Thursday, July 16, 2015

Don't Mind Me - I just smell like a latte

After a fun two weeks of late nights, early mornings and various engagements, my delay arriving into Boston was just one more hiccup. I crawl into bed at 4am, set my alarm for 7:30 and hope I can get an uber to get me to the office by 8:30. Anything later than that and I know I will get one or two tongue in cheek comments. I like to think they are just joking but on this little sleep I know that my personal resolve to not take things personally won’t hold up as well.


The alarm goes off, I bounce barely drag myself out of bed. My suitcase is still packed and so I unzip and start digging for all my essentials. With one eye open I manage to pull on pants and a shirt. I grab a blazer – because really, that dresses up every outfit. Doesn’t it? I attempt to use all my tricks in the book to lighten the circles under the eyes and look peppy. It didn’t work but alas it was the best I can do. I quickly debate flats verses heels. While heels can so often take the outfit from thrown together to spectacular, I know how klutzy I can be in heels, especially when I am tired. Choosing flats as my safest choice I think I am ready. The room looks like a bomb went off but Jimmy’s not home right now. So grabbing the essentials,  I head out the door.


The uber ride was not my best uber experience ever. It was an older gentleman who whistled along to classical music. He has a blanket draped across the back seat – I never trust cars with blankets on the back seats. It is usually because you are either trying to protect the seat or cover up something – and in the cab/uber variety we all know it is to cover up something. I notice little hairs and hope that this does not mean I am going to look like I am taking the faux fur trend a little too far. The car smells stale. Yuck – really stale. I slowly slide in, pretending everything is fine while I ‘watermelon’ in my head to help fight the urge to dry heave. I put on my new favorite podcast – The Mortified Podcast – hoping that a little humor will help distract me for the rest of the ride. The older gentleman extremely slowly   carefully   ugh – painfully slowly - drives me to the office. Wearily I climb out noticing a colleague is also just arriving (win) and get into the office.


As I settle into my desk and get out my computer I am already dreading how long it will take before the clock strikes 5. Nothing can salvage this day. Nothing.


Well, wait just a minute. I get an email that says it is Muffin day. Maybe this day can be salvaged after all.


Periodically Global will pick up treats for their employees and put them out in the common kitchen. My favorites are hands down the hoodsie ice cream afternoons and muffin days (despite the fact that I have only experienced one prior muffin day). Now these are not ordinary muffins. Oh no! They are these delectable mountains of all things delicious. There are a variety of options and I hear they are all good. Delicious strawberry cream, gingerbread, blueberry, lemon custard, carrot – I could go on and on. But the one I had last time. The one I have not stopped dreaming of. The one that could turn this frown upside down. Well that was the banana cream.


Ahhhh – let’s just take a moment to settle in. Pour yourself a hot cup of tea. Find a comfy position. Lean back, close your eyes, focus on your happiest memory – your wedding day, the day your child told you they loved you for the first time, the most favorite birthday present,  and be prepared to elevate above even that most happiest moment!


Picture a larger light buttery muffin. The kind that melts in your mouth. It is incredibly moist. The perfectly crunchy yet soft  top is perched slightly askew. It has that slightest taste of caramelized sugar. You see a mound of delicious whipping cream. The next layer is this beautifully yellow custard. It has a hint of vanilla in the rich creamy crème brule like custard. You can see dark chocolate shavings peeking out. These shavings are the perfect shaving – not so large that they resemble chunks but not so fine that you can barely get the taste. Just the perfect balance of that bitter cocoa to cut the cream and the right crunch to provide the perfect amount of texture. And you know – oh yes you know – that beneath all that, nestled firmly into the muffin bottom is flambéed banana. And not just a little banana but enough to salvage any muffin bottom!!!! (Seinfeld – I am talking about all muffin bottoms right now)


Oh please let there be a banana muffin in the mix.


Suddenly any sense of tiredness appears to drain from my body. In fact – I am almost giddy and vibrating with the anticipation of the perfect muffin. I join my colleague, Dave,  and head  skip run downstairs. Please let there still be a banana muffin. Please please pretty pretty please with a flambéed banana on top. Pretty please!


We arrive in the kitchen with a few others milling about. I quickly grab a plate – pretend to politely survey the situation. I mean it is in front of the client after all. I do have some dignity! I come to a box that looks like it might be my treasure. I evaluate carefully – there is an unexpected drizzle of chocolate on top. What can that mean? Is this perhaps Boston cream instead of banana. Or was the drizzle unimportant and so I just don’t remember it from last time. I quickly circle again, like a hawk choosing its perfect bunny to clutch in its talons. Yes, this must be the banana. I am sure I can see a bit of the banana flambé. There are only 5 left – we came just in time. I eagerly choose the perfect largest muffin and head to the coffee machine to make myself a latte.


