Wednesday, December 24, 2014

So Many Christmas Joys!

Yes!  It was an exciting Christmas Eve for me as I completed defrosting and cleaning out the downstairs freezer.  So many joys awaited me after years of ice piling up.  Granted- it actually was a rush to get it all organized and deiced and cleaned out with a strong disinfectant. Check!  That's off my list and that's a gift indeed!

Running around doing this and that.  Finding many reasons to be thankful to God for protection and family and good friends and love and so much more!  The older you get, sometimes the more appreciative you get!

Later on in the Christmas Eve evening, we did our traditional family gathering at my aunts with that whole side of the family.  Food, lots of it!  Laughing, lots of that!  Singing, some would say, unfortunately a lot if this:). Not bad - it's tradition and its just what we do to celebrate the holidays!

Merry Christmas!  Enjoy family, a day off, good times, nice weather - whatever you want to be thankful for this holiday!  

And I'm sharing my Christmas flowers with you!!!!  
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Better Late Than Never?????

I'm a procrastinator!  I admit it and - as such -it's taken me a month to take care of things and send some Christmas packages out!  But - I pulled it together today and literally pulled it together!  One box, FROM China.  One box TO Thailand.  One box TO India!  Hold on friends - Christmas is coming!!!!!

And as an aside - I walked into the post office and saw this guy working at the window and I thought how I've seen him steady for the past probably 15 years at this post office.  And then I got up to his window and he said "I haven't seen you in a while!"  And I had to laugh at small town America!:)

Monday, December 15, 2014


It's my last trip of 2014!  I never know where the last one will be - I can already tell you where the first of 2015 will be!  I'm going out of 2014 with a cold wintry Minneapolis trip and coming into 2015 with a, hopefully, sunny and warm San Francisco trip!  You never know though, the weather has been crazy so those two might just be reversed?  Well see!

The weekend was spent catching up on some life, baking cookies for all my wonderfully amazing co workers in the office who, quite honestly, I couldn't do by job without and, even more honestly, I wouldn't want to do my job without them because they're so super amazing.  I don't think many people can say they really enjoy the people they work with quite as much as I enjoy my peeps!  

And then a Saturday night trip downtown to see Porgy And Bess, which I know the music but have never seen the actual play/operetta and I found it quite interesting and intriguing.  The ending was truly odd though - it was one of those endings that you're looking around and thinking "oh wait, so it's done?!"  And indeed it was done!:)

Ill be back on Thursday on a, blech, 5:45 a.m. Flight to rejoin all kinds of office meetings back on the home front.  Friday is just finally catch up - and then the week is done!  

But right now, I need to finish Monday so....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ah - The Mountain Folk!

I thought I was a fairly nice person, I thought I liked nice people.  It took CO to show me that I'm not only a horrible and mean person, but I think I actually like indifferent and not nice people! 

I was greeted late Tuesday night at the hotel by this front desk girl who was so sweet my teeth hurt!  I can't define her overly perky and lilting voice and the smiling and bright eyed countenance that she welcomed  me with.  But I can tell you it really annoyed me!  And it wasn't just a brief greeting - it was a long and carried out inquisition as to how I was doing and how my day went and if I was enjoying the holidays and so many other things before I had to interrupt her interrogation with the question "can I check in?" And then the eyes lit up and her voice raised a note and she responded "of course!".   I went back out to the car and when I came back in - she greeted me again like she'd never seen me before!

And then all throughout the next day, I'd go to look at something or pay for something and I was bombarded by these chipper extraordinarily happy people that I would cringe away from and all but snap at.  And the last time it happened in the afternoon - I felt that wave of guilt and the realization that I thought I was a nice person but I'm a stay in your own space person who doesn't like it when other people are out of their space and into your space friendly.  Walk by me and say hi - please do not walk by me and stop and start a conversation... Too much.  And with that I've concluded that I'm not a nice person because there's a point I wish bad things on those truly nice people.  See how bad I am?  Yuck.  Maybe that's something that I need to pray about and work on - I guess it wouldn't be that I'd change and become that but maybe that I can handle those sticky sweet people with grace, not cynicism.  Oh there are so many things I need to work on.... But baby step:)

I actually had to decide which friend du trip du jour I was going to pay a visit to in the Denver area.  One friend that is from here actually lives in India.  She's from Fort Collins outside of Denver and I actually worked in Fort Collins so as I drove around I thought "Oh - that's where Laura and I..." Or "I remember that from my last visit..." And then I got a little sad - but then I got a little inspired and decided to send her fam a Fort Collins Christmas package and so I started picking up CO candy and coffee and magazines.  And now I'm excited!  If she can't come to Fort Collins for the holidays then Ill send Fort Collins to her!:)

I stayed Tuesday evening in Fort Collins area and came back to Denver on Wesnesday after work and got to, not only meet up with, but see her hospital, go to her Bible study and stay at her place - my awesome friend Patti!  I met Patti when I worked with her at northwestern in Chicago.  And then her daughter moved to CO the beginning of 2014 and so Patti followed not long after and now she's managing a dept in a hospital in Wheat Ridge.  It was so awesome to see her and even cooler to get a mid week pick me up by meeting with a bunch of new friends/family in her Bible study group - and after the day I had on Wednesday I needed it!

