Fall is here!! The busiest time of year!

Fall is here and I am so excited because that means winter is just around the corner! I love it when the seasons change and I am so happy to be living in an area where we get to experience the seasons!

On the other hand, fall is the craziest, most hectic time of year for me as far as teaching goes. Marching band groups compete from August to December and that means I am working my butt off choreographing, designing and teaching my students a show that they will perform thought the months. This year I am working with a high school group and also a university group so I really do have my plate full! I am also working part time at my resort job to get the bills paid, I have my gift business and I am trying to have a life as well! Ha.. this is insanity!

I always manage to get sick during the fall/ winter months and this does not surprise me at all! I work myself the hardest during this time, I am going nonstop and the weather is changing so it is only natural that my body is unable to handle all the pressures, stresses and changes. I am in the beginning stages of some throat cold right now, big surprise!

I did manage to squeeze in some me time in the last few weeks so that helps to keep me going! Nathan and I were invited to the inaugural run of the Sunset Limited Grand Canyon Train Ride and we had a blast! We also went down to do the family thing since his grandfather just had a stroke and is not doing so well. It was nice to see family and it is nice to see everyone making an effort to get along with everyone else.

We are back home now and in the thick of it again.. Part of me just wants to lay in bed drinking hot tea and resting till my cold passes. Unfortunately, I have teaching obligations this morning and I am also working at the resort all night tonight so I have to keep myself going! Once the snow starts to fall I’ll have time to rest and relax!

Our gift… A mouse..

Now my own mother is harassing me about how I need to update my blog so I guess it is well overdue!


This morning our cats left a fresh treat for us on the side of the bed.. A mouse!!



Nathan I and I saw the mouse about 4 days ago when we were on a “go through boxes and get rid of what we don’t need” spree. I brought in a very old box from back when I was in high school. I went through it and noticed it was very weathered and beaten up. Then Nathan spots a mouse running around our kitchen floor. The mouse ran and hid under our cabinets and we noticed that the stuffed bunny my mother gave me for my high school graduation had some hair chewed off of it. We figured the mouse was living in my high school memories box.


Well the mouse only went 4 days in our house before the cats got him.. It’s good for us case we don’t want a rodent problem but sort of sad for the mouse..

Microwaved Water Experiment

I got this emailed to me from a friend and found it very interesting! Let me know what you think!!

“Below is a science fair project that my granddaughter did for 2006. In it she took filtered water and divided it into two parts. The first part she heated to boiling in a pan on the stove, and the second part she heated to boiling in a microwave. Then after cooling she used the water to water two identical plants to see if there would be any difference in the growth between the normal boiled water and the water boiled in a microwave. She was thinking that the structure or energy of the water may be compromised by microwave. As it turned out, even she was amazed at the difference.”













Please note:
This was only an email I had received… I did not conduct this experiment. I am simply sharing this because it was interesting to me.


Realty, unreality and our perceptions

“The secret cause of suffering is unreality…Reality is perception, and the suffering person gets trapped by negative perceptions of his own creation.” (I read this text over at California Fever today.)

This is a very powerful statement and it is so true! I know I have said this over and over again but I think it is worth repeating!! Reality is only what you choose to make it!!

Life happens whether you want it to or not. You can spend your time wondering “why me??” when things go wrong and you can be upset over a chain of events that occurred in your life.. or you can look for the positive in every situation and you can take pride in your struggles.

Is the glass half full or half empty??

This whole reality is perception thing is common knowledge for the majority of the population. The problem is nobody takes it seriously. Everybody knows but very few actually work on this in their day to day life.

My challenge for you is this…. Post a comment below (or an entry on your own blog) that

  1. describes a situation where you were recently a “seething mass of anger” (quote from: Paper Napkin). Tell us as much detail about why you were angry, what lead to the anger and what you were thinking and doing while angry
  2. end your comment with a more positive view point on the same situation. Tell us how the stuff that lead up to the anger could have been viewed in a more positive light.

