Tuesday, December 20, 2011

:)

SHE'S HOME!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My heart is breaking for her...

I knew it would happen.  I knew that she would love "her" kids and that being with them would enrich her.  But with love comes the vulnerability that opens us up to pain and now that Bridget is due to come home, she has had to say goodbye to her students and it hurts.  Part of me is miserable because I can't relieve her pain.  But I know that there's nothing I can do.  And would I change anything if I could?  The only way to prevent the pain of loss is to never love anyone or anything.  That's no way to live.

God bless you, Bridget.  May you get over the pain of separation soon and be left with the sweet memories of your beautiful, sweet students who love you and will always remember the young woman who gave them her heart.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Odds and Ends

So Bridget asked me if I was excited about her coming home and YES I AM!  But part of me is a little nervous about it too, which I hated to admit, but there it is.  I'm nervous that she won't like it here anymore because it isn't China.  Maybe if I wash her hair and give her a scalp massage for $2?  Seriously, though, I know she's had a wonderful time and I'm so happy about that.  But I don't know how we can measure up.  Oh well, I suppose it's not my job to "measure up" to a wonderful experience like that.

The job is going great, I am having a very good time.  I really like having Mondays off because it means I no longer dread Sundays.  Used to be Sundays would be horrible because not only did I not do anything like shop or clean house or whatever, the next day the work week started up again and that was the end of the long-awaited weekend.  Shoot, not long enough to get anything done.  Now that I have Monday off, I can get things done on Saturday, spend Sunday going to Church and enjoying family, and then finish getting my house tidy and get extra projects done on Monday.  By the time I go back to work, the weekend is not that far away.  Sweet.  And the people I work with and for are really wonderful.

Today I got a retirement packet from United.  There really wasn't much to it, only health insurance information, which of course is very expensive. (Almost double what it was when I was an actual employee.)  It's the only information I have received about retirement so far, which is kind of surprising.  I thought I would get a packet from my old boss, this is actually from WHQ.  I was sad when I read through the information.  Sure feels "final." I don't know that I'm really all that ready for final.  United was part of my life for so long, still feels like it should be part of my life.

Tomorrow Gary and I are driving to Utah for a spur-of-the-moment trip to help out with a sewing project.  (That's why we're driving, so I can get my sewing machine over there.)  I'll be helping out with Carolyn's project (making a quiet book for the kids for Christmas) and I'll come home Tuesday.  Gary wants to be back home for Sunday though because the Choir needs him if they're going to be ready for the Christmas program.  He'll drive back Saturday.  Since I don't want to try to haul my sewing machine on the plane maybe David and Sarah can bring it back to Colorado with them when they come for Christmas (please?) so I will have it back in its little cabinet.

I think I have become a little bit of a clean freak.  I am in love with my Dyson vacuum and my floor steamer.  I blame Carolyn, who introduced me to Dyson.  And steam cleaners.  And Gary gets a kick out of how much I can go on and on about my wonderful vacuum once I start talking about it.  (At least, that is how I choose to interpret his eye-rolling.)

Since Bridget has been gone we have eaten at Taco Bell WAY WAY too much.  That may or may not continue.

I think that's about all I have had on my mind lately.

Except to say that I really love my grandkids.  :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Update

Just a quick note, I am surviving with Bridget in China.  I knew I would but I also knew it wouldn't be easy.  I haven't yet gone downstairs to torture myself by cleaning her room.  :)

The job is going very well.  I love having Mondays off and I have two really great bosses, so I'm very lucky.  Also, next month Gary and I are going to go to Florida and stay in our new condo for the first time.  Neato torpedo!

One bad thing, Gary is going out of town on Monday for the whole WEEK.  Looks like it'll be just the dog and me.  I see several taco bell outings coming up.  (Audrey, I hope you want to visit?)

Oh, and am I the last person on the planet to discover NCIS?  Good show, and Mark Harmon is easy on the eyes.

We have a new couch, we got it at Ikea.  It's called the Manstad, and it makes into a bed.  It replaced the futon in the front room (which is now being stored for Bridget, and yes Bridget, you get to have the little throw pillows, too, they just jumped out of my arms onto the family room couches when I was on my way downstairs.)  I also got some pretty new pillows for it, so it looks really nice in there.

Bridget, I finished the second round of that brain scan at the hospital.  I think I'm done with that booger stuff in my hair.  Thank goodness for that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thoughts on Gary's release...

1.  No one told me it would be so darned difficult.  I had no idea it would be an emotional thing, but it is.  It is a lot like watching your last child graduate from high school, or realizing you have no more kids in primary.  A major part of my life is over (that of being the bishop's wife) and will probably not come back, so I'm glad I enjoyed it and didn't wish any part of it away.

