Thursday, October 1, 2015

Come on people now, smile on your brother......

Image result for sadness oregon tragedy oct 1 2015

"We are but a moment's sunlight, fading in the grass" 

I hope the day comes that we never again, as a nation, have to feel our hearts pounding, filled with sadness, over random, senseless acts of violence.

Oregon, I am so sorry.

With each tragedy, still we rise. Together.

Mostly together, except for those that truly need help. Those that feel it necessary to take lives and shatter them like shards of broken glass.

I'm glad I don't understand what drives a person to do something so violent, to another human being. I just wish the person that even has a sliver of a thought to do this, could know that there is help for them. Another way to deal with whatever the underlying issue is.

Wishing all of us, especially the victims and their families from todays horrific events, peace and hope.

Your friend,

Saturday, September 26, 2015

So, yes. I love New York in the Fall.

Image result for don't you just love new york in the fall

"Don't you just love New York in the Fall?"

Yes. But I've never been to New York. It bothers me. It's on my wish list and I will make the items on my wish list happen, it's what I do.

Fall is my favorite season. I'm not dissing the other seasons by any means. Each having its own lure. It's just that Fall.....the beautiful foliage, the sounds of Football, the pumpkins, the apple cider, the wearing of the cool boots, did I mention the foliage? It refreshes me. It cleans the slate.

It even has me walking around the pretty town that I live in, taking one-hundred photos of possibly the same tree, or leaf. "But from this angle! look at it from THIS angle!" I say it every year and I laugh out loud, because my friends know me well. You see, they expect this post every year. They expect the posted photos. They expect me to update them along the way when I'm doing the walk-about. And I am grateful that they care about me enough to indulge in my same, annual ramblings.

Image result for fall colors

I often begin sentences with "when I grow up", and I mean whatever it is I say. I mean come on, do we ever really reach the "Okay, I'm all grown up now, nothing new to learn, nothing to see here"?

I say no. We don't! Except for the maturity level (ahem) I sometimes feel the same way I did when I was eight years old. So happy to wake up on a Saturday morning, no school, and cartoons galore to watch. Until noon hits and then, outside we go! and outside we stay, all day. Especially in the Fall. I grew up (well, until I was thirteen years old or so) in a sort-of small town in North Missouri. It seems almost false to call it a small town, it does have a University after all. But it has the small town feel for sure. I'm not sure that we even locked our front door when we left the house. Something unheard of today, no matter where you live. My sisters and I would ride bikes, play in the yard(s), roller skate, and swing the garden hose up over the branch of a tree so we could have a make-shift water spray to run under. It gets inventive when you're young and you want to be outside. We played hard and even when the porch light came on, had to be forced inside to have dinner. I grew up in a state that showed Fall colors and felt Fall temperatures in September. This is why I crave these things long before the Lone-Star state see them occuring. I've learned to be patient. I know that if I'm lucky, late October will show tell-tale signs. By November the palette of color I see growing down my street is nothing short of spectacular.

So yes. I love New York in the Fall, and every other state in the Fall. Even the ones I haven't been lucky enough to visit.


I hope you're having a great weekend friend.
See you soon!

PS When I grow up, I will have a large enough patio with a table that can seat all of my friends, for Breakfast at Tiffanys. Pumpkin muffins and spiced lattes anyone?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's during the not-so-perfect times that love is in its most perfect state

 Image result for tiffanys bracelet

I read a blog post yesterday that resonated so loudly, I'm still thinking about it. It's like I found a really cool piece of jewelry, a bracelet maybe (I love bracelets) that I had to buy and now I don't want  to take it off.

I don't know the author personally, (Donald Miller), but I do know the friend that shared the post in social media (Hi Felic), and she is one that I will ready anything she posts, because she is a good investment of my time.
That phrase was chosen carefully, you will see.

I'm sure the author won't mind if I share the link here, especially since I have nothing but praise for what he has written.

He had me at the title of the post, "The Secret to Getting Picked". I am not going to elaborate in exact detail as I would just be pasting what he wrote, here.

No pressure to read the post, I can only tell you what I gleaned from reading it, and let you know that if you find a few minutes in your day, it is well worth the read.

Donald writes his point near the end of the post, and that is where I will begin:

The point is this:

"If we want to be picked in life, we should ask our selves a single question: Am I a good investment?"

