Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adventures in Working

Last week I accepted an assignment that requires me to travel for a portion of every week for the next three to four months.  This is a good thing, because the global website I have been responsible for the last several years is shutting down in July.  This assignment is in support of the new system that will be replacing the old system.

I haven't traveled on business for the last six months.  I'll have to get back in the corporate travel groove.  I'll also have to get back in the groove of being in the office with my colleagues.  

But, more importantly, The Husband will have to get in the groove of me not always being here.  However will he survive?  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wardrobe Maintenance

Being a home based employee is great.  I wear jeans every day, and depending on the season, short or long sleeve tops (or sweatshirts).  I have a few "office outfits" to wear when I'm asked to travel for corporate meetings. Those clothes, plus other casual pieces, have served me when I need to dress for an event at home.  However, I was looking at my clothes this week and decided I need a big infusion of new stuff.  

I used to be quite the clothes horse.  I shopped every week and was constantly adding to my wardrobe--while never paying full price for any item.  I was an expert lurker of sale racks at my favorite stores.  There was nothing better than acquiring an item for 60-70% off the original price.

Now, I need to re-develop the desire to aggressively shop my favorite stores and their sale racks.  I know the deals are out there, but I haven't pursued them for a number of years.  

I'll tell you why my current wardrobe has become an issue in tomorrow's post!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Who Thinks Up These Dishes?

I'm the first person to say a recipe with bacon, sour cream or butter is a good thing, but this is going too far!

Have you see this website?  

Friday, March 27, 2009

The One Thing I Really Miss About Living in Texas

I do wish I was in Texas for the next two weekends.  

It's time for the semi-annual antique, craft, flea market extravaganza.  I always had a great time attending this event and brought home goodies to add to my collections.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Last of the Vacation Posts...Promise!

The Husband's creative use of pool noodles.
The Sister and Family in the pool.
The Sister and Family on the beach.

We are now back home at school and work with fond memories of the time in Florida.

Can't wait for the next trip!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Out Of The Mouths of Babes

Our Big Sister A had some great quotes on this vacation.

We were on our way to Disney World and we passed a Dunkin' Donuts.  The Husband said "Would anyone like donuts?"   Her response "Oh, yeah.  This family LOVES donuts!"

One day she got her face painted as a tiger.  All the other little girls were being painted as a butterfly, a princess, a fairy, etc. But not A, no sir, she was going to be a tiger.  We all asked why, because only boys were picking the tiger.  At one point, she looked at me and said "Aunt Cindy.  There are girl tigers.  I can be a girl tiger if I want."  You know what, she's absolutely correct.  She can be anything she wants and if that is a girl tiger, than so be it!


At the end of our first day in Disney, she was having a conversation with her Dad about something I didn't quite catch. I did, however, hear her say "I'm a teenager in training, you know."  

She certainly looks like one in the picture below!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Disney Dream

Highlights of Disney.  The sister, her husband and the nieces.
Meeting Ariel.
Meeting Belle.
The Husband and a Tiger in a Tea Cup!
Aunt Cindy on Main Street.
One night we stayed at the Nickelodeon Hotel.  We were privileged to have breakfast the next morning with Sponge Bob, Dora and the gang.
The girls were able to see Mickey and Minnie, of course, plus a host of other characters.  A good time was had by all.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The House in Clearwater, Florida

Here are a few pictures of the house we rented in Florida.  Below is a shot of the living/dining/kitchen combo.  Note the large sliding doors.  Those could be opened their entire length and allowed wonderful flow out to the deck and pool.  The house was L shaped and every room had these doors that opened to the pool.


The master bedroom, where my sister and her husband stayed.   It was painted a pretty yellow.  This photo doesn't do it justice.

Our luscious, orange sherbet painted room.  I loved, loved, loved the color.  It was so pretty in every light -- morning, afternoon and evening.   It made me happy.


The pool -- this made the nieces happy!
 

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Your Reservation Requires Special Handling

The Husband and I have been on vacation this past week. Here's how it started:

Continental Airlines phoned The Husband on Friday, March 13th, inquiring if we had any flexibility in our travel plans, since it was spring break week and all flights were full (code for overbooked).  They offered travel vouchers and a later flight, but those options did not work with our plans.

The Continental representative advised The Husband to be sure and login to Continental.com and check in for our flight as soon as possible AND to arrive at the airport early the next day.  The Husband phoned me and repeated the conversation, which we both began to think of as strange since the tickets were booked using my Continental account and points, so why didn't they phone me to have this conversation?

In any event, I obediently logged on that afternoon and the website would not allow me to check in.  It said something to the effect:  "Your reservation requires special handling.  Check in at an airport kiosk."  So, I phoned Continental and spoke to a nice person who advised she could see nothing wrong with our reservations and to try again.  I tried a few times and it did not work.

We ultimately decided to drive to the airport to check in early, as we most certainly did not want to miss our flight on Saturday.  The ticket counter and kiosks were closed.  A Continental employee spoke to us and advised they were closed and that we could check in on-line.  We explained the situation and she immediately went to the counter to help us, even though she could have sent us on our way.

She immediately logged into the system and started doing all the mysterious things airline employees do to check in travelers.  I was a bit worried when she pulled out several pages of instructions that were covered in a multitude of hand written notes. She kept pecking away at the terminal and eventually asked for our ids.  She looked at them, pecked at the terminal and eventually the boarding passes started printing.  She looked up at The Husband and said, "There was a problem because your name is on the federal No Fly list.  Someone's looking for you!"

