Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Water For Coffee

I can't do it.

I can't drink coffee made in my office.

Some of you may remember that I work with only one other person in my office. Our headquarters is in California, but I am in a satellite office. It's just me and the weirdest guy on earth. Imagine the stapler guy from the movie, "Office Space," but one that was given honorary "colonelship" by the governor of Kentucky. Not joking.

Well, the Colonel (no, I don't call him that, nor does anyone else) is the one that brought the coffeemaker from home, so he feels it's his duty to make the coffee everyday. The problem with this is...we don't have water IN the office. His choices are bottled, water fountain, and the men's room.

We don't have bottled water.

Are you creeped out yet? Plus, I don't think that pot has ever been washed. It may have been rinsed in the men's room sink.

I stop by the quickie mart on my way to work.

Monday, September 29, 2008

One of Those Days

And it's only 8:27 a.m. here.

Before I even got to work, my daughter called from school and said she got sick and needed to come home. I think she's lying. Last night, she came home from her friend's house crying because she didn't have a date for the homecoming dance, but "everybody else" did.

Quite frankly, she is either avoiding those friends or looking for "friend pity" today.

The boy she really wanted to ask her is going to a concert that night with another guy friend.

So, my husband gets to work and finds out the financial institution he works for was sold to another one. What does this mean as far as a job goes? That feeling of instability and not being sure is so scary.

I am busier than I have ever been at work - that's good - but with all these other things going on, it feels like another layer of stress on top of the other 897 that were there before.

A nap sounds good right now. Yes, I know... an escape mechanism. Heck, Calgon would do the trick.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Three Years Old

My great-nephew, Charlie, turned 3 today. It was SO cute watching him enjoy every moment of his party.

When his parents drove up to Gigi's (my sister) house, he was amazed that someone tied a balloon to the mailbox - FOR HIM!

It just increased after that - every single thing was better than the last.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a completely great day like that right now?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Donuts and Silence

Oh yeah... in my office...alone. Peaceful and quiet.

Eating a donut. Doughnut? I guess d.o.u.g.h.n.u.t. is correct. Maybe "donut" is one of those words that has now become acceptable.

Like "snuck" - when I was younger, it was grammatically incorrect, but according to dictionary.com, we read the following:

"It is not so common in highly formal or belletristic writing, where sneaked is more likely to occur. Snuck is the only spoken past tense and past participle for many younger and middle-aged persons of all educational levels in the U. S. and Canada. Snuck has occasionally been considered nonstandard, but it is so widely used by professional writers and educated speakers that it can no longer be so regarded."

Oh heck, I'm already on dictionary.com, let's look up "donut" and see what it says:

"n. Variant of doughnut. "

No going off on a tangent with this one - it snuck right into the dictionary and there it sits!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Huffin' and Puffin

It's no secret that I want to see puffins in "real" life. Until that's possible, I am enjoying them the best ways possible.

If you don't know anything about them, give 'em a Google and enjoy. The children of Iceland have a Puffin Rescue:

About the time pufflings are 6 weeks old, their parents stop feeding them and return to the sea. The pufflings get hungry and want to go fishing. They use moonlight to find their way to the sea, but some little pufflings are confused by nearby city lights and end up heading away from the ocean and towards the city! This is quite dangerous because they can get run over by cars or be eaten by foxes and hawks.

Every year the children in Iceland rescue the puffin chicks. They carefully collect the pufflings, put them in boxes and take them home for the night. In the morning the children return the babies to the beach and release them to the safety of the sea and the promise of their first catch.

Now, isn't that sweet? And "pufflings" is just a darn cute name.

Due to their colorful beaks, puffins are also known as "sea parrots" or "clowns of the sea," however these sea birds spend the majority of their time at sea diving for food and come to shore for breeding and raising their single yearly puffling.

And now, guess what? Gary, from The Potter's Blog, has created me a beautiful puffin mug - check it out! Thank you, Gary - you are an amazing artist!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm In Charge

Yikes! I have never REALLY been in charge at work before and after lunch today, I'm "the boss." (I am always subliminally in charge)

The owner and VP of my company are out of the country. The "other" VP (my direct boss) is leaving for a conference, and my contemporary (hate to say the word, "equal") is on vacation. That leaves ME in charge.

