Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body


Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body

The little girl had burns over 80% of her body and has had to undergo multiple surgeries including the amputation of all ten of her toes.

Devani, before she was scalded over 80% of her body while in the care of a couple that DCS placed her with. Photo source: AZ Childrens Lives Matter Facebook page.


In early April 2013, Michelle and Jonathan got into an argument – a shouting match during which allegedly there was no physical contact and no violence. A neighbor called the police, and domestic violence charges were filed against Michelle. The charges were quickly determined to be without merit, and they were dismissed immediately.
At the time of the incident, Devani was at her paternal grandmother’s home. She did not witness the argument.
Nonetheless, DCS became involved. On April 17, the day after the charges were dismissed, social worker Norel Alviti showed up at the grandmother’s home without a court order or warrant to take Devani into state custody. Michelle and Jonathan were at work at the time.

Michelle expected that this was all a misunderstanding which would be cleared up as soon as she took the social worker documentation that the charges had been dropped. It should have been over then.

However, when Michelle showed up at the DCS office with the paperwork, the social worker Alviti then demanded that Michelle take a drug test.

This was apparently based on an anonymous report, possibly from a disgruntled neighbor, that the parents had been doing drugs. Michelle flatly denied the allegation and complied immediately.

The 10 panel drug test came back completely negative. She was clean. Again, this should have ended right then.

It did not.

Without a shred of evidence, social workers allegedly were “concerned” about the possibility that the parents might, in the future, do something that would cause harm to their child, so DCS kept Devani in their custody, placing her in very real, and unimaginably horrific, foster care situations.

Michelle and Jonathan were assigned one hoop after another to jump through in order to try to get their child back.
DCS Double Standard: Parents Investigated, but Foster Caregivers Not

As the case wore on, DCS dug further and further into the parents’ history, while apparently neglecting to dig into the history of the foster and adoptive families that they place children in.

Devani’s parents acknowledge making some bad choices in their past, but by the time Devani came along, they had cleaned up their act. They loved their daughter and wanted the best for her.

Michelle’s first child was born with a congenital heart defect. When he passed away at the age of 3, Michelle fell apart. In her pain, she turned to drugs. In 2001, she gave birth to another child, who was adopted by Michelle’s mother. It was a very difficult season in her life. But after much therapy and counseling, she was able to get her life back on track.

The DCS social worker learned about Michelle’s drug history, a season that was over by the time Devani was born. Michelle was clean, and proved it on the day that Devani was taken. During the entire time that DCS was involved with her family, Michelle has allegedly remained free of drugs.

Yet, her prior history continues to be used against her, both in the courtroom and in the media. Social workers are quick to point out her drug usage from 13 years prior, but reportedly neglect to tell the court that she has been free of drugs during Devani’s life.

Since Devani was taken, most of the focus has been on Michelle. Jonathan, Devani’s real father, saw the writing on the wall early on. He recognized that his daughter’s best chance to come home would be for him to be out of the picture. Though the original allegations used to take his daughter away were not centered on him, he knew that his history would be used against him.

Jonathan has a record. He made some very poor decisions when he was young. He was involved in a robbery and a sexual assault of an adult, for which he served a 10 year prison sentence. After he got out, he reportedly changed his ways and cleaned up his act.

When he and Michelle met, he treated her with respect and kindness. They worked hard to build a new life and leave their past behind.

There was never any child abuse, or even allegations of such, with Devani’s real parents. Sources have reported that both Michelle and Jonathan were devoted, loving parents who obviously thought the world of Devani.

However, DCS told the couple that the only hope that Michelle had of getting Devani back was for Jonathon to get out of the picture. So, he did.

Health Impact News spoke with Beth Breen, who transported Devani back and forth to visits with her parents for more than a year. In that capacity, she was able to observe the interactions between Michelle and Jonathan and their daughter:

The love between the parents and Devani – you just know it’s there.

Breen made a chilling statement about Devani’s experiences in DCS custody:

What they [DCS] were trying to protect her FROM is the exact thing that they did to her.

Abused in Foster Care from the Beginning

Right away, Michelle recognized that her baby girl was not faring well in foster care. As a loving mother who was very bonded with her child, she saw signs from the very beginning that something was desperately wrong. Her concerns were not only dismissed, but were actually used against her.