2.  One of the reasons I am grateful that Gary was able to be the bishop is because it gave other people a glimpse of what I have always seen in him: a man who is loving and kind and thinks of others all the time. A man who is thoughtful without having to TRY to be thoughtful.  (A lot of the time I have to remind myself to be nice, especially if I am in a bad mood.  Being nice is Gary's nature.)

3.  People are always so sympathetic towards a bishop's wife and that's just plain crazy.  The bishop's wife gets a lot of blessings.  The spirit in our home was warm, the ward members were loving and supportive, and even though Gary was gone often for various meetings and stuff, I always knew that if I needed him he would have dropped what he was doing and he would have been there for me.  (But I was blessed to NOT be in that dire of need.)  And the times when Gary was with me, for date nights or when we were spending time together watching TV or whatever, he just felt more "there" so I never felt like I was shorted in any way. Of course, if I had young children it would have been more difficult, but since mine were old enough to get themselves ready for church, I really reaped the rewards without pain.

4.  I had the pleasure of watching Gary's love for the youth in the ward grow deeper and deeper as the years went by.  Gary has always loved the scouts, of course.  But to be honest I think the thought of being surrounded by YW made him nervous.  (Maybe having three daughters who could wrap him around their little fingers made the idea of a whole room full of girls a little intimidating.)  Over the years he has not only overcome the nervousness, he has become visibly more comfortable dealing with the youth as a group regardless of their gender.  And he will always be known for being the bishop with that cool song game.

5.  Gary is the first bishop in many a year in our ward who has not been bald upon his release.  :)

6.  I have been continually impressed that there has been no act of service, no work in the kingdom of the ward, that Gary has not been willing to do.  Last night Gary said that he wanted to go down to the small 2nd building because there were a lot of dead moths that needed to be cleaned up (the building isn't in use much, especially in the summer because there is no seminary) and he didn't want the new bishop to have to go down and clean it up.  So at 10:00 at night, we were down there vacuuming up all the dead moths.  Well, actually Gary was doing the vacuuming while I played with the buttons on the podium.  But then I went around and picked up the moths he missed and did some general tidying up.  I love that building.

7.  Gary is not perfect, of course.  There is no doubt that he has offended someone here and there.  But there is also no doubt that he would never INTENTIONALLY offend anyone.  He has always done his best to do only what the Lord would have him do.

8.  I have had five plus years to gaze at him on the stand, admiring how handsome he is.  :)  And when I occasionally caught his eye, I mouthed the words "I love you" to him, and he would get a sheepish look on his face and mouth it back to me.

9.  Those times when he has dozed off on the stand?  Well, for the most part it was because he had spent a little too long either working on bishop emails, genealogy, or some other worthwhile project.  I hardly ever saw him fritter away his time, but if he did it was probably star trek related.  (Yes, he is occasionally a bit of a trekkie.)

Gary, my love, thank you.  Thank you for fulfilling your calling with all the joy in your heart, and sharing those great blessings with me.  Eternity will be Heaven with you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

When it rains, it pours...

Okay, so after nearly a year and a half of not having a job, I got a job offer as an executive assistant for a couple  who teach leadership and communication skills along with team building to corporations and other high-profile clients.  They've been doing this work for 18 years and they're very successful.  They've authored several books and run workshops all over the country, internationally, and over the internet as well.  I can't even begin to guess how high their IQ's are, they are both brilliant though the wife seems somewhat smarter than the husband.  Either that or he is hiding it. They run the business from their home, where they live with their daughter.  

When I applied for the job, it was almost an afterthought.  I normally do my applying from jobs listed on Career builder, USA jobs, and the Colorado Workforce websites.  Now and again I won't have enough applications in for the week from those sources (I have to have five contacts per week) so then I will check places like LinkedIn and Monster.  This particular job was posted on Monster, and this was the last day that applications were being accepted.  I hurried and sent in my resume and the very next day I got a  call requesting an interview.

I went to the interview and I thought it went pretty well.  I found out that there were about 300 applicants for the job.  (From what I've seen this go-round, that's typical.)   Anyway, they weren't interviewing many people.  And they actually needed someone in the position several months earlier but they hadn't had time to go through the process of getting the position filled.  They still didn't have the time, but they had gotten to the point of desperation.  I let them know that I had another interview in one week, a second interview with CU, and they assured me that they would let me know before that time if I was successful.

A day before my CU interview, the man called me.  He told me that although his wife liked me, he liked someone else a little more and his judgement prevailed.  I was a little discouraged, but I figured I would just go to my interview with CU the next day and do my best.  I was a little worried about that one because I didn't think that they would offer what I was asking, but I figured the interview would be a good experience and I liked the woman who was the hiring manager there.

The CU interview on Friday was actually three interviews in one: the first with the hiring manager, the second with HER boss, and the third with another person who would also be someone I would support.  All three of the interviews were pleasant and I enjoyed them.  Afterwards I drove over to Gary's office and we went to lunch together so I got a bonus date out of it.

