Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Spreading My Creative Wings

I'm a little late getting around to this, but I thought I should let you know that I'm taking on a bit of a creative challenge--starting tomorrow.

Prompted by some posts I bumped into about Project 365, a challenge to take and post one picture every day for a year, I've decided to give it a try. Initially, I'll be doing the challenge as a Project 31 for the month of May. With all my other responsibilities, I don't want to take on a challenge that will keep me from getting my work done, but I do want to start taking pictures again. And what a better way to get my feet wet again than to plug my nose and dive in with my clothes on, right? If I don't drown, I just might continue with my own Project 365.

This may seem out of the blue, and for many of my readers it probably is, but photography has always been something I've loved. I've been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, and for a while I was known as the girl who always had the camera. Part of this was a defense mechanism (if I'm behind the camera I'll never be in front of it) and part of it was the challenge of creating that perfect frame. While photography has slipped down my list of priorities, it's never been far from my mind, and I'd like to get back into it, to stretch my creative muscles and start getting into the habit of taking pictures again.

I've created a new blog solely for the purpose of posting these pictures and chronicling my foray back into the world of shutter speed, light saturation and aperture size. I'll be working with my point-and-shoot digital for now, but if it looks like I'll be taking more pictures in the future, I might have to go out and get myself one of these, which I've been eying for weeks now. Since I just purchased a new computer, I doubt I'll be getting a new camera in the near future, but a girl can dream, can't she?

Anyway, if you're interested in my photography challenge, check out the new site starting tomorrow. If not, well, that's why I decided to post them on a separate blog.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Small Efforts, Large Results?

I tend to be the all-or-nothing type. If I can't finish something, I don't like to start it. And if it I make a mistake or get derailed, I have this tendency to just give up. Thus, my new mantra:

Small efforts bring large results when repeated often enough. - Ralph Marston
It seems simple enough, and yet I'm having difficulty getting it through my thick skull. I've been getting a bit frustrated with my inability to get large chunks of any of the following completed in a timely manner:
  • That novel I started
  • A book proposal I'm working on
  • Landscaping of my back yard
  • Landscaping of my front yard
  • Saving 6 months income for that day when I finally decide to kick Corporate America to the curb and go full-time freelance
  • Reaching my goal weight
  • Developing a consistent yoga practice
  • Getting my articles published
  • Reading a book each month
  • Renovation of my home (this, of course, is also hindered by the money factor)
Considering the fact that I work a full-time job, am technically single and have to take care of all household chores by myself, I suppose it's not surprising that many of these things have been on my to-do (or to-finish) list for quite a while. While I'm slowly working toward completion, for this all-or-nothing, perfectionist type who hears stories about busy people like me who get it all done despite the challenges, it's tough to still see these tasks lingering. That's why I've taken on this new mantra.

Today, instead of focusing on what I haven't completed, what I can't get done in the small amount of time I have, I'm going to focus on what I have completed and what I can get done. With each small effort, I'll be that much closer to checking these items off my to-do list.

What small efforts are you making to get closer to your goals? Suggestions for being more productive are always welcome.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New Computer = New Posts

Coming soon...

In the meantime, here's a short list of things I did over the weekend while (mostly) not spending time on the computer or watching TV:

  • Shopped around for a new computer
  • Cleared out another small patch of my "garden" for future planting
  • Did four loads of laundry
  • Attended the CSA orientation, including a tour of the farm
  • Made my favorite three-bean salad for the orientation potluck
  • Picked up a few things at the grocery store and Walmart
  • Got a new set of glasses at Marshall's to replace the ones I keep breaking
  • Read a magazine
  • Cuddled with the cat
  • Purchased a new computer and proceeded to transfer everything from my old computer to the new (in fits and starts since the old one won't power on for long)
  • Watched Nancy Drew for nostalgia's sake...not exactly the same as I remember
  • Had dinner with My Love
All-in-all a good weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #22

I'm trying to spend a bit more time recognizing the blessings in my life. That's the inspiration for this week's list.

Thirteen Things That I'm Grateful For

1. Sunny days and warm spring air. They're making getting out of bed in the morning so much easier.

2. The ability to pay my bills, buy food, and fill my car with gas. Not everyone is as lucky.

3. A good mortgage broker who told me the whole story about my mortgage before I got it and helped me avoid the current foreclosure situation that so many are facing right now.

