It’s been a while since I’ve written.  The last couple of months have been crazy.  I went into sales in June and I’ve been concentrating on building my book of business and have been running on all cylinders.  I’ve spent quite a few days out of town as well.  Things are going well but it’s a crazy, crazy time.

I also moved to 2nd Vice President in Lions last month which means new responsibilities and learning more there.

It’s a lot of change at one time and while I embrace change, this week things have caught up to me.

You see, there have been a lot of changes in my personal life and my friend’s lives.  I have done a little “housekeeping” when it came to friends and have decided to weed out those that have wronged me or that use me.  It’s felt good to surround myself with positive people.

While I’ve been overwhelmed with what’s going on in my life, the worst thing is when I can’t help my friends.  I know that when things are crazy in my life I have a good cry and the weight is lifted.  But when I see my friends hurting, it overwhelms me in a different way.  There aren’t enough words or hugs or cards that can make things better.  Only time.  But all I want to do is fix things, make them right again and make sure everyone is happy.

The reality is that not all times are happy.  In fact, Ecclesiastes 3 says:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

We take the good with the bad, we laugh and cry…and in these times of being overwhelmed I pray.

Review:  Udi’s Pizza

I will admit:  since going to Chicago last year, pizza just isn’t the same.  I find myself more picky and not eating pizza a lot.  Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

This past week I sat down with my parents to go over their website, which needs an overhaul.  They brought Udi’s pizza along.  

They were cute little things, as most gluten free pizzas are.  Normal baking time, pretty easy for a quick meal.  They came out looking pretty good but…remember the Totino’s pizzas from college?  So much like that!  Part of me was excited by my throwback but I also remember buying those at 10 for $10. 

I know this pizza was not that cheap.  So here is my opinion on this item:  if you are craving a Totino’s kind of dinner, grab one of these.  If you want a higher quality then this isn’t your pizza!

Travel: Billings, MT

With my work, I travel from time to time and get to try new places which I love!

This time my trip was different.  The first day of my trip was my first day in my sales position and I was excited to get hopping on the all the things that mean sales.  But training would come first and I was really excited to meet other sales reps in our region and learn.

But learning would wait as I landed the day before training.  I got to the hotel, unpacked and


Wrap from Mary’s Sunny Day Cafe

started looking for a place to eat lunch.  Mary’s Sunny Day Cafe seemed to be one of  the only places that was open for lunch.  Located inside of Mary’s Health Foods, it was a cute little sandwich place.  I chose the turkey wrap and grabbed a slice of banana chocolate chip bread as well.  It was amazing.  A great spot for a quick, healthy lunch.

By dinnertime I’d had some bad news about my cat, Wrigley.  His test results for his kidneys showed that there is damage plus his white blood count was up.  No idea why there is an infection but being so far away from my fur baby when he is sick was hard.


Burger and Fries from The Fieldhouse

Thank goodness for my parents taking care of him!  Because I was feeling sad, I wanted somewhere that had comfort food.  I choose The Fieldhouse.  After getting a taxi and the debacle that went along with that (my taxi driver was amazing, it was other stuff that went wrong!), I finally got to the Fieldhouse.  I had an amazing hamburger and fries along with a great Moscato.  The staff was friendly and helpful and I loved the restaurant because everything was made from scratch and was organic, or as much as possible.  Even the ketchup was homemade!

After training the next evening, we had a group dinner at the Rib and Chop Shop which was next to the hotel we stayed at.  The food was amazing and the staff was knowledgeable.  I had a steak and a baked potato as well as their special drink, Blackberry Smash:  blackberries muddled into moonshine.  It was great!  

Now the hotel, the Big Horn Resort, was a different story.  The first day they didn’t have a gluten free meal even though it was requested.  The next day it was stressed how important it was and I got a salad that was brown and wilty.  I did contact the hotel, they have since apologized.

All in all my experiences in Billings were good and it was a fun place to visit!  

Taking Time

There are times in life when we are forced to slow down.  This was one of those weeks.

Monday I woke up, didn’t feel great and took my temp:  102.  I called in sick to work, a friend recommended that I go to the doc and by the time I got to the doctor, my temp was over 103.  The flu.  Whee!

So I was down and out for three full days.  My temp would go down during the day and then I’d wake up with a temp, Wednesday was the worst with 104.  Thursday my temp was gone when I woke up, I was on the mend.

