December 31, 2004

I'm Not Surpised!

Not One Bit!!!

I AM 48% ASSHOLE/BITCH!
48% ASSHOLE/BITCH
I may think I am an asshole or a bitch, but the truth is I am a good person at heart. Yeah sure, I can have a mean streak in me, but most of the people I meet like me.


Found via this post at Accidently Vebosity!!! I did the White Trash Quiz, then just kept going.....Yes, I am stalling, thank you very much!!!

Posted by Tammi at 01:26 PM | Comments (9)

New Years Eve

Well, that was an interesting morning.

We hustled to get Mama's stuff packed and my sister and niece ready to catch a plane. They HAD to leave today - no options.

We got to the hospital by 6:30am. No doctor. By 8:00 every one was antzy and fussy. Still no doctor. Finally......the head nurse comes to let us know Mama's levels are not right. Way Too Low. They will not release her.

Now the decision....AMA or stay? She opted to stay.

I rushed Dawn and H to the airport, pushed them out of the car and headed home. I need a shower and a bit of a rest. Then I'll head up to spend NYE with Mom. I'll take some cards and such and we'll just fiddle around.

I've already made arrangements for someone to pick her up at the airport when they do allow her to fly. But, we can't set anything up until she is released. But, if you know me, you know I've got a couple of plans in place.

I'm planning a "year in review" for New Years. I know, you can hardly wait, can ya?! :-)

But in the mean time, know I wish each and every one of you and those you love a very Happy New Year. May 2005 shower you with blessings and smiles. Love and Laughter.

I have a sign in my foyer. Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often.

I think that says it all!

Be Safe tonite. Happy New Year!

Posted by Tammi at 10:52 AM | Comments (9)

December 30, 2004

Damn I'm Good!

It's 10:43pm and I'm home. Mama, is still in the hospital. She is not checking out prematurely.

The tests came back saying she doesn't have any blood clots - thank goodness. HOWEVER one lung is partially collapsed, she has a bit of fluid in there and a "node". That stopped her in her tracks.

We put a plan together with the nurse. After talking with her doctor this evening (while she was having more tests) he said if it came back no clots he was fine with her checking out and flying. He get's there at 7:00am tomorrow......if her levels are where they are supposed to be, she will be discharged by 7:30am. On her way to the frozen tundra by 10:00am.

Let me tell you folks, I did the fanciest talking I've ever done. First I reasoned, then I yelled, then I left. I returned with more reasoning, then understanding, a bit more yelling and Voila! She finally sees things clearly.

OK - I've got to go pack her stuff and try and get some sleep. Just thought I'd let you know. I'll catch up with ya'll tomorrow.

Posted by Tammi at 10:48 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

My Mother's Daughter

Hrmph.

My mother has agreed to a stress test. That's done, just waiting for the results.

She's having a cat scan to check for clotting in the lungs.

Then she is checking herself out of the hospital.

I am less than pleased.

She is intent on getting on the plane and flying home tomorrow - no matter what anyone says.

I'm down right pissed about that.

But....nothing I can do about it. I almost understand. She's stubborn, independent and self sufficient. Kinda like another woman I know. One I see in the mirror every day.

So.....she is feeling better. That is good. She looks better. That is good. Is she better? We don't know for sure.

But I do know she hasn't lost any of the mule-headedness.

I guess I am my mother's daughter.

shoot me now.

Posted by Tammi at 04:02 PM | Comments (6)

December 29, 2004

Update

I've come to the conclusion I am not really a very nice person. Nope. I truly am a bitch. And Damned Proud of it!!!

We have yet to speak with a doctor. Oh, there was on in the ER when they admitted Mom, but since then.....nothing.....no one......not a sign of one. No one but the nurses. And they "know nothing, tell nothing". We were told if we wanted to talk with a Doctor there "should" be one around in the morning between 6:00am and 8:00am. I will be there. In my jammies. (hell if I'm willing to fly in them you can bet your sweet ass I'll show up at the hospital in them!!)

Let's add that no one, not a single Tech has gotten her fresh water. Not once since yesterday afternoon. Oh, I did at lunch time. After they brought lunch and left. No mention. We got her another fresh cup when we left tonite - again after they brought dinner and no mention.

Let's also mention that STILL no one responds to the alarms on her machines. When Dawn is there she checks stuff out and knows what is going on. Me? Hell I don't even know what to look at let alone what to look for! I end up going out to the desk and asking someone to please come in.........scowl scowl.

Finally at 5:30 I went out to talk with the nurse and see when a doctor would make afternoon rounds. Oh, he's not. REALLY?!?!?

I started out by saying I'm not normally a bitch (yeah right) BUT.......and I unloaded. Big time. That's when I was told to be there by 6:00am. Oh, we'll be there by 5:00am. That much you can take to the bank.

Mama says she is feeling better, but a daughter knows. She's still very pale, very shaky, sleeps all the time. They have her on oxygen and well, something is still wrong.

All we want is decent care for our Mother. That's it. Nothing special. Just decent.

Anyway - I'll post tomorrow night as we know more. We still don't know if we can bring her home tomorrow night or not. It doesn't look good at this point.

Thanks for everything folks! I'm printing out the comments to take and read to her tomorrow. I know they will really touch her!!! Ya'll are the best!

Posted by Tammi at 07:36 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

A Bit of Perspective

First - thank you all for your comments, good thoughts, well wishes and Prayers for Mama. We'll know more after we meet with the doctor this morning.

I did manage to get a bit of sleep - enough to recharge the batteries. Have called/emailed to change my schedule for the next couple of days, until we know more what is going on.

This is new to me. Oh, Mama's been sick before, but not like this. This terrified HER. The worst part is it is my nightmare coming true.

Bare with me here, kinda need to work this through my system.

Daddy died when I was 10. It's been just "us three girls" since then. Oh, my sister and I have both been married, but to complete asswipes and when it all came down - it was still "just us three girls".

However - my sister and I don't get along all that well. Oh, we love each other, appreciate each other - we just don't get along well. No one is capable of pushing the other over the edge better than we are to each other.

That being said.......right now there is anger over inactivity when all this occured, guilt (over the same issue), bad communication and the list goes on. Usually I'm the "grown up". Since I work with the public so much and have had to rely on my "charm" for my living, it's usually me that plays peace keeper. I don't really have the strength or the focus to do that right now. I'm strung a bit tight at the moment. Also - my 14 year old neice is here. She's the one that had to get my sister for my mom when the pains started. She's a bit shook up and has some feelings of guilt to deal with also. I'm trying to work with her, so that she is able to cope with all that is going on.

Whew - to say you can cut the tension with a knife is putting it a bit mildly.

So.....I sit here in the quiet house, while they sleep. Trying to figure out what my next step is. Oh, I know we still need to hear from the doctor, but I'm one to make plans.....always be prepared.

I think I'm going to call my recuriter and see if I can find a new position closer to Mom. I'm thinking Chicago, as the money and opportunities would be better there. I'll get that ball rolling now. If you think I'm over reacting, you didn't see my Mother's face while she laid there. There are other things involved, that I won't go into right now, but I do believe it's what I need to do. That stuff takes serious time, so I don't want to wait until June.

Also - just so you all know.......be kind to those you love. remember that when you want to say something nasty or cruel. You never know what could happen. As my Daddy always said, the worst thing to think at the end of the day is "I wonder if, and I wish I had". Regret is a horrible thing.

Posted by Tammi at 08:14 AM | Comments (11)

December 28, 2004

Unexpected

This morning I went to the post office to mail a package to a friend. As I walked in, looking all smart and stuff in my leather skirt and long black coat I slipped on the tile and fell flat on my ass. You know, like that commercial with the so called movie stars on the red carpet, or the guy at the pool. Yeah, that was me. And all I could think of was how I couldn't wait to get home and post it. I had it all planned out, and it was hysterical.

Then I head to Tampa. Needed to run stores. That's a little over an hour from my house. Hit my stores, pretty much on schedule when I had to do a new hire training. No big deal, I enjoy that. Took a bit longer than I anticipated, so got a bit behind. Got into the car and had 3 messages. The first one was from my sister.

She was calling to tell me that they were taking my Mom to the emergency room. It's her heart. Then she continued to tell me what was wrong, but in huge medical terms that I couldn't understand. I got so frustrated that I threw the phone.

I knew I couldn't call her. The message was an hour old. Her phone was dead and she didn't bring a charger. I thought maybe she might have grabbed Mom's and called it, but no such luck.

The second message told me what hospital it was and to hurry.

Folks, I have mentioned a couple of times before what I4 is like. Today was no exception. I dropped everything and headed east.

On the way I made some calls. Coudn't get a f*ckin' soul to answer the phone at the hospital. Called Laughing Wolf and asked for prayer. Called Teresa, mainly because I just wanted to talk to her, she calms me. She knew abit about what my sister was trying to tell me and explained it in simple english. Oh and Teresa - thanks for the email with the links. I'll check those out. Then I called Bou and Lee Ann. Of course I called some family and then, by some miracle I was there.

They weren't going to let me into the room. My sister and niece were already in the ER with her, and I would make too many. Kiss My Ass. I went in.

When Mama looked up and saw me she started crying. That did me in, but I looked at her and said "ya know Mama, if you wanted to stay longer, you just needed to say so.....you didn't need to go to all this trouble. That at least made her smile.

To make a long story short - they are keeping her over night, possibly two. She is stable, but very fussy. I almost feel sorry for those nurses.

I'll fill you in on more of what happened at the hospital tomorrow. Tonight, I'm exhausted and worried to death. Please - pray, send good thoughts, what ever it is you do......the most horrible thing I've ever seen was my Mama in that hospital bed, hooked up to all those machines.

Posted by Tammi at 11:12 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Yeah, What He Said!!!!!

Harvey's hot! (in more ways than one!!)

This time he's turning the heat up on Matt over at Blackfive!

Matt is asking about what can be done to fight the MSM. They refuse to offer up the good, the truth. Matt is asking what it's gonna take to change that.

Harvey answers. It's already being done. It's Matt, Smash, GreyHawk. It's Chaplain Lewis, Sean, Doc Russia, BloodSpite. It's Laughing Wolf, Teresa, Mike. It's Alex and Sarah and Cat.

Yeah - it's Blogs. Those Blogs that share their insight, their knowledge, their TRUTH!!!

GreyHawk has a great post along the same lines. And he brings up a great point. Thanks to this wonderful Blogsphere the truth is getting out there, quickly. There is no more excuse for Not Knowing. It's all out there - and easy to find.

It's coming Matt. Honestly - look how much better it is now than even just a few years ago. That's thanks to people like you, that take the time to share what you know!!

And Harvey's right Matt..........we wanna buy you a damned beer DUDE!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Party????

I've made no secret about how much I enjoy meeting up with fellow bloggers. Hell, just getting the opportunity to talk with them on the phone is great, but I'm greedy, I want more, I want it all. I wanna hang out with them!!!!

So.........I send out an email to "The Family" making an interesting offer. It all boiled down to....."Come Visit Me". I've got room. The houses on either side of me are open, and if rented by a group of people, much cheaper than hotel rooms.

Guess what! The dream, the thought, has become a possibility!!! A slight possibility, but a possibility all the same.

