Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

As this day comes to an end, I want to wish all of my followers a wonderful Thanksgiving. Today should serve as a reminder that we should be thankful for the blessings in our lives not just today, but every day of our lives.

I was reminded earlier this week that although I may not have all the things that I wanted out of life, I still have many things that I thought I would never have. What a gift to be given...and I need to tell myself that...every single day.

Today, we decided to skip the traditional Thanksgiving hoopla. We didn't make a turkey. We didn't have stuffing, squash, mashed potatoes or cranberries. We didn't make any pumpkin pie. Instead, we chose to just enjoy the day off because they are so rare.

While I did the dishes and made a couple of treats for the gals who are working with me tomorrow, I really didn't do much else except write a couple of articles. I don't expect many will read them, but I did get them done so I am happy...for now.

Next year, though, things are going to be different.

In the meantime, I wish you moments to be thankful...every single day!

 Susan's Blog Signature

Liked anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Writer's Post Blog Hop #54 - Path to a Successful Career -

In my administrative career spanning...well let's just say I've been doing this a really long time, I've spent the better part of my days either on the phone or typing away on a computer keyboard. I don't think you could call me a glorified receptionist, because I can do a whole lot more. I have to remind myself that I do have brain and I can write fairly well. While not perfect, I can catch my errors and I tend to agonize over ever...little...thing. It is quite annoying sometimes. I've been fairly successful in my career, done just about everything I've wanted to do, even become a writer with a few published columns.

So let's take a look at some of the other jobs I've done in my career:
  • Office assistant for my family business
  • Fast food restaurant cashier...(twice!)
  • Clerk in an office supply store.
  • Computer sales person
  • Electronics store manager
  • Electronics store assistant manager
  • Administrative Assistant at a Corporate Conference Center
  • Shipping assistant (briefly) at a software company
  • Customer service specialist for online company
  • Administrative assistant for the local railroad that served a paper mill
  • Administrative assistant for the maintenance department of the paper mill
  • Administrative assistant for a contractor and two architectural firms
  • Administrative assistant for a graphics art company
  • Personal assistant for a wine writer
  • Office administrator for a wine logistics company
  • Office manager for a small family winery
  • HR coordinator/trainer
  • HR generalist - recruiter
No wonder I'm tired.

But you have to admit...the key to a successful career is diversity. And I have a lot of diversity! What holds me together now is that I get to do things that I really love...write, talk with people, and make observations (this is really helpful in my writing career.) Meanwhile, being able to figure out if someone is a good fit for a job I am trying to fill is a challenge. In the end, when I find that perfect person, it is to my ears!

Wishing you moments to find your career path!

 Susan's Blog Signature

This post is written for The Writer's Post Blog Hop# 54: Picture Prompt. Interested in learning more, please check out the link below!

Liked anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

A Pizza that Costs What?!?!?!

Earlier this week, we received a postcard in the mail announcing the arrival of a new restaurant in town. Oh goodie! It's another pizza many does that make now?! Yes! That makes seven, count 'em, S-E-V-E-N pizza restaurants in a tiny little city that is only 4.464 sq miles.

But the size of my town is not what I want to discuss. Actually it was something on the 6" x 9" postcard that I read - the menu! For starters...yes, I do mean the appetizers...the cost for these little lovelies was $9. Now, I don't know anything about the size or quantity, but $9 for a little bit of tuna on a bed of breadcrumbs seems a bit steep.

Let's skip to the pasta...for a plate of spaghetti...they are charging $14!!! Oh! I'm sorry...I should probably mention that the spaghetti is actually homemade and cut using a chitarra (pronounced KEY-tarra). What's a chitarra you might ask? It's a wooden contraption that looks a little bit like a harp, except that it's double-sided with strings that are set close on one side, farther apart on the other. In then center of the device is a slanted board, designed to allow the cut pasta to slide off easily once it’s been cut by the strings. Whatever happened to the good ol' days when pasta from a box was good enough? I though I was living high off the hog when I bought some Barilla and a jar of Newman's Own Pasta Sauce! Seriously folks...a simple pasta dish with some bacon bits, tomato and an egg yolk on top does not equate to a $14 pricetag! I can make the same thing using my own pasta maker, or better yet, some pasta in a bag.

I could go on and one about their $15 chicken legs, but I can't bring myself to go there or the $6 for some crushed potatoes (aka mashed potatoes) for which I am now rolling my eyes and saying "Are you kidding me!") What I am really steamed about is the cost of their, ahem, pizza. Charging $14 for a Pizza Margharita is outrageous! I can make the same thing for a fraction of the cost. I can and I have. It's not that hard. I have a secret and it's very cost effective. 

I start with a very inexpensive frozen pizza and doctor it up. I add cheese (lots of it!) including several varieties like Asiago, Romano, Mozzarella and some of that delicious and yummy Cheddar. But before that, I slice up and layer lots of my own home-grown tomatoes. Sometimes, when I am in the mood, I will add other ingredients like green peppers, black olives, mushrooms and even sausage. But when I want a Pizza Margharita it's all about my tomatoes, cheese and fresh basil from my herb garden. I can guarantee that it doesn't cost $14 per person. In fact, it costs about $1.50 per person. Now if I want to add a glass of wine like Rodney Strong's 2009 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, the cost rises to about $6 per person; which is two-thirds the cost of the same said wine on the new local pizzeria's menu. (BTW...Rodney Strong is literally right down the street from me...I can get their wine for really cheap right from their tasting room!)

Not a Margharita, but still yummy!
Hmmm...I guess I have proved my point once again. While it may be great to go out to dinner from time to time, in the long run, it's cheaper and easier to eat at home. I can set my own, private ambiance, and enjoy a great meal for about $12. I can get it under $10 if I chose a less expensive bottle of wine or some other beverage.