I went to work on Friday and lasted half a day.  My body is spent from fighting this thing.  It was such a nice afternoon on Friday that I got a chair outside in my backyard and sat in the sun, breathing in fresh air.  I just sat.  I listened.  I closed my eyes and soaked the sun in.  I was forced to take time. My body was forcing me to slow down, take a breather and remember that I’m not invincible and that taking it slow isn’t a bad thing.

You see, we are always in such a hurry, always scurrying from one place to another, one thing to another, filling every minute of our day.  Because if we aren’t filling it, what are we missing?  Did I forget something?  That’s always my fear.  And it shouldn’t be something feared, it should be something that makes us happy, to have time.

Time to stop, wash some windows, trim a shrub and then sit and watch the world go by.

The Thin Blue Line

This has been a tough week in our community.  Early this week a Sheriff’s Deputy was killed in the line of duty, the first time this has happened in Mesa County in over 100 years.

We don’t have things like that happen here.  We are a close knit community where everyone knows everyone.  Sometimes this is a bad thing but when things like this happen, we REALLY band together.

It was a sad situation.  A 17 year old who has been on the run and had a warrant out for his arrest.  When Deputy Geer attempted to detain him, this 17 year old shot him.  Deputy Geer leaves behind a wife and two children who will grow up without a father.  A wife who, in a few seconds, was left a widow.  He was strong in the community, so many people had known him for years, his dedication to his country and his community are being commended.

I didn’t know Deputy Geer but I know people who did.  Again, it’s thrown out community out of sorts, as it should.  People are showing support by putting blue lines on their cars, flying flags at half mast and more.  Monday we will line our streets as Deputy Geer’s body is taken to Canyon View Vineyard Church for a memorial.  Then we will line again as he is taken to his final resting place.

It is sad, it has struck me more than I thought.  It makes me sad that such evil and misguided people are out there.  This week nearly 10 police were killed and I wonder how those with loved ones in those positions handle situations like this.

I pray for those who are on the streets protecting us, I pray for the responders and for those defending our country.


Will it be Gluten Free?

I had a housewarming party last night and provided almost all of the food.  I enjoy entertaining and that way I KNOW the food is safe for me if I do that.

One of my guest’s husbands asked her if everything would be gluten free and she said that it would be.  The funny part is that I don’t think anyone noticed.  I mean, even down to the cookies that my mom brought were gluten free.  And people ate…and ate…and no one said “this tastes horrible”.

I think that gluten free gets a bad rap because it USED to taste horrible.  I remember the first bread that my parents bought, I would have rather eaten cardboard.  It’s gotten better, WAY better.

So yes, when you come to my house it’s all gluten free.  It’s the only way to keep me safe.

Getting Glutened

For those of you who aren’t Celiac, gluten intolerant or have a wheat allergy, you are probably saying “what is glutened”?

It’s a term that means that we were, essentially, poisoned.  We accidently ingested something with gluten and have exited the building.  If you are anything like me, it leaves you curled up in a ball with pain like someone has taken your intestines and just yanked on them.  A lot.  Hard.  You can’t stand up straight and it’s PAINFUL.

I hadn’t been glutened, at least to this degree, for a long time but it happened on New Year’s Eve.  Yup, way to bring in the new year.  Glutened.  Anyway, before I went to the party where I was to spend the rest of the evening, I stopped to have a beer with two of my friends:  Don and Craig.

Now, I hang out with those two guys a lot.  We talk politics, sports and anything else.  So, when I walked in, Craig orders himself a Bud Light and me an Angry Orchard.  Gotta love friends who know what you drink!  The server brings the beer and typically I take a sniff because Angry Orchard has a sweet smell to it.  This was the one time I didn’t do that.  I was deep in conversation or distracted  or something but all I know is that I took a sip.  ONE sip.  It wasn’t Angry Orchard.  It was Bud Light.

Two thoughts ran through my head:  1.  Oh crap.  2.  How did I used to drink this stuff?

I put the beer down, said “This is NOT Angry Orchard”.  Craig got a hold of the server, told her that it wasn’t the drink I ordered and she brought me my correct drink.  Don recognized that it was an issue and I was grateful for an opportunity to tell him what happens when I’m glutened.  I should have spoken to the server and/or manager but it was so busy and…I missed an opportunity.  An opportunity to educate, to help someone realize that it wasn’t just a simple mistake.

I got sick.  It was more gradual than it had been in the past.  Usually it takes about 15 minutes to an hour and then, BAM!, you won’t see me for a while.  This time it took a few hours, I kept getting more and more bloated and ended up going home late that night.  I slept all night but the next day I just sat on the couch.  I was tired, lethargic and didn’t want to do anything.