You cannot possibliy know the excitment that stirs. Yes, even just the possibility puts a smile on my face. I find myself day dreaming. Ohhh.....I'll take a long weekend from work. No Phone Calls. Period. Ohhh.....I could make a huge batch of my really good pulled pork for sandwiches, bake a couple dozen pies, use my beautiful new blender!! Ohhh.......with the houses so close together there would be 2 heated pools and a spa! Just a huge party..........

Now, if we pull this off, I'll be amazed. Positively amazed. But how cool would that be? Laughter, music, a bit of drinking and lots of yummy food. And the conversations.....oh, the conversations.......it's almost more than I can take!

The only catch is that it has to occur between the 13th of Jan and the 13th of Feb. But there are a couple of "bank" holidays that would work for that. Once we figure out a date and find out who can come I'll get busy. I love nothing better than organizing an "event".

So......what is this ramble all about? Let me cut to the chase. If we can get enough people interested, and select a date, I'll take care of setting everything up here (with mucho polls for input). I'll do the work, ya'll just get your asses down here!!

Whata ya think????????

Posted by Tammi at 07:41 AM | Comments (5)

December 27, 2004

Ok, Less Than Perfect....

I had it all planned out so perfectly. It was going to be so special.

As you know, Mama has been here since Thanksgiving. We've had a lovely time. My sister and niece arrived last evening. When my niece was here before she was disappointed that I hadn't "done anything" to the pool area. She wanted candles. She wanted prettys. Well by golly - Aunt Tammi wasn't going to let her down.

So.......we made the inside of the house look like a wonderland. (still trying to get pictures folks, the last ones didn't turn out.) We even decorated a couple of the palm trees out front with red & white lights, put lights on the bushes along the font of the house and then had lighted candy canes along the entrance. It was pretty. It looked very impressive, especially since there isn't another decoration to be seen any where in this division.

The only thing left was the pool area. I had an idea. I shopped around and found floating candles. They were smaller than I wanted but would still serve the purpose. I have pretty red candle bowls that I was going to scatter all over out there and a "candle log" to place right in front. And then two 2' candle holders that look like peppermint candies when lit. The cage is too tall and I don't have a ladder so there were no lights out there other than the candles. But it was gonna be beautiful.

So....it's gotten kinda cold the last couple of days. The house seemed chilly but I thought it was just me. Mama didn't say anything. We bustle out of the house Sunday morning, car loaded with work crap and presents for my cousin and her family. My cousin is meeting us at my store to pick up Mama and the presents and then I would get to their house for dinner and the exchange as soon as I could.

Folks - they recorded 60 mph winds yesterday. Cold. Cold. Below 30 degrees cold. Damn!! No one wanted to be at the training class, not even me. But we muddled through and now I'm loading the car back up and away I go.

Dinner at my cousin's was wonderful. I love her kids. Well, they aren't really kids, one is a daddy now and the beautiful Miss C is getting married. And they did good with their choices of mates. Oh, and the baby? The baby is a miracle. So precious, so happy, so damned cute........

Anyway - I got too much stuff (and I love it all) Mama got spoiled (as it should be) and it was time to get home so I can pick D & H up at the airport.

At the house, running around trying to get everything just right. I turn off the filter and pump in the pool and get the floating candles lit and floating. I get all the red candles lit and placed and everything looks wonderful. Execpt the floating candles keep gravitating toward the edge of the pool. Damn, oh well - it still looks great. But they seem so small......

Plug in the impressive display of outdoor lighting (go with me on this one, it was my first time) and SHIT.....nothing......not a damn ray of light anywhere. The flippin' plug doesn't work. No Time to fiddle with it!

I take off for the airport and my sister calls. Shit, they are already there. And it's cold....I'm wearing my winter coat. They didn't bring theirs....

I can't find them. Damnit....I know they are here somewhere!! Round and round I drive and nothing, I don't see them any where. No cell signal in that area so it's a matter of parking the car where I think they should be and standing up on the floorboard. Surely to goodness someone will spot a 6'2 red head, that far up in the air wearing a purple and black heavy winter coat. Someone?? Anyone??? Ahh....there they are.

Driving back Mama kept calling (cell signal back) to find out where we were. Geez.....I gotta say folks, the patience was running thin. My niece was feeling a bit, oh I guess bitchy may convey it. My sister was happy to be here, but disappointed that it's so cold.

Finally......we get home. Mama comes out to tell me the floating candles sunk. Sunk. Damn.

But everything else looked beautiful. Well, excpet for the red candle wax that someone spilled all over the pool deck.

Can I say again how cold it was?!?!?!?

We have a light meal and everyone hunkers down for the night. Damn, it is cold.......got up this morning, check the temp in the house. 55 degrees!!! IN MY HOUSE!!! Son Of A Bitch......the furnace isn't working............

So, today, before I head to work, I've got to try and get the candle wax off the pool deck, dig the floating candles off the bottom of the pool, and figure out what's wrong with this flippin' furnace.

I had the best of intentions.............

Posted by Tammi at 10:02 AM | Comments (5)

December 26, 2004

In The Back of the Memory....

I was reading about T1G's adventures and observations from yesterday and it brought back some great memories. Some things I hadn't thought of in a while.

Hunting. Yeah, Hunting. Now, I'm not even going to try and ask you to picture me, in my camo, sitting in a treestand, waiting for just the right buck to come along. No, that's not me. But I've always been around hunters and had to do my fair share.

Daddy loved to hunt. And fish. I remember as a little girl, hearing him get 'round early in the morning on those fall days. He'd be gone til about noon, but he always came back empty handed. I just figured, much as I loved him, Daddy had to be the worst shot in the world to never get ANYTHING! It was only after he was gone that I found out, he never took any shells for the shotgun. He just enjoyed being out in the woods!

He used to take me along, for the planning. We'd walk through the woods, early in the fall - before season - trying to decide just where he was going to put that tree stand. He'd point out all the different birds and trees and plants. Since I was a Girl Scout and spent so much time camping I just ate that stuff up! I looked so wise to the other girls, but I knew it was all learned from my Daddy.

Oh, and he'd take me fishing to. But only a couple of times. We get out on that john-boat and sit there all morning. Never catch a damned thing. Later, when Daddy's best friend took me fishing I kinda figured out why. I never realized until then that you need to put worms on your hook! Worms! Imagine that!! Now, I'm sure he used bait when I wasn't there. But I was a young girl, kinda hyper, so it was all about teaching me to enjoy being out, and to stay still for a while. No sense wasting good bait on that!!

When I got married my husband and his boys were big hunters. They hunted for everything. So.......I learned to cook it. Let me tell you.....I can do things with Venison that would knock your socks off! In fact, Mama had me write a cookbook on how to fix many different wild game. Damn, wonder where that is.

But I wasn't just regulated to the kitchen then. The youngest boy would usually come and drag me out to help track a deer. I got really good at spotting the blood trail and catching the trampled brush.

Sitting on the bank of the lake in the backyard, watching the deer in the field over yonder, drinking my coffee - starting my day. I don't get that down here......I hadn't even realized I missed it. I do. Thanks for the reminding me T1G!

Posted by Tammi at 06:28 AM | Comments (2)

December 25, 2004

My Christmas Card

Since I can't mail you all a Christmas Card, I'm posting it here. This will remain at the top of the page - with new stuff below - until Christmas.

christmas front.jpg

Merry Christmas!!

Posted by Tammi at 11:59 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack

It's Been A Wonderful Day

I hope you all are having as good a Christmas as I am.

Had the chance to wish many of my friends and family Merry Christmas - even if it was over the phone.

I received two phone calls that put tears in my eyes.

1st my neice is getting married. To a wonderful young man, who has grown and matured in a way that surprises even me. I'm so happy for both of them.....the engagement story is priceless!

2nd my very dear friends are expecting a child. They told their families today, and then called me. I'm so touched, so honored, so thrilled.

So yeah - today was about miracles, love, joy and happiness. Just like it's supposed to be.

Tomorrow? PRESENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WooHoo!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 06:08 PM | Comments (1)

A Christmas Story

Here is one of my favorite Christmas stories!

This, to me, is Christmas!!

kneelingSanta.jpg

Posted by Tammi at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2004

It was bound to happen someday...

We all want the best for our kids. You don't want them to have the same stuggles you did, you want to see them far succeed all you ever accomplished.

Well, it's happened.

My Blogdaughter Machelle is featured in an article in USA TODAY!! It even features her picture! AND (like that isn't enough) it all started with a post she wrote last week.

Machelle? Your BlogMama couldn't be prouder. That's My Girl!!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 01:47 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tammi Torture 101

What the HELL was I thinking? I tell ya, folks - sometimes I just don't use the brains the Good Lord gave me.

I rush out the door early this morning to get my hair trimmed. WooHoo - pretty hair for a day. I get it done at the Mall at Millenia here in Orlando. Hoity Toity, let me tell you. But deep down inside, if I'm really really honest - I adore this place. Designers as far as the eye can see.....sweet little shops with stuff that has my name all over it.

Beginning of the torture. I'm broke. Yeah - no Tammi Shopping, not at all. Gotta pick up a couple of gifts, one in particular, necessities. So it's window shopping for me!

What I'm looking for is a gift for my sister. All she has asked for was a black iron candle snuffer. Easy, right? No....it's not. There are no plain, simple black candle snuffers in Orlando. Trust me, I can say that with confidence. But the hunt, oh the hunt.....THAT was interesting.

I start out heading to Kirklands.Nope. Onward....past Anne Taylor...oh my goodness, I love to wear her clothes. So chic. So sexy.

Dior - no words need be written on that one.

Tommy Bahama - ahhhhh, causual fun.

Damn, I need something to take my mind off of all this stuff I can't buy. Ohhhh Starbucks! Yummy. Pumpkin Spice Coffee!!

Yankee Candle? No. Crate & Barrell? No. No No No.

Meanwhile.....I'm passing store windows with the most beautiful gowns and dresses, pant suits to die for...........Oh Look Victoria's Secret!!

I love Victoria's Secret. It is one of my favorite stores ever in life. But I am only allowed in there to buy stockings. That's it. Nothing else. Not till things get straightened out. But Oh, I can look. Yes, I can look.

The funny thing was I was the only woman in the store. I laughed my ass off. These guys were so out of their element. Absolutely. I almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

Except this one guy. He knew exactly what he was doing. He bought one of these, except in black, a few of these, very pretty!! Oh, and one of these - I like it! However - This one I'm not so crazy about, but then again - no one really asked.

So I bought my stockings and ran, yes ran for the door. I had to focus on my search for that damned candle snuffer. On and on I go. Shop, visit one of my customers, shop, hit another customer store. Finally - I just plain give up.

So, that was my day. I'm done now. Gonna put my comfy clothes on and relax. I get this afternoon and tomorrow off and I'm Gonna Enjoy It.

I just thought I'd share abit about my shopping!!

Posted by Tammi at 01:33 PM | Comments (4)

I Tried!

Twas the day of the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse (or a snake - begone you bastard)

The cookies were baking,
the floors were all clean,
I've only got 4 stores to hit
yeah, I'm runnin' lean.

The presents are bought now
the last one is wrapped
I finished my shopping
the cost - I 'bout crapped.

I'm working this morning
and then I am done
I've got a day off, see,
alas, only one.

