Friday, August 31, 2007

Labor for Labor Day

What's a Labor Day weekend without, well, labor? So, instead of visiting family for a clam bake, I'll be painting all weekend. The plan is to get the guestroom finished. I'm very excited about the colors, which I picked up today. I hope it all turns out as well as I'm imagining it (and gets done as quickly as I'm dreaming). I'll post pictures when I'm finished. If, in fact, I do finish. Because right now I should be moving things out of the room and laying down drop cloths and I'm dreading all the sanding and taping and scraping.

It will be worth it.

It will be worth it.

It will be worth it.

(*peaking through squinty eyes* Is it done yet?)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #13

It's Thursday already???

Thirteen Things I Can't Live Without

1. Caffeine - Tea, coffee, soda...sometimes I just need a jolt.

2. Pens and paper - I've gotta be able to write. I don't even need a computer. Just give me a pen that never runs out of ink and a lifetime supply of paper and I'd be happy.

3. Phone - My family and friends are spread out all over the country. Phones are my lifeline to the people I care about.

4. My family - I'd be lost without their love and support.

5. My best girlfriends - Love, support, advice and fun--these girls are just as important to me as my family.

6. My dreams - They keep me going when I'm feeling useless, pointless, or lost in the world.

7. Chocolate - I think we can all agree that life without chocolate is not worth living.

8. Email - Another lifeline to the people I care about most.

9. Sushi - Some days my cravings for the stuff are out of control.

10. Reading material - Books, magazines, newspapers, blogs--I gotta read, people!

11. Nature - Even city dwellers need a little nature to remind them to stop and smell the roses, the rain, the freshly cut grass.

12. Faith in something bigger than myself - If I didn't believe in a Higher Power, I'd feel purposeless. I know there are plenty of people out there who disagree, but for me, my faith is what keeps me getting up in the morning.

13. And last, but certainly not least, My Love - OK, I'm sure I could live without him (just like I could probably live without most of the list above) but I certainly wouldn't want to.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Linky Post

I thought I'd pass on a few things to tide you over until I have time to write a well-organized, thoughtful post. Enjoy!

  • If you're looking for some great recipes to make use of all the fresh fruits and vegetables you're finding at the grocery stores and farmers' markets, look no further.

  • If you're a fan of Jennifer Weiner (and if you're not, you should be) check her out on Seattle's KKNW show "Chat With Women" at 11:05 ET. And while you're at it, check out what she has to say about the downfall of Miss America on NPR's All Things Considered.

  • Interested in a local eating challenge? Join the 30-day Eat Local Challenge on September 1st. You can plan a 100-Mile Thanksgiving, too.

If none of this piques your interests, I'll be back soon to write something substantial (hopefully). Have a good week!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Can Someone Toss Me a Lifepreserver?

I'm feeling bit overwhelmed, but what's new? As you can see by my lack of posts, things are a bit busy around here. It turns out that being busy during the work day doesn't bode well for getting personal stuff done. I didn't realize how much personal stuff I used to do during work hours at my last job until I started this new job. Since I'm actually doing work for 8 hours, I don't have time to pay my bills, check my email, research and plan my vacations. So, I have to do those things when I get home, along with mowing the lawn (does it ever stop growing???), washing the dishes, doing the laundry and getting rooms ready for a tentative painting weekend in the near future, which means less time for reading and writing blogs.

Hopefully, ya'll won't feel too neglected. Feel free to check in with a comment or email (thanks for being so good about this, Jen and Katy). Getting into a new routine is going to take some time, but I'll be around and I'll post when I can. Thanks to my faithful readers (all five of you) for sticking with me. I like having you around!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #11

Busy, busy, busy.

For this week's thirteen: 13 places I don't even have time to dream about right now.

Thirteen Places I'd Like to Visit in My Lifetime

1. The Grand Canyon

2. Hawaii - all the islands

3. Sydney, Australia

4. A beach in St. Lucia

5. A Buddhist temple in China

6. The ruins in Rome

7. Greece

8. Sicily

9. Barcelona

10. Paris

11. Alaska

12. Georgia (Atlanta and Savannah)

13. A lighthouse in Maine

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #10

Better late than never, I always say.

For this week's thirteen, I thought I'd share a few lessons I've learned (or am still learning) that I think some young (and not so young) people could also benefit from.

* Graphic courtesy of Write From Karen

Thirteen Things Young People (and Some Adults) Need to be Taught

1. Just because you can talk on a cell phone anywhere doesn't mean you should. In fact, if you're in the check out line or having dinner with a friend, hang up the phone or ignore that call. It's just plain rude not to.

2. You won't die if you don't check your email every hour, or every day for that matter. It's mostly spam, anyway. Trust me, the time you spend reading, deleting, sorting, writing and sending emails is time you'll never get back. Unless you're expecting something specific, use your time for more important things, like living.

3. And in related news: Being connected to everyone, from anywhere, all the time doesn't leave you much time to be you. Technology has done great things for our expanding worlds, but if you don't take time to yourself, to discover who you are and what you want out of life, you'll regret it later.

4. Travelling in packs doesn't exempt you from the rules of common courtesy.

5. Neither does being on your cell phone.

6. Or being in a rush to get somewhere. Look around you. Notice your surroundings. Smile. Hold that door for the person behind you. Say "Thank you" and "Excuse me," even if your friends don't. Remember, you get what you give.

7. A sincere smile does more for your looks than that lipstick, designer outfit or trendy hairstyle.

8. Your value isn't determined by the things you own, the gadgets you use or the people you know.

9. No matter what the media (or your friends, or your mother) tells you, you should judge yourself by what's on the inside rather than what's on the outside. Cliche, yes, but oh-so true.

10. Just because you treat others the way you'd like to be treated doesn't mean they'll reciprocate. That shouldn't stop you from doing it anyway.

11. Wanting something isn't the same as needing it. And no, you don't automatically deserve everything you want.

12. Hard work is good for you. It makes the finished product or final result that much more enjoyable.

13. Enjoy the ride. It may seem like you want to get there (wherever there is) as fast as possible. But you're experiencing a "there" right now. Just be, before you're 80 and realize that the "there" you were trying to get to is always out of reach.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Saturday, August 11, 2007


After a week on the new job, things seem to be going OK. I won't be running back to my old job just yet. The more I learn about the company, the more I like what they're about. I'm glad I'm going to be a part of what they do.

Still, I'm not feeling connected yet. I keep reminding myself that it took months to feel settled in at my last job. I didn't just immediately know and like everyone there, and I won't immediately know and like everyone at the new place either. Still, it would be nice if I was fast friends with everyone on day one so that I could stop worrying about whether I'm going to find anyone to relate to at work. I can't imagine going through day after day without having a conversation about something that's not work-related. I need personal connection. I can't spend my days in front of my computer or talking about projects without a break every now and then to talk about movies or music or even the weather.

It's going to get better, right?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

Something quick and easy for this week's Thirteen. I've been too busy to get creative. Just a few things you may not know about me.

Thirteen Random Things About Me

1. My favorite fruit is kiwi.

2. When I can see the stars in the sky, I always have to find the Big Dipper. It makes me feel grounded to know it's always up there.

3. My initials spell a swear word.

4. My favorite soda is Diet Dr. Pepper. It used to be Diet Coke with Lime, which still comes in a close second.

5. I used to be a poor cook. Then I stopped relying on recipes and started experimenting, and now I think I'm pretty good at it.

6. I was my high school class valedictorian.

7. I'd rather spend money on a good meal than a CD.

8. I'd rather buy a new pair of shoes or a cute bag than buy a good meal.

9. My favorite color is red.

10. I look great in brown.

11. Fresh flowers make me smile, whether they're on my table or in a field.

12. Any movie with dancing in it is sure to be on my list of favorites. Yes, I like to live vicariously through those who have that talent.

13. The smell of vanilla or baking cookies can erase any hint of a bad day for me.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, August 06, 2007

First Day Fun

Day one on the new job went down without any major hitches. There was orientation information galore, computer set up, email account creation, meetings with one of my supervisors, lots of new people with names I have to remember, desk choosing and settling in. Tomorrow will be more of the same. It wasn't much to talk about, but I did have an interesting encounter.

I sat in the conference room with a group of newbies like myself, waiting for the first orientation session to start. A young woman walked in and sat down across the table from me. She looked very familiar and almost immediately my stomach started doing flip flops. She interviewed me for a position at another company several months ago. Slide after slide flipped by while fidgeted in my chair, playing out the possible ways this could all go down:

1. She remembers me as the totally unqualified, dull candidate she interviewed.

2. She remembers me as the totally unqualified, dull candidate who totally bombed the editing exam portion of the interview and then badgered the HR department for weeks hoping for a second interview.

3. She realizes she'll now be working closely with said unqualified, dull candidate who bombed the editing exam and is, at this moment, trying to figure out how to tell our supervisor they've made a HUGE mistake.

4. (Oh God, please let this be the one...) She has no recollection of me, whatsoever.

It turns out she did totally remember me, although we tactfully avoided any drawn out conversation about my interview. She did mention that she's starting a new job because the other company just went through a series of layoffs, though. Turns out that however well I may (or may not) have done, I was better off not hearing back from that company. Now let's just hope I made a better impression and did better on that test than my worried old mind will let me believe. Otherwise, I'll be calling my old boss and begging for my job back.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Smart Gut

Prompt #71: Decision

I'm a control freak. I like to plan. I need to know what will happen next, so I analyze and re-analyze all of my options. When opportunities present themselves, I'm not generally one to jump in with both feet and start paddling. I'm more of a toe-dipper. I like to test the waters, feel for the temperature, lick my finger and gauge the wind, before I decide if I should take the plunge.

This hesitancy to act, my desire to consider all the possibilities and make the right decision based on informed and thoughtful deliberation, has held me back from a number of experiences in my lifetime. When I realize this has happened, I slowly and methodically work my way back to the place I believe I was meant to be. But I do it on my terms, in my own time. I make my plan and I forge forward. I'm not one to do things on a whim. I test the fates and spit in the face of destiny. Destiny who? I make my own destiny.

But I wish I were two-feet jumper. I wish I could see an open door and walk through it without a moment's hesitation. I wish I could make a decision and stand confident in my choice. I wish I could see opportunity and jump on its back, riding it like a dolphin into the sunset. I want to trust my instincts, but I'm not sure I even know what an instinct is. So I've been testing the waters of my gut.

Doing a little innocent job searching, just to see what was out there, I came across a few positions that sounded promising and decided to take a chance. I sent off my resume and cover letter and then let it go. When an email requesting an interview landed in my inbox about a month later, I decided to call the number and set a date. I had my suit cleaned and I put on my best face. With nothing to lose, no need for a new job and no pressure to do well, I decided to relax and let my personality shine through. I answered questions with confidence and looked my interrogators in the eyes. And when I didn't hear from them for a week and a half, I decided to followed up. I made certain these people knew who I was. Even if I didn't get the job, I made the decision to give the Universe every opportunity to bring something new and challenging into my life.

I'll be starting my new job tomorrow, all because I chose to decide instead of sitting back and letting opportunities pass me by. It turns out my gut's a lot smarter than I give it credit for.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Mi Vida Local: What I Learned

Although my commitment to eating more locally produced foods didn't stop on Wednesday when the calendar flipped to August, the Mi Vida Local experiment did. If I'm completely honest with you all, it didn't go as well as I had hoped. My trip mid-month messed up my farmer's market schedule and left me eating less-than-local for much of the last two weeks. I did the best I could, given the circumstances. But being the perfectionist that I am, I'm disappointed in my performance.

My experiment wasn't a complete wash. Here's what I learned:

  • Even in the middle of summer, when local produce is plentiful, eating locally isn't always convenient.

  • Eating locally might not be convenient, but the benefits are worth the trouble.

  • Even if I can't eat locally for every meal of every day, eating locally grown and produced foods whenever I can is good for me, good for the environment and good for my tastebuds.

  • Creative cooking is a great way to wind down at the end of the day.

  • Fresh herbs make food better.

  • Ripe tomatoes taste sweet and tangy. Sliced up and sprinkled with a little bit of salt and pepper, they make a great snack.

  • Bulk buying at the farmer's market isn't a great idea when you're cooking for one and don't have the time or space to can or freeze the leftovers.

  • Trying a vegetable I've never tried before is what I consider an adventure these days. Purple peppers, swiss chard--now that's living on the edge.

  • Paying a little more for peaches and tomatoes that actually taste like peaches and tomatoes is well worth cutting back on lattes and lunches out.

So even if I didn't meet all of my goals during Mi Vida Local, I know that eating locally can be done. I'll continue to eat locally as much as possible. And next year I think I'll take it up a notch. I'm planning to buy a small freezer so that next summer I can put away more fresh fruit and vegetables for the winter months. I'm already thinking about how I can expand my backyard garden. And I just might venture into canning territory if all goes well.

*Thanks for the prompt Jen!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

During my recent visit with my family, I realized that, despite its many drawbacks, there's a lot to love about the town I grew up in.

Thirteen Things I Rediscovered While
Visiting My Hometown

1. The light breeze that blows off the lake is the most refreshing breeze there is.

2. Thousands of fireflies sparkle in corn fields like earth-bound stars.

3. The stars in the sky are so plentiful there's little room for darkness.

4. Open green space is valuable, beautiful and necessary.

5. Just because land is available doesn't mean you should put a house on it.

6. An entire morning and most of the afternoon spent chating with a good friend or your little sister is time well spent.

7. Even the most innocuous events and comments can become major drama.

8. Fireworks displays are more exciting with a crowd of kids around.

9. Having a support system of friends and family is a blessing that should be cherished.

10. Running into old friends brings back memories--some pleasant, some better forgotten.

11. Toasting marshmallows in a back-yard bonfire gives me warm fuzzies.

12. The things you try hardest to get away from are often the things you come back to time and again.

13. Small towns are full of people with big hearts.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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