Saturday, March 28, 2015

Stress is an interesting bird

I used to pride myself on not being a very stressed person. Oh sure, there'd be times when I'd get stressed, but by and large, I just didn't stress out that much. I happen to love my life and I'm 100% convinced I control the stress levels.

I know I'm a stress eater. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who isn't these days it seems. When stress comes knocking on my door, my first thought is, "What can I eat to make me feel better?" Big shock, but eating never alleviates the stress.

Yesterday I had one of the most stressful days at the killer new job.  It was two days before I leave on vacation. I had all my ducks in a nice, pretty row - behaving.  Then, as often happens, a risk you did not mitigate comes to life.  TWICE. Two different ducks. Who can plan for that?

The first duck misbehaving was relatively fixable. A sick voice talent means I had to adjust an already tight schedule even tighter...almost down to the hour. AND it meant that I'd be leaving something for the Queen (one of my new favorite colleagues at work) to do with my project. I was hoping I could leave without leaving much on my plate for others to do.

Anyhow, the Queen happily stepped up to take care of it for me next week.

Then the second duck, also a voice talent. Also a very tight schedule. Also gets sick. This particular duck is sensitive and demanding and is on a tight deadline. Because of unforeseen issues on their end the schedule got compacted drastically and another duck on the team leaving the team REALLY meant that this had to get done before that duck left. The voice talent getting sick rocked the project boat a lot. Her sickness coupled with the other duck leaving, me leaving, and then the voice talent having holiday in a week really caused an issue. And again, I'll be leaving something for another colleague to handle in my absence. Ugh.

Finally, an unhappy duck. Try as I might, sometimes you have unhappy ducks. Sometimes you can see it coming, and sometimes you can't. In this case I couldn't. The unhappy duck raised her unhappiness up the food chain and some executives got involved.  Thankfully, the best company in the world doesn't play the blame game, and is always more interested in making the duck happy first. Then figure out how to fix what might have went wrong in the process.

I was beside myself with worry yesterday. I just get full time and THIS happens. Ugh.

Again, thankfully, experience teaches me to not take it personally. I know I did my best. I know I'll learn something here. And I know the one's who are now responsible - namely the Queen - will make sure the duck is extremely happy. All will be good in the end.

All that combined with trying to get everything ready for the vacation - work related anyhow - caused some stress yesterday. I decided to try not to eat my way through it. So instead I stopped and bought some beer.  What? I only had one.

So this weekend, while trying to not worry about work, I need to hit the ground running. Barcelona / Cruise trip is just days away. Last year, when planning for Rome I wasn't working overly hard. This year is an entirely different beast. I feel like I'm behind and that just gets me more stressed.

On the bright side, in three sleeps I'll be on a plain with my SIL and we may or may not be drinking at 7am...but guaranteed we'll be having some drinks and tapas when in Spain...


Monday, March 23, 2015

7 days and counting...

A week from tomorrow SIL and I will be on a plane heading to Barcelona and our cruise.  Its during this period right before a trip that I usually kick into ubber planning mode. And for some reason this year, I have not. I feel a bit frantic because I haven't and yet, there's a small part of me that wants to just "go with it".

This past weekend was spent running errands for the trip, helping some friends, and visiting with the Nieces - and it didn't leave much time for helping the frantic planning side. Even with running all the errands, I still have a laundry list of things to do before the trip.

And I released the "Jenn Photo Scavenger Hunt" on Facebook. Last year I asked my friends to guess how many photos I would take on the trip. The numbers were all over the place, and some were complete outrageous - I mean I take a lot of photos...but the guess of 10,005 was a bit over the top. AND last year, for whatever reason, I didn't take nearly as many photos as I had in previous years. Last year I focused - pardon the pun - on taking GOOD photos and not just taking photos. That shift in my head really made a difference in how I approached the trip and how I wanted to capture it.

In 2007 I visited the UK. And prior to the trip I asked friends for a list of things to take photos of - random things.  It was fun to try to capture some of the items while wondering London. I didn't do a great job documenting it and can't really remember what, if any, were good photos.