Of course, no one is really looking for MY husband, just someone who has the same name.  We were both so glad we took the time to drive to the airport and that she was willing to help us after the counter closed.  

Here's a "shout out" to Crystal at the Continental Airlines ticket counter in the Tulsa International Airport for great customer service.  Thanks, Crystal!

Addendum to this post:
So, it's Friday, March 20th and we return home on Saturday, the 21st.  Again, Continental phoned The Husband, but he missed the call.  We logged onto their website and tried to check in on-line.  Again we were told, "Your reservation requires special handling.  Please check in at an airport kiosk."  He phoned Continental and spoke to two very nice women who assured us our reservations were fine, but perhaps he was on the federal No Fly List, since their system would allow me to check in, but not him.  

If this is how it is going to be every time we travel, this is not good.  It totally is not convenient to wait until we get to the airport to check in and get our boarding passes, since the majority of the time we do not check bags. Frustrating!  I guess we will do some research about the federal No Fly List to understand how a name appears on the list and then disappears from the list.  

Second addendum to this post:
Check in on Saturday, the 21st, went smoothly after The Husband showed his id.  The Continental employees were great.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Apologies

I'm sorry I haven't posted recently.  We are on vacation and internet connectivity has been hard to come by.  We rented a house for a week in Clearwater, FL that has no connectivity. Which is funny, considering four adults brought four laptops on vacation.

My sister and brother-in-law both have wireless internet connect devices.  I'm using one now, since they are out and about with the kids.   I was seriously needing an e-mail/blog/Facebook fix in the worst way!

I'll post more about vacation soon. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Snow!

Why were we all bummed today when it snowed?  After all, the first day of spring is not until March 20th!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coconut Nests

These are some of my favorite candies.  They are only available around Easter time.

 
Here's a "shout out" to my friend DeAnn for introducing these to me a few years back.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sad News

We just spoke to "Cousin Char" in Denver.  Her husband, Marv, passed away tonight from lung cancer.  "The Husband" and I both lost our fathers to this horrible disease in the last decade. Thanks to Hospice organizations, all three deaths occurred at home.  

Our thoughts and prayers are with "Cousin Char" tonight.  

One Last Task

We've recently had one of our bathrooms re-done. New lighting, new counter top, new tile and new paint. The final result is just what we were hoping for. Thanks to West Construction for doing such a fine job.

Yesterday, the shower in the second bathroom was completely re-grouted. Now, one last task will be applying sealer to the granite and tile in both bathrooms.

I'm so very excited to have these projects finished. Yippee!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Buttons

I've been playing around with buttons recently.  This was inspired by something I saw last year in Taos.  Of course, the Taos item was created by an artist and I'm just someone with a lot of old buttons.  

I've mixed the button collections from myself, my mom, my grandmother and my mother-in-law.  I'm now sorting them by color (of course).

I took most of the black and white buttons and made this to hold the shower curtain in the guest bathroom.  

I'll continue to play around and see what I come up with next.  I have lots of red and purple buttons that look really good together!

I've seen the following items made with buttons: jewelry, bookmarks and greeting cards.  Do you have any ideas you want to share with me on what to make next?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm Ready for...

St. Patrick's Day.

See my table:

See my tree:

Are you ready?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Work at Home

I am a virtual employee for a global company.  I have 6 years experience in this environment.  Being a virtual employee can mean availability outside the normal 8-5, Monday-Friday work schedule.  There are times when this is inconvenient, but for the most part it is very manageable.

To be a successful virtual employee, there are several things I think are important. They are:
  • Have an official office in your home, with all the equipment and storage you need. 
  • Remain in your home office during regular business hours. 
  • At the end of the regular business day, exit your home office.
  • Keep your personal life separate, just like you would if you were working in a traditional office.
When you work at home, don't work "at home"
  • the kitchen is for cooking
  • the dining room is for dining
  • the living room is for living
  • the home office is for working 
Being a home based, virtual employee doesn't mean you can't throw a load of laundry in or run to the grocery store.  However, it does mean that during regular business hours your manager, your team and your customers should be able to connect easily with you, just as if you were sitting in the corporate office.

Two of my favorite phrases to describe home working are: 
  • I work where I live, not live where I work.
  • Work is a thing I do, not a place I go.
I am grateful my employer has allowed me to work in this manner for the past several years.  It would be quite a challenge for me if I was ever asked to return to a traditional office!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Dream Bedroom

If I could have a designer help me with our house, it would be Candice Olson of Divine Design.

If she would redesign our bedroom, I would be so happy. Sigh...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Good Things Still Happen

Last week we met a neighbor couple for Mardi Gras cocktails. We walked to The Empire and enjoyed an hour or so of conversation and libations.

We left separately.  Next day "the woman" phoned and asked if we remembered seeing her purse/backpack. Unfortunately, we did not.  She phoned The Empire and left a message asking if her purse had been turned in.

We ran into "the man" at the grocery store on Saturday.  He told us her purse was turned in and most contents (including money, credit cards and cell phone) were intact. The only item missing was her cigarettes.   We decided it was a sign she should quit smoking!

Here's a "shout out" to whoever turned in her purse.  Good people exist in the world still.