Thursday, August 22, 2013

Red Kitchen History

If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have seen the red kitchen that I sat in when I began blogging about the food that we love in our household.  You may know that our friend John R. sat in this very kitchen with us while he bid on the Honus Wagner baseball card for $2 million dollars.  $2.1 or $2.3 or $2.6....there were a few bids.  We didn't let him stop until he won.  It's easy when it's not your money.
So here's a little history about the red kitchen, and how it came about.  In 2003, my friend Regan told me to go to the copier machine and make copies of a book she had called, "How to Get a Job in Pharmaceutical Sales."  There were 5 of us who left the TV station that year to go on to pharma jobs.  Candace was first, then Zach, then Jamie, then me, and lastly Regan.

I remember Candace telling me that she was going to pick up her Chrysler Sebring, and she had just set up her home office.  That sounded pretty exciting to me.  After I landed my job with King Pharmaceuticals, I ran into Candace while she was with AstraZeneca.  She was building a house in Chenal.  I decided that if she could build a house in Chenal, I could build a house in Villages of Wellington.  During the pharmaceutical boom at that time, a quarterly bonus check could buy you a small car, matching Tag Heuer watches, or possibly a down payment on a house, depending on your ranking in the company.

After spending a lot of time convincing my husband that we could do it, he finally gave in and eventually said that he would let me pick out every detail of the house myself with no objection from him.  All he wanted was a new recliner front and center facing our TV.  Well, one recliner would not do.  I had to get him two.  My designer friend Scott said I could just break up my red sectional.  Like so.
So I picked out everything.  And I had so much fun doing so!  The thing I'm most excited about is that I get to do this again soon!

About a year ago at this time, my husband accepted a job in Memphis.  Plans were to travel with his company.  I quit my job in radio sales because I just didn't have fun with them anymore.  We thought we were going to Memphis, so we put the house up for sale.
One weekend, we thought it would be fun to get a hotel room at the Marriott and have some River Market fun.  Somehow we walked by a psychic place, and my daughter Gianna asked if she could have a reading.  3 questions for $10.  Just for fun, I took her in.  We were told that she was too young for a reading, so G begged me to do the 3 questions.
I asked if I would go back to work after I've quit working.  She said, "Yes....with your ART."  Was she talking about my blog, or was she hinting at Ark Times, somehow?  There are pictures involved in print advertising...I was a little surprised that I would be returning to the working world.  I thought I would love doing nothing.  What I love about my job now is that it is a fun work environment with super intelligent people who I can hold engaging conversations with as well as witty sales people who get me and entertain me.  My counterpart Darielle introduced me to Between Two Ferns, and I love that we share the same humor!  Then there's Tiffany - who is so on top of everything, she's been there the longest, and truly leads by example.  When I've reached her experience level at the publication, nobody question me.  Ha!  ;)  I love our little corner in the office!
I asked if I would ever come back after I move away.  She said, "No," but in a way that I wondered if she meant that I would not move away, because she added, "You build again."  That phrase simply lifts my spirits coming from anybody!  I loved building my first house!  But if I build again, I don't want too much white like my old Master Bath.  I wanna go with dark wood in my next one.
I was very fortunate to have been able to choose from furniture when I won the King Pharmaceuticals award for gaining the most market share in the country.  My prize was an all - inclusive trip to Cabo, but I already had one of those planned with my bff Angelica, so I asked if I could have points instead.  They gave me 8,000 points which translated to about $8,000 that I used to furnish my new house.  The king - sized bed, armoire, red couch, and many pieces of All - Clad kitchen ware were my rewards for that honor.

Although I loved that house, there were several things that I would have done differently.  As I start my collection of pages torn out of Architectural Digest, I am excited about the coming year because I'm hopeful that this time next year, I will be building my next dream home!  So, everything does happen for a reason.
Oops addendum:  I just realized after I originally posted this that I didn't complete the story!  My husband ended up not liking the job in Memphis.  We traveled back and forth all last summer, considering the move. We sold the house, moved into The Ridge at Chenal, and finally decided to stay in Little Rock.  I also came out of early retirement to go to work for my favorite publication, the Arkansas Times.  My husband is currently happily employed at a Conoco Phillips processing plant in Alaska.  But he's also talking to the Chevron people in West Africa....translation:  untaxed salary = paying cash for a new house!

Also, my next house will not have these half moon window toppers.  Did I mention I will not be using the same builder again?


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