Friday, December 23, 2016

Here n' there and all about the town

My goodness, but time gets away!

Thank you so much for everyone's thoughtful comments on my last post. I apologize for not taking time to respond to each one.  What can I say?  ... Holiday hiccups and copious amounts of laziness got the better of me.  (BTW, BF Debbie is doing wonderfully.)

* * *

Let's see.  When we last spoke, I mentioned a little getaway down south.
Truth be told, not that far south.

A few months back I spotted something about these guys' upcoming appearance at Wild Horse Pass, and hustled to order tickets.
(The last time we made plans to see CDB, Tom had the nerve to go and get his hip replaced.  LOL!)

I wanted to get us a hotel room there so we might enjoy some adult beverages and a nice late supper at Shula's after the concert -- without worrying about getting behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, when I checked reservations, that little plan got hurled out the window.
(I'm sure some people don't bat an eye about paying $200/night for a soft mattress and shower ... but this gal's not one of them!)

Then again ...
I summoned my moxie and asked my boss what she thought if I asked our former DOS - now WHP's Rooms Mgr., if she would consider extending me a "friends and family" discount.
Crazy, but Michele went above and beyond, and got Denise to comp our stay!

A random Brit came along as I was taking this and asked, "Is he holding still for you?"

Some would call the room's decor 'top-shelf' -- but its modern (aka, stark) design and gray/blue palates left me underwhelmed.  Not our idea of comfort, but I suppose that's what's popular right now.  
I totally messed up and didn't think about making dinner reservations until the 11th hour.   They were totally booked, but rather than getting back in the car and up the highway, we decided to try their 24/7 cafe.  
WOW.  I take back any misconceptions I may have had about casino-food.   Our prime-rib dinners, the presentation ... even the service was amazing, and given it being on an Indian reservation, very reasonably priced.

* * *

Totally disgruntled by the huge crowds and ill-mannered attendees at other huge concert venues, WHP's more-intimate venue was really refreshing.

And Charlie?  
Whoa.  That fellow has more vim-and-vigor at 80 years old than I did at 8!

He kept everyone chuckling, recalling stories of his youth - eavesdropping on his mother's (phone) party-lines ... even his son's attempts to drag him into the electronic age.  
"Why do I need e-mail?  Here's plenty of envelopes and postage stamps."  
(Don't even get him started on Twitter!)

Sure, some of it's probably contrived.
But there's no mistaking his love of God and love of the United States of America.
Neither Tom or I'd ever seen a more stirring rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Truth be known, I liked his music, OK - but I never loved it.  
That's Tom's department.  
Except, since I've been following CDB's Facebook page, I've come to Really Respect that whiskered fella and his weekly "soapboxes."
For those who don't know what I'm talking about here's a sampling.  Kinda sums up what I feel myself, but never had the knack to express it in so many words.
(No, I don't mean read it Right Now.  I figure y'all have one or two more important things on your plates right now.  *smile*)

* * *

So! ...
Our itty-bitty trees and significant holiday touchstones are in place ...  baking's done ... packages have all been delivered (love you, UPS!) ... and we've but one obligation remaining this evening.

For Yule's sake, here are a few of my favorite and/or meaningful holiday moments frozen in time.

ca. 1953.  Wish I had a pair of those bunny slippers right now!

Abilene, TX, 1979.  How I loved that fireplace!

My dad's last Christmas, 1980. (Far left.)  
With former in-laws, Bartow, FL

Son Troy, me and mother.  (1982)

G'daughters Sarah and Chloe.  Port Charlotte, FL.

When Tom met Caraleigh he observed,  "She looks like a tamale with eyes."

Wild Horse Pass, Dec. 2016

Always and forever ... I'm so grateful for your friendship.
Y'all are a honest-to-goodness blessing!

Merry Christmas n' hugs from Phoenix,

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Like Sands Through the Hourglass ...

G'morning (afternoon) friends!
DH and I are preparing to head south in a bit for a too-brief getaway.   Before we do ...

I should be over-the-moon (more about that next week), but to be honest, my heart's heavy.   Yesterday -- only few hours after my BF and I texted one another to schedule our monthly yakkity-yak -- her unmistakable ring-tone announced itself from the depths of my bag.  What's that all about?   