4. A strong body that keeps me moving toward my fitness goals.

5. My cuddly cat, who keeps me company when I'm lonely.

6. My Love, who can surprise me with the simple gift of his time and make me love him even more.

7. My mother, who has given so much of herself, not just for her children (biological and not-so-much), but also for so many others.

8. All of my family and friends, who continue to be a web of support and encouragement every day.

9. The ability to do what I love every day and make money for it (see #2).

10. Opportunities. So many opportunities.

11. A love for learning, something that keeps me reading, debating, caring and searching.

12. Everyday blessings, like bright pink blossoms on my azalea bushes, waking up to the chirping of birds instead of the beeping of my alarm clock, and a smile from a friendly stranger.

13. My dreams and goals; they keep me moving toward my best self.

What are you grateful for this week?

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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, April 21, 2008

Can I Do It Again?

It came to my attention this morning that this week is National TV Turnoff week yet again. If you'll recall, I've attempted to participate for the last two years, so I couldn't let it go by this year without giving it the good old college try. Since most shows are repeats right now and the only show I'm really interested in seeing this week is the new episode of Lost, I should be good to go. I'm expecting to get a lot done this week.

The productivity of not turning on the television should be enough of a motivator for me to leave it off most of the time anyway, but it doesn't usually last. In all honesty, there's generally not much on it that I want to watch anyway. Why is it then, I wonder, that it's usually on, and I'm often watching it? Is it my need for background noise, or a secret desire to do anything but work, even watch Deal or No Deal? I have a total of five channels on a good day, and yet still I manage to waste hours watching (or listening to) shows that I don't even care about. I have piles of books and magazines to be read, stories to write, a novel to finish, a book proposal to eek out and yet still, I turn on that television and stare into its glow.

But not this week. This week I will produce, I will resist, I will be strong. Anyone care to join me?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Scribbling: The Painter in Me

For this week's prompt, I thought I'd paint you some pictures.

Prompt #107: Compose

If I were a painter, I'd compose beautiful landscapes and detailed still lifes. Unfortunately, I am not a painter. I've tried to be, even taking art classes to train my shaky hands and my mind's eye, but all to no avail. I have what I like to believe is a painter's eye, though. Sometimes I see scenes and objects in such detail, with such beauty, that I wish I could translate those images onto a canvas. I have to settle, instead, for painting pictures with my words.

If I could compose some paintings for you, I would create a series of images from my hometown—a small village, nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario.

I. The ground is covered in a bright white blanket of freshly fallen snow. The night sky is a deep shade of midnight blue, interrupted by millions of twinkling pin-prick stars. The street lamps of Main Street cast shadows on the sidewalk and the snow crackles beneath my boots. My breath is nearly frozen solid, a cloud of white as soon as it leaves my body. It feels good, the cold I capture as I inhale, warming it in my lungs and then releasing it again.

II. The maple trees are just beginning to show their buds, a welcome sight after seemingly endless months of snow and cold. School children laugh and scream on the playground. It's recess and you can hear them from just about any corner of this small town. The ground is still soft and spongy from the melt, and will be for a few weeks, but the grass is greening and getting longer. The scent of life hangs in the air, floating on the soft breeze that finally holds less chill than warmth.

III. The sun is hot and small American flags wave from every few telephone poles down all two of the main streets in town. Barrel planters along Main Street have taken the place of snow banks and overflow with bright colors declaring the season of summer celebrations. The tourists linger at storefronts and dine at outdoor tables. You can hear the clinking of silverware on plates and bowls. Music drifts on the air now, carried from backyard parties and Sunday concerts alike. The marina is filled with children feeding ducks and sail boats, bearing names like Serendipity and My Lady Love, heading in or out of town. The sun glows as it sets, reflected on the peaks of gentle waves in shades of pink and orange and red. I sit on the bench watching it disappear over the edge of my world.