I guess the moral of the story is that when things like this happen, when I KNOW that a mistake has been made, to educate.  To use the opportunity.

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2015: Year in Review

At the Bears Game

Last  year was a wild and crazy ride.   What a year! I started a new job with a new company…kind of.  As my office was absorbed by another company, I learned a new role with my promotion.  This meant that … Continue reading

Memories of Grandpa

Five years ago we lost a great man:  my grandpa.  I wrote this the evening that we found out he passed away and  I found it appropriate to post it here as I have been thinking about him a lot lately:

Memories of Grandpa

The last week has been one of remembering, little things will happen and trigger a thought, beautiful memory.



I was remembering how, as a child, there was always a hot cocoa jar.  I don’t know where they got the hot cocoa but on cold winter days we would always have some after playing in the snow.  It was “different” hot cocoa, probably because it was at Grandpa and Grandma’s.  It was always there and Grandpa was always willing to make it for us.


Fishing.  It was what Grandpa did all summer and when we would visit, we would go fish.  I remember learning how to put a bobber on the line, how to put a minnow on (he used mostly minnows) and then catching the fish:  sunfish, blue gills and crappies.  It was SO exciting catching those little fish and we would always take them along.  I’m sure they were too small for anything but Grandpa made sure we took them along, no matter what.


Grandpa always had heart issues and had lots of surgeries:  open hearts, bypasses, etc.  I remember a specific time we were up there visiting after one of his surgery’s.  We went for a walk and it was so special, just me and Grandpa.  I don’t remember what we talked about or how far we went but it was a special time for me.  Those one on one moments with him.


And Grandpa LOVED his garden.  Not just the veggies he grew but especially the flowers.  He made his own flower boxes to set in the front yard, always had a little flower bed around the birdbath and had other flowers everywhere in the yard.  He took time picking the flowers: petunias, marigold, zinnias, etc. and made sure that they were colorful.  He would spend so much time in the garden weeding it and making the plants grow to their best.  Grandpa was always a farmer at heart and carried his love for growing into his garden in town.  He also did a lot of woodworking, making vases, flower boxes and toy animals.  I remember helping him by painting some of the things he made.  We would spend time in the basement painting and cutting things out of wood.


The one thing that was always close to his heart was his love of this country.  Grandpa fought in WWII, one of the brave Army souls that marched across Europe and lived in foxholes.  I always knew that Grandpa had been in the Army and served in the war because he went to a lot of Army reunions and kept in touch with his Army buddies but it wasn’t until I was in college that I really knew what Grandpa had done.  That’s when I learned that Grandpa had seen some horrible things in Europe.  He helped liberate both Dachau and Auschwitz and had seen what the Nazi army had done to the Jews.  He lived with the horrors he had seen and didn’t talk about them for decades.  He told us stories of friends dying for their country, of nearly freezing their feet and hands off and then telling stories about the people he met along the way, like the German family who took him in for a Christmas.  He still kept in touch with that family, all these years later.  Grandpa was a proud Army soldier and was a part of the Turtle Lake Legion from the time he returned from war until his dying day.  What he did for our country was of utmost importance to him and I’m proud of his dedication.


And Grandpa loved his family.  He loved his kids, his grandkids and the time he got to spend with them.  He loved visiting his kids that were spread throughout the US, seeing the different areas.  Time he could spend telling stories, playing games or just being with them were cherished by him…and by me.  I was just telling Dad that Grandpa was down here six years ago for Christmas, it was the Christmas before I moved.  I remember taking the trip to Gateway and his amazement at the geography and then his disappointment of the little town of Gateway (this was before Gateway Canyons was built).  I remember him telling stories, stories I had probably heard a million times before…but I listened.  Each word was important, because it was Grandpa.


And now he is gone.  He has no more pain, will no longer have a weak heart and has his final wish of being with Grandma, who was the love of his life.  We are happy because he no longer has pain but mourn because he is no longer with us.  I miss you Grandpa and love you…



As the Year Ends

2015 has been a wild and crazy ride.  I will do a wrap up soon but as I bought a house and have been painting like crazy, things have gotten away from me, including this blog.  Add in the holidays and, well, I’m amazed that 2016 is just a little over five days away.

Christmas was a fun, relaxing day, just as needed.  With most of my time spent priming, painting and repairing items, rest is needed and that’s what I’m doing.  I apologize to my readers for the lack in content and will be back at it in a couple of weeks.  Thank you for your patience!