Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday's Thought of the Day

Welcome to Thursday's Thought of the Day!
I am starting a new tradition for Nature's Cradle and hope that we can all enjoy it together.

When you get in a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. --
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Oh my goodness, how right she is...hope you all have a blessed day, with love, Charlie

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shame On Me!

It just dawned on me, reading a friends’ blog, how truly blessed I am, whether I feel it or not.

Who do I think I am? I have been wallowing in self-pity, become totally frustrated with my life feeling stagnant, and constantly wondering if it’s ever going to get any better. What gives me that right? Nothing!

My life isn’t so bad…I have 4 beautiful children who are healthy, and fairly happy. I am in decent health and am still breathing. I am nearly homeless, but not totally homeless. I may not be able to give my children a grand Christmas celebration, but I CAN make it a happy and warm one. I may not have room for a large Christmas tree, but can find room for a little one (like Charlie Brown).

I have managed to lose sight of what is truly important, and I am ashamed of myself for that. I used to see the “glass half-full” all the time, and I used to smile no matter what. Shame on me! I have become a depressed, lonely, and very sad woman. Shame on me! I have to shake of this little pity-party I have been having, by myself, for myself, and wake up. I have to participate in my life. How can I possibly expect things to get better if I just allow life to happen TO me? I have turn things around and start making life happen FOR me.

I am supposed to be the “Leading Lady” in my life, and at this point, I have failed at even a small, supporting roll. Life has been just going by…wreaking havoc, and I haven’t bothered to do a darn thing to stop it. All I have managed to do is cry and seek sympathy and beg others to change it for me. What a fool!

I am not ignorant. I am not uneducated. I am not incapable. I am not inexperienced at living life. So, today, I am going to reclaim myself, and take responsibility for my own life. I am smart! I am educated! I am capable! I am a good mom! I am a beautiful woman! I WILL make it! On my own, one step at a time…I am woman, hear me roar!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

So Sorry!!!!

I apologize for not writing just keeps happening and I can't seem to stop it. Since my last post I have moved, quit my job at Moon Bay and at McCormick's and am now employed at another new restaurant called Rosa Mexicano... great food, great fun and having a blast. However, I am in the process of having to move again and have not had a whole lot of time to be online. So be patient and as soon as things settle down, I will be back with a full update... Take care, Charlie

Thursday, June 12, 2008

He Rocked Her World, Twice, In Less Than 8 Hours

Have you ever met a person you just could not get off of your matter how hard you try??? BANG!!!!! It hits you like a sledge hammer and just sends you reeling??? You weren't looking, but it found you; and you try to push it away because the situation you have met in is far from ideal for a personal relationship. You have conversations, and even though you try to keep it professional, the other person seems to want to move to more personal subjects. So you keep talking, and learn a little more about each other and realize that there truly is a personal interest, on both sides... so then what??? Do you do the "smart" thing and keep it professional or do you say "f--- it" and see what might happen? Can relationships in the work place really work; or are you asking for trouble?

I really want to be careful here, because this post has absolutely nothing to do with me and my job at "Moon Bay". A friend of mine has asked for some input and I thought I would explore this issue here, to see what other people have to say about this.

My friend informed me that she is completely confused and trying to figure out the best way to handle this situation she has found herself in. She has been working at her job for a while now, and while she has been attracted to her boss for months, she tried to maintain herself and keep things professional. Then, the other night, she and some coworkers, including her boss, all went out to have drinks after work. She said they had a blast, and that she and her boss, really hit it off...personally. At the end of the night, when she and her boss were alone, he initiated a kiss, and she let him. They are both single and unattached, so she figured what the hell...she'd waited a long time for that. She told me that the kiss was incredible and that they made out for like 30 minutes. The hunger was very apparent, and she asked him, more than once, if he would be able to handle their situation at work. He assured her that he could and, according to her, neither of them really cared about that at that particular moment. She expressed how strange the connection was, how she felt like she was home, finally, and how happy she really felt. She said "it was perfection". He expressed, to her, that he thought they seemed to be extremely compatible, how much he liked her, etc... They stopped before they couldn't, and she tore herself away, but she left happy and looking forward to more.

The next day, he told her that it never should have happened, that it wasn't smart. It wasn't that he didn't like her, and didn't want to be with her, it was that he was her boss and that he would be breaking one of the biggest cardinal rules of their employer. She was blind-sided and felt like an idiot. How could he say that to her? They connected, so intensely, and she knew that he felt it too. She told him that she would rather quit so they could explore this new thing, than keep her job and lose what they had found. He told her that he needed her, at work, she was a strong employee and he did not want to lose her. He said they had to be smart. Rumors start, and it would jeopardize her career, as well as his. If she got a promotion, how would anyone know if it was due to her earning it or just because she was sleeping with the boss. She said he seemed very sincere, and she appreciated that he seemed to be looking out for her, as well as himself, but she just didn't care. Jobs are a dime a dozen and she doesn't care.

So, what do you think? Think they could make it work, or is he right? Where should the priorities be? Would you be willing to risk your job for love?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What Is It With Men?????

Ok, now I KNOW that I can not be the only woman out there who goes through phases of being crabby, not feeling well, and just "not feeling in the mood". So here is my question... Why do men, end up doing their best to, make us feel guilty when we are going through these phases? Can they not understand that we need to just take some time and recharge? Are women really supposed to coddle them every minute, of every day, like we do our children? What is this?????!!!!!