IV. Leaves crackle beneath my feet as I stroll down the sidewalk of Main Street. The browns and oranges on the trees are beginning to find their way to the ground. One strong wind and they'll find themselves swept into piles for children to jump in and toss and enjoy. Everywhere you go, hints of the hibernation that will follow are beginning to appear. Chairs upturned on tabletops in restaurants no longer serving during the week; "Closed" signs in the windows of shops that just weeks ago would have been open well past five o'clock; empty benches and quiet streets even in the daylight hours. The tourists have all gone home and it is time to prepare for the winter that lies ahead.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pictures for the Weekend

First, the garden. Now, when I planted these things, I definitely felt like it looked amazing. The tall stuff is irises. The floppy stuff in front is lamb's ear. And the cluster to the left in the back are daisies. I forgot to take a photo of the day lilies, which are further down in a different weeded patch.

This picture doesn't really do it justice, but you get the idea. When they flower, they'll be wonderful. Now, they're just a tiny patch of non-weeds among a much longer patch of weeds. I'll take more pictures as I make more progress and as they start to bloom.

Tada! The haircut! I finally decided to suck it up and post a picture of myself. I wasn't going to, but I just had to show off this great cut. I might even post a pic of it styled flipped under one of these days. It's very versatile and so easy to style.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Saying I'm Sorry

Ever since I first read about the Letter to My Body series at Blogher way back on Valentine's Day, I've been meaning to get around to writing a letter of my own. I knew it would be hard, and that it might not turn out to be a love letter so much as a plea for forgiveness. I'm sure that had a lot to do with me not getting around to it, but I know that it's something I need to do. And I'm finally going to tell my body exactly how I feel, for better or worse.

Dear Body,

I can't believe how much you've grown and changed over my lifetime. And despite the way I've treated you, you've always been there for me. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. But I can tell you how sorry I am for hurting you, so I might as well start there.

You were so cute when you were little, all pudgy and round. When I was a teenager, you were strong and curvy, if only I could have seen it. The late high-school and college years were the worst, for you and for me. I apologize for poor diet choices and the frumpy way I dressed you because I was so ashamed of what you looked like. I'm sorry that I let my discomfort with your curves and excess weight lead me to do some crazy things, like alternately depriving you and stuffing you, beating you up with excessive exercise and insults, and hiding you from the sun. You deserved better than that.

Thank you for standing by me, for supporting me and keeping me going. You've been a good friend. You're strong and sexy and I'm sorry it took me so long to realize it. Those stretch marks are your battle wounds--evidence of years of yo-yo dieting. One day I hope to have more, though I never thought I would say that. I can't wait to see what you can do in the reproductive arena. If you're not up to that challenge, I'll totally understand, but I hope you'll find it in my heart to grow a baby or two before you give up on me.

You're an amazing machine. You heal bones and skin that I break or bruise during my klutzier moments. When I'm under the weather, you kick in with that amazing immune system and drive those infections out. Even as I get older, you handle it all with dignity, making me more and more beautiful every day. How do you do that?

Sure, I complain sometimes (although less and less often) about the size of my thighs, the tiny little wrinkles around my eyes or the pouch of my belly, but you quickly remind me that those thighs keep me walking, those eyes shine when I smile and that belly doesn't need to be flat. There are worse things in the world than a little bit of saggy flesh and a few extra pounds. So to thank you for sticking with me all this time, I've decided to do some things for you.

I'm exercising more and eating less, most of the time, but I'm not depriving you of that chocolate or ice cream when you tell me you really need it. I'm saying more kind things to you each morning in the hopes that I'll cancel out some of those awful things I've said and done in the past. I'll also try to do more relaxing, maybe get a massage or two--I know how much you like those.

Bubble baths? Sure, I can do that, too.

And a pedicure, you ask? Why not?

From now on, I'm supporting you. Multi-vitamins, more organic fruits and veggies, less caffeine (do I have to?) and less artificial everything. You mean the world to me, and I'm hoping to have you around for a really long time. We've got work to do and I need you to get it done. If you'll be there, I'll be kind. I promise.

With all my love,
Your other half

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #21

It's been a busy, and slightly stressful week, but a good week nonetheless. Here's a partial list of what made it semi-wonderful.