THIS year is a whole new thing. I've combined the two. I've asked my friends not only for how many photos I'll take, but an idea of something interesting to take. And they have not disappointed. Some of them crack me up. Others will be interesting to try to take. But what I love about all of it is they aren't "normal" touristy things. Like no one said, "take a picture of a church". Well dah. I'll be in Europe...churchs there are like Starbucks here...one on every corner.

So here's the list so far.

995
A pickpocketer
1650
Selfies w/ Janet
1976
Café's and desserts
2560
nature within the city, like trees on a street, flower pots on a stoop, man carrying a bouquet
3421
Travel companion in a compromising position

Jamon
2433
Someone in a hat sipping a coca cola
1433
An interesting doorway
1895
Picture of myself in a disco, dancing
1745
Picture of someone named heather
1645
Starbucks Sign
Spanish version of Lucy and Linus
2499
Chains
2000
Picture of a purple flower
2222
A noteworthy mustache
2796
An old padlock with a key
2400

1875
A crab
3864
a pretty or an interesting bug perched on a bridge railing
2356
An obviously American Tourist
4229
a picture of a very pregnant women on a Vespa or in a bikini onboard.

I love some of these and can't wait to have some fun with them. This time, instead of relying on my memory (dumb I know) I'll print this off before I go and carry it in my camera bag.

7 days....just 7 days...I cannot wait.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A little bit of this...

Things have been, well, interesting of late. Linus boy has had me quite busy.

Last week about this time, the poor little guy starting having issues peeing. Turned out he has Feline Urinary Track Disease...which is pretty common. The At Home Vet came by last Wednesday and said "Watch him".

So I watched.

I came home on Thursday and watched him spend 1 1/2 hours sitting in the litter box and doing nothing. There were some very frustrated and painful yowls. I called the V.E.T. She said, "Bring him in."

So Bubba Boy and I left during rush hour traffic to the V.E.T. They immediately checked for any blockage, cuz with that we would have had to go to the emergency V.E.T. Boy am I glad it wasn't that.

They wanted to keep him over night to "watch him". So they did.

Then they kept him another night (Friday).

Then another night (Saturday)

And finally on Sunday I got to bring him home.

We get to go through the torture of feeding him a pill three times a day (uretha relaxer - sounds fun right? Not!) and antibotics in the morning via a syringe (it's liquid).  He was acting all calm and easy for a day or two. Then this morning, Ninja Cat came out. I could have sworn he had 6 legs.

Meanwhile, Lucy LOVED being the only cat in the house. She elevated herself from Princess to Queen in no time.  She barely noticed he was gone. She sat, worried about him, next to the litter box - then when he was gone, she took over.

THEN...when Linus came home all Lucy did was hiss at him. And hiss some more.

Finally today she seems to recognize him. Crazy cat.

In other news, Barcelona is just days away. Like two weeks from today! yay. I can't wait.

Now if you'll excuse me...I gotta go give a cat a pill. Wish me luck.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Memories...

Its funny how memories come to you. And memories are a funny thing to me.  Some things I can remember as if they happened yesterday - good and bad. Other things, I struggle to even recall.

Case in point. This Monday while at dinner club, Blueberry and I started talking about a place we lived in the past and she said something like, "remember the cats?"

And I was like, "Cats?"

And she went into great detail about these cats, their names, their habits, what they looked like etc.

All the while, there's a small, very small, memory of them. Why they don't stand out is anybody's guess.

Then there are those horrid memories that you will never forget. Those I go back and forth on whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think it's mostly good, but I could have done without the horrid experience.

This morning I had a memory that drew a big wide smile on my face.

It's 2008 and BigBro, Blueberry and I are on day 3 of the 3 day. I was exhausted, cranky, hungry, and exhausted. Did I mention I was exhausted?

We were just outside of Greenlake at the crazy stop light by Kidd Valley.  There were hot, tired walkers on every corner. Then it started.

One side of the street yelled, "We've got spirit, yes we do. We've got spirit how 'bout you?"

They pointed to our direction and we responded in kind. "Our spirit is SKY HIGH"...

This went on for the duration of the light and we all walked on.

It certainly lifted my spirit and I'm certain it lifted other walkers spirits too. It was one of those memories I'll have forever.

