Monthly Archives: September 2010

Love & Loathe — 09/30/10

Loathe:

* How the end of the month just sneakily snuck up on us. One month until Halloween — yikes! Better remember to buy candy now!

* Getting a jury summons. I mean, they KNOW who’s on unemployment, why the hell don’t they just call them? Truth be told, I would have happily served during the 6 months I was unemployed — if they had called me. But no. They called me 18 months ago, and now they’re trying again. So irritating.

* How hot it’s been. This was taken around 7pm on Tuesday night and THAT felt cool. Ridiculous.

Love:

* Our new fan (see previous post).

* Those chocolate oatmeal chocolate chip cookies I mixed up? The cookie dough was really good, and I’m pleased to report the finished, baked product is quite delicious.

* Reed avocados. I’ve been waiting all summer for them to show up in the store, and they finally did! Their consistency is as smooth as butter, yet they stay firm even when ripe, and they’re the biggest avocado I’ve ever seen. This from the girl who grew up in the Avocado Capital of the World.

* Hawks. I saw two of them perched on the top of a street light watching the sunset behind me on my way home from work a couple nights ago.

One Last Thing:

I saw this sticker on the back of some guy’s work truck driving down the road. How much do you want to bet that sticker serves a dual purpose? A pinch warning for his fingers when he shuts his tailgate and also as a sort of pinching mistletoe? Because you know, every time his woman gets back there, he probably gives her a good pinch, right?

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Fans of Sea World.

Friday night the 20″ box fan in our bedroom refused to come on. I think the motor burned out. It was, by my best math, about 8 years old. Not too bad for a $20 investment. We were faced with a weekend that was predicted to be one of the hottest of the season, over 100°F, and an even hotter Monday… tomorrow. Can’t wait.

We kept our plans to go to Sea World on Saturday morning. We always enjoy Sea World, although not quite as much as before, since they ended the Dining with Shamu series. That breakfast buffet was pretty awesome. I understand why they did it, out of respect for the trainer who was killed, but if they had asked me, I would have suggested that they just re-organize the dining experiences like they did the show… no more close contact between trainers and whales. But they didn’t ask me.

On the up-side, the new dolphin show is better than ever. I give it 6 thumbs up!

Anyway, Saturday afternoon we headed off to Walmart to replace the fan. Walmart was a bust, they didn’t have quite what I was looking for, so we hit up Target. It turns out, our local Target had all their summer stuff and a bunch of other stuff on clearance since they’re bringing in all their autumn stuff AND they’re revamping the store to put their grocery section in. We got an awesome $40 fan, which included a remote, for $20. Interesting side note: The price war where Target wins over Walmart has been happening more and more lately.

Other highlights of the weekend included an hour and a half swim this morning that felt like a mere 5 minutes in the water. I just can’t seem to get enough of swimming.

I also found a recipe to make my own instant hot chocolate mix, which I mixed up and put in my empty Swiss Miss canister. I also found a recipe for chocolate oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It’s been too hot to bake, but I have the dough all mixed up and in the fridge ready to go when the weather cools off… hopefully this week sometime.

Or maybe, in the interest of baking my cookies and eating them, too, I’ll just set up the new fan to blow the heat out of the kitchen!

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Love & Loathe — 09/23/10

Loathe:

* Burning my hair off. I reached across the stove the other day for the scissors we keep in our knife block. As I turned away, I was assaulted by a smell… *sniff* “Oh, man, don’t tell me I just singed my hair! I just had it trimmed! Ruined a perfectly good haircut.”

* Regenerating pimples. Surely I’m not the only one with the mystical pimple that regenerates itself month after month, am I?

* My early “no traffic” day is no more. Oh, I still have my early day, but I guess the “no traffic” part was a summer thing.

Love:

* My 4-color pen at work.

* Our Parallel Lives Neighbors continue to bring us baked goodies. Answering the doorbell is becoming less of a scary thing for People Phobic Me if I know there are yummy things on the other side of it!

* My string of pearls plant. It’s a succulent that grows long strands of (what look like) peas. The tiny flowers it makes are so pretty and they smell like cinnamon. It’s such a unique plant and I just love it so much.

* Tony ended up with free tickets to a pre-season Ducks game (ice hockey team) and we spontaneously went last night. It was a fun “school night” outing. Breaking up the routine is a good thing.

* The silliness of my husband. We accidentally crossed hands tonight and he ended up with a fingerful of goop that I was removing from an item of food. He then rubbed some of it off on the end of his nose and it was just a laughfest of silliness. He’s so good for me.

