Monday, June 27, 2005



Messing around with Photoshop elements.  This is a lot harder than it looks!

This past March I arrived in Ft. Wayne for the first time on my birthday.  Joe and I drove around and found this lovely restaurant.  An intriguing building, wonderful service, white table cloth setting, and delightful food.

I'm worth it!


Sunday, June 26, 2005



90+ degree weather, not a cloud in the sky.  Notice the lack of electrical wires?

Saturday, June 25, 2005


I realize the last entry was a little confusing since I just revealed what I do and who I work for.

I was hired in Lexington to be a Cold Drink Account Manager.  The majority of my accounts were colleges, restaurants, bars, sport venues, state parks, hospitals, school lunch lines, etc. etc. etc. The Gravy Train. My purpose was to make sure they were happy, everything was running smoothly, contracts were being honored, special events were executed properly.

Our business is divided into two areas.  The first, the Cold Drink side, takes care of the individual on premise consumption.  Such as, when you purchase a drink at the concession stand at Rupp Arena.  It also includes the vending machines that you see in hospitals, schools and just about everywhere there is an electrical outlet.

Home Market, on the other hand, is THE BEAST.  The back bone of our industry.  The mover and shaker.  Home Market Reps call on the big kids, the Walmarts, the local grocery chains, the K-mart, the Krogers.  They deal in the "purchase it and take it home" business.  They deal in huge bulk deliveries and profit margins based on volume.

I was unable to transfer to the Cold Drink Department of any of  the local distributors in the area. I was able to interview for a Home Market Account Manager position which I ultimately was awarded.

Instead of calling on the Presidents of Universities, the Principals of  High Schools, the Athletic Directors, the Food Service Managers of Hospitals, I now call on Walmart Managers, haggle with back door clerks, and minimum wage store managers.

When I was Cold Drink, I had what is called an On Premise Account Manager who would go to some of my large volume accounts and help them order.  After 9/11 we reorganized and I was responsible for taking the orders also, but to only a handful of accounts.  I no longer had to look for and sign on new business.

So, I am in Bizarro world now.  No longer wearing skirts,  flip flops and nice clothes, but Rockports and golf shirt.  I never thought I would see the day!

My days are very structured now.  As a Cold Drink Manager, I pretty well could do that job in my sleep.

The good and very encouraging aspect of the transfer is this. Most go from Home Market into higher management positions. The opportunity for advancement has been increased 100 fold for me now that I am picking up the experience of the Home Market world.

That is why I was taught to wield a pallet jack.  It is a good thing to know.  Not that this girl will ever do it again! I have my ways of getting help when help is needed!

And I feel bad calling him the Turtle.  He is unsure and hesitant when writing up an order.  He has only been at it for two months.  I have four years of order writing behind me and I know you can't get it right all the time! Stuff happens.  But you go with your gut, you get it written, you get it approved (if it has to be) and you are out of there! He likes to talk to everyone! He is very social.

And that is the rest of the story. And my company car is a really cool AZTEK this time! 

ps...did this without spell check. Forgive me.

A Man's Got To Know His Limitations


A glory, glory day! I don't have to go into work! Nine days in a row is over load for me. I was ready to snap. I was sarcastic to my boss last night when he asked the question, "I've always wondered what it would be like if I worked in a large sales center?" "You'd spend a lot more time with your wife." I fired back without thinking. Without thinking, mouth and brain not connected. I thought I had conquered that flaw in my personality...apparently not.

He wanted to see me in his office a little later. I quickly ducked into the bathroom and calculated the number of hours I had worked since Monday (54) and was prepared to add in the 10 hour driving time to and from work. Thank God, he over looked my irritability and just stated that I was going to be on my own pretty soon and wanted to make sure I was feeling comfortable.

Some of you may know I work for a major beverage company, THE  MAJOR BEVERAGE company. My world has been rocked joining a sales center that delivers a little over a million cases. The Lexington Sales Center delivers over five and a half. It is like going from the Marriott Hotel to the Super 8 Motel.

To say I am in shock is an understatement.

To add insult to injury, the man who is training me is one of the applicants who did not get the job! In effect, they are making him train his replacement. He has been moody and silent all week. Which makes me talk and jabber all the more. I know why he did not get the job. He is too slow! I call him the Turtle.

I will suffer fools, I will suffer bratty kids, but I cannot suffer a Turtle out in the field. I WANT TO BE HOME AT 5:30! Is that asking too much!!! I spent about a week shadowing him and then I was master of the computer to take the orders! This has got to be the source of his sorrow. I think he did not fully understand that I did this, for the Cold Drink side, for over seven years! It is nothing new to me! Ordering huge truckloads of product is new, but the concept is not! Maybe he thought I would roll over and die when I had to do the ordering. Fact is, I can do it in a fraction of the time it took him! It's not brain surgery!

This might be my first rant entry! Yea!!!! It sure feels good!

In Lexington, when I would leave the plant, I would take off my shoes and stockings and slip on flip flops. Those are my shoes of  choice during the summer months.

Now I must wear men shoes! Woe is me!! And I have to wear my cell phone on my belt! Belt!!! I don't own a belt! The first time the phone rang, I could not get it off the stupid plastic holder and it flopped open and I was yelling, "I can't get it off my belt loop." was my boss, and Thank God it was on mute! I don't recognize myself in the mirror. My hair is pulled back in a pony tail, because when you are throwing cases and operating a pallet jack, flowing hair does not cut it.

This is my plan. Transfer to a Key Account position in six months!

If  I survive.

* (added later) In a perverse bizarro way, I really like this job. I had to operate the pallet jack in the stock room of one of the accounts to get a pallet of our product out on the floor into a display.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005



Salvage yard about a mile south of Bearcreek Crossing on Indiana 27.

My entry for this weeks Round Robin challenge.  I have been passing this phenomenon for several weeks and everytime it piques my interest and arouses my imagination. How did they get that car in the dumpster? Why? How will they remove it? Did it fall from the sky?

I'm glad I was able to work it into the Round Robin challenge. 

The following is the list of all the distinguished participants.

The Kat - From Every Angle

Aunt Nub (AKA Liz) - Aunt Nub's Empty Head

Celeste - My Day and Thoughts

Steven - (sometimes)photoblog

Monica - Mamarazzi

Becky - Where Life Takes You

Gypsy - Gypsy's Journey

Carly - Ellipsis

Alan - F-Stop

Kimberleigh - Life as I live it

Karen - Musings from Mâvarin

Robbie - Robbie's Ruminations

Betty - My Day My Interests

Duane - sotto voce

Nancy - Nancy Luvs Pix

Sharky - Substance; or lack of

Patrick - A Stop At Willoughby

Coy -  Dancing in the Rain

Michael - Confessions of a Mad Man

Sunday, June 19, 2005


My Dad as a kid at Rock-A-Way Beach circa 1926 (bottom left)


As my Dad grows older it becomes hard to be away from him on Father's Day. I will be absent from the family dinner today as the rest of the clan (minus my brother who lives in NYC) gathers in honor of the day.

I wish I had paid closer attention to the stories my Dad told about growing up in NYC. I wish I had written down all the stories he told about WWII. They are locked in his mind now, the key lost forever.

What I have are my memories of my Dad. My Dad's father was from the old country and an immigrant. He was one of the unlucky ones who could not handle it, was an alcoholic and abandoned his family when my Dad was six. It is amazing that he did not have a typical role model to show him how to be a Dad yet he did the best he could.  To all his six children, he was the greatest.

I realize that now.

We sat at the table and had dinner together every evening. He would ask questions about school and then have his nightly quiz. "What is the capital of California?". "How do you spell prestidigitator?"

When I began High School in another city, my Dad would take me to school in the mornings on his way to work at IBM. He was late for work for four years! I remember dreading those drives in the morning before they happened! What would we talk about for the 25 minute drive. I don't think it ever really was a problem.

Years and years later when I moved to Florida and did not like it and wanted to return home, my parents allowed me to stay with them until I got back on my feet. He was retired by that time and most afternoons we would sit and have lunch together. Those are the best memories for me being with my Dad. He talked and talked about his youth, the war, his mother, his family, his wonderful life.

Sometimes now, my Dad will lean forward in his chair and point a finger at me and announce to all others in the room, "Mary was the best swimmer out of all my kids! She was a champion!"

I love those moments.

I love my Dad, and I miss my Dad. He was the greatest and it is because of him and his unyielding faith in each of his off spring that has inspired each of us to pursue our own dreams and reach them.

Happy Fathers Day to the Best Dad that ever lived.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005



Yesterday was a good day after a stressed out week. The highlight of the day that altered my mood drastically was the computer hook-up. I could have unpacked a thousand more boxes and still been happy.

I have seen not less than three rainbows in the week I have been here! Very unusual for me. I can't get over how incredibly nice the people are here. Genuinely friendly and helpful. It seems they look you in the eye when they talk to you, they smile! I am not certain what I have been use to, but not this. Maybe I am just attune to niceness so far from home.

The new job is a booger and I may have to break my pseudo silence and write about my work. I knew it was going to be challenging and difficult and physical. I'm not sure if I like it or not. The good thing is it keeps my mind off the sorrow of leaving my family and the state I love to photograph.

I am in awe of the Amish riding their horse and buggies everywhere! We share the road with them. I have been waving at them on the main corridors, but they ignore me. Probably think I'm a tourist. The other day I was taking a mandatory detour through the countryside and slowed down when I came to a bridge ahead. Two buggies were crossing. The first with two men. I was so surprised when both smiled at me and waved! The second buggy carried one very young man who gave me the cool "motorcycle wave" while holding the reins ....and a smile.

Now I know, waving allowed only on less intense by-ways!

Welcome to Indiana!

Monday, June 13, 2005


The past weeks have been some of the toughest in my life. To leave the work place I had been a member of for over seven years was harder than I imagined. Unlike leaving family, I know I have to keep in touch. It is up to me. As I gathered everyone's emails and home addresses I realized not one of them asked for my new address. Like every other place I have left I realize it is up to me to keep it going. If I let go, its gone.

Sad but true.

During a very gloomy week, I had one ray of sunshine. I sashayed into the office on Thursday morning and my boss called to me from his office. "Guess who was in here yesterday?" Immediately I thought of the enraged Arab who threatened to kill me several years ago. Before I could come up with an incriminating answer he filled in the blank for me, "Brian!"

I couldn't have smiled wider. Then I became indignant, "What!! Why didn't he call me?"

Brian had left the clan in 2001. We kept in touch for several months but like a ding bat, I misplaced his cell phone number! Brian was on to bigger and better things in beautiful paradise-like areas only to be seen on very rare occasions. After that...nothing.

Brian is only several years older than my daughter and like a son to me. He was also my partner in crime for a long time until they (powers that be) decided to separate us.

For him to just drop in to the plant several days before I leave for good was a gift from God.

I called him on his cell and he was still in town and just getting ready to leave.

"Why didn't you call me last night!"

"Oh Mary, you know how I am when I start drinking beer!"

He had to go meet another friend at a donut shop and then he would call me.

He did. "I'm at that place." he said.

"Meadowthorpe Cafe?"

"Mary, that's scary"

"Being able to read your mind was always easy." I replied.

I love this kid and it was just wonderful to see him four years older and oh so much more mature. He has, as always, 100 things going on at once. Best of all, he has found a profession he loves and is very very good at.

It is so good to see "your children" find their path in life.