Sunday, December 16, 2012

Connecticut Tragedy

First and foremost let me start by saying how deeply saddened I am by the events of last Friday. I pray that all of the families of the survivors and those that perished are comforted in this horrific time. I can't help but think about all of the presents under Christmas trees that will go unopened this year because the child is no longer with us. My heart breaks for every person affected by this. I've been wanting to talk about this with my kids and chose tonight to talk to them about the lockdown procedures in their schools. I was really relieved to hear that both schools have a procedure and both of my youngest children have participated in drills at school in the event there is an emergency in there school (and lets hope there never is). I changed the radio to the station that was broadcasting the memorial service and my kids listened intently with me. My daughter's mood shifted in an alarming way and despite my repeated attempts to try to figure out what was wrong she kept telling me nothing was wrong. I never thought that this affected her the way it did which I admit, was insensitive of me. She shared with me later that she didn't really understand why her mood shifted and that she wondered if it was because she was thinking too much about the shooting. This tragedy is far reaching .... it affects others who weren't directly impacted. My kids undoubtedly worry for their own safety and we all wonder what those 10 minutes were like for all those children. Don't ignore how this might affect your children. Ask them how it makes them feel. Assure them they are safe. I told my daughter that she shouldn't think too much about this. It's a terrible, horrible tragedy and it's so unfortunate and that it's good to know about the situation but she shouldn't watch too many You Tube videos or focus too much on watching things on the internet or TV related to the shooting. It's too upsetting and clearly affects her. Most importantly, hug your children extra hard tonight, because you can.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Evil Girl at Starbucks

I'm a Starbucks addict ... I admit it. I really love the coffee, there is nothing else like it and I don't mind paying a little more for what I consider a great start to my morning. Part of what comes with that is the service ... Starbucks is a little like Trader Joe's ... they hire eclectic people, people who are a little quirky who really seem to enjoy serving you the beverage of your choice. As a professional recruiter, I'm hopeful that someday I can recruit for a company with this kind of philosophy. It's genius! In my home, besides myself and my dogs, no one is really a morning person. My little one used to leap from bed with the birds singing above his head but as he is reaching his teen years that is less and less the case. My husband has even gone so far as to say (and yes, I do mean out loud): "I don't like when you and the dogs are up in the morning. My whole routine is thrown off and when everyone is sleeping, I don't have to talk in the morning. I like it." Ok, so you get where I'm coming from. :) For this reason, most mornings I like to start my day at my local Starbucks with a Venti Iced Decaf Americano with heavy whipping cream and two sweet and lows. It's the perfect start to my day. I normally do it through the drive-thru and I love to be greeted by the almost singing voice on the other end of the speaker when I get up to place my order. She (or he) is so cheerful and it puts me in a good mood. They are smiling when I get to the window and they always wish me a good day. If I'm forced to wait, they gladly hand over a coupon for my next coffee on them. It's the perfect start to my day and this is part of the service I have become accustomed to at Starbucks. This morning, I pulled up to the drive thru to see the many of my neighbors were too feeling the need for a java boost this morning as the line trailed around the building. The parking lot was nearly empty and I knew I'd get thru faster if I just parked and went inside and so I did. I was greeted --- wait, greeted would be a generous word for this young lady. She didn't smile, didn't ask if she could help me, just looked at me inquisitively and said "What can I get you?" I recited my order while she grabbed a cup and started writing on it. She asked the Barista about heavy whipping cream and whatever she asked him he answered affirmatively. She then looked back at me and said "How many sweet and lows?" to which I replied "two, thank you." She collected my card, finished the transaction and handed me my receipt and moved on to the next customer. I waited patiently for the Barista to make my drink. I watched intently at the next customer behind me. He was a pretty unattractive man, tall, awkward, dressed in jeans that were inappropriately too tight and a little too short. He had a sweater on that was a bit too snug with a jacket and a scarf and the craziest Kramer-like hair you've ever seen. This guy was OVERJOYED to be alive. He practically sang his order. He was so pleasant and kind and this cashier went about serving him with absolutely no personality, no smile, no real service. How could you NOT smile at this guy? I was just standing waiting for my drink and even I smiled at him. He was so goofy and pleasant, how could you not? While I waited, I saw the front of the New York Times which had a picture of a lesbian couple that were married in Manhattan on 12/12/12. He moved over to join me while waiting for his drink and the front of the New York times caught his eye as well. The couple was dressed in a bridal gown and a tuxedo and the woman wearing the tuxedo looked strikingly like a man ... a good looking one at that. The goofy overjoyed-to-be-alive man said "Oh, that's a woman .... it looks just like a man ... a good looking chap at that." I smiled and agreed. He grabbed the paper and said "I'm going to buy this" and proceeded over to the cashier and put the paper down and said "can I just buy this?" She looked at him sneeringly and said loudly "Yes, but right now, I am helping this customer" and looked away from him. I cringed and fought back the urge to go off on this rude young lady. He moved back over to me and said "Hmmmmm, what was I thinking?" I acknowledged and said "she's not the most friendly now, is she?" He said "She really didn't have to do that, she could have just said "Sure sure, that's $2.50." I laughed. She could have also said "Sir, could you just wait one second while I finish this order?" As I wished the goofy overjoyed-to-be-alive man happy holidays and walked out the door, I passed a young African American man asking for change. I told him I didn't have any change on me and in turn he said "thanks m'am, have a nice day." I thought to myself ...... this man is asking for change and telling me to have a nice day. There is a girl taking orders inside Starbucks ruining the mornings of hundreds of people while she gets paid a decent hourly wage and gets pretty good benefits. What's wrong with this picture? News flash missy .... IF YOU TAKE A JOB SERVING PEOPLE'S COFFEE IN THE MORNING, IT'S YOUR FRIGGIN JOB TO PUT ON A SMILE AND ACT LIKE YOU ENJOY IT!!!!!!! Have a great day!