Michelle was accused of coaching her daughter and of sabotaging placements – placements which, it turned out, never should have been options for any child.

Advocates point out that DCS was quick to say they wanted to protect Devani from potential harm that could possibly come to her in the future, but hadn’t yet, based on her parents’ past history.

At the same time, they repeatedly placed the child into situations with numerous warning signs, and they ignored actual abuse that was occurring right under their noses.

According to the lawsuit: Mandatory Reporters Failed to Report Signs of Real Abuse, Blamed Mother

As mandatory reporters, the social workers were required to report the abuse, and their failure to do so was in violation of Arizona law. Yet, no one within the system has faced any charges.

At the very first visit with her daughter after she was taken, Michelle noted scratches and bruises on Devani. A week later, there were more scratches and bruises, as well as bite marks. Michelle took pictures and reported the abuse to case workers and supervisors.

When nothing was done by those who were charged with protecting her child, Michelle took action and called the police herself. The foster woman became angry and dropped Devani off at the DCS office.

The second foster care placement proved disastrous. Social workers placed Devani in the care of David and Barbara Frodsham, who had been approved and licensed by the State of Arizona as foster parents since 2002.

Almost immediately after her daughter was placed with the Frodshams, Michelle saw signs that Devani was being sexually abused. According to reports:  There were thumb marks on her daughter’s hips and arms, scratches, bruises.

She developed a painful, smelly urinary tract infection that Michelle reported to case worker Jeannette Sheldon and her supervisors, but her concern was dismissed.

Instead, Mr. Frodsham’s wife blamed Michelle, saying that the UTI was from Devani’s real mother giving her too much juice during visitations. Devani was taken to a doctor who worked with DCS, who backed up Mrs. Frodsham’s story and blamed the juice, ignoring the signs of sexual abuse.

The social workers, who are supposed to be trained in recognizing signs of abuse, didn’t question the illogical proposition that, somehow, Devani consumed so much juice in her 2 hour visit per week with her mother, under supervision, that she developed a UTI and kept it for 8 months. Nor did they question the fosters’ neglect in taking Devani to a doctor for medical treatment for an infection which caused her to hold her private area and cry in pain.

A transporter noticed the smell of the infection as well. Beth Breen worked for a transport company formerly called IMA Trans, LLC, which was contracted by DCS to transport children to and from visits with their biological parents.

Beth Breen told Health Impact News that she was the primary transporter for Devani for about a year, because Devani was terrified of male transporters. She has submitted an affidavit to the Pima County Court about what she witnessed while transporting Devani.

In the very beginning, both parents were at all the visits. Beth Breen said that the love within the family was obvious.

Later, DCS stopped allowing Devani’s father to attend the visits, due to his past history. While DCS purportedly protected her from imagined harm, the little girl was being subjected to very real harm in the house where social workers placed her.

Breen describes Devani’s excitement when she would pick her up at the Frodshams’ house and drive her for the 90 minute trip to see her parents, and later just her mother: She was always so happy to see them, singing and happy.

She would wave at her parents, blow kisses to them, and once unbuckled she would jump into her mother’s arms with a huge smile and a sigh.

The drive home was a different matter altogether. Devani would scream, kick, and cry as she reached out for her mother when she had to leave. She would often cry inconsolably for an hour or more on her way to the Frodshams, crying herself to sleep. When they arrived, she would look around and start crying again.

Beth Breen said that throughout the time that she transported Devani, she was always happy and excited about seeing her mother. The screams and cries on the way back to the Frodshams’ house, however, eventually “became more of a whimper.” She had apparently figured out that crying out was hopeless.

Devani had never demonstrated a fear of men before being at the Frodshams’ house, but after she arrived, she was absolutely terrified of men she didn’t know. DCS blamed this on Devani’s mother, even testifying in court that Michelle had “coached” her daughter.

In reality, the child had every reason to be terrified of men. During the investigation of David Frodsham and a soldier in the Army, Spec. Randall Bischak, law enforcement found a video made by Frodsham of explicit sexual abuse of a little girl about 3 or 4 years old.

While Michelle’s maternal instincts told her that her baby was being harmed, all of her concerns were ignored and dismissed.

In fact, her concerns were actually turned against her. Social workers accused Michelle of “disrupting the foster care placements” and “coaching” her daughter.