I can go down my own road with this thought alone.

Are we a good investment? This can be applied both personally, and professionally, as Donald explains so eloquently.

We are living in the time of right now, it seems. Applying the question on a personal level, it is often that I find men and women both, not looking into their own reflection when pursuing relationships. Some look to the partner to fulfill what they want and need, without also checking to see if they are a good investment for that partner. We all know the old adage, "love is a two-way street". There are many more, "relationships take work", "marriage is hard work", "a good relationship takes commitment and sacrifice to thrive, and last".
I am lucky in that I have so many shining examples in my family of what a good, lasting marriage looks like. I've never wondered, because I've seen it with my own eyes. Love isn't always romantic, and pretty and perfect. Sometimes it is gritty, and tired, and has to fight ugly things that life can bring, like cancer, and the loss of a loved one, and other hardships or tragedies. As I've grown older, I realize that it's during the not-so-perfect times, that love is in its most perfect state.

Applying the question on a professional level, I think about what we can bring to the table in our positions at work each day. Rather than getting caught up in office politics (which I abhor), or what is fair regarding workloads if we are part of a team, a great amount of productivity can be had by those that give their best each day, to their employer. If what  your coworker is doing does not have an effect on your job performance, shift focus to what you are accomplishing, and dig in. I've always thought that anything having my name on it, should be the best work I've done. Whether it's a large project, or something seemingly mundane and insignificant. Let the rest go, focus on what you can do, in the best way that you know how.

Am I a good investment? I've been asking myself this question since I read the post. Do I leave people better than they were before we spoke? Do I leave my signature on the best work I've done, every day? Or do I hurriedly do the work and then scribble an unintelligible scrawl of my name.

Whether the answer is yes or no, I can tell you that I will now be mindful of the questions.

See you soon friend,

P.S. I don't always want breakfast-type food in the morning. Sometimes I want to live on the edge, you know? Like salad. Or chicken. Or if I want to get really crazy, Breakfast at Tiffany's could be canapes! (def: a thin piece of bread or toast, or a cracker spread, topped with cheese, caviar, anchovies, or other savory food)
It doesn't even have to be a cracker!
Image result for canapes

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old......

Image result for silver and gold

"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, and the other, Gold."

A friend asked me once, "how do you get ideas to write about on your blog?"

You see, it's not really about me finding ideas to write about. It's more of, whatever is happening in life at the time, an unsolicited theme begins to form and then the post nags me until I write it. Consider this my diary, online. Albeit, public.

The theme of late is old friends, it seems.

There is nothing richer than sitting at the pool and catching up with a best friend that you've known since high school. One of my dearest friends visited the great state of Texas for a week around the 4th of July holiday, and during the course of the week I had the privilege of seeing her ( and daughters) twice, My family had to reschedule their visit until August so I knew it would be a quiet celebration this year, and was looking forward to that downtime. When I realized that my friend would be with me on the 4th, I was beyond thrilled. As we talked and laughed the feeling set in, you hopefully understand this feeling. They get you. You don't have to explain anything you say, you have memories that go so far back you lose track of the time span, and you laugh at the same things that the stories you are revisiting, bring to the surface. It was like no time had passed, and I will treasure the time spent. I do have to mention, that it made me extremely homesick. "you can take the girl out of Missouri......"

Last week as I was leaving to go , well I can't remember where I was going actually, I noticed this really cool looking car parked nearby, and a person standing beside the car, staring at me. "Weird" I thought, but went about my business to prepare to leave. He started walking towards me, and almost at once,I reallized who it was. I may have squealed at this point, it's fuzzy in the remembering. I haven't seen my friend since 2006, he moved back to his home country then and we unfortunately lost touch. I learned that he's now back in the U.S. and living in Houston, and doing quite well. I was so overwhelmed that he was standing in front of me, talking to me that I may have cried, like I mentioned, it's fuzzy.

I was so happy that day. Elated that he couldn't stop smiling, ecstatic that he's doing so well and back where he loves to live, in this free country. I thought to myself, my old friends are popping up all over the place! It took me back to the old rhyme we said (sang) when we were kids. "Make new friends......but keep the old....."

There are the persistent friends. They won't let you get too far away from them without checking in.