Oh, hell - who am I kidding......I'm no good at this stuff. I just wanted to find a cute way to say - Thank Goodness it's Christmas Eve. I have an afternoon off, and All Day Tomorrow!!! Mama and I will be starting my pulled pork (the best EVER), baking cookies, making candies and generally preparing for the arrival of my sister and her youngest daughter. I'm so excited. Of course I have to leave for a training class at 6:00am on the 26th - but then I get that afternoon off too!! Not much of a holiday, but I won't complain too much.

Enjoy the next couple of days. Treat yourself. May there be laughter and hugs. Joy and sharing. Afterall, that's what this holiday is all about!!

Posted by Tammi at 07:18 AM | Comments (2)

December 23, 2004

I Have A Dream

I love my home. I am very particular about how I furnish it and decorate it. I have a beautiful, comfortable living room that just screams "This is the REAL Tammi!!" My kitchen is getting to the point where there is no doubt it's mine. I hate useful clutter, all small appliances get hidden away. Nothing but prettys and candles on the counters (well, that and a couple coffee pots!).

My bedroom is my next project. I don't think I've mentioned that, even while working for a mattress company, I don't own a bed. Nope. Haven't been able to afford the one I want. Also - what bedroom furniture I had is actually for the guest room - not my favorite so I'll wait for what I want.

What do I want? Ohhhhh, I'm so glad you asked.

Let's start with the basics. I want an adjustable foundation - with wireless remote, 3 position memory, and massage. For a mattress I want foam encasement and a 2" latex pillow top. Yep. That's what I want to sleep on.

For linens....I want this.... And I want to accent with wine red and a touch of black. I want this and this and this as the main art on the walls.

I want this bed, and clean simple furniture to go with it. I want the tv hidden away so it's an after thought. I want candles and crystal, and ohhhhh......I want a haven.

I've never had the time, money or freedom to pickout a bed, furniture and design my very own special place.

Yeah, I have a dream.

Posted by Tammi at 10:00 AM | Comments (3)

December 22, 2004

Merry Christmas To ME!!!

I'm so darned excited.

I had a fantastic CD collection....it got stolen. I haven't been able to replace most of the cds for several reasons. I love celtic music, and just, all sorts of stuff. Most were picked up for me by friends as they traveled all over the world.

My most favorite Scottish CD was Sons of Somerled. I adore that cd. I couldn't find it.

I just did.

On Ebay.

I bought it.

I'm so happy.

sos.jpg

Posted by Tammi at 05:02 PM | Comments (5)

Grandma's Apple Dumplings...

Yummmmmmmmy!!!

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe for a double crust pie dough (or if you're in a hurry the Pillsbury works fine also)
4 medium baking apples, preferably Macintosh
8 teaspoons dark brown sugar, more to taste
4 teaspoons butter
Cinnamon

Make the dough according to recipe. Roll into shapes large enough to wrap around each apple. Remove the core from the apples. Place in center of dough. Fill apple with about 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bring dough around apple and crimp at top. Place in an 8x8 baking pan. Bake in a preheated 325 F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until pastry is golden. After about 30 minutes, juices will form in the bottom of the pan. Baste the apples with the juices. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.


You can serve with Ice Cream or in a bowl with milk (my preference). These are about my favorite fall/winter treat - EVER! Enjoy!!!


BTW - Don't forget to get your recipe posted and email the link to recipe(dot)carnival(at)gmail(dot)com. If you don't have a blog - email the recipe and Voila - it'll be posted!! Come on......share some of those goodies!!

Posted by Tammi at 03:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Randy's Helping....

to save a few relationships this holiday season. He's got a great post up exploring and explaining all that surrounds the effort of Men to Gift Wrap.

Funny Stuff...

I have to be honest. I am the worst gift wrapper ever. Honest. It's true. Gift bags were invented just for me...

Quick story:

My family is very artistic. You can tell I'm adopted....my stick people don't look like stick people.

Mama decided that we would take a gift wrapping class....one of those "family bonding" things.

The assignment was to wrap a gift so that it looked like a mans shirt. Teacher is walking around, admiring everyone's efforts and offering suggestions.

She gets to Mama. Oh, Vi - that is just stunning. I love the detail!!!

She gets to Tammi. Ughh, Ohhhh, Tammi, honey.....you may want to focus on finding a job where you'll make enough money to hire someone to do your wrapping.

Yeah, thanks lady!

I always have crinkles and wrinkles in my paper. My bows always look good, and the paper itself is beautiful. (that's how I forgive myself for the horrible wrapping job - paper so gorgeous that they don't notice the gaping holes or torn parts with extra tape)

It ain't just men that struggle with wrapping!

So, go have a laugh at Randys!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 10:21 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

So? What Cha Got????

KoolAid, my muse lately, has posted a great question. What's in Your Wallet? (or what he consideres required equipment)

After reading his list, and those of his commenters all I could think of was Oops. I think I missed the boat.

I will admit that I've applied for a concealed weapon permit here in Florida. With all the crap I've had go one the past 9 months and the amount of travel and freaks I deal with, I felt it was a good idea. But......to date I don't carry anything that could be called a weapon in conventional terms.

What I do carry in my purse....

1) A swiss army knife. It's old and dull but it lies in state on the bottom of my purse.
2)A calculator - actually 2 of them
3) My ID's. I know they are there - just don't know exactly where.
4) White out - hey, you never know........
5) Nine, yes nine, tubes of lipstick - all variations of the same color.
6) More pens than I can count.
7) Note pad
8) My beautiful set of darts....I'm always up for a game.
9) A tape measure
10) A small strand of rope
11) Disposable camera

Now, in my car I have a golf umbrella - perfect for keeping my hair pretty and also a very effective weapon. You'd be amazed at how much damage a 6'2" pissed off woman can do with one of those things.

Reading back through this, I realize I probably better make a few changes. Oh, who the hell am I kidding. This works for me.......If I get into trouble I'll just beat them with the umbrella, tie them up with the rope, paint their faces with white-out, chop off their hair with the knife, put lipstick on them, draw a bullseye with the pen on my note pad, measure back the correct distance and have a little game of darts while waiting for the cops. Oh, and then I'd take a picture.

Posted by Tammi at 08:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

A Prayer

Mama Vi doesn't like T.V. She's not one to sit still for any length of time. And if she IS sitting she's still doing something. Never waste a moment. They are all too precious - that's her motto.

Anyway - back to the T.V. thing. About the only programs she enjoys watching are the home improvement/arts & crafts shows. So....we've had the HGTV channel on loop here since just after Thanksgiving. All day, every day.

When it's just me, I have FOX News on. I don't listen to talk radio, I don't get the papers - I watch FOX News and read blogs. Period.

So....haven't been watching FOX. Have been skimming blogs due due to time constraints. I feel like I'm back in the Dark Ages. I'm completely out of touch. Not something I'm used to.

I didn't know about the blast in Mosul. I first read about it last night.

Smash shares a link (that I have added to my blogrol)l to Chaplin Lewis, who was there to tend to our Hero's, offering support and comfort.

Lex tells us about the empty chair. (beautiful)

I cry today. My prayers go to those wounded men and women, the families of those lost and wounded, those left to carry on.

I searched for some kind of comfort. SOMETHING. I have to admit, it's hard to find right now.


Here is my prayer....

Psalm 23
taken from the New American Standard Bible

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Amen

Posted by Tammi at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 21, 2004

All I Want for Christmas...

1) When someone places an order, the damn thing gets made and shipped.

2) When I make a call SOMEONE ALIVE answers or at least calls me back within the same week.

3) That someone, anyone, still cared about that little thing called customer service.

4) That people realize telling the truth is the ONLY way to do things. If you lie to me, and I find out.....It's Not Pretty. Not Pretty At All.

/rant

Posted by Tammi at 04:38 PM | Comments (0)

The Human Spirit.....

will not be crushed.....

Thanks to Florida Cracker, we see a touching example of that very thing.

You may remember, starting back in August, we had us a couple 4 little hurricances down here in Florida. Guess what! Things are still not back to normal.

Here's a few pictures of FEMAville, and thier Christmas Celebration!

And that reminds me. The Salvation Army has been the answer to so many prayers. Their assistance throughout the hurricanes and the after-effects cannot be praised enough. Don't forget to drop your extra change in the buckets. Really - every little bit helps.

Posted by Tammi at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Didn't Go As Planned

You ever have one of those days where nothing goes as planned? Oh, I'm sure you do! We all do. The secret to surviving them is humor. Lots and lots of humor. Well that, and flexability.

Yesterday I posted that I was taking a day off. Yipee!! Free Time! Tammi Time. Yeah, right.

It started out as a trickle and ended up a full fledged flood. No kidding - I got a total of 37 phone calls yesterday. Almost every one of the a problem/issue that needed immediate attention. Mom was afraid to use the phone cause every time I'd put it down it rang again. I had faxes coming through as I was talking to dealers, and dealers doubling up on phone calls. YIKES!!! I received calles from Reps, out on that long stretch of road, alone - so frustrated they just needed to vent and hear a concerned voice agree and offer support. It didn't stop until 9:00 last night.

I'd get off the phone, having paced through the house - talking, laughing, sympathizing, gesturing, cursing - and just lay my head on what ever flat surface I could find. At one point - even though it is freezing (for Florida) I went outside and sat with my feet in the pool. Mom would ask what was wrong now, and it would force me to retell, but with a bit of humor. Can't sound too much like constant bitching. Plus the telling helped to put everything in perspective.

So......I took the "OFF" off of my calendar and made it "OFFICE". Today? Office. Thanks to all those calls yesterday I've got 3 spreadsheets to do, 4 phone calls that I have to connect on - need information, and need it yesterday. I have training manuals to update and, most importantly of all - expense reports to file and overnight.

4 days til Christmas, 11 days til the New Year. Then a week in Vegas for our National Sales Meeting. After that it all slows down.

**Deep Breath, Exhale** I think I can, I think I can. I know I can, I know I can.

Posted by Tammi at 10:26 AM | Comments (2)

Holiday Message FROM The Troops

Here is a link to the 1st Infantry Divisions's website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and watch the Holiday Video.

As Sarah puts it "The 1ID website has got the only holiday video you'll see that contains both toy distribution and explosions. Check it out."

It's wonderful. I caught myself sitting a little taller in my chair. I'm so damned proud. I'm so damned grateful. I just wish I could give them all a hug.

Posted by Tammi at 09:42 AM | Comments (1)

Smashing Success!!!

Damn, I have so much respect for those that stand up for what they believe in. Yep, I do.

I have seen more of that thanks to the Blogs that I read. One Officer, and a Gentleman, that I've really come to admire is SMASH!

And he let hit one out of the park this weekend at the "Pity Pablo" rally in San Diego.

You know Pablo. He's the Petty Officer 3rd Class that refused to sail with his ship earlier this month. Well, he's attracted plenty of attention and is causing a bit of a stir. Seems he turned himself in, and a group of his supporters held a little rally. Protest Warriors of San Diego held their own rally.

One of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, Tim Goodrich, was at the rally - supporting Pablo. Smash had a little chat with him. Damn - I sat here smiling and nodding my head. Both barrels folks, both barrels.

Go and check it out. And then head on over to see Da Goddess. She has stories and pictures. A woman to admire.

Smash & Joanie - the signs in the picture are right. Honor, Courage, Commitment - you both are excellent examples of all of those. Thank you!