Later, investigations by ICE, Homeland Security, and the FBI proved all of Michelle’s fears for her daughter’s safety to be justified, and more charges are still expected to be filed against David Frodsham for his role in the pedophile pornography ring.

Even so, that has not mattered to DCS or the Pima County Court, as they continue to blame the mother instead of the real abusers.

Child Betrayed by Those Entrusted to her Care

Throughout the case, as per Arizona law, Devani has had an attorney appointed to represent her interests. Thea Gilbert has been with the case since the beginning. She reportedly told Devani’s family and the court that she was happy and “bonding with” the Frodshams. She said that it would be “detrimental” and “not in her best interests” for her to be removed from that placement.
Devani lawyer_thea_gilbert_293110_1497368371

Thea Gilbert – court-appointed attorney for Devani. Photo source.

The numerous signs of abuse while she was with the Frodshams didn’t outweigh the state’s apparent interest in keeping Devani in their care. Gilbert and DCS even advocated for Devani to be adopted by the Frodshams.

It wasn’t until Mr. Frodsham showed up drunk at the DCS office that Devani was removed from his house.

David Frodsham was arrested and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, procuring minors for sex, and possessing and/or manufacturing child pornography. Law enforcement’s investigation revealed a video made by David Frodsham of a 3- or 4-year-old girl being penetrated by an adult male and screaming for her mommy. David Frodsham pled guilty rather than face a trial and has been sentenced to 17 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections. David Frodsham was part of a pornography ring involving numerous children in his pornography and the procurement of sex for the ring.” 

While at the next foster placement, Devani showed up at a visit with a goose-egg sized bump on her forehead from allegedly being slammed into a wall.

Meanwhile, Michelle was allegedly in full compliance with everything that DCS asked of her, working toward reunification. She was on time for every visit, tested clean for every drug screen, and completed every class. She has a stack of certificates to show, but wonders what it was all for.

Near the end of the reunification process, DCS brought in the Easterseals Blake Foundation, an organization contracted with DCS to do parent/child therapy. One advocate told Health Impact News that the pattern of Arizona DCS has been to assign the Blake Foundation to work with families at the end of the case, which often leads to reunification failure.

A Blake Foundation employee, Alexis Kirkendall, LMSW, was assigned to evaluate the interaction between Michelle and her traumatized daughter. Kirkendall reportedly backed up the DCS accusation that Michelle’s concerns about Devani’s placements indicated that she, not the foster placements, were unfit, and that Michelle jeopardized the foster care placements by calling the police when she suspected abuse.

Kirkendall and DCS caseworker Jeanette Sheldon reportedly testified that Devani wasn’t bonded well with her mother because “she exhibited prolonged temper tantrums, self-urination, and crying.” The symptoms which were actually signs of the abuse that Devani was experiencing in foster care were instead used as justification for stopping Michelle’s visits with her daughter.

Their last visit was on July 14, 2015. At the end of their visit, Michelle told Devani not to be sad because they would see each other the next week and have fun together. Kirkendall reportedly used that incident to accuse Michelle of not knowing how to support her daughter’s emotional needs, and she stopped visitations.

That was the last time that Michelle saw Devani. Her parental rights were terminated in October 2015 by Judge K.C. Standford at the Tucson Juvenile Court.

Judge Standford has since retired from the bench. An advocate for the family says that he retired “as the press started to heat up regarding this case.”

Michelle tried to file an appeal, but the appeal was thrown out.

According to Beth Breen, DCS portrayed Michelle as overreacting, but she says:

That doesn’t make her crazy; that makes her a concerned parent!

Grandmother Passed Over, Again

Michelle’s mother moved back to Arizona in early 2015 and contacted DCS social worker Jeanette Sheldon about getting custody of Devani. Sheldon had her move into a larger home, and she said she would do a home study, but it never happened.

After that, Sheldon reportedly stopped answering calls. All of her attempts to work with the department to get her granddaughter into a safer place allegedly fell on deaf ears.

Adoptive Family Warning Signs Ignored – Child Burned in Hot Water

After Michelle’s parental rights were terminated, Devani became available for adoption. The social workers and Devani’s attorney Thea Gilbert had been advocating for the Frodshams to adopt her, but Frodsham’s arrest put him out of the running.