With the muffin on the plate I know I am safe. I can take all the time I need to prep my latte. Finally, my mouth is watering so much it is becoming embarrassing, Dave and I both have coffees and muffins in hand. As I proclaim to Dave that I really hope this is a banana muffin, we head to the stairs (I mean I somehow need to balance the calories of  this ‘muffin’  so I cannot head to the elevator). We start the climb. My toe of my ‘safe’ flats catches the edge of the stair. In slow motion I can feel myself falling forward. I watch in horror as the muffin does the triple loop dismount off of my plate. I feel a shower of hot latte land on the right side of my face. Behind me I hear Dave: “oh” . . . “oh” . . . “oh”.


Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo it cannot be so! I am nervously giggling, my hair is pasted to my forehead, coffee and mascara are streaming down the right side of my face. I slowly survey the situation. The muffin top has rolled down a stair or two. The bottom has decided to land cream side down on the stairs. There is coffee running down the wall starting about 3 feet up with the latte foam sprayed everywhere. Worst day ever!


Alas, Dave graciously helps me pick up the pieces. He asks me if I am all right. He wisely chooses to not make any comments about my hair, mascara streaks or watching the flailing limbs as I fall up the stairs. He licks his finger and loudly declares that the muffin is indeed banana!


p.s. For those of you interested:


Yes - there was another banana muffin left that I was able to secure.

Yes – my hair was crusty all day.

Yes – I did leave the scent of latte behind me

Yes – I did have an eye that was obviously with mascara and another eye that was obviously without

No – I was too cranky to really fix the eyes

No – Not one person told me I smelled nice

No – Dave did not loudly tell the story on the office floor; however, I am quite confident it was in his improv routine that night

No – I did not clean up the stairwell

Yes – there is big brown coffee stains on the stairwell carpet and wall

No – I will not clean up the stairwell today

Yes – I will tell building maintenance that it looks like someone accidentally spilled something that looks like coffee and a banana cream muffin


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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 08, 2013

And so it continues

Ah yes - it continues indeed!

I was to fly in to Pittsburgh this evening so that I could spend Monday on site with the client. But alas - if you haven't checked the weather across various cities in the mid-west and through to the Eastern seaboard (specifically Chicago) you might want to check it out.

I once again find myself in a Chicago hotel looking at an afternoon departure tomorrow. Oh well - only God can control the weather!

So alas - I will relax in my room and make the most of this little delay in my week.

I am a single traveler with carry on luggage and the ability to get a hotel room. There are so many others out there with children, or who can't get to their luggage, or who can't afford a hotel room. And so for this I am blessed.

Good night from Chicago all1

Friday, December 06, 2013


Over these past two years I have noticed how my creative side goes into hibernation if life is stressful. 

When I worked with the interior design firm, my friend, the designer, always commented on how she gravitated towards the color green when she was stressed. Green was her least favorite color. Good thing so many of our clients like green. And trust me, there was a period we did a lot of green color palates. 

To be honest, green is one of my least favorite colors as well. Well other than Rider green of course. And over this last little bit I feel like I have been choosing a lot of green in my life. 

I can't tell you why it has felt extra stressful. Perhaps I am just needing a little vacation. Perhaps I'm looking for something out of life that requires a lot of effort to attain. My family has had a tough season with both pops and mom trying to gain strength. Friends have had challenges and I haven't been there in ways I wish I could be. The seasons have turned to dreaded winter. Traveling for work makes me feel disconnected from everyone. I haven't been able to cook, bake, photograph, explore my desire to paint, enjoy live music, relax at home and many other activities nearly as much as I would like. 

So all that to be said... It's not that I don't still love to write on here. It's not that I won't go through many cycles of heavy writing and then hibernating. So please continue to check back. I know this to shall pass. Sometimes it is just about carving that time out for yourself! And I'm hoping to do a little more of just that.

Maybe they have an online painting course or photography course I can take. Perhaps I can plan just one fun thing a weekend to cook or bake (orange creamy butter rolls perhaps?). Perhaps finding new ways to invest in friends will get us through this time. Perhaps I should write those letters home a little more often. Perhaps....

A traveling man

Well I'm not exactly a traveling man... But I am a traveling. And I'm quite confident I have written a post or two on this topic before but I'm fresh off a variety of experiences so thought I would share again. 

You see I chose a job that I knew was going to take me on the road a lot of weeks. Granted I was somewhat naive in thinking that the the means wouldn't be so bad at all for the ultimate goal that we were after! And many weeks it is okay. But there are those times where I question if the end will even come close to justifying the means. 

