Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Saturday, October 31, 2015


I was so impressed when I went into the client's workplace to find out that the various departments had matched their costumes.  One of the larger departments all ordered tetris game pieces. Everyone cooperated and joined in the festivities.

On the way home I noticed that a Southwest Airlines team had decorated their workspace.  In their typical humor they put to death baggage fees and cancelation fees.  It is so important to have fun at work. We spend too much time at work not to enjoy it.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Flying home

Severe storms hit Texas today. I was one of the lucky ones and made it out. I am as far as Chicago.  My coworker who lives near Waco is stuck in a line of traffic with an impassable flooded road. Pray that the road clears soon for her.

Here's to another whirlwind weekend!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Stuffed pork chops

I haven't cooked much lately. These pictures are a few weeks old. But this is a comfort food recipe from when I was a child.  Mom started by browning the pork chops in a frying pan. At the same time she cooked ha box of store bought dressing. (Back then there was only one flavor.)

Then she would put them on the broiler tray.  Each chop would get a large scoop of dressing.

Once all the chops were prepared she would thin out some cream of chicken soup. 1/2 can of water to a can of soup worked well. Then the soup was poured carefully over each chop.

When I was young we covered them with tinfoil for the first 45 minutes of the hour cooking time. I forgot in the rush to get them done. I cooked them for an hour at 400 degrees. I was helping Dale outside when I remembered the foil. I was very amazed that they weren't burnt at the end of the hour.

Another excellent meal!

I always enjoy eating at Texas de Brazil by City Center in Houston!  I know that I am tantalizing you with this post. Before you eat, you need to sit and take in the atmosphere.
Bouquet over the salad bar
Tonight they had several very large beautiful red and pink bouquets which reflected off the mirrors with an artistic flair! I wonder if their color choice had something to do with October being National Breast Cancer Awareness month?
Entry bouquet
Again this week, we were celebrating birthdays.  Our project managers birthday was last Sunday.  So we were celebrating a belated birthday for him.

Russ' Birthday Dessert
Next Tuesday, one of the guys from the customers side of the project is celebrating his birthday too.  So we decided to celebrate them both today.
Mike's Birthday Dessert
A trip to the salad bar was almost enough to fill me up.  I had a small amount of salad, some sushi, a variety of cheeses, green beans, mushrooms and cinnamon baked pineapple.  YUM!
A trip to the salad bar
If you haven't been to a Brazillian steakhouse before, they bring the meat around on large, long skewers. The servers come out of the kitchen with the long skewers and serve the meat directly from the skewers.  They will ask you how you like your meat and pick meat off the skewer that matches your taste.  Tonight they served bacon wrapped chicken, lamb chops, and several kinds of steak including bacon wrapped filet mignon.  When your little circle is green side up, it means they should offer you more meat.  Turn it to red when you are done or taking a break.  
Meats, a few bites at t time
We have eaten here before and although it is a little expensive it does always seem to be top quality food and excellent service.  An evening well worth the extra money.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A target of customer service

Yesterday I shared this picture of the wild hotel room I was met with after check in. I was already tired from a long day of travel.  The room had been marked as guest - ready but it was far from that!
I had a do not disturb sign on my door. I was so appalled at the cleaning in both rooms that I didn't want any cleaning service in my room. The manager found me with my coworkers hanging out at a table. He apologized and expressed the apologies of the head of housekeeping.

He told me that she wanted to leave an apology in my room.  I gave him permission and when I got back into my room there was a basket full of goodies and an apology note.  I took most of the treats into work to share with my co-workers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Exhausted and touched

I am going to share my day backwards because when all was said and done, I was smiling as the dog food fell out of my suitcase. One of the dogs, I think Misty Blue, put dog food in my suitcase. Although it was probably by accident it still made me smile.
Gift from dogs
I was unpacking in my second room. When I opened the door of my first room, it didn't seem right. The desk chair was out of place and there were a few pieces of paper strewn across the room. I walked back to the bedroom and saw the beds in disarray.  There was only one folded towel in the bathroom.  .... that was 11 hours after leaving home for a day of travel.
Hotel Room at Check in
Hurricane Patricia was deemed to be the largest hurricane in recorded history when it hit landfall. By the time it passed over Texas it had downsized to a low pressure zone. But boy did it have punch! The last 45 minutes of the flight was reported to be "choppy". I guess that is code for heavy turbulence. I took several pictures from over the storm: the sun is always shining, this is what turbulence looks like, and a peak of a sunset. 

