Born to Deliver… An Article on the Importance of Excellent Service


I’m in sales and appreciate the importance of quality service levels offered to my clients. In this day and age, people are so quick to complain when something goes wrong so when I receive service levels that impress me, I make sure to let the appropriate staff know such as a manager at a restaurant or Southwest Airlines corporate.

My husband, AJ and I have found the highest levels of service in a most unexpected way. Years ago, I read a book called ‘The Fred Factor”, about a United States Postal Service deliveryman who delivered here in Colorado. Let me introduce you to our “Fred”. His name is Bill. Bill Born, that is, who also happens to be a USPS delivery man, our delivery man. If ever I have witnessed somebody go above and beyond the “call of duty”, it’s Bill. He takes pride in what he does for a living and it shows!

Me and Bill on a nice Colorado day!

Winter months in Colorado must be lonely for a sociable guy like Bill. I imagine that he possibly gets his route done sooner, too, because we are all inside and not taking up his time.

Let’s fast forward to the springtime in Colorado when everyone comes out of hibernation. My husband owns his own company and I work from home so we move to the great outdoors to enjoy the warm Colorado sun. It’s just as easy to work from our laptops on our front patio or our “Cantina”, as our neighbors have fondly named a different part of our patio.

Also sitting outside basking in the sun, is our little furbaby, Bevo, a gentle-tempered Shih tzu-Poodle mix (Shihpoo), named after the University of Texas Longhorn mascot (not germane to the story, except Bill is a huge college football fan and immediately picked up on the name and college). It’s important to note Bevo’s presence because I believe he’s equally, if not more, excited than us to see Bill’s smiling face each day as his mail truck turns the corner to our street. And there’s a reason.

Bill turns the corner and pulls up to our front yard. He gets out as Bevo watches hesitantly for only a second, until Bill rounds his truck. That’s when our little guy rushes to greet Bill eagerly waiting to receive his daily scratches and belly rubs from his favorite deliveryman.

Sweet, right? Absolutely.

We love that Bill treats our dog so nicely, and Bevo clearly loves him. But what about us, his customers? We have the community mailboxes, so shipping a larger package isn’t easy without concerns that someone might take it. My husband asked Bill about it and Bill gave us a USPS “basket” and has committed to driving by our front porch every day to see if we have a larger package to mail. We get a note in our mailbox every single week informing us of the day that Bill will be off so we know not to expect any large package to go out that day. Talk about personal service. He will do that for anybody who requests it.

So Bill pulls up to our house and we don’t want to take too much of his time, but we do take the opportunity to learn more about him each time he stops by. One of the more recent events in his life that he shared with us is that his daughter has graduated from high school and will be going onto college in the fall (talk about a proud dad)! Of course we have to discuss our preferred college teams during the fall and how they did the previous weekend. We share a love for BBQ and my husband being from Texas tends to be smoking ribs or a brisket when Bill briefly swings by mid-day.

AJ and I would like to think we are friendly people. We know LOTS of neighbors and previously lived only a cul-de-sac away. Bill has served our community’s route for about a year and a half. We can name random people that we are friends with throughout his service route and Bill knows their address. He even usually knows what kind of dog they have! It’s actually become a fun game to play with him and he never ceases to impress us with his knowledge.

He went on vacation around the same time as us this year. We extended our stay in Florida for a few reasons and held our mail officially with the USPS, but I also texted our friend, Bill who replied with “I’m taking care of you.” Do you know your mailman’s name or have their number? What about your local produce guy’s or banker’s name? Anyone whom you interact with frequently for that matter? Everyone has a story and a purpose and both AJ and I find that it’s enjoyable to learn more about other people’s lives who we interact with daily or weekly.

We have Bill’s cell number because we consider him a friend and want to invite him and his family to a BBQ on his day off. We also know our produce people at our local grocery store. We actually get hugs from them when we see them. So many people we encounter on a daily basis are providing a service and sell us products on a daily basis so why not get to know them better?

Every person we encounter leaves a footprint in our lives, Bill’s has been a significant one for us by demonstrating the importance of taking pride in what he does by continuously providing service levels that exceed our, his customer’s, expectations.

We all need more Bill’s in our life. So… who is your “Bill” in life? Comment below! More importantly we should all strive to be someone else’s “Bill”!

#servicelevels #aboveandbeyond #BorntoDeliver #USPS

Do We Have A Generation “ME” problem?


Yesterday, another tragic school shooting has devastated Colorado once again at a K-12th grade charter school less than a 5-minute drive from my own daughter’s high school. The wounds from Columbine seem to get ripped open for our communities over and over again when we get the alerts that our schools are on lockdown or lockout or there is an actual active shooter situation. Everyone has had ENOUGH!

First, I want to offer my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of 18-year-old, Kendrick Ray Castillo, the STEM student who was killed in this awful event, a young man just a few days away from graduating high school. Now instead of planning his graduation party, his parents are planning his funeral. It’s devastating to think about. I simply cannot imagine what it feels like to lose a child.

I also offer my heartfelt thoughts and prayers of healing to the faculty, students, first responders, team of doctors who treated the injured patients and everyone’s families affected by the shooting.

Many students acted courageously by attempting to stop the shooters, including Kendrick and it is believed that this heroic response saved the lives of so many students. The prompt arrival of the first police officers on scene and their actions of entering the school immediately, running toward the threat, also undoubtedly prevented further tragedy.

I took to Facebook to find as much information as was available to us in the immediate aftermath. As expected, my FB friends expressed a gamut of emotions- and rightfully so as we try to make sense of yet another school shooting tragedy. Grief, fear, confusion and anger… just to name a few.

The Second Amendment argument inevitably surfaces almost instantly following any school shooting, but that’s not what this article is about.

The resounding theme whenever a school shooting happens is that “our kids have a right to feel safe at school”. I cannot agree more! In fact, every child has a right to feel safe whether they are riding in the car with their parents, watching a movie premier, attending a marathon, flying on an airplane, worshipping at church, or enrolled in a day care located in a federal building. And I believe EVERYONE has a right to feel safe doing these activities. Unfortunately, evil exists and people make horrific decisions that cause tragedies beyond our comprehension.

Of course the question of “Why?” undeniably surfaces. We want to make sense of a senseless act. What has changed since I was a kid growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s?

I believe in the era where the internet was born, we (my generation) were bombarded with tragic news stories that spread not only quicker but to a greater audience. This resulted in my generation becoming overly cautious as we had our own children. Let me expand on this thought by first talking about my own childhood.

Growing up, my parents warned me about kidnappers. My mom went as far as offering up actual instructions of what to do in the event someone tried to lure us in their vehicle. She encouraged my brother and me to always be aware of our surroundings. Despite this possible threat, we were allowed to ride our bikes to school, almost a mile away from home. In addition, we would ride our bikes around our neighborhood to visit any friend we wanted to or ride to our local Circle K, which was conveniently located across the street from an inpatient mental health facility. We didn’t have cell phones, GPS tracking devices or any other technology that kept us in constant contact with our parents. We might’ve been at one friend’s house and then we all decided to go to another friend’s house where we might play a pick up game of whiffle ball. This is where the distinction between how my generation was raised and how I and my peers raised our children comes in.

As a child, playing with my peers afforded my friends and I the opportunity to problem solve and accept the outcomes of situations when they arose (even when the outcome was sometimes not in my favor). That taught us to not only come up with solutions, but the value of compromise- when appropriate- and also to cope with the end result.

We were allowed to have a healthy level of competition and develop our strengths at school. For example, I cannot carry a tune (just ask my older daughter and her friends from the Alabama tailgate, I’m 100% certain that they will all concur). I had friends with amazing voices and other musical talents. I wished I could sing better and I admired them for their ability, but being aware that they were superior in that area did not make me feel bad or less worthy. I knew I had my own set of talents and strengths and was encouraged to nurture those. Because I loved sports, I also looked forward to our annual Field Day. You bet I was competing for as many blue ribbons, as possible. I won some, I lost some. I was okay with that. Same with softball and basketball games that I played in as I got older.

Now, not all of my friends were athletically-inclined, but our schools afforded them opportunities throughout the years to support and develop their talents, as well.

I loved and broke hearts and had my heart broken many times. I was bullied horribly my freshman year and was, at times, a bully (I have since had the opportunity to apologize to that person as an adult and she was very gracious). These aren’t fun experiences to go through but they are a part of life. EVERYONE must learn to deal with it and develop the most basic level of coping skills when these undesirable circumstances occur.

Let’s now consider how my children and their peers (the “internet” generation) have been raised. Long gone are the days of pick-up whiffle ball games in someone’s backyard. They are now scheduled play dates where the moms hangout (and likely get involved when a dispute occurs). In organized sports (now year-round) where the parents and coaches handle any conflict that arises.

We’ve witnessed a decrease in personal accountability while the lack of respect for authority is on the rise. Parents now blame teachers and administrators for their child’s shortcomings rather than address the issue with the child. There is little consequence for actions and behavior and there’s seemingly a mounting sense of entitlement (a recipe for disaster).

Lives are undeniably busy with everyone going in all different directions. As an example, kids are pressured to do sports year-round and be the best at it, while maintaining straights A’s in AP classes. The standards of what being “home” feels like and “family dinners”, including quality of food, have changed drastically over the last couple of decades. Mostly everything has become more important and has replaced the value of quality family time, which should consist of down-time. These kids need to just take a breath sometimes from life, sports, other activities, school and most definitely the little devices constantly in front of their faces.

The old-school field day doesn’t even exist anymore, everyone gets that participation trophy or ribbon. They don’t have to work for it and the life lesson that you win some and you lose some falls by the wayside. Or that hard work pays off. They’ve lost incentive to actually earn what they want.

Nobody wants their child’s heart to be broken, but it will heal. Parents need to teach their children coping skills when these sort of circumstances arise. Rejection is a part of life, everyone needs to learn how to handle it. Period.

It’s become a generation “ME” where they constantly take pictures of themselves and their value is determined by the number of the likes they get on their Instagram posts. The pressure for this age group appears to be astronomical, I believe mostly because of the constant access they have to technology. They take “keeping up with the Jones'” to a whole new level constantly comparing themselves with their peers. Additionally, this generation seems a whole lot braver behind their keyboards and write things they would never say to a person’s face.

Let’s rewind back to my childhood again. When I was in school, I either had to say it in person or call the person on the phone. I risked 1) getting into a fight, something most people wish to avoid, or 2) actually hurting the person. I would see it on their face or hear it in their voice. Talk about going to bed feeling like a complete jerk. It’s the emotional connection with the other person during those kind of interactions that teach us to do better and be sympathetic toward others. Those emotional connections are lacking when these teenagers communicate primarily through text or social media platforms. Cyber-bullying has been out of control, but thanks to legislative efforts and enough sympathetic souls that recognize it’s not okay, hopefully it’s taking a turn in the right direction.

Now, I’m not saying this entire generation fits this mold described above. In fact, there are many more kids and young adults, than not, that I know who interact very well with adults, exhibit tremendous amounts of sympathy and kindness, and have learned valuable coping skills and will be very successful in life.

This next question also inevitably surfaces when a tragedy strikes. I myself have brought it up from time to time. Is this a mental health issue? In some cases probably, but in most cases I feel its a declination in accountability and teaching our children to feel sympathy/empathy toward others. By the way, in our community, the affluent Douglas County, Colorado it can take 2-3 months to get a child into the Children’s Hospital mental health facility for an intake appointment. Honestly, these kids think they have problems? I will validate that some do have genuine mental health issues that need to be treated, but I believe a majority of these issues can be addressed and corrected in the home, especially if the behavior is a matter of being spoiled rotten. Disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional and the aforementioned section is merely my opinion from observation through the years.

We can only hope this same generation that I helped mold can start to recognize and understand the many perils associated with unfettered access to technology and that they decide to significantly limit the use with their own children. Hopefully, they choose to sit down and have home-cooked family dinners and discuss issues and feelings to ensure they are developing sympathetic children and remain involved in their children’s lives. May they nurture their children’s strengths and talents so the pressure of what their peers think about them matters just a little less (though it will still matter). Maybe they can undo some of this social ineptness that now exists. There will be a greater respect for authority versus a lack of accountability, an appreciation for things people do for them versus a sense of entitlement. They will understand the value of hard work and healthy competition so that when they get out into the real world they can feel confident in themselves to become a productive, contributing adult member of society.

#Enough #SchoolShootings #Society #RaiseKidsRight

Have you ever wanted to be an artist? With “My Paint By Numbers”, you can be! Caution: It’s Addicting!

I’m sure everyone remembers the paint by numbers when we were kids. I feel lucky enough to have come across a website for adults and it is so much fun! This is like Canvas and Cocktails on steroids!! I personally love it because it helps me limit technology/social media use.

My first painting- Safari Sunset

My Paint By Numbers offers a large variety of categories to choose from. My personal favorites are the elephants, beach houses and Mediterranean village scenes. There are many companies online offering a variety of options.

It’s as easy as selecting your favorite one, two or three paintings and placing your order! It takes about three weeks to arrive from my company of choice. You can even order a custom canvas piece by uploading a photo. Note: The colors for the custom canvas I painted were not as accurate as the photo and I had to make adjustments on my own.

Included in your order:

  • Canvas with numbers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Numbered paint
  • Some prints include a piece of paper with the matching numbers (this is very handy as you begin to paint). I reference mine a lot. Tip: if your canvas doesn’t include a paper print replica, be sure to take pictures of your canvas with your phone, in sections if necessary, so you can reference it as you begin to paint.

I also bought:

  • A foam board- cut it down to fit the canvas (most are 16 x 20)
  • Clothespins to secure the canvas to the foam board
  • Small tabletop easel

When your canvas arrives, set up your painting area. In addition to clipping the canvas to the foam board and placing on the easel, I have a cup with water, another cup to hold the dry paintbrushes not in use, a folder paper towel and usually my phone and earbuds so I can “watch” Netflix while painting.

I start with the darkest color and my painting journey begins. I fill in all the numbers on the canvas that correspond with that color of paint. Then I continue in order of darkest to lightest of paint. I’ve done it many different ways, this is my favorite. Depending on if you’re left or right-handed, will determine which side of the canvas to start on to avoid smearing areas you’ve already painted. I’m left-handed so I start at the top right corner and make my way to the left and then keep moving down and to the left. Also, I choose to lay the foam board almost flat to paint versus painting upright on the easel. That’s just a matter of personal preference.

Second painting- Beach House Escape


  • There have been times I thought I would run out of a particular color, I never have, it’s okay to be generous so there are white spots in the painted areas. If you do run out or think you will, you can email them with your order number and the color you need and they will send. That could take a few weeks so plan accordingly if you are running low. Worst case, continue on with the other colors and finish that number when the extra paint arrives.
  • If paint seems a little chunky, I just add water and stir it up will, it goes on a lot smoother and will ultimately take less time to complete your painting.
  • As you get close to completing your work, it’s fun to stand back and see your painting come to life. Shadows, accents etc. make it look professional.
  • Work on it when you’re in the mood and take a break when needed. It’s a very rewarding hobby!

You’ve completed your painting! Now what?

My third painting- Small Town By The Sea

Canvas needs to be stretched around stretching bars. I purchase already stretched canvas from Michaels and REMOVE the canvas to use the bars. I bought them on sale for 5 for $10 so the bars (already put together) were only $2/each). If not on sale, you can always use their 40% off coupon they usually have available. Now you can either purchase a canvas stretcher from Amazon and staple gun with staples or take it to Michael’s custom frame shop and have them stretch the canvas for you (which is what I do). If you do it yourself, there are canvas stretching videos available on YouTube.

My Paint By Numbers offers custom canvases from your photos. I painted this photo of Bubba for my mother-in-law. Bubba passed away in November of 2018. Some of the colors were off. Had I used their suggestion, his hair would’ve been green! So I made small adjustments.

It’s time to show off your hard work! Your final task is to pick a frame that compliments not only your painting, but also your home décor.

Happy Painting!

Note: These are my suggestions based on my personal preferences. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any good tips!

Tip: If you’re on Facebook, join the support group as people post their paintings and you may find one that interests you that you would otherwise not see.

#Paintbynumbers #Addicting #Hobby #Artist #Acrylic