After all that the child had been through, it would seem that those tasked with looking out for Devani’s best interest might have learned to be more careful in choosing a placement for her.

Unfortunately, agents of the state of Arizona once again placed the child in harm’s way.
Christian Family Care

The “Christian Family Care” provides foster care and adoption services, and are one of the defendants in the lawsuit by Devani’s attorneys.

Justin and Samantha Osteraas applied to adopt her through the now-closed St. Nicholas of Myra adoption agency, which worked with Christian Family Care. According to the lawsuit and advocates, the adoption licensing agency and DCS missed numerous signs that the Osteraas family could be harmful to children.

According to court records, DCS was warned that Samantha abused drugs and had a tendency toward violence. Justin’s brother told Pima County detectives that he had warned the adoption agency that Samantha was dangerous and should not be licensed to adopt. (See source.)

Nonetheless, Devani was placed with the couple, who have three other children.

On December 29, 2016, Samantha reportedly held Devani down in a bathtub of scalding water, then left her suffering for six hours before calling 911. According to the lawsuit:

“Defendant Samantha Osteraas submerged and held down Jane Doe, a 5-year-old, in a bath of scalding hot water. Jane Doe suffered severe burns over 80 percent of her body. When police arrived, there was blood on the floor and pieces of Jane Doe’s skin were falling off her body. There were bruises to her neck and arms along with other signs of trauma.”

Devani was placed into a medically-induced coma. She was in danger of organ failure. All ten toes had to be amputated. She has endured multiple surgeries and skin grafts since the abuse.

Police investigators sent a plumber to the house, who discovered that the water heater had been turned to the maximum setting of up to 140 degrees.

When Devani’s mother learned what had happened to her daughter, she petitioned the court to allow her to visit her in the hospital, to let her know that her mommy loves her and that she is not alone.

Not only was her petition denied, but the minor’s counsel Thea Gilbert reportedly told Michelle that the only way that she would see her daughter was if she was dying.

A gag order has been placed on Michelle Tremor-Calderon and other members of Devani’s family regarding the Osteraas case, so they were not permitted to discuss that case.

Mother Prays for a Miracle – What Other Hope Does She Have?

Devani is now in yet another foster home, and she has had numerous reconstructive surgeries since she was scalded.

No one in her family knows where she is.

Michelle’s mother filed papers last week asking the court to re-open her case and allow the child’s grandmother to have custody. Michelle told us that she wants the case back into superior court.

Thea Gilbert, the attorney appointed in the beginning of the case to look out for Devani’s best interest, is still, shockingly, on the case, even though every action taken by DCS has caused further harm to Devani.

None of the child’s placements have been in the child’s best interest.

Advocates for the family ask that Thea Gilbert be removed as minor’s counsel, and replaced with someone who will make better decisions for her.

This little girl has suffered tremendously in the protective custody of the state, beginning with the trauma of her being taken away from her mother, with whom she was strongly bonded.

There was no warrant, court order, or any valid reason whatsoever to remove the child from her mother.

Kaepernick gets featured in black history Smithsonian museum before Clarence Thomas, Allowing illegal aliens into your country is more important than protecting citizens, and apparently statues didn't exist during Obama, Clinton, Carter admins

Some things to ponder with your morning coffee.....

The chocolate glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts are coming! But only for a limited time! (Solar Eclipse Doughnuts!)

I don't like glazed doughnuts and I don't like chocolate, but this is going to make some people VERY happy....

To celebrate the upcoming solar eclipse, Krispy Kreme is offering a 'dark' glaze....  (get it?) making their original glaze chocolate.

Available for a limited time, starting Aug. 19 and 20 during Hot Light evening hours, they then will be available
all-day on Aug. 21, the day of the solar eclipse.

Krispy Kreme says this is the first time they’ve sold chocolate glazed doughnuts, which leads me to wonder, WHY IN THE HECK NOT?  This might be the greatest thing since sliced bread for a great number of chocolate doughnut Krispy Kreme loving sweet tooth's.  Or sweet teeth. *grin*

The doughnuts will be available at participating U.S. and Canada stores only. Click here to find a location near you.

Police Officer Adopts Child After Investigating His Case Of Severe Child Abuse

In 2015, Officer Jody Thompson was pulling into the parking lot at the police station in Poteau, Oklahoma when a call of child abuse went out.