A peak of a sunset
The sun is always shining
This is what turbulence looks like

5 kittens

I should have shared this post several weeks ago. But a few days before I started traveling Dale brought home a large box and tipped it on its side in the barn.  Five kittens scampered out and scattered throughout the barn.

I've tried to take pictures of them all together but only being at home about 36 hours on the weekend hasn't left a lot of opportunities.

Our two black cats will greet you if you need a Halloween scare. The group alpha seems to be the black and white kitten. I haven't had time to play with them so I can't tell you much about out light colored kittens. I hope that they are good mousers!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It's done!

Hurrah!  The post box holder is done and up. Before we clip the excess chains we will make sure that the height is acceptable.  We measured it at 40 inches. As Dale pointed out,anyone could come by and steal the mailbox. A thief could steal nearly anything. I am excited and happy that the box turned out well. I can't wait to see how it holds up against the winter plows!

The second picture is the before picture.  The small box was dented to the point the that the front barely stayed shut. The holder was rusted and the bolts that held it together were bent. Now everyone on the road has the old boring dented boxes and I have this really cool one! My nephew, Nickolai, helped dig the hole and put it up.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Meet Mia

I'm flying home again and for the second week in a row I got to sit next to a puppy.  Mia is about 13 weeks old and very smart.  I fly with dog treats because my girls expect a treat when I get home.  With the permission of her owner, I took out a begging treat, broke it into pieces and tested her. She did sit, lay, up, shake and high five.
The dog at the bottom peeking out was from the week before.  I don't remember it's name. An interesting fact is that the dogs travel better than the kids.  

French Bulldog

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Women's rest room

Think about this. The second floor of the Double Tree by Galleria has a restaurant and bar. The bathrooms are just outside of the elevator doors. I've seen them every day. I've also wondered why they would create a step up to go into the bathroom.

When I got up close the only entry that I could find was the button  for the automatic door opener. I hit it and jumped. The door opened to my right. I would have laughed but I was doubling over with stomach cramps from an allergic reaction to bell peppers. For the second time in a week, there were bell peppers in the seasoning. Ahhhhh!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Do cats get stuck in trees?

I arrived Sunday evening this week in Houston. For the first time I used the online check in. I had the opportunity to select my room. (I won't do that again unless I know the hotel.) I chose the 3rd floor because I didn't want to be in the top floors of a 26 floor hotel. 

My hotel room this week has a small balcony. I was in bed and a terrible, horrible, awful horn started blaring in the room. It was the fire alarm.  Be careful of the thoughts and words that you put out into universe.

At 11:45 I was heading to the stairwell.  We had been told to wait there for directions.  I made it to the first floor and no one came. The exits were locked. One marked alarm will sound .... there was no smoke so I went back upstairs and found out that it was a false alarm.  The fire trucks still came. I was watching them from my balcony when I saw the ghost cat!

In the daylight it turned out to be a plastic bag hanging upside-down. 

Need a little giggle?

I forgot to mail my Centerpoint bill before I left on Sunday. Granted "Energy Cooridor" is a very large area. But what made me laugh was that I packed up the letter and flew it down to Houston with me and I'm working in the Energy Cooridor area. This morning when I  found it I thought to myself "I could have saved the stamp and delivered this personally."

Keep smiling!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Woosh! The weekend flew by!

Friday night at 11:13 I was driving on Minnesota Highway 94 between the exits for Highway 15 and 24. My eyes were drawn to a bright light in the sky in front of me. I've seen "falling stars" before but never any this bright. 

It hit the atmosphere with a huge splash of light. It seemed like I was watching the flames flaring around the outer edges of the object. Then with a large and sudden flash it suddenly went dark.