We are our own best teachers and if we are to learn from all our experiences we must always reflect upon and analyze what actions and steps we have taken in the past in order to be able to take a different path in the future.

Child free areas??

Okay here is something to ponder:
Someone suggested tonight that we should designate “child free areas” around the hotel that I work at. This is because many parents allow their children to simply do whatever they please even if it is disturbing the other guests. The common areas are a problem (like the pools and dining facilities) and many people really despise the way children run a muck in their rooms (banging chairs around, stomping, yelling, etc) and disturb them.

This is a difficult situation because ultimately it is the parents responsibility to keep the children in line. However, children will be children…

The hotel staff cannot punish the family that has kids unless the noise gets really out of hand and many parents feel that in the privacy of their own room their children can be left to do whatever they want since it is in private. The problem is the guests without kids are almost always disturbed or annoyed by those traveling with kids.

What do you think about this?? Would you favor “child free areas” in a hotel that you stayed at or would you consider it discrimination??

Home remedy for grasshopper control??

Okay, I need some help from all my readers!! I moved into a new place where the tenants did not bother to tend to or water the backyard area. This has resulted in the yard becoming infested with grasshoppers. When I moved in I brought all my plants and they are now being munched to death!! I am in desperate need of some natural ways to deter or kill these annoying hoppers!! I would prefer to do this organically. Does anyone know any tips or home remedies for controlling grasshoppers?? If so post them here.. Thanks a ton!!

August 23rd 2006

I have found that allowing your cats to all go outside to play with the grasshoppers is a good way to get rid of them. It’s entertaining too, ha!! Seriously though, dry undisturbed areas are usually grasshopper magnets. This includes dead leaves under bushes, dry debris covered flowerbeds and much more. So dig up your soil, rake up the debris and keep things moist, that really helped me. Also, birds are natural predators of grasshoppers so attracting birds into your yard or garden is also a great natural remedy for grasshoppers!

Happiness and the power to create your own reality.

Do you believe that happiness is something you experience as a direct result of some outside influence? (when I say “outside influences” I mean things that are outside ourselves) Honestly, take a moment to reflect on the question.

Most of you will answer “yes” to the question and that is because society has taught us to associate happiness with outside influences. We feel happy after going out and having fun, after seeing family or friends, after a compliment or a great achievement. It is normal and very common to experience happiness that results from outside influences.

Have you ever noticed that some people who seems to have everything they could ever need (comfort, financial stability, friends, love etc) aren’t happy? We can all think of at least one celebrity that fits this description.

My point is that happiness cannot be solely derived from external sources. We cannot rely entirely on those outside influences to make or break our moods. This is a problem I have experienced first hand.

Life is in many ways a rollercoaster, with it’s many ups and downs. Sometimes outside sources of happiness will be abundant and we will find ourselves on cloud 9. However there are other times when life throws us those curve balls. It seems that these hard times seem to last for extended periods of time and it is then that we find ourselves unhappy.

In trying times it is essential that we find ways to make our own happiness but this means we must change our perceptions of what happiness is and where it actually comes from.

Does money equals happiness? We have all heard the stories of the celebrities who have all the material things they could ever need but are still unhappy. This directly relates to deriving happiness from outside influences..

You simply cannot expect situations and people to give you happiness. Sure, at times they will but what happens in the meantime?

Your perception makes your reality. If you want to be happy you must be accepting of yourself first. Then you must find ways to perceive things differently. Is the glass half full or half empty? Optimistic thoughts make you feel happier so you have to find was to see things in a positive light.

When I was younger I could not feel happy unless I went out and did something with someone that made me feel good inside. This included dates, social events, personal accomplishments etc. I could not just sit at home by myself and be happy with my life. I did not like myself very much. Once I tried being more accepting of myself I found that being in my own company became easier. Gradually I began to find beauty in the things around me rather than needing others to find the beauty in me.

Now I can wake up, have a cup of coffee while sitting on my patio and be perfectly content and happy with myself and my life. Before I needed someone else to validate my worth and make me feel happy.