There are the lifelong friends, you may not live in the same state, or country even, but when you run into each other again, it's as if no time has passed. They remind you who you are, and have you remembering the good 'ol days.

There are the every day friends, your people. The ones you go with to a random patio in the summer, and share your stories from the current week, because, you saw them the week before. You build memories with these selected few, that will last a lifetime.

There are the easy come, easy go friends. The casual acquaintances that appear and disappear for various reasons, but still worth knowing, still bring value, and hopefully, you are grateful you met them.

And last but absolutely not least, there are the new friends. Isn't it fun to meet new people and get to know them and realize the world is huge but then again, not really?

When it comes down to it, we basically all want most of the same things. The human factor does not select based on anything other than itself. Human. Being human. Living our lives and eating the fabulous food and drinking the delicious drink, helping others and seeing the world, spending precious time with our families, working hard for ourselves or the man (corporations) and laying our heads on the pillow at the end of our days, knowing we did our best. Or at least, we tried to.


"Make new friends. But keep the old. One is silver, and the other, Gold."

It's true.

See you soon friend, you're Gold by the way,

This post is dedicated to Chandra, who knows me so well we don't have to say a word before we burst into fits of laughter that often bring tears. The good kind.

P.S. Breakfast at Tiffany's is in the midst of  the annual summertime worship of all things fresh-picked. Berries and herbs and tomatoes off the vine, There is no greater taste, than fresh, not processed. Go to your local Farmers Market, we have to support the farmers, the "growers" of the important things in life!

Image result for tomatoes off the vine

Friday, June 19, 2015

He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

"He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother" --The Hollies

Charleston,'re our brother.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Please Mind the Gap

I think the best way to view a city is from the top. And I mean, the very top. In September of 2009, I saw Paris from the highest point I was able to visit, the Eiffel Tower. It was breathtaking. Completely ignoring my slight fear of heights, I forgave and forgot, and instead, looked around at the city, and the people milling about below me.

My travel wish list is very long. Back then, I didn't realize that almost six years later, I would be in England.

And what better way to view the Tower of Big Ben, The Thames, Buckingham Palace, and the people......than the London Eye.

Walking towards my next adventure, I thought to myself. "That thing is HUGE!". I live in Dallas, the home of one of the largest Ferris Wheels in North America. But thinking about Fair Park, where that Ferris Wheel is, I felt it didn't come close to the London Eye. This is more than likely a trick of the mind, you know, when you're about to conquer a mountain, it looms in front of you, seemingly bigger than the planet earth. When built in 1999, The London Eye was the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, standing at 443 feet. Since then, a few have surpassed it, one being in Las Vegas, "The High Roller".
The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth. What a view it provides, I could barely take it all in, although there is plenty of time to do so. Once you are locked in, up it goes but at a very slow gate, allowing everyone to look around at the many sides of what I call, the egg.

Although London was the second half of my trip, it still became so clear to me while riding in the egg, that I was actually there. When Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben came into view, I thought, "I'm really here" and I'm not sure that I want to leave.

What I really felt grateful about was that the first half of the trip was spent in a little hamlet in the English countryside, Hemington, Derby. There is no better way to experience an international vacation than to live amongst the locals, sharing stories and getting to know them while drinking pints of ale and grilling food near a tent in the backyard of our gracious hosts. I found them to be extremely friendly, outgoing, and having  unparalled senses of humor that had me laughing so hard I thought I would stop breathing. You hear me Brits? I LOVE YOU. When my best friend Brian and I saw the itinerary label for the first Saturday, "BBQ and meet the Americans!" we both had the same thought without sharing with the other one until after the fact. 'Oh dear God, this is to meet US? I hope these people don't get bored.' HA! There was no boredom or awkwardness, no silence to speak of, no feeling strange, whatsoever. It was as if we had known these friends for years, and it was probably the best day we had while in Hemington. A note to Mark (and I don't know if you spell it this way) when you took my hand and sang a song from Frozen to me, that sealed our friendship for life. I will never forget the friends we made and will cherish the memories for a lifetime. Until we meet again.

Out of so many, another favorite moment was meeting "Lottie" the lamb. This little thing was named after the Royal Baby, Charlotte, recently born to William and Katherine. She wears a pink jeweled collar and bleats loudly to let you know she hears you and she is pleased with your offerings.

