Monday, March 31, 2008

Woulda Been The Perfect Kodak Moment. . .

. . .If I could have found my camera!!!

Awhile back, I repainted most of the condo and after the scaffolding fiasco, I swore that I would never repaint the condo again! The condo will remain this great color called "Bagel" (and some other walls two colors in the same family) until a new owner decides they want to experience scaffolding. Won't be me.

Tangent time: "Why was is Bagel such a great color?" you might ask. Well, my interior decorator convinced me that I could find a gold color that didn't look like a color that I don't care for. . .OK - don't care for may be an understatement! Bagel was in the one gold color family that I liked and didn't remind me of that one color.

This weekend, we were working on finishing up some projects at the condo and I realized / remembered that there is this an area above the upper stairwell that has a pretty large white spot. Yep, I couldn't reach it with the extension poles for the paint rollers, the scaffolding would work there and it was pretty awkward for ladders in that small space.

Hmmm, I'd really like to make to do something about that large white spot! So, I took my 6' "A" ladder, folded it up and wedged it into the stairwell. With OB bracing the ladder, I climbed up to see if I could reach any of it. Nope.

In my logical mind, I realized that MBB is 7" taller than me and has longer arms, so maybe he could reach a bit of it. I had already accepted the realization that there would always be a white spot there, but I wanted to make it as small as possible. . .If possible.

Now, I'm in the kitchen cleaning up another project and I hear "MaBell, hold up the paint tray." and "OB, you better not let go of that ladder!". Yep, those statements needed some investigation.

Here's where I needed my camera!!!

Imagine this: 6' ladder braced between step and wall over the staircase by a 10 year old with 6' man standing on ONE foot on TOP of the ladder with second foot balanced against third floor stair rail.
Needless to say, I quickly started bracing him as much as I could and said a few prayers in my head.

The white spot is now GONE and I have one very sore man.
Yep, he's still my prince charming, but instead of a white horse, he has a bagel paint brush! :)

I know, I know. . .No one is going to believe this story.
Wish I got a picture of it.


Friday, March 28, 2008


Wow - Am I glad that it is Friday!

Yes, this weekend is going to be full of activity.
Yes, I will be attempting to cross as many things off of my To Do List as possible.
Yes, I will probably be ready to go back to work on Monday to get a rest.

Why am I glad that it is Friday?

Yes, Ladies and Gents: I am sleeping Saturday morning until my body decides that it is time to wake up, not an alarm clock! :)

Not as good as winning the lottery, but close!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ever Had. . .

. . .One of those days when all you want to do is sit down and cry?

We've been getting loads of stuff done.
I actually see a light at the end of the tunnel on some things.
I am completely overwhelmed at work, but I have management support which is helping quite a bit.

And yet, my eyes keep tearing up. I am feeling more overwhelmed today than I was last week.

I have no idea why or how to fix it. Maybe I am just due for a good cry for no reason?
Who knows.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Still Overwhelmed. . .

OK, I made significant strides in getting caught up in my personal life!
I still have a long way to go, but things are a bit better as far as breathing room.

The problem that I now have is that I am completely and totally overwhelmed at work because of all of the time I am took off to get things done at home. It probably doesn't help that I'm not able to work much overtime right now either.

I guess that I'm not doing real good at this home / work life balance right at this moment!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Overwhelmed. . .

I'm a bit overwhelmed right now. I don't think that I am the only one feeling that way right now. :)

So in an attempt to get my head back above water, I am taking a few days off work to get some stuff done. I won't be logging into blog land while I am in catch-up mode, so this place will be a bit bare for awhile.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!!!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Rain, Rain. . .

Wow - Who made Mother Nature cry?
Can you stop please?? Play nice!

Granted, I much prefer rain over snow and ice anyday!!
Speaking of snow - I think we are supposed to get some tonight. . .

Where oh where are you spring???


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm Home. . .

Yep, I am back in the states.
It was wonderful to be home and back to getting my daily quota of hugs and kisses.
In fact, I am getting more than quota now - OB is now including me in the nightly hug routine. :)

The good news of this trip is no jet lag coming back.
The bad news is that I am utterly exhausted trying to get everything on the "To Do" list done.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Countdown Is On. . .

I am now counting down the hours until I catch the bus for the airport.
I am trying to get as little sleep tonight as possible. . .The less I get in the room and the more I get on the plane, the better chance that my jet-lag will be brief when I get home.