If you are finding yourself chronically unhappy I encourage you to take a look inside. I truly believe that our happiness is tied to the way we feel about ourselves. The first step to leading a happier life is personal acceptance!

For those of you that are active writers/ bloggers here is an exercise on self acceptance. If you are brave enough please complete the writing assignment and post it to your blog or journal site. Also, post a comment below linking to your completed lists. I would like to do a follow up exercise on this shortly. The follow up will have greater impact if you have your own lists to reference. I will also compile my own lists to share and reference for the follow up.

  1. Make a list of twenty things that you feel make you worthy of love and acceptance.
  2. Now make a second list of twenty things that you feel make you unworthy of love and acceptance.

**Try to be as honest and specific as possible in your list and also try to list the reasons why these things make you worthy or unworthy. The more you put into this exercise the more you will get out of it.**

Our new home (a photo blog)

We moved into our new place just a little over a week ago and we are finally settling in! Our new place offers more privacy, flexibility and a section of dirt to plant in. We are enjoying our new place allot despite the annoying move.

Awhile back I posted a blog about how pets seem to choose us rather than us choosing them. Well that theory is still proving true today!! Two days ago Nathan and I took a trip to the mailbox and on the way back waked by a cat that Nathan had seen in our back patio area this morning. He told me that he had thought one of our cats had gotten out since this cat looked almost identical to our cat. Anyway we discuss the cat and walk back to our place and notice this random cat following behind us! We stop several yards away from our place, pet the cat for a while and then go on our way home. We thought the cat had stopped following us so we hurried inside and shut the door. The cat was clearly somebody’s since he was well fed and groomed nicely. Anyway we laugh about the coincidence of the cat looking exactly like ours. About 5 min later we hear meowing outside our front window. We go over and see what is happening and our cats are peering out at this other cat who is waiting outside and meowing like crazy. This dang cat found our house and was crying outside, we cannot have another cat so we are sad and feel bad about keeping this strange cat outside (I know we are suckers). Anyway we did not take the cat in and haven’t seen him since then, I did snap a few pictures though!!


More cats in the window

The other thing I wanted to share was that I harvested my first ever home grown potatoes this morning!! Back in April I decided to try an experiment with some sprouted potatoes that we re in the pantry. Four months later I have a handful of baby potatoes and I am pretty surprised!! They are small and I am not quite sure if it is because the container was too small or if I needed to let them grow more.. Regardless I am happy!! I have nine of my own home grown potatoes so I did something right!

I am excited to try planning them in the ground instead of cat litter bins (which is what I have been doing to recycle and to have more containers to plant in). All my other plants also seem pretty happy with the move.. All I all it is a nice day!

My hotel story…

Sunday Scribblings called for blog posts about hotel stories so here is my contribution:

A night of hospitality hell…

Here is a glimpse of a very common yet insane night at work.. I am a front desk agent, we are completely sold out and have about 40 rooms arrivals tonight, two desk clerks and 3 valet. Here is a rundown of the events:

The Romantic Surprise Guest-
This female guest booked the stay as a romantic getaway for her boyfriend. She arranged a creekside room, dinner and massages.  Upon check in I am notified that tried to set up a surprise for her boyfriend including champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and candles to be set up in the room while they were dining. I listen to her plan for the evening and tell her I will make sure things go smoothly.

Upon check in The Romantic Surprise Guest finds that she is unhappy about the room she booked. She thought it was a suite on the creek with a whirlpool tub, it is actually a standard room with a whirlpool tub and creek view. She talks at me about how disappointed she is about the mix up, I listen and apologize many times and assure her that her dinner and special romantic surprise will go perfectly despite the room issues.

The Smoky Room Move Guest-
At around 5:30pm I am presented with The Smoky Room Move Guest. This guest also recently checked into their room and promptly calls down because the room smells like smoke. This is an unfortunate situation because all our rooms are non-smoking. I would expect that smoky smelling rooms would be taken care of when housekeeping does the room for that day. I am sure the guest was also thinking this. Anyway this guest was bothered by the smoke and needed to have a different room. That brings me to the second unfortunate part of the situation, we are sold out so we have no extra rooms available.