Was it a random meteor?  Was is "space junk"? Did an alien aircraft enter the atmosphere and cause a brilliant flash of light?

I was 36 hours in Minnesota for the weekend:
14 hours sleeping
4 hours commuting from and back to the airport
5 hours running errands in St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids
3 hours unpacking
3 hours to pick up the donkeys
2 hours to do laundry and repack
5 hours for breakfast, supper, taking care of animals, paying bills and other miscellaneous tasks.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meet Bones and Donny

We now have two donkeys. Dale named them. The white one with spots is Bones and the brown was is Donny.
You might be wondering how he chose the names. Two guys he plays cards with share the names.  They can be a bit of a .......  oh well, you get the idea.
I'm thinking that Dale likes them because the donkeys will be around for a long time.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Celebrating my special day

My coworkers and I went out after work to Perry's Steakhouse and Grill by City Center in Houston, Texas.  The special occasion was my birthday!  Life is too short not to celebrate every birthday!  Walking into the restaurant for the 6 O'clock reservation this glass sculpture caught my eye.  I noticed after seeing the picture on my screen that it almost looks like a white whale tale behind the sculpture.
Glass sculpture and fountain
Several of us shared a bottle of wine.  What more can you ask for?  Good food, good wine and good conversation!  
And what did the birthday girl have for supper?  I started with a cup of Lobster bisque: a creamy and spicy soup with surprise bites of lobster.
Lobster Bisque
The main course was a 6 ounce filet mignon topped with butter drenched lobster and a side of creamy spinach.  Hey Dale!  I ate a green vegetable.
I ordered a dessert trio to share with everyone at the table and it was served up quicker than expected and with a candle.  The waiter had ordered up the dessert as a special "Thank you for celebrating your birthday with us."
Cheese cake, Crème Brule and a chocolate truffle
Thanks to everyone who extended birthday wishes and celebrated my special day with me!

Harmony in the air

Houston Hobby airport has a special feature.  In an open area (on the other side of security) where everyone passes by as they go into and out of the airport.   The musical groups are different every time I come through the airport.  There are a variety of different music playing. 

When I arrived on Monday evening, Bob Chadwick's exotic flutes were playing.  They were awesome!  I wish that I would have had the time to sit and listen.  I am definitely going to need to go online and look for a CD.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Time to plant tulips

I had dug up the tulips from in front of my old place. I didn't have time to officially count them but I am guessing that there were about 300. About a week before, I finished planting the tulip bulbs that I had purchased at a layover in Holland. I was diligently spending every minute after work planting flowers until the sun went down.  I was losing time every day. 
Dig a hole to plant
The last things I planted were the yellow and red tulips with some leftover Easter Lillies and some random daphodills. I planted the bulbs thicker than I should have.  They are in a flower garden under the flag pole. I can't wait until spring! I think in the spring I will scatter moss roses in between.  That will make a good spring and summer garden. 
Planting time

Monday, October 12, 2015


October 10th I was the official photographer for my fifth wedding.  At one point I had considered being an official photographer. I love doing it but my nerves get the best of me. I encourage the bride and groom to have a back up.

Just over a week before the wedding, I had a dream that I forgot my camera. The backup photographer had shown up with a professional camera and I  ended up keeping track of the shots taken and making sure everyone was in the right place. What actually happened was at the last minute the backup changed. Amber came and yes, with a professional camera. (I remembered mine.)
Flags of Pride
Within a few minutes it was obvious that Amber and I were a good working team as photographers. We were finishing each others sentences, filling in each others concepts and staying out of each others way while we got pictures from different angles. 
Here are 6 of my favorite pictures: 
Flags of Pride made by Grandpa George 
High Five!
High Five
Bride's  choice: Bride's view
Brides Choice: Carried Away by Love
Bride's choice: Groom's view 
Groom's Choice: Your mine
Father of the bride 
Red Neck Wedding?
Covered Trigger Finger
It was only fitting since they had spent shells for booteneers that the father of the bride be hovering around with a shot gun. Between the two of us they had nearly 3000 photos to review and choose from. Congratulations and have a blessed life together. 

Celebrating Infinite