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Old 02-14-2013, 12:32 PM   #1351
Smokey'sMom
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Marilee,

Love it! Happy Valentine's day to you and Dino. I like your new "byline" about dancing in the acqua alta. that is so true.

I'm pretty sure I've talked a friend and her daughter into going to Italy with ABD in 2014. I can't wait to travel with this group again. We were so lucky to have such a great group.

Love to everyone!
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:20 PM   #1352
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Hope everyone is having a Happy Valentine's Day!
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:24 PM   #1353
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Happy Valentine's Day!!
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:41 PM   #1354
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Hey gang!

I wanted to drop a book recommendation. I'm about 1/2 way through and totally hooked. It's WWII/present day murder mystery in Italy. I wish I didn't have some work to do so I could go on a book binge.

http://www.amazon.com/Villa-Triste-L...s=villa+triste

Just read this very good idea of what to do with left over foreign money. I wish I had known it before our trip! Even though I've got 20 euro to spend, so we better go back!

Avoid commission fees … with coffee

Starbucks addicts, rejoice! SmarterTravel Editor Caroline Costello shares a clever way to avoid having to pay a commission fee to convert that last bit of foreign cash to US dollars at the end of a vacation. First, pick up a free reloadable Starbucks Card before your international trip. Then, Costello says, "If you have leftover money in the local currency when you’re on your way home, use it to reload your card at the Starbucks location in your international airport." The money you'll save on commission fees might just cover that triple-shot-no-foam-cinnamon-soy-mocha-frappuccino with extra extra sprinkles.

Jack: Enjoyed seeing you on the show with your tie on, all lawyer-y!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

23 days to vacation!
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:23 PM   #1355
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Hey gang!

I wanted to drop a book recommendation. I'm about 1/2 way through and totally hooked. It's WWII/present day murder mystery in Italy. I wish I didn't have some work to do so I could go on a book binge.

http://www.amazon.com/Villa-Triste-L...s=villa+triste

Just read this very good idea of what to do with left over foreign money. I wish I had known it before our trip! Even though I've got 20 euro to spend, so we better go back!

Avoid commission fees … with coffee

Starbucks addicts, rejoice! SmarterTravel Editor Caroline Costello shares a clever way to avoid having to pay a commission fee to convert that last bit of foreign cash to US dollars at the end of a vacation. First, pick up a free reloadable Starbucks Card before your international trip. Then, Costello says, "If you have leftover money in the local currency when you’re on your way home, use it to reload your card at the Starbucks location in your international airport." The money you'll save on commission fees might just cover that triple-shot-no-foam-cinnamon-soy-mocha-frappuccino with extra extra sprinkles.

Jack: Enjoyed seeing you on the show with your tie on, all lawyer-y!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

23 days to vacation!
I'll have to add the book to my list. I'm finishing up the book I'm currently reading and then diving into the Game of Thrones books. A couple of my Sales Assistants have been on me for months to start reading the series.

Lauren - I was thinking of you this week as it was the week for me to deliver employee reviews. I, unfortunately, couldn't just say "you're awesome" or "you're not awesome". Good thing is that the reviews are over and we all survived.

Jack - I too enjoyed seeing you on the show. It's so nice to see a familiar face pop up. Great job!


I've had an exciting week personally. I've been working with a personal trainer since the end of November. She took my measurements last night. I'm happy to report that I've lost a total of 19 1/4 inches...I'm also down 19 pounds. Yay me! I'm still on this journey but it was nice to get confirmation that the hard work is paying off.
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:14 PM   #1356
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Congrats Christy!!! That is a real achievement. I would like to do the same.

Lauren-- thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely read it. I just finished a short book by Richard Russo (whom I like to read) that's set in Venice, but it had little to do with Venice. It was a good book though.

I like your suggestion about the Starbucks card. When I went to Europe pre-Euro, we would spend our remaining coinage on chocolate. It worked when I was young and skinny. I agree that you're required to go back to spend the remaining euro. I think we ended up with about 20 euro too.

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Old 02-23-2013, 06:16 AM   #1357
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Congrats Christy!!! That is a real achievement. I would like to do the same.

