the area was sitting down to their dinner and their Woop Woop wine and would not be hiking the steep climb to Hanging Lake. I grabbed my keys and headed out. I was right.

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The parking lot was nearly empty and I scurried up the trail. The signs were correct about labeling the hike “difficult”, but my Americano was still working in my favor. It started to rain and it wet my already wet hair and cooled me off. The whole trail was beautifully green and full of chipmunks mocking my slower pace. The creek running from the Hanging Lake made its appearance every few hundred yards, so taking breaks made sense for several reasons: a break from severe elevation gain, to gaze, to notice the saxicoline wildflowers, and to throw up a prayer about how grateful you are to be alive and to be part of this breathtaking creation. It’s overwhelming.

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Please note the rain drops on the lake. So peaceful.

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I would’ve stayed longer and taken it all in, but I was afraid the rocks were getting slippery from the rain. I went up to every family or group of friends and asked, “Want a picture all together?” because I’m a lot like my cousin, Julie. (I hope I am in a lot of ways actually.)


noun. [ahr-guh-nawt, -not]

  1. A person in quest of something dangerous but rewarding; adventurer.
  2. Classical Mythology. A member of the band of men who sailed to Colchis with Jason in the ship Argo in search of the Golden Fleece.
  3. A person who moved to California during the gold rush of 1849.
  4. Paper nautilus.

I’m in Nebraska covered in a down sleeping bag in the Walmart parking lot that I’ll be sleeping in tonight. It’s been a long couple of days driving through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. I, I, I…you’d think I’d be in need of a little people time. Maybe these folks in the parking lot will come out of their RVs and we can make s’mores. I guess I should’ve found a campground.

Last night, I stayed with a new friend’s favorite aunt in Iowa. I was welcomed so warmly, even though she didn’t know me. Her lovely house smelled of roast and potatoes in the crock pot. She opened a delicious Malbec and even a huckleberry salad dressing from Montana. I felt as if I was her guest of honor and our conversation was easy, encouraging, and enjoyable. I slept like a rock with a full belly. In the morning, my new friend had a note on the counter telling me to pack myself a lunch and take whatever snacks I wanted; the note was next to the coffee, peanut butter, almond butter, granola, etc. She’s my friend’s favorite aunt, too!

I didn’t pack Sangria Kia while thinking about sleeping in the backseat, like I did on the last trip. And I could’ve reorganized, but I was tired and I thought, “Oh my driver seat reclined will be fine.” This is what I’ll tell my nephew about when he’s older…I will tell him a reclined car seat is never comfortable for eight hours of sleep, especially after driving for eight hours that day. You will need to stretch out. I will tell him how nice people can be, but unfortunately, you can’t trust everyone, and finding the balance is tricky. I will tell him that going on adventures alone is 80% refreshing and 20% lonely, so always take your Auntie Beth with you, little Jack Grady. I will tell him how his auntie was kind of an argonaut, not seeking danger, but rewarding adventure.

The next day, I chose a campground so in the middle of nowhere in Colorado, that now when I look it up online, it’s not associated with a city that I can find. I did let my mom and dad know the name of the campground and I did sleep with my stun gun (from brother John) and pocket knife under my pillow.

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I have much of what I own in the back of Sangria Kia, but no where can I find a spoon or a fork or a spork. I’ve checked about five different spots that Beth a few weeks ago would’ve thought, “Oh I’ll put my spork here so I’ll know where it is.” But no!

My middle school gifted teacher, Mrs. Englert, SAVED the day by gifting a pair of beautiful chopsticks when I had lunch with her last month.

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I was famished by the time I found a place to stop and I ate a vegetable stew with the chopsticks and was so thankful my dad wouldn’t let us use forks at Arigatos growing up, because I could scoop the black beans adequately. I then stirred my French press coffee with them in the morning. And I also ate my peanut butter breakfast with their help, very, very slowly. Thank you, SLE!! This argonaut is off to find bigger mountains than she saw yesterday.


noun, plural unrealities.
1. lack of reality; quality of being unreal.
2. something that is unreal, invalid, imaginary, or illusory.
3. incompetence or impracticality, especially in everyday matters.
Ever since my note was delivered to the barista to give to Derek Jeter, I’ve wondered if he’s received it. I got to stop wondering yesterday. The door bell to Tampa Bay Outfitters dinged. I looked up and saw him standing in the door way, all 6’3″ of him. He smiled as he put his aviator glasses on his head. I smiled and muttered a “hello.”
He walked around the Patagonia table. Then he came closer to me and said, “Are you Beth?” I nodded, unable to find words. “So you want to play catch I hear?” I shrugged my shoulders and smiled even bigger. Then I said way too quickly, “Sure thing, Derek.”
He pulled out his glove that was stuck in the back of his camouflaged shorts and said with a wink, “Let’s go.”
I had a sundress on but I sauntered after him, grabbed my glove from my SUV, and we threw the ball in the parking lot for about twenty minutes.
“You should’ve been the first girl to ever play Major League Baseball,” he said.
I laughed and said, “That was always my dream! But this experience is just as good.” Then he gave me a hug, thanked me for the Starbucks gift card, kissed me on the head, and told me he couldn’t wait to see me again.
Oh, this is an unreality.
The barista said he read the note, laughed, said he didn’t remember the snowman cookie, and threw the note away.