I'm sure you are all wondering where I am going with this... So without further adieu let me tell you what the last month of travel has contained:

1. An unexpected overnight in Chicago. 
I was all excited to get home and start my birthday weekend. I booked myself on a dreaded United flight through Chicago and treated myself to a little upgrade at check in hoping that would help. Happy birthday Me! Only to be left sitting at the Chicago gate with lots of time because I never heard them announce my delayed flight was finally ready for boarding. (As an aside, of course I was sure that a flight was going down. Why else would the Lord bring me all this way only to cause me to not hear my flight. I heard every other flight on either side being announced. But alas, the reason as to why that occurred was not due to a plane crash nor was there an apparent providential encounter at the hotel, on the flight the next day or anywhere in between.)

2. Two hour delayed flight when traveling for my company meeting. Sitting on the plane unsure if we were going to beat the storm. Only to have Jimmys flight be delayed the next day - again unsure if he was going to beat the storm. But we made it eventually. I landed at 11:30 pm only to have an alarm ringing at 4:30 am so I could get online with my client on the east coast. 

3. Crazy snow storm in Calgary resulting in a harried drive to the airport, another delayed flight while sitting on the plane watching the air traffic controllers in bellaclavas trying their hardest to get us out all the while avoiding a stuck truck and plane. Hmmmm in any other situation men surrounding the plane wearing full on ski masks would not be normal nor assuring. Gotta love Canada (and maybe Russia?)

4. Ice storm blowing through Dallas and the eastern sea board. Rebooking on a crazy early flight that has me up at 3:30 am trying to beat the storm into Toronto and home to Calgary. Hoping that my Canadian pride will be rewarded by an airport that doesn't need to shut down at the first sign of weather. 

Yes... All of that since Nov 14 and it's only Dec 6. Ugh. I even had a week home for American thanksgiving. Lol. Is it obvious that I'm ready for a real vacation!

So now that I've told you all the down sides, the up side is everyone throughout this past month has been incredibly helpful. Spending hours booking, re-booking and giving me accommodations. Men and women working through terrible weather conditions to get me to and for. Understanding friends and family when I need to rearrange plans. Enjoying the perks of being a frequent flyer with a more comfortable experience in business class. And maybe a couple holiday beverages at Starbucks when the tears are on the verge of falling (or just maybe already were falling... ). 

As I type this I'm hoping Chicago will be good to me today and get me to Toronto. Little Canada I'm coming. I promise!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Coming home

I'm flying back to Calgary tomorrow and so very excited. Cannot wait to see some good friends. To make a real home cooked meal or 7! To enjoy the fall air. To snuggle up by the fireplace. To stock up on books at the library. To have more than two pairs of shoes to choose from. To use my hair straightener. To go to a grocery store. To enjoy fresh fruit. To snack on veggies. 

Yup pretty darn excited for all those lovely ordinary little details that I used to take for granted. It will be good to be home. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I love fireworks

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's a Good Day

So now that I have a little distance from the situation I should share that Dad didn't exactly have a little accident. Rather, he rolled the full grain truck. And for those of you who know trucks it was a tandem - for those of you who don't this truck is bigger than a 5 ton but not a semi - somewhere in between. And for those of you who know farmers, you can only imagine the variety of tools, objects, buckets, etc. that might also be in the truck - for those who don't imagine what your vehicle looks like after a road trip and then add in the odd hammer, screws, nuts, bolts and on a good day some heavy wrenches and ratchets. Oh - and on this fine day - a grocery bag of mail.

Dad had an army of angels with him that day. When so many other freak accidents turn out fatal . . . God blessed our family so greatly and kept him in the truck cab with a few cuts and bruises, a broken back and a broken bone in his shoulder. Nothing that time can't heal.

As you can well imagine, I just couldn't bear to put this in black and white last week. Our family's emotions were too raw. My heart breaks for all of you that have experienced this and even more for those who were not as fortunate as we were.

And today, well today is a good day. Today - my incredibly fantastic sister (who has been a rock through this whole process) got to take the vehicle to the city and load our bruised and broken pops to bring him home. The first step in a  long recovery but an important first step.

Welcome back to the farm Dad! I know mom missed you!!

It hasn't been an easy few weeks for mom and dad. Mom had her hip replaced just 4 weeks ago and is just starting to get a little more mobile. She has been doing fantastic with her recovery and I am sure is so relieved as well now that Dad is home.

Grandpa's little house hasn't had so much activity since the last Berkan Christmas was held there - I am sure of it . . . Kim will be leading exercises every day at 9 if anyone wants to join in . . . canes are optional.

Love you: Trevor, Kim, Joshua, Rhyder, Chase and Hunter - thanks for making room for Mom and Dad.

Love you mom and dad; be good for Kimmie now!