Thirteen Things That Kept Me Sane This Week

1. The sun shined every day, which means I smiled more.

2. The days are really starting to feel longer, like summer's just around the corner.

3. Green is more prevalent than brown in just about every landscape I see.

4. I'm one day away from finishing week four of my lunchtime workouts.

5. I've been consistent over the last four weeks in getting in at least 4 workouts a week.

6. I watched Ali become the first female Biggest Loser.

7. My first landscaping project got underway.

8. My boss complimented me on the quality a user manual I produced.

9. I cooked up a delicious dinner that used up some of those frozen veggies from last summer's farmers' market.

10. I realized that I need to finish up the last few packs of frozen veggies before the farmers' market opens up again in a few weeks.

11. I'm totally anticipating fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs grown in my own garden, and plenty of delicious recipes.

12. My cat has been sitting in the open living room window watching the birds and activity outside.

13. I finished another book on my TBR list (Citizen Girl, by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus).

Hope you're having a week that makes you smile, too!

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!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fresh Dirt and a New Project

I've mentioned in the past that I'm not much of a gardener. If you could see my yard (front and back) you'd agree whole-heartedly. There's stuff there, among the overgrown grass, clover covered ground and dandelions, but it's not exactly well-maintained. I get overwhelmed with the idea of gardening. I tend to kill things, and I don't like to put much time into maintaining them. If it's easy, like the azalea bushes I inherited (just watch them grow and trim them once a year) then I'm fine. But if it's high-maintenance like the weeds taking over my back yard, I'm not thrilled.

Until tonight. I spent three hours in my back yard weeding up a storm thanks to the encouragement of my boss's wife. She cleaned out her own huge garden last week and had to divide up some of the plants that had spread a bit too much, and she asked if I'd be interested. When I hesitated, knowing I wouldn't know the first thing to do with lamb's ear and day lilies, she offered to come home with me and help me figure it out. Now I'm hooked.

She showed me what to keep (the tiny little rose bush just getting started, the daffodils, the curious "grasses") and what to get rid of (even some of the pretty stuff). And then we started weeding. Weeding is like a meditation. It doesn't take a lot of thought, but it takes just enough concentration to push out all the other stuff. We spend a good hour digging dandelions and clover out at the roots in a tiny little section of my yard's border, but it didn't seem that long. I can definitely see myself getting addicted. At least until it's 90 degrees outside.

I'm exhausted, my back and legs are going to be a bit sore, but the fresh air and company did me so much good. And now I'm not afraid to dig and plant and water. I've got wonderful ideas (thanks to the woman who gifted me with her time, knowledge and castaways), but I'm starting small. For now it's weeding the rest of the boarder and starting a little herb garden. After that, we'll see.

(I'm sure you're going to want to see pictures, and don't worry, I wouldn't miss documenting my first in-the-ground gardening project for the world. It was just too dark to take the pictures by the time I got everything cleaned up. I'll post pictures soon, I promise.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just a Few Things

There's a new post at the Going Green blog. And an older one that I forgot to mention.

Try a new recipe that I posted at Feed the Soul a few weeks ago. If you haven't heard about the cereal recall linked to salmonella poisoning, check out some info on that, too.

If you haven't heard about Jen's new adventure, head over there and read about it. Then, if you feel so inclined, help her help the girls of Rwanda out.

OK, that's all I have for now. Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sunday Scribbling: Elixer

I'm not sure why, because I haven't written poetry since I was in elementary school, but this week's prompt immediately had me creating a poem.

Prompt #106: Fearless

His love, like elixer
fills me warm
and gentle.

Something new found
within his eyes,
brown and

Acceptance, kindness,
His love
for only me.

It fills me and
I am fearless,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #20

Prompted by a little post by my friend nejyerf, I decided to list some things that have made me smile this week.

Thirteen Things That Brightened My Week

1. The beauty of cherry blossoms all over the place.

2. Compliments on my new hairstyle.

3. The sun shine of spring that's been blessing us the last two days.

4. Meeting my first weight loss goal when I stepped on the scale this morning.

5. Being tickled by My Love just because he was feeling playful.

6. Seeing Ali reach 99 lbs. lost on The Biggest Loser. (For some reason, she's got me hooked on this show.)

7. Finding out that my tax return is much bigger than I expected.

8. Also finding out that my fiscal stimulus check will be arriving around May 9th.

9. The possibility of going back to school for something that really excites me and will help me in so many ways.

10. Not feeling a single ounce of guilt before, during or after drinking a Caramel Light Frapuccino.

11. Planning a sushi dinner with a friend I haven't seen in more than a month.

12. Waiting expectantly for responses from a couple of queries I've submitted.

13. Having this unexplainable, yet undeniable, knowing in my soul that I'm reaching new levels with every step I take.

Hope you're having a week that makes you smile, too!

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!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Bit of Wednesday Randomness

It seems like Wednesdays are often my days for playing catch-up and posting about the random, interesting (and sometimes mundane) things that I haven't gotten around to creating full posts for during the week.

  • Jen Lemen has me all atwitter about her upcoming trip and a new collection of stories, among all of her other creative and inspiring goings-on.
  • With so little time on my hands lately, and my limited access to the internet (which hopefully will be fixed today), I've been getting behind on my blog reading. Don't for one minute think this means I haven't found interesting and wonderful things all over the internet.
  • It took me 5+ hours across two evenings to roast a chicken that was supposed to take 3 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. I had to turn my oven up to 450 degrees for the last 45 minutes just to finish it off before bed time. Does anyone else wonder if that oven might have needed a new seal instead of those hinges after all?
  • My frivolity seems to be paying off, at least a little bit. I have had four spots of chronic dryness on my face for quite some time now. Two of them seem to have completely disappeared and the other two are much less flaky than last week and the months before. I'm not sure if my pores have gotten any more "refined" but I'll keep you posted on any progress.
  • I'm on my third week of lunch-time workouts, and I have to say that it's really going well. Not only do I feel more energized, but it's also a great way to break up the work day. It's like working two half-days instead of one full day. The 7 to 11 "day" goes by quickly because I'm actually scheduling my projects more effectively because I know I want to leave for an hour and a half to get that cardio in. And staying until 5:00 is nothing when I start my afternoon "day" at 12:30. Another side-effect is that the scale's been treating me nicely.
  • I got a fabulous hair cut and color over the weekend (which I mentioned on Sunday) and it's making me feel all confident and sexy. It's amazing what a good 'do can do for my attitude. I'm feistier than ever! I've been getting compliments galore, too, and who doesn't love that? But when My Love saw me for the first time since the cut, he wasn't exactly gushing about the great new style. I think his exact words were, "It's OK." (He's not usually a big fan of shorter hair, but by the time he left, I'm pretty sure he had come to grips with the change.) One of the only other comments he made was, "You're getting all sophisticated on me." While he said it with that hint of come-on in his voice that suggested he had ulterior motives, it occurred to me that "sophisticated" was exactly what I was going for. On the heals of the notification of my essay publication, and in anticipation of some other exciting changes that I feel brewing in my career and my life in general, I wanted a physical representation of what it seemed was going on inside. My confidence is growing, my career is blooming and my creativity is flowing. What better way to represent that than with an outward expression of change?
That's the Wednesday Round-up. Hope you're having a good week!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I'm a Winner!

I got some great news on Friday. One of my personal essays is going to be published in an anthology of work by local writers! I'm so excited!

Then I got some even better news. I've been named as a Blog of Distinction. Started by Working Mum on the Verge, this wonderful award is given to bloggers who make us "laugh, cry, think or sigh". And Reluctant Housewife thinks I'm a Blog of Distinction! I can't believe it! I'm so honored. Along with this award, comes the honor of passing it on to five wonderful bloggers that I think are distinct, five bloggers who make me laugh, cry, think or sigh. So, without further ado, here they are:
  1. The ever-entertaining and thought-provoking Mocha Momma, who on various occasions has made me laugh, cry, think or sigh, sometimes at the same time.
  2. My beloved Nejyerf at calling dr. bombay, who most recently starred in True Blogosphere Story, and is always making me laugh, often to the point of tears and ending with a big sigh of satisfaction.
  3. A new favorite, Erin at Fully Alive...Ready to Smile, whose personal story made me cry, and who has managed to make me laugh, think and sigh ever since then. (Plus, she totally inspired me to get a new hairdo and I must say, it looks fantastic!)
  4. The creative and inspirational Jen Lemen, who insists on making me laugh, think, cry and sigh at any given reading.
  5. And last, but certainly not least, Belinda at Ninja Poodles, a wonderful mother who taught me all about Twitter and brings me the best in laughable, thoughtful, teary and sigh-worthy posts she possibly can amidst the whirlwind of her life.
Congratulations to the winners! Keep passing the distinctive blog-love.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: My Buddy

I've been meaning to introduce you all to someone who holds a special place in my heart. This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt gave me just what I needed to get this story started.

Prompt #105: Photograph

There's a photograph of me taken in the parking lot of a mall near my home town. In it, I'm bundled in a winter coat and gloves. My hair is much shorter and darker than it's been in several years, and I'm a bit heavier, too. But I'm happy, at least in this moment, because I'm hugging to my side my favorite little boy. He's dressed in a bright yellow coat and a matching knit cap, wearing gloves that make his hands look as big as mine. He's only 6, maybe 7, in this picture, and he smiles widely beside me as his mother takes the picture.

This little boy holds a piece of my heart that will always be his. I haven't seen him in a few years, but I know he still remembers me, still thinks of me like I think of him. How could he not, after two years of long afternoons at a little table in his living room?

B was my introduction to the world of autism. We met when he was three, and he promptly stole my heart, and then bit me. He was adorable and challenging and I loved every minute I had with him. The worst tantrums weren't enough to chase me away. I watched him learn to speak his first words and phrases. Then I made him into a "burrito", wrapping him up tight in a blanket and squeezing him until he giggled.

I worked with B for a little more than 2 years, and in those two years I learned about unconditional love (on my part and his). I watched B blossom from an extremely aggressive three-year-old who could barely speak, to an almost-kindergartener speaking in complete phrases and controlling his impulses with much more regularity.

That picture of B and I sits on my desk, as a reminder that things aren't always as them seem. People can grow and change in ways you might never imagine. And sometimes bites are the best way a person can express their love for you.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Autobiographical Explorations

There’s nothing like not having the ability to post blog entries whenever you feel like it to give you the motivation, desire and inspiration to come up with all sorts of ideas for blog posts.

I’ve been typing a long lists of posts and post ideas in a Word document like a mad woman. You'd think that, suddenly, there's a whole lot more interesting stuff going on in the world. Really, I think it's just that I'm taking the time to "jot down" my ideas because I know I can only post while I'm at work right now.

Why haven’t I ever done this before? I’d have plenty of material for posts on those days when nothing seems to be of interest to me.

Now, on to my actual post for today...

I've been wanting to write a Six-word Autobiography for quite some time now. I kept seeing it all over the blogosphere and I thought it was a great idea, and most recently at Adventures of the Reluctant Housewife. I've now spent better than an hour and a half trying to craft something witty yet luck. This is what I came up with:

Living, learning, loving through my writing.

Not so witty, but definitely true.

While I was at it, I decided to try an autobiographical Haiku as Housewife did. Here's the result:

Becoming myself
Is harder than expected.
Enjoying the journey.

What's your life story in 6 words (or 17 syllables)?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #19

Some more randomness, in the vein of last week's Thursday Thirteen.

Thirteen Things I've Realized Accepted Recently

1. I'm a book-a-holic.

2. I'm becoming more and more like my mother every year.

3. Being like my mother isn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it's got its good side.

4. I'm never going to have a perfect diet.

5. Being perfect is impossible.

6. Still wanting to be perfect despite its impossibility will drive me crazy.

7. Being too nice will get me in trouble.

8. I really should trust my gut.

9. Building a business takes work.

10. Work is hard.

11. The benefits of hard work to achieve something you've always wanted will far outweigh the effort it took to get there.

12. I'll still have to work hard to stay there, though.

13. Taking time to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms and sunrises and warm spring breezes is necessary for my sanity.

Have you made any realizations this week?

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!

Things I Would Have Posted Last Night if My Internet Was Working

Am I Thirteen Again?

Oh. My. God.

I just had a major adolescent moment, complete with flash backs.

Was that NKOTB (that’s New Kids on the Block for the youngsters) on TV? Did I just hear that they’re reuniting and set to perform on the Today Show this week? Am I seriously breathing hard at the thought of little Joey crooning to me from the television screen once again?

OK, moment is over. What ARE they thinking?

Verizon Sucks

I’m so pissed right now. Apparently my internet issues are NOT being caused by my security system. It is, in fact, being caused by the fact that I don’t have a dial tone. Yes, I had checked this, but the Verizon tech I spoke with said that this was also due to the security system interference.

I called the automated repair service tonight to report the problem and “she” told me it was likely a problem on Verizon’s end. Go figure. So now I have to wait for a technician from Verizon to make repairs to the line.

If cable wasn’t so expensive, I’d be calling Comcast right now to switch over to their high-speed service. Of course, that would make the $89 I just spent to have my security company install a DSL filter that I didn’t even need because the problem wasn’t with the system a complete waste!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Frivolity on a Tuesday

Last night I made a completely frivolous purchase based on my experience with a teeny, tiny little bottle. Several months ago I got a free sample of Estée Lauder's Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher in the mail. I put it in my little sample box in my bathroom linen closet and promptly forgot about it. Then, over the weekend, when I didn't have internet access and didn't know what to do with myself, I decided to clean out this closet and purge it of all the things I'd been collecting. When I found the Idealist, I couldn't bring myself to throw away a sample of something that people probably pay lots of money for, so I decided to keep it and give it a try.

Bad move.

I fell in love at first silky smooth touch. This lotion made my face feel as soft as a baby's bottom. I kid you not. So, last night while I was out shopping for a birthday gift for My Love, I decided to stop by the Estée Lauder counter and see how much this wonderful product might set me back. While I wasn't completely surprised, I found that a 1 oz. jar--that's two measly little tablespoons, people!--cost $46.50. Of course, I could get the special limited edition Beautiful Skin Solutions: Prevention package that included the 1 oz. of Idealist plus a trial-sized tub of DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15 and a trial-sized bottle of Advanced Night Repair Protective Recovery Complex for the same low price.

I hemmed and hawed over it. I went and found a gift for My Love. Did I consider whether Estée Lauder followed green business practices or tested on animals? No (but they don't test on animals; I just checked). Did I wonder what else I might be able to do with that almost-50 dollars? No. (OK, a little bit, but not much.) After purchasing a couple of things for My Love, I promptly returned to the counter and said, "OK, I'll take it." Famous last words, right?

Now I'm certain that I'm going to fall in love with the other two products and have to go back and buy them, too. What's an aging woman with tiny little laugh lines and some emerging crows' feet to do? Take before and after pictures and compare the difference, obviously. I may or may not post them, but I'll let you know how I'm feeling about these products after a week or so. As of today? I'm loving every silky, cucumber-scented, dry-patch eliminating bit of my $46.50 + tax purchase.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm Trying to Keep Up

It's tough to read blogs, and comment, and write posts, and respond to comments, plus perform required online research and write content for those clients who pay me when I have absolutely NO internet connection at home. I'm doing by best during my breaks at work, but that's just not good enough for me.

Thankfully, the technician for my security system, which is apparently interfering with my DSL signal, will be coming tomorrow to resolve the issue. At a charge of approximately many, many dollars that I can't believe I have to fork over for a situation that shouldn't have happened in the first place. (Why exactly didn't that installation tech ask me if I had DSL or warn me that the security system might interfere with my phone line and DSL signal?)

The appliance repair person will also be visiting to install new hinges on my oven door. Hopefully that will resolve the oven-not-holding-heat-well issue I've been having. I still think it's a seal issue and not a hinge issue, but what do I know?

And to top it all off, I think I might need to start looking for a new computer. My dear laptop is having overheating issues and shuts off randomly if it gets too hot. At least that's what I'm assuming is causing the random shut-offs. It's not all that old, either. Maybe I haven't been a very good tech-mommy. I've never "dusted" it and I do actually hold it on my lap much of the time, which I hear is not good for the temperature of its insides. Maybe I'll have to get one of those cooling pad thingies that I saw at Best Buy. Still, I'd like to just use this as an excuse to get a brand new top-of-the-line middle-of-the-road completely affordable model. We are getting those rebate checks soon, right?

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