Posted by Tammi at 12:23 AM | Comments (1)

December 20, 2004

You Can Take The Girl Out of the City...

But you can't take the city out of the girl......

True Chicagoan
You are a true Chicagoan! You've probably lived
here for a long time, or are thoroughly
obsessed with the city and its history.
Congratulations! Maybe you should run for
office.


Are You a True Chicagoan?
brought to you by Quizilla


HatTip:Wait Til Next Year!!! Thanks Dude. I feel much better now!!! ;-)

Posted by Tammi at 01:55 PM | Comments (1)

Welcome Home My Friend!!!

He's home. Lex is back from another spell at sea!! Just in time for the Holidays!!!

Lex, you were missed my friend. Glad to read you are back, safe and sound, to your family and your readers.

Good luck with the shopping!

Posted by Tammi at 09:22 AM | Comments (1)

I LOVE Billy Joel

Really, I do! So what a pleasant surprise to pop over to one of my favorite spots, that sexy Straight White Guy - and find a link fest to Billy Joel's Piano Man! To make it even sweeter, I'm in there. Me. Little Ole Road Warrior!

Having done these linky lyrics before I know how tough it can be. Thanks Eric! Great Song! Great Links!

You're such a sweetie!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

Homage to an Alarm Clock

Yes, you read that one right. I wanna tell you about my alarm clock - it's one of my most favoritest things.

A couple of years ago, it was Christmas time. I was "contracting" (i.e. temping) to make the bills. I had lost the job of my dreams, due to layoffs, and was more than a little depressed and stressed.

My friends M & J invited me over for a Christmas gathering. We sat around laughing, telling stories, listening to music and eating. There were gifts to exchange and I was pretty excited about that. I put a lot of thought into what I give, and even though there wasn't much money I had found the perfect things.

M was especially excited about the gifts this year. He could hardly wait until we opened them. As the time approached he rushed to the tree and pulled out a box and handed it to me. Picture this - 6'2" guy, very daper, very polished - jumping up and down (literally) telling me to "open this one. Open it now!"

So I did. It was an alarm clock. Not an especially attractive one either. It was tall, like a tower. Very modern. Kinda gawdy.

Take it out! Take it out! Look see! It has aroma therapy and cool, soothing sounds. The light simulates sunrise and sunset. It's to help with stress relief!!
If I could give you anything - I'd take away your stress. This was as close as I could find.

I had tears in my eyes. My beloved friend, even with all that was going on in his life (we had both lost our jobs) took the time, and cared that much, to find a gift that he thought would make my life better.

I love that alarm clock. I use it every night - with soft fragrant lavander beads to help to soothe away the tension from the day. It was the most thoughtful gift I've ever received.

It is the perfect alarm clock.

Posted by Tammi at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

A Little Support

Teresa's Mother-In-Law has passed away. Please....go and leave her a message of support.

Losing someone is difficult, expected or unexpected. The Holiday's are stressful enough as they stand. This is a tough time, and I'm sure she will appreciate your support.

My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family, Teresa. **Hug**

Posted by Tammi at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

Shhh...Don't tell anyone!

I'm taking a day off. The first since Thanksgiving. I don't have another training class until the 26th, and this week my product is shipping out so I'll have to follow the truck around the state. So today....is mine!!! YEAH!!!

So, what does Tammi do with a day off? Well, I've still got my cell phone forwarded to the house, so I'll be taking phone calls. There are a couple of spreadsheets that need to be done and emailed. Also I made some phone calls on Thursday and Friday that no one responded to, and I owe people answers so I'll follow up on those. AND I need to get some reports fed-exed to my boss.

Wait. That doesn't sound like a day off to you? Let me tell you a little somethin'....there is no mention of driving in that paragraph. No where does it state "get in car....." Yeah - I'll take it, no problem.

My other project for the day - I got pictures to post for my friends. :-) I wanna show off my Christmas tree and some of my other prettys. If the pictures turned out, I'll get them up this afternoon.

SO......Tammi's Got A Day Off!!! WooHoo. I'm stayin' in my jammies, drinking coffee and listening to music while I type. I'm THRILLED!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 07:21 AM | Comments (1)

December 19, 2004

That Kinda Hurt

Last night I got my widdle feewings hurt. Damn, I hate when I let that happen. Let me explain (like you've actually got a choice on that!)

I'm bustin' my ass right now. This new group of stores is very high priority and we are really slammin' to get everything out and all the training done. As I posted last weekend, there was much driving to do this week. That really sucks the life out of you. Add to that the fact that every day was a major training presentation of one type or another. That, while it being my favorite part of the job, is also very draining. Today is the 3rd large group meeting in a row. Tomorrow I get a bit of a break - that makes me smile.

However........there are some negatives going on. For these roll out - we really put on the ritz. To make it more interesting I like to really pay attention to all the details. I don't just show up with donuts and bagels. I (when possible) will bake coffee cakes to take. Too much right now - so thanks to Publix bakery I still look pretty good. Here comes Tammi with a huge tray of assorted coffee cakes, a couple dozen grourmet bagles, a variety of cream cheese and everyone is happy. I've done that 3x in 3 days. 3 more to go between the 26th and the 3rd.

Oh, and for this group - we have presents. We were supposed to do a "game" to reward people for participating. For every good question/comment you get a card. At the end of the meeting who ever has the best poker hand get's $60 gift cert for Best Buy. The next 2 best hands gets $40 and then, while discussing the 3rd, 4th and 5th - you "throw up your hands, pretends it's too complicated" and give everyone there $20 cert. A nice thought. However, I don't play games in my sessions. I don't need to. I always have great participation and a whole list of really good questions. So.....I just give them all $20 gift certs. They LOVE it and it's cheaper in the long run.

On top of that, I make up folders for every Sales Person. They have training info, spec sheets and other tidbits of info. Each folder is then labeled with the store name, our company name and the date. I have them hold on to them and add to the folders over the year. I always come up with some reference material for each month and they can just keep it in there.

All of that adds up. Oh it makes a great impression. Just costs a flippin' fortune. 20-25 people each store. I got 7 (new opening the end of Jan). Have I mentioned no Corporate credit card? Hell - I don't even have a credit card of my own. So Tammi dishes out the cash. The gift certs will total $2,400 for just the first 6 stores. That's $2,400 the week before Christmas. That's $2,400 after 3 hurricanes and sales that suck. That's $2,400 after losing my largest account a little over a month ago. That's $2,400.

Add in the other stuff and it's just under $2,700. Oh, I'll get reimbursed - but those come in the middle of January. Ouch.

Between being burnt out and bummed over no Christmas gifts for my loved ones - I've been a bit of a.....hmmm how should I put this......bitch. Yeah, that works. Oh, I love the training classes themselves, it's just there's so much work to do, so little time and I'm so flippin' broke.

Mama gave me the lecture last night. Telling me she never hears me say how grateful I am for my job. Never hears me talk with any joy of what I'm doing.

Gotta tell ya. I didn't respond in the sweet, Tammi way. I snapped. I highlighted all the stuff listed above. Mentioned how sick and tired I am of getting up at 4:00am to drive all over hell and back, constantly wearing the game face, and then turn around, prepare for the next day and not even have any money for pantyhose. THEN...because that wasn't enough venting....I tell her how sorry I am that she doubts my faith. That, yes I do pray. All the time. Yes, I do thank the good Lord for my blessings. I ask for patience and wisdom. I just don't stand on a mountain top and declare it.

Silence. Long, deep, dark silence.

Then I apologized. Oh, not for my feelings and thoughts - but for not being more vocal about the positive side of things. She apologized for doubting me.

Damn, this whole interaction thing is still just as complicated as ever. Maybe I'm just not so good at it. Probably better that I do live alone.

Posted by Tammi at 05:37 AM | Comments (5)

December 18, 2004

Saturday Question of the Day

Every Saturday I'll try to come up with some "out there" question that just makes you stop and think about something not so important. Think of it as a mini vacation. If you have any ideas drop me a line and we'll throw it in here. Who knows, it might be fun.

OK - Here goes

What is your very favorite Christmas song? Come-on....you know you got one. Even if you're really not "into" the holidays.

Mine? I have two. (of course I do) Secular it's Feliz Navadad. I adore that song. I love singing it, I love hearing it, I just love it. No real reason, it just makes me happy.

Religious is tough for me. I have so many that really touch me. But I have to say the song "Mary Did You Know" has to be at the top of the list. It just touches a deep part of my heart. I always tear up. I think it's because it shows the wonder of children. We don't know who they will become, we don't know what great things they will do.....we are simply charged with loving, protecting and guiding them. They are all little miracles just waiting for the chance to bloom.

So...tell me.....what is Your favorite holiday song?!?

Posted by Tammi at 06:49 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

Perfect

If you wanted to send a letter to a Marine currently in the Sandbox but time got away from you there is still time.

Blackfive gives up the scoop.

I know I wanted to do so much more. Get more letters out, but have been so busy. Every night I come home and realize what didn't get done. Now....thanks to this new system, I can get a couple more letters out before Christmas.

Thank you B5!

Posted by Tammi at 06:40 AM | Comments (0)

That reminds me...

Kool-Aid has a rant up about some stuffy bitch that he had to deal with at work. It reminded me of a story of long ago and far away.............


Once upon a time, Tammi was young (21) and a travleing teller at THE bank in town. It paid decent money, but no benefits. However, having just spent 2 years singing in a band, money was money and that was her main focus.

So....it's a blistery cold morning. Young Tammi heads out to her 1980 Monza to warm it up before the icy drive to the bank.

Get in the car, ohhh the seats are so very cold!! Turn the key. RoRoRooo. Shit RoRoRooo. Damn it After a few more of those it became obvious that the car was not going to start.

What to do, what to do. It was so early in the morning, and Tammi's sweet Mama Vi was already gone for the day. No one else she knew was up.

So, she counts her precious cash and decides to call a cab. The bus wasn't an option as they lived out in the country.

After an expensive cab ride (where the heater didn't work in the back seat) Tammi arrives at the bank. Chilled, churning tummy and all.

Oh joy. They want her to work the drive through. So into the tunnel she goes to sit in the little box out in the drive to work the drive through on that Friday.

It should be mentioned that the bank that Tammi worked at was the bank that was cashing all the welfare checks that year - whether the customer had an account there or not. Oh, there were rules, ID and such, but anyone could cash their welfare check at any of the branches.

Tammi sits alone in her little box, waiting for the pace to quicken. Anything to take her mind off of the fact that she was going to HAVE to find a way to get her car fixed, no matter what.

All of a sudden up to her windows drives a woman, in a fur coat, driving a brand spanking new cadillac. She pulls up and the little drawer slides out.

Good Morning. Welcome to *cash and crazy's bank*.

Woman glares at Tammi and slaps in the now familiar looking welfare check. *yes, driving a brand new cadillac and wearing a fur coat.*

Just give me my cash, I didn't come here to make friends.

Hmmm....not a nice lady. I think it's time to request I.D. Oh, I know I've seen her here before, but maybe she's cashing someone else's check - I better double check. *evil grin*

Ms. Asshole? I'll need to see your Welfare ID card, please.

I don't have it with me. Just cash the F*ckin' check. You've cashed it every month for the past 6months. I don't have time for this.