Just to give you a frame of reference:
I'll be doing a happy dance Friday 7:20pm (Eastern) as the bus pulls away from the hotel.
I will be jumping for joy Friday 11:55pm as the plane taxies away from the gate.
I will be crawling out of my skin starting Saturday 11:45am anxious for my layover to be done so that I can get back home.

This trip, I am hopeful that the hours leading up to the flight will go a bit faster as I will have someone to talk to IN ENGLISH!!! Yep, my co-worker from Europe will be keeping me company on the hour ride to the airport as her flight leaves just under an hour before mine.

I'm hoping that everyone missed me as much as I missed them!


Friday, March 14, 2008

Shopping Anyone?

I did some shopping the last two nights. . .Just to see what I could find. Most of family has received gifts from Japan on one of my previous visits, so I have been concentrating on MBB, MaBell and OB.

I did find some pretty Japanese-style tea cups that will look good with some Japanese pottery that I bought years ago. No, I didn't buy anything for myself -
I bought for 'the house'!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

There are many Japanese foods that I like, but there is one in particular that I make a point of getting each trip. Leave it to me to prioritize getting a sandwich at the local Japanese fast food restaurant (Loteria). . .Yep, I had my shrimp burger last night. :) Tasted as good as I remembered!

For those who have heard me talk about Japan before, you know that there are some cookies that I really like and am always looking for - the koalas (it's not good that I can now get some of the flavors at the Kroger by the condo. . .)! I really like the blue koalas (the box is blue to note that there is white chocolate inside the cookies), but they don't make them anymore!!! :( One of my Japanese co-workers presented me with a tan koala one of the first days that I was here - it's a limited edition flavor of pancake / pancake syrup. And it was good!!! I shared with everyone in the meeting and we have all bought a few to take home.
I also found another cookie that is even better than the koala. They are in the shape of a panda bear and have both milk chocolate and white chocolate. Yep, I am now going to always look for the panda cookies!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Getting Comical. . .

Dinner last night was comical.

I'd like to blame it on being jet-lagged and for myself and that may even fly.
However, I don't think that my co-workers are jet-lagged and cannot come up with a plausible explanation in my current sleepy state.

We had chicken wings. LOTS of chicken wings (many other dishes too).
The wings are similar to what we have in the States, but not exactly.
(will add photos to this post after I get back)

We were all taking lots of pictures and it just started going down hill as it got late and I started hearing things like: "Don't need a taxi tomorrow... Ate so many wings that we can fly there."

The verbage alone would have been funny in it's own right.
Having people flap their arms like a chicken in the restaurant as they are saying it threw me into a state of slap happy giggles.
Disclaimer/Notes: The people who started this were NOT drinking alcohol... Our table was in a private area so we were not causing a scene.

Who says that you have to be a kid to still have fun?


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I left a blizzard and arrived to find beautiful weather. I walked to lunch yesterday WITHOUT MY COAT! It felt wonderful!!! I don't know the official temperature, but I would guess that it was around 50 degrees F.

It was great to see some of my global co-workers from years past and meet some new ones as well. We had our welcome dinner last night and I was able to take a few pictures before my battery decided that it was jet lagged and needed a break.

In addition to my camera battery, I have joined the club of those jet lagged and apparently so is my computer (it does not like the internet this morning - this is my second attempt at this post!) The past two nights I have been getting to bed about 10pm only to find myself wide awake between 2 and 3am. It's been fun, let me tell you!

What is a girl to do? Boot up the computer, of course!
I worked a bit, sent a message to MBB and now am fighting to get this blog posted.

I'm actually hoping that this jet lag continues this week. The more I stay off kilter while I'm here, the easier it should be to get back on track when I get home! I have a huge list of things I need to get done right when I get back, so it is pretty important that I don't get hit with a huge case of jet-lags. Believe me, I've had some pretty serious ones in the past and it wasn't pretty!


Monday, March 10, 2008

Greetings from Japan!

Sunday 9:35pm Eastern time:
Right now, I am going 542miles/hour, 32,037 feet above Yukon, Canada (we flew in an upside down U shape staying over land most of flight). I thought it was cold back home, but it is currently -59F outside this aircraft. Glad they gave me a blanket!

Once I got my hands on some headphones, Batman & Robin and then Alvin and The Chipmunks became a part of my world. Now, it’s time to change things up a bit: listening to some play lists provided by the airline and getting some work done. . .
I have 8 more hours to fill up with work, movies and music. I already read all of the books that I had in my carry-on: Another reason for me to find my checked luggage!