Monday, December 10, 2012


I have crossed the line into the entrepreneur world! Yes, I am now selling my handmade items on Etsy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not the next Louis Vuitton or Dior, but I think my jewelry and other items will appeal to a select crowd. I'm using it as my creative outlet because for whatever reason, call it hormonal or whatever, my creative juices are overflowing. I am hoping to be successful so I am asking you (the three people who probably read this blog) to share my Etsy store with your world ..... every little bit helps and you might just know that one person who wants to buy my stuff! Thanks in advance for your help! Click Here to view my Etsy Store!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Slapped In The Face

Reality really slapped me in the face today and I'm again realizing how short life really is. My ex-co worker and friend, Donna, announced today via a Facebook post that she has been diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer with metastasis to the liver. While that does sound horrible, she is optimistic that despite the long road ahead of her, she can beat this. I love Donna and I certainly hope she can. I found myself reading her post 3 times to myself to make sure I was reading it right and although I haven't seen Donna in a number of years, the tears rolled down my face for my dear sweet friend and the road she has ahead of her. Things like this don't happen to people like us and they certainly don't happen to good people like Donna. However, it's real and it's happening. My sister in law said it best tonight when I shared the news with her "we are at the age when these things start happening." I think I stopped breathing for just a moment when I heard those words but she's right. We're at the age that parents start dying, friends can get really sick and things start to go wrong. It was December 10th just a few years ago that Jacqui died and I'm still reeling from that loss. God, wherever you are, please guide Donna through this difficulty and help her find a way to heal and go on with her life. Her children and her new husband need her. This world needs her.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Spirit of Receiving!

I realize it's been a week or so since my last post .... it's been hellacious since Thanksgiving. We planned our annual Cookie Exchange with our friends for the first weekend in December thinking it would make everything easier on us. Oh boy....2 major school projects, 2 exams, 2 job interviews and the party. I didn't think I'd survive last week. Whew! Since we're talking about the Cookie Exchange, I thought I'd share a picture of the very lovely entree I served, Borsin Stuffed Chicken Breasts Wrapped in Bacon ... for 25!
I impressed even myself and they were delish! You do have to admit, they are beautiful right? I highly recommend this if you ever have to cook for a large group and want to serve something elegant. They were so easy! Anyway.... back to my original thought. I'm feeling a little like a spoiled brat or maybe even a princess right now .... maybe a little guilty. I was talking with my best friend on the way to work the other morning and she was telling me how she and her husband were probably not going to exchange gifts this year because there was nothing she really wanted. I laughed but then quickly realized she wasn't kidding. NOTHING? I want EVERYTHING. First of all, I made a pact that I would never allow for any holiday to be a "pass" for my husband or I, even if the other didn't want anything. But this conversation really got me to wondering if I'm just a big biotch or if it's okay to want something .... anything .... everything! I'm kind of not kidding .... I think I'm the easiest person to shop for because I love everything and even when I have everything, there will still be something I want. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much a giver, I love to give gifts as much as I love to get them but does it make it wrong that I want gifts? If my husband asked me what I wanted I would have no problem reciting at least 10 things right off the top of my head. Does that make me sound like a glutton? I can't help it, I love nice things, is that wrong? I love when my husband spoils me and buys me things ... they don't have to be expensive things, I just like things! As I listened to her, it kind of made me sad for her ... it's such a wonderful thing to want things. I have an endless list of things I dream about. I'm not knocking her simplicity, it's a beautiful thing and she's obviously my best friend but I would be sad if I didn't want anything. I'm going to just embrace my inner princess and basque in the wonderful season of giving! :)