A Home Away From Home?

It’s been a weird week at work.  Weird, sad and now lonely.  Boo freakin’ hoo.  So I started wandering around the [pretty empty] office and it got me thinking about work spaces.

Why do we feel the need to personalize our space at work?  To create a home away from home?  To make it light and friendly since we willingly commit 40 hours each week?  To remind ourselves why we come to work everyday?  To make “throwing in the towel” harder because we don’t want to carry all this crap to the car?

I realized that my work space is personalized with work memories.  Besides a few family photos, everything else at my desk is a memory, a reminder of my past co-workers.  The people I spent more time with than my dogs Monday through Friday. 

There’s a picture of me and Nanners in Marietta.  A one-of-a-kind post card from Tooty. 

Office Tchotchkes Office Tchotchkes

The daisy-infested skateboard I designed for The Pedestrian Duo’s art show.  A ticket from the WauWau Sisters burlesque comedy show.

Office Tchotchkes

The calendar quote from The Officethat JWingo thought I’d enjoy (and I do).  A big red lobster sucker from VJ’s trip to the Northeast.

Office Tchotchkes Office Tchotchkes

The Non-Sequitur comic that was given to me from a colleague who referred to me as a buzz-kill (yeah, I’m still trying to figure that one out but I do like the comic).

Office Tchotchkes

So this week, while the BossLady was packing up her office for her new job in Nash-Vegas *tear* *sob* *WHY ME!!!*, I acquired a few new pieces to add to the tchotchke collage.  The legacy of the BossLady is now in my work space.

The BossLady gave some words of wisdom to shine light on any situation I may face in the future.

Office Tchotchkes Office Tchotchkes

She relinquished her Mardi Gras beads.  Passed on a vendor gift of a miniature billboard.  (I do media, people.)

Office Tchotchkes Office Tchotchkes

I now own the plant she will not entrust to Jeff any more as he’s nearly killed it twice.  May it live forever.

Office Tchotchkes

Her disinfecting wipes sit on my desktop.   We have a mutual understanding of keeping things disinfected.  She gets me.

Office Tchotchkes

Hopefully these treasures (and every time I use a disinfecting wipe) will remind me of her adept mannerisms, her supportive advice, her contagious laugh, her voice yelling my name in our echoey office.  Because while most people are not fans of their bosses, I liked mine.  My BossLady, or rather my former BossLady, was… she was… well…she was The Shit.  And I mean that from the bottom of my heart, MB.  Good luck in the land of boot scootin’ boogy.

Note: “The Shit” is not to be confused with “shit” which is a derrogatory term meaning something entirely different.

August 8, 2009 - 12:02 pm

Robby - Brooke, These photos are great! I really mean it. You are getting damn good with that camera. I enjoyed your thoughts on the personalized workspace :) Keep it up, I’ll check back soon!


August 12, 2009 - 9:34 am

The Pod-Mate Returns! « shutterboo - […] on the east coast with family all last week while things were out of sorts around here (with the BossLady abandoning us and all).  But now she’s back.  And she came bearing gifts!  She brought salt water taffy for us […]

January 12, 2010 - 9:33 am

Stuffs At My Desk – Come On In « shutterboo - […] happy though since I spend 40+ hours a week here.  At this desk.  But I’ve already talked about that long long […]

When In Bourbon Country…

I am not a very good cook.  I am fair at baking.  I can hold my own at candy making.  But my bourbon balls?  Nothing comes close to the divine mastery of creating these yummy chocolate-covered pieces of heaven.

Make Me Bourbon Balls

Some people say it’s the chocolate that makes a good bourbon ball.  I disagree.  Others say it’s the bourbon that makes a good bourbon ball.  Maybe; it’s more likely how potent the bourbon is that determines the taste.  I say it’s the candy maker that makes a good bourbon ball.  If you personally know that someone took the time to concoct the sugary goodness, it automatically tastes better.

