Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life is something else!

SO its only Wednesday and it's been a very long week! Monday is never the best thing to look forward to anyway but this past Monday was the suckiest ever. I am on a team of the most smartest,amazing coworkers that are also trainers like myself. When i first joined this team 7 years ago, there were 12 of us.  We had some people transfer into other positions along the way and for a while we've been down to 6. Due to company cutbacks that had NOTHING to do with performances we had to cut 2 from our team. This hits home in so many ways. First of all, when we travel with each other it makes you much closer than even sitting next to someone in your office. You're having to share cars, meals (hence the car sharing), stays in same hotels(own rooms of courses), etc.  We become family. You're far away from your own family and during good times and bad- a fellow trainer was there with you. I kinda have that survivor guilt where i feel weird that i have a job. However, i'm praising GOD on the hour for blessing me with my job. On a side note, the 2 friends that were laid off are both in a really good place financially and i know they'll be ok. AND now with only 4 trainers,i'm going to be so crazy busier than ever.
Ok, on a happier point, another coworker  Rashmi is due to have a baby boy any day now. She's been on bedrest for the last month and we gave her a baby shower today. It was a great success! We decorated the office with bunches of blue balloons, signs, and we all brought her gift cards and presents, and FOOD. We get excited to have a reason to bring food. LOL.  Rashmi and her family recently moved to Dallas from Atlanta and she has no family here. She was so excited and touched that we did this for her.
I brought a most yummy dish i found on Pinterest (my addiction) that is Pizza Dip. It was a hit and literally was an empty pan left.
Here's how easy it is: 1 block of cream cheese, a 1/2 cup of sour cream, a bag of mozzarela cheese, a jar of pizza sauce, pkg of pepperoni's, sprinkles of oregano and garlic flakes, and whatever veggies you want to add. I used a can of sliced black olives.
Mix the cream cheese and sour cream, and seasonings together and spread thin in  bottom of a small casserole pan, add the pizza sauce over that, layer the pepperonis and veggies, then cover with cheese. You can layer 1/2 of the bag of cheese on top under the sauce and then remaining on top. I love it cheesy and gooey! Bake for 20 minutes at 350 (preheated). I served with crostini's and it was good but you can use chips too.
I'm having dinner tonight with a member of my team that lives in Illinois but is here for some meetings. We're going to LaMadeleine. I love this place. They have the best chicken ceasar salads and i need something on the salad side after all the crap i ate today at office.
I am soooo excited for Friday to get here. I am hosting my CMA chapter womens dinner that evening for a few hours which should be good.  After dinner, i am meeting an ol college friend of mine (Dyan) whom i got reacquainted via Facebook this past year. The two of us are going to Billy Bob's in Ft Worth to see one of my most fave singers Robert Earl Keen. Woohoo! I saw him 2 years ago and had him sign my cowboy hat. Yep, i'm wearing it!!  He doesnt come on stage until 10:30 pm which is kinda scaring me cuz thats kinda late but i'll get my second wind. Should be tons of fun and i hope i have pics to share.  Gotta run...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's Up?

This weekend has been so awesome! I have been lazy and not feeling guilty for a minute. I got a lot done dont get me wrong but a lot of time just pittering around the casa. Yesterday, the only thing i had going was a wedding in the evening. Did i tell you about my Dad's best friends? He has 2 friends  (B and M)that they have literally grown up together since grade school. They got married right after high school and i've known them since i was born. Earlier this year "M" was diagnosed with breast cancer and she passed away around 2 months ago. It's been a big blow to our family. "M and B" have been to every single party,wedding, get together ,etc as part of the family. Well, last night her oldest daughter was getting married. It was important that Dad,Deb, and myself go to show our support.
 It was such a great night. The wedding was in East Texas where i grew up for many years. They have friends with a ranch and donated the tent and venue for the wedding. It was a western rustic theme with a chuckwagon even that had the wine and beer in it. Yummy BBQ with ribs was DElish!! The weather could not have been more perfect. Dad saw a ton of his friends from the past and they were so happy to see him. Last night was kinda emotional though for me. I just cant get used to seeing Dad zipping around on his motor wheelchair. He is so young to see him with the wheel chair and oxygen tank next to his friends of the same age. Plus side- he was feeling good and was so happy to be there. For most of the time we didnt think Dad would make it to the wedding. Being outdoors is not always good for him and we're not sure of the terrain for the wheelchair. And it depends on if has a good day or not.  All in all it worked out but he did slice his hand while trying to unlock the chair from the ramp. That upset me more than him.
After the wedding Tara came to see Dad and was hugging him so big. I saw Dad's eyes tear up and then mine did too. Missing "M" was everywhere. The most touching part of the night was a few minutes after Tara was in the Daddy/Daughter dance with "B", her little sister Taylor got on dance floor and the 3 of them danced together. There was not a dry eye in the house!
I went to my 2 churches today and even did a good friend deed. A very dear friend has a stomach virus and her husband too. I dropped off some 7ups, soup, and saltine crackers by their house. Now, i have to make 2 dishes for a CMA picnic tomorrow night and a potluck babyshower wednesday. If you only knew how i want to change my mind and take chips with onion dip. I am going to make the cream cheese rollups tonight and i hope its easy as it looks. I'm making a pizza dip for Thursday and again i have never made it. I want to be inspired to be more creative in the kitchen. I do not enjoy cooking at all and i feel like something is wrong about that. 
I am wrapping up and turning on the Football to keep me company while in the kitchen. I'll let you know how it goes. The Cowboys play tomorrow during my picnic- ugh!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Backaches and garage sales!

Have i mentioned that i have a bad back? Well i do! Its my lower back and usually it decides about once or twice a month to act up. Here lately its been much more frequent. I have been walking very slowly and bent over now for an entire week. i also HATE going to Dr's! yep, i'm one of "them". If it doesnt get better though i have no choice. This past weekend i worked all day in a group garage sale for my CMA group. I think i went crazy picking things up, bending over alot in boxes, etc. Then, i tripped in my parking lot and didnt fall all the way down but really jammed up while catching myself.
 Speaking of garage sales, i'm participating in another one next month with a friend(coworker) of mine. This time though the money goes to me!  I've had 2 so far in my life. My first attempt was around 4 years ago and it was a flop. It poured down rain (it was not in forecast) and i made maybe 75$. Last year was much more successful because we did it for 2 days and i made a little over 200$. It was a whoopin but fun in the end with cash in hand. I bought a pair of new shoes and the rest helped me get a designer pair of eyeglasses for once. I needed new prescription glasses and i have always coveted the fancy frames that i couldnt afford. I am proud owner of Coach glasses! I know big deal but really it made me feel good.
So, now i am starting to schlep all my crap over to my friends garage where we're having the sale. I have stuff spread out all over the city. What happened is that i took my stuff that didnt sell last week so i could have it for mine. I dont have any room for extra stuff so my dear friends Cory and Wendy let me put it in their empty garage. Then, one of the CMA guys had an empty storage that all the members could use while preparing for our groups garage sale. I had loaded it up with 6 boxes. I wasnt quite fond of selling ALL my stuff in the CMA meeting once i found out that none of the proceeds would go towards my personal donations next May (long story-im not that greedy really!). So, i called him and said not to bring my stuff to the sale, i want to sell it next month. I also have a ton of boxes in my Dad's shed. Crazy i tell you! This moving my crap is also fantastic for my back.
This post is kinda pissy but it's not how i mean it to be.
Have a super weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mom and Montana