On Monday I was doing some shopping at Office Max and I got a phone call.  It was the husband/wife team from the job that turned me down. They wanted me to start immediately since their first choice hadn't worked out, and they offered me $2 more per hour than I had asked.  I had scheduled a vacation with Gary the weekend coming up so I wouldn't be working the full week (or the full week after that) but they wanted me to work as much as possible up till then.

After my trip, I returned to work (I brought some little souvenirs for the family) and on Thursday, about 10:00, I got a phone call on my cell, which I went outside to take.  It was CU, and guess what?  I was offered the job at the university.  They didn't offer as much per hour as the job with the husband/wife team, but there are a lot of other perks.  First of all, they offered a tad more than my original asking amount.  And they match contributions to a 401K (not sure what the cap is) so if I contribute the max, I'll be back up to what I was getting with the husband/wife team, maybe a bit more.  Second, the university gives 13 point something hours of vacation per month (pro-rated for me, since I will work 3/4 of a full-time schedule, every Monday off, 30 hours per week) which works out to over 4 weeks of vacation per year, a lot more than I would get with the husband/wife team.  I'd also get sick time and holidays.  Also, and this is a biggie:  although currently the university gives tuition credit to the employees only, they are going to extend the benefit to the spouse and children as well.  Because it felt right, I told CU that although I had recently accepted a job, I really wanted to work with them and they said that I could think about it and call them back.

I went back inside and continued working, but it was a very long day.  On my way home from work  I called Gary and talked to him about the situation, and then I called CU and told them that I accepted their offer.  They asked if I could start June 1, or if, due to my having a job at this point, I would need to wait until June 15.  Since I had only worked 5 days at this point I really couldn't see the husband/wife team wanting me to stick around.  In fact, I was fairly certain that once I told them that I had chosen to leave for a different job I would be asked to leave.  Anyway, I told CU that I would let them know as soon as possible when I could start.

The next morning when I arrived at work, I immediately told my employers of my decision.  Surprisingly enough, although they were astounded that I was leaving the job, they understood (especially when I told them about the tuition benefits and the fact that I have several family members who could use that.)  Even more surprising, not only did they NOT ask me to leave immediately, they asked for not just the full two weeks notice, but anything beyond that which I could give them.  (They have a book due on June 6.)  Since CU was willing to wait until June 15 (CU hires only on the first or the 15th of the month) I will work for them until I start for CU or until they don't need me, if it's before that.  The way I figure, it's the professional thing to do and they do pay well, so I'll do my best for them.  And actually, I have to say that they have both been very gracious about my leaving the job (which I felt terrible about, after all.)  I even got a "thank you" email, which I thought was above and beyond what was necessary, thanking me for giving them the extra time to work on their book.

Okay, that's the whole job story, whether you wanted to hear it or not.  :)  I'll let you know how the CU job goes, but I think it will be wonderful.  My new boss's name is Emily and she is a very nice woman.  She knows I will have "grandma duty" when Isaac is born and everything.  Yay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We did it!

Well, we did it!  Gary and I went to spend a few days in Orlando together, visiting my friend Mickey and enjoying one another's company.  We also figured we'd touch base with the realtor to see what was going on with that town home we put an offer on months ago.  (FYI, "short sales" are not for the faint hearted...)


Our New Home
Anyway, we had some spare time on Saturday, so D'Anne (the realtor) took us to a few places we hadn't looked at before and we saw a place that had just been reduced in price because the owner was getting pretty antsy to sell.  Since our previous offer had fallen through (the owners decided to take it off the market and just let the bank repossess it) we were a little skittish towards anything bank-owned or labeled as a short sale, so since this wasn't either of those that was a big plus.


Also, since it was a vacation rental,, that was a plus to me.  I know that this is a tough time for a lot of folks and it's nothing personal and all that, but it's nice to know that I wasn't yanking someone's primary residence away from them while they went to live with their parents or whatever.  Also, since it's a vacation rental, all of the furniture (right down to the linens and kitchen items) are included, so even though I might want to replace items, I don't HAVE to buy anything in order to make it useable.  


Living Room
The picture above is of the exterior of the condos.  We have a unit on the ground floor, no stairs.  (That made Gary happy.)


When you come in the front door and look to your left, this is what you see.  The couch (which is barely visible in this photo) is a sleeper sofa.



Living Room



This is another shot of the living room area.  The dining room table seats six comfortably, though the condo sleeps eight.  (two in the master bedroom, two in each of the other two bedrooms, and two on the sleeper sofa.)  Plus there are two porta-cribs and a high chair.


