Staff Post by Jennifer Quillan

I am the controller here at Visbeen Associates. One of the many job duties that fall under that umbrella is human resources. Since we have a large number of employers who read our blog, I thought I’d devote my blog to what makes a good employer-employee relationship.

1. Communication. Proper communication is critical to any interpersonal relationship & the employer-employee one is no exception. Do your employees know what’s expected of them? If they have questions or concerns do they know whom they can talk to?

2. Respect. Tina Turner sang about it, we all need it. Respect their personal space & time, respect their opinions, respect that they might have insight that you don’t – that they can see things that you as the boss can’t. Treat all employees with the same amount of respect – whether they are the CFO or the janitor. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” (Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Levine-Scholastic, 2000.Print.)

3. Integrity/trust. This is a biggie. Do you mean what you say? All the rest of the points can be in place, but if your employees doubt your integrity, if they don’t trust you, you’ve got a big problem. If a situation arises, do you give your employees the benefit of the doubt (at least the first time)? Do you trust your employees enough not to micro-manage them? “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

4. Fairness. Pay them a fair wage. Give them time off (and make sure they take it!). Don’t tell them at 4:30 on a Friday that they’re going to need to work until 8:30. Give them tasks that they enjoy (when possible). Are they expected to answer e-mail or phone calls off hours? If so, are they compensated them for that?

5. Flexibility. Today’s work is much less geographically dependent. Do all of your employees need to work a “typical work week” of M-F, 8-5? Can employees choose to work noon-8? Or from 6 to 2? Work from home? Can they work 30 hours a week instead of 40? With remote access, conference calls & smart phones consider if there is room to offer some flexibility to your employees. This doesn’t work for all jobs obviously – but is generally highly valued by employees.

6. Providing them with the proper tools & support. Have you trained your management staff? Do people have the proper computer software, computer hardware, printers, etc. to complete their tasks effectively?

But really, why do we care? The economy is starting to make a comeback. Shouldn’t employees still just be happy they have a job? Shouldn’t their continued paycheck be enough of a thank-you? Obviously no. In short, the difference in your workforce will be the difference between employees who are engaged & invested with your company versus employees who are merely “phoning it in” and waiting for the weekend. Of course every relationship is a two-way street. Employees need to communicate, respect, have integrity and be flexible as well. But as the employer, you set the tone for the relationship and hold the most power as to how this relationship will play out.

Pink Saturday Apron Giveaway #10

The winner for last week's apron is:

Chubskulit

Congratulations, Sugar!


Please visit Beverly's blog to see all the other participants today. Thank you, Beverly, for doing this each week. We all appreciate you enormously!
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This little pink stripe and cake apron is this week's giveaway. Leave a comment here on this post and your name is entered. During the week I'll draw a name and announce it on next week's giveaway.

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All of us have rituals in our lives—daily routines, which we adhere to religiously. At least, I do. One of them is my toilette every morning. It goes something like this:
Turn on shower.
Potty while shower is warming up. This may vary depending on how much liquid I drank the night before. ;-)
Get in shower.
Wash hair.
Condition hair.
Wash face with a special brush bought for just that purpose. This once got out of sequence and I washed my face twice.
Wash body with Dove extra moisturizing body wash.
Wash, ummmm, other areas with another washcloth.
Wipe face gently with another washcloth getting in ears.
Get out and dry off and wrap hair with one towel.
Use other towel for rest of body.
Lightly moisturize face.
Shave 10 lip and chin hairs. (Okay, I admit it. The hairs are too light to have them taken out with a laser so until a laser is developed to take out light hairs I'm stuck. The wax just doesn't work for me. Confession!) More than I tell most friends. ;-) And, Martie, if you're reading this DO NOT spread the rumor around the office!! ;-)
Put styling gel on hair.
Blow dry hair upside down. (Secret to fluffy hair.)
Brush teeth.
Moisturize with Oil of Olay (intense stuff for my age group!)
Another Oil of Olay treatment of which I've forgotten the name at the moment. (Another sign of advanced aging.)
Brush teeth
Put on foundation, powder and mascara.
Fix hair. Spray hair.

Now, if anyone of these is out of order it throws me off. Once I brushed my teeth out of order and before I knew it, I was brushing them again!

