Sunday, September 29, 2013

NOW we can say it's Fall!

Today is my (too close to 40th) birthday.  I don't share that to get "happy birthday" messages, but rather, to share some long standing beliefs.  There's a rule in my house... it's not Fall until my birthday. That's when the decorating happens, that's when the scent changes from whatever beachy smells are wafting through the house to pumpkin and spice, and that's when Fall arrives.  I don't care what a calendar says, it's not Fall until September 29.

Boho Willow Fall Wreath with Burlap

Don't get me wrong, I love Autumn.  I just don't like what comes after it, so I somehow feel that if I deny it a week (OK, 8 days), I can enjoy it more.  No matter how badly I want to deny it, when you see lots of this when I'm out & about, I simply can't.

Last weekend, I was trying to break my own rule and start decorating for Fall.  If you follow Boho Willow on Facebook or Instagram, you know that didn't happen. (If you don't follow, you should hit those tickets over there at the top right and get started! Well, what are you waiting for??) 

As I was cleaning things to get started, I finally admitted just how badly the living room need painted. Next thing I knew, after a couple of trips to Lowe's and Benjamin Moore, I was covered in paint and the room went from sooty white (we have a wood stove) to a nice, warm Manchester Tan. Even though I HATE painting, now that it's done, I (capital) LOVE it. (That'll teach me to break rules!)

Part of my birthday "tradition" (I made that up. It just started last year.) is a tour of Lancaster County Amish farm stands and some of my favorite little shops.  Since everything is closed on Sundays, I went yesterday and it all gave me the push I needed to get all Falled up.  When I got back with some fun new finds, I did as much as I could until Huz had to help me hang some shelves and then it all got put back together again in a few hours. With my new pieces and tons of things found around the house, I bring you some eye candy!

We don't have a mantle (yet), so the yard sale desk, my aunt's old shelf, and a couple of (pretty much) wall length shelves get all the goodies.  You can see more about the first two here.

It all actually starts in the front yard with some garden flags, stacked pumpkins and hanging mums and mums in whiskey barrels. (And a couple of doggies in the window.)

Then you hit the front door, which is in dire need of a wardrobe change, but it just can't decide what color it wants to wear, mostly because whatever color it chooses, two more doors, two garage doors, and shutters need to agree with.  And they all just can't seem to get it together.  Cantankerous doors!

Anyway, even though the door is hue challenged, I had this grapevine wreath that I found at a garage sale a couple of years ago for a nickel, some homespun and button flowers from one of my favorite shops that I picked up last year, and some burnt orangey burlap, so that all came together to make a simple wreath. Then late last night, I decided to add some bunting using burlap, twine, and my Silhouette.  What you see above is the final result!  Those flowers are so darn cute that they deserved a close up. Those mini clothespins ($2.47 for a box of 20) are the only "new" part of this wreath, so we'll just call it free, even if I did pay for everything at some point. Couldn't be cuter!

When you walk in, it's like a little Fall wonderland.  I love the colors of the season all year round, really, a fact that's pretty apparent as soon as you step through the door.  Most of this is stuff I already had, but I did score a few great new pieces yesterday.  The jack-o'-lantern that's hanging from the hook was a birthday gift from Wise Brunette and the bro last year.  Isn't he adorable?

The glass pumpkin on the desk was a steal at Country Creations here in Lancaster yesterday, it was $19.95, then 50% off.  Growing up in WV where glass making is a way of life for many, I couldn't believe the deal! That stem!

Glass Pumpkin

I love all things pip berry and bittersweet.  They live in the house all year long, but the colors get changed up from time to time.  Old tin pitcher?  Always.

Pip Berries

This jack-o'-lantern is actually made from a dried gourd right here in PA.  A little LED flickering candle fits him perfectly.