Lauren-- thanks for the book recommendation. I'll definitely read it. I just finished a short book by Richard Russo (whom I like to read) that's set in Venice, but it had little to do with Venice. It was a good book though.

I like your suggestion about the Starbucks card. When I went to Europe pre-Euro, we would spend our remaining coinage on chocolate. It worked when I was young and skinny. I agree that you're required to go back to spend the remaining euro. I think we ended up with about 20 euro too.

Cathie
Thanks, Cathie! I avoided getting a personal trainer for the longest time...but it is the best thing ever! There is nothing like getting the individual attention to really push you.

I too ended up with several euro let over. It is just waiting to be spent. Another trip has to be on the horizon...
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:23 AM   #1358
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Lauren - I was thinking of you this week as it was the week for me to deliver employee reviews. I, unfortunately, couldn't just say "you're awesome" or "you're not awesome". Good thing is that the reviews are over and we all survived.


I've had an exciting week personally. I've been working with a personal trainer since the end of November. She took my measurements last night. I'm happy to report that I've lost a total of 19 1/4 inches...I'm also down 19 pounds. Yay me! I'm still on this journey but it was nice to get confirmation that the hard work is paying off.
Employee evaluations are stupid. When has anyone ever been personally motivated either way by one? If someone does good work they should get the pat on the head as you go along, and if someone is screwing up they should get coached as you go along. Making everyone stop what they're doing for a week or more to re-review the year? HR madness I tell ya!

As some background, I started over using the word awesome when I heard some author on NPR say that the word awesome should be retired from use because it's over used and used incorrectly. So I said, yeah? You haven't seen nothing yet, buddy! My step mother has run the word into the ground. No matter what you're telling her, it's awesome. And she always says it kind of like a cheerleader too, full o' pep. I just finished the curtains in the bedroom. Really? That's AWESOME! No cavities? AWESOME! (Jeri is not awesome because he needs a new crown having broken his on some food. The bill for that is also not awesome. Well, it's awesome in another way. More awful. Or both awful and (as originally intended) awe-full) So that's me, fighting against pretentious authors on NPR one awesome at the time. To be fair, though, Italy really is pretty awesome.

You know what else is awesome? You 19 pounds. Let's do some dancing to celebrate, shall we? Losing even one pound is a force of will, but 19? You're like Xena Warrior Princess AWESOME!
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:43 AM   #1359
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Employee evaluations are stupid. When has anyone ever been personally motivated either way by one? If someone does good work they should get the pat on the head as you go along, and if someone is screwing up they should get coached as you go along. Making everyone stop what they're doing for a week or more to re-review the year? HR madness I tell ya!

As some background, I started over using the word awesome when I heard some author on NPR say that the word awesome should be retired from use because it's over used and used incorrectly. So I said, yeah? You haven't seen nothing yet, buddy! My step mother has run the word into the ground. No matter what you're telling her, it's awesome. And she always says it kind of like a cheerleader too, full o' pep. I just finished the curtains in the bedroom. Really? That's AWESOME! No cavities? AWESOME! (Jeri is not awesome because he needs a new crown having broken his on some food. The bill for that is also not awesome. Well, it's awesome in another way. More awful. Or both awful and (as originally intended) awe-full) So that's me, fighting against pretentious authors on NPR one awesome at the time. To be fair, though, Italy really is pretty awesome.

You know what else is awesome? You 19 pounds. Let's do some dancing to celebrate, shall we? Losing even one pound is a force of will, but 19? You're like Xena Warrior Princess AWESOME!
1. Congratulations Christy. That is "awesome." (No, really, all NPR mocking aside, it is truly fantastic.)
2. Thank you for the kind words. I seem to have had a non-awesome green glow. I keep telling myself it is the force. I told Cathie I needed the top of the line a Mac Book Pro with Retina Display to compensate. Her response was lady like but unprintable. I heard three nouns, Deck, Master Bath and Europe.
3. Employee evaluations. Rarely awesome. Mostly a
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:37 PM   #1360
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Christy,

I can see how the trainer would be a big help. I've thought about it many a time. How often do you meet with her? I think I would have to go multiple times per week.