Every morning that I stayed in Hemington, I woke up to Lottie letting the world know that she was awake, birds chirping, fresh air wafting in through the open window (that stayed open the entire time I was there) and this beautifully green view of the English countryside. Notice the bench. Obviously strategically placed so that I may do my best thinking, in the fields, with the cows and natures vibrant colors. Right?

My first pub  experience was in Hemington, appropriately named The Jolly Sailor. Come on, it's England. And when people go here, they are definitely Jolly, whether they've sailed the ocean or not.
We immediately made friends with everyone we talked to, including Shannan who waited on us from behind the bar, (Hi Shannan!)  then ended up joining us at the table as other friends of our hosts arrived and joined us as well. This is the greatest thing about facebook if it must be mentioned. We can now keep in touch even though we all live on different continents.

I must also mention that one of our gracious hosts is missing from this photo, she had to take the picture. We did our best taking turns so that we could get a few photos of all of us, even if not all in one.

Shannan, Roger, and Pam, we so enjoyed spending time with you that day. Each one of you hilarious in your own right, and very entertaining. Thank you for everything, and sharing a slice of your lives with us.

The first excursion out of Hemington lead us to Nottingham. Now let's say it like we were taught, "Nottingum". There is no HAM in this recipe. I don't know if I had any sort of accent or lack thereof, but I think our new friends got a kick out of teaching me the proper pronunciation of Nottingham, as the requests for me to continue saying it, loud and proud, kept coming, and there was cheering after. So obviously I kept saying it. I don't mind cheering. 

While known to be the home of Robin Hood. it's definitely not just about Sherwood Forest. Englands oldest pub is found here, along with a castle, quaint streets and alleyways, and multicolored doors leaving you to wonder whether you should enter, or keep going. I knew I had to get fish 'n chips at least once while in England, so that became the first meal I had outside of Hemington, and my friends that urged me to try this were right. The British have cornered the market here. It was absolutely delicious, and unexplainable as to why. It just was.

With the thoughts of London in our minds, we headed back to the patio at Hemington, as we did each night, to discuss the days events and what was to come. I've mentioned before, that all one really needs is the right people in our lives, and a patio. Some of the best stories are shared there.

If I had to summarize London in key words and phrases, much like I did with Paris, France, it would go like this:

City noises, crowds of people but often vacant sidewalks, takeaway, (we call this takeout in America), walking, walking, and yet more walking, Oyster Cards (you can't ride the underground without it), the Monarchy, The Queen and everything she entails, history, thousand(s) year old architecture, train tracks and the click-clack, jeweled crowns and scepters, Towers that must be climbed, hidden passageways and body armor worn so long ago, Cadbury Chocolate and uncountable kinds of ale, Pubs and Pints, pounds instead of dollars and scurrying to destinations unknown, Palaces and Royal Residents, Castles, balconies and British flags flapping in the breeze, tall clock towers that chime on the hour so that everyone can hear for miles, Scotland Yard and "Bobbies" keeping the public safe, theatres named after a Prince, politeness, and the most proper and eloquent use of the English language that I have ever heard. Even phrases like "bloody hell!" and "bollox!" sound proper, don't they?
And let me not forget to mention, tea. England is a tea drinking nation, let me tell you and it is absolutely the best. I came home with a huge box of PG Tips, the infamous pyramid tea bags. I don't think I will run out until 2017, but when I do, I'll just have to skip back over the pond and get some more. Yes, I know, I can order it online, but that's silliness and must not be thought of.

"Please mind the gap, between the train, and the platform"

We heard this over and over again, as we sailed through the underbelly of London on the underground transportation, to the point of each one of us saying it randomly even if we weren't on the train.

At the time of the end of this post, I've been writing for hours and know for certain that I have not captured even half of my thoughts or shared my best memories of my time in England. Please forgive its faults. And even in life, not on a train heading east or west, or north or south, or to Westminster or wherever you may go, "please mind the gap". Make good use of the downtime of regular life, but for goodness sake, get around when you can, out of that town you live in that you see every day, out of the working world, and the day-to-day 'ness of the regularly scheduled program. Go on holiday as they say, even if you just get in the car and drive somewhere.