Aren't our partners supposed to be understanding and supportive? Aren't they supposed to be who WE get to lean on when we just have no more to give? There are times when I wish I had never been with anyone. That my life would be just a little less stressful if I did not have to worry about someone else's every whim. If we don't feel like talking (like most men most of the time) then we are neglecting them. If we don't feel like being intimate, then we don't want, or love, them. If we need some space, then we are seeing someone else. On, and on, and on!!!

A friend of mine, who inspired this post, has just gone through this with her live-in boyfriend. The poor thing works ALL of the time, usually a later shift, has 2 small children and she came to me to vent, because she discovered that her boyfriend had been "chatting" with some chick online and seemed to be making tentative plans for a "secret" meeting. She had found some emails and even read his chat sessions, thanks to the "archive message" function on their particular IM server. She was not happy. She asked me for advice and I had no idea what to tell her. She asked me what I would do, and I told her that I really had no idea. The truth is, I lied to her. I know EXACTLY what I would have done, had I been in her shoes, but she is not the type of person who would like, or appreciate, how I would respond. "Get your shit and go!" What on Earth makes anyone think that it is ok to behave that way?!?!

Don't get me wrong, I am not naive, and know that women do the same things when men are going through these types of phases. My concern is that, as a whole, we are losing sight of what commitment means. We seem to be forgetting that "our word is our bond" and people are getting hurt. The worst part is, that many times children are involved and they seem to be paying the ultimate price. It seems to just be getting worse with every new generation. I feel like we are sending the message that "It's ok, just leave if you are not happy". What happened to trying to communicate? What happened to being patient and empathetic? What has happened to "you can lean on me"? When did being selfish become the norm? The majority of today's women, are working full-time jobs, are mothers and seem to be more exhausted, and burnt out...stretched too thin...pushed too far...and it is very disheartening to see.

Our partners are supposed to be our "pillars". When we are with them, we are supposed to feel uplifted and recharged. We are not supposed to dread going home, a place that should be our sanctuary. But I think many of us find "going home" to be a bigger pain-in-the-ass than "going to work". For a working mom, the crap never stops. We bend over backwards to keep our bosses happy, our co-workers, our subordinates, etc... then we get home and it is the same thing... whining kids, hungry kids, whining partner who wants to "fool-around", laundry, dusting, vacuuming, dishes, bath-time, bed-time, "read me another book", "how 'bout a quickie", and it just keeps going and going, until she has taken care of EVERYONE ELSE'S NEEDS, and she gets to close her eyes and do the only thing she has time to do for herself, and sleep as best she can. The next four or five hours are hers. Too bad she's too tired and sleepy to do something that would really make her feel good, and happy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It Hurts!! It Hurts!!

Growing pains, in any form, are never fun, but they are very necessary. Before I begin, I would just like to place a small disclaimer here. Nothing I write here can be held against me. Fellow STARS who read this should not to take anything I say personally. This is my personal place to voice my frustrations, concerns, hopes, etc... and I will not accept any type of negativity at work. I love that my fellow STARS visit here and want to see them continue. I truly like, and have the utmost respect for, everyone that I have the pleasure of working with and for, but a little venting, sharing and feed back is sometimes needed. Thank you for your understanding.

So, with all of that said, again, let me say, that growing pains are never fun. It is a new restaurant, with all of these very talented people trying to learn how to work together, and it is becoming very strained. The majority of us share the same frustrations and really do want to make it work, but there are a few who just seem lost, and may even be looking in a different direction. Unfortunately, what they don't realize is that it will be the same in whatever restaurant they choose to go to. Every place in this awesome facility, is new, and I am sure they are experiencing similar issues.

A lot of us who are in the kitchen, in various culinary positions, are finding that communication from our immediate supervisors is creating a lot of confusion. There are three Sous Chefs and an Executive Chef. They are all very good at what they do, however, they all seem to want the rest of us to do different things. Depending on who the "Chef in Charge" is, determines how things are done. When the Executive Chef is there, and we, in the pantry, get an order for a salad that is to be split, we put the salad onto two plates and split it, it is not a big deal, it is the way the guest has ordered it, and it really does not take any extra time. But then, when one of the Sous Chefs is in charge, we are told to NOT split it, just send an extra plate. So, then, confusion begins. Personally, I would prefer to meet the guest's needs and split it for them, but when we are given an order, regardless of our personal opinion, it is to be followed. Things would be so much less stressful, and more efficient, if they were all on the same page. It is very frustrating to have to think about who is on duty, and how they want things done. It is a lot to remember, and I am sure that the pantry is not the only section feeling this way.

The system that is set up for ticketing, and food delivery, also seems to have some quirks. Again, in the Pantry, when we get tickets for our salads, we do the tickets in the order that they are received. If we receive a ticket for 2 salads that are appetizers and 1 salad that is an entree, we make all 3 at the same time. If we don't, we get lost and have a difficult time deciphering which salads were done. We do all of the salads on a ticket, for the same table, at the same time. We have requested that our food runners not take any salads away from our station, until the ticket is completed. When they do, they risk taking the wrong salad to the wrong table and then we end up doing extra because we don't see the number of salads needed for a particular ticket. We get a lot of special requests, like "no bacon, no cheese, dressing on the side, etc... " and sometimes the food runners are in such a hurry that they don't pay attention to which salad they are grabbing. Then, 10 minutes later, we have the server coming back asking for another salad, because "that one went to the wrong table, or my table is missing a salad" and we end up having to do things twice. None of the salads should leave our station until the ticket is completed. The tickets should stay with the salads for a particular table, until they are ready to serve to the table. It is very frustrating, and I know that there has to be an easier way. What I like to do, is finish the salads for a particular ticket, and place the ticket on the one that is different. How else is anyone to know which salad is different????