"I thought I would respond to the call with on-duty officers to see if I could give any kind of assistance," Thompson told KFSM.

It was the moment when Thompson arrived that he met his future son. He responded with quite a bit of emotion when asked at what point he knew he would never leave the then 8-year-old's side.

"When I seen him. When I seen him in that house...I knew," Thompson said.

Poteau Police Chief Stephen Fruen explained what happened in that child abuse case.

"Based on some of the case facts, when we found him he was bound by his hands and feet with rope and had been submerged in a trash can, held in the shower," Fruen said. "They weren't feeding him. He didn't have much to eat. I think what he did get to eat he got at school. Bruises, he was covered in bruises from head to toe."

Investigators said the little boy was taken to the hospital by Thompson, who stayed by his side while the boy was recovering in the intensive care unit.

"And the rest is kind of history," Thompson said.

Thompson and his wife adopted John Thompson and have given him a life where they say he excels.

"He means everything in the world that we live in. He's the strongest person I've ever met. He means the world," Thompson said.

John Thompson is a straight A student and in the gifted and talented program at his school, his dad says.

When asked what his dad means to him, John Thompson responded quickly and assertively.

"He was helpful to me. He's the reason why I'm here right now," John Thompson said.

The Thompson's story doesn't end there. While going through the process of adoption with John, they learned John's biological mom gave birth to a baby girl in jail. The Thompsons took her in as well.

"We picked her up at the hospital. She was barely 24 hours old and we brought her home," Thompson said.
Fruen said his officer sets a standard for care and compassion in law enforcement.

"All of us can sit back and say we would do the same in that situation, but to come through with it and to do that, that's a measure of a man - and a very good police officer," Fruen said.

Source two

What is the path of the Eclipse? When is it? Where is the Eclipse passing over? What cities are best to see it?

On Monday, Aug. 21, the moon passes directly in front of the sun.

"The path of totality stretches from Lincoln Beach, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina."  In the direct path, the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's atmosphere, known as the corona.  "During an eclipse, a halo appears around the sun.  Outside of the path of totality, observers will see a partial eclipse."  

It's been 40 years since a total solar eclipse was visible in the United States.

Forty years ago there was a total solar eclipse visible above the United States.  I was alive then; but was a very young child.  Barely old enough to be in school but old enough to 'remember' it vaguely.
What I remember is our teacher repeating over and over and over and over how we are NOT TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN.  And we had black construction paper passed out to us and we cut out paper glasses and poked a pin hole in the center.  We had to make sure they fit our faces as these were the 'glasses' we would be using to view the eclipse.
When the time came, the teachers led all the classes outside to stand in a group on the school yard lawn.  We all waited around anxiously for 'something' to happen - with our black construction paper glasses on our faces and looking upwards.

I remember it got a 'little bit' dark.  I seem to recall looking up at the sun through my paper glasses but it wasn't exciting, wasn't anything a little bitty child was really amazed by so I just looked around me at the other kids... and then it was over and we could go back inside the school and return to our classrooms.

That's pretty much it.  That's what I remember from the last 'big' eclipse.

As the eclipse of 2017 draws near I was starting to hear more about it so I had what I thought was a pretty basic and normal (and easy) question;  "Where's the path the eclipse will take over the US?".

Dang... my google search turned up all sorts of returns, maps, useless information, weather maps, stupid 'wanna be' writers making a big 'end of the world' proclamation and others selling things eclipse related.

I just wanted to see a simple, plain, boring map of the US with the path easily marked.

Finally on Fox link I found one they featured from Accuweather.  Both are sourced below this post.
And because I knew others just wanted a simple map like I did (and may be having a hard time finding it) here it is at the top of this post.  There.  Quick. Simple. Fast.

In my searching of the Accuweather site I found a list of 10 places to view the eclipse with the time duration as well; which I figured could be interesting to readers too so I will add a snippet of it here but you can find the whole article on their site sourced at the bottom of the post.