The other thing that fascinates me about memories are the one's we chose to keep.  The MomUnit recently hooked back up with an old friend from high school. These two, apparently, pal'ed around together and got into all shades of trouble back then.

As they reminisced, the old friend said, "Remember when we did XYZ?" And the MomUnit hadn't remembered.  Surely they had done it, but the MomUnit didn't have a memory of it. The same was true for the MomUnit's memories versus the old friend's. It all sounded like something they'd do, but time had erased some of those memories.

I've often wondered if some of my old friends remember some of the things that I clearly think were important enough to remember. Then I wonder if I am remembering them correctly, or did I somehow make it up. It's hard to say.

They say the memory is the first thing to go as you age, and boy don't I believe it. I think one of the many reasons I blog is so I can remember. I KNOW it's one of the many reasons I'm a photo bug.  Photos trigger memories for me...that way I don't have to keep them locked up in the safe filing cabinet called my brain.

How about you? Got any random memories that you keep?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Breakfast at Jenn's

That really doesn't have as good of a ring to it as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" does. And the lot I had over for "breakfast" really aren't all that "Tiffany" type anyhow...


And I still love them.


This last Sunday was, of course, Sunday dinner. This month we went with a PJ's and Breakfast theme. Not too surprising we had a small, intimate group. I'm sure most my attendees probably don't even own PJs and sleep in the nude, and figured that may not be appropriate. I did put in the invite to come dressed in PJs not "what you wear to bed". I'm just sayin'. Had I left it open for this group, God only knows what would have showed up.

I mean, this showed up....

Eventually as the memosa's flowed, that little pillow showed us some nipplage...long story.

I kinda wish I would have left this photo in color. It would have showed SIL's Cat in the Hat Ones-ee way better. And yes, that's me with pig tails. I was going to buy curlers then decided I didn't need, nor want, curlers. And the thought of buying curlers at a thrift store totally grossed me out.


Again, hard to tell, but there is a stack of flap jacks there on that plate. Mr. Braspir is already licking his plate...and the rest of them covered themselves with bibs. It's getting real. Other breakfast items we had was quiche, bacon, muffins and fruit. At the end we decided we all like breakfast for dinner.

 Apparently breakfast for dinner makes you do crazy things.  The poor demons cats were all, "What the hell?".

Then since SIL had the Cat in the Hat hat, we figured we'd actually put a cat in the hat. Lucy was none too happy with us and really has the look of "LET ME GO" on her face.

In other news, I'm slowing gathering my travel items and putting them in one place to make packing easier. The packing list is printed, anything I need to purchase for the trip is purchased, travel notifications made and now I wait. Patiently. Or not so patiently as it seems.

Bubba Boy (aka Linus) is having some trouble with going #2. Guess who gets to go to the vet today? I'm really hoping it's not as serious as WebMD has made it sound. Did you know you can look up pet ailments on WebMD? Me neither. At any rate, the last thing I want to do is plunk down a good chunk of change right before the big trip, but if it'll help Bubba, then I have to do it. Poor wittle guy.

Now, anyone want breakfast?


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

8 Days a Week

Welcome to what has apparently become my weekly blog...I say this all the time and I'm constantly amazed with how fast time is whipping past.  In just a short - counts fingers - 17 days SPRING will be here.  For my East Coast friends, I swear, spring will get here. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've had some beautiful already spring-ish weather. Sparky has been topless for several days. It's weird and it kinda freaks me out because the other shoe is going to fall...rain is coming. I'm sure of it. Although, the allergy relief rain brings would be totally worth it.

In - counts fingers - 27 days SIL and I will be on a plane bound for Barcelona.  I am getting more and more excited every day. Olive the Suitcase if upstairs and has stuff in it already. I've done all my research regarding photography and only wish that half my photos turn out as cool as some I've found.

There's more that's going on and it's way more fun to share with this little "Currently" post. My buddy BeagleBabe (I really need a new name for her) does this every month and I find it inspiring. 

Listening

Listening to my neighbors drag in their garbage cans and suddenly realize TODAY was garbage day. Ugh. 