Clearly, nothing says Fall like pumpkins and apples. Except maybe hoodies and leaves, but I digress... This fun little piece gets a prime spot every year.  I got this years ago when I was living in Florida and missing the seasons.  Quite likely it was a dollar store of some sort find when I was trying to convince myself that living on the beach was, in fact, OK to call home.  Silly me and my homesickness.

We "accidentally" hung the shelves a little higher than they were, so I just filled in as much space as I could without it looking "junky" (I hope.)  The dogs and cat are known to climb all over the back of the couch anyway, so at least now I shouldn't have to pick up fallen stars.  We'll talk about that blank wall and oversized TV cabinet in a minute.

Only two Fall pieces made their way to the shelf over the couch - an adorable little crow sittin' on a punkin and a burlap pumpkin. 

This corner shelf was my aunt's, and when it came to live with me, it was unfinished wood. It took me years and the thing surviving countless moves and two hurricanes to finally find the right fit.  This is the piece that actually started the MS Silhouette thing I've got going on.  The end table was a $5 win at a Mud Sale.

The tea towel, basket, and fabric apple were all finds yesterday.  I already had everything else.  I love the orange glass with all of the dark colors, and I do want to repaint the little Welcome Harvest signs, someday.

We're going to skip over the TV cabinet and windows and go right back over to the front door.  This little table/shelf/console, whatever you'd like to call it, was also my aunt's, and it also sports the MS Silhouette.  I kept the decorations pretty neutral here with a straw pumpkin, white real pumpkins, bark candles, a huge pine cone, burlap lamp shade, yada, yada, yada.  The chippy mirror above the table used to be opposite of itself and I really like it where it is now. 

And that's pretty much it for the living room!  I guess we can call this something of a reveal, but it's not done yet, it's just decorated for Fall.  While smelling all vanilla pumpkin spicey.  

The only other thing I've really done, so far, is these special little pumpkins.  Seriously, if you don't have a Silhouette, you should get one.  Now.

his and hers pumpkins

Sooo... about that bare wall and that huge TV cabinet.... I had our wedding guest book quilt (you can see it here) hanging on that wall, but it gets awfully dirty. When I took it down to paint, I nervously washed it and I don't want to have to do that much in this life. It's totally fine since we did have everyone sign the quilt squares with some fabric pens that we supplied, but it was still nerve wrecking. I'm not sure I'm going to hang it back up, as much as I love it. So now there's a big, blank wall just begging for some furniture or a gallery or something... not sure what I'm going to do here yet, but whatever it is will be great, I'm sure.  

The TV cabinet is either getting painted or swapped out with the one we have in the basement.  Soon. Stay tuned!

Thanks for checking out my little bit of Fall!

Shared at Rain on a Tin Roof - Give Me the Goods, Savvy Southern Style - Wow us Wednesdays

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All things old become new again!

A fried of mine recently posted a question to our little Facebook group about the high waisted jeans fad that's apparently happening - asking us all - yea or nay?  I say nay - but that's because my response was "You mean people wear things other than business suits and yoga pants?" - the two things that most often need to be cleaned from my closet. I'm mostly not kidding.

Just in case you're not familiar, here's a look as shared by one of the other lovely ladies courtesy of Lucky:
I secretly love #5, but they just wouldn't be comfortable for me.  The best thing that could have happened to a tall girl with a shortish torso was mid and low rise jeans.  

You won't see many fashion posts here.  It's quite likely this may be the only one ever.  I've never been much into fashion.  I'm a comfort girl.  I really even only wear heels because it's kind of a requirement for work. Flip flops are my favorite, and we all know that's a big fashion no-no.  At the core, I'm what I would call a "classics" girl.  Give me a pair of well fitting jeans, a white t-shirt, some Chuck Taylors and I'm happy.

Or if you want me to dress up (meaning no jeans - not fancy, Breakfast at Tiffany's style) I'll swap out the t-shirt for a white button down, the jeans for some wide leg khakis, maybe a blue blazer or cardigan, and some flats.  If I have to get really, Saturday evening wedding style dressed up, that's simple.  L.B.D.

Fads aren't always "fashion" though, are they?  They're just... fads.  According to Wikipedia:  fad is any form of behavior that develops among a large population and is collectively followed with enthusiasm for some period, generally as a result of the behavior's being perceived as novel in some way.[1] A fad is said to "catch on" when the number of people adopting it begins to increase rapidly. The behavior will normally fade quickly once the perception of novelty is gone.[1]

When I think of the word, I still think of neon clothing (made it rounds again recently, right?), Keds and Reebok high tops, pegged jeans, big hair, slouch socks, parachute/Hammer pants, stirrup pants, popped collars, and scrunchies.  Ahhh... scrunchies, how I love thee.  Seriously - what else can keep a curly mop under control without breaking off every strand of hair?  Maybe for you, it was leather and lace a la Madonna, or preppy - a sweater wrapped around your shoulders and all!

I knew plenty of people who wore their hair just like this back in high school.  I was never lucky enough to get my bangs quite that high, but the wings?  I had them down pat.  Just ask my brothers who still like to make fun of that hair.

   I guess I haven't paid much attention to fads for a few dozen years!

Yep - I would be a child of the '80s, or 90s, whichever you prefer.  It's funny how we associate things like this with particular decades, and then you see photos or a movie set in the following decade and some things are still hanging around.  Like big hair.  Ladies around the world, or at least the US, were still rockin' the big hair well into the '90s.  (Or if you've got curls like me, you still do!)  And flannel. Love me a nice soft flannel on a cold winter day.  No pastels, please, give me blue and green or red and black.

I'm not wishing scrunchies back into the world, though I have been known to make a late night run to the store sporting one, and was absolutely horrified when I realized it, but there is a time and place for them. Like in your basement completely alone where no one can witness the horror!

So what fad do you wish would make it's round again?

Oh - and if you are into some fashion, especially vintage, check out Wise Brunette - a happy little blog full of vintagey fashion advice, tips, and lots of other goodies!

Linked up at A Little Claireification - Best of the Weekend, Be Different, Act Normal - Show and Tell Saturday, It's Overflowing - Share Your Creativity

Monday, September 23, 2013

Boho Willow giveaway!

I asked my lovely Facebook followers to bring their friends to the party with a promise of a giveaway if we hit 100 likes - and they did it!

You're gonna have to trust my creative ability for this one!

Go down there to the comments and tell me where you're from and five things that make you think "home" and I'll create something amazing for the winner. Easy for you - and fun for me!

I made this little ditty for myself.  Call it a word search if you'd like... but the words aren't all straight lines and such, cause I couldn't fit everything I love about home in one piece!  Folks from NMWV - what favorite places do you see?

This piece was meant to be framed, I just haven't gotten that far yet, so below is just a digital mock-up. Yours will be, though - if you want it to be! I can ship a framed one or just create and email a digital file. Completely up to you!

1 - 2 - 3..... GO!   

**You must leave a comment (with your hometown and 5 words that address things you love about it) and be one of the awesome, lucky, beautiful Facebook likes to win!** 
 Entries will be accepted until Wednesday Friday night at midnight.

I tried to use a fancy comment system and the ability to leave comments was shut down for who knows how long - 4 or 5 days?  Since I made this rookie error, I'll leave this open till Friday!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

New look and some tips!

I'm a lover of all things Fall, but this year, I'm a little unhappy with it because it's already just too darn cool to float in the new pool!  It was inevitable, and on Sunday, it will officially be here, so I might as well join the party.

Because I can't just spend my weekends in a bikini anymore, last weekend I started working on this and every night this week was a late night.  I put a bunch of hours into making updates, so kick back, grab some coffee, and stay a while to check it all out!

I'm most excited about my new social buttons and navigation bar. I created these all by myself using Silhouette Designer Edition (social buttons), PicMonkey (Navigation bar), SnagIt, and Image Maps. If you haven't checked out Image Maps, you should!

I am not a graphic designer, and I am far from an artist, so Silhouette did the work, SnagIt helped me capture what I wanted, and Image Maps made it happen!  I did a quick video to give you an idea of how it all worked - check it out!  This isn't a full tutorial, it's a very "quick & dirty" video, but will show you enough that you can DO THIS!

This is such a cool tool - you upload your image, and then you can use a rectangle or a free form tool to link up your photos.  So much fun - I feel all big shotty now!  The possibilities are endless!!

Another valuable tip - make sure you backup your blog before you make major changes like this! Thank goodness I did, because I broke something when I was trying to update my header that I had worked on so much (the one you see here is version 876,538) and the "text" header that the base Blogger template uses wasn't removable.  As my heart sank, I Googled and found some help on several different sites and used this one at Bloggerial.  It was written when the HTML was easier to edit in a Blogger template, but it gave me enough to get it done.

You'd think that changing your Pinterest hover button would be easy enough, but I kept getting an error that the backlink needed to be fixed or something.  So, I just uploaded the old template and started again.  Two hours later - we're going live!!

I hope you like the new look!  Let me know what you think in the comments!

Shared at A Little Claireification-Best of the Weekend, It's Overflowing - Share Your Creativity, Be Different, Act Normal, Show and Tell Saturday

Monday, September 16, 2013

Incredible Slow Cooker Pot Roast with a CHEAT! (PRINTABLE RECIPE CARD!)

I've shared before that I'm not much of a cook.  I don't like to cook, my husband is an awesome cook, so it's really not necessary for me to cook (or at least that's how I tend to justify it!)

Because of this, you know that when I share something I make, it must be really, really good - like my pepperoni rolls good.  And it has to be easy, cause if it's not easy - you won't find me cooking it!

With the weather changing, my Crock Pot will be getting quite a workout - I'm pretty good with anything that's one dish.  It's the making 3 or more individual items come together at relatively the same time that stresses me out.

This pot roast is soooo yummy and really, couldn't be easier.  It takes about 1/2 hour to get it all to the point where you're ready to turn on the crock pot this way, and it's every bit worth it.

Here's the crew -

There are only two of us in our house, so a 2.5-3 pound chuck roast usually does it, along with 5-7 potatoes, depending on size, 3-4 carrots (I don't really like them cooked, except in this recipe), an onion, EVO, and S&P. And a secret that I'll share in a minute....

I cover the roast in salt and pepper and let it sit at room temp while I get everything else ready.  I like to use fresh cracked sea salt and pepper just because it's a little heavier and sticks to the meat really well.

Now, these instructions can be taken back a step or two and still give you a really good pot roast, but, I brown the veggies too.  You don't have to do that, and really, that would make it a tad easier with less prep time - like in the morning on your way out to work or the park or you own couch, wherever your day takes you! You could have things cut up the night before and just toss them in.  I love the extra flavor that browning the onions and carrots gives, though, so I heat up about 2 tablespoons of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to really, really hot (on my electric stove - we don't have natural gas here, I wish we did) and once it's nice and hot, I add the onions - cut in half "top" to "bottom" with some salt and pepper.  I turn them a couple of times to get as much browned onion goodness as I can.

Once the onions are nice and brown, I take them out, hold them on a plate, and add the carrots.  I do it in this order so that the carrots pick up some of the yummy caramelized onion flavor.

While the carrots are browned, I add them to the potatoes that I've already quartered and put into the crock pot. No, I don't peel the potatoes - just scrub them really well. Easier - plus the skins are good for you!

Then, with the pan still nice and hot, I add the chuck roast and brown it all over, even holding it up with tongs and browning the sides. It picks up all of the flavors from everything that's been browned before it.

Once the roast is nice and brown with just a bit of a crust, it goes on the carrots and potatoes in the slow cooker, and the onions are added to the top.

Now comes the cheat - the big surprise.  First, I'll let you in on a little secret.  I'd love to have a nice, full herb garden that produces enough that I'd always have fresh (or dried or frozen) herbs that I grow myself. But I also don't have a very green thumb.  So I cheat. 

Yep.  A spice packet.  Specifically, the Savory Pot Roast Slow Cooker spice packet from McCormick. And yep, I mix it into some coffee.  If you've still got some in the pot, go ahead and use that - actually, the "older" coffee tends to add even more flavor.  I did brew a cup just for this, though, since I don't have a coffee "pot."

I dump that over everything, put the lid on the slow cooker set to high for one hour, and then turn it down to low for 5-6 hours.  You could also just leave it on low for 7 - 8 hours or so - or however long you're gone for the day at work. You could do less and cook it on high the whole time, or more on low.  That's the beauty of a slow cooker, you really can't hurt anything, and dinner can cook while you're away!  

You can see in the picture above that I started this at 12:30 - the cutting, browning, loading took about 1/2 hour, and by 6:30, we had this and it was oh-so-yummy.

So to break it down:

1 - 2.5 - 3 lb chuck roast
5-7 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (peeled if you like)
3-4 carrots, cut in 3 pieces lengthwise and then halved/quartered (or a handful of baby carrots)
1 medium yellow onion
2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 C coffee
1 McCormick Savory Pot Roast spice packet
Salt & Pepper to taste - plus a little extra salt

  1. Preheat the olive oil in a heavy pan on medium high.  
  2. Prepare your roast by liberally sprinkling with salt and pepper.  
  3. Scrub potatoes, and cut into quarters and place in the slow cooker.   
  4. Peel carrots and cut into thirds lengthwise and cut each piece into halves or quarters, depending on thickness.  
  5. Cut onion in half from top to bottom and place it sliced side down in your heated olive oil to brown.  Turn the onions and brown each side, about 3 minutes each side if your pan is hot enough.  Once onions are browned, remove and set aside.  
  6. Add carrots to the hot pan.  Turn the carrots once and when browned on both sides, add to slow cooker on top of potatoes.  
  7. Add the roast to the hot pan, turning and browning all sides (including edges) - about 4 - 5 minutes per side, enough to start seeing a nice crust.  
  8. Place roast on carrots and potatoes in slow cooker, and place onions on top.  
  9. Mix spice packet with one cup of coffee and pour over roast and veggies.  
  10. Cover slow cooker and set on high for one hour, then turn to low for 5 hours.  
  11. Enjoy!
  • don't brown vegetables and cook 7 hours on low
  • cover roast in horseradish before browning
  • use water and Cream of Mushroom soup instead of coffee
.... many, many more variations are all over the web - but if you try mine, let me know how it works out in the comments!

And the best part?  This whole warm, fall fitting, filling meal costs less than $10 when you find a chuck roast on sale!  (and potatoes - has anyone else noticed the price of potatoes has skyrocketed?)

Oh - and just for taking the time to check this out, feel free to click below to download the FREE recipe card! Available as a 4x6" card or a regular 8 1/2"x11" page.  Just click in one of the corners on the one you want to download! ("nopin" commands don't seem to be working for me, so to get the image, hit a corner, otherwise you'll be Pinning!)

Shared at This Silly Girl's Life - Lovely Ladies Linky Party, Savvy Southern Style - Wow us Wednesday, Family Home and Life - Wow us Wednesday , The Turquoise Home - Work it Wednesday, Common Ground - Be Inspired, The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday, Practically Functional - The Fun in Functional

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Real Life Organization #2 - Living Room and Home Office

Earlier this week, I shared how two real people in a real house who live real lives keep the kitchen and bathroom somewhat organized, today, I share the living room and office.

These two real life people also live with 2 real life dogs and a real life cat, so with that comes toys.  Lots of squeaky toys.  Typically, this is how the toys look:

...spattered all over the floor of whatever room I'm in (or the hallway if I'm in the office - which is blocked by a baby gate.  OK, it's really a dry erase board.  Don't hate!  The plan is to make that door a Dutch door someday.