Also, it amazes me how many of our servers continue to ask the same question, over and over and over... Few of them actually seem to have brains. A HUGE pet peeve is that they like to wait until we are completely out of something, before telling us that they need more. For example; butter... each night we prep trays of butter for the servers to deliver with the bread. Instead of telling us when they are down to 1 tray, they wait until the trays are completely empty then come to us, in a panic, "where's the butter!?!?". It's like they expect us to drop what we are doing, to run back to the dish area to retrieve a butter dish, so they can be served butter. After a month, they should know that they need to be helpful, and a bit assertive, and go get the butter dishes, bring them back to us and say, politely, "could you please fill these?". Last night I had the wonderful pleasure of a new server's assistant who actually did that, without being told. She actually came to me and said "We are running low on butter, where do I get more?" I asked her to go back to the dish area, ask the dishwasher for the butter dishes and I would help her get them filled. There was still half of a tray available, but she thought ahead and none of us in the pantry was rushed. It was great!! I praised her and told her how wonderful it was to know that there really was someone with brains on their shoulders. She proceeded to periodically bring butter dishes back, and we got them filled, in a timely, un-rushed manner. So KUDOS to Maria!!!

Another issue I would like to vent about is inappropriate conversations and behavior. The last thing I want to have to listen to, while trying to get my work done, is other people's opinions on favorite sexual positions, partying, drinking, etc. Boyfriends and girlfriends should keep their hands to themselves while at work. There does not need to be any kissing or hugging or anything else going on while they are on the clock. Supervisors should not be touchy-feely with fellow STARS who are under there command, because it makes others uncomfortable, and leaves them wondering about supervisors "playing favorites". It also makes it very difficult to feel like you can go to them with a problem or concern, especially if it involves one of their favorites. They become very defensive of their favorite, and that can create resentment. I love my job, but I feel like there is no option when it comes to wanting to discuss an issue with someone. I am not the only one who has said that "there is just no talking to him about him/her", so those of us that feel that way, just let it brood and get pissy about it later.

There are a few more issues I could cover, but I just am very time limited. My biggest concern is that it seems that the overall morale seems to be on a steady decline. Everyone was so excited and happy in the beginning. Many of us could hardly wait to wake up and get to work. Now, there are a lot of us who wish it could be postponed. Many of us walk from the parking lot to the door with a feeling of dread vs. excitement. Many, in our kitchen, are looking for greener pastures. I can honestly say that I am not one of them. I have been through this before, and understand the growing/learning process. I will say that I have thought about moving to the front of the house, though, because the money is better. The issues are the same, but the money makes it bearable. However, moving to the front would take me out of the place I want to be, around the food, creating, learning, and the feeling of pride when I do something beautiful. I do wish, however, that I felt like I was actually learning something and gaining more technical skills, but I understand that it will take time. This restaurant has to get running smoothly, get some of the kinks straightened out, and the staff has to learn to work together and become a great team. I am a patient person who has her goals in sight, and I know that I am in the right place to achieve them. As painful as it is, I will push through, and hopefully the "growth process" won't take too long.

Have a wonderful day, thank you for listening, and if any of you have any suggestions please share them. Will try to write again, sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

OPENING DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was a very exciting day!!! Our restaurant "Moon Bay" opened on March 31 and this was the opening culinary team. Once again, I am standing next to the Executive Chef, Duane Keller, and we were soooooo excited!!! Our food is fabulous, the patrons are in awe, and our "STARS" are awesome! I am currently working in what we call the "pantry" and that is the salad and dessert area. Who knew how technical salad could be???!!! I am still having a blast and learning a lot!! The people that I have been given the pleasure of working with are so talented, have so much vision and drive and it is so inspiring to see and hear their ideas and goals. Chef Keller is a perfectionist at his craft, and we strive to give him perfection in all that we do.
We only served about 75 people our first night, but the patrons are coming in steadily and our numbers continue to grow. The last few days we have done 200-300 lunches and even more dinners and they are still coming in!! It is very exciting.
I had the wonderful honor of meeting Chef Keller's wife and I have to tell you that that meant a lot to me. It was truly an honor to know that Chef likes me well enough to introduce me to her. I am sure that it is mostly due to my posts about my job, but whatever the reason, it was a great honor and made me feel really good about who I am and what I have been doing. I know that I am in a good place, and have made the best choice I could, as far as employment goes.
Again, I cannot stress enough, how great Gaylord Entertainment is to be a part of. If you want to find a wonderful, fun job, where your talents and ideas actually mean something, find a Gaylord facility near you and do whatever you can to join this fabulous community. They are constantly expanding, always looking for more "STARS" and want to give you the best they can offer.
Anyway, just wanted to share this picture, and my excitement, and encourage you to find a place you can honestly love and call "home". Take care and I will write more later!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thanks to my friend Gimme at Gimmeadream, I am now a proud recipient of the "Blogger Circle of Friendship" Award. It is a great honor to have my site recognized and included in such a wonderful group of blogs. Thanks again, and visit some of the other winners...