The second and third bedrooms each have two twin beds rather than having a full sized bed.  They also have fairly ample closets.  One has a walk in closet, the other just a regular closet.  One is decorated with Disney bedspreads.  :)


Kids' guest room

There are two bathrooms, the one in the master bedroom has a tile shower, the one in the hall has a tub/shower combination.  Both have single sinks.  There is a closet in the hallway with a full sized washer and dryer.  The kitchen includes the fridge, stove, and dishwasher.







Adults' Guest room
Behind the front door is a securely locked, heavy duty closet called the "owner's closet."  This is a closet that the owner can use to store personal items so that when he or she uses the condo for their own use they have a place to put things they don't want renters to have access to.  (clothing, personal items such as curling irons, cosmetics, etc.)  It's not a huge storage area, but it's nice to have some space to put a few items, especially since Gary and I fly standby and the amount of stuff we can take with us has to fit in one carry-on suitcase.  




Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom
Currently, the condo has some summer bookings that we can either keep or the rental  management company will re-book them elsewhere.  I think Gary and I are going to let them rent the place out for the summer.  For the most part, I don't go to WDW in the summer for 3 reasons:  first, it's too hot and humid.  Totally miserable.  Second, it's too crowded and too expensive.  It's Disney's peak season (which should make it easier to rent, too.)  Third, it's horrible to try to fly standby. Summer travel to busy tourist areas = headaches all the way around.  Since I don't plan to use it this summer, why not let the bookings stand and perhaps see if this is something we will do each summer to offset the HOA fee?


The last two photos are of the master bedroom, which also has a small TV. (There was a TV in the living room, too.)  Gary and I will replace the bed with a king, but not until at least after this first summer of rentals.

Anyway, TA DA!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Guess what?

I found out today at 2:30 that I have a new job.  :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

My take on tools...

1.  Why are there two kinds of screwdrivers?  I believe they only exist to frustrate women.  No matter which kind of screwdriver I need, I find the OTHER one first.  And if one is obviously superior to the other, why aren’t all screws made with that type of head and the other done away with?  I think the world was just fine with a regular screwdriver and some dude named Phillip came along and said “I want a tool named after me.”  So he created a screwdriver, got all his buddies to agree to use it, and now we have about half the screws in the world with little “x’s” on them so when we’re looking for a screwdriver we need to know if it’s a regular one or if it’s phillip’s screwdriver. 

2.  Tool boxes are too complicated.  Really, Handy Manny has the right idea for the most part.  Have you looked inside a tool box lately?  (Especially a man’s toolbox.) There’s undefinable garbage in there.  I can accomplish most of what I need to do with just a few items, the most valuable of which is a hammer.  And if I can’t find a hammer, a lot of other things will do in a pinch.  (Gary once had a pair of shoes that was heavy enough to use as a hammer.  Sorry about those chips in the soles, honey.)  And as every woman knows, a butter knife will do as a screwdriver in all but the most precise screwdriver cases.

3.  Tools do not automatically become the property of the man.  I should not have to resort to buying purple flowered tools in order to guarantee they stay in my toolbox.  However, I happen to like purple flowered tools.

4.  Tools do not automatically become more valuable because they are filthy.  It’s is acceptable to have a clean tool.  Especially if you are borrowing mine. 

5.  Go ahead and mock my tools.  I realize that I am the only one in the household that thinks it’s neato-torpedo that you can unscrew the head off my purple-flowered hammer to find seven screwdrivers inside.  But then don’t resent my knowing smirk when I see you using it. 

6.  If you are borrowing something from MY toolbox (which should be fairly obvious because you found it IN my toolbox or you noticed that it is either a feminine color or it is a size you enjoy mocking) you should return it to my toolbox.  It does not belong in the garage.    

7.  When a certain husband leaves a favorite hose nozzle out all winter so that it doesn’t work (cuz something plastic in it got frozen and cracked so that the water just pours over my hand instead of shooting out over all of the cool different settings, a sledge hammer is the perfect item to take out your frustration with it.  But be careful, because it will scare the dog.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Something I have done that you haven't done...

Here's a challenge.  Name something I have done that I don't think anyone else I know has done.  That's easy.  I have driven down the runway at Lowry Air Force base.  In a big white station wagon.  It wasn't a terrorist act or anything, I was lost.  I was trying to find the Cherry Creek mall and I took a wrong turn.  (Okay, a couple of wrong turns.)  I noticed that I was on the base, and the streets were getting narrower and twistier, so my logic  was that since I was obviously getting deeper inside the base, I should look for streets that were wider and straighter.  So I aimed for the widest, straightest street I could find.  Once I found it and was driving on it, the first thing I noticed was that there were no other cars.  Then I  noticed there were no typical lines painted on it.  (Not much gets by me, huh?)  Then I noticed there was a big airplane in my way.  I stopped driving.

As I was looking to see where I could turn around, I noticed a perplexed guard (complete with rifle across his chest) behind my car.  I got out and said, "I'm lost."  He replied, "No you're not."  Okay, that wasn't what I expected to hear.  He wasn't smiling, either.  I said, "Yes, I am."  He again said, "No, you're not.  Where do you think you are?"  I said, "I think I'm on a runway;"  He said, "See?  You're not lost."  I said, "But I really don't want to be here!"  He said, "Well, I'm not too wild about that myself.  Where do you want to be?"  I said, "The Cherry Creek mall."  Then he got this "how-in-the-world-did-you-manage-to-get-here" look on his face and lowered his gun.  He then gave me a bunch of compass words to get me to the mall, which of course I didn't understand at all.  (If I spoke compass I wouldn't have ended up on that stupid runway in the first place) and I turned around and managed to get off the base.  I wonder how many air force people were watching me drive around while I exited Lowry?

Of course this was LONG  before 9/11.  Thank goodness.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Weird...

This may be a total coincidence, but since I made my blog public I have received three facebook messages from men I have never met before, who are all looking for the woman of their dreams.  Reading back over my blog entries I can see absolutely NOTHING that would attract anyone, but who knows what others would find appealing?  Like I said, it could be a coincidence but it's a weird one.

Today we went to Ikea and I bought some pepperkakor for Gary.  I also bought a package for the kids/grandkids to eat in the car.  Jack loved them.  :)  It's the first time I've seen him not just open his little mouth for the next bite, but actually grab the hand holding the next bite and help guide it to his little open mouth.

We also went to see the movie, "Rio."  A few days ago we saw the movie "Gnomeo and Juliet."  Both of them were cute little movies, and Alice seemed to like them.  But neither of them could hold a candle to Tangled or Toy Story 3.

Tomorrow or early Monday I'll be headed back to Colorado and my real life, no more Grandma duty in Utah.  I'll miss the babies so much.  It's been a fun visit.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A stupid thing to be sad about...

Okay, this may be low on the totem pole of things to be upset about, but my favorite soap opera, "All My Children," has been cancelled.  I'm sad about that.  I used to go to "Super Soap weekend" with my sister every year, till that event was cancelled.  I even got kissed by Michael E. Knight (on the MOUTH!) seven (yes SEVEN) times.  I saw Susan Lucci in person, and she is really, really tiny.  Plus she looks even younger in person than she does on the show, no where near 63.

I actually got to be an "extra" on an episode once, too.  A "groupie" in a concert scene.  The funny thing was that there were all these paid extras who were dressed the part, and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and I ended up on camera while the paid extras did not.  :)

So the soap that airs right afterwards, One Life to Live, is also cancelled.  I have watched that one on and off too, but my favorite was All My Children, which I started watching back when I was in college.  It will air its final episode in September.  It'll be replace by some stupid cooking show called "the chew."  I won't be watching.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An experiment...

Okay, I'm trying an experiment.  I'm turning my blog non-private for a while.  Apparently when it's private none of the updates show up so people have to actually visit to see if I've posted.  That's too inconvenient, I know everyone is busy.  Anyway, we'll see how it goes.

It looks like Dad and I are going to try to make it to Florida (FINALLY!) for the weekend of May 13 through the 15th.  I want to see Herman's Hermits (with Peter Noone) and besides, its the end of the Flower and Garden festival at Epcot.  I don't know how long exactly we'll be there.  Dad will be in Boston the week before that, on a business trip.  But maybe I'll go down a day or two earlier.  I haven't been there in months and I'm going through severe withdrawal.  :)  I'll have to rent a car or something, I'm sure.  Unless, of course, I get a room on Disney property.  We'll have to see what I can get for a reservation.  There's not a lot of time and the rooms might already be booked, which means we'll be staying off property.

I got two dressers re-finished.  One is in the family room, replacing a horrible particle-board monstrosity between the two couches.  The other is in the front room between the sliding glass door and the window in the front room.  Now all I have to do is finish painting my bedroom and I think I'm done with major projects in the house.  I think.  Oh, wait... I still wanted to make a quilt and I have several afghans to crochet.  And the downstairs desk to re-finish too.  And a backsplash for the kitchen.  Man, the list never gets shorter.  Oh well.  I'd hate to get bored.  :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Via email...

Got this via email, and it's worth a chuckle...


Things that kids say: While walking along the pavement in front of his church, a minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton wadding, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral.) 

I hope I can figure this out...

I just got this little video via email and I really, REALLY hope I can figure out how to post it here.  Although it gives me a headache to watch it, it's also hilarious.  :)

video

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vintage Pyrex

For anyone who is interested, Sukie is selling vintage pyrex for a friend of hers via her blog.  Actually, she's created a new web site to sell it.  Check it out:  http://networkedblogs.com/gf2cZ

It's strange to me how so many things have become collectible.  It's also strange that once I find out it's collectible, I seem to want it more.  :)  Once I found out that older pyrex was considered "vintage" I found a divided dish at a garage sale for two bucks and I bought it.  It's a cute pattern and all, but before I found out about "vintage" pyrex, I wouldn't have given it a second look.  Also, I have looked around my kitchen and have seen a few more of my own pieces and they are much more attractive to me now than they have been in the past.  I am SO easily influenced I suppose.  Oh well.  :)

Anyway, take a look at what she has if you get a chance.  Some of the patterns are really unique, I haven't seen them before at all. Others are so old I haven't seen them in years so it's fun to see them again.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cookbook link

I have a new link on my blog, it's called "Susie's Cookbook."  It's not exactly what I had in mind, but it'll do until I figure out how to make it better.  In the meantime, I got rid of a bunch of emails I've been carting around since forever.  If you want anything else posted in there that I have, let me know and I'll put it in.  Or if you have a recipe that you want posted, I can put that in too.

Ta DAA!

Susie

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Do It Anyway

I have seen this poem before, most of the time via email.  Every time I see it I love it, so I thought I would post it here.

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Upcoming visit, another rejection, and new gadget on my blog.

Okay, on Friday my brother Gary will be here for a week-long visit.  I am excited about that.  He has never been here.  Carolyn and Erik will be here too (though Erik will only be here for a couple of days).  It will be fun to have a full house and for Gary to have a chance to get to know us for a while.  It's been hard on him, getting by since Vicki died.  They were together all the time and he is very lonely without her.  I hope that he has a good time getting together with his nieces and nephews and also his great niece and nephews.

I got another "thanks, but no thanks" from a job that I had put in for.  Gary (Oviatt this time) asked me if I was relieved or disappointed and I said both.  I really don't want a full time job, but I have to have five contacts a week to continue to receive unemployment benefits.  Even so, every rejection feels kind of personal, like there's something wrong with me or with my skills.  I would rather not get an interview than get one and then get the "you're not good enough for us" letter.  I am grateful for the unemployment money, but part of me will be relieved when it is exhausted because then I can stop putting in for these obligatory contacts and just do what I want to do.  Then I can just stay at home and if the perfect job becomes available, I'll put in for that and that alone. And if the Lord wants me somewhere, He'll clear the way for me to land there.  Until then, though, I put in my five contacts a week and endure the interviews, getting my ego smashed to smitherines when I am told that I am not what they are looking for.  :::sigh:::

Oh, and that new gadget on my blog?  It's over to the right, it's called "Susie's pictures."  I figured out how to do that all by myself.  I have added little pictures that I have received by email, from my phone, and on facebook.  Of course, there are a gazillion other pictures that I like but don't actually have handy.  But at least I have a few of my favorites here.  There is another gadget that I want to add, and Gary is going to help me one of these first days.  I want to add a tab or a new page or whatever that is actually nothing but recipes so that I can put in all those good things I cook that never made it into the ward cookbook because I found them AFTER the cookbook was published.  I might also add the best of what actually WAS put in the cookbook because a lot of what got put in there was put in wrong.  (stupid cookbook.)  Anyway, that way instead of trying to remember when I posted that lentil soup recipe, for instance, it'll just be searchable.

Fun plans for my blog.  :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More things to consider...

1.       I think the freezer deserves a light as  well.  (Maybe more so, since it’s in the basement.)

2.       I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto"  routing option.  (same for my GPS.)

3.       I have a hard time deciphering the fine line  between boredom and hunger.  (Especially late at night)

4.       How many times is it appropriate  to say  "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or  understand a word they said?  (Wow, it’s not just me!)

5.       I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire  line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay  strong, brothers and sisters!  (It’s so TRUE!)

6.       Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants?  Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.  (True again.  I read an article that said jeans should not be washed the first time for six MONTHS.  And then only every three months after that.  Of course, I am assuming you own more than one pair…)

7.       Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3  consecutive times and still not know what time it is.  (Or in my case, my cell phone.)

8.       Even under ideal conditions people have  trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and  Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the  snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes  closed, first  time, every time.  (In my case, very easy. I just wave my hand in front of the clock for a snooze.  When I bought the clock I thought that was a good idea. Silly me.)

9.       The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1924. That means it only took 50 years for men to realize that their brain is also  important. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oh yeah, and then there's the blood sugar...

I forgot to mention the blood sugar.  I've noticed that my fasting blood sugar was inching up, and I was a little ticked off about that since I am actually at my lowest adult weight.  What's up with that?  Then when I was poking around online I saw some research that linked taking glucosamine for joint pain with higher blood sugar.  I've been taking glucosamine for probably nine months to try to get my joints to be a little less achey.  Anyway, I don't know if the research is conclusive or not but I poked around and found a vegetarian alternative to glucosamine for my joints that supposedly won't affect my blood sugar and I have noticed that my fasting blood sugars are back down to 100 or less, which is where they need to be.  And so far the vegetarian stuff works as well or better than the glucosamine.

Unfortunately, I'm also having a little more problems with rebound hypoglycemia.  I have always had to be careful not to let my blood sugar get too high because not only will I have the long-term health problems associated with that, I also have a tendency to crash afterwards.  Lately I've noticed the crashing has been worse, though, even when I don't eat "bad" stuff.  I can get a spike just from eating normal stuff, which means it looks like I'm getting more sensitive to various carbohydrates.  And the crashing can be kind of scary for me and people around me.  I probably should start carrying more snacky type things in my purse.  I used to be better about that but it wasn't a problem for a while so I got out of the habit.

My doctor said if I lost 20 more pounds we could probably remove the diagnosis "diabetes" from my record.  Somehow I don't think so.

Not a pirate killer

Okay, so I didn't get the pirate-killer job either.  I have had a few phone calls and interviews and tests and stuff for other jobs (one of which involved a HORRIBLE incident getting lost in downtown Denver where I wandered around for an hour and a half trying to find the testing location, you would think that the city would employ people who knew how to give directions or who at least spoke English as their native tongue if they were in an information booth, RIGHT?!?) but so far no calls.  I got my results back from my downtown Denver testing, and I got a 94.  Considering how upset I was at the time, I suppose that was better than nothing.  (You had to have 70 to pass.)  It was supposed to be a 2 hour test, but I finished in half an hour so I thought maybe I had done something wrong.  Apparently not.

I consider this "no job yet" a mixed blessing.  I am pretty satisfied with my life and staying home. Okay, to be more accurate, I feel positively spoiled rotten.  I love my life.  I get to keep the house clean and all the laundry done and cook as much or as little as I like. (Most of the time there is good stuff to eat around here.)  I get to bail Bridget out when she needs a ride to school and when that happens I kidnap Gary for a bonus date lunch (almost always Cafe Rio).  When friends call and want to do something I can do it.  I can help out when there is a need, like when a friend had to move with almost no notice.

For the most part, my day is as follows:  Get up, make bed, tidy room, and shower/dress.  Go downstairs, fix something to eat if I feel hungry, clean kitchen.  Do whatever chores I have decided I want to do, whether it's cleaning closets, experimenting with various ways to get carpeting cleaned, doing laundry, cleaning bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming (I love my dyson), and whatever else I think needs to be done.  After that I crochet while I watch something that I've recorded on TV or run errands or whatever.  Sometimes during the day Bridget might need a ride to school.  Occasionally Gary will have me do an errand or a job for him (typing up a resume for someone in the ward, something like that.)  The point is, the house gets cleaned often enough that if something comes up and I have to postpone working on it, it's okay because it's been done recently enough that it's not a disaster.  Oh, and in the summertime I add some outdoor jobs like watering flowers and vegetables, and mowing the front lawn.  I tried keeping up with the back lawn but that was too much for me last year.  I might give it a try again this year, though.  (I'm going to miss having my little watering buddy, Aidan, around.)

I am still getting unemployment.  I got six months' worth from the state and then the feds kicked in as an extension.  I don't know how much longer I'll get that.  In order to continue to get it, I have to have a minimum of five job contacts a week.  These can be interviews, applications, second contacts, etc.  I usually have more than five, but there are weeks when it's hard to find even five, so I'm glad that's all that is required.  When I was laid off last time (after 9/11) jobs were so scarce that the required contacts were reduced to 3.

So since I love my life so much, why do I consider it a mixed blessing that I have not yet found a job?  Well, I guess it's because I wonder why, if I am such a darn good secretary, no one wants me?  How come if I am as good as Gary seems to think I am (and whenever he compares me to someone his company has hired, he assures me that I could work circles around them) no one has jumped at the chance to employ me?  Whenever I get one of these "thanks, but no thanks" emails or letters, I breathe a sigh of relief, but I also think, "I wonder what's wrong with me."  Yeah, I also miss the paycheck, but it's not like we're starving to death.

I saw a job posting on United's web site for an admin position in Orlando.  It sounded like it was made for me but I wasn't eligible to put in for it because I am not yet technically retired (I can't be rehired till three months after my retirement) or else I would have applied.  Bummer.  Oh, and the fact that we still haven't finalized that  townhome.  :::sigh:::

Oh well.  Life goes on.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A couple of random things...

1.  Bridget has moved to a downstairs bedroom.  Since Gary and I have a new bed, that left our old bed (not a horrible one, but not one I wanted to sleep on for the rest of my life) with no good place to be.  So once Bridget moved downstairs, we set up our old bed in her old room.  Then I decided to put the sewing machine up there too, so when I finally got around to making that denim quilt I could leave stuff out and not have a huge mess visible.

