When the Christmas Cactus Blooms……

It must be close to Christmas time.

My cactus burst into bloom a few days ago. I was so surprised to see the gorgeous pink blooms.

There are tons of buds as well.

I think it’s enjoying its favorite time of year.

I think I’m enjoying it too.

Thank-you Christmas Cactus. You bring Christmas joy to my heart.

At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.

Thomas Tusser

Cold, Smiley, and Mysterious

That’s how I like my men.

Snowmen that is……

I have a thing for them.

Doesn’t matter what type.

Or what they do.

Or how long they have been a snowman.

They just get me.

I think they know…

Why else would they be smiling all the time?

Snowmen…… I think I love you.

I mean……you are my favorite Christmas decoration.

© Angelia’s Photography

The Fontanini Nativity Scene

Shepherds stood watch in the fields.

Merchants in town were busy.

And Jesus lay in a popsicle stick cradle.

This is the story we reenacted with the Fontanini Manger set.

First you find an empty manger.

Then you gather the town.

You carefully place the merchants and shops.

Don’t forget the fields. Psst…on the staircase.

Where the Shepherds keep watch.

It wasn’t easy back in the day Jesus was born.

And we have to be very specific to play place all the ware correctly.

It’s a tough job, but part of what Christmas is all about.

The details.

Like working a spindle.

And keeping an eye out for Angels.

Tending to The Baby.

Shopping at the stores.

And keeping the riff raff out of the Manger. Hey…..who let the elephant in there??

Telling the story is one of the best parts of Christmas. Whether it’s in play, in books, or in the heart.

Don’t you think?

When Good Catering goes Bad……

And what they do to make it right.

Not too long ago, we had On the Border cater lunch in our office. It was a special occasion from our car rental companies that were visiting. I LOVE On The Border. They are based in Dallas, Texas. They serve some of the best texmex and fajita fare in the metroplex.

I have been a fan since 1990 when I moved here.

So the day they were catering fajitas, I was over the moon. Like everyone, my mouth watered at the smell. I could not WAIT to chow down.

So I filled my plate and brought it back to my desk…that’s when I noticed this (gross warning).

My stomach churned a bit because that meat looked funky. I poked it with my fork to see if it would moo, but it didn’t.

The chicken looked fine, but the beef? Gads, it was not medium rare. It was simply not cooked. I like medium rare. I like a little pink. But fleshy purple? Not a fan.

I heard the microwave whirring from the kitchen as others decided to cook their meat a bit.

Another co-worker commented they were not eating the meat as it is too raw.

I looked at my plate again, and for once, lost my appetite. I took a few bites of the chicken fajita, but my stomach was in knots. Me, the master of mexican food, did not feel like eating.

I was disappointed. I would have expected a catering manager to check the food before going out. To deliver food looking that gross just seemed unheard of.

Not one to speak-up, or send food back at resturants, I did something completely out of character for me.

I called them and complained. The manager Brady “heard” me and said he would get back to me. I even emailed him the raw meat picture. A few hours later…..no word back.

So I did what any good consumer would do. I used the power of Twitter. I tweeted about the event to my 1,116 followers.

And they did hear me then, I got a responding tweet to call the corporate headquarters the next morning.

So, i did just that. The person that answered the phone knew who I was. She had been “alerted” about the tweet.

I told her the whole story. She promised to look into it and notify REGIONAL managers.

Within two minutes of hanging up, I recieved a call from Brady, the manager, I talked to the day before. He said he had authorization to do whatever would make me happy. A refund or a re-order. Rather than a refund, I agreed to the re-order for us.

It came the next day deliverd by Brandon the catering manager. He asked for me and apologized in person for the raw meat. He was very sincere and gracious. On the Border really did respond to my concerns, and not only was the meat cooked to perfection. Everything was perfection.


Perfectly cooked beef fajitas.

The entire order was redelivered.
These are the fajitas I know and love!

I bring this up today because we just ordered fajitas for the office today. From guess where? Yep! Same place. They remembered us (me) and had strict orders to make sure we were happy before we left (I was!). Again, everything was perfect, professional, and delicious.

Not many people take the time to address when a company makes good, but I am. They deserve credit for being a company that stands behind their service and quality.

If you haven’t been to On the Border before, and have one in your area, I highly recommend them. And if you are a company with catering needs, I suggest using them for wonderful texmex and great service.

I can’t thank them enough for reaching out to me and roasting closing the gap from my experience. Heh.

I, and my company, will not hesitate to use them again (like we did today!).

And now? Maybe I’ll speak up more often (and tweet).

All pics taken with my iPhone 4S.