Charleston, South Carolina

Eclipse duration: 1:16 p.m. - 4:09 p.m. EDT
Totality start: 2:46 p.m. EDT
Totality duration: 1 minute and 33 seconds

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

Eclipse duration: 1:06 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EDT
Totality start: 2:35 p.m. EDT
Totality duration: 1 minute and 22 seconds

Carbondale, Illinois

Eclipse duration: 11:52 a.m. - 2:47 p.m. CDT
Totality start: 1:21 p.m. CDT
Totality duration: 2 minutes and 41 seconds

Homestead National Monument, Nebraska

Eclipse duration: 11:33 a.m. - 2:33 p.m. CDT
Totality start: 1:02 p.m. CDT
Totality duration: 2 minutes and 34 seconds

Carhenge, Alliance, Nebraska

Eclipse duration: 10:27 a.m. - 1:16 p.m. MDT
Totality start: 11:49 a.m. MDT
Totality duration: 2 minutes and 28 seconds

Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming

Eclipse duration: 10:17 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. MDT
Totality start: 11:36 a.m. MDT
Totality duration: 2 minutes and 18 seconds

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

Eclipse duration: 10:02 a.m. - 1:02 p.m. MDT
Totality start: 11:32 a.m. MDT
Totality duration: 30 seconds

Malheur National Forest, Oregon

Eclipse duration: 9:08 a.m. - 11:44 a.m. PDT
Totality start: 10:23 a.m. PDT
Totality duration: 1 minute and 54 seconds

Lincoln Beach, Oregon

Eclipse duration: 9:04 a.m. - 11:36 a.m. PDT
Totality start: 10:17 a.m. PDT
Totality duration: 1 minute and 58 seconds

The Atlantic Ocean


Charcoal in your coffee? "Charcoal Lattes and Cappuccinos" (Black Latte, Goth Latte, etc) and links to Latte Stencils

It's a new trendy drink for many... it's an old 'yeah, so?' drink for others.  It's a charcoal latte. Yes... charcoal.  But don't go breaking open the bag of charcoal you have stashed in the garage for the grill.  It's not that kind of charcoal.

The charcoal latte is a latte made with food grade activated charcoal.

Our family uses food grade activated charcoal in a couple ways already.

1.  We keep it on hand at all times for upset stomachs and bloating  (in the form of Charcocaps Anti-gas Capsules)
2.  Face masks
3.  I use it in making my homemade bath and body soaps (I make a variety of homemade soap; Goat Milk, Olive Oil, Almond and/or Charcoal).  The charcoal one is really just because it's 'cool' looking; it's not actually able to do anything special.

For our family, activated charcoal is something we already use, like and have on hand at all times.  I'll put a link to some you can order from Amazon at the bottom of this post if you don't know where to find it.

Many people or coffee houses are touting the "hot new health drink claim" it can do everything from  acting as a ‘digestive cleanser’ to it's ability to fix a hangover or call it a 'detox' which is a hugely popular, trendy word right now that can mean anything or nothing.   But it sells.  So anything trendy is going to cost more.

Activated charcoal can do one thing - it 'absorbs' or binds to chemicals, aromas, etc. (This is why you can use it in your refrigerator to absorb odors and you use it in fish aquariums as a water filter, and it's used in CharcoCaps for bloating and gas, etc.)

It's been used for thousands of years to absorb the toxins and poisonings in stomachs and intestines, and even the hard headed Western medicine practitioners came around to using this 'natural' helper; Modern hospitals and doctor's have used it for years to treat drug overdoses and poisoning because it absorbs the toxins, keeping them from being absorbed by your body.

But the latte?  Not really a health benefit.  It's not going to do anything 'healthy' really, but it could do one thing you don't want it to or intend it to!

Remember it absorbs.  
This means it absorbs things you don't want it too.  
Like medication.  And birth control pills.

A latte is a coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam.  The charcoal version is easily made by adding the activated food grade charcoal to the hot milk and espresso.  Topped with the foamed milk and swirled with a design or stencil, the black drink shows through the white, creating a striking image and making it the cool, trendy black drink you pay more for.

If you want to make one at home and don't have an espresso maker, they are still pretty easy to pull off.  You don't have to stencil in a pretty design either.  Just top with the foamy steamed milk and sprinkle with bit more powdered activated charcoal and you can still feel pretty cool.

Amounts are personal taste/choice.  About 4 oz. espresso with about 1/3 cup milk, 1-2 teaspoons of activated charcoal and a dash of whatever flavoring you wish is a good idea to start but adjust to your tastes.

