Sunday, November 15, 2009

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

Thanks so much for joining me this morning. I appreciate the fact that so many of you decide to come because attendance is strictly voluntary.

I'm thinking about all those meetings I attended during my working life, especially those during my tenure at the newspaper. There were times when I felt like jumping out of my skin. I was always stunned at management's ability to dish the most outlandish lies and half-truths. Here's a good one. You've probably heard this a few times.

"Tom Parker has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities."

Yeah right. Translation: "We fired him because he told the truth and wouldn't play our silly mind games. Oh, and he had great ideas."

One of the saddest days at the newspaper was when our publisher, The Best Boss Ever, was squeezed out of his position. Things were developing behind the scenes that made it impossible for him to stay. He is a man of character who believes in transparency and also in the fact that everyone in his employ was an intelligent human being. He gave us credit for being able to understand the difficult position the newspaper industry was in and knew how to put together an entire team of people who were willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard.

One day he grabbed his lunch box that his wife packed for him everyday and he walked passed my desk.

"Have a nice lunch," I said.

He walked out of the building and never returned.

Elvis had left the building.

Those that forced him out called a meeting and announced our new "program" and direction. Nothing personal, it's just business.

Sorry, it was all personal to me. After all, I spent 2/3 of my waking life there.

I raced into the lunchroom where I knew there was a copy of our publisher's mission statement hanging on the wall.

I stole it.

It's hanging in my sewing studio.

Here's the best part:

"Our associates form a special team: We challenge each other to greatness, celebrate success loudly and do not allow others to define our limitations."

It occurred to me that we can apply that to friendships also. Aren't we a special team?

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This morning I am serving pumpkin pie.

Fall and Thanksgiving are simply excuses to indulge in pumpkin pie. I'm not quite sure why we don't indulge in this treat year round. Perhaps we'll make it a tradition to eat pumpkin pie at least once a month.

Here's a great pumpkin recipe for you. It's a pumpkin dip that's served with those crispy gingersnaps.


4 cups powdered sugar
Two (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1 can (30 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves

Combine sugar and softened cream cheese until well blended. Mix in remaining ingredients. Chill dip before serving. This dip is good with gingersnaps.

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Today is our daughter's birthday! We are very excited that she will be home next weekend, at which time we will celebrate properly.

In this family there always seems to be a story behind every occasion. The story behind her birth revolves around the fact that "back in the day" we didn't know the sex of the baby beforehand. Ultrasounds were available but not generally used to determine the sex of the baby.

We had a son and I was wanting a daughter. I couldn't allow myself to believe that it could be a girl. I was carrying the baby in the same way as our son and so convinced myself that it was another boy. I went so far as to hand stitch 35 birth announcements with the name we had chosen, Joshua Paul.

I went into labor, a story in itself.

The baby was born and the doctor says, "It's a girl!"

At this point I literally shot straight up in the bed and shouted, "What do you MEAN it's a girl????"

The nurse look alarmed and pulled the Farmer off to the side.

"Is there a problem?" she asked.

"No," he said, "She just can't believe it."

And so our Sarah began her journey, with a mother in shock at her great luck to have a daughter.

Happy Birthday Sarah. You are our "Punkin".

NOTE: There's a funny story connected with this birthday but I can't tell until tomorrow.

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I apologize for being a little scarce around here. Back in September I applied for a local craft fair but unfortunately it had received it's quota of crafters very quickly and I was rejected.

A week ago I received a call from the organizer saying that someone dropped out, could I participate?

I've been scrambling to get ready for this fair. We've also planned a dinner party for that evening. Our daughter will be home to help and I'll have everything done ahead of time. I'm all about the preparation.

Bottom line is, I've got lots of cleaning, tagging, cooking and decorating to do this week. Please forgive if I'm distracted.

If you're in the northern Illinois area, I invite you to visit me at the craft show.

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That's it for me. I'm turning the meeting over to you.


George Gaston said...

Your Pumpkin Dip sounds amazing. What a great idea, I think I will serve it at my next party with the ginger snaps. Many thanks

Thirkellgirl said...

If I start eating pumpkin pie before Thanksgiving I'll start eating Christmas cookies before the week before Christmas and then before you can say Rediwhip I'll gain 7 holiday pounds before December 1. So I'll pass on the pie, but I've got a pumpkin latte in hand.

I had almost the same experience with dear daughter #2. I was convinced she was a boy (mostly because I wanted another girl so badly and well, you know, the Universe conspires against me as a general rule) and when it was announced she was indeed a girl I yelled "I WANTED a girl!" Yay for daughters. :)

horse loving lineman's wife said...

YYYYYuuuummmmm! Pumpkin Pie. It's my fave.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Cute birth story. I didn't know what my first or second were -- before the day as you say. My second is Joshua Paul.

Thanks for the recipe. A lovely prequel to Thanksgiving.

Lisa D. said...

I have a Sarah too! She's the baby, and the only one we knew what we were having before the birth. Each of the first 3 babies I was sure I was having a girl/boy/girl and I was wrong each time. And I wouldn't change being wrong - God's plans and timing are always far better than mine!
My youngest brother's birthday is right near, sometimes on, Canadian Thanksgiving. He thought it was the best time to have a birthday - birthday cake and pumpkin pie!

chocolatechic said...

I did the same thing when my son was born.

"It's a boy!"

"A boy!!! (in a very disappointed voice~~I wanted a girl)

"Yes Mrs. P. Congratulations!"


Anonymous said...

Yeah - why are there some things we only make at certain times of the year - even though they are our favorites?! WE do the same thing with my great-grandma's Toffee Cookies - here's the link:

And on the sex of a baby... I had an ultrasound every other week from week 9 on - high risk pregnancy and all, including 18 weeks of bed rest and lots of drugs to keep me pregnant. Every single ultrasound - it's a girl! We expected a girl - all of the offspring on my husband's side of the family in his generation are girls! I had an emergency c-section at 36 weeks and they had to do a general anesthetic. When I woke up the nurse told me I had a baby boy. I argued with her for quite a while that no, I had a baby girl! Too funny. William James is now nearly 13 years old - and decidedly all boy! LOL!

LDF said...

I sure laughed at your "what do you means its a GIRL" story! I birthed 4 in the space of 6 years (back in the pre-ultrasound days), and never guessed one right! I kept trying to have a Sarah, and they either turned out to be boys, or just not the Sarah types. It's a wonder any of my brood developed any fashionable colour-sense as the boys came home from hospital in pink blankies, and my oldest girl all in blue. By #4 I (wisely) took along a white layette and blankie!

Since I'm at work reading this, I don't have access to my own kitchen, so I'm munching on toast with Cheez Whiz. not exactly nutritious, but it temporarily fills the empty spot. I'll have to make up some of your pumpkin dip for our work fridge ...

Have a great week y'all!

Cherrie said...

You are a busy lady! I so wish I could go to the craft fair (I live in Minnesota)hope you have a fun day and don't spend more than you make!
I always say "every woman needs a daughter" I have been blessed with both a son and daughter and love them both but my daughter understands me like no one else.
OH, that pumpkin pie looks good!!
Enjoy having Sarah home and Happy Birthday to her!

Bindhu said...

Loves the way you write. And pumpkin pie looks delicious, though I've never tasted one.

Mary Rex said...

Never tasted pumpkin pie? Oh, you must try this pie! I like the plain pumpkin with just a little cinnamon sprinkled on before baking... the way my mom has always made it. With a little whipped cream. Yum.

Candy Troutman said...

What a great post about how corporations handle things. I've been experiencing the same thing in our company over the last few months. One day everything is normal, the guy down the hall has been with the company for 16 years and the next thing you know, you're in the conference room or your supervisor's office being told he won't be back tomorrow. For the same reasons you mentioned and you know it's a lie.

And then their name is off the door and their email doesn't work and their name is off the phone list. You give 16 years to the company and in one day, it's as though you never existed. There has to be a better way.

I am working toward getting out of the corporate thing. Working on my speaking ministry and home-based business. Trusting the Lord. Thanks for your perspective.

Millicent said...

I too have a Sarah who is the 2nd child after a son. My daddy always called me punkin, so that's one of our nicknames for our sweet girl too. Have a blessed day! BTW I took the book on our trip and have really enjoyed it.

Robin said...

What is the font you use? I love it!

Jody Blue said...

I've made the dip recipe many times and we really enjoy it. Don't you so admire people of character, they are a rare commodity these days.

Anonymous said...

to me pumpkin pie is a year round adventure, but now that i have discovered pumpkin pancakes, oh no watch out.

i remember times like that too many times to glad to be out of it.

i like your meetings :-)