Oh, I'm sorry. But we can no longer cash any Welfare checks with the documentation of the proper identification. *Really big evil grin*

Well, I don't have it with me, and I don't have time for your F*ckin' games. Give. Me. My. Money.

On and on this goes, back and forth. Tammi staying calm and actually enjoying herself more than she had in years. Fur wearing bimbet getting hotter under the collar by the minute.

Finally - customer started just yelling. So loud that one of the other tellers (not in the little building) intercomm'd to see if everything was alright.

Oh, it's just peachy, thank you for asking.

At the point where Tammi's parentage came into question she snapped.

The following is as close as history knows to the exact response.

Listen lady. I've about had it with your shit. You know the rules. You don't have the id, you don't get the cash. End of story. Plus - I need to mention I'm driving a 7 year old piece of shit that I can't get started, and wearing a damned denim jacket - and working my ass off for everything I've got, and you....you....you.....drive up here in your brand new car, wearing your fur coat and expect me to jump through hoops! Well, sorry sister - that ain't happening.

The next sound was that of spinning tires as the customer pulled out of the drive through and heading to the regular parking lot. Tammi see's her storm in to Branch Manager's office and begin waving her hands around in a truly dramatic manner.

Tammi? Can you please come in here?

Tammi? Ms. Asshole claims that you've insulted her and made very inappropriate comments. Is that true?

No, not really I just said.....(repeat above).....doesn't seem insulting to me, or in appropriate. Just True.

Well....long story short. Woman got check cashed....Tammi was sent home and told that it would be best if she stuck to the other side of town for a while.

Lesson learned? If you're car don't start - stay home.

Posted by Tammi at 06:00 AM | Comments (3)

December 17, 2004

So, What's Different?

Wow. I'm actually having a pretty good week. Busier than a one armed paper-hanger, but pretty good.

I've talked to my boss several times - and it's gone very well! I've just about driven the tires off my car, will have given 4 major training classes in 6 days as of Friday. I've sent out my business Christmas cards, cooked, created training tools, dealt with shipping and manufacturing issues and STILL it's been a good week.

So it makes me wonder just what's so different? I know!! It's ME!!

With the new major account I've picked up, and the new independent I signed up last week, I'm feeling on my game. Also - for some reason, I've slipped back into my comfort zone. I've always been a smart ass, always spoke my mind, and there is a certain way I work with people that has always worked very well for me. I stopped doing that for a while. I'm Back.

I was discussing it with Mom, trying to figure out what had happened. The best analogy I could think of was the battered spouse one. I remember when I was dating this guy. He was very nice, but had a bit of a temper. One day, his cat really pissed him off and he just started screaming at it. I was standing about 5 ft. away and when he began yelling I actually flinched and ducked. I had been programmed.

Same thing with this job. I had been yelled and and put down and "beaten" (verbally) so often that I began flinching and diverting just to keep from putting myself in a place where that would happen. Now.....I push back. I actually told my boss the other day we were in the middle of a cluster f*ck and then asked just what the hell he was going to do about it. As soon as the words left my lips I stopped, eyes round, breath held, waiting for his reaction. Silence, then chuckle. I exhaled.

If I am who I AM, and do things My Way it usually works out. And if it doesn't I usually have a contingency plan. That makes me comfortable. That makes me happy.

So.....bottom line. I'm having a pretty good week - even with all the meetings and driving. All because I'm not afraid. I don't know when the switch flipped, don't know why. Don't even really care. It's just nice to be back in a Tammi State of Mind.

Posted by Tammi at 06:33 AM | Comments (5)

December 16, 2004

This is for BOU....my pie crust recipe

Ok, Ok, Ok.....every time I talk to her, Bou is asking for the pie crust recipe. Here goes. But keep in mind, it is tried and true. If you follow the directions it will turn out as one of the best (and easiest) pie crust recipes EVER. **I'm known for my very good pies. It's my favorite thing to make. Hell, if you show up unexpectly I will probably whip one up just to have with coffee...only takes a moment.**

OK - general directions: The secret to really good, flaky pie crust is NO excess flour and DO NOT TOUCH IT EVER EVER EVER WITH YOUR HANDS! Don't do it, Do Not Do It. Period, end of statement.

You will need: a large tubberware (or knockoff) bowl with a lid that seals. 2 baggies (big enough to cover your hands) or latex gloves (don't ask). Pastry cutter, rolling pin and Plastic cling wrap (Glad Clingwrap is what I use). Oh, and of course - pie plate.

Will make 2 crusts with a little left over:

Ingredients:

Flour - Prefer White Lilly Flour (plain) if you can get it - 4 cups
Crisco Shortening - No Substitution - 2 cups
Salt - 2 tsp
Water - 3/4 cup

Measure water out and place in freezer. The colder the water the better.

Combine and cut in (with pastry cutter) flour, Crisco and salt. Do this directly in the large tubberware bowl. Continue cutting until blended well. Will be kinda lumpy.

Pour water on top of lumpy stuff. Put lid on bowl and shake the shit out of it. Seriously, shake shake shake shake. The mixture will begin to form a ball. It mixes itself. No kneading, no mixing - just shaking.

When a ball has formed and all the stuff is off the bottom of the bowl - just keep shaking. You'll know when it's done by looking at it. It is a wonderfully formed ball-o-dough.

Spread out a couple of sheets of clingwrap on the counter. Tear off a couple of other sheets - same size. Remove the lid from bowl. Place either baggies or gloves on both hands. Then, and only then, split dough in half and remove one half of dough from bowl and place on cling wrap. Gently smoosh it down and place addition cling wrap on top. Pick up the rolling pin and roll that bad boy out. Roll it thin. You'll need to adjust the clingwrap, but it's worth it. No flour. No real mess. Not dry. Flaky crust.

When dough is rolled out to the desired thickness (not too thick, not paper thin) remove top clingwrap. Carefully, pick up the dough (via the bottom clingwrap) and place in pie plate. STILL WEARING GLOVES OR BAGGIES - Press dough into plate and proceed as your pie recipe requires.

Repeat rolling directions for 2nd crust.

**Hint: if making crust for pudding or cream pie:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F: bake at that temp. for 5 mins. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until golden brown (approx. 5-10 more minutes)

Posted by Tammi at 01:01 PM | Comments (4)

Were'd it go?!?

Honest, I remember stumbling into the office last night, setting up the laptop and posting an "I'm Home" and "Thank you all so much for talking me through the drive" post. But I must have not saved it....silly Tammi.

Anyway - the trip was a huge success. The new dealers loved the product and we spent 5 hours reviewing game plans and formulating a line-up.

Just talked to my boss and he can't believe what we accomplished. He actually loved some of my "out of the box" advertising ideas.

But...gotta tell you. I'm exhausted. Got home around 11:30pm and crashed a little after midnight. Slept until 8:00am. And when I say slept, it was more like a coma. Slammed busy with paperwork today, but the cool thing is I can pop around the blogsphere and do a bit of catching up.

Today is the day to catch my breath. Starting tomorrow it gets even more intense until the New Years.

Posted by Tammi at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

December 15, 2004

On The Road Again......

Well, the good news is it's Wednesday. The week (for normal people) is half over.

The bad news? It's Wednesday. 12 hours of driving today. Plus 2 really big meetings and a couple small, but significantly nasty ones. I told Mama as I stumbled through the living room this morning....."Where's the glamour? Where's the fun??" Oh, I know it's there. Just kinda tough to spot at 0 dark thirty, before the first cup of coffee.

Special Note To All Those Bloggers I call!!! Talk to me!! If you're a morning person - I'm on the road til noon. Late Nighter? I'm back on the road at 6:00pm and drivin' til midnight. Any and all calls appreciated.

Alright - better get at it. Suit is steamed (it's a lovely capaccino color with a lavender silk blouse). Nails painted a snappy wine color. Make-up? Not til I get to the plant. No sense wearin' it off before I need it.

I'm outta here. Wish me luck!!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 05:54 AM | Comments (2)

TROPICAL FLORIDA???

Check This Out!!

38F
Fair Feels Like 29F

UV Index: 0 Low
Dew Point: 27F
Humidity: 65%
Visibility: 10.0 miles
Pressure: 30.35 inches and steady
Wind: From the North at 17 mph

That's the weather here in Central Florida at 5:20am - Right Now.

Folks - that's cold. Damn it - we got Wind Chill for cryin' out loud.

I'm getting ready to leave for Waycross and I can't find a damn thing to wear that's warm and business.

38F
Fair Feels Like 29F

Sum Bitch!!

Damn, hope I can figure out the heater in the car again!!!

Posted by Tammi at 05:23 AM | Comments (4)

December 14, 2004

It Can't Be True...

But he's never lied before. He is a man of honor, a man of his word, and Sgt. Hook announces that he is closing down his blog.

I sit here with my jaw hanging open, tears in my eyes at the thought of the loss. Not reading anymore of his insight, sharing his stories, his humor, his thoughtfulness. Oh, he explains his reasons, and I am not surprised that is something he feels so strongly about.

But Damn, Hook - you will be missed. More than you know. You have made an impact on more lives than you realize. You have shared your wisdom, your vision is such a beautiful and moving manner. You have been a light through so much of the darkness of the past +year.

My deepest hope is that this is only temporary. Please don't disappear. No matter what you're site will be missed.

Posted by Tammi at 11:25 AM | Comments (2)

A Smile, New Friends, Some Changes

As I posted earlier I got a rough week this week. Hell, it's Tuesday morning and I'm already draggin' ass. And it's not just the driving. It's the schedule, the meetings, the deadlines - just like everyone else, this is just an amazingly busy time for me. So I take my smiles when I can, and cling to the memories that brought them on in the first place. It makes it easier, on those long drives home, smoother when things go wrong, gives me something to look forward to.

I've always told you I have amazing friends. Amazing. And the people I've met via this blog are more than amazing - they are incredible. Part of that is the bond that forms via just reading someone's thoughts, someone's life. You start to care, without even hearing their voice, seeing their smiles. Then, when you do talk, when you do get a chance to sit down over a meal, spend time together it's like you've known each other for years! It's fabulous!!

I. Am. Blessed. Plain and simple.

I started this blog (on blogspot) on March 13 of last year. The first of May I had the opportunity to meet, and spend time with my friend Laughing Wolf. What a great weekend that was, and what a very important friendship that has turned out to be.

Then in June, I managed to meet up with Teresa, blogsister extrodinaire. We'd talked on the phone a couple of times before and talk a few times a week now! She has become more than just a blogsister, she's a sister of choice.

Then in August, during the Hurricane season from Hell, I get the chance to really develop a friendship with Bou, another Blogsis extrodinaire. She talked me through a very difficult time. THEN....I get to meet her and, extra bonus, those precious boys of hers. Again, I've found a sister of choice.

As time marches on I have the opportunity to talk with Johnny_Oh. Another Friend. Another someone that makes me smile with his calls, and the memories of our conversations. Oh - Johnny? We will manage to get together for some jokes and a few drinks. Just you wait and see!!

A wonderful Holiday surprise was next. The chance to not just talk to, but meet _Jon, and a surprise visit from Teresa made my trip home over the holidays The Best Ever. Another bond, someone who I feel like I've known for so long. Someone that I look forward to, not just reading about, but talking to. Laughing with. Someone I care about.

