Working Remote

Downsized from a corporate job. Searching for something new. It has been an emotional battle. Forget all the go-away parties for former co-workers I had planned in the past. Mine was a hasty exit, fueled by broken promises on a legal journey solved only by my lawyer. My boss was a snake.

My old boss the snake  This may have been me, if I was a guy.

Cry me a river.

Maybe more colorful curtains?


After 2 months of feeling sorry for myself, watching too many hours of HGTV, I tackled the house. Removing wallpaper, sanding and priming walls and painting a new neutral color. The palest of yellows – that may need (after months of reflection) a little more punch. The good news, we can quickly repaint, should (when) we decide to downsize. That is a topic for another day.



After the renovation, I started applying for jobs  And, Hallelujah, a new position, working remote, with a great organization and my office …  the dining room table.

The commute, simple, fast and perks like an endless supply of coffee.  Replaced my office co-workers with the puppy, he is a constant source of love and never talks back. I am mastering Skype, google docs, the mute button on my phone and the weird  sensation of virtual meetings.

The Perks:

  • the dress code. Gone are the banking type clothes for meetings. Replaced with Life is Good comfortable tee’s and jeans or capris
  • lunch is just a quick step into the kitchen. Leftovers have become my friends.
  • on hot days – I take a swim in the middle of the day :)
  • advance notice of meetings, requires a quick blast of hairspray, tidy the shirt … and best of all no-one can see below the desk
  • hours are flexible – I can take nail/hair/massage appointments in the middle of the day
  • I only wear shoes to go out. Work shoes are slippers in the winter and bare feet for summer
  • I am an early bird – can get in a quick 4 hours before 10
  • I can work from the lake

The Cons:

  • I miss interacting with people – in person. I have a rule: venture out of the house daily. Post office, grocery, yoga, zumba, anywhere.
  • the thought/nightmare that I will get slovenly, staying at home
  • focus. Going from task to task – well I had this problem in an office

It has been 2 months. A glorious two months of working remote. Smart people, nice people, interesting job. I am grateful for the chance, honored to be chosen and will work my ass off to succeed.

Moral of the story – things happen for a reason.

Pressure cooker recipes from Bass Pro Shop

We were gathering information on a possible new fishing boat at Bass Pro. Something for the guy that works hard every day and rarely buys anything for himself. The guy that brown bags a lunch daily. Terms like fishing platform, v-hull, carpeting vs non-skid, 25 hp vs 40 hp  were tossed around and about as we toured the available models with our salesguy.

My only question – will this make you happy and will this be your forever fishing boat?

I wandering into the main store. This year we have been sampling and collecting different mustard.  Amazing the types and flavors that are available. Bass Pro has a gift/food section in their stores. A decent selection of celebrity (Duck Commander, Pioneer Woman) items and a good selection of hot sauces!

While browsing the Bass Pro clerk asked if I need any help? Mustard? From the other side of the display a lady spoke up and began her tales of cooking with mustard and her favorite recipes and a pressure cooker. She uses the A&W barbecue sauce and mustard in her meatloaf – which she cooks in the pressure cooker.  She went into great detail – recipe including marinating overnight, sauces she uses, cooking times, added ingredients,  and the very small amounts of leftovers from her family of five.  She can cook a meatloaf in 25 minutes! I listened as she sold the benefits of the pressure cooker, the time savings her meal planning. Her pressure cooker is electric, she can set and forget – she was a wonderful salesperson of pressure cookers. She offered her model number and maker, where she had purchased her (Target or Walmart) and suggested I buy one.

The clerk added how she loves meatloaf sandwiches and the husband agreed, one of his favorites. I hadn’t even realized he was beside me. We left with 2 bottles of mustard, A&W BBQ sauce and the promise to try meatloaf in the pressure cooker!

Driving home I had grand idea’s to make this meatloaf for about 10 minutes. We used the BBQ sauce on the grilled chicken. It was ok, not spectacular, not terrible.  I still don’t understand how a meatloaf would cook in a pressure cooker and honestly it is not one of my favorites but was wondering after the meatloaf in the shape of fruitcake … was this a sign?

Advertising Facts 2014

I love marketing. The connection of creative people, touching and influencing people.

This was enlightening from the Ad Contrarian

The Ad Contrarian

So here we go — 10 facts, direct from the real world:

1. E-commerce in 2014 accounted for 6.5 percent of total retail sales.

2. 96% of video viewing is currently done on a television. 4% is done on a web device.