See you soon, friend

PS the area we stayed in London was called Stepney Green. This became my new name. Call me Stepney. "Hi I'm Stepney Green, lady of leisure". Breakfast At Stepney's. It's not Tiffany, but it works. =)

This post is dedicated to the Hemington crew. Brian, Terry, Ruth and Rosanna, thank you for one of the most memorable weeks of my life. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Change doesn't have to be our enemy......

"People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they're really saying is that something you didn't want to happen at all... has happened." --Kathleen Kelly, You've Got Mail

Image result for change is good

In  a way I wish my life was such that I could say the next line, and it would be true.

"My store is closing this week. I own a store, did I ever tell you that?"

Wouldn't it be fantastic to own a bookstore in the Upper West Side? Of course,  I say this without knowing what it would take to own and run a bookstore. I do know that I can spend hours, I can spend a bookstore. I feel like it's a place full of old friends and new friends, and comfort,  and knowledge just waiting to be obtained.

Image result for bookstore on upper west side

I've never really enjoyed change, even with the idea that it will most likely be for the better. It's the process really.  The first feeling, including the question: Wait, I like it this way, why do I have to change this?

The resolve: Oh, well, I guess I have no choice.

The implementation: I used to do it this way, but now I do it this way. I don't drive here, I go there.

The embracing: This isn't so bad. I can do this.

Not too long ago, I, along with thousands of other employees, learned that the company that I work for, Verizon, sold three large states, to another telcom. One of these states happens to be the one that I currently live in. Was this sale a huge surprise? Not really, there have been various rumors for quite some time that this might happen. Given that, along with previous similar sales, I think we all knew that sooner or later, it would happen. Because this sale has been announced publicly, I know that I am within legal limits to write my thoughts in the interwebs, should I so choose.

The world looks different when news of this magnitude is delivered swiftly, ending with, "now back to work for now, let's continue to do our best in support of our customers".

While I wholeheartedly agree that supporting our customers is absolute top priority above all else, I think I can speak for my team, who are also my friends and some of the greatest people on this planet, when I say, "Well can I (we) have just a moment to let this sink in?"

The dust hasn't settled and won't for quite a while, but in the very least, we've had a little time to get used to the idea. Asking ourselves the obvious questions, "what does this mean for us?", "will we be able to continue with Verizon, or will we have to go with the new telcom?", "will our team be split up?!"....oh just that idea alone, is a very sad thing.

So, given the fact that Dallas has been reminded that Winter is not over, (hello cold, snowy, icy days) I have had some time to reflect, in the quiet of my home, and what I propose to myself, and my friends, is this:

Change doesn't have to be our enemy. Shifting roles, and responsibilities, and leaders, may not be a piece of cake. Be confident in our ability to adapt to the evergreen ways of large companies that often go through things like this.. Stand firm in knowing that we are most capable in dealing with whatever hand we are dealt. Talk to a financial advisor. Revisit your 401K and save, save and save some more. Brush up your resume, in the very least this should be done once in a while anyway, regardless of any changes to your career. And finally,don't let resentment or bitterness set in. This last task is easier said than done, I know. We've given our lives. Very long days, after hours during the week, weekend work hours, sometimes forgetting what an eight hour workday is like, cancelled vacations, all for the demands of the business.

I'm going to carry on with the determination that however this may shake out, I will still give it my all. I am not going to fold. I don't know how to play poker, but I've always wanted to say that.

So, for now, I'm a Verizon employee, who works on a management team, that has been my favorite for a long time, during the course of my career. Whatever change may come, I will remain hopeful that we will survive together.

And that is what is going on with me.

What's new with you?

See you soon friend,

PS Recently my sister introduced the Goji berry to me, I'm not sure why I didn't know about this healthy item before now. I've been adding them in each day, even if it's just to eat a handful right out of the bag I bought them in. They are a fabulous addition to a protein shake if you are inclined to do that sort of thing. Give them a try! They are now a part of Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Navitas Naturals Himalayan Superfruit, Goji Berries, 227 g

**disclaimer: I don't work in billing, or directly with the customer. I don't work on the wireless side. While I may not be able to help you with your bill, wireless, wireline, or FiOS, I am however, a proud Verizon employee who will always listen to what you have to say, and provide solution ideas to any issue you may encounter with your service.