So will I be a patron of this restaurant...probably not. Besides the high prices and the ability to order take out, they don't delivery. Plus the location does not have any convenient parking, and is on a super busy street corner.

Wishing you moments filled with delicious and yummy goodness!

 Susan's Blog Signature

Liked anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Need a Break so I can Begin Again

I had such big plans for this year. I was able to do some of them, but lo and behold, it's already November and I feel the year has just slipped away from me...again.

Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Christmas is not far behind. I've barely started any shopping for the family and I feel this is the farthest behind I've ever been. Today, though, I am stopping to think if it really is all worth it. Will anyone feel neglected if I don't do something? Probably not. Maybe they would most appreciate it if I spent time with them instead? This, however, proves to be difficult as most of my family and friends are thousand of miles away.

So the question begs...who am I really doing this all for? My husband? Not really, he doesn't really care about these things all that much. Me? Well...yeah, I guess it is really all for me. But why? Who am I trying to impress? Will anyone like me any more if I do all the little things I want to do? Probably not. 

The truth is...and as my husband has said over and over again...I over do things...a lot! And frankly, right now, I just need a break so I can begin...all over again.

Phooey...I had such great plans though...but it always seems like there is always something that sabotages them; whether it be life in general or someone/thing in particular. I think the first thing I need to do is get my life in order, clean up a few messes and then regroup and start over next year.

So in the meantime, I am cleaning up and shoveling out a few things. While I still have a lot of ideas...I really need to pick just a couple and then figure out how to execute them really well.

Wishing you moments to reflect on beginning again.

 Susan's Blog Signature

***I have written this piece for a group on Facebook that I joined, GBE 2: Blog On. This is week #77 and the topic is Beginnings. Interested in on the picture below to take you there.

Liked anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

BlogFEST 2012: A Moment In My Life

I was trying to think about a significant moment in my life that I wanted to share with everyone. The one thing that came to mind was my wedding weekend.

You see, I was literally moving the day after my wedding. We had such a short time to enjoy ourselves because we were moving to Arizona. My husband-to-be had already moved that past January. I was still paying the bill! I had packed up my apartment and my family had come over on Friday to help me load it up into the U-haul that my dad had rented for me.

My parents were really awesome when it finally got down to that moment. The months leading up to it however, were not so great. They weren't happy that I was moving away...but that's a story for another moment. I will say that while we were loading up, they kept a stiff upper lip! Dad especially because he was forking over a lot of money to make this wedding/move happen. Not only did he pay for the wedding, he had to buy me a new car because I had an accident a few months earlier and I totaled my car. I didn't have the money to pay for one so he just did. We affectionately called it "The Blue Bomb" because it turned out to be a lemon, just like the car I totaled! It must have been that model of car...:-(

The wedding, reception, gift opening, and another dinner for the family was held all on one day. By the time we got to the hotel that night, we were exhausted and knew that we had to get up early to meet my parents for breakfast and get over to my brothers to load up my car on the trailer behind the U-haul and get the last minute things loaded up in the truck. We face planted ourselves on a rock hard bed and fell asleep for a few hours.

The next day after a very somber breakfast, we got to my brothers, did what we had to do and then my dad, for some unknown reasons decided that he wanted to drive the U-haul part way and then pass it off to Edward and I at a cut-off point to be determined. I guess he thought Edward was going to have problems driving and pulling a trailer with my car on the back or something. My mom and I drove behind in their car. I think my mom wanted one last ditch effort to talk me out of doing this. She spent the entire drive to the turnoff point saying things to make me feel bad. I wondered what my dad was saying to my new husband.

It was a really crappy thing to do and I'll never forget it. This time should have been one of the happiest moments of my life and instead I felt like one of the biggest shits for "leaving them behind" as it was put to me. It wasn't the first time that a child has ever moved away from their family. I didn't see what the big freakin' deal was, but it was a big deal to them and they never forgave me for it. They made me feel guilty every day for years.

When that time came for the "great pass off", I remember distinctly waving goodbye from the passenger seat in the U-haul as my parents took the turn off and we kept going. My life at that very moment changed forever. It was at that moment...I started to weep...for everything that I had left behind...friends, family, and a live that would never be the same again. It took a long while to stop crying, but I did because I had a long road to navigate.

Every Sunday afterwards when I talked to my mom, she always asked the same question, "When are you moving home?" I heard that same question from her for years...literally. She asked me because she wanted to hurt me. Those phone calls were a weekly reminder of  how much I was making a mistake. I can't tell you how many conversations I had with my parents on this subject. I finally got so fed up, I asked them if they wanted me to divorce my husband and move home. They never answered me directly, but I knew that they did. I found out later from my sister-in-law that they never wanted me to get all. My mom admitted to her that she was doing it on purpose to hurt me. They actually wanted me under their thumb, staying a spinster for the rest of my life to take care of them in their old age. I was astonished and saddened.

My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and together for 25 years. That's over half my life. We made it...survived all the negativity. I am really proud for sticking to my guns and not giving up because I could have succumbed to the pressure from all those naysayers that thought we wouldn't make it. By the way, this glass of champagne is for you! Didn't you get a divorce? Hmmm...funny, I'm still married and happy!

Wishing you moments of  tremendous happiness!

 Susan's Blog Signature

This blog was written as a part of BlogFest 2012. Check out Angela's post - she's the host today. Please click on the picture below for more information!

Liked anything you see here? Then contact me, Susan Dusterhoft at I am always looking for more books/products to review. I can also provide assistance with blog writing!