Also listening to Lucy meowing at the top of her lungs down by the garage door. She occasionally "gets lost" and wales like nobody's business. I'll call out, "Lucy! We're up here." And she'll race upstairs. It's a game for her I think and she's trained me well. 

Oh god now brother is "singing" along.

Reading

I'm supposed to be reading our book club book, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, but instead am still reading Half Assed - A Weight Loss Memoir and find I can relate to almost  90% of this book. All but the losing a significant amount of weight part. That part, still working on.

Eating

I've been doing very well this week NOT buying lunch through the subsidized lunches at work. That convenience makes it, well, too convenient. This week I was determined to bring my lunch every day, but maybe one. 

Yesterday I packed a frozen meal. A guy in the office was running to Ezell's Chicken, and I didn't cave. Try as he might to talk me into it. I stood my ground and heated up my frozen meal. Two bites into it, I decided it tasted funny. As in, "I wonder how long that's been in the freezer" funny.  Bummed that I now had nothing for lunch, another guy at the table said, "Let's call guy A. He'll pick up chicken for you." We called, but he didn't answer. Frowny face. Then I remembered I had soup in my drawer. Went and got my soup. Heated it...took a bite and decided it too was gross. Meanwhile, Guy A finally called back and I ordered chicken. 

So does that count as eating out? I mean I did try to eat two things I had brought for lunch.

Loving

The Nivea Shower Lotion. I am horrible about hydrating my skin. I get on kicks where I lather something on every night. Then weeks will go buy and only my hands get any lotion. Then I saw a commercial for this. Always willing to spend $$ on something that may be an easier way to hydrate my skin, I bought it. And frankly...I love it. Because I'm working out almost every day now (only one or two days a week I can't get a work out in) I find I'm showering a bit more. And since I'm doing that, my skin is extra dry. Enter Nivea Shower Lotion. It's perfect. You should try it.

This is not a paid announcement.

Working On

Photos from our recent trip to the Pompeii Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center. I'm a wee bit obsessed with the history behind Pompeii.  It fascinates me that a volcano wiped out an entire city. AND that city wasn't unearthed for 16 centuries. It was all but forgotten. How does that happen? 

At any rate, the exhibition was fantastic. Some of the artifacts on display I actually saw 20 something years ago when I was there as a senior in high school 

But by far the most amazing, and sad, part are the bodies. The plaster molds of voids they found in the ash that when created, turned out to have one been a body.


 I went with this group of nut balls...whom I love very much. Oh I should mention, this was a selfie of us with the Space Needle in the background. What? You don't see the Space Needle...huh.

Finally Meg-A-Roonie and I got it right.

Contemplating

My budget. I was assured that I'd be going Full Time with the Best Company this side of the Mississippi. And in fact was told today I'd be hearing about a salary package. I'm sure the day got away from HR because I didn't hear. But just knowing that I'll soon be making less $$ kinda puts me into a panic. 

I realize being an FTE is what I want. And is great for me in the long term. The short term, with not getting paid for 16 days in April, has me a little freaked out. So I have been spinning all day with working through the budget in my head, then on the spreadsheet, then in my head. And ultimately I decided I need to find that wealthy husband...STAT.

And that's that. What have you been up to lately?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I have concussed myself

Yesterday I whacked my noggin on the corner of the counter top after picking up a piece of ice. Seriously? I can't make this stuff up.

After hitting said noggin; I stood momentarily blinded by pain and I swear I saw stars and tweeting birds circling above me. I managed to get to the dining room chair and put my head on the table, softly. I had to sit and take deep breaths. It hurt like a bitch.

I checked for blood. There was none. But man there's a goose egg taking up residency.

Then I channeled BigBro...I went on WebMD.

By the time I was finished I was sure they'd have to amputate  my right pinky toe and take out my gall bladder. 

In all seriousness, I don't appear to have a concussion, according to Dr. WebMD. I do, however, have one heckuva head ache.

It started just after the thumping on the counter...shocking I know. And kept up it's pace of pain for most the night. I turned in early and took TWO Tylenol PMs. 

This morning, every light, every sound, every thing hurt.  I managed to make it to work and with a little help from my caffeine and Tylenol cocktail I felt better. But as the day wore on the dull thud got increasingly worse.