I was thinking about catching a nap, but it will be nighttime when we land. . .I really need to sleep once I get to the hotel since I’ll be joining lively discussions with my global co-workers tomorrow. I will admit that it is tempting to say heck with it and sleep anyway - my seat goes pretty close to horizontal and is just a little bit more comfortable than the other seats that I have been sitting in the last two days. . .

Monday 8:30am Eastern time:
I am now at the hotel at my final destination for the next six days.
Even though Japan is in the same season pattern as Cincinnati, the temp here is about 20 degrees warmer. I have my more winter-type jacket with me as it was so cold at home when I left and I am roasting here. But believe me - I am very happy to be a bit warmer after the last few days.

I owe the gentleman in Detroit's Northwest baggage issue area a coffee.
The one who recommended that I submit a missing bag claim from the final destination while still in Detroit. He even went as far to make it happen for me. "Get a jump on it" I believe is how he explained it.

I got off of the airplane and started hunting for someone in the luggage area who could speak English. The minute I showed him my claim print-out, his immediate response was
. . . "I was notified about your bag. It is on your flight."

Ladies and Gents: My bag had a rushed reroute tag on it and made it to Detroit in time to be on my flight with me. What a relief!

Yes. . .Today went much more my way than yesterday.

Many years ago, I was attempting to get back from a weekend trip in Japan and couldn't find anyone who spoke English to help me purchase a subway ticket (Dang It - I knew how much the thing was supposed to cost, but couldn't get the machine to let me pay that much!!!).

Today, I was trying to locate the bus to the hotel (~$20 rather than ~$200 for a taxi) and was approached by an airport worker who spoke perfect English asking if she could help me. I wouldn't have made the next bus without her help - I need to buy her a coffee too!

Once I made my way to the hotel, I found that I had a medium size room. Believe me - I was extremely happy to have this room. Typical Japanese rooms are very small. Last year, I had the super big room. This year, my room has two double beds with a desk next to it - just a tad bit smaller than a typical U.S. room.

I am currently watching CNN International (the only other station in English is BBC) and am going to try to get some sleep as I have to be awake and alert for meetings tomorrow.
I will continue to blog during my trip - the times on the posts will reflect the actual time in Japan.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hanging Out. . .

I am sitting in a comfy chair sipping on a cappucino in the Crown Lounge at the Detroit Airport. I'm going to use the next two hours or so to get some serious work done (already got a bit done last night at the hotel).
If I can get all of the work done before boarding, life will be good.
If I can't - I'll be working in the hotel room Monday night.

After the last two days, I think I need the 13 hour flight to wind down and relax.
I'm hoping that they have some decent movies showing on the plane.
Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't.

I still don't know where my luggage is. . .
So, I handwashed my clothes last night and let them dry on the heater.
I have one change of clothes for work on Tuesday and I'm praying that I have my bag or I'll be handwashing again and will have to wear the same outfit on Wednesday.

All of this is starting to get pretty comical.
Seriously, all I can do at this point is laugh! :)

I'm going to try to blog once I reach my final destination.
I should have a decent internet connection at the hotel.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Hurry Up and Wait!

Itinerary #1:
. . .Cincinnati to Detroit; Detroit to final destination (15 hours, business elite)

Itinerary #2:
. . .Cincinnati to Germany; Germany to Tokyo; Tokyo to final destination (20 hours, coach)

Itinerary #3:
. . .Cincinnati to Minn.; Minn. to Tokyo; Tokyo to final destination (time unknown, business elite)

7:00am: Hurried out of condo due to flight change (2 hours earlier than planned)
7:30am: Found out work shuttle would make me miss flight, hurried to airport long-term park
7:50am: Delta couldn't check me in 'cause the Northwest agent forgot that important step of assigning the ticket number. Waited for correction.
9:00am: Finally got through the line for security as ticket was flagged for the special security line.
9:20am: Hurried to the gate to find it delayed. . .Again. . .Again. . .And again. Lot's of waiting.
11:00am: Boarded plane
12:30pm: Plane is the air after being de-iced twice (de-ice, runway, de-ice again!). Wait.
2:00pm: Arrived at Minn. to find all flights to Tokyo are gone.
2:30pm: Itinerary #4 created (Cincinnati to Minn; Minn to Detroit (midnight); Detroit to final destination - looks very similar to Itinerary #1 doesn't it? Difference: one day delay for last flight.
3:30pm: Checked luggage flagged for reroute to Detroit. Hurried to earlier flight - love stand-by!
6:00pm: Hung up after waiting "on hold" with travel agent for 45 minutes.
9:00pm: Confirmed checked luggage is now officially "lost". Finally talked to travel agent.
10:30pm: Arrived at hotel with carry-on luggage.