Finally - I had the best surprise on this past Sunday. The phone rings, I've had a bad day, am very tired. I don't recognize the number or the name on the caller ID. BUT......I know I have to answer. I do. It's this wonderful deep male voice saying "Tammi? Hi. It's That 1 Guy!" Oh. My. Goodness!!! What a wonderful conversation. Minutes into it, I've completely forgotten what a horrible day it was. I didn't feel one ounce of exhaustion. I was laughing. He was laughing - what a wonderful sound. I still have to smile when I think of it. Just remembering made yesterday bearable.

I love this! Oh, I've still got many on my list to meet, but I'm just so thrilled that I've had the opportunity to talk with, hug and enjoy so many writers that I enjoy reading every day. Damn, this is addictive. And a change in my life I never expected - but will fight tirelessly to preserve.

UPDATE: Shame on me!! I didn't even mention the WONDERFUL conversation with My Very Good Friend Bloodspite. We had a lovely talk one night that completely over-rode every bit of bad my day tried to implant. ANOTHER great blogger that has become a close friend.

Posted by Tammi at 10:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Help Is On The Way....

Don't worry Ogre! We'll get you some help buddy.

In case ya'll are wondering WTF I'm talking about - let me try to explain.

It all started with this post, where Harvey linked to the Llama song.

Well, that certainly hit a chord with Ogre. He actually changed his blog decor for a while to include Llamas (sorry, didn't get a screen shot of that).

Let's not forget the Llamas kissing.

Then about a month later we found this. Ooooooookkkkkkkaaaaaayyyyyyyy.

Now, he has really lost it - IMHO. Ogre, Dude, it's Raindeer. Raindeer, those cute little critters (ok maybe not so little) with antlers, that fly. I'm half afraid that's actually OGRE in the picture.

**speaking in a soft, sing-song voice** It's OK Ogre, I just want to take the llamas to get cleaned, Yeah, that's it. We wanna make them all pretty for Christmas.....No, Stop, Ogre.......NO NOT THE LLAMA SONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Harvey - I just want you to know I hold you completely responsible for this. **tapping toes, with hands on hips.**

Posted by Tammi at 08:37 AM | Comments (6)

December 13, 2004

Harvey Bought a Car

And he gives a great check list of what to look for.

Me? It's pretty simple.

Air conditioning?
Power steering, brakes, windows?
Automatic? (with the traffic I drive in a must)
And most important......does the radio work?

You think I'm kidding? Ha. Well, I'm not.

Here is a peek at my first car buying experience.

Tammi: I have $5000 to spend. I want a car no older than 5 years old, must have four doors, big enough for 4 boys in the back seat, less than 50,000 miles and the radio has to work.
Dealer: This is all we have.
Tammi: I'll take it.

It ended up being a great car.

Second car I bought:

Tammi (to auto broker over the phone): I think those Mazda 626's are kinda cute. Do they get good mileage? (at that time commuting from South Bend to Chicago)
Broker: Yeah, great mileage. Oh, and this one has a moon roof.
Tammi: Cool. Does the radio work?
Broker: Yes, it even has a cassett player. Oh, and it's white.
Tammi: I'll pick it up tomorrow.

ANOTHER Great Car!!!

Last car I bought:

Tammi: I'm a sales rep. I live in my car. I need power everything and enough room that I don't feel cramped.
Dealer: We've got this Oldsmobile.
Tammi: Cool. I loved my last Olds. How many miles?
Dealer: 42,000.
Tammi: How much?
Dealer: $$$
Tammi: Stereo?
Dealer: 12 Disc changer.
Tammi: Where do I sign.

So far so good. Even after the accident Maggie Mae has done me just fine.

Now, I do NOT recommend my method of automobile purchasing. Go Read Harvey's advise.

I just thought you might enjoy the laugh.

Posted by Tammi at 09:24 PM | Comments (1)

Huh?

**rubbing eyes, typing, rubbing eyes, deleting what was typed**

(repeat)

WTF?!?!

4:20 In The Morning?!?!?!?!

Damn!

Time to make the donuts................

Posted by Tammi at 04:22 AM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2004

Check It Out

As I've mentioned the last Carnival of Jammies is here. And it's now posted over at Harvey's. Hurry up and get on over there. The gang went all out this week. You know, the final blow-out and all.

I'd mention a few of them, but then you'd cheat and not go over to Harvey's and then you'd be missing all that wonderful "stuff" he has!!

Oh, and Harvey? You with an EVIL Twin?!?! The thought leaves even ME speechless!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:25 PM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2004

Big Finish

Well, according to Harvey, this is the last of the Carnival of the Jammies. I had big plans for this post - but due to this thing called work I don't have them finished (common theme anymore!)

So, here is a little number I WOULD wear for Christmas, if I had the opportunity. And, before you comment - no I will not buy it and post a picture of me in it. NOT gonna happen.

beadedteddyred.jpg

Just a little number to get you in the "spirit" of things.

Oh and Harvey? Thanks for putting this all together. It was fun!

Posted by Tammi at 11:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Saturday Question of the Day

Every Saturday I'll try to come up with some "out there" question that just makes you stop and think about something not so important. Think of it as a mini vacation. If you have any ideas drop me a line and we'll throw it in here. Who knows, it might be fun.

OK - Here goes:

What is your favorite childhood story? You know, that story you could never hear often enough.

I was going to say The Little Train that Could. You know, I think I can, I think I can... but Mom disagreed.

She reminded me that the one story I had to ALWAYS hear was Beauty and the Beast. I loved the fact that Belle was a reader, and that she loved her Daddy. When the movie came out it was (and is) still one of my favorites.

I love the lesson. Look below the surface. Don't take things at face value. But I suspect the reason I enjoyed it so much as a child was the surprise ending - and yes, it was a surprise to me.

So tell me, what was your favorite childhood story?

Posted by Tammi at 09:10 AM | Comments (5)

They Say It's Your Birthday!!

Craig, over at MT Politics has a favor. It's his wife's birthday TODAY and he thought it would be kinda cool if people dropped her a birthday wish.

He said the post would "appear" from time to time over the weekend so I'm cutting and pasting here so you get all the details!

Small Indulgence, Por Favor
Filed under: General Craig @ 18:27
This post wont stay up long, so please take advantage while you can.

Some years back (like fudge Im telling), my Spousal Unit was born on the 11th of December. (I know. Were a day early, but thats how it has to be.)

At any rate, if yall could be so kind to surprise here and drop her a line to spousalunit@mtpolitics.net, and wish her a happy one, Id be most grateful.

This post will probably show up from time to time over the weekend. Im kinda sneaky that way.

Thanks!

Drop her a note wishing her a Happy Birthday. What a cool idea!!

But hey, Craig? Doesn't get you out of a really good gift!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:55 AM | Comments (1)

December 10, 2004

Ohhh....it all sounds so gooooddddd

The Carnival of the Recipes is up and MaryBeth, at Random Thoughts from MaryBeth did an OUTSTANDING JOB! Thanks MaryBeth!!

There are all sorts of goodies showcased. I'm not pulling out any links, cause you need to read through them all.

Damn, I should have read this BEFORE I went to the grocery store.

Posted by Tammi at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

I'm Earning the Title Now

My Schedule starting Sunday morning:

Sunday 9:00am meeting in Daytona
Monday 9:30am meeting in Ft. Myers
Tuesday 10:00am training/meeting in Daytona
Wednesday 1:30pm meeting in WAYCROSS GA

That is a total of 1,195 miles (conservative) just driving back and forth from my home to my scheduled meetings in a 4 day time frame.

To compare - its, 1,129 miles from my house in Central Florida to South Bend IN.

That does not include my normal stops.

My ass already hurts, just thinking about it.

Oh, and did I mention that it's December 10th? The Holidays? There are a shit load of tourists on the road? Take normal travel time, and almost double it.

Now my ass hurts AND I have a headache.

Posted by Tammi at 07:53 AM | Comments (3)

December 09, 2004

Have I Ever Mentioned....

That I have a slight Santa fetish??

Here's why...................

Posted by Tammi at 10:13 PM | Comments (2)

A Warrior's Final Request

I recieved this via Matt at Blackfive

This is the email:

Specialist David Mahlenbrock was killed by an IED on December 3rd in
Kirkuk, Iraq.

I received this email. It's from David's Squad in Bravo,
65th Engineers in Iraq and they are forwarding a request from David.
It appears that David had a special letter sent to his squad in the
event of his death. He wanted Toby Keith's "American Soldier" played
at his funeral:

Posted by Tammi at 10:09 PM | Comments (0)

Chocolate and Liqueur....Perfect!

I have been so lax in posting any recipes - and I know I owe you Grandma's cranberry salad....soon....promise.

This one is short and easy!! It's called Liquid Midol - and I figure it's perfect to help relieve some of the stress of the season.

Simple and straight to the point. I want you to know I usually make this by the half gallon and chill it. ;-) Hey, what can I say! I live a stressful kinda life!

1 part Godiva Chocolate liqueur
1 part Crme de Cocoa
1 part Vanilla Vodka

Promise - some of that and the problems all but disappear!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:20 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

What Was THAT???

Wow.

Wow.

I got a call yesterday afternoon that a new dealer was opening up in my territory and wanted to carry my product.

Ok. I'll give 'em a call.

They want to carry my product exclusively.

OK - now I'm really interested.

We arrange to meet this morning (very early, hence no morning posts).

3 1/2 hours later we have a signed contract. They are projected, based on demographics, population, location and product line up to do......drum roll please.......$500,000 in the first year. That's a very conservative estimate.

Holy Cow.

May not sound like much but that is a very large independent account. Actually that's flippin' huge.

And because they are starting up after next years forecast is complete - they aren't in my numbers.

It's. All. Gravy.

In laymans terms.....money, money, money, money.

I am flying HIGH!!

So - I'm off to run some errands with Mom, fix a nice stir-fry for dinner and then settle down and maybe watch some T.V. Well, that and finish my month end reports - but even that can't dampen my day!

Just thought I'd share the good news!

Posted by Tammi at 03:08 PM | Comments (9)

December 08, 2004

Something To Think About

I was driving around yesterday, making calls, setting appointments and dodging idiot drivers. WooHoo, a typical day overall.

Except I was happy. Oh, I had a pretty bad day. I have a consumer that is beyond angry. Way beyond. I was at her home first thing in the morning and, well let's just say it wasn't the most pleasant experience I've encountered. End result - she's not mad at me, realizes it's not my fault and that my hands are tied. BUT (and it's a mighty big one at that) she is still angry. Gonna call our CEO. Sum Bitch. Not exactly the way I want to garner attention.

I've called anyone and everyone that will be touched by this situation. General reaction? Sum Bitch. That's not good, not good at all.

I know I've done all I can do, and then some. If I were the consumer I'd have flipped my lid a long, long time ago. But out of respect for me, they hung in there and worked with us. For that I am very grateful. Now it's time to come down like a ton of bricks and that's exactly what they are going to do. Unfortunetly, those bricks have to land some place. So I dug out my hard hat and umbrella and have prepared the best that I can. ;-)

Amazingly enough, that didn't really ruin my day. My next few calls pumped me right back up. I met another of my new stores and they are so excited. That excitement is contagious. Another store was a bit disappointed in me, but a few minutes sitting on a couch talking with them and I think we're going to be alright.
(Well, that and I promised them food this weekend.)