* Nature’s symbolism… driving home yesterday I had the moon in front of me and the sun behind me. Made me want to reach for the moon, baby.

One Last Thing:

What, exactly, would you would call this… a dichotomy?

Hot Cocoa Ice Cream

*

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Love & Loathe — 09/16/10

Loathe:

* Emotional rollercoasters. We have a couple things, really big things, that we’re dealing with right now. Which I can’t talk about because they’re not really mine to talk about. Combined with an especially difficult hormonal cycle this month, I’ve really not felt like doing much of anything but cry. Or sleep, which I would love to do, but these hormones of mine are throwing nights of insomnia my way, just to make it interesting.

* Insomnia and fear. Also, oily skin and pimples. So tired of it all.

* Whacked hormones.

Love:

* Trees. I really love trees. One of the primary reasons I live where I live is because there are trees here. My realtor called it a “preference for mature communities” which makes it sound like I love living in retirement communities, but what it really meant was there are mature, tall, pretty trees here. Which I love. In case I didn’t make my point.

* Smallville. In preparation for the new season starting up (which I probably won’t watch until NEXT season), we’ve been watching all the old seasons. Tony has them on DVD. We are calling it “homework.” There have been a couple evenings this past week when we’ve had to focus on other bigger things, and I can be counted on to bemoan the fact that we’re behind on our homework. Priorities, you know.

* Friends. I’ve taken the premise that I apply to exercise (if I don’t feel like doing it, it’s probably the one thing I really need to do) and applied it to my social life. I’ve leaned pretty hard on Grace, bless her heart. I also got in touch with a friend I’ve not seen since… 2005? We had lunch, and he bought me this balloon. It was so silly, and so spontaneous of him, and I had no idea it would make me smile every time I see it. Even still, because you know that thing is so well made it’s probably gonna last until I’m 80.

* The new health network I transferred into. Even though there were some (in my opinion) weird authorization glitches that needed to be handled, it all sort of makes sense now, and my appointment yesterday morning went really well. They even saw me 15 minutes EARLY. AND I had a voicemail from them, before I even reached my office (15 minutes after I left their office) about scheduling an appointment I had requested. THEY called ME. Maybe all this doesn’t mean much to you, but I continue to be speechless at how well-organized they seem to be. *cynical look*

* Pool bunnies. These two bunnies nibble on the grass that surrounds the community pool that I use. It’s so sweet to watch them. As long as I’m in the pool, I can do whatever I want and they really don’t care, including paddling over with my cell phone to take their picture. But I can’t get even remotely near them if I’m out of the pool. The pool bunnies have rules.

One Last Thing:

The last weekend of August, Tony and I went up to the mountains and hiked our anniversary hike — back to the top of the rock where we got married 5 years ago. It is a special thing for us.

While we were up in the mountains, as usual, we visited our favorite breakfast restaurant and our conversation with the cook came around to wondering just how big of a pancake he thought he could make and successfully flip. His “normal” pancakes hang over the plate as it is. Plus, after many, many years, the handle on the spatula he uses had broken off — a spatula to a cook is what a favorite pen is to an author.

And so the “Two Plate Cake” challenge came to be. We mentioned we were hoping to make it up last weekend, which we did. As we eventually rotated into our seats there, we were surprised to notice that not only did he NOT forget, the challenge actually made their calendar.

And he made good on the challenge.

Now THAT is a pancake. Next up, we’re thinking a Three Plate Cake? That’s something you gotta practice for, right? So… maybe in December?

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Love & Loathe – 09/09/10

Loathe:

* The little old lady in me is getting stronger than the 12 year old boy. I know this because I can now see the benefits of products like this.

* When people have an attitude of entitlement.

* My commute to and from work involves 3 large bridges that I go underneath. For some reason, on my drive home from work in rush hour traffic, it never fails that I get stuck under two of the bridges for a span of at least 30 seconds each. For at least a minute every day, I ponder how my car would hold up should a bridge fall on it due to an earthquake. Let’s not dwell on that. Moving along…

Love:

* Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets. I am beyond excited to learn that they are putting one in our neighborhood.

* We took our bird in to get her wings clipped. It was time. Last week, Tony had her out of her cage and was enjoying quality human/avian time with her. Or so he thought. She apparently got bored with the whole quality time thing and so she flew back into her cage! Independent little buzzard.

* I am fascinated with summaries and love using as few words as possible to make my point. Thus, I am really enjoying following along on this guy’s Twitter summary of the Bible. He summarizes one chapter a day and does not use abbreviations. Fascinating.