  • Brewed hot Espresso (or just brew your coffee really strong - like at 4 oz setting in your iCoffee or Keurig)
  • Milk of your choice (2% or whole milk foams the best but you could use almond milk if you are allergic, etc)
  • Food grade, trusted source activated charcoal
  • Flavored syrup if you wish

Brew your espresso or really strong coffee.
To steam your milk you can do it a few different ways.
1.  In a saucepan on the stove heat the milk, add the activated charcoal and use a whisk or a hand held stick blender to blend it and make it foamy.
2. OR put the milk into a jar or container with a lid that is at least double the size of your milk.  Add the activated charcoal.  Put the lid on and shake shake shake until frothy and has doubled in size.  Now you can quickly microwave it for 30-50 seconds until hot and even more frothy and foamy.
In the cup you are serving your drink in and already have your hot espresso, add the hot milk, but use a spoon to hold back the foam as you pour.  When you've added the amount of milk you want, you can add flavoring if you wish; a coffee syrup, vanilla, etc.  Then top with your frothy milk foam.  Spoon it on top of your latte and either swirl a design if you're talented, or just dust with a bit of the activated charcoal. 

Products related to this post, available to order through Amazon links;

One Minute History with your morning coffee! Happy Birthday to the Smithsonian

One minute history with your morning coffee:  On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James Polk. Happy Birthday to the Smithsonian Museum(s) in Washington, DC.

In 1829, James Smithson died in Italy, leaving behind a will with a peculiar footnote. In the event that his only nephew died without any heirs, Smithson decreed that the whole of his estate would go to “the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson’s curious bequest to a country that he had never visited aroused significant attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Smithson had been a fellow of the venerable Royal Society of London from the age of 22, publishing numerous scientific papers on mineral composition, geology, and chemistry. In 1802, he overturned popular scientific opinion by proving that zinc carbonates were true carbonate minerals, and one type of zinc carbonate was later named smithsonite in his honor.

Six years after his death, his nephew, Henry James Hungerford, indeed died without children, and on July 1, 1836, the U.S. Congress authorized acceptance of Smithson’s gift. President Andrew Jackson sent diplomat Richard Rush to England to negotiate for transfer of the funds, and two years later Rush set sail for home with 11 boxes containing a total of 104,960 gold sovereigns, 8 shillings, and 7 pence, as well as Smithson’s mineral collection, library, scientific notes, and personal effects. After the gold was melted down, it amounted to a fortune worth well over $500,000. After considering a series of recommendations, including the creation of a national university, a public library, or an astronomical observatory, Congress agreed that the bequest would support the creation of a museum, a library, and a program of research, publication, and collection in the sciences, arts, and history. On August 10, 1846, the act establishing the Smithsonian Institution was signed into law by President James Polk.

Source; the history channel's daily email

No man is an island, entire of itself.... never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee is only PART of the prose in which it's taken from

While many prose and poetry sites offer the shortened version of John Donne's famous "No man is an island..." is actually from a longer prose piece "Meditation #17 From Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623).


Very short bio source: Wikipedia

John Donne was born into a Catholic family in 1572, during a strong anti-Catholic period in England. Donne's father, also named John, was a London merchant. His mother, Elizabeth Heywood, was the grand-niece of Catholic martyr Thomas More

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
Meditation #17 From Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623), XVII:

Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that. The church is Catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does belongs to all. When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that body which is my head too, and ingrafted into that body whereof I am a member. And when she buries a man, that action concerns me: all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to one another.

As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come, so this bell calls us all; but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness... If we understand aright the dignity of this bell that tolls for our evening prayer, we should be glad to make it ours by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is. The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who cast not up his eye to the sun when it rises? but who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? but who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of that continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbours. Truly it were an excuable covetousness if we did, for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it. No man hath affliction enough that is not matured and ripened by it, and fit for God by that affliction.

If a man carry treasure in bullion, or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current money, his treasure will not defray him as he travels. Tribulation is treasure in that nature of it, but it is not curent money in that use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it. Another man may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him but this bell, that tells me of his affliction, digs out and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security.    

John Donne 1572-1631


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"The Village Coffee House" Good Coffee That You'll Probably Never Have.... You can't find it anywhere!