The Smoky Room Move Guest still wants a different room regardless of the fact that we have no other rooms so I have to play around with our room inventory and essentially give someone else’s room away so The Smoky Room Move Guest can have it. Obviously, I need to make sure everyone has a room that reserved one so I get The Smoky Room Move Guest out of the room and ask housekeeping to re-clean the room and get rid of the smoke smell so I can check someone else in it.

** On a side note- I just want to give some friendly hotel worker advice to all you travelers out there. Most hotels do not guarantee bed requests and room types through Expedia, hotel.com and other online booking companies. This means you can request two beds because you have children or whatever but when you arrive at the hotel that can give you a one king bed room because of this loop hole. **

Anyway, back to the story now.. Essentially I end up bumping a guest (that booked through an online booking company) from their deluxe two queen room to a deluxe king room with a rollaway so that I can give The Smoky Room Move Guest a fresh room and clean the smoke smelling one for the guest that booked through the online booking company.

The Stand Alone Cottages Guest-
Another guest comes down to the front desk that had just checked in. They are unhappy because they think they were told we have stand alone cottages on the creek.. We have only ever had hotel rooms on the creek and obviously there has been a miscommunication so I generously agree to refund them despite our 72 hour cancellation policy. I listen to their complaining, apologize many times and check them out of their creekside suite. We now have only this one room left to sell for the evening.

I then realize that I can offer The Romantic Surprise Guest this large creekside suite that The Stand Alone Cottages Guests just checked out of. I leave a message for The Romantic Surprise Guest offering to upgrade them for free for their inconvenience to a creekside suite that just freed up. The Romantic Surprise Guest doesn’t call me back.

The Freeway Accident Guest-
A guest calls that has a reservation for tomorrow. She wants to see if we have any rooms available for tonight since she would like to come up a day early. Since the disappointed The Romantic Surprise Guest still has not called me (and since we make bonuses on nights that we sell all our rooms)  I offer the Creekside suite to The Freeway Accident Guest since she is willing to pay $309 rate. She wants to take it so I make her a reservation. I delete the message I had just left for The Romantic Surprise Guest about the possible upgrade and I sell the room to The Freeway Accident Guest.

The Stand Alone Cottages Guest guests that promptly checked out due to the miscommunication called us because they left a wedding ring near the sink in the room they just checked out of. I head up to the room to find the lost ring for them.

In the meantime The Freeway Accident Guest that just called and made a reservation for our last Creekside suite (that the other guests just checked out of) calls and says she is stuck on the I17 behind a huge accident and that she wont be able to make it after all. I cancel her reservation. I leave another message for The Romantic Surprise Guest about the availability of the Creekside suite that she is welcome to upgrade to.

The Romantic Surprise Guest finally calls me back at around 8:45pm and says she wants to take the creekside suite. She then gives me all these special instructions about her special night. The plan is that we will get a call from the hostess when the guests are seated for dinner, then we will move their luggage to the newly upgraded room. Once the things are moved we will deliver the chocolate covered strawberries, candles and champagne to the room, then I will wait for another call from the hostess when the guests are presented with heir check. Upon receiving this call I will head up to the room draw the bath, pour in bubble bath, light the candles and head out [sigh]..

The majority of the craziness was simply the room juggling that went on tonight. Tonight was a fairly mild night as far as mean guests go but there are many nights where we feel like living breathing verbal punching bags for out guests. Don’t get me wrong I am happy to bend over backwards to make a guests stay memorable, special or whatever they need. I just really feel like most people have no idea how much crap goes on behind the scenes that we have to deal with as service professionals. I know the same is true for all types of service staff professionals (food service employees, airline employees, hotel workers etc.) and I always go out of my way to be courteous and understanding when I find myself on the other side.

I don’t expect special treatment, special recognition or a cookie. This is the industry I choose to go in to. I just expect that customers, guests or whatever simply treat me with the same common courtesy and respect they feel they deserve.