Make Me Bourbon Balls

My mom took the time to show me how make these bad dogs a few years ago.  And since then, I’ve made so many batches I can do it in my sleep.  And I’ve made a lot of friends at work by sharing.  So when they say “Mmm, this is good”  what they really is mean “OMG, I heart Brooke’s mom!!!”  I heart you too, mom.

Make Me Bourbon Balls

The plan was to enter some bourbon balls in the Kentucky State Fair this year.  Instead, I’ll be checking out the competition before I take the time to make a buttload of these candies.  The men at work told me that I have “blue ribbon bourbon balls.”  And they are tasty.  But I’m pretty sure the guys just like saying the words “blue” and “balls” in the same sentence.  Why else would they snicker afterwards? ;)

– 1 stick of butter
– 1 ½ boxes of confectioner sugar
– ½ cup of bourbon (I use Heaven Hill green label – 90 proof & cheap!)
– pecans pieces
– chocolate (Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips do the job nicely)
1. Let pecan pieces soak in bourbon while creaming the butter and sugar.
2. Then mix in the bourbon/pecan mixture thoroughly.
3. Form into bite-size balls.  – You may have to refrigerate the mixture so that it doesn’t stick and will form more easily.
4. Refrigerate balls (they get gooey if left in room temp).
5. Melt chocolate and a little paraffin wax.
6. Dip balls in chocolate, return to wax paper and top with pecan half.
7. Consume and allow your taste buds to do the happy dance.

August 6, 2009 - 9:10 pm

Susan - I can also attest to the deliciousness of these candies. In fact, the five that Brooke gifted us, let’s just say that not that many are left in the fridge. Fantabulous.

August 7, 2009 - 8:29 am

shutterboo - I thought you might like a little surprise. :)

August 10, 2009 - 10:22 am

Louisville Kentucky Bourbon Candy - You should enter your candy in the fair. If you do not win at least you can get a ton of free tickets!

August 21, 2009 - 7:54 am

My Friday Is A Fairday « shutterboo - […] DAY at the fairgrounds to take in the exhibits, search the flea market for treasures, check out the bourbon ball competition, talk to Freddy the Farmer, pet some farm animals, eat a pork sandwich and some fried […]

December 14, 2009 - 11:59 am

Cooking With My Mel III « shutterboo - […] we got fast, friendly and fun with dinner?  Because I was the teacher this night.  I showed Mel how to make Bourbon Balls.  They are not hard to make, just time consuming.  So we mixed them and put them in the fridge.  […]

August 16, 2010 - 9:33 am

shutterboo » Blog Archive » My Balls Are State Fair Bound - […] Bourbon Ball recipe <here>. […]

Pickens With My Mel

She had me at blackberries.  I LOVE blackberries.  Probably my favorite berry in the entire world berries.  My berry soul mate.  Screw grape jelly, I want blackberry jam on my PB&J.  Yum.  I love them. 


So what do you get when you add Mel in the mix with blackberries?  An afternoon at Huber’s Orchard.  Take along the camera and what’s it become?  A pickens documentary at Huber’s Orchard.


Fortunately, Mel is not one to be camera-shy but I remember having to say “Get over it” at least once.   Sorry, Mel.  But you so pretty!  I gotsa take pictures of you!


She taught me the way of pickens in the blackberry patch – go for the middle cause that’s where the big kahunas are.  And she was right.  Boy, was she right. 


Now Mel does have smallish hands (comes with the little person territory) but these are BIG blackberries.  And so juicy and sweet.  I could not wait to get these boogers home.  Actually, I had to taste test a couple to make sure they were worth taking home. Yep, they passed the test.


And a trip to Huber’s is not complete without a bottle of vino at the winery.  So we boozed it up… OK, not really, we just had a small glass and then headed for the sweet stuff at the ice cream shop.  Because there’s always room for ice cream. 

But the best reason for taking the time to do the pickens ourselves – Blackberry Crisp.  Uh… I don’t like to brag *wink* but I sure can bake.  

Blackberry Crispler

(My mouth has already started watering just looking at this picture.  I want another one because two was not enough.  And Mel, I’m sorry I didn’t save any for you.  But it wasn’t because I don’t love you.)