Another instance:
Sitting down to read, I usually pick up the book and then turn on my reading lamp. This is such a habit that one day I picked up the book and turned the light switch and turned it OFF. I simply didn't expect the light to be on but it was. I then turned it on.

I am just simply a creature of habit.
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I realized we can make a difference when we are unhappy with a situation.

I learned that Scentsy was discontinuing my favorite scent that I have in warmers around my house: French Kiss. I loooove that fragrance. I was devastated (I mean devastated!! I cried right there in my Scentsy dealer's house.) and my Scentsy distributor said to call or email them. I did. They are NOT discontinuing it!!! I was beyond thrilled. I immediately ordered 6 room sprays and will order a brick of it so I never run out.

I also wrote to Pepsi about a horribly bad 12 pack I purchased. It was NOT at all like my regular Pepsi. I contacted them via their website and have heard nothing from them. On the other hand...

I contacted Hagan Das about a flavor that was beyond my wildest chocolate dreams—Mayan Chocolate. It was fantastic—deep dark chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. Best chocolate I've ever eaten.

Well, I did hear from them and they said it wasn't a very good seller so they discontinued it due to that fact. I simply cannot believe it wasn't a good seller. It was out of this world fantastic! Sob.... I suppose I didn't make the compelling case I thought I was making.
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I've decided while on Weight Watchers I'm going to make chocolate a FREE food. Works for me.
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I have a bubble in my tummy so I'm leaving the room for the moment. ;-) Until next time.
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Reality Around the House 11/23/2011

Reality. Claudia has been posting about this on her blog. The reality at my house is this:

A desk that never seems to be clean. No matter how hard I try there is always something on top. My camera is in my hands at the moment otherwise it would be sitting to the left of my iMac just to the right of my JBL Creature Speakers. My Canon is always there to grab at a moment's notice to run and snap photos.

The filing cabinet behind my desk doesn't get much better than this. Trust me. Hubs says I need to clean up my files and reorganize them and I just may do that during the holiday season to give me something to do since we no longer buy gifts for each other or kids, just the grands and great granddaughter get something. I absolutely loooooove not having the stress of Christmas shopping. That painted shutter and office chair cover in the corner will be given to the thrift store or sold on eBay. I hate to part with either one but it's time. I'm being brutal on getting rid of things in this house.

I'm supposed to be exercising each night in here but I've been so busy doing other things that it's fallen by the wayside for a while.

This message board needs some serious cleaning up but I just never feel like taking off and filing the things on there. My earphones for the phone I use frequently so I can talk and type at the same time.

Our master toilet room. Hubs stacks our supply of toilet paper so high I can't reach it. He thinks he's being cute, but actually it makes more work for him because when I need another roll I have to call him in to reach it for me. ;-)

These are just some of the pillows I'm going to get rid of. There are several more in my bedroom and to the right of this photo out of sight.

More storage boxes to sort through. I recently threw away a plethora of old photos of vacations we've taken. They weren't digital and were horrible plus most of them were views of beaches or mountains or landscapes that nobody in their right mind would want to look at even IF I had the desire to show them, which I don't. The most boring thing for me is to visit people and have them drag out photo albums. I usually just try to ignore the albums and keep talking. It's torture for me!

Our master bath shower. There are always 3 washcloths on the door.

My supply of Nair sits on the corner tub in our bathroom because after the last leg shaving I had 11 bandaids and 2 4x4 gauze pads to staunch the flow of blood. I'll never, ever shave my legs again. I buy Nair 4 at a time and when I start the 4th bottle I put it on the shopping list to buy 4 more. I'm tired of bleeding!
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We did go to the movies on Monday night. The movie we chose was Tower Heist and was really funny. It was strange to see Alan Alda play a bad guy though. I would recommend it because we laughed a lot.

The tickets were free but the snacks were out of sight!!! A small bag of popcorn and a small drink cost me $10.75. How do y'all manage to take kids to the movies? A family of four or five could easily be a $100.00 tab including small snacks. A small candy bar for $4.75. Holy moly!

On our drive home we saw a lot of homes with their Christmas decorations up. I told hubs he was NOT putting ours up because I didn't want him to put stress on his neck. He kept telling me he was and I kept repeating he wasn't. He finally called me a grinch. I said, "Make that Grinchette and ya got it right, bubbie." You know who's going to win this argument, right? ;-)
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Late Autumn 2011 Cosmopolitan Home Magazine

We're very excited to be featured in the Late Autumn 2011 Cosmopolitan Home Magazine! Be sure to pick up your copy to see what we've been up to!