There, that is my hotel story as contribution to the Sunday Scribblings..
I hope you all are having a great day!

We are moved in… What a journey!

Moving is a hassle, everyone knows that. You have to load up all your junk, transport it to another place and then sort it all out again. It is not a fun process but we all have to do it once in a while (or in our case every year) so you just learn to deal with it and you try to be smart about it. We tried really hard to be smart about, things worked out a bit screwy anyway though!

Our moving plan:

  • Load the truck up and clean the old place 7/30/06.
  • Finish cleaning up, get the keys to our new place, do the old place’s inspection and then begin moving things into the new place 7/31/06.
  • Finish unloading stuff and begin unpacking the place 8/1/06.

We knew it was going to be physically hard, we got family to come by and help us, we scheduled the utility shut off and turn on for the same day, the mail was being forwarded we had the rental truck and come 7/31/06 we began the move.

I had my first day of camps that morning from 7am-1pm so I was off teaching while things were underway. We were freaking out about having to be out of our current place by noon that day so Nathan called the office to see if we could stay longer, they gave us till 4pm. Everyone continued loading things and cleaning the old place.

When I got home at 1pm I learned that the new landlord still had not gotten back to us about the key exchange. We then began freaking out about not hearing from the new landlord, we realized the new lease (with the landlord’s phone number) got packed in the wrong place and was now buried in the moving truck under oh at least 50 boxes and various furniture items. The computers were also packed away so we did not have any way of reaching the new landlord. We tried to dig through the moving truck to try and find the lease but that didn’t work too well. Nathan ended up going to the new landlord’s house to set up the key exchange and all that fun stuff.

We had to call the old apartment complex back to push back the walk through since the new landlord would not be available until after 4:30. They were nice enough to give us an extension till 5pm. We then finished cleaning up the place, packed the food and got everything packed into the truck and various other vehicles (including the cats). At 5pm the old landlord came to inspect the place. She assured us the cleaning and repairs were up to the standards and that we would get out $150.00 back but that they would not know about the $400.00 pet deposit we left until after the “black light guy” came through to check for urine on the carpets and walls. We are naturally irritated that we would not be present for the “black light test” but we are in a hurry about moving into the new place since our food and pets are waiting in the car for us. We hand over the keys and head over to the new place.

Our new landlord meets us at the new place with the keys. He had just changed the locks and patched a few things up. We looked around, talked with him a bit and begin moving things in. We discover that the power is not turned on yet but we figure it will get turned on soon, we called APS just to make sure though. They told us the power would be on by 7pm. A friend and ex-boss who is our house guest goes out to buy us taco bell for dinner while we wait for the power to come on and try to bring boxes into our dark home without tripping over other boxes.

At 7pm the power is still not on and it has gotten pretty dark and impossible to carry boxes through the dark house and up the stairs. We take a dinner break and call APS back. They tell us they have record of the power being turned on and that we should check the breakers and all that fun stuff. We verify that all the breakers are reset and turned back on again; nothing makes the power come on.

APS continues to insist that the power issue is due to something electrical in our place. We call up the landlord to verify that there is only one breaker box and that there isn’t anything else we could possibly reset to make the power come on. The landlord comes by to check the breaker box with us and confirms that everything is reset and on. Then the APS tech then asks us what color the tag is on the meter… We tell him it is red and he says “somebody didn’t do their job”.

Finally at 9pm an APS guy comes out to our place goes to the meter flips a switch and changes the tag on the meter.. The song Alleluia begins playing in my head and the power miraculously comes on!

Needless to say we were pretty exhausted at that point so we got things situated inside, locked the truck up and went to bed in our new home. Since then I have had two days to continue unpacking and situating the house.. We are noticing that we have way too much stuff and we have been trying to get rid of the unnecessary.

We posted a few free stuff listings on the web and in our community email lists. We are glad people came and took all our unnecessary things away. Things are looking better but are still pretty hectic. I am glad the moving and cleaning part is done and I can’t wait till everything is unpacked and put away. How is everyone else doing today??