Huber’s Orchard, Winery & Vineyards
19816 Huber Rd.
Starlight, IN 47106
M-Sa 10a-6p, Su 12p-6p
August 10, 2009 - 10:54 am

Melanie - It was a fun day! Perfect for geting away from all the men in our lives and having a relaxing stress free trip! Girls days are AWESOME!!

August 14, 2009 - 1:05 pm

Lloyd Budd - These photos are incredible! I feel like I was there. I also feel like I’ve a lot of learning and experimenting to do to be able to take good photos.

May 4, 2010 - 8:17 am

Not a Fan of Michigan « shutterboo - […] Catch Phrase… oh how I’ll miss those rounds of beating the mens at Catch Phrase.  No blackberry pickens at Huber’s Orchard this summer.  The fairy dust is finally beginning to settle in that […]

River City is an Under[water]statement

So anyone who has a TV or the Internet probably saw on the news that the weather turned very sour in the Louisville area around 9am yesterday morning.  We had a torrential rainstorm, lightening flashing everywhere, 4″ in 1 hour, 6″ in 1½ hours…all that rain and nowhere to go except down roads to wash away cars.  Here’s an iWitness account from Weather.com:


I missed it.  I was at work before it rained and when I left for home, much of the water had receded.  Luckily, our house and yard were not affected but natural disasters don’t sit well with me.  Louisville experienced an earthquake April 2008, faced a hurricane-force windstorm September 2008, dealt with an ice storm January 2009 and now we can top the list with flash flooding August 2009.

What is up, Mother Nature?!?!

A Different Kind of Dungeon

I’m a self-confessed dork.  I enjoyed school, I never was one of the popular kids, I did things like NHC and Newspaper.  I wore glasses for what seemed like forever and didn’t even tryto get my driver’s license until I was almost 18.  I may not be an uber-dork (that’s what I tell myself) but of the nerd-breed for certain.  But I witnessed something entirely new, beyond my dorkdom being, just this weekend.  Yes indeed: D&D.


I watched people play Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy role playing game.  Being a fan of JRR Tolkien books and a few science fiction movies here and there, I thought I would get it.  I thought wrong.  Did you know there are something like 873 species that stand on 2 legs and wield a sword?


And while I spent most of the evening confused, I was also interested.  I mean, something like 20 million people play D&D – that’s a heckuva lot of people!  But I digress, D&D is not for me.  Sorry dudes.


But Rev was not afraid to get his feet wet – or shall we say, Dr. BadAss.  Dr. BadAss had the biggest curiousity so he hosted D&D and invited co-workers that are long-time players.  Me and the hubs came for the food (loved the potato casserole, Mrs. Rev) and hopefully what would be entertainment.


D&D entertaining?  Sure!  These guys may be fans of a game most are too self-conscience to play and may be computer programming nerds but they are actually very funny and did not hold back on making fun of each other.  My kind of people.  And the fact that Dr. BadAss and Shakira were part of this mercenary company, made for some interesting conversation.


It was funny just hearing Rev refer to his character in 3rd-person all night: 
“Would you rather Dr. BadAss be BadAss MD?”
“Dr. BadAss misunderstood that.”
“Dr. BadAss doesn’t have to tell how many beers he had.  It’s none of Shakira’s business.” 
“Dr. BadAss always wins.”


I could only manage to stick out one game – one room of one dungeon – but it was neat to learn more about D&D.  And though I did not hit anything “with my dragon born fury,” we still had a fun night and definitely had some good laughs.

August 13, 2009 - 1:00 pm

I Heart My 50mm « shutterboo - […] now use the 50mm for everything.  I used it for my D&D shots.  I used it for my backyard shots.  I used it to stick in Mel’s mug.  I experiment with it […]

November 12, 2009 - 3:05 pm

Because I’ve Been A Busy Chica « shutterboo - […] all you D&D-ers that may still read the blog, this place has “Game Knight”.  Play before you […]

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