3. In Europe and the US, people would not care if 92% of brands disappeared.

4. The rate of engagement among a brand’s fans with a Facebook post is 7 in 10,000. For Twitter it is 3 in 10,000.

5. Fewer than one person in a thousand clicks on a standard banner ad.

6. Over half the display ads paid for by marketers are unviewable.

7. Less than 1% of retail buying is done on a mobile device.

8. Only 44% of traffic on the web is human.

9. One bot-net can generate 1 billion fraudulent digital ad impressions a day.

10. Half of all U.S online advertising – $10 billion a year – may be lost to fraud.


Pinterest – Stuffing Meatloaf Flower

I am sure you have scrolled about Pinterest and thought – I can make that! How easy.

Confession I am not a wonderful cook.

Boy #1 loves the food in the college cafeteria and while in the Army. One may think he is not picky, au contraire! He was just raised on my humble and often burnt offerings for dinner.

Last night, in an attempt to brighten the dinner entree – I made the meatloaf that has been cruising about the internet.  You may have seen it stove top stuffing, onion soup mix, hamburger and potatoes. All arranged artfully with the help of a bundt pan.

This I can do!

It was a masterpiece. Potatoes skillfully arranged in the center all on a pretty platter.


As I presented this meal last night, I was expecting fanfair, rounds of applause, my imagination had gone crazy in anticipation.

“Is that a fruitcake?” was the response.

Not what I had hoped … but not a bad comparison.




5 of My Favorite Things

I am not in my twilight years but half my life is over.

More than half should I not live to be 100?

A few of my favorite things:

  1. Keurig – the fabulous machine that brings me a single cup of perfectly brewed coffee, devine.  We upgraded late last year and they have added coding to the K-cups. It is complicated to brew some of my favorites but my MacGyver has created a work about  and all is well.
  2. Missouri Star Quilt – Jenny (I feel we are friends) reminded me it was fine to sew with a mistake or two, the joy is in the sewing. I have been sewing for years and still learn from her video’s.
  3. The puppy. I sometimes ponder, why did we get another dog? It’s the greeting when you come home –  doesn’t matter if you were gone a hour or days. The wagging, the singing, the joy. The house is empty of boys now, their childhood dog is gone, this rescue dog is happy, young, spirited and brings a smile to everyone. He is a family dog, everyone is his favorite. He roams about and visits with all, everyone is his master.
  4. Yankee Candles – I love the spice scents. Sweet and flowery are not to my taste, the Christmas cookie scent just makes me hungry. Once on a shopping trip to the outlets I purchased a candle topper. May not be the correct term. It is a metal thingy that goes on the large jars. Amazing, the candles now burn evenly and down to the bottom.  I have tried others (many) and still go back to this brand. Tried and true. Currently enjoying the mountain lodge scent. My all time favorite was autumn lodge, a piney scent with just a touch of pipe scent. It brought back fond memories of my grandfather, Yankee you should bring this back – please! Yankee Candle Autumn Lodge 22 oz
  5. Longaberger pottery coffee mugs. I like to cradle my mug, hold it for warmth in my hand and these are my favorites. The pattern I have is retired, looks like they have some stunning new colors, love the paprika.

It is the simple things in life.


Mom of College Boys Seeks New Identity

Thinking of posting this job request. Too much to ask?

For years I did the work/Mom balance act. Dashing back and forth from drop-off to office to sporting event. I was pretty successful, only missed a few key items over the years. I can pat myself on the back and recall being present for all school plays, readings and events, sporting events; baseball, football, karate, music lessons, braces, doctor appointments and more. Answering emails, balancing bank statements all from the comfy front seat of my people mover.

Now they are off and trying to find their place, in their future.

I know they are still under the ‘parental’ umbrella, but once they leave for college everything changes. You want them to be independent, you want them to leave their rooms at home behind, you want them to make mistakes, albeit small ones and yet you don’t. I envy those with college kids still at home, in a strange way. Want to be those parents, yet don’t.

I can recall the oldest leaving for school and how upset the husband was (emotion is not in his character) – it will never be the same he complained. He will come back, but it will never be the same. He won’t be here for dinner, he won’t be in his room at night.

The irony, the bedrooms are clean. I wished that, for years. The rooms that held so much of their identity are now forgotten time capsules. Anything that mattered has been packed and taken to the dorm.

boys bedroom
This might have been one of our bedrooms, if I was that crafty or they played hockey.

So, what now?

I have volunteered, driven miles in circles dropping off and picking up, shopped, feed and mentored these people and now they are off.

The Circle of Life and all that crap.