Now, that wouldn't be so daunting except the you-know-what has hit the fan. We're having to find people to cover some positions nationwide and we're out of people! Our company has a practice of never saying we cannot fulfill a request.

I am hating that I will have to be the one to do that, but if everything falls into place as expected, they'll just have to get a "no" for an answer.

Maybe things will fall out of place.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Uh Oh, They've Gotta' Go!

Or so it seems. My daughter called yesterday - she was realllllllly sick. I know it came about from all the running around and staying up late she's been doing since school has been out (due to Hurricane Ike).

Her throat hurt, her neck hurt (that's the one that scared me), her head hurt, and she was dizzy.

I called the doctor from work and they could work her in. She drove herself over and I was close behind.

Seems this child's tonsils are abnormally HUGE. We knew this, but it's gotten to be a problem now.

Looks like they'll have to come out. We have to see an ENT first, though.

So, school started TODAY and she has to miss the first day. Do you have any idea how much we have been praying for school to start? Well, whatever you just imagined, double it!

But, poor little thing, she is truly ill (doctor-certified) so home she stays.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mamas, Papas, Six Flags, and Ten Minutes Ago

"Monday, Monday,so good to me..."

As if the Mamas and Papas had something to "do" on Monday that was different from the rest of the week. Not that I am in on the inner workings of their group in that time period, but if I were wagering on it, my money would be on each day blurring into another.

And Michelle was what? 14? Goodness gracious!

I don't even know why I went down that road, but that's about how my mind works - like "The Scrambler" at Six Flags - up, down, around, and shooting out in a hundred different directions at once. Do you find yourself thinking several things at once? I'm not talking about being schizophrenic, but, let's say, complicated.

Okay, so about Monday. Here it is. Right on schedule - complete with almost-forgotten traffic jams.

And where am I? At work! Look what I'm doing... big, important stuff.

How about you? What did you do in the last 10 minutes?

Phone ringing... maybe someone else will get it...shoot! it's for me...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Being Lazy

I got home yesterday from Atlanta. My plane was 20 minutes early - that was unexpected and nice! It took longer to get to the house than I expected, but there were still street lights out, so that slowed down everything.

The drive through the local park home was a bit surprising - there were just way more trees knocked down than I expected to see.

After being away for a couple of days, it's a bit shocking to encounter all the destruction again.

I had such a good time - saw old coworkers along with meeting a lot of new people that I had previously only "met" on the phone. It was nice to put faces with voices. I wish I could express how much I truly love my new job. I feel important and vital and needed now. I loved my old job, too, but it was SO corporate, so old-boy network, that I never got those feelings.

There was never a doubt for me that I was a valuable employee, but that little something was missing that I have now. I wish everyone had it and I am hoping it lasts for me.

Oh, the lazy part.... I crashed last night and have basically done nothing today except for a smidge of laundry. Feel good? Oh yes indeedy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's All Peachy

I am in Atlanta this evening. It felt weird to leave home after all the trauma of the past few days, but it kind of feels good, too.

My kid is out roaming the streets of Houston as she has done the last 2 nights. In fact, we haven't seen her much at all. There has been a ton of "spending the nights" going on.

I heard she popped into the house today to take a shower, but hasn't been seen since. I talked to her and she wanted to know if she could spend the night with Courtney at Holly's house.

She has to call Dad and clear it with him. He'll say, "yes."

I can't WAIT till school is back in session - too much freedom for these kids! Turn the lights on, please!

Oh, Atlanta... I haven't seen much of it yet. The airport is humongous. I got my rental car and headed up 85N which is where my meeting will be tomorrow...along the way, I passed downtown, complete with a building that has a HUGE peach on top of it. Cute, too!

They're taking us to a Braves game tomorrow night. As a die-hard Astros fan, this might be difficult, but I am going to do my best.

It will be kind of fun to sing that Indian song...and chop with tomahawk.

Maybe I'll find some ice cold Cokes in little bottles. Mmmm... doesn't that sound great??

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thinking of You!

This is NOT a hurricane post. Thank goodness - we've been inundated with that thing for too long now.

I have some blogging clean-up to do. I have been given an award by Scholastic Scribe. I saved it...I'll be sharing it as soon as I get a nice place on the "wall" to hang it. Give me a few days... gotta' go to Atlanta tomorrow for a few days - work meeting. Anyway, I want her to know how much I appreciate it!