Darrel Day for his "Things I Know About" site

Jadey for "Jadey's In The House"

Keith for "Keith's Ramblings"

Enjoy visiting and seeing what makes these sites so special!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

We "Get It" at "Moon Bay"

Some of the finest seafood cuisine on the East Coast!!! We use only the freshest product and even have a lot of our fish flown in, overnight, from Honolulu, Hawaii. The team of culinary professionals, working in this kitchen, is dynamic, work very well together and have a lot of fun. Our creations not only look fabulous, but taste incredible. Chef Keller is a man with creative vision and created a spectacular menu, that will make waves in the Seafood world. It just gets more exciting every day!!!! We open to the public in one week and we are charged, and ready to rock and roll. Come visit and taste the delights of the sea at "Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine"!!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I Have A Question...

What on earth has happened to our children's manners these days? I am just stunned at the lack of drive and determination that seems to be plaguing young adults these days. What are we doing, as a society, to create such an air of acceptance of disrespect?

As a parent, I have been very diligent in assuring that MY children treat others, especially other adults, with nothing but respect. When we go out to eat, my children say thank you at the end of the evening. I can't always afford to take them out, but sometimes I am just too tired to cook so we go out and splurge. I don't mind doing it because I know that my children are grateful and do not take that little "treat" for granted, and it is never held as an expectation by them.

I have been repeatedly appalled at the lack of gratitude I have seen coming from other's children. It seems, to me, that they have this notion that it is DUE to them, that we owe them for something. It is truly mind-boggling for me to see this.

It has also become very apparent that they do not feel that they need to EARN the things they want. I know of many young ladies, and gentlemen, who are still living at home, getting all of their needs met, doing whatever they want, all day long and never say or do a thing to show appreciation. I do not understand this. My daughter is 17 years old, has consistently held a job and was required to purchase her own vehicle. I co-signed for her, but she is the one making the payments and paying her insurance. If a payment is missed, the vehicle is gone, and she knows this. My 12 year old son knows that the PS-2 is off limits until certain chores and homework is done. There is no argument, no negotiation. I have had to work and pay my own way for as long as I can remember, and although it would be nice to be able to just give my children everything they want, on demand, it will never happen.

I have a very strong work ethic and have learned, the hard way, to not take anything in my life for granted. I have earned everything that I have and I want my kids to do the same. Now I am not saying that I don't help them with things, or that I am a slave driver....what I am saying is that for me, it is important that my children have a strong work ethic and learn appreciation. I believe that it is essential for their future, because regardless of how I feel about it, someday I will not be around and they will be forced to do it themselves.

Also, my 12 year old son, Matthew, knows that if he is seated and an older woman comes into the room and there are no more chairs...he knows he needs to get up and offer her his seat. It is not just for "grandma" types, but any adult woman. It is polite, it is respectful and it's the right thing to do. My daughter does the same thing. I do it, too. I lead by example, and again, I believe in that. I do not ask things of my children that I, myself, am not willing to do.

Our children are our future. Yes they need to be educated, they need to learn to question, they need to be able follow, and they need to learn to lead. It is all accomplished with respect...for themselves as well as others. "Treat others as you wish to be treated" is always being said in my home. We all have bad days, we all raise our voices and say things that never should have been said. How many of us apologize??? I do, all the time. I constantly make mistakes, but I own them and if things that I do, or say, hurts anyone, I apologize. I apologize because I love and respect them. How can we ask our children to respect us, if we don't show them respect? I don't care how old a child is, I will apologize if I have wronged them. I do that for all 4 of my kids, and anyone else who is a part of my life, from other family members to co-workers. It's just the way it is.

My child hood was not perfect and neither were my parents. They did the best they could and things that I did not like about their parenting, I have changed for my own parenting. I am far from a perfect parent, but I believe that my parents, who are almost 40 years my senior, instilled some wonderful values into my childhood. My father has always been a true believer in respecting everyone and that has become a huge part of me. Asking a father's permission to ask for his daughter's hand in marriage, opening doors (cars or buildings), saying "Thank you" with sincerity, appreciating the tiniest gesture of kindness, the ability to say "I'm sorry", courage to ask for help, "your word is all you have", repaying your debts, helping out "just because you can", all of these things, and more, that seem to come from a whole different era. They are good things. They seem to have gotten lost somewhere and it would be so nice to see them return.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Exhausted Hysteria


This is part of the group of us working at Moon Bay. This picture was taken at the end of the day, by Chef Keller. We managed to unload 29 pallets, loaded with small wares (cups, plates, silverware, whisks, saute pans, etc) in 3 hours. It was totally and completely exhausting, but we had a ton of fun.

The restaurant will be opening on March 29 and the next couple of weeks will be spent getting food prepped and ready to go. We will be doing "mock" service later this week and I believe we will be able to invite our families to the restaurant on one of those days. That would really be fun.

The restaurant is really starting to come together and is looking magnificent. It will probably become known as one of the best seafood restaurants on the East Coast, and I really don't think it will take too long. We have a phenomenal team of chefs who are fantastic to work with, and seem to enjoy teaching the rest of us the "secrets of their success".