Lauren,

I'll take up the cause for "awesome"too. I think I read an article by the same person. Based on that criteria, maybe we should eliminate the use of the word "the" or "and." I use those words all the time. I know what he's getting at, but seriously-- that's ridiculous. I hope Jeri recovers soon.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:13 PM   #1361
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Thanks for the kind words everyone! You guys are "awesome".

Cathie - I meet with the trainer three days a week. She encourages three but practically demands at least two to see steady improvement.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:46 PM   #1362
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Go Christy go!!!! You are the very definition of awesome!!

We have employee evaluation torture, too. For a long time we had twice yearly evaluations in which everyone had to evaluate everyone else. When we topped 50 employees it was taking many hours just to write the evaluations, which we were required to do on our own time. It became so horrible that the management finally started randomly assigning each person a smaller group to do. It still doesn't make any sense, as really managers should be managing all the time, and as Lauren said, and just dealing with stuff as it happens.

I have to catch up on podcasts, and look forward to seeing Jack!

In home news, I'm going down to California next week to start looking at assisted living places with my mom. Unfortunately her health has been ever more precarious. I really want her here in Seattle, but her health insurance coverage where she is is completely fantastic. She has an amazing team of doctors and pays $15.00 a month with no deductibles, percentage pays, billing or issues. If she comes up here, our options are much more limited and expensive, and she is worried about changing doctors. Her cardiologist is one of the best doctors I've ever worked with, so we're going to have her stay in the Bay Area for now.

I am having a super sad time right now because my kitty Simon, the best kitty in the universe, is gravely ill with a bone marrow problem and I am facing letting go in the next few days. He's been the best cat ever for all of our 16 years together and I can't bear to see him suffer. We have been trying some therapy, but he is not responding. It's incredibly hard to be a vet and not be able to save my own boy.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:14 PM   #1363
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Excellent Christy!

Heather, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom and Simon.

My brother had to let his furry friend, a doberman named Legend, go this week.

It's never easy for anyone. He tries to pretend he's tough and can handle it, but it's tearing him up.

My heart goes out to anyone that has to deal with it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:29 PM   #1364
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Go Christy go!!!! You are the very definition of awesome!!

We have employee evaluation torture, too. For a long time we had twice yearly evaluations in which everyone had to evaluate everyone else. When we topped 50 employees it was taking many hours just to write the evaluations, which we were required to do on our own time. It became so horrible that the management finally started randomly assigning each person a smaller group to do. It still doesn't make any sense, as really managers should be managing all the time, and as Lauren said, and just dealing with stuff as it happens.

I have to catch up on podcasts, and look forward to seeing Jack!

In home news, I'm going down to California next week to start looking at assisted living places with my mom. Unfortunately her health has been ever more precarious. I really want her here in Seattle, but her health insurance coverage where she is is completely fantastic. She has an amazing team of doctors and pays $15.00 a month with no deductibles, percentage pays, billing or issues. If she comes up here, our options are much more limited and expensive, and she is worried about changing doctors. Her cardiologist is one of the best doctors I've ever worked with, so we're going to have her stay in the Bay Area for now.

I am having a super sad time right now because my kitty Simon, the best kitty in the universe, is gravely ill with a bone marrow problem and I am facing letting go in the next few days. He's been the best cat ever for all of our 16 years together and I can't bear to see him suffer. We have been trying some therapy, but he is not responding. It's incredibly hard to be a vet and not be able to save my own boy.
I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and Simon. They are both in my thoughts! I hope all goes well with finding your mom a great assisted living facility!
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:03 AM   #1365
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Excellent Christy!

Heather, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom and Simon.

My brother had to let his furry friend, a doberman named Legend, go this week.

It's never easy for anyone. He tries to pretend he's tough and can handle it, but it's tearing him up.

My heart goes out to anyone that has to deal with it.
Heather,

I'm really sorry about your Mom and Simon. I hope you find a great place for your Mom to live. So glad she has such great doctors.

Kevin,

Condolences to your brother. That is so very hard.
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