* I saw a herd of leaves galloping across the street today, finally coming to rest for a moment in a pile against a curb. Fall is coming.

* Laughing. And this cracked me up. Best of all, the dude’s for real. It’s a real day care. HA!

* Getting a watermelon and cracking it open to find it’s so ruby red inside that I couldn’t capture how red and sweet it really was.

One Last Thing:

I was checking out at Walmart over the weekend and one of my purchases was this plant.

It was just the perfect size and, at three dollars, the right price for my needs. The cashier rang it up, and then looked it over, turning it this way and that. I’ve never seen a cashier so curious about a plant. I looked askance at him, but he didn’t look at me, so I shrugged it off.

He finished ringing my purchases, and then went to bag the plant, and finally asked, “What kind of plant is this anyway?”

I smiled and replied, “I have no idea. The three dollar kind, I guess.”

I don’t know why some nurseries don’t label their plants better, but that entire cashier conversation was really funny to me… maybe you had to be there.

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Love & Loathe – 09/02/10

Loathe:

* I forgot to stretch after two of my swim workouts this week. Oh, wow. I hope I never forget to do that again. It was unbelievable how good it felt when I finally remembered to stretch out.

* When this happens:

That was my swim cap. It broke when I went to put it on one day. I sat there and stared at it for about 10 seconds wondering what the heck just happened and what to do about it. Thankfully, I remembered I had a back-up cap in my swim bag. But still. I hate a busted cap.

Love:

* Lychees. They are so incredibly delicious that I can’t seem to stop eating them.

* I went into work early yesterday so I could indulge myself with a 2 hour lunch. I spent that time with my friend, Grace, who gave me the gift of her time and also the aforementioned lychees. I really love my Grace.

* Being an hourly employee. I think it’s so much more fair… if I work I get paid, and if I’m off the clock — I don’t. Simple, guilt- and resentment-free.

One Last Thing:

I had a flashback yesterday morning when I was making a copy — it was a year ago that I was laid off from my previous job. The flashback was triggered by it being the 1st of the month, and a year ago, I would have been standing at the copier making copies of letters I’d been working on the entire previous week. I still remember the schedule.

I was so shocked, blind-sided, really, by their decision to terminate my position. I had sensed that something had been amiss for a few months, but believed it was something that was going to get worked out. I didn’t realize that my boss was building a wall (figuratively) between us to make the termination easier for her. I thought they were as committed to me as I was to them. I thought wrong.

Oddly, though, amidst the grief of losing my job, I also felt a sense of relief. That their new thing of nitpicking me (part of the figurative wall) was over. And also, there was a feeling of being blessed — I had the holidays off! And long swims every day!! And unemployment checks!!!

God’s timing was perfect. He brought this new job into my life at a time when I was irritated, annoyed and angry at all the companies where I had given interviews. I felt like they were all playing games with me. I was even annoyed at the company where I now work because I felt like they hadn’t respected my time. I was ready to wave my hand dismissively and forget about them.

I was also scared. I was 2 1/2 months pregnant, and afraid that no one would hire me once I started showing. No one hires a pregnant woman. And THEN what would I do when unemployment ran out? How would I pay for health insurance? How would I make my mortgage payments? And good heavens, a baby! How would I work with a new baby?

Every day I wonder why I’m at this company (beyond the obvious answer of “money”). There’s so much about them that is so … opposite of who I am. But, since circumstances are what they are for now, I’ve chosen to change my perspective. I don’t know God’s reason for having me there, and maybe never will, but I can choose to serve them as if I’m serving God (instead of myself). When I feel as if I’m not making a difference, I have to realize it’s not about me making a difference, it’s about Him and He has a reason for me being there, and so that’s where I am.

This job, while technically considered permanent, is really temporary; aren’t all jobs here on earth? Perhaps even more temporary than I want to think. But while I’m there, I will do everything I can — while I’m on the clock — to make their lives easier and better.

The stress of the position sometimes gets to me, there are some days I can’t even remember what I did all day. Every second is filled with something and it certainly isn’t the same routine every month, every week, or even day-to-day. Getting out for my lunch break is often filled with me thinking, “let me just do this or that, it’ll only take a minute,” and before I know it, there are 25 little things that I’ve done and 25 minutes have gone by!

But I appreciate every time I make my bosses laugh, every time I do something well, and every time something goes according to plan. I try to bring joy to those with whom I work, I don’t always succeed but I try… and I appreciate every day that I have a job and a pay check.

But, Lord, I’m so glad we have a 3 day weekend ahead…

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