I can honestly tell you that in all of my years in the food business, I have NEVER been as blessed as I am with this job. I can't remember ever working for someone who makes it a point to shake your hand at the end of the day and say "Good job, today" before you leave. It makes such a huge difference to know that you are appreciated. It is a whole new experience for me and I am just loving every minute of it.

I am telling you, if you want to find a place to work, that is FUN and really feels like you are with family, you need to go to work for Gaylord Entertainment. They don't just talk about how important their employees are...they live it, and every one of us can feel it. This company will have to roll me out of there in a wheel chair because I don't plan on leaving any time soon.

Anyway, if you get a chance, go see one of these properties. I promise you will not be disappointed. All of their properties are fabulous and full of energy. The fun just never stops!!!!!

Take care and I will fill you in later on the latest happenings at Moon Bay...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This Is A "Must See"

This is my friend, Darrel Day. He is an author, a song writer, and one of the most sensitive people I know. His blog, "Things I know About..." is an incredible look into the life of a man who has lived through, and survived, a devastating disease that ravaged the love of his life.

He talks about the struggles, the lessons he's learned, the love that he was blessed with, and so much more. He is living proof that trials can be survived, and not just by waking up every morning, but by continuing to live, and learn.

His story, and the wonderful way he shares his experiences, is an inspiration to many. The depth with which he loved, and was loved in return, should serve as an example to any one who takes the time to read what he has gone through.

I highly recommend, and suggest that you visit, this site. It is a true miracle for everyone.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Please, Bear With Me!!!

I just wanted to give everyone a quick update:

The new job is FANTASTIC!!!! This group has a ton of ENERGY and they truly believe in having FUN and they make EVERYTHING they do, amazingly entertaining!!! It has been a real "trip" the last two days.

I came home after my first day with them, completely exhausted. They greeted all of the new hires, or STARS, as we are called, like celebrities. I kid you not. All of the department heads, current STARS, VP's, etc...everybody lined up and when we were all walking in you would have thought they were welcoming members of the NFL at Superbowl. It was CRAZY and I loved every minute of it.

We learned a new dance for the Gaylord National here in DC, we learned a new song as well, and the dance and the song are done to the tune of Tina Turner's "Proud Mary". It is fantastic!!!

They believe in putting their employees, EXCUSE me, I mean STARS, and their needs first. Our lunches for orientation were catered, we had snacks and beverages provided through-out the day and we all felt like we are really wanted and appreciated. I have never seen anything like it.

If you want a fun place to work, where you are treated with respect and dignity, find the Gaylord property nearest you and GO GET A JOB!!!! You, too, could become a STAR!!!!

The next few weeks are going to be VERY busy and I am not sure how often I will be able to get on here to post something new. I promise, though, that I will, as often as I can, keep you "posted" (excuse the pun).

Take care and visit again, soon and thank you for your patience!!!


Monday, March 3, 2008

My New Job!!!!!

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center...

This is my new place of employment and I am so incredibly excited!!! I will be working under one of the finest Chefs on the East Coast, Chef Duane Keller.

My new job starts this Wednesday, March 5, and I will be cooking in one of the four restaurants that are contained in this facility. Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine mostly serves a wide array of fresh seafood, but has included some non-fish items for those who may not like seafood too well.

In the picture, you can see the 18-story glass atrium. Contained in the atrium are small retail shops, water fountains and other things to excite the senses. My restaurant is also in the atrium.

The facility has a 20,000 square foot luxurious spa, with 12 different treatment rooms, a fitness center and a beautiful pool.

"With 470,000 square feet of flexible convention, meeting, exhibition and pre-function space, Gaylord National is the largest combined hotel and convention center on the Eastern Seaboard." They provide catering, and you can even book your wedding here.

"Spectacular and inviting, Gaylord National's 2,000 guest rooms, which include 110 suites, offer the ultimate in luxurious accommodations." "You'll feel right at home with modern conveniences like in-room high-speed wireless Internet access, an in-room hair dryer, iron and ironing board, electronic lock-and-key system, in-room safe, and easy-to-use voicemail."

This place is amazing and huge and, from what I hear, it is already booked for the first year.

Wish me luck and I will be back to keep you posted on how the new job is going!

Quotes courtesy of the Gaylord Website.


Friday, February 29, 2008

One of the Major Causes of Infertility

PCOS..."Polycystic Ovary Syndrome" affects about 1 out of every 10 women. It can actually strike as young as 11 years old. The cause is unknown, but it is suspected that there could be a genetic tie.

It can affect a woman's menstrual cycle, hormones, heart health, blood vessels and general appearance. It has been linked to diabetes, thyroid disorders and weight gain.

Some of the symptoms include, but are not limited to:

Missed periods

Ovarian cysts

High cholesterol

High blood pressure

Thinning hair

Discolored skin

Skin tags




Oily skin

Increased hair growth on face

Women with PCOS may experience some of these symptoms but not all women will experience the same symptoms.

PCOS causes a woman's ovaries to not produce hormones. Without hormones, such as progesterone, a woman's eggs are unable to mature. Instead, the egg can turn into a cyst. The eggs are kept in the follicle. It is the follicle that is filled with liquid to keep the egg safe during maturity. If the hormones are not present that are needed to mature the egg, the follicle just continues to fill with fluid and becomes a cyst. No mature egg means no ovulation, and no ovulation means no period, and if there is no ovulation and no period, you are looking at infertility.