Also, Bridget didn't want to take her old dresser downstairs with her, since it would have  crowded her new room too much.  Rather than leave it empty, I filled it up with all of the gift wrapping supplies that have been scattered around the house (but mostly in our closet) for years.  Know what that means?  It means that when I want to wrap a gift for birthdays, Christmas, weddings, or whatever, everything I need is in one place.  It's amazing. One drawer has all the tape, scissors, name tags, and other tiny stuff, another drawer has a ton of bows, a few small drawers have ribbons of various colors and widths.  There are a few drawers dedicated to gift bags (separated by whether or not they're generic or for a specific occasion like Christmas or baby/wedding).  Plus there's a drawer for tissue paper and a drawer for boxes.  And along side of the dresser is one of those big plastic holders full of a bunch of rolls of paper.

Of course, none of the drawers are packed full, so you can actually find all the different stuff.  I suppose it could be considered a waste, having all this space dedicated to gift wrapping.  After all, it's a whole dresser.  But the way I see it, Bridget didn't want it in her room.  All the stuff that's in it now used to be strewn all over but mostly in my closet.

Gift wrapping used to be so miserable, and for the most part I just yanked out the nearest roll of paper and did a hap-hazard  job, skipped the ribbons and bows because I didn't want to try to rummage around finding anything else, and called it good enough.  Now it's actually fun to do a decent job because everything is at my fingertips.  Yay!  And as for the rest of the room, it has a California king bed in it, which means if we have company they can choose to use the real guest room, which is pretty, or if they prefer a larger bed they can use this one.

2.  We have a new dishwasher.  The old one was leaving dishes mucky.  Sometimes the glasses came out dirtier than they went in.  You know what I mean, that light brown gritty stuff that gets deposited in the glass when you know darn well that nobody had anything to drink that even remotely looked like that.  Anyway, the new one works great and I love it.

3.  I am looking for a Manx kitten.  A manx cat has been described as a dog in cat's clothing.  They are people-friendly, seeking out human companionship.  They are good rodent-hunters.  They are the most hypo-allergenic cat because they do not produce the protein most associated with allergies.  Gary is not thrilled about this, but I am FINISHED with the winters full of tiptoeing into the kitchen, with my heart pounding, looking for the inevitable evidence of mouse habitation.

4.  I got an email from our realtor in Florida.  The town house is still coming along.  I am getting excited about it.  :)  I get even more excited about it when we have those stupid frigid days here.  My WDW annual pass is about to expire, but I am hoping to renew as a resident.  SO much cheaper.

5.  I had a job interview with a company called "One Earth Future."  They are a think tank.  Currently their project is vanquishing pirates. (Real ones, swashbuckling pirates.)  I am still awaiting word on whether or not I got the job.

And that's all the news that's fit to print...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No Delta connection for me...

Well, it took some time but I finally got a response from Delta. It seems there will be no Delta career in my near future.  But I can always apply again if I so desire.  Well, to be honest the odds were not in my favor, there were a thousand openings and over a hundred thousand applicants. And most of those thousand openings were for non-English speaking flight attendants.

I still have an application in for Air Tran, and that's for an Orlando-based flight attendant job, so we'll see about that one.  Since Air Tran has been bought out by Southwest, I'd be happy to have a job with them.

Oh, and I had an interview with a place called "One Earth Future."  It was interesting.  When I was offered the interview I searched all over their web site and couldn't figure out what they do so I asked Gary to search and he couldn't figure it out either.  Carolyn searched and all she could find out is that they fight pirates (yes, the swash-buckling kind), which kind of excited Erik a bit.  David couldn't find a  lot of info either.  So anyway, the first thing I did at the interview was ask them what the heck they did.  (Okay, I asked in a little more professional language than that.)  Turns out this place is a "Think tank."  Or, actually, to be more precise, a "Think and DO tank."  (An important distinction.  I feel safer already, don't you?)  Heh.  Anyway, this place has decent funding and is a bunch of PhD holding geniuses who are taking upon themselves the burden of solving many of the world's problems, thus bringing about a greater likelihood of world peace.

I think the interview went well enough.  I won't know for several weeks whether or not I passed muster.  In the meantime I mentioned the interview to Lilia and she said if I'd rather have a part time job she could offer me that (she'd offer me a full time job if I wanted one) for 20 hour a week, which I admit would be nice.  She'd be flexible with my travel, too.  The biggest issue I have with that is the pay, which would be $3 or $4 less per hour than I made at United.  If I were to accept that, I would then have to apply and accept for jobs which pay that in order to still qualify for my unemployment.  (Basically, by accepting something that low, I'm indicating it's acceptable not only for this one job, but for all future jobs.)  Not a way I want to go at this time, but maybe once my unemployment runs out if it's still available.

In Orlando town home news, we're still waiting on paperwork, so nothing new to report there.  I hope they haven't forgotten about us.