I cancelled my evening plans and sat in a semi dark room trying to read. Which, admittedly isn't the best thing for a head ache. I tried watching TV and the sound hurt. I had to stay up long enough for SIL to drop something off and then it was off to bed.

But before I go to bed I had to share with the world that I am, in fact, still alive.  The whack of the noggin did not take me out...yet.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekly check in

Apparently I'm making this blog a weekly check in. I have such grand ideas to write during the week, and suddenly the week flashes by and I've written nothing. Well, written nothing for the blog.

This week, outside of work, has been all about research and planning for the up and coming Great Adventure of 2015. I'm now so prepared to be in Barcelona and living the life of a real Catalunyan.  Even though I'll have to speak Spanish with them, I'm hoping to fit right in.

Actually what I'm hoping is that I'll be able to keep up with Seattle SIL.  I've upped my work outs lately - suddenly realizing that the trip is a short 40 days away.

This last week I purchased all of our "excursions" in Barcelona. SIL and I had decided what we wanted to do and I went to work buying tickets.

Wanna see a list? You know you do...

First thing we'll be doing is eating. We get in to Barcelona around 9am. By the time we get out of the airport and to the hotel, it'll be lunch time. Might as well take full advantage of tasting the flavors of Barcelona.

After that, we'll be visiting La Sagrada Familia. The enormous gothic cathedral built, originally, by Gaudi. We have a tour arranged, but we plan on spending some time after that just checking out the church. And by "checking out" I mean doing some photography. 

I'm also thrilled that we'll get to go up in one of the towers. While not a fan of heights, I can't pass up the opportunity to do this. The elevator will take us up, and we have to take the stairs down.

Last year we didn't have enough time there, I thought. I figured I could have easily spend another hour or two there.

This year (wouldn't it be nice to make this a yearly trip) we have plenty of time. I'm also going to try to purchase tickets for us to go up in the towers.  WEEE...

The next thing on the list is the Hop On Hop off bus tour. I love these touristy little things. They get you to all the hot spots of the city and you get a chance in a very short time to see everything the city has deemed "important" and touristy.  We bought a two day pass so I'm not too worried about getting it all done in the short 4 days there.

Thursday SIL talked me into, it didn't take much, going to the Picasso museum.  She also wanted to see the Opera house and so I managed to find a tour of the Picasso museum AND the opera house. I did some research and realized that I wanted to see the opera house too. Who knew?  Again, more photography opportunities.

I'm not a huge art buff so wasn't looking forward to the Picasso museum. Then I started reading about Picasso. Turns out it might be interesting after all. I'll be broadening my horizons (and by that I don't mean my a$$ - though as much eating as SIL plans on doing, that might happen too).

Friday we'll be going to La Pedrera and Casa Batllo. I ... cannot...wait...

I wanted to check out these two houses last year, but again, no time. This year, I'll be snooping in drawers and peeking into closets. Well, maybe not. But I'll be checking out the amazing mind of Antonio Gaudi by seeing his houses. Oh and doing some photography of said houses.

The other things we'll be doing, but doesn't require a tour, is walking Las Ramblas - stopping at every tapas bar we can (see early note about broadening my a$$). We'll be doing the Rick Steves walking tour of the Barri Gothic - Gothic Quarter - which is going to be a highlight for me. And we'll be visiting the beaches.   I'm taking a little bit of dad with me and we'll be scattering some of his ashes into the water. Dad loved Spain and I think this will be a nice tribute for him.

And lastly, we'll be closing out our Barcelona trip with a Flamenco show. Not traditional to Catalunya, but to Spain.

Other things that happened this week...well book club of course.

Vines & Spines read The Night Circus this month - my pick. And generally everyone loved the book.




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Apparently...

Wow, last week flew by so fast I didn't even have time to blink and think about posting to the blog. I miss writing, whether you think I'm good at it or not is irrelevant. I miss writing.

This week was a blur of activity. Work has increased a lot. I'm still loving it and love everything about it. I like being busy. I'm not overwhelmed yet, but can see it within an arm's reach. Thankfully, I have a boss who'd understand - cuz his job is just as crazy. I like the test though. