Sunday, April 29, 2012

Just So You Know...

Just so you know.... I'm in Albuquerque this week for a conference.  This one is an intense conference for me - from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.  But its a good one!  On top of that, I've got about 3 reports that I need to finish and there are a bunch of my customers that are here that I'll probably end up meeting up with a few times.  Its a busy week until Wednesday.

But then I return home and finish packing and leave for VACATION on Friday!

I'm looking at the silver lining..... :)  Its hard not to when Italy is waiting in the wings....

Monday, April 23, 2012


I've been away too long again.  I admit it - I can be a lazy one.  I look at my bookmark and I think "I could do a post quick" and then I get sidetracked and then I just get lazy.  Sorry that you all must suffer this unbearable flaw of mine...

My quick catch up - just as busy as ever.  Can't remember when I last blogged but I do know that I was in Atlanta, well, at least I flew into Atlanta, last week.  I worked down by Columbus, GA, which is apparently very close to Auburn.  I know this because as I drove, it was kind of like War of the Worlds where all of a sudden, I'm listening to the radio and it goes staticey and blank and then these voices come in from another world - the world of Auburn.  The world where they report on the new house of Coach Blah Blah and the frat house fire on Blah Blah and how the new cafeteria is serving up Asian and the horrible injury of some golfer on the Auburn team.  Crazy.  I didn't actually even know that Auburn was down there and - whats more, I didn't realize that the full force Auburn loving Georgians that I know actually are passionate about a university thats in ALABAMA!  Does that even seem right?  Yes, its very close to the border, but come on - a true Illinoisian would never root for or passionately defend anything Badgerish, no matter how close or how good the team.  Its Wisconsin!

So - anyways - Columbus proved to be a great account.  I worked there for most of the day and they loved me and I actually loved them.  I love those accounts that its mutual love:)

I had gone into Atlanta the night before and I actually met up with my friend, Michele, who lives near the airport.  We hung together and did dinner and I even got her to go on a run with me on this fabulous trail thats right by her apartment.  After I worked the next day, I even had a chance to stop by the hair salon she works at before I went to catch my flight.  She actually starts support raising to go to Budapest to do a year long stint with Campus Crusade there - she went for her initial training this past weekend so she's hoping to be over in Hungary for August.  I still plan on doing the fall BHHP trip and my friend Jodi will be back in Budapest by then as well so Michele, Jodi and I are going to do a little side trip together after BHHP.  We're still trying to figure out where we're going but our imaginations are going wild - with the restraints of cheap tickets and we can only go 3 days... We're slightly thinking Paris, but we also are toying with the idea of somewhere in Greece?  We'll see.

This week - I'm in Oklahoma City today.  I worked with a friend so we finished up a little early and got to hang out for a while and catch up.  It was great and I'm now headed back home for the week - but I won't get back into Chicago until 1 a.m. -- ugh - thats ridiculous.

I have a few meetings and some other things planned this week and then on Saturday I have to leave for a conference in Albuquerque until Wednesday.  Its going to be a really busy conference unlike the last one I went to for AORN.  IAHCSMM keeps me hopping because its all my field (stands for International Assoc of Hospital Central Sterile and Materials Management).  I always love this conference but this year I'm a little anxious as I get back on Wednesday, have Thursday and then I leave for ITALY on Friday.  I think I'm kind of mostly packed or at least have my lists and my piles of stuff - I just have to put it together.

That being said - Sorry again that I took so long for an update but as you can see - its the same old same old.  I was feeling guilty and obligated so I got on :)  I promise to TRY to keep up in Italy, but our wifi may be a little limited, which I'm actually kind of liking so - I may have to do like Virgin Islands and do all my posts off-line and then put them up in one huge throw.  We'll see.

I'm off to catch my Chicago flight!  Night!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Do You Put In Your Quinoa?

This week zipped by.... I know you know how the beginning went.... When you have no clue what your schedule is it actually moves pretty fast.

When I was sitting waiting to figure out what my flight was to Columbus, I went and started cleaning up some old emails.  I guess it was all a God thing because as I cleaned, I found an email that I had sent to someone quite a while ago and it had a weblink in it for a business.  It was actually the photography business of a friend's sister who, I think I now claim as a personal friend as well :)  Anyways, Lynae has a photography business and it just happened to show on her website that she lives in Columbus - I had completely forgotten.  So I started texting her and before you know it, she and her husband were meeting me for dinner!  Too fun!  It always makes travel/work so much more enjoyable when I can hood up with people that I know.
Greg, Lynae and I met a a restaurant in the university section of Columbus - Vino Vino!  It was pretty good, but the piece de resistance was when Lynae looked at the desert menu and then said "you know, there's an ice cream place down the street - its one of Oprah's top picks".  Now, not that I'm into Oprah at all, but if someone says that theres something unique and interesting and its right around the corner, well, I say - GO!  So, we took a little trot down the street and walked into Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream - and it was SPLENDID!  Take a peek at her website and be amazed!  She goes all over the world and finds really unique things to create her ice cream with.  They had this one called Icelandic Happy Marriage - I can't remember everything thats in it, but I do remember some type of cheese from Iceland.  WHAT?!  CHEESE?!  I ended up getting boring Brambleberry and some kind of chocolate with homemade marshmallows and - YUMMMMMMM - SALTED CARMEL!  The Salted Carmel was AMAZING!!!!!  Oh - here's the cool thing too, you can actually order the stuff to be delivered and its not that badly priced.  I may be placing an order soon as its just too much to resist.  My motto is - If Oprah says its good -- then it doesn't really matter to me....  :)  BUT, if I try it and its good - then ITS GOOD :)
So, here's the other website you have to check out.  Lynae's website for her photography.  She's amazing!  I LOVE her stuff!!

I was in the office on Friday and got quite a bit done.  After Good Friday service I trucked on over to Dominicks because I had a request for 24 cupcakes for a 16th birthday party  AND I planned on making cupcakes for Easter dinner.  

Saturday came and I spent almost the whole day in the kitchen and it was kind of fun!  I made 24 (actually 27) chocolate mint cupcakes and then I started in on a new recipe for coconut cupcakes.  They turned out beautiful but I'm not sure of the taste as I resisted and I'm going to let the verdict come from my gathering at lunch on Sunday.

Since I've been trying to eat really healthy lately in honor of getting ready for my trip to ITALY and the beaches of SARDINIA!  Last summer, my friend Jane and Gaye helped me fall in love with Quinoa.  I am besotted with Quinoa and I do this salad that I can't get enough of.  I cook the Quinoa and then chop up fresh basil and mix that in and then just put in TONS of fresh veggies and top if off with olive oil.  This time I add some awesome olives from the olive bar.  Its just the best ever!

I know my friend Kate puts kale and peppers and in her quinoa (but then she puts kale in everything - I think I'm going to create a kale cupcake for her... :)).  Jane and Gaye kind of did veggies in theirs.

So, my question is - WHAT DO YOU PUT IN YOUR QUINOA?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One Of Those Weeks - And Its Only Tuesday Morning....

NOT ME....

I'm back, for the second time, in the Red Carpet Club at O'hare.

I should have been here last night, but I wasn't

I had a flight last night from Chicago to Columbus, OH for a trial that I'm working on there.  Right around the time I was getting ready to leave the house, I got a United update that said "your flight has been cancelled".  To tell the truth, I wasn't extremely upset as I had had a visit to the doctor a little earlier in the day and he had taken care of something that left me feeling like I just didn't want to move.  I would have moved, I just didn't really want to.  So, I got the cancellation alert, sighed deeply and then dialed the 800 United number.  "We're very sorry" he said and then I was told that the next flight to Columbus was at 3pm the following day.  Ok - thats when I started to have a little bit of a problem.....  You cancel my flight and then tell me the next flight isn't until like 16 hours later....

So - he found a flight to Cleveland at 6 a.m. that would then get me to a connecting flight to Columbus which would arrive in at like 10 a.m.


I went to sleep at 9:30 p.m. with my alarm set for 3:20 a.m. so I could get up and get to the airport for my 6 a.m. flight.  All was going well.

Zip - I get ready and get to the airport and board my flight for 6a.m.  We're clicking along, we push back from the gate, we roll out, announcements are made.

We sit.


Really?  Where - I don't see it here!....

Sorry - we won't be able to take off on-time and, in fact, because we have a plane the size of a peanut, we've already ran out of gas so we need you all to get out and push us back to the gate so they can put more fuel on.  Well, not quite, but just about....

Oh - can I insert this.  This is a little lesson for all of you who fly frequently or spordically.... When they put you on a plane and shut the door, smells travel....  You have smelly lotion, everyone around you smells it.  You have a kid with a dirty diaper, we all know it.  You buy an egg mcmuffin and decide to devour it with the vents blowing - everyone who is not you wants to horf - especially at 6 a.m.  ITS DISGUSTING!!!!!!  Same thing with tuna or egg salad sandwiches, chalupas, gorditas - anything hot or especially odiferous -- DON'T EAT IT ON A PLANE UNLESS WE ALL HAVE IT!  Its called, being considerate.  Pay it forward people...
On with the story.

We come back to the gate to put on fuel and as soon as we stop a horde of people push up to the front to clamor and paw at the poor attendant who tells us that our best bet, if we have connecting flights, is to get on the phone with United and see what our options are.  Already thought of that.  As she was speaking I was on the phone.

Amazing, the previous night, Juan couldn't find anything direct but a 3 p.m. to Columbus.  Now as I sat on the a plane to Cleveland, Gloria, on the phone, has found an 11 a.m.  She tells me to "quietly" go up and try to get off the plane.  I tell her we missed the "quiet" boat as there was a line of people demanding the same thing.

The gate agent is finally convinced by the captain to let people off who can get a direct flight.  She concedes and we get off with our little luggage stubs in hand - well, I'm actually the only one whose carry on was too big and had to be put under the plane.  

I stand where I'm told to on the jet bridge and she proceeds with her business and, I believe forgets about me.  The next thing I know she's moving the jet bridge with me on it and then she looks at me shocked and says I have to go up by the door.  I say that I can't because I don't have my bag and she looks at me like she has no clue what I'm talking about until I motion to my bag tag in her hand.  She says that she'll see if she can get it but the plane has to leave and I have to move up to the door.

So, this is what I'm having a hard time understanding.  If I get to the airport 2 minutes after the "check in deadline" (which is 30 minutes before BOARDING time starts) they will refuse to check me in if I have a checked bag because the bag may not make it to the plane and they can't put me on a different plane than my bag.  However, I have found many other situations in which, it is convenient to them, to put my bag on a plane to Bermuda and me on a plane to Boise.  So, who gets to make the ultimate decision of "bag safety"?  

Again, I digress.  

The wonderful gate agent finally did get my bag and I happily trotted off to the Red Carpet Club again to wait for my, now, 11 a.m. direct flight to Columbus.  I get to the the Club and they can't print my boarding pass as I'm not technically on the 11 a.m. flight because she didn't bother to actually take me off the 6 a.m. Cleveland flight.

I don't even know where I am at this point.

Long and short - but we've already gone through the long as it really wouldn't have been as fun and action packed as the short - I finally got my boarding pass for Cleveland and will sit here and wait and not think about the 3 extra hours of sleep I could have gotten if Juan had done his job correctly yesterday and found the 11 a.m. flight to Columbus.

Its only Tuesday - I think I deserve for it to be Thursday at least....