Inside, you'll find articles on each of these:

Duneside

Sunsweet Hill

Here is a link to get a taste:

The Beginning of Winter 2011

It's official; winter is here. The roses are no more, and we had snow a few days ago. It didn't stick but it was here for a few hours anyway.


This looks like a tissue paper rose.

Miss Caroline in the pumpkin patch with her Da-da. I don't think I'd be carrying her around on my shoulders with a cup of liquid in those sweet little hands (look at them) but her daddy is the man in her life and she's the "other" woman in his life. I've never seen a man so crazy about a kid in my life!

Just some dried hydrangeas from our front yard.

And doing some mundane things around the house today.


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With all the physical therapy I've been doing—and now hubs—we've gotten free tickets from our physical therapist for a dinner at Olive Garden and now free tickets to a movie. We're going to go see Tower Heist tonight.

Monday nights is our "salad night" at Jack-In-The-Box. You all know by now if I can get out of cooking I'm going to do it. Mondays are a "no cooking" night for me, as is one other day later in the week, either Thursday or Friday night. And if I can throw in a lunch or two, so much the better.
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The other day while running some errands I saw a school marquee that said:

Are you resting enough? Attendance is important.

I didn't need a billboard to tell me that. My parents put the fear of death into me if I didn't attend school. Truly, I was astounded that message would even be necessary. Gee, how the world has changed from when we were in school.
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Love Bunny is taking physical therapy now. On Friday night, November 11th, he came home from doing the VFW Buddy Poppies and told me his head/neck area hurt. He did more Buddy Poppy "sales" on Saturday also. His neck got worse. I called some men in our ward to come and give him a blessing. It just so happened to be our Bishop and he's a pediatrician and mentioned meningitis. I had already decided I was going to take him to ER just before the Bishop and another Elder arrived. They gave him the blessing and off we went to ER. His head was hurting so had he couldn't lift it off the pillow. The Bishop crawled up on my side of the bed to lay his hands on hubs' head while the other man attended on hubs' side of the bed.

After 3 1/2 hours in ER it was determined through x-rays he had occipital nerve inflammation. They gave him a 2 drug cocktail intravenously and 3 prescriptions and sent us home. So from that day until today I've been driving him everywhere he's needed to go. With the drugs we didn't want to risk driving. He's also taking physical therapy to help the neck muscles. His head isn't hurting quite as bad as a week ago but it's still there. He'll be fine I know but it was a bit scary for those couple of hours. But when he went with me to PT for the first time, the physical therapist jokingly said giving him an evaluation was private. I told her he gave us his privacy 50 years and 5 months ago—our wedding day. She shut up and he didn't say a WORD!
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Recently my "lunch" consisted of a sausage biscuit from McDonald's and a Milky Way Simply Caramel candy bar. It was a very busy morning! I love that kind of breakfast but sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do! Sigh...and wink!
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That's it for today. Off to get ready for my night out. ;-)
~*~

Pink Saturday Apron Giveaway #9

The winner of last week's apron is:

Laura Ingalls Gunn

Congratulations, Sugar!!

Thanks to all who visit here. Now go to Beverly's blog and see more pink things today. And thank you, Beverly, for helping me get rid of these aprons to pink lovin' chicks who will appreciate them. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post right here. Your name is entered and I'll pick a winner during the week and announce it on next week's giveaway.

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This is the apron for this week's giveaway.

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Okay, I've bitten the bullet and subscribed for one free month of Netflix. This, of course, will mean watching it from my laptop computer but I want to see what I've been missing. From the latest fare I've been watching it doesn't seem to be much. I subscribed to the "instant streaming" end of it. While I was hoping to watch some of the oldies like Casablanca, it seems that those are available only by DVD. My friend, Stacy, who knows all the latest about Netfix, has assured me Netflix is negotiating with studios to have just about any- and everything available streaming in the near future. At least that is their goal. So I'll be curious as to how that turns out but I haven't seen much I'm interested in except for thrillers and spy/espionage movies, which as you all know are my favorite genres in books. We'll see.

But in the watching of some videos (instant streaming and disks loaned to me by friends) I've read credits. Did you know you can learn an awful lot from credits? Oooh, my yessss! (Ooooooh, as an aside to that, when I'm on Netflix I have 2 other tabs open. One is for IMDB so I can find out the plot, the goofs in the movies and do a wikipedia search for the actors. The other tab is Wikipedia.) ;-) You can learn an awful lot about the old actors and actresses on there. I never knew so many movie stars have been married numerous times. Some as many as 5 to 7 times is not unusual. Sheeeeesh. It makes one wonder why they wouldn't stay married for their entire life. Oh, a very few were, but it was a rarity.

Which brings up why Love Bunny and I have been married for over 50 years. I think he's a hunk and always have. Trust me, he didn't marry me for my body or money. Neither did I marry him for his body or his money. I truly feel sad for those Hollywood types of men who have a hot young wife—sometimes young enough to be his granddaughter but certainly young enough to be his daughter—and have people laughing behind his back. What does it gain him to have a beautiful woman on his arm? His buddies have to be laughing at him. She's there for the money and fame only and everyone knows it. It truly gives me peace of mind to know hubs and I are the same age and are growing old together. Our children have attested to this fact also. We're a Forever Family in this world and the next.

Two things I found interesting in the credits are this:

On the opening "warning" it states this: "Private home use only. The definition of home use excludes the use of this disk at locations such as clubs, coaches, hospitals, hotels, oil rigs, prisons and schools." Oil rigs???? Why not churchs? My church won't let us show a video in any kind of group setting in the church because of the warnings but I don't see "churches" in the warnings. But OIL RIGS???

The other thing I thought was funny was the catering. I'm guessing they cater the food for the actors when working. (Nice, if you can get it!) Most of the time the caterers are "Hollywood Caterers, Tony's Catering, International Caterers, Alesandro's Catering, etc., but one such movie caught my attention when the caterer was TV Dinners. I suppose that was a budget movie. :-)

The other thing I saw was how much smoking they do in movies. I'm talking about recent movies. Everyone smokes! I thought Hollywood was against smoking! You can't tell it by their movies. Most of the actors I've read commenting about it are smokers! How hypocritical can you get?
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When we moved in this house our new ward helped us unload the truck. They got done in one day what took us weeks to pack, and move over to a storage facility. It was an awesomely stressful task made short by their help. But it was just pieces of furniture and boxes. The other day I thought about what it looks like now because some of those people from that ward (we're in a different ward now because of a realignment) hadn't seen it like it is now. They seemed awestruck by how it is now. Just gave me a bit of pride to show it off a bit because when we were off-loading the trucks it looked sad. I guess you could say my "life" was in the boxes. ;-)
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I've been eating a lot of fruit lately, mostly strawberries, watermelon and pineapple, my favorite fruits. But the other day I kept smelling something like perfume but wasn't really perfume. Then I realized I had dripped some pineapple on my shirt. So now I'm sporting Eau de Pineapple!
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That's it for this week unless I get creative and get out and photograph something to show y'all.
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UPSCALE GARAGES


Garages are turning into much more than the unsightly, utilitarian place to store cars and lawnmowers. They are becoming the final frontier of the organized home, the new luxury space to be remodeled into a warm and inviting room.
15% of new homes have a garage large enough for 3 cars or more. As a result, garages are highly visible, often accounting for more than 40% of a home’s exterior face. We most often come and go from our house through the garage doors, and when the overhead door is up, people instinctively come through it to knock on our door, making the garage – rather than the front door – the gateway to our home.
This explains why the garage is graduating from the largest, most underutilized “room” in the house to a highly flexible space available for multiple activities. By adding insulation, HVAC, plumbing and task lighting, the garage is a room with endless possibilities. Changes include:
mosby%20garage%2001 Remodel Your Garage
Innovations in overhead door design can bring a pleasing, coordinated look to what makes up a large portion of your home’s front fa├žade.
mosby%20garage%2002 Remodel Your Garage
Using ceiling space for overhead storage is a smart way to gain square footage.
mosby%20garage%2003 Remodel Your Garage
Unused ceiling space can also be turned into a loft area. Endless possibilities for this “bonus room” include a lady’s hobby and craft room, a guy’s hangout room with TV and stereo or an exercise area for the whole family.
mosby%20garage%2004 Remodel Your Garage
The traditional workbench area can expand into an intricately organized system with extensive options for configuration and cabinet finishes.
mosby%20garage%2005 Remodel Your Garage
Along with painting or paneling the walls, flooring changes the look and feel of a garage. Advanced floor coatings and coverings make for easy clean up to avoid tracking dirt into the home.
mosby%20garage%2006 Remodel Your Garage
And let’s not forget that the garage still remains the domain of the car. For those who work on their vehicles, installing lights in the floor is the ultimate luxury.
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Another useful item is the motorized lift, making home car repairs and oil changes a breeze.
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To house multiple vehicles, increasing the depth of your garage is an option, as well as overhead platforms which use vertical space to gain extra space.
Other ideas for remodeling your garage into a multi-use space include: walk-in storage closet, laundry room, shower, home elevator access, pet room and mud room. Your garage could be the answer to many space and lifestyle needs.
Here is a garage project we did that completely changed the appearance of their home.  Have the Mosby architects and designers help you imagine the possibilities by calling 314.909.1800 or contacting us here.

Caring for Your Overhead Garage Door

01 mosby garage door Caring for Your Overhead Garage Door


An overhead garage door is one of the most-used items on a home, yet we pay very little attention to it until it begins to have problems.
There are several maintenance tasks you can do to keep the garage door operating smoothly. At least once a year, lubricate the rollers and tracks with WD-40, lightly spraying the center of each roller and the inside of the tracks. If you have an automatic garage door opener, regularly change the batteries on the remote and outdoor keypad, and be sure to replace any burnt out bulbs on the garage door opener power head that lights the interior of your garage.
Check the automatic garage door opener for proper sensor operation. Raise and lower the door, and as it’s going down, roll a large ball under the door. The door should automatically rise back up. If not, the sensor needs to be adjust by a professional.
If the overhead door just doesn’t move as smooth and swiftly as it once did, it can be one of two issues: the automatic opener or the springs.  To determine if it’s the electric opener, simply disconnect the opener mechanism from the door. If the door glides smoothly in manual mode, then the problem is with the automatic opener. Consult the owner’s manual or call a qualified company to assist.
If you determine that the automatic opener is good then it’s a problem with the door itself. If you struggle to lift the door, then springs are most likely the culprit.
02 mosby garage door spring Caring for Your Overhead Garage Door
A simple test can reveal what’s wrong with the springs. Place your overhead garage door in the half open position, and ideally, it will stay there. But rather than hold that position, if the door continues on up, the springs may be too tight; if it slams to the ground instead, the springs are too loose, broken or worn out.
Springs can be adjusted or replaced but DO NOT try do this yourself. The springs of a closed garage door have over 100 pounds of kinetic energy waiting to be unleashed. Mess with them and it’s an accident waiting to happen. Only trained overhead door professionals should touch the springs of your garage door.
Be sure to take a look at the condition of the surface of garage door. Metal doors with a factory finish are much like caring for a car – wash it on a regular basis, and keep an eye out for scratches, dings or blemishes that could invite rust.  For wood doors, look for soft spots, blistering or peeling paint which indicate water damage and repair or repaint as needed. Also take a look at your wood door when it is fully open and horizontal with the garage ceiling; if you see it sagging in the middle, it needs to be reinforced or replaced.
Hinges, lock bars, and tracks can all contribute to a sluggish garage door, so it’s a safe and wise move to let professionals assess the situation. If you are experiencing any operational or surface finish problems with your overhead garage door – or are ready for a new one to update the look of your garage – let a Mosby Building Arts Home Consultant asses your garage door and help get it back on track! Call the office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.

Staff Post by Ryan La Haie

As I made my way into work this morning, I quickly realized the warm summer weather has faded fast. Today, the frost on the windshield was heavy and I could see my breath for the first few miles of my drive. As my vehicle and being began to warm up, I quickly realized we are beginning to enter into what I believe is the greatest time of year - “FALL”. The leaves are starting to change and all of nature’s beauty is beginning to shift.

My blog entry is for all the Visbeen blog outdoorsmen out there. This is a season of harvest, a season of outdoor beauty, a season of male comradery, and a time where the “Man Cave” is open! Yes I said it. “Man Cave”. This is the place to showcase our prized possessions and our life’s work, no matter how insignificant the lady of the home feels about these items. Hey, we're proud of this stuff!

Here at Visbeen Associates, we have found many creative ways to handle this eclectic space. What if we could design a space that even the lady of the home could be proud of? Is this possible? We believe it is. So let me show you a few examples of what I think are great Visbeen designed “Man caves”.




Luxury Mediterranean House Plans | Luxury Mediterranean Homes

Luxury Mediterranean House Plans
Luxury Mediterranean House Plans

How can you bring more color to your home? There are many different ways it is just a short list of them.Using mosaic tiles, terra cotta color with bright colored brick or automatic on the floor and space for life. Take the concept even further into the room with mosaics on the walls as molding, around door frames, and a small portion back to your kitchen or bathroom. Start with small bags in a small space, like a small room or foyer, and use a dramatic sweep of lavender or red seal, which can be easily applied with a trowel.

Furniture is another sure way to add drama and color at home. Wood can be simple or complex projects, but when you are low and include different points of marble, metal or tile to create bright Mediterranean look. It could be more true, then the kind you've done in the store.

The types of materials such as terracotta, glass and steel used to decorate the home for speed. These materials are attractive for everyone because we all realize that time tested decorating ideas related to the care and expertise, and to fully respected.

Another idea to paint a wall tapestry. If you use iron fittings made for hanging, it will become more real. Wrought iron grille served as a simple decoration on the walls, or you can use to create or display the input point window, door or mirror. It all adds color and charm. Use a primer paint allowing accent pieces stand out.

Luxury Mediterranean Homes
Luxury Mediterranean Homes

Pottery is an easy way to add color to the space and shape and sense of drama. It may be in its natural state or earthenware can be glazed in beautiful colors, but either way it's much to add. Try giant pots, elaborate vases in the form of the old world and you will create a clear dramatic look for your home. Adding wrought iron racks and candle holders, wooden decorations, table runners, reflecting the color of ceramic and have a romantic setting. Other features that add to the environment is a polished brass urns, fountains, stone or any of the new resins that resemble stone fireplace relief and other details that contribute to this look.

All of this is to create an idyllic view of the Mediterranean sun, full sun and heat. Set as main theme, which produces interest, and will continue to hold a little look at you and your guests at every opportunity.

To plan, maybe it helps to think of a glass of Chianti at a villa in the Mediterranean Sea. Imagine yourself sitting in a garden enclosed concrete walls lined with sunflowers. Take the wooden doors with wrought iron scrolling for hinges and attractive. In the background you can see terra cotta tiles on the roofs of local houses. I expect that soon.



Music Lovers Dream of a Landmark's Transformation

While we wait in Grand Rapids for the 2 East Fulton building to undergo transformation and have new life breathed into it, music lovers are pushing for something similar to happen to a musical landmark in Chicago.

A South Michigan Avenue building had been dubbed the "home of the blues" and rock and roll. The building had housed a studio, which birthed the careers of blues artists such as Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and Chuck Berry, which in turn inspired rock and roll artists such as Beatles, Eric Clapton, and Mick Jagger.

Currently, this building and the surrounding area, called "Motor Row," where life and inspiration had been flowing has been silent and isn't acknowledged or known by many locals, let alone out-of-towners. But music lovers who know and appreciate the musical history of the area are pushing for it to become a "bright spot" and regain vibrant activity.

While much more planning needs to be done before the area can really be transformed, a great start to bringing back some life has been the installment of Cheap Trick, "a one-of-a-kind eatery, unique musical instrument museum, radio station, and performance space." This lively place just so happens to be our wall neighbors at the Visbeen Associates Chicago office! We have a front row seat to watch Motor Row's transformation, and have the opportunity to infuse our inspiration and creativity into the area. You can be sure when you visit, you'll be able to experience the growth, too.

Check out the full article and news clip about the dreams and beginnings of development for Motor Row.

Pink Saturday Apron Giveaway #8

This post should be titled: "How My Life Depended on the UPS/FedEx Man This Week" but read on, chicks!

The winner of last week's apron is:

Sherry of Country Wings in Phoenix

Congratulations!

And the winner of the tote is:

Robin of RobinfromCA

I seem to always be thanking Beverly for her Pink Saturdays but I truly do love this meme the best of all. Very easy for me to think of something pink to share with all you bloggers.

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This is the apron for this week's giveaway. You should know the drill by now: Leave a comment on this post right here. I'll draw the name sometime during the week and post the winner in next week's apron giveaway.

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Now, you can read about how my life depended on the UPS/FedEx man this week!

It's been a harrowing week for me.

About a week ago I started getting an ache in my jaw/tooth(?) but couldn't figure out which it was. Monday was a regular dental appointment to get my new crowns on the lower part of my jaw. I went in for my appointment and told them about the ache. They numbed me up with about 6-7 shots of novocaine to pull off my "halloween" teeth as I described them and to put on my permanent crowns. They couldn't find my crowns. They come from Los Angeles by UPS/FedEx and the truck normally would have delivered them the preceding Friday. They panicked, to say NOTHING about ME panicking! Yikes.

They got in contact with the lab in LA and they traced it to the truck that should have been there Friday but didn't and were on the truck to be delivered by noon that day—Monday. (I left the house at 10 am for an 11 am appointment.) As luck or fortune would have it, the crowns didn't get there until about 2 pm.

Well, it gets better. When she pulled off the temporary crowns, I heard an Uh-oh. This didn't exactly set well with me since I was in pain, but I trusted her and my dentist beyond measure to fix the problem. She said, "I see a root there." Okaaaaay, let's fix it quickly. So they did. The temps weren't on well enough and that allowed some seepage into that tooth area and the root was inflamed. Can we say "root canal" along with the new crowns? Well, at least I was deadened because as the morning and early afternoon wore on they had to keep deadening me with novocaine until the UPS/FedEx man arrived. So I truly was good and dead by 3 pm. I asked if I was exceeding the legal limit for a controlled substance and they said probably. Now, understand that with those bottom exposed (little ground down stubs!) I couldn't eat OR drink anything as roots and nerves were exposed. As I said, I left the house at 10 am; I got home at 4 pm. So I was without water or food for all that time. I stopped at Jack-in-the-Box for a milk shake on the way home and dribbled a lot of it down my shirt. I am so sore still today that hubs says I'm still talking funny. Now, don't get me wrong; I absolutely love my dentist and his staff. It was just one of those things, but hubs isn't letting me forget this is costing us about $9,000 trying to save teeth because of gum loss.

Sooooo, shameless as I am, I am going to show you what $9,000 worth of dental work can look like. They still have to whiten the molars in back to bring them up to the whiteness of the crowns, but after spending that much I sure want someone to get the benefit of those glams!!! Also, I had to do a very close up of the teeth so you couldn't see the chapped/flaky lips or cuts on my lip from all this. And I have a very small mouth. I think I can also see some spit bubbles in there, but no extra charge for those, chicks. (Oh, for esthetics sake, I can't show you the root canal. Ratz!!) ;)
~*~

Staff Post by Lori Potter

My Dream Home

I grew up in a small 70's ranch. I'm sure you've all seen them. A basic rectangle with a center front door and a picture window on one side and several bedroom windows on the other side. My sister and I shared a room and we all shared a single bathroom. I remember many fights and screaming matches that always ended in tears. I also remember sitting up way past bedtime sharing dreams and secrets with my sister. She was my playmate, conspirator, fellow dreamer, and best friend. I remember dreaming of living in one of those large houses where every child has their own room. Especially their own bathroom.

I went on to college and internships. I started working for Visbeen Associates, Inc. in 2000 One of the benefits and downfalls of my job is that you are constantly "building your dream home" in your mind. At that time I was engaged and dreaming up the house I would like to raise our future children in. I dreamed of a large home with a bedroom for each child, at least three bathrooms, plenty of room (out of sight) for their toys, an office for myself where I could work from home while they quietly played. Similar to these plans -




During the last eleven years, I have gotten married, had several children, and lost several loved ones. My values have changed dramatically. I want to be a presence in my children's lives not just present. I want to hear them playing, laughing, telling secrets, and sometimes fighting. I want to trip over the toys at three am when I am walking them back to bed. I want them to learn to be courteous, forgiving, loving, and God fearing. I want to know without a doubt that whatever life throws at them, their family and faith will always be there. They don't need their own bedroom or bathroom. They need a roof over their head and a pillow underneath it. More square footage doesn't make a better house. It is the quality of that square footage that makes a home. Now my dream home looks more like this -



I wonder what my dream home will look like in another 10 years.

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