Gary, at Potter's Blog, is making a puffin cup! You just don't know how many times I have hounded him for a "bird" thing (thank you, Gary!). And now, he is making ducky cups, too. I might need one of those as well.

My friend, Kerrie, at Life At Number 14, has been feeling poorly. We have been playing Scrabble for a long, long time now. Over the course of the years, we've become really good friends and I am sending her well-wishes - can you feel 'em?

One blog I find really compelling is Melissa's at Stretch Marks. She and her husband just adopted a beautiful baby boy. Read that post here. Just try not to cry. I couldn't do it.

And Minnesota Matron is a must for me... her writing and day-to-day life are both compelling. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes gripping...just enjoy!

Actually, everyone listed in my "Reads" section really gets read - daily! I could list you all here, but I am seeing I am just reposting that list.

You know, when I started this, it was just for me. Maybe someone would come by, maybe not. Not one person I know in "real life" knows I have this blog. It's kind of fun having a private slice of life that I share with just you guys. There I go again... wandering down a different path than I intended.... where I meant to go was here: I am involved with you guys on my list. I look forward to see what you're thinking about, what's happening in your world, what matters to you right now, what's making you laugh, and even your political leanings.

So, thanks for being "out there" and a part of the big world wide web!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thanking You

We lost power again for a while today. We spent the majority putting up a makeshift fence just so we could let the dogs out without them being on a leash. It has been extremely hot and humid. Right when we finished the fence, we walked in hoping to cool off and BLAM! Out with the power.

It's back and we are blessed.

We drove around the west side of town today. It's pretty much like our neighborhood - mostly inconvenient. Limbs, trees, fencing, etc....

We are so fortunate NOT to live down east and south.

Oh wait... my post.... I went off track. I want to thank those of you who wished us well, prayed, and expressed concern. It means a lot and we are grateful for all well wishes.

We are completely aware of how minor our problems are compared to our neighbors.

In particular, I am so worried about the people on the Bolivar peninsula. That is where I spent every summer of my childhood at my grandmother's beach house, so I have soft spot in my heart for that place.

Thank you again for being so kind and thoughtful.

I'll be visiting you all as soon as we're through with the initial clean-up. Take care and THANK YOU!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike Hits!

And this time it wasn't Tina.

Georgi watching the storm begin

Holy cow...let me tell you that sustained winds of 50 - 70mph (with much greater gusts) for over 5 hours can begin to wear you down.

I cannot believe all this was happening less than 24 hours ago and I am able to sit here and type this.

We live on the very far west side of Houston, so we never experienced the eye of Ike. We WANTED to experience it just to have a break, but he was looking a little further east and we got nothing but air. Lots and lots and lots of it.

One of two stacks of limbs, branches, and pine cones

The fence is down on two of three sides, we lost tons of branches, and my favorite tree. But, and here's the big BUT...we lived, no flooding, the house held, and we got our power back in only 12 hours.

Now, the cleanup....we need a maid.

The three separate sections of fencing we lost

Friday, September 12, 2008

Getting Closer

I know weather reports aren't really the best blog fodder, but it's what's going on around here, so that's what I'll be posting.

Hurricane Ike is getting closer and according to the lastest update, he's headed our way.

We're hoping he'll make his way a little to the east of us. It's always better to be on the west side of the devil.

As I am posting this, a new update is iminent.

Houston is almost a ghost town. It's not that the majority of people have left, but everyone is starting to hunker down. Coastal towns like Galveston are under mandatory evacuation.

Imagine, if you can, Wal-Mart is CLOSED. So are car dealers. If these businesses are shut, you know it's big.

We live on the west side of town so we are not in danger of storm surges, but of the winds. For now, my zip code is projected to have winds of 60 - 85mph with stronger gusts.

That's all I have right now. And, right this minute, all is sunny and calm.

More later, power allowing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Like Ike?

No, I don't guess I do.

Looks like he's heading in our direction. Gary at The Potter's Blog asked if we were going to evacuate? Heck, no! (by the way, I am home from Oklahoma)

Not evacuating? No, no, no. We did this for Hurricane Rita - it took 9 hours to make a 2 hour trip and I had a teenager and an old lady in my car. Jerry, the poop, decided to ride it out at home.