Isn't it funny how different things effect us in different ways at different times? Normally a consumer that is that angry would just tear me down for a couple of days. I'm a fixer. I make people happy. It's what I do. When I can't pull that off it really eats at me. But not this time. The happiness and excitment of the other people I'm dealing with just out shines that grey cloud.

Hmmmm......something to keep in mind. Just sharing a smile or saying a kind word may just be that piece of straw that changes the balance of someone's day. I think maybe I'll see how many days I can brighten today!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:25 AM | Comments (5)

Busy?

We've got a lot going on right now - we've got the Spirit of America challenge, the Blogwars (have you voted for Harvey, Bou and Ogre yet?) not to mention "regular life" - the holidays, work, school and family.

But we can not, must not forget our Military men and women, and their families. ESPECIALLY now.

I found this video via Sean at Doc in the Box, who by the way will be returning to the box soon, stop by and wish him well.

I found this memorial via Matt at Blackfive.

Soldiers' Angels is working miracles daily - taking care of our wounded heros and their families.

Keystone Military is another organization that just keeps giving - another great way to show you care.

Yeah, we have a lot going on, we're all a bit stressed, we all feel like we need a few more hours in the day. But these are easy things. Just a click away. Take a minute. Take a moment to honor. Take a moment to give. Make someones day. Hell, make someones season.

Posted by Tammi at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

I'm Ashamed

My excuse is I'm so damned busy - but that really is a piss poor excuse.

The Fighting Fusileers are in the Christmas Spirit of America Challenge and I'm not really doing my part. But everyone else sure is.....

And what a team they have. And what a fabulous cause. Eric, the Straight White Guy, has a wonderful, thought provoking essay up that is a Must Read. Then be sure and check over at Bou's place - she's doing a great job of reminding us all of who is posting what, where and basically being the rally rouser that she is!!

Oh heck, just follow the link at Castle Arrggghhhh and click through the list. It's worth it, trust me. What a wonderful group of bloggers.

But listen - there's no such thing as a free ride. Donate. Donate. Donate. Consider it a Christmas Present to yourself. Then Read. Read. Read.

Remember the best part of the Christmas Spirit is making someone happy. Giving them something that they will love and appreciate. It's important. It's meaningful. It's Christmas.

Posted by Tammi at 09:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Get 'Er Done

Harvey has a great post up offering advise to Nick of Patriot Paradox advise on Time Management, especially teaching oneself to study. Tough question with no easy answers. BUT.....School (college in particular) does more than teach you book smarts. The habits you pick up now will stay with you forever (yes, even the bad ones, for the most part).

My first 3 years of college were like most people. Fresh out of High School and cocky as hell. I never studied. I had taken a lot of college level courses my senior year in High School so I already knew what to expect work load wise. I was on a full scholarship so the arrogance was even worse. However - I have one gift. It is the ability to remember conversations. Almost like a photographic memory only verbal not visual. So that was advantage Tammi. When I went back to finish up my degree it wasn't so easy. I was working 60+ hours a week and carrying a full load class wise. Oh I had a 3.99 average, but had to develop new study habits. Those are what have changed how I do things today.

So, here's my .02 cents worth on Time Management and how to really develop the skill of multi tasking.

I love Teresa's comment at Harvey's place to look at the lectures as an opportunity to find mistakes. Another way to "force the interest" is to look at the topic like it will make you a boat load of money. "Damn, if I can get this down, I'll make a fortune." Hell, use your imagaination to create that scenerio.

When I take notes I take them in outline form. Not a lot of detail. It forces me to think back over the discussion. Plus it makes it more productive if you are studying during drive time. I have notebooks full of lecture outlines. I take one section at a time and, since I'm usually alone, talk out everything I can remember about that part of the topic. I did the same thing (only silently) when I was taking the train back and forth in Chicago. What this does is puts the subject matter into your language. Make it personal. If you own the topic you will become the expert. Plus, you will retain more when it makes sense to YOU.

3) Homework - when at all possible do it the day you recieve it. That last run through college I had class 1 night a week for 4 hours. We got finished at 10:00pm and it usually took 45 mins to get home. I was so hyped up after class, I'd just get home and dive in. One - it would help me to come off that rush, two - it let me know from the get go how involved the assignment was going to be.

When you have books to read and papers to write it's not that simple. Kinda like when I prepare training booklets - not something that can be done quickly. Those I schedule. But I schedule them to begin within 24 hours of getting the assignment. If you wait, it loses it's urgency - until the day before it's due.

I guess the biggest secret is to remember you're doing this for YOU. By procrastinating you are only making things harder for YOU. If you don't get it done in time, or if you have to bust your ass to get it done at the last minute the only person that suffers is YOU. Plain and simple.

So do yourself a favor - start out early. Plan it, once you do that a couple of times, and see how easy it is and how much better it turns out you'll keep going. Honest - I'm the worlds worst procrastinator, but not when it comes to stuff like that. I'm too damned vain to turn in something that's half-assed.

If all else fails - you can take Harvey's advise and Try Drinking Heavily. If nothing else, it'll make for a very interesting paper!!

Posted by Tammi at 07:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 06, 2004

Have You Ever....

Loved someone so much you just can't move on? Loved someone that was the perfect ying for your yang, but the timing was just......bad?

I've been in love 2x in my life. Both since my divorce. No, I didn't love my husband. He wasn't the lovable kind. He didn't love me either - there was no secret in that. He needed someone to take care of him and his kids, and in extention the rest of his family. I needed to be needed. Bad, bad idea.

I honestly didn't think I was capable of any thing more than that. I'm pretty soft hearted and a romantic to my bones but never had those crushes others had, never daydreamed about "true love". (I think I have an issue with trust, but that's an entirely different post.)When I do love, I love deeply. That goes for my friends and my family.

Both times I've really fallen in love have kind of slipped up and slapped me up side the head. The first was right after my divorce. We met over the internet, and found it ironic that he lived in Sarasota and I was moving to Bradenton. We exchanged many, many emails, and had wonderful long converstations over the phone. Nothing romantic at that point - just developing that friendship. Honestly, that's all I was looking for. Then came the day we actually met face to face. I pull up and get out of the car. Knock on the door and, Holy Cow, there he was. I stood there for a moment and then, without saying a word, turned around and went back to the car. He called out to me, and I eventually turned back. Man, I thought, I am out of my league here.

He was 6'5", blonde, blue eyed, from Scotland, and well, let me just say, my dream was standing in that door way. Needless to say things moved along at a pretty fast clip from there.

He was the first man to tell me I was beautiful. He never took me for granted. He wanted to do things for me. He treated me with respect. He appreciated me. The problem was timing. We were both coming out of horrible marriages, devastating divorces and well, the timing was very bad.

I dated a couple of times after that. Nothing serious, nothing steady - until 7 years later. (Yes, 7 years!)

I met a man about 3 years ago. A gentleman. A warrior. A man with strong opinions, that isn't a bully. A man with conviction, morals, values - a man who knows who he is. A man who's lived a difficult life (most of us have). He's very smart, he makes me laugh, he touches the very deepest corner of my soul. We talk about everything - his military service, my career, sports, politics, our families, religion, food, our dreams. After a while, he just became a part of me. We share common goals, dreams, visions. The first time I saw him he made me smile. His eyes dance - all the time. There is a joy in him that even he doesn't realize. When we talk we know exactly what is meant, it's always been that way. I thought it was the stuff of fairy tales - I hear others talk about that and just figured it wasn't something I'd ever know.

And then there is that damned timing. It's all wrong. It will probably never be more than what we have right now. He lives there, I live here. We both have trust issues, but yet - instinctivly trust each other - that's amazed us both from the start. But yet - we can't seem to cut that final tie.

Just about the time we drift completly away - something happens. An email will just appear. Or even, gasp, a phone call. Just that little something that keeps that damn spark going. I know it doesn't make sense, but for some reason we both seem to NEED to know that the other is still there.

Now, I don't want you to think I just sit here pining for him. I don't. I just want what I want. Simple. And I don't just "get something to fill in". Never been my style. As I've said numerous times, I just don't settle.

What brought on this post? Nothing really, just a song. A song that triggers thoughts of him, and I needed to get them out there.

Posted by Tammi at 10:27 AM | Comments (5)

It was a Good Day

Yesterday's class went pretty well. It's always hard for me, being the control freak (work wise) that I am. I have a different style in presenting. VERY high energy. I mean, very high. I move things along at a clip. I want you to run to keep up with me. It keeps your interest, and when it's over you have more time to answer questions and, well, play.

My team mates are not of the same mind. This thing went so slow, I was falling asleep. But, the end result was the same. People are excited about this line. It is gorgeous, and new, and fresh and....neato.

My portion of the program was general cheerleader and prize giver-outer. AND I got to show and introduce the "meat" of the line. Yipee. I had 5 beds to walk through. The boss was lurking in the background. First group walks up. I take control. I speak loudly. (I'm used to presenting and performing, plus I got a really big mouth). I gather them around the first bed and dive in. I hit what's the same. Build it up, consistent quality that we've all come to depend on. Then hit whats new (verbally pulling back the curtain to revel door number 3). We all lay on the beds, touch the covers (ultra suede -- very sexy) and discuss the foam on the toppers. Get through all 5 beds. Look around. The other 2 groups had 3 beds each. They are just getting to the last beds. WFT??!! Move it people, move it. We're losing 'em!!

Anyway - it went well. My boss didn't even give me too rough of a time. (Thank goodness - limited sleep, limited coffee - I wouldn't have wanted to see what might have been.)

The birthday party was great. I love 1st Birthdays. Damn, I love kids. I need 3 or 4 but will just have to be satisfied being a loving Aunt Tammi. But, damn I love kids.

Not a bad Sunday. Not a bad Sunday at all.

Posted by Tammi at 08:56 AM | Comments (2)

December 05, 2004

Coming Soon.....

Geez! It's already 4:50am and I'm flippin' late!!!

This morning we have a huge roll out meeting with one of our "major" customers. It starts at 7:15am. Good thing it's mattresses, we all gonna need a place to take a nap!!!!

It's not my account, but one I help with....plus I'm a pretty good cheerleader and this is important. We've got some of our management flying in from Atlanta, driving in from Venice (FL) and, well, you get the picture. It's important.

I'm anxious for feedback. It's the first majoy launch of the new product, and this is a group of very sceptical people, so I can't wait to see their reactions. Plus it'll help me prepare for my big meetings coming up.

Then Mama and I are heading to St. Pete this afternoon. My great nephew is turning 1 years old today. Man, where has the past 12 months gone?!? Mama made him to most beautiful, cuddly baby blanket - he's gonna love it!!!

All this boils down to......not much posting today. But here's what I'm gonna do...........

I, Tammi, promise you, My Friends, that I will do the following:

1) finish my Christmas decorating and get pictures taken, developed, scaned and posted (By Tuesday evening)

2) post Grandma's Cranberry Salad reciepe Monday

3) Finish browsing the Carnival of Jammies and have a different twist on my final entry next week.

4) While this might not mean anything to most of you......call my blogfamily (that I have numbers for) to catch up, congratulate and well generally just chat. It's Way Past Time!!

OK, gotta run. Now I've got 5 mins to get a face on and run out the door. Can't scare the natives, you know. (plus my boss is coming and damn, that man makes me nervous!) Wish us luck!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 05:06 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 04, 2004

Saturday Question of the Day

Every Saturday I'll try to come up with some "out there" question that just makes you stop and think about something not so important. Think of it as a mini vacation. If you have any ideas drop me a line and we'll throw it in here. Who knows, it might be fun.

OK - Here goes:

What is the one Treat that just says CHRISTMAS for you? That yummy delight that you usually only get during the holiday season?

For me it's my Grandmother's cranberry salad. Oh, we could make it any time, but we don't. We make the first batch at Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas. It's sweet and tart, full of flavor that just bursts in your mouth. There are nuts and berrys to add texture, jello to smooth it out and oranges to add that little surprise.

It's not easy to make, and we always make a production of it. Like all the candies and cookies we do, it's a family affair. One person cleans the cranberrys then is charged with chopping them up. Someone else is in charge of the pecans. The oldest child get's to do the jello, and then someone else peels and chops the oranges. The oldest woman gets to oversee the production and then mix everything together. It's actually very symbolic. We never planned it this way, it just happened.

Maybe that's why I love it so much, it's not just tastey, it represents the Family. It's tradition.

So what about you? What's your favorite holiday dish - and tell me why!!!!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:35 AM | Comments (10)

December 03, 2004

What He Said

I promise, I won't JUST write about the holidays, but............

What He Said!!

Posted by Tammi at 09:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

She Did Good!!

The Cheesemistress strikes again.

This time it's a wonderfully entertaining Christmas Card, Cheese Style.

The links are GREAT!! If you haven't seen it yet, pop on over and check it out!!

(plus it's one of my favorite Christmas songs!)

Posted by Tammi at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

Share the Spirit

I am having the best time. Mama and I are puttering around the house (between me creating presentations and taking care of business) putting out my Christmas stuff. This is the first year in 9 years that I've put it all out.

Now let me make one thing clear. I LOVE ALL THINGS CHRISTMAS!!! It is, hands down my very favoritist holiday. Each and every year I start thinking - IN JULY - about what I want to put where, buying up my favorite scents and checking out any and all Christmas decorations. Then over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend IT starts. The official decorating of the obode.

But what usually happens is this. I get all the boxes out, rearrange furniture for proper tree placement, get the tree up and unpack all the ornaments. As I start to place the ornaments in just the right spot, music adding that perfect motivation I start daydreaming. I imagine the dinner parties, the cocktail gatherings, my house just filled with laughter and chatter. The smells of the holiday wafting in every corner. Apple, cinnamin, spices, and a hit of vanilla. I start to formulate the guest lists, and pull together a menu. Then it hits me. I live too far away. It would be impossible to pull everyone together. It won't happen.

At that point I would sit down on the couch, light a cigarette and pour myself a drink. I'm done. Oh, I'd finish the tree (maybe) but then everything else would be put back into what ever storage spot I had.

Christmas is to be shared. It's the nature of the holiday. What is getting me so motivated this year is the fact that my family is here (and coming). Mama and I are really enjoying discovering all the stuff I have. Putting it all in just the right place. She's getting a kick out of how anal-retentive I am about what goes where and how it needs to flow through the house. I'm thrilled that I will have a child in my house this holiday season. I've planted all sorts of surprises throughout every room. Little things you don't notice at first glance. You need to really pay attention.

Holidays are for sharing. That's what makes it such a tough time for so many people. Do me a favor. Please? I know this is a busy time for everyone, but pay attention to what is going on around you. You know someone that is single? Invite them over for an evening. Doesn't have to be a big thing, just a dinner, or a Christmas card. Christmas brings out the lonelies. Even the strongest, most independent hurt just a bit if they are alone during this time. Reach out to them. Include them. Believe me, it will mean more than you will ever know.

Something as simple as a dinner, cocktails or just a plate of goodies can make someones holidays.

Posted by Tammi at 08:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 02, 2004

A Very Important Day

I'm a bit late with this post. Tuesday, November 30th, was my Adoption Birthday. 42 years ago, my parents got the call that they were getting a baby that day. A little girl. Me.

There was only one problem. She had a bit of a birth defect. My parents asked what it was, as they held hands, both sharing the reciever. Well, her 2nd and 3rd toes are connected. She may grow out of it, but we thought you should know.

After the stunned silence Mama said - that is NOT a problem. Bring her over. They hung up (and so the story goes) after much hugging and crying started to prepare the home.

And a home it is. I am one very lucky girl. I have been blessed with parents that have loved, cherished and supported me from the beginning. There was no anger in our home. It was all about the love. Oh, there were tough times, but we survived because of love and faith.

I often kid Mama that the birth defect they mentioned was much bigger than anyone could imagine. I'm a part of a wonderful extended family of SHORT PEOPLE!! Solid, focused, quiet folks. Yeah - it's like that Sesame Street song, one of these things is not like the other except it has a different ending. I do belong.

Posted by Tammi at 08:27 AM | Comments (9)

Good News

I love good news. It's one of the reason's I blog.

Oh, I love the political discussions, learning about things I've never known before, getting to know new people, but most of all, I love good news.

And we have some seriously good news in the blogshere right now!!

BloodSpite, at Technography has a beautiful baby girl!! Regan was born on Nov. 27th in the wee small hours of the morning. I am so happy for the new parents. What a wonderful event. Go and congratulate them!!

Then, as I'm tooling through my favorite spots I see that Sgt. Hook is HOME!! This is the story of his final formation. It brought tears to my eyes. What a gentle man. And I mean that in every good way there is. This man, this Soldier who shares his thoughts and feelings so beautifully has helped to give me hope.

Let me explain. Up until the past few years I never had much of a chance to know "good men". Daddy died when I was 10. I had lots of Uncles and such, but our family didn't allow for much mixing between the age groups. Children were to go out and play, stay out of the way. (that's a whole 'nother post) I didn't marry well. Not at all. And like draws to like, so his friends weren't any better. Kinda burned me. Bad.

But I read the thoughts that Sgt. Hook shares, his feelings and realize that not all men are like the twisted SOBs I've known. I know that sounds kind of corny, but that's important. I've learned that there are more of the good ones than the bad ones. I've learned that being strong doesn't mean being mean.

Anyway - I'm rambling when all I really want to say it Welcome Home Hook. As difficult as it was to leave your troops, I cannot imagine the joy of holding your family. In time for the Holidays. God Bless Ya!!!

I love good news.

Posted by Tammi at 08:20 AM | Comments (1)

There They Are

Amoungst all that other stuff, we are decorating for Christmas. It's really starting to look nice. I've got everything out, except for the tree. That will happen on Saturday. I promise, I promise, I'll post pictures. I'm very excited.

On a "what the hell" note: unpacking one of the Christmas boxes yesterday.....pulled out my Christmas wreaths. There, underneath, was my beautiful wool, hand tied rug. I thought it didn't make the move. Yipee, joy dance.

Then....under that.......my winter coats. All of them. I laughed until I about peed my pants. I'm sitting on the floor of the storage room, laughing so hard Mama thought I was crying. She comes in and sees me holding my coats and starts laughing. Folks, I just spent a week up north freezing my ASS off because I couldn't find my coats. I have many many coats, and they ain't cheap ones. I was not a happy camper when I couldn't find them. I'm thrilled to have them hanging in the closet for NEXT YEAR!

All I could say was who the HELL packs coats, rugs and Christmas wreaths together?!?! It's a good thing Mama came down here, or otherwise I might not have found these things for another 2 or 3 years!!!

Posted by Tammi at 08:04 AM | Comments (1)

It's Dec. 2nd?!?!?!?!?

Things have been kind of spotty over here lately. What with the new product launch at work, going up north for a week and now......(doom music echoing in the background).....end of the year, well - let's just say I'm a tad bit busy.

I spent yesterday setting up a new account that I picked up. It's sweet. 6 stores of a national chain and I'm the lead in Florida. FINALLY, a chance to show what I can do. I've got to conduct 6 seperate training classes, put together a "from scratch" training manual, plan the menus (yeah, I bribe with food) and still hit all of my other stores, do my month end reports, finish my product launch, forecast for next year and, oh yeah - have my review with my boss.

That last part is the one that gets me. It will be the biggest challenge. Not because I'm worried about what he'll say. I know what that will contain. I didn't open enough new business, I didn't communicate well enough, I didn't grow my accounts to their potential (never mind 3 hurricanes, moving, losing a major national account, and all the other shit). No, I know what he'll say. What I'm worried is what I'll say.

Our team is kinda run like the mafia. Everything stays in the "family". That's the RULE. DON'T ask questions outside the team. Everything funnels through the top. Problem is if you ask questions the general response is "Are you a F*ckin' Idiot?" (seriously, that's usually the response!) One of these days, I'm gonna just have an out-of-body experience and say exactly what comes to mind. Yeah, that'll be the day it seems like the northern lights are showing in Florida!!

Damn, I wandered off again.

For my training class I've been picking the mind of other bloggers. I really want to blow their minds on this, and I think we may be well on the way. Thank you all so much.

My manual is going to the printer on Monday. I think it's good. But it can be better so that's what I'll be doing tomorrow night.

Mama has been a God-send. It's just weird. I talk to myself, a lot. Sometimes it's the only voice I hear in a day. Now, when I talk - someone flippin' answers! Yikes. The funniest was yesterday, trying to figure out why my orders were so messed up.....I'm cursing up a blue streak. Next thing I hear is Mama, tellin' me to watch my language. Honestly - I forgot she was there, so for just a split second I couldn't figure out where the voice was coming from, and it kind of shook me up!!

I can't imagine trying to get all this shit done and still take care of a family. Where did the time go? How is it possible it's December 2nd already?? And we'll just leave the upcoming holidays for another post!! I better get my ass in gear.

Posted by Tammi at 08:02 AM | Comments (1)

December 01, 2004

Whew

Well, we pulled into the hacienda yesterday around 5:30. The drive back was PERFECT. Never hit heavy traffic, no bad weather - perfect. Yesterday we started out with a nice breakfast with Laughing Wolf and then put the pedal to the metal and headed south. Of course the phone rang, mostly work (and some very good friends checking on us). I've decided I'm not letting Mama go home. She's obviously a good luck charm for the traffic and such, plus it's very handy having someone in the car to help find files and write reminders and look-up phone numbers. She's not so hot on that idea. Hmmmm wonder why! ;-)

We got the car unloaded, fixed a quick dinner of chicken and rice and popped over to the new Wal-Mart Supercenter. Rushed home and settled back into the house.

With everything that's been going on these past few months it seemed like I hadn't been HOME for a decade. I had not been doing anything but working and blogging. Last night I lite all my candles (ohh the house smelled so good!!) and we just watched some nice tv and chatted. I actually sat at my kitchen table and ate a meal. Hadn't done that since July!!

I know Mom doesn't realize this, but this month will be a life saver for me. I have a reason to do things, a reason to get back into my old habits. It's like priming a pump. Once it's started I'll be ok. I just didn't have the energy (or the courage) to jump start it myself.

So.....today is catch-up on work and then tonite we start the Christmas decorating!! WooHoo.

But I wanted to let you all know, we made it safe and sound.

Posted by Tammi at 08:02 AM | Comments (6)