I picked up this little beauty with the embroidered liner for just $10 at my favorite little craft store to corral the mess. Problem is, Mati gets them back out as fast as I put them in.

This sits perfectly under the desk I picked up at a yard sale for $10 and painted the hard way (read: lots of sanding, buffing, and sanding some more.)  I LOVE black accent furniture.  Glam, glittery, high lacquer is just not for me.  Muted, almost matte black has my heart - Martha Stewart Silhouette, specifically.

That's a reflection of my awesome wedding guest book quilt that my grandmother made for us in the mirror.  
You can see a better shot of it here.  Someday, I'll write a post of all the little projects that made our wedding ours.

I have a confession to make.  I have a melt problem.  Yes, smelly good, yummy melts.  I can hardly pass by them without picking up, oh, 20.  

OK, two confessions.  I also collect elephants, trunk up.  Don't know how, and don't even remember when, this got started, but I have lots of 'em.

So this desk, as you can see, is a bit of a powerhouse for storage and decorating for me.  I don't have a mantle, so it and the next piece do that work for me.  

This piece was my aunt's who we lost in 1995.  I don't even remember what color it was then (country blue, I think?), but it has been painted and painted and painted by both my mom and me.  I think it's been Hunter Green, Teal, White, and now, the awesome MS Silhouette, since we've had it.  This was my first ever attempt at distressing a couple of years ago, and I seriously love it.  Plus, with two shelves, it keeps several things in check. Like more elephants and melts, and the tealights needed to melt the melts.

That tealight jar on the top was one of my first Silhouette Portrait projects.  I heart it.

On to the office...

I work from home in real life, so our 2nd bedroom is mine, all mine.  I spent some hard time over the Winter a couple of years ago sprucing it up - with more black furniture, of course.  I just bought the furniture this way, though, rather than painting it.  Well, some of it.

This is where the magic happens in running a sales team, well, when I'm not somewhere between North Jersey and DC.  I needed a desk that could really contain the things one needs to keep outside sales reps - and myself - in check.  This one fit the bill. With all the cubbies, doors, and drawers, everything I might ever need is right there. I added a couple of wooden bins and thumbtack strips to get even more out of it.  I bet you can tell if I'm a rightie or a leftie when you look at this, huh?

The papers and pens and things on this desk aren't perfectly situated and color coordinated, because it gets used. Daily.

I couldn't have just one desk.  I needed a printer stand, and this corner computer desk with a lower shelf fit the bill and really packs a punch.  

The printer, my docking station, extra paper, and my Las Vegas elephant bank all fit nicely on the top and all the components needed to run a home office - modem, router, the "boonies necessary" wireless network extender, a laminator, and a bunch of cord management - happen on the bottom shelf.  The keyboard drawer is the perfect place for extra ink, laminating plastic, and specialty paper, and the knob was the best place to hang the perfect slate sign.

Get it?  I crack me up.

What didn't fit went on this shelf that I repainted and backed with fabric, and it holds everything from work materials to beach reads and the Little House on the Prairie book set I got when I was little.  Again, this is real life, and the items on the shelf get used, so I gave up on keeping it "picture perfect."

I won this little cupboard at a Mud Sale last year for $15 having planned to use it for the weird corner under the key holder in the kitchen, but upon further inspection when I got it home, the shelves are the perfect size for all of the CD's I've hoarded (and cassettes - which according to memes I've seen on Facebook turned 50 yesterday!) Someday, it may get a face lift.

Two years ago when I redid this office, I took the bulletin board I'd had since I was a little girl - chunks of cork missing and such - removed the frame and cut it down into two boards. I covered them with this cute little print to show off my ticket stubs and other "savers" - one for DMB tickets only, the other for everything else.  We all save ticket stubs, right?  How do you keep yours?


And in true "Keepin' it Real" fashion, I share with you all, the Corner of Shame. 