Nothing happened. He had peace and quiet and we had trauma.

Now, I am VERY respectful of Mother Nature...as I have mentioned before, I am a native, seventh-generation, Texan, so I fully understand the possibilities. We live enough inland (over 60 miles) that we don't feel threatened by rising waters, but more by rain, lightning, and winds. The worst part will be if the power goes out.

The power going out means NO AIR CONDITIONING in one of the hottest places on earth.

So, we're going to freeze some jugs of water to keep the freezer cool for as long as possible, fill the bathtubs with lots of water to be able to flush the potties, and stock up on non-perishable items for sustenance.
And today? It's sunny and humid - a normal Houston day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Secret Santa, Anyone?

Now, doesn't this sound like fun?? Why not join in?!?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


That's the name of the town in which I am spending the night - Bethany, OK. So far, I have only seen the inside of the Holiday Inn Express, but it's very nice, very new, and very clean - all a big plus in my book!

Tomorrow, I train some new auditors. That's always big fun, too.

Ah, I haven't traveled overnight in a while. I used to be on the road 4 out of 5 days. Since adopting our daughter, I have hardly traveled at all, but there are exceptions and this is one. Next week, Atlanta.

I am still holding out for Alaska before it gets too icy for me to drive. Of course, ANY ice would be too much for a Houstonian - we get snow once every 15 years or so.

Alrighty, I am off to find dinner.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Strange Places

Have you ever been anywhere strange? or to a place where you had an immediate connection?

Those are two separate questions, I know, but something I read triggered that for me.

Strange? Um... yeah. A long, long time ago in a land not far away, I used to work in collections for a major auto finance corporation. This job required us to actually make field contacts to collect or repossess. Weird, huh? I find it difficult to imagine myself as a repo gal, but I was.

Anyway, I have been to some of the weirdest places you can imagine. People are so different. One home that I went to belonged to the nicest set of grandparents you could imagine. They were past due on their car payment and weren't responding by phone. I was sent to collect or repo.

When these people opened the door, their house looked like something Clean House would've just sent a bulldozer to handle. I have never, ever seen anything like it again. Trash and clutter was piled so high, there were only trails through the house. Every now and again, you could see a chair or a sofa. I guess they had to take a break from piling junk up every once in a while.

If you got a glimpse at a wall, it would have photos of the grandkids framed and hanging proudly.

Don't get me started on the smell. If you have ever repossessed a car, you know they have a distinct smell that no other vehicle has. I'll try and explain it... combine these odors in your mind, if you can: stale french fries, chicken bones, dirty diapers, old glue, wet dog, smoke, and a cherry air freshener.

This house had that smell. I guess they were up for foreclosure, too.

Now, I have been in Twilight Zone music strange places, too. Aside from vacation spots or just travels that had a pull, I have also, in the course of my former profession, been in the home of more than one real-life gypsy. Now, that, is a strange experience.

Immediate connection? Oh yeah...Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island. My grandfather and all his family are from here. I just can't express the feeling I get every time I am there. It's as if the sea calls from a connection I didn't know I had. The weird part is I can't stand to be in the sun, but I love it when I am there.

Go figure.

What about you?

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Tables Turned

The company I now work for does contract work for my previous employer (gee, guess how I got THIS job??). Now, I don't work contract as I am actually hired by the company as a "senior" supervisor.

Quite frankly, I am not sure if the senior remark is due to my age or experience, but I am one with both - lol - so I can deal with this.

Okay.. back on track. A great majority of our contract workers are retired from the previous employer. Many were high-powered managers looking for supplemental income and way to remain a presence in the industry. They are valued employees and excellent workers. I continually learn from their wealth of experience.

Here comes the big "however." Ready? However, now I, their former underling, am the boss. Oh, how good it feels. Not enough to show, but enough to feel when I come home and post on my blog.

I am bright enough to know that those very same tables will turn again one day, but for this moment, I am enjoying a ride on the Lazy Susan.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I'm Not Supposed to Travel & My Sugar Bowl

And it already looks like I am going to Oklahoma City and Atlanta this month alone.

Go figure. That was my ONE stipulation when I took this new job - no traveling. Believe me, I have done my fair share of it and I am loving staying home every night.

Once in a while, however, the bug bites and it feels good to get away - even for work.

Yesterday, I received my sugar bowl from Gary at The Potter's Blog. You just can't imagine how incredibly cute it is in "real" life. It's a little blue elephant on a green sugar bowl. Really, really adorable. When I bring my camera home from my office, you're going to see it,

So, what in the heck do these two things have to do with each other? Nothing! Makes a catchy title, though, doesn't it?? lol - have a GREAT day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Welcome to Texas!

Greetings to all my Blog Around The World friends! I am sorry to be a bit late posting my Texas tour - I had a bit of miscommunication, but I am sure it was my fault - figures!

Anyway, welcome to the Great State of Texas!

Now, I know the other Texas sites will probably give you a lot of great Texas info, and I can't wait to read it all, but I thought I'd just tell you what it means to BE a Texan.

Bear in mind, I am not only a Texan, I am a seventh-generation Texan and a bona fide member of the Texas First Families. Pretty impressive, huh?

Everything is bigger and better in Texas. Why do we say that? I'll tell you why - we believe it!

We can't help it, though. It starts before we walk into school - especially if BOTH your parents are native Texans, too. And when you walk into that school, it intensifies!

As you've probably already found out, our capitol is the biggest of all the states. Not only that, our flag can be flown at the same height as the United States flag. Why? Because we're Texas, that's why!

Please don't take this as conceit. It really isn't. It's just who we are and what we're taught.

We appreciate that all the states of the magnificent country are special. We just like that ours could hold most of them. And, that we really could cecede from the rest of you and survive just fine.

Here are a few of my favorite Texas things:

Our state bird - the mockingbird - no other bird on earth can sing like this one. Even though they'll make off with your tomatoes and ruin your garden, nothing is prettier than the mockingbird song late in the evening.

Our state shell - the lightning whelk - so pretty and you CAN hear the ocean in it. This shell is only found on our Gulf coast.

Our state flower - the beautiful bluebonnet - a blue so blue it will hurt your eyes when you come across a sun-splattered field of them. No photo can do them justice.

There's so much more - real cowboys - do I need to describe this? Thought not.

Rodeos. The coast. Canyons. Deserts. Ranches. Flowers. Fruits. Three of the country's largest cities (Houston being the best one, of course!). Fairs. Longhorns. Roadrunners. Tex-Mex food.

Mostly, though, it's the people.

Even in the big cities, you'll find our native Texans to be kind, courteous, gracious, and welcoming. What are our big cities anyway? Small town people who relocated for work. We still have southern manners with a little bit of wild west attitude.

So, come on down, y'all, and stay a spell - enjoy the Lone Star State! After all, the word, "Texas," comes from "tejas" which means, "Friend."

You have a Friend in Texas :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Joke and Win

I have spent almost ALL day at The Potter's Blog. I suggest you make a stop by there, too! Who knows? You could win a piggy bank, but take a moment and read the jokes - some are so corny, they'll just make you laugh out loud and there are loads of clever ones, too.

Big fun, Gary - thank you!

Need Advice...

I know a lot of you out there work outside the home. I have been working since I was 16 and the greatest majority of that time was for a Fortune 500 company. Meaning, I have always been in a big office with lots of people.

For those of you who can relate, you know there are always people that drive you bonkers, but that's okay - you kind of expect it and you have coworkers who feel your pain. Of course, you might just be that person for someone else, etc...

Anyway, I recently started a new job due to my fabulous (<-- read that word with extreme sarcasm) former employee relocating and leaving LOTS of us around the country needing to find new jobs. I digressed there... I did find another job - that I absolutely LOVE!

There is one drawback and where I am looking for your input. I now work in an office with one other person. This one other person is that weirdo I mentioned above. God bless him. I know he's as valuable and wonderful as any other being placed on this earth and I should see this in him other than the weirdness. But, I can't help myself.

This poor guy has no social skills. He tries to be nice and politely inquisitive, but it comes across somewhat smarmy and affected. And, when our boss (and owner of the company) calls him, he says things such as, "Yes, Chief, what can I do for you Chief?"

I mean, really, a grown man over the age of 50 (he's 54) calling his boss Chief??? Ugh!

How would you get PAST this?

Oh, I forgot the good part. This guy is the Sales and Marketing MANAGER. Not a good decision in my opinion, but I am not in charge. I am not in charge. I am not in charge.

(but I want to be!)

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