DebR is the guest host for January at the Create a Connection blog - getting to know you day.

Her questions for today pertain to "Best and Worst".

Best and Worst

1. What's the best place you ever lived? the worst?

Well, I haven't actually lived in that many places! Believe it or not, I've only moved six times in my life! I grew up in Windsor, Colorado and lived in the same house until I was 18.

The best place I've lived is a tie. I loved my little bitty house in the country. I lived there from March of 1996 until February 2006. It was a tiny studio apartment - unattached. I lived on the property of my friend/landlord Nancy. I loved my house!! It was the perfect spot for a young, single person. I had my cats, and a very safe house. I became very close to Nancy and her family. The decision to move away was one of the hardest I've made. I cried when I drove away from "MY" house for the last time. (In fact, it's making me all teary thinking about it now!)

I LOVE my house now though too! Mike and I rented our house from my friend Bobbie - and ex-coworker. She is giving us a great deal on rent. We have a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2 car garage house! It's too much space for the two of us, but we love it! I have my art room, and we have nice guest rooms! The cats love it too - so much space to chase around in. They have the basement for their "facilities" which is nice for us! No stinky cat boxes in the main house! The only drawback to the house has been the fact that it is on a corner... scooping snow on a corner lot is double the work. And we've had LOTS of snow this winter! We are planning to stay for at least another year in this house though.

I don't think I have a worst place I lived. The hardest one was when I lived with my friend Travis for a short time in 1995. We were friends from high school. He had cystic fibrosis and needed some help, so I moved in with him. It was a tiny house (I loved it too!) and only barely had room for the two of us. When his boyfriend moved in with us, it became too crowded and there were problems. Travis and I fought, I moved out. It is my biggest regret in life that we didn't make up before he died. He had just turned 21 when he succumbed to his disease. I miss him very much. I've worked through my regret/grief, but it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

2. What's the best place you ever visited on holiday/vacation? the worst?

I have lots of bests - not too many worsts.

One of my favorite trips was the trip that Mike and I took almost 2 years ago to Oregon. I was sick much of the time, but it is still one of my favorites! We drove out to the coast from here in Colorado, then spent the rest of the time driving down the Oregon coast. My favorite spots include Coquille Point near Bandon (left), The Devil's Punchbowl, and Boiler Bay. It was a great trip!! We both want to move to Oregon at some point in the not-too-distant future!

Our trip to NY in October of 2005 was a great trip, but it was also a very difficult trip. We stayed with Mike's brother and his wife. It was a tiny apartment, and it became difficult not having some space. Also, my dad had heart surgery the day that we flew out to NY. I was very stressed - my dad had insisted that I take the trip anyway. I didn't hear any news until that night after we had landed. It wasn't good news to start with - my dad almost died. (He is doing great now!) So, you can imagine, I wasn't able to enjoy anything until I knew he was doing ok. The other bad thing was the RAIN! It rained the entire time we were there - I felt soggy all the time. (Walking everywhere in NYC is just the norm) On the other hand, we saw Dead Can Dance at Radio City Music Hall - best show I've ever seen! And we saw Steve Hackett in nearby Pennsylvania - also a great show! We went to the museums and ate wonderful ethnic foods. I can look back now and remember the good, but in the midst of it, I was pretty miserable.

3. What's the best job you ever had? the worst?

The best is where I am currently!! The company, World by the Tail, is just awesome. I work with this group of amazing women! My bosses Laurel and Debby are really great. Laurel was my boss at my previous job as well, then she left, and hired me away! :) I love the work we do here - it feels important! We make/sell a product called ClayPaws®, the original paw print kit™. It is for pet parents to have a paw print of their animal. We sell it mostly to veterinary clinics and they use it when animals die or are euthanized. We get so many calls from pet parents who have received them and are so grateful! I create and maintain our website, and also manage the day-to-day stuff in the office. I also write a tips blog! I couldn't ask for a better place to work! It's low stress, high reward!

I've had a couple worsts... I worked in several different spots on campus at Colorado State University. The first one was in the CSU bookstore - a bookstore should have been a great place, but it was horrible. Suffice it to say that my boss was nuts and a very difficult person to work for. I loved my students (I hired and supervised the student staff... even though I wasn't much older than most of them!) They were awesome. I even did the flowers for one of their weddings!! (right) While my job was horrible and stressful, there were other parts that I liked. I was there for about 8 months. (about 7 months too long).

The other worst job was also on the CSU campus. I worked in one of the advising centers as a front desk receptionist/secretary. I liked the work itself, but I had a co-worker who made life extremely difficult. She was an unhappy woman and tried to make life unhappy for everyone else - and succeeded often times. I only lasted in this job for about 3 months until I HAD to find something else for my own sanity.

4. What's your best talent or ability? your worst?

I don't know how to pick a worst ability?!

I would say my best ability is my ability to laugh. I am quite moody (which I don't like) but I can always laugh. Often at myself! I laugh loud, often, and out-of-the-blue. A friend once described my laugh as a gunshot laugh. It bursts out and is loud! I catch people's attention when I am in public because of my laugh.

I also think another of my best talents is my art. I wouldn't have said this even just two years ago, but now I know it is! I have the ability to try anything, and I do! I think I have talent, and I think I really am an artist!

Worst... I just don't know about this one. I would say one of my worst traits (ability?) is my moodiness. This is something I'm more aware of now, and I'm working on it. I don't like how quickly I can go from having a good day, to being in a foul mood. I do like when it works the other way around though!

5. What's the best decision you ever made? the worst?

I think I have a few that fit best decisions! One major one was the decision to get out of a bad relationship - it wasn't healthy for me or the other person. I ended it on my terms, and I'm proud of how I handled it. I had been in bad situations before (relationships) and hadn't gotten out when I needed to, and had wound up being hurt worse. This time, I handled it, ended it, before it got worse. I did it my way, and left without getting hurt.

Another best decision was the decision to petition for a full-time job at World by the Tail. I was working part time, and I needed to get out of my other part-time job. I wrote a proposal to Laurel and Debby for a full-time job and they accepted it! I am the one and only full time employee so it was a big step for them. It was a risk for me too, but one I'm super glad I took!

I know I have several "worst" decisions too. But, I am past regretting anything I've done. I can look back and know that I learned from bad situations, and that I'm in a better spot today because of them. I would say that most of my bad decisions were surrounding dating relationships. I had a string of not-so-good boyfriends - cheats, alcoholics, addicts, etc. I learned from each one, but they were bad decisions. However, I wouldn't be the person I am without having gone through the experience. And my best decision led me to meeting Mike - a wonderful, non-cheating, non-alcoholic, down-right wonderful guy! (I am liking hyphenated words today....)

Bonus (so we can end on a positive note!): What's one good thing about you that isn't covered in the questions above, but that you'd like to share with the world?

I am a great cook!! I love to cook and make really yummy food! My favorites to make include: Ropa Vieja (Cuban stewed meat), chicken enchiladas (which Mike's friend Deb has dubbed "from god"), and corn casserole (an easy, yummy dish to take to "pot-lucks") I like experimenting and trying new things too! I learned how to make Cuban food after our NY trip last year. We had amazing Cuban food, and I determined that I needed to be able to make it at home. I also make pretty yummy Vietnamese and Indian (although Mike has me beat on Indian food. His sister-in-law Geeta is Indian and taught him how to make killer curry!) Mike won't eat Vietnamese food, so I need someone else to cook it for!! Anyone?! :)

9 Opinions:

Leah said...

tammy, it was fun reading your answers!! your job does sound like a fun one!

Arty Lady's blog said...

Tammy it was wonderful to read about you. I am so envious of you being a good cook!

Deb R said...

If we lived closer, you could cook for me anytime! Maybe you could start doing recipe posts now and then to share some of your favorites?

I really enjoyed reading your answers and loved the photos. You did a beautiful job on the flowers for your friend's wedding!

Tammy said...

Recipe posts are a great idea! And, of course, I'd have to cook the recipe beforehand so I'd have pictures to post!! Mike would like that aspect! :)

The flowers were the first wedding I did. I've done 2 more since - my niece and an ex-boss. I suppose I'll do flowers for my own if Mike and I ever decide to finally get married!

Janet said...

You could cook for me anytime! I hate to cook. I'd be perfectly happy if my house didn't have a kitchen!! If you're familiar with Star Trek NG - I'm waiting for my replicator!!
I liked all your answers, even the tough ones. And your job sounds so cool!

melba said...

What fun it has been to read more about you!
I like cuban food too. I never have tried to make it before.
I am going to experiement with more recipes these year because I am starting to get bored with our dinners.

Jamie said...

I absolutely loved reading these bests and worsts of yours. I was just drooling for some of your yummy, yummy food and more stories! And I so relate about being past regretting - right on, sister!

Tammy, I'm so glad that you have great love now and a home that's in the best list!

holli said...

This was a really great - and telling - post about you. It made me smile, it made me sad. I feel like I'm writing one of those "I laughed.. I cried" movie reviews. I so covet your job - but at the same time it made me freak out over the thought of losing Nate.. the same as reading about your cat, Lissy, did.

Okay, I'm putting a pic of your mug in my next post - so if you want it to be a suprise, don't come look. If you want to see it - you can come look. But I think it's so damned late that if I don't hurry and wrap it there's no way I'm going to be able to mail it tomorrow!

Tammy said...

We have alot of simularities as I get to know you :) I'm sorry about your friend and hope you do a gorgeous tropical bouquet for that beach wedding! Great dishes!