This is the corner between the bookshelf and the desk. Here, I do try.  This filing cabinet was meant to keep things even more organized, but the track for the drawer broke and I just haven't looked for a replacement yet. I have all of my photos in albums and boxes, I have all of those CD's in the cupboard, and the corners between those and the filing cabinet with a broken track are where I stash things.  Way too much.  But hey, when I leave for a trip, all I have to do is grab a prepacked bag of toiletries!

I love magazine perfect photos and magazine perfect organization, but let's just be real, people!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where were you?

"Never forget."  Almost immediately after the attacks, those became the words of a generation.  Much like many of our parents have the Kennedy assassination, we have 9/11/01.

I've always believed in the power of telling your story to heal, that's a huge part of why I write.  I think on this day each year, we all feel the same way we did that day 12 years ago, so I thought we should share.

I had been living in Florida for about 4 years and was finally finding myself comfortable there.  I had a doctor appointment that morning, so I went into work late.  As I left the appointment, I had the radio on in the car, and I heard the DJ's talking about the World Trade Center and an explosion.  Being just 26 at the time, I figured it was just the anniversary of the bombing that had happened in 1993, although I thought that was strange because I could have sworn it was cold out when that happened.

I got to the office, bounced in and without a glance, said hello to the two ladies who worked in the front office as I always did, but as I turned around from the time clock after I punched in (9:48 am), I realized something was different.  

There was a TV in the office (that was new?) and the two owners of the company along with about five other people were quietly staring at this little 13" TV with blank stares.  Someone was crying in the corner.  I asked what was going on, and got "shh".  I started watching the TV with them and it started coming together in pieces. I immediately thought of two friends I had who were living in the city and started crying not having any idea of the geography of where I knew they were living to where all of this was happening.  I tried to call their cell phones, but of course, all I could get was a busy signal or the "Your call can not be completed as dialed" messages.

Then the news reported a plane down South of Pittsburgh.  No details, just a rural area south of Pittsburgh. I realize that could be just about anywhere, well, south of Pittsburgh, but my heart sank and I ran to my desk to call my mom, who lived South of Pittsburgh.  A lot of my family did.  She was fine, and said she would let me know when we knew more, and she would try to reach my friend's moms.  Of course, she was a mess and told me to be careful.  My mom is a worrier anyway, and for something like this to be happening with no idea what was coming next, and 1000 miles in between us, she was a total wreck.  Neither of us handle the unknown well.

The bosses decided to shut it down for the day and I think also the next day, I don't remember exactly how long, but it felt like I was on my couch glued to CNN for days, and every bit of comfort I was gaining in FL was fleeting and I wanted nothing more than to be back in WV with my family.  Anxiety had a whole new meaning, having no idea what might happen next.

My job was at a handmade metal wall art/hand-carved wood manufacturer as inside sales/designer assistant/trade show sales hybrid.  We had a show coming up in Atlanta that weekend, and the plan had been that I would be going alone to this one.  The whole week, I was hoping they would keep the airports closed and that the show would be cancelled, but it didn't happen, and I had to get on a plane that same week.  I begged my boss to let me drive, I really didn't want to fly on September 15, just two days after commercial flights had resumed in the US, but he said "It will be the safest flight you'll ever have, safer than driving."  And he was right.  
Flights from West Palm Beach to Atlanta are only about a two hours, more time is spent in the airports and on runways than in the air, but it was going to be the longest 2 hours I had ever had.  Flying in general was still fairly new to me, I think I had flown maybe only a handful of times in my entire life at that point.  It was so eerie to walk the concourses of PBI with armed men in fatigues and German Shepard dogs everywhere. But, it was indeed very secure, though alarming, and it was that day that the anxiety of flying really started to diminish for me.

Here's to the men and women who protect and serve the rest of us whether they're FD, PD, Armed Forces, nurses, doctors, 911 operators, or just civilians helping each other out.

Where were you that day?
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