Today I was shopping for a gift for a 3 year old and popped into Marshalls and TJMaxx to look for the "Melissa and Doug" wooden toy set I was searching (and searching for... but in vain.)  As I usually do when I'm in those stores, I buzzed down the clearance aisles quickly to see if anything caught my eye.  And it did.  COFFEE.  More to the point:  DARK ROAST COFFEE.

I picked up and checked the count; 18 k-cup style pods for....  ah, a red clearance sticker.  I love those!  And loved the price whole bunches!  Down to $3.   I scanned the shelves and didn't see any more Dark Roast of this brand so I figured what the heck, I'll give it a go.  I haven't reviewed a new coffee on CoffeeTalking for awhile.

This afternoon I opened the box, put the k-cups in my pod storage and after reading the name of the coffee again so I could look it up online, threw the box away.  I then brewed a cup of coffee and went into the office to sip and research.

Well... I sipped.  But that research part did not come easy!

My initial searches returned a few actual coffee shops with the name "The Village Coffee House" but after clicking on each of those, none of them distributed their own coffee for single cup brewers  nor had the label or box I was looking for.

Searching deeper I found a couple people that over the past 2 years had posted they had tried the coffee (also buying it at TJMaxx) and had never been able to find it since.  Amazon didn't have it, google wasn't finding it, Yelp wasn't any help... boy was I striking out.  I didn't foresee that.

I went back to the kitchen and dug the box out of the trash!

There was a company listed;  Life Plus Style Gourmet LLC and it gave a website lpsgourmet - but alas, the website is non-functioning with a generic 'coming soon' posted that looks to have been that way for quite some time.  That was no help.  So I dug for the company itself but that led to a parent company but when I checked LPSGourmet's products they didn't list coffee at all, but they do have kettle corn if you are interested in that.

Digging a little more I found a Facebook page (well, a couple of them but only one looks to be active) so I read reviews and wait... how can there be so many negative reviews?  It was pretty good coffee and I know good coffee!  Then I figured it out;  the people commenting on the coffee weren't commenting on The Village Coffee House brand but a bunch of other brands this company must also distribute.  However when I looked at the products in their header, once again I didn't find 'my' coffee.

I clicked on the ABOUT page only to see yet a different url website connected it to this time.  My gracious!  What a goose chase!  This is the 5th or 6th DIFFERENT website for this product and when I get there, the product is never listed as even existing, much less available.

Sure enough... the page goes a completely BLANK, plain white page.  I refreshed twice to verify and nope, it's not a working page either.  Back to that facebook page I went.  The contact email listed didn't look like it was going to be a 'hit' either.  It was a asian name with a couple random numbers and was a GMAIL dot com addy.  Not a company email.

In the end I hate to tell you this because there is little you can do about it - but the coffee is pretty good.  At least the DARK ROAST version in the purplish/pink bordered pod cups are.  It's not bitter, but a nice smooth dark roast with no one special flavor that stands out more than anything else.  If I had to concentrate and come up with something I'd say maybe a smokey chocolate; but don't read too much into that because I hate chocolate in almost every form and yet I love this coffee.

If you live in TJMaxx and you want to search their aisles to see if they have any left, I'd say it's worth a trip; especially if you find a box for 3 bucks like I did.  However if you don't find it, the only other place I found any coffee of this brand was ONE package on ebay; but it wasn't the k-cup style, it was the ground beans style and I can't speak to that because I've never tried it.

I guess The Village Coffee House k-cups are a good coffee that you'll probably never get to have.  I'm sorry.


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I did a search on Google and only got ONE RESULT - that's never happened to me before

Just rambling over afternoon coffee....

I suppose if I was 'trying' to find random phrases or words that got one or zero search results I could find one but I wasn't trying to do anything.  I was reading a book and as I usually do, if a word, phrase or topic interests me I do a search for something about it on the internet.  Sometimes this opens a Pandora's box and leads to a week long study of a topic (complete with hand written notes in notebooks, finding documentaries on it, etc.) other times it's just a fleeting "ahhh" moment of wanting to dig a little deeper.

This was one of those quick internet checks when a phrase I read in a book caught my attention and I liked the sound of it.

"through the eyes of Dionysus"

It apparently only has one result.  (Or at least it did at the time of this posting as I re-ran the search twice before posting this and got the same single search return.)

That's just never randomly happened before.  Normally I get about 1,300,638,464 for every search I do.  LOL.