Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Breakdown

This Sunday moring I woke up early to get a head start. I was responsible for being the first lector, taking the collection, announcing the Crab Feed for the men's club and selling the tickets after Mass. Then I head for the CIA where the big breakdown after the Mustard Festival event took place. There was a lot little messes and things that needed to be put back in their rightful place. I don't really feel that things are up to speed for the day until I have all my ducks in a row, so to speak. The weather has lightened up a little bit, but the digging and renovation taking place around my apartment leaves a lot to be desired.My phone is not working again... their was not hot water this morning... my rent was raised 90.00 a month to 840.00, my PG&E bill skyrocketed to 75.00 a month from 25.00 and I HAD MY HEAT TURNED OFF since the beginning of December. When I went outside I smelled a gas leak around the apartment so things aren't going so great.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Back in the Saddle

I love my life... don't get me wrong. I do believe that I can get depressed, and that their is mental illness in my family. I find that it is important to remember to ask for help when I am overstressed or just plain depressed. My physician has prescribed "seratonin uptake inhibitors" to help me maintain the necessary seratonin levels in my brain. Without these, my moods and outlook on life can suffer, so can my relationships. It is hard to maintain a positive attitude at my job and at home when I find it difficult to get out of bed. As a recovering alcoholic, it is easy too, to indulge in what is called, "Stinking Thinking," A personal inventory helps me stay on track and making ammends when necessary have helped me maintain continuous sobriety for over 29 years and counting. My belief in a higher power has helped too. Without the third step of the aa program, I would be stuck in a very dark place and relying on resources that would ultimately distructive to me. Today is the first day for the rest of my life. I love my life.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cold Weather, Warm Hearts

The days are still pretty short and the nights are long and pretty soon the swallows will be returning to build thier nests in the spring and we will have a lot of bird poop to clean up in front of our main entrance. In spite of all the terrible things going on in the world, it is important to wear the world "like a lose garment" as they say. Don't take yourself too seriously, and try to laugh about things that might otherwise upset you.I am 55 and the circumstances that have got me this far are pretty much out of my control. I go to work, I pay my rent, I do my laundry, I pay my bills and when I have some free time I get creative and draw pictures which I scan into my computer and then add to my website . Hey, life is great- and then you move on....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Dishing it up

Okay, I am sitting here at work trying to reflect on what has been going on for the past three weeks of the new year. So far, we have had the "Worlds of Healthy Flavors" conference here at Greystone. I have seen two mediocore movies that don't even warrant a critique.Today we had a Town Hall Meeting for our staff. Charles Henning introduced the standards of excellence to the employees at Greystone. Be it said that his background in hospitality has groomed him to offer such sterling overtures as, "How may I assist you?" or "I am at your service" or "It's certainly my pleasure" whenver a guest calls upon any of us. I think this is good and should reflect well on the CIA. I do however, have a little concern about the spontanaety of these repsonses however scripted.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Get more Kicks in 2006

We are already one week into 2006 and time waits for no one. Our student housing got flooded in St. Helena pretty bad. They had to rip out the carpets and sheet rock about 14 rooms. The students are returning tomorrow and everything has to be ready for the new semester. The Healthy World's of Flavor Conference is coming up next week and that should bring a bunch of "Foodies" to the area. Then after that event, we start preparing for the Mustard Festival kickoff event. Somedays I have to pinch myself because I have it so good. I only wish the pay was a little better because my rent just went up another 90 bucks. It is still probably the cheapest housing to be found in Calistoga.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Big Rains

Originally uploaded by banteron.
New Year's Eve brought heavy rain and flooding here in the Napa Valley. Storms are backed up out in the Pacific and many of the vineyards here are totally saturated. Cars hydroplaned,trees fell, mud slid, electricity failed, people were evacuated and most didn't let this stormy weather dampen their spirits. I worked for only half a day at the CIA, because no one could come north on Hwy. 29 from the city of Napa. The CHP had thier hands full, and dining plans for New Year's Eve in the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant were dashed because no one but people from Calistoga could get through.