I need to post about my trip to Montana before too much time goes by. As mentioned in earlier post it took forever to get to Montana. Unfortunately i had to fly into Billings which is also 4 hours away from Basin where Mom lives. I was so tired but i had plenty of time to rest during this week. It was absolutely PERFECT weather the whole time i was there. Mom has an outdoor patio around her house and i sat outside every day as long as i could. I read 3 books during my stay. Most of the time we just chilled around the house and our main activity of the day was to load the dogs up and take them somewhere where they could run like crazy. This was my favorite thing to do. The dogs were hysterical bouncing everywhere and running in the water to drink. There were streams at every location which was so great. I am so drawn to water! Having home cooked meals by Mom was my most special bonus.
 One day we went to an old abandoned mining town named Comet. It was so cool because Mom and I were the only 2 there during the week and had no crowds to walk thru. I went inside and climbed up many hills to get pics and stuff. One Saturday we went to the town of Boulder's outdoor art and music festival.  It was so cute. It was the size of a giant yard sale here in Dallas. LOL. There were a few nice booths with crafts made by local artists. I spent some money on a few things to support the community. :) 
Mom waving from back patio


Comet Mine and factory

One of the oldest working schools in Montana (Basin)

Lady of the Mountains in Butte

Famous Sleeping Giant from Helena
Mom lives less than half mile from a National Forest. There are trees and mountains on every side. At one point i felt like i was taking pictures of the same thing everyday but it was all just so pretty. I went to Butte a few times for something to do. Butte is the closest "main" city close to Mom thats around 40 minutes away. We went grocery shopping, thats where WalMart is (postcards),stopped by Harley store, they had Starbucks(woohoo), had lunch out and walked around their shops. Mom and i were walking by a Thrift store and i saw a cute shirt in the window. We went into the store and found out that everything was only a dollar that week and the proceeds were for battered women.  SIDEBAR: i support the Genesis womens shelter in Dallas and have for 18 years.  I bought 2 cute purses for myself, a belt, and a few real cute shirts and sweater for Mom. One shirt still had tags on it. That is so fun to find good deals like that!!!  In Butte there is a statue on top of a mountain of a lady that looks similar to Mary. She is lit up at night and looks down on the valley of Butte. I love that she is there. So Cool! One Sunday i rode into Helena with a good family friend to go to his church. I didnt want to miss church 2 Sundays in a row. It was nice to get out of the house and go into town. There are 2 places to eat in Basin and one night we even walked down to the cafe for dinner.
I just really needed to spend as much quality time i could with my Mom and that was accomplished. Her dogs Tinka and Singer kept me great company and i miss them all so much. I departed from Bozeman that is only 2 hours away. We drove there night before and i got us hotel so we wouldnt have to get up crazy early and be rushed. Bozeman is one of my fave cities of Montana. It was a wonderful vacation filled with gorgeous scenery and weather. I have memories now and they make me smile!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trip to Hotlanta

Wow, its been a while since my last blog so i thought i would push one thru today. I have been nonstop since i came back from Montana. My trip was great and i have so many pics to share but the internet was crazy slow so didnt want to try blogging while on vacation. I'll post about Montana on a different day.
When i left Montana on Monday i flew out of Bozeman into Seattle. I had 3.5 hr layover there before i flew to Dallas. I was home just for that evening to repack and i was off to Atlanta on Tuesday morning which is where i am now. My sweet cousin Lauren lives here in the area and Tuesday just happened to be her birthday. We would have planned to get together no matter what. Tuesday evening after work, i had a company dinner with some coworkers that i was training this week. We had a great dinner at the cutest Italian restuarant and yummy! I think it was called Paizano's. I had chicken with white wine and garlic and MAN were they generous with the garlic!!! After dinner i went to the hotel where my friends were staying for a few drinks at the bar. My friend Patricia (from Cali) and Alan (from Dallas) were with and it was great to get caught up. Yesterday (wednesday) was so busy. I trained all day and had mtgs but was so productive. It was last night that i met up with Lauren. She picked out a restuarant that she had heard about but never been to. It was called Bone Garden Cantina and was decorated with all Day of the Dead stuff. Basically all skulls and i love it! She knew i would love it because i have a few things like that in my home. The food was really good and so inexpensive. I would go all the time if i lived here.

Lauren and myself
After dinner we headed over to a great outdoor shopping plaza (Atlantic Station) and hung out some more. I am SO excited because we went into an H&M store that Texas has never had. I told the cashier (yep bought 3 dresses) how much i love them and she mentioned Dallas was getting one now. I had no idea! Yay!!! They have such cute clothes and very reasonable prices. Have you ever been to a Z Gallery store? They have the coolest home stuff! I absolutely love Halloween stuff and they had cute things to look at. More skulls of course! i bought a bag of small silver glitter skulls, you know every girl needs to carry those around. :)  All in all, we had so so so much fun catching up and having girl time. Now, I got to get abck to work my lunch hour is over.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Just hanging around airports

Today is my long day of travel to get to Montana. My flights are from DFW at 12:50 arriving in Seattle at 3 (5 central) leaving at 8;40pm for Montana arriving at 11:45 pm. I'm flying into Billings, Montana which is no where close to where Mom lives. Unfortunately there are only 2 flights a day going into Billings so i cant go standby on any other. On way here to Seattle, the cutest lady sat next to me. Her name is Catherine and she was in her early 80's. As soon as she sat down she introduced herself. She's coming to Seattle for her grandson's wedding and there were other family members on our flight with her. At first i got a little aggravated with her when i came back from the restroom. She did not want to get up and let me in and she kept saying make him move his seat up (referring to the man that was in front of her who had pushed his seat back). I know the flying etiqutte and i am not comfortable asking this business man to let me in when its my row that i need. The flight attendant got tired of me standing in the aisle and she asked him. It's not easy to crawl over someone  from this angle when you're on the window seat. I had to remind myself that she was old and didnt travel much and not to be mad. Catherine was talkative and i could tell she wanted to visit. She grew up in Dallas and had lived in the same house near Preston Center for 62 years. Normally because i travel every week, i usually hunker down with my ipod and magazine and retreat to myself.
Earlier when we were given warm nuts Catherine picked out all the cashews. The flight attendant (Norma) asked if we wanted more and she said i want more cashews. Norma looked perplexed because they were all mixed nuts and she couldnt separate. She just gave Catherine a new scoop and said this is best i can do.I noticed that she was saving her almonds and putting them to the side. When we got our meal we got some pita chips and hummus to go with a beef quesadilla. The quesadilla was made wiht an orange colored tortilla and she asked me what kind of pastry it was. Then she held up her hummus and asked what it was.  I said hummus, she said what is hummus? i told her that it was chickpeas ground up with spices and very popular dip (i dont personally care for it). She didnt eat it and she gave me her pita chips. She got up one her tray was gone and walked back to coach to give her other grandson her almonds. I wish i could have seen his face when she walked to him with her little bowl of almonds.I thought that was sooo cute. That generation doesnt believe in wasting anything!  After we landed she was telling me that i made her flight so enjoyable. She said i was welcome to come by for Sunday dinner anytime and announced her address. I didnt write it down but you know i could tell that she genuinely meant it! Then she said tell your mom i said hi! Seriously, i wanted to pick her up and put her in my suitcase. She was wearing a nice pink dress and pearls and then you look down and she had  brown socks and loafers on. She commented that someone told her to wear loafers that slipped on and didnt tie to get thru security easier. 

Mt Rainier

Catherine waiting for her clan. You cant see her shoes.

Now, I am killing many of hours in the airport. I bought 2 new nail polishs by Butter. Beautiful fun colors to play with this week. I also indulged in a 15 minute massage to kill time.

Have you been to one of the Life is Good stores? They are in a lot of airports and i love them. If i didnt already own a gazillion tshirts, i could go crazy in these stores. I killed at least 30 minutes browsing in here. I just love their laidback fun philosophy.

Life is Good guy

I thought now would be good time to do a post here. I have no idea when i'll be posting next but i hope soon with some Montana pics. We have long drive home tomorrow but its ok cuz im on vacation and its in Montana! Now, i'm going to wander around the airport some more.....