I'll let you come up with the adjective describing my day.
I will now miss the first day of meetings.
I have no idea when my checked luggage will catch up with me.


Friday, March 07, 2008

No Doubts!

I realized something today.
I am on the right path with the right person. With the right people.

You see - I love to travel. Always have.
I have always looked forward to getting on those planes and seeing other cultures, other places.

Until today.

I still love to travel, but I hate leaving my loved ones behind.
Saying goodbye to MBB, Ma Bell and OB tonight was one of the hardest things that I've had to do.
I will only be gone for a week. . .But it broke my heart to kiss MBB goodbye.

Most of you probably just barfed as a result of this post.
But I realized something important today.
I made the right choice in my life.
I have no regrets waiting as long as I did to find him.

I am so looking forward to getting off of that plane next week and starting the rest of my life with my other half. Yes MBB - Today, I'll even let you be the better half. Love you.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

Back when I was 16, I was involved in a car accident.
Most people hear "16" and "car accident" and assume that the teen was being reckless, speeding, etc, etc, etc.

I was hit by a woman in a brand new New Yorker.

She illegally turned left in front of me causing me to hit her.

MommyMarie overheard this statement (or something along these memory is a bit foggy) the next day in the neighborhood butcher shop: "Mom found the keys to the car again. Hit another one."
Yep, it was a senior citizen who was no longer able to drive, but refused to stop.

Don't misunderstand me.
I'm not saying that all senior citizens are threats on the roads and shouldn't drive.
I'm just bringing up one who was and who caused me years of back pain and chiropractor bills.

Why is this incident in my mind today?
A 71-year old turned left in front of another car on Tuesday in my hometown.

I wish that those involved would have years of back pain and chiropractor bills.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
RIP Patrick
I always think of you when I see Spongebob Squarepants. . .Will always remember and laugh about the heated discussion over that birthday cake - Glad you got the "Patrick" piece!

I am now thinking that Kentucky may have this one right.
Seat-belts must be worn in the back-seat - it's a law.
Maybe it should be in Ohio too!

C-Boy...Love you buddy.
I like your thought about Patrick being up there with Anthony. Stay strong.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008


One of my favorite singers is Karen Taylor-Good.
I have been blessed to meet her multiple times and even spent some quality one-on-one time with her back in 2005. Yes, I have the photos to prove it.

She has some amazing songs. She doesn't just talk about love, heartbreak and partying. She writes about living, learning and becoming who we are meant to be. She falls into what I call "unity" music. . .Life Songs.

I was fortunate enough to see her again this past weekend. I've been on a KTG music kick since then, so I thought I'd put a song that I listened to on the drive into work this morning.

Love Is A Verb (KTG / Taylor Sparks)
You sit at home watchin' T.V.
Daily love in the afternoon
Then on to your romance novels
Where every bride gets her groom
Then you sigh that your life is so lonely
And ask why such a cruel destiny
I say check your dictionary
Therein lies the key

Love is a verb
It's somethin' you do
It's not just a word that happens to you
Get on your mark, get set
Yes, you might get hurt
It's a ride, It's a rush, It's love
And love is a verb

I think the truth is you're frightened
So you spend all your time alone
Thinkin' somehow love will find you
While you hide in your safety zone
But to win you have got to risk losing
And when love is the name of the game
It's not a sport for spectators
So get off the bench and play!

(repeat chorus)

Victims of love
Is that all we are?
Turn a new page
And see who's in charge

(repeat chorus)


Monday, March 03, 2008

Spring Cleaning. . .

I've always been on the fence about Spring Cleaning.
Sometimes I do it.
Sometimes I don't do it.

I have now made the decision that no matter how "clean" I keep my home. . .
Dust bunnies and such will find ways to get behind my furniture and other items.

So - at least once a year, I will be Spring Cleaning. . .
I will not promise that it will be in the spring!

Yes Nickey, you may keep me accountable on this one! :P