And now it's with total sadness that I board a plane and leave the sun and the mountains of Colorado!  And never having had time to climb said mountain or run a trail or even enjoy the sun because I've been inside all day.  Sigh.  Bye mountains!  Bye outdoorsy people!  Bye friends!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tears Of Laughter And Of Joy!

I was just meandering back through my blog posts as I was looking for a cookie recipe that I had put up a blue moon ago - turns out it was December of 2011 - time flies!  I couldn't remember whether it was 2013 or 2012 so I was going back through my Decembers and I remembered that two Decembers ago in 2012, I was just shy of my points to keep me at 1K status with United so I decided to pay my dear dear friend, Rachel, a quick Christmas visit in Thailand.  Oh the joy of Thailand in December!  90-100 degrees during the day - yes, it was hot, but oh - it was welcome!

On perusing down memory lane, I came upon one of my fave pictures!  I love Asian cultures that love English words - they use them, but they don't really make sense!  Unfortunately, this one made kind of sick sense - and thats why I love Rachel - because she loved this shirt!  Ah, its nice to be friends with someone who has a warped sense of humor just like you do! :)

What is the usefulness of antlers?
They are used for stabbing other animals that attack them.

And as I was suffering from a little bout of laughter, I got this email response from my Decatur customer who I was confirming with for tomorrow.  And now I can just end the day happy....

I'll be thrilled to see you. I will be here from around 7:30 until whenever

She'll be thrilled - sniff sniff - to see me!  And theres nothing wrong, theres nothing she's going to yell at me about - she just will be plain old happy to see me.  I love you C Schumard! :)

Hope and pray everyone is having just as wonderful a day as I am!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Say Cheese!.... And Corn....

The great thing about the holidays is that, usually, I am just wrapping things up with work and not proactively going out there and getting more.  WHICH - that usually means that I don't have to travel as much.  And this week, my traveling is keeping me home based which makes me feel semi normal (no comments please :).

Things have been slightly difficult as of late for me as, the normal just going out and selling, has now been raised a bar and its all out, gloves off battle with my competition (which will go unnamed as one of my traitor family members now works for them - grrr....).  I know they're lying about claims they make, but now, I have to sit down and read through oodles of legal documents that blah blah blah and I have to decipher what they say and make sure that I have a good argument to put to my customers and to-be customers.  ISO, FDA, ANSI/AAMI - why can't these people just speak plain and ordinary English.  Ah!  But - this week has been spent mind-numbingly reading through 100s of pages of these documents and procuring more because those documents have referred and led to other documents.

Yesterday was a day that my brain got a little clearing, but my back and rear got exceptionally tired.  I was in the car for a little over three hours going to Platteville, WI.  And then a delightful three hours back.  The nice thing about Platteville is that it is the section of Wisconsin where, once you get through all that open and undeveloped dairyland, there are some great rock cliffs and interesting scenery.  And to top off a nice drive in the country, my first three hours resulted in an extremely nice customer visit.  I actually got to help a customer who is wanting to purchase my product but is having a problem sourcing it through their distributor.  I actually have someone who is desperately searching for my product! :)  Such a wonderful feeling.

Friday I have to go down to Decatur, IL (aka -- CORN.... actually, technically, SOYBEANS!) to again visit an extremely nice customer who very much likes me.  You don't know how much it means when you get "thank you for your help!" and emails sent to administration that say "I love working with Alison because she's always there to help us".  Its like a breath of proverbial fresh air.  It makes me enjoy my job and during those horrible days when people are breathing down my neck and I feel like I'm going to crack, I remember the customers who actually appreciate me - and I breathe a sigh of "ah, there are people who like me and my product :)"

Insert for the day - remember when you graduated from college and a year or so after, there was that rash of friends and others you went to school with who entered into wedded bliss.  Invitations, rumors and newsletters that announced, so and so are getting married!

I've discovered that when you work with youth group for enough years, you go through that rash again, but now they're your friend/youth groupers.  I have no thoughts on it except that, the wallet gets a little thinner and, unless they were thick with people at church, you're stuck sitting at dinners and receptions by your lonesome and meeting a lot of new people.

Admittedly, its a different time and people don't tend to get married as young as they used to?  Its just kind of an observation.  I had a rash with the ones just out of college (which was maybe three) and the rest have gone on and gotten masters or started careers and then have wisely chosen to tie the knot.  And so comes Amanda.... there were several who I had in youth group and we just got to be friends rather than "youth group leader/youth" and we continued out of youth group and through college and now after.  Now - my friend, Amanda, is going off and getting married.  And I'm extremely excited for her and proud of her!   Save the date! :)