There is no cure for PCOS, but it can be managed. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and treat you accordingly.

This is just a brief outline of PCOS and what can go along with it. For more information, ask your doctor. You can also call the National Women's Health Information Center @ 1-800-994-9662.

Other resources include:
American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Center for Applied Reproductive Science

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association, Inc

Good luck and hope that this information was helpful.

Some of the information in this article was provided by


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Women and Some of Our Secrets...shhhhhhhh

Women are full of secrets. It is our best defense and our greatest "self-preservation" tool. Keeping secrets does not mean that we lie, it just means that we hide. In the movie "Titanic", there is a line that sums it up, perfectly..."a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets". There are just some things that are better left unsaid.

One of the biggest secrets, kept by women, is "that one love we just can't let go". Chances are that woman you are interested in pursuing has one person, still in her heart, that she will, subconsciously, be comparing you to. It's not a conscious effort. Unfortunately, for you, it just seems to happen. It does not mean that she isn't able to love you, it just means that she will probably be looking for how that felt. It's the same as that "first high".

Women tend to be pro's at pushing their true feelings aside. For example, if you have friends, who are women, chances are that at least one of them have feelings, beyond friendship, for you. For women who feel this way, they are able to set those feelings aside, because for them, being your friend is better than nothing.

In today's society, most women tend to come with a lot of "baggage". Children, ex-husbands, etc.. Don't think, for one minute, that women aren't aware of how men feel about that. Women, too, have some issues with their own "baggage". Try to be empathetic. The last thing any woman wants, is to have her "baggage" get in the way of what could be a really great relationship.

Women NEED to be heard. Granted, some women have a very difficult time communicating in a way that even makes you want to listen. A lot of the time, women tend to use too many words, use words that puts the man on the defense, and never seem to know when to be quiet. They still need to be HEARD. Sometimes, women have lousy timing. It's not done on purpose, they really don't mean to bother you during the "big game". They just have something that needs to be said, and if it's not said NOW, it may not get said at all. Women like to feel that they are important. Really hearing them helps that.

Women love to be romanced. Women read romance novels to see how it's done, and end up wishing with all their might, that their man would do things like that. I suggest finding one of her novels and give it a good read. You may be able to find some really good pointers there.

Cuddling. Women like being held, and cuddled, especially after making love. The reason for this is very simple. It keeps them from feeling cheap and/or used. When a man rolls away, after sex, the woman will typically lay there thinking something like "OK, maybe I should ask him where he left the money" or "well, that was fun, not. What should I do now?". For most women, love-making involves more "giving" than taking, and we want to know that you are grateful. Whether men believe this or not, love-making actually involves sacrifice for the woman. More women fake orgasm because they want the man to believe he is a great lover. Most women would never admit that. Men have to understand that. Knowing that her man is satisfied is a great pleasure for a woman, and when you just roll away, or get up to go watch the game, whatever, it takes away from the pleasure for the woman. She will feel cheap, used, unappreciated, and you may end up paying for it later.

I could go on and on, but I can't give it all away. I hope this article brings you some insight, and helps you to improve your relationship. Please remember this, it is the little things that count that most.


Monday, February 25, 2008


Have you ever wondered what a woman, carrying triplets, might look like? Well, this is me, the day I delivered triplets, as a surrogate mother, back in February of 2000.

This was taken about 20 minutes before they were delivered. There were 2 girls, and 1 boy. The boy was the biggest, weighing in at 6lbs 8oz, the girls each weighed 5lbs 5oz and 5lbs 6oz. There was a lot of baby!

This was the second set of triplets I carried. The first set was all girls and they were delivered in January 1998. They were much smaller than this second set, the largest being 4lbs 4oz. The first set was delivered at 34 weeks gestation and the second set was delivered at 361/2 weeks gestation.

I was living is San Diego, CA during my surrogate days and both sets were delivered at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital For Women and both sets were delivered by an awesome obstetrician, Dr. Gary Blake. He was very attentive, and had a wonderful bedside manner. I would not have delivered these babies with any other physician.

This particular day was actually very stressful. I had a nurse who came to my home about 3 times a week to do fetal non-stress tests to make sure they were all doing okay. This day, she told me that she wanted to send me to the hospital so they could monitor things, because her equipment wasn't working correctly. So, I go to the hospital, expecting to just be monitored for a few hours and the nurse in the E.R. department informed me that I did not need to be monitored, I needed to deliver these babies. I was in labor, contracting every 2 minutes! The nurse at my home lied to me, because she didn't want me to panic. I was very upset about the whole situation, because it was not like I hadn't done all of this before. Unfortunately, I was not aware of the fact that I was in labor. I was not feeling any contractions and had no idea. It was very different than any of my other pregnancies and I was terribly offended that I had been deceived.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this photo and a little bit of my own story with you and hope that it will help bring a better light to surrogacy, as a whole. I will write more later...Charlie


Friday, February 22, 2008

Just Some Random Thoughts

Today is Friday and the weather is horrible. Freezing rain and it's very, very cold out. I am going stir crazy and so are the boys. Being 2 and 3 they have a hard time understanding why they cannot go outside to play. So, needless to say...they are terrorizing the whole house. It is amazing how loud they can be :) I took some pictures of them so I could show them off here, but I can't seem to get them uploaded to the computer. I will figure it out and get them up soon. Michael, my 3 year old, loves to be upside down. I haven't figured out why, but he just loves it. His little brother, John, tries very hard, to keep up with Michael and follows him everywhere. Watching him try to go upside down has been very entertaining.
I have been thinking about trying to get them enrolled in a daycare or something, but I have to wait until my new job starts, which I am very excited about. However, there are things in my life that may prevent me from staying with this job and that both worries and saddens me. I've waited a long time for an opportunity like this, for my career, and yet, I have waited even longer for the opportunities that are presenting themselves in my personal life. It is a hard thing to try to deal with and I keep wondering why I can't ever seem to get the things I want at the same time, and the same place.
Anyway, just thought I would ramble on for a bit. If there is anything you would like to see here or a particular topic you would like to discuss, just let me know. I really would like to have my readers participate...Thanks for listening...Charlie

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Make Money Reading Emails

I have made $350.00 in 24 hours at this site: AglocoMails. I kid you not! I signed up and made $50.00, just for joining. I was then directed to 3 different sites, required to spend 80 seconds on each page...and received $100.00...each. Now I have $350.00 for doing 240 seconds worth of reading. I cannot believe it! It was so easy!!! Take a look at the site yourself and let me know what you think! Here is a link AglocoMails I promise it is worth taking a look. Charlie

Monday, February 18, 2008

Check This Out!!!

Qassia is new and in it's BETA form, so join now, while it's free!
What is Qassia? It is a new site for networking and getting exposure to your own site. It's new, it's free (at least for now) and it is oh sooooo easy! You will begin making Qassia dollars right away and where's the harm in that?
Because this site is so new, there is still much to learn, but at any rate, the dollars are pouring in and I couldn't be happier. Refer a friend and make even more dollars. Once you are on the site, they give very clear, and easy, steps to follow for joining and the process is virtually hassle free. Click the link and see what is all about. I will keep you updated as I find out more. Good luck and hope you get as excited about this site as I have become. Thanks to my friend and his blog Things I Know About I am on my way to making some very good profits. Join the fun!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

have you ever really loved a woman-bryan adams

Every Man Should Have To Hear This...

Having Sex vs. Making Love

This title can actually go two ways and I am going to go out on a slightly different path.
Having sex vs. making love. We all know, especially us women, that there IS a difference. Sometimes though, men just want a quick "roll in the hay" and in all honesty, some of us women do, too.
Making love can be truly magical. Partners take their time with eachother and enjoy every touch, look, sigh, moan and giggle. Foreplay starts early in the day, and by the time they are both ready, usually at night, after the kids are asleep, the dishes are done, the bills are paid, etc... they can hardly stand it. Kisses are deep and sensual and the play continues until it just peaks, making your toes curl, and someone is begging for the finale. Making love can take hours and let's face it, sometimes there are just not enough hours in the day.
Men and women, both, get into moods where they just need a little "action". There have been times when I have had a really stressful day and have told a friend that "I just need to get laid", and I am sure that I am not the only female to have ever felt that way. So when your man is in one of those moods, indulge him and, hopefully, when the tables are turned, he will be just as willing to indulge you.
Sex is a great sport. It's one of the best forms of exercise one can do (in my opinion). Finding someone who's libido can keep up with your own is priceless. I think that sex should happen as often as possible and kept spontaneous. I also believe that the more accommodating you can be for "just sex" the more "love-making" you will receive.

Just Some Thoughts on Dreaming....

Well, first, let me start by saying that I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day.
I was just reading another blog, and it was talking about dreams. Not the ones we have while we are sleeping, but the ones we hang on to about our life and our goals. It's a very good post and you should read it. A very dear friend of mine wrote it and he makes some very good points. I promise that you WILL enjoy it.
I wanted to elaborate a bit on where he started and take things out on my own tangent. I have had a lot of dreams for my life and although many of them have never come to forwishen, I still hold them in my heart.
The only one that has become a reality for me is becoming a mother. When I was a little girl, I knew that I was going to grow up, get married to a wonderful man and be the best mommy. Well, my marriage(s) fell apart, but I still have my kids and they mean the world to me.
I'm not a perfect mother, by any means, but I work hard to make sure that my kids are happy and that they know how much they are loved.
I have fought depression for years, and sometimes...well, sometimes, I just don't want to be "mommy" any more. Please don't get me wrong. I love my children. It's just that sometimes, I get to a point where I am just exhausted and really don't know how much more I can take. My oldest is 17 and my youngest is 2. I really have just about had enough of changing diapers, fighting bedtime, never being able to sleep in and other stuff. I know I sound like I am whining and ungrateful, but am I really the only mother that has ever felt that way?
My dream of being a mother included all of the usual things that we picture. What it did not include doing it all, alone, every day. I know that there are lots of single moms out there and I do not want to make this sound like I am having a pity party...I'm just tired...
So, now my dreams have changed a bit. I dream of my children being grown and happy and successful and for myself, I dream of finding a wonderful man to share my life with. Someone who loves me just as I am and will be there when I need a shoulder. He will be warm, compassionate and love me better than I ever thought possible. He will enjoy walking around a lake with me, he won't mind cooking or laundry, and he will tell me how much he loves me, everyday. He will love my family and I will love his. Our pasts will be understood and accepted and our future will be...together.
My children are going to grow up and leave me someday. I don't want to end up alone when they are gone. Maybe someday, this simple dream of mine, will come true. Thanks for listening, Charlie

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

For All Women, Everywhere

Valentines Day Candy Heart

Monday, February 11, 2008

Questions To Ask When Considering Surrogacy

I WAS a surrogate mother and let me just say that it was the most incredible experience of my life. Giving birth to my own children was incredible, but helping that dream come true for another couple was absolutely priceless.
Whether you are considering using a surrogate or considering becoming a surrogate, there are many questions that need to be considered and answered. For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on "becoming a surrogate" because this I actually know about.
The first, and most important question that should be answered is "Do I want to use an agency or do I want to do it independently?". As a former surrogate, I chose to go through an agency. The agency served as my pathway for success and took care of many issues for both myself and the intended parents.
Next, you need to ask yourself "What kind of people do I want to help become parents?" This can be a tough question because we all know of at least one person that we have at least thought "He/She should have NEVER been allowed to become a parent". Do you want to know that the mother will be a "stay at home" mom, do you care if they are jet setters and will have nannies raising their child(ren)? This is a question that should be thought about deeply and you need to remember this...It is not just about what is important to intended parents when they are choosing a surrogate, but what is important for a surrogate when choosing intended parents.
Compensation is also a HUGE issue. First you need to check with the laws in your state regarding surrogacy. In some states it is actually illegal to be a surrogate. In some states it is illegal to be compensated for being a surrogate. Those states will, however, allow one to be a "Compassionate Surrogate" which of course means that there is no money exchanged. If your state allows surrogacy, then you have decide just how much you think the service is worth. Keep in mind that you are not going to be getting paid for having a baby, but for the use of your uterus. Baby selling is illegal. How much is your uterus worth? Again, having an agency behind you will help with this issue.
Next, you need to find an attorney that practices surrogacy laws. Find a good one. Many surrogate agencies are able to recommend someone. Your attorney can make or break the whole experience for you.
Another question you MUST ask yourself is, "Will I use my own eggs or not?". As a surrogate mother I chose to be a "gestational" surrogate, which means I carried only. The eggs belonged to the mothers and that was the best choice for me. As a word of caution, let me just say that using your own eggs, as a surrogate, opens too many doors that really need to stay closed.
"Will I really be able to hand this child over to it's parents?". That is a tough question. Going through an agency helped me tremendously with this one. The agency required psychological screenings and mandatory sessions with a psychologist. The screening took months, but in the end it was worth it because I knew that I could do it and would be good at it. Consider this question patiently.
"What kind of relationship do I want to have with the parents after it is all said and done?". Some continue to remain friends, some do not. I am still in touch with one couple, but not the other one. They send me pictures and letters and we are very much still friends. It is nice. The other couple and I just never really clicked like the first couple and I did and that is okay. It's all good.
There are a myriad more questions one needs to ask before becoming a surrogate but this article would go on forever. I feel that the questions I gave you to start with are the most important and suggest that before you make a decision you at least consult with someone from an agency. You need to keep yourself protected and be prepared. Surrogacy is a wonderful alternative for many infertile couples and it takes a special woman to even have the desire to want to be surrogate mother. Get answers, get educated, then get going...hundreds of couples are waiting, just for you.

John Lennon - Woman

For All Women, Everywhere...

Early, Early Mornings...

Just when you think you might get to sleep in a little comes your toddler. Morning, mommy!!!! You can't help but smile at that precious little face, but your mind is screaming to heaven, "can't I have just one more hour?!"
I have tried everything to get past the 5:30-6:00am mark, but nothing is working! I've kept the little ones up later and that just backfires...they end up waking even earlier! Baths just make them hype up a bit, so they are done earlier in the day. I've thought about Nyquil, but decided against it. (that was totally just a "funny"). Anyway...if any one has any suggestions, I sure would like to hear them. Thank you!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Learning Experience.....



Ok, so I have a question. When does wanting to make life better, for you and your children, become selfish? AND who has the right to judge you for it? What on earth gives anyone the right to tell you that you are wrong?
I am asking, because I just made a huge move and my family, well mother, is trying to make me feel very guilty.
I have a great opportunity to make my life better and she wants to make me feel like I have abandoned my daughter. She is getting ready to graduate highschool and I have EVERY intention of being there for her, but I am being accused of abandoning her and I don't like it.
Is it really wrong for me to want more for myself?
Is it really wrong for me to try to plan for my future...when there are no more children to take care of?
Just needed to vent and would appreciate any suggestions.....

Saturday, February 9, 2008

I AM the Mommy..

I have been a mother for almost 18 years now and I can honestly tell you that there are times that I wish I wasn't. Being "the mommy" has been my greatest achievement and my toughest challenge. I have four, beautiful children. My daughter, Samantha, is almost 18 and then I have three boys; Matthew 12, Michael 31/2 and Johnathan 2. I will forever be "the mommy" and I am exhausted.
I started this blog for mothers everywhere. I want to fill it with advice, problem solving, encouragement and everything else mothers need and can't seem to find. I welcome any comments and hope to make lots of friends here.
Please join me in making this a small sanctuary in this crazy world...Charlie

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