Debbie's flat tone, "Carl's dead."     
Her long-time significant other, best friend, sometimes abuser - suddenly and inexplicably passed during his most recent stay in a south Florida rehab yesterday morning.   
'Venture to say, few will mourn.   But darn it, what a shock!   Part of me wishes I could hop a plane to be with her;  instead I made Debbie promise to pour herself a glass of wine, have a good cry and call me any time of the day or night.

A little while later, I slid my carcass in front of the computer and spotted news of another passing.   My turn to pour an adult beverage.

In retrospect, my "once in a lifetime" Sunday was a bit silly, but I'm feeling drawn to re-post it.   
You know, even now when I'm headed to work -- usually discouraged, expecting nothing more than the same-old-same-old -- I have to remind myself that miracles do come true.   When you least expect it!  

With apologies to Ronnie Milsap, I’m feelin’ lost in the 80’s tonight ....

* * *

Having reached my mid-30’s, I didn't think it possible to develop a crush.   Silly Myra.

Long before “Bridal Fairs” became commonplace, my employers partnered to develop and stage such an exposition. Sure enough, come that chilly January morning, management was ecstatic at promised revenues. The rest of us were already weary ... a good 3 hours before the doors were scheduled to open.

Arriving at the Civic Center, I immediately regretted my decision not to wear a tuxedo like the others, feeling it wouldn’t look feminine.   Instead, to a person, they all looked amazing!  The peach suit and pearls I'd selected with such care felt downright frumpy. Oh well.   

Taking a seat in the foyer, I began sorting registration cards.

Eyeball-to-thighs. Peripherally, I noted a co-worker needed something. Again. 

Hang on a sec.” I held up an index finger. “97, 98, 99, 100 ... there!”

OK.  What can I do for ....”

The question died in my throat; my face began to burn.  Only a couple of feet away, a familiar someone smiled.  
The same someone on whom I’d harbored a ridiculous crush for years.  Was it coincidence I’d lost interest “Days” following his scripted demise?

What was HE doing here?   Today? 

Belatedly, I recalled that the network was going to provide talent, to boost attendance and moderate the fashion show.... but I’d paid little attention.

Gathering what little wits I had about me, I introduced myself and with what I hoped would pass as self-deprecating humor, explained my admiration .... and astonishment at his presence.

J was similarly confused. “What, exactly, is a Bridal Fair?”

Happily, I abandoned my post to show him backstage. Improbably, it seemed I’d found a pal: A few moments later J was back to help fold programs, stuff bags.

As the day grew long, our feet were beyond pain; faces stiff from smiling. Still, I was over-the-moon visiting J backstage. More comfortable in the role of listener, I learned of his passion for classical music and the theater. The speech patterns I recalled from television were true ... and endearing!

When J asked, "What's next?" after closing, my imagination went amok. (Of course it did ....)   He'd not yet remarried ... but I was.  Hating my unfamiliar resolve, I walked backstage to say goodnight.   And discovered J dozing in a folding chair.  LOL!

Monday morning I happened downstairs to watch his appearance on our local "talk" show. Momentarily shy, I stood aside as he posed for pictures and made the appropriate  noises. Mute, I offered a hand and smiled for the camera.

RIP Mister M.
Thanks for the memory!

Thanks for bearing with me ... talk to y'all in a few!

Hugs from Phoenix,


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Oh, we need a little Christmas!

"I can't believe you just asked me that!"

This, from my boss when I (foolishly) asked if I really had to attend this year's holiday party.    Knowing she's been baptized in the pond of political correctness, I couldn't resist calling it the "Christmas" party, watching her wince. 

ca. 2014

I can only presume this event is a knee-jerk reaction to last year's debacle:  Only managers and their spouses were invited to attend the formal affair ... although the day before, I was offered a ticket and a meal if I wanted to attend -- to work the registration table and distribute drink tickets.   (Um, that would be a 'no.')

Anyway!   Someone decided THIS year all associates at the local properties under Big Corporate's umbrella could attend the "Ugly Holiday Sweater" party with a guest ... eat, drink, dance and be merry.   
On a week-night.  In Scottsdale.

Now I've no quarrel with bringing a new toy to support St. Frances' children's ministry; but I draw the line at having to purchase a tacky sweater that I'll maybe wear once.  (Didn't that fad slip away about the time of Seinfeld?)   
That, and having to drive more than 100 miles round trip from our home in Goodyear.

I tried keeping a straight face when the final RSVP's were counted. Their projected 350 guests only numbered half that.   But, because my boss -- who really believes she's "Mrs. Claus" -- recently did something very nice for me, I felt I'd no choice but to support her.   When, in a pinched voice, she said, "Well, I'm not going to MAKE anyone go if they don't want to." I honestly felt guilty.  And petty.   
(Yup, she's got my number.)  
That, and my 'work brother' Brian reminded me last week, the only reason he's going is because I twisted his arm.  Hard.

So, why don't we have our own property Christmas party like we've done in the past?  We're not allowed!  

That's all-right.  MAC (my boss' nickname) wasn't born yesterday. Instead of a 'party', she and her managers are going to distribute pizzas to everyone, followed by a mid-afternoon hot chocolate bar we'll call "WinterFest." 

* * *

On a related note ... 
Last weekend I was actually losing sleep at the prospect of having to decorate the lobby tree.   In fact, as I confided to a friend, the idea of catching the stomach flu sounded like a better alternative.
Unlike 14 years ago when I was a newbie, near tears and too bashful to ask anyone for help ... come Monday morning I channeled my inner drill sergeant and 'voluntold' a handful of associates to help me -- including MAC.
Like so many things, it wasn't nearly as awful as what I lost time fretting about.

* * * 

On the home-front, Tom finally admitted, he doesn't think the two of us NEED a tree.  The beast (our pre-lit 9-footer) is a chore to wrangle, and since we bought a new recliner and love seat last year (which weighs a ton) there's really no space or option to move them around.   

Instead, I'm going to re-create a few little pieces we've enjoyed the last two years, and call it Merry.   

See that little green chair?  That's my favorite chair in the house ... something that survived my own wee bum (1951-ish) ... that gets to come out once each year.

Mother made the little tree and stitched that sampler ...  and the book, Three Christmas Eves, was given her (I think) the inscription reads 1920. 

We're not all about fancy or always tasteful ... but when emotions run high, as they're apt to do this time of year, I like to surround myself with comforting objects, warm blankets and olden music.  (Perry Como, anyone?)
Oh, and wine!   Care to join me?

Have a great week, friends!
Hugs from Phoenix,


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Some like it hot .....

Oh m'gosh, it's really over.  
Poor November.  The 'tween month.  In merchants' rush to promote Christmas immediately post-Halloween, I wonder if Thanksgiving doesn't feel like the fabled red-headed step-child. 

Still, I've enjoyed reading about each of your observances!

Some long-time readers may recall, I've no memories of traditional Thanksgiving feasts.   Instead, my parents - who worked three jobs between them - seized the opportunity each November to travel over the mountains and through the woods to a nice hotel in Denver.   I can still hear my father musing, "THIS year I think I'm going to be thankful for ______."   (Steak?  Lobster? ... something he'd get to enjoy just once each year.) 

Bless DH's heart!   It feels I've come full circle!
Due to unfortunate circumstances with his adult offspring, he agreed to forgo tradition and eat "out" ... someplace where we could order prime rib (him) and salmon (me) ... and enjoy a 'real' conversation without me trying to talk over his stupid headphones.  I always feel a bit sorry for the wait staff; in fact, by 8:00 our server confessed she was 'exhausted.' (Yes, I make a point to over-tip those who work on holidays.)

So, what's this business about liking it hot?  
Well, I'm particularly thankful this year for our bounty of Hatch Chile sitting in the freezer.

Funny about coming full-circle.  Growing up in New Mexico, chili was a staple.  Each autumn when the Hatch crop came to fruition, my father would agree to 'split' a bushel with a co-worker. Poor mother had the tedious job of roasting, blistering and peeling those pungent pieces of Heaven.   Working in rubber gloves to avoid blistering her own skin, she'd carefully package the meat in freezer bags -- hopefully to last until the next September.    

I took it for granted.  That is, until it wasn't available.  In Texas, then in Florida ... even in Arizona just a decade ago, I'd mention 'Hatch" and be met with blank stares.   
"No", they'd say.  "Our green chili's not hot."   


In the 50's and 60's, I still remember folks in New Mexico chuckling at tourists' choice of green sauce v. the red because they believed it was milder.
Until a few years ago, there existed an unremarkable little store-front restaurant   .... that boasted the most remarkable fare, punctuated by their liberal use Hatch chilies. 
No matter if you were a physicist or a security guard, The Rio Grande Cafe was THE place to take out-of-town friends and family.   

(Warning:  "Potty humor" ahead.   
Some may wish to skip the next paragraph.)   

A steaming basket of sopapillas and vial of honey accompanied each dinner ... but so did an innocuous bowl of sherbet.    I'm unsure of it was truth or fiction, but my father never tired of telling the story of the Yankee and his family who visited the Rio Grande Cafe:   At the end of their meal the husband excused himself to use the men's room .... but when he hadn't returned in a reasonable time, his wife grew concerned and asked her son to 'go check.'   
"Yep, Dad's in there all right.", the young man confirmed.  "But he just keeps moaning, 'Come on sherbet, come on!'"


Ya, ya.  OK.
So I was more than a little delighted when, a couple of years ago, a restaurant opened not far from us, their commercial jingle boasting, "Hatch chilies make it hot!"  In short order, Arribas became a favorite. and even DH is growing accustom to its particular sting.

When they began roasting their crop a couple of months ago we both jumped at the chance to purchase a couple of pounds.   We've enjoyed putting them in our weekend 'everything' omelets, and yesterday before the Big Game I added a handful to my slow-cooker bean dip.   (Oy, oy!   Should've made that a 'pinch'!)

In an attempt to explain its charm, I asked my friends in the Los Alamos FB group, "How, in a few words, would you describe Hatch chili?"  Gosh, but the responses came flooding in!  These are a few of my favorites:

"A cross between gasoline and napalm."

"how 'bout: I died and went to Heaven?"

"My brother grows his own green chilies on his ranch outside Albuquerque. It's actually a multi- tasking green chili. He eats green chili sandwiches while stripping paint with them."


So, that's my gastronomical holiday tale of Thanksgiving.
S'true, you can't go home again ... but your taste buds can visit!

Are you a fan of 'hot'?
If you ever happen this direction, we'd love to invite you to lunch!

Hugs from Phoenix!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Another Hodgepodge :)

Volume 286, that is.  I dunno how Joyce does it, but I'm glad she does!   If'n you've an itch to play along, just click here!

Let's all think  happy thoughts ... share one of yours here:  

"After all, tomorrow is another day."
(- Scarlett O'Hara) 

There's a Chinese proverb that says, "If you want happiness for an hour take a nap.  If you want happiness for a day go fishing ..." What say you?  If you want happiness for a day _________."

I'd give myself permission to ignore my trivial obligations and 'veg' with a good book (David Baldacci, anyone?), a cup of dark roast coffee and a soft afghan.

Where do you go to decompress from the world around you?

Coming home and shuttering the windows and doors.  Our living quarters are at the back of the house, so there's little in the way of street noise.  

What song never fails to make you happy?

A couple genres come to mind:  The Seekers' Georgy Girl and Rogers and Hammerstein's musical scores.  I've never been to a clambake, but they make me wish I had! 

Wednesday is National Fast Food Day.  Should that be a thing?   Why not? 

Apparently it is, so tell us what's the last 'fast food' you consumed? 

Wow, it's been years.   I try not to consume bread.

 If you were putting together your own version of a 'happy meal' what would you include?  

The first thing that comes to mind?  A runny fried egg atop a slice of sausage pizza and a glass of Cabernet.

In a few sentences, tell us why you blog.

Because it's cheaper than psychotherapy?  (LOL)  

The short version?  When I chose to relocate across the country, I never paused to consider how much I'd miss my family and friends. Rather than 'fess my shortcomings misgivings to DH, I sought refuge at the keyboard ... and discovered one -- then several! -- folks connected and some wonderful friendships resulted.  It's addictive, don't you think?   

List seven things you're feeling especially grateful for today.

  1. Only yesterday, Tom's pulmonologist reported that his lung function has significantly improved!
  2. Little by little, our temps are dropping.  (The 80's may not feel like Autumn, but it sure beats 100-plus!)
  3. My best, most meaningful, memories are still intact.   Dementia is a great enemy.
  4. Our benefits' Open Enrollment for 2017 will actually result in a few dollars saved each month!
  5. There's still a half-full jar of Jif Extra-Crunchy Peanut Butter in the freezer.   :)
  6. Thankful for an honest auto mechanic .... who might very well have taken us to the cleaners and we'd never have known the difference.  
  7. MOSTLY?  I'm thankful to Mr. God for second, third (and probably a kajillion) 'second chances'!

Insert your own random thought here.

Don't stop believing!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Nuthin' like the Real Thing

Happy November friends!
Disclaimer:  Even as I'm typing, I realize this is going to come across awfully self-serving ... so you can bail now if you'd like.  I dunno ... sometimes you just gotta talk to someone.

* * *

Ya know, for all the advances in modern medicine I've been privy to witness,  there's still a part of me that misses the sincerity of yesteryear.   I call it the 'Welby Syndrome.' 
... aka Marcus Welby, M.D. for other fans of 70's television.   

Some of y'all may remember, I voiced concern after my last 'well' exam in August.   While I adore the Nurse Practitioner I've been seeing for the last 8-9 years ... this time I felt like there was a giant stopwatch above my head. "E" was going through the motions with no eye contact and little conversation.  She disappeared as quickly as she'd come.  

Anyway, a few days later - after what might have been a royal screw-up with my labs and resulting prescription - I came to agree with a friend who trumpets the necessity for everyone becoming their own health advocate.   

Deep breath.  "If someone wants to believe I'm being a hypochondriac let 'em."   I remembered the kindly, empathetic M.D. Tom and I used to visit ... the one who discovered evidence of Tom's bladder cancer before any symptoms manifested themselves ... the same one who championed my right to fire my Infectious Disease specialist when she was refusing to release me to go back to work after the dog attack.  

Doctor H. left that physicians' practice shortly thereafter and I moved onto seeing his colleague.   (Probably just as well, as he was devastatingly handsome.  LOL!) 

That was then, this is now.  No doubt I thoroughly confused his scheduler when I called for an appointment.  "No, actually I'm fine.  I'd just like an appointment to talk to the doctor."  

Then there he was:  The neatly trimmed black beard has morphed into a fluffy snow-white cloud, but his startling blue eyes were warm ... and curious.   (Still handsome as hell, dang it!)

His, "Don't worry, I've all the time in the world" attitude -- and the Biblical verses stenciled on the walls -- almost made me  weep.

Well, just like no-one's supposed to 'bad-mouth' their boss in an interview, I felt a huge rush of guilt expressing my misgivings about his former colleague.    
He didn't concur aloud ... but when examining the results of my recent tests he frowned and asked, "Tell me again, why does she have you taking hormones for osteoporosis?"
I stuttered to explain, "E" believed they would reverse the bone loss ...  but I'd not a little concern learning (that) after 65 they contribute to heart disease.   Nervously, I quipped: "Well, I saw it on Facebook so that has to be true, right?)   
I expected he'd chuckle at my attempt at levity; instead he nodded.

Standing, he moved to sit beside me and voiced his own recommendations.  My osteoporosis is purportedly 'severe' -- but in addition to the effects of smoking for 43 years, he allowed that my family history and slender build were contributors.   
(Ha! Slender? I looove you, doctor!)     

Then, worried about taking up too much of his time, I off-handily asked about a couple recent oddities:  When getting ready for work I've had a weird weight in my chest and dull pain in my upper arm.    In spite of my poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, my labs and vitals have always been textbook perfect .... "So it's probably just anxiety, right?"
In the space of the next 15 minutes, my EKG came back.  In his words, "Not pristine" ... so now I'm the proud owner of a wee vial of nitro and referrals to see both an endocrinologist and cardio.

"I'm going to pot."  That's what my momma used to say as she grew older.  Now, I'm too honest to pretend I'm not worried ... more so about the stupid stress test than anything else.  I can't UNforget that my former hubby suffered his fatal heart attack while undergoing a stress test.)    

Now that the weather is becoming a little cooler (high 80's are still much better than 110) I'm looking at gizmo's out on Amazon that will prompt me to get up and get moving.    Does anyone else own a Fit Bit?   Considering all the choices, I wonder if a less-expensive alternative  ... one that only measures steps and heart-rate ... isn't a better alternative?    Everyone - including a favorite author whose weekly blog chronicles her 70#  weight loss - recommends doing 10,000 steps/day.   (How far IS that?) 
At 72 years young, if she can do it, so can I!

* * *

Thank you so much for listening .... 
Big hugs from Phoenix!

P.S. - 
I don't mean to sounds like I'm putting down Nurse Practitioners (v. doctors).  For now, this gal prefers the Real Thing!   

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Do You See What I See?

Hi friends,

As threatened promised, here's an update on the Great Chili Cook-off.    No, we'd no participants from Golf.  I wasn't really holding my breath.

While all promised 15 pots of deliciousness didn't appear, there was plenty to go around!
(I'd have tried taking better photos, but at the 11th hour I was 'voluntold' to serve.)

Jose and Sonia

See those two stinkers?   Never a poker player, my stress-face always gets the best of me!

It all started when I woke up at 3
AM, worrying and obsessing that no-one had been asked to bring a ladle or serving spoon.

Then, while I was preparing the ballot slips, one of our maintenance techs walks over with a guilty expression:  
"I think I screwed up my chili."

"What?  Why do you say that, Daniel?"

"Jose told everyone they had to bring their ingredients to the BBQ area and begin cooking this morning.  I made mine last night."

"Well, d***!!!   We specifically said, "Cook the night before and bring your own crock-pot.   It's right there!  Here! ... on the flyer!"

"Well", he grumbled, "I never bothered to read the flyer."

With visions of an Unholy Mess on our hands ... my career in the toilet, I stomped off.
He was right behind me.

"Oh, and do you all have enough to feed the landscapers?  They were told they would be served a meal, so no-one brought their lunch."

Had I remembered to put my nitro pills in my bag?

When Daniel's boss appeared a little later for the morning leadership line-up, I jumped in his face.  "Jose, what the ****?"
I was about to go on (and on) when I glimpsed the twinkle in his eyes, his struggle to keep a straight face.

Maybe that's what I get for never having had a brother to yank my chain?
I've gotta stop taking all this junk so seriously.

In addition to the chili, we had a departmental pumpkin carving contest.  Some folks are so creative!
(You can click the pictures to enlarge.)

Pumpkins on Parade

... and the Winner is, Housekeeping!
(That a vacuum cleaner under those duds, and her 'arms' are fashioned from toilet-paper rolls!)

Since I spend so much time talking about my 
weekdays, here are a few shots of the 'neighborhood.'

Outside my window, looking towards the pool and spa. 
Pausing outside the break-room yesterday morning:  How I'd like to run barefoot across the course!

Another glimpse from the break-room.
See those silos in the background?
Built on the grounds of the old Heard Ranch, they were once the tallest structures in Maricopa County!

A peak at my office

La, la, la ... looking out my front door.
(No-one normally makes themselves at home on the floor!   Brian was summoned to repair a tear in the carpet.)
That's Halie in the background, at the doorway leading to Registration/Front Desk.

... It's not much, but for better or worse, it's my home-away-from-home.   Now you see what I see!

'Will be back soon with a State-of-(my)-Carcass report, and other absurdities!

Have a frightfully fun Halloween!


Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Touched by an Angel

Uh-huh, there's an angel lurking 'round my workplace.  
Still, I never would've guessed she'd be outfitted like a bumblebee wearing a baseball cap!    

We call her Sonia -- sometimes referred to as, "Oh-no-Sonia-what-have-you-done-now?"  
But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A few months back I was leaving for the day when the head of Security approached our back door -- accompanied by a little gal I'd not seen before.  Myra, say hello to our new SO, Sonia.
What a pretty name! I remarked ....  to which her smile lit up the whole county.   Seriously, it had been a long time since I'd glimpsed that sort of expression.

As our days go, it was a while before I spotted her again.  Then early one morning she sat the break-room table, head bowed, hands clasped in prayer.   Stowing my lunch in the fridge, I apologized for the interruption.  No, it's OK.  She rose with a smile and gave me a big hug -- the sort I've not felt in years.  (Awkward.  We don't do hugs at work.)

Tell that to Sonia.   Practically overnight, she's become an Ambassador of Goodwill..... moving throughout the campus, offering encouragement and hugs to associates and guests alike .....leaving more than a few bewildered expressions in her wake.

Just the other day, my boss and I were engaged in a private conversation.  Not bothering to knock, here comes Sonia, arms outstretched.  Mission accomplished, she turned and silently departed.

Later that morning, sensing she'd crossed a line, she asked to share a vignette of the time she worked security at Chicago's Wrigley building:
My boss told me, "You don't look at, you don't speak to Mr. Wrigley unless invited to do so first."   Well, naw-uh!   One day I spotted the man waiting for the elevator so I walked over:   Good morning, Mr. Wrigley, I'm Sonia.  What do I call you? William?  Bill? 
(I wonder if my expression appeared as aghast as I felt.)

He said, "Uh, I suppose William will be fine."
... and do you know what?  After that, every time he was in the building he'd stop at my desk to say hello.

So, recently, Sonia decided it was everyone's best interests to host a chili cook-off.
"But, we don't DO that sort of thing here anymore."  

In spite of my discouraging words, Sonia convinced management and I found myself creating flyers.

Woo-hoo!   Approaching my desk Wednesday morning, Sonia waved a piece of paper above her head.   I've got 15 people signed up so far, and the guy in the Golf Shop said his dad's got a killer recipe and ...
Spotting the look on my face, she paused.
Sonia, please tell me you didn't just invite the guys in Golf to participate?   F&B, too?

What?  Did I do something wrong?

I felt a bit like a parent who has to break the news to their children, there is no tooth-fairy.   
 Once upon a time, yes, we were all one.   Then, shortly after our take-over, the Clubhouse, restaurant and golf course were sold.  Through a series of unfortunate happenstance - probably avoidable, but none of which bears repeating - relations have been strained to the point we barely speak to one another. It's not a rule, but no-one goes over there anymore.   

I couldn't not tell my boss - whose eyes grew wide, her mouth forming a perfect 'O.'  Behind her, our AGM giggled.  Why not?

... and it occurred to me.   Wouldn't it be a hoot if, after 4 years, a third-party contract associate were to single-handily effect a healing?   
Like blog-friend Susan recently posted, "One life can make the difference."

I'll let you know how that turns out!  

Have a wonderful new week, friends .....

Hugs from Phoenix!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hodge-podging along, singing a song ....

Thanks for hosting this week's episode, Joyce!  
I won't lie .. it's sort of a heady feeling to be 'interviewed'!

What would you say is your strongest sense?

'Have to admit, my hearing's pretty acute.
I try not to let on ... especially at the office, where my desk sits only a few feet from our G.M.'s door.
(Unfortunately, that came back to bite me recently.  I overhead something that upset me greatly.  In the long run, it wasn't worth calling her on it -- and in so doing, showing my hand!)

Do you believe in the idea of a 'sixth sense'?  Why, or why not?

Yes.  But I'm disappointed not to have experienced it personally.
Just watch our fur babies!  If they don't like someone, it's usually with good reason!!!

When do you most feel like a slave to time?  Explain.

At my workplace.  When our company was acquired by the Really.Big.Corporation, they were wonderfully generous -- my salary and benefits remained unchanged.  
However, my once 'exempt' position became 'non-exempt', and I had to begin using a time clock.

Unfortunately, not 6 months later I was among a half-dozen associates given verbal warnings because "in the space of one pay period we had taken three or more 29-minute lunch breaks -- instead of the 30-minute breaks afforded us by law."
(Yes, I'm serious.)

To this day, when I clock-out for lunch I set the timer on my phone!

Have you ever worked in a restaurant?  Nope.  How would you rate the experience?
If you could own a restaurant, what kind would it be?

I would love to own and operate a homey, 'comfort food' joint! (Pardon the cliche.)
DH and I used to enjoy going to such a place in the north valley each Saturday morning.  A no-frills little spot with Formica tables situated too-close to one another.
The food's awesome and many of the same wait staff have been there 13-14 years now.
"Where everybody knows your name ..."
Ya.  THAT sort of spot!

Ever traced your family tree?  Share something interesting you learned there.

Thankfully, both my mother and father were careful custodians of their heritage.   
There's little in the way of surprises, but I'm humbled at my ancestors' (seemingly) simple tastes and their work ethic.

What did your childhood bedroom look like?

I don't think my parents ever took photos of 
their 2nd floor!
Mine was a narrow, spare space with pale yellow walls, crisp white percale curtains, one of these ...

one of these ...

and a striped steamer blanket. 
(The same one sitting on our guests's bed right now!)

Anyone who knows me, knows I love .....

My son-n'-family, my blogging family, red wine, cold weather, and SEC football: "War Eagle!"

.... and cheesecake!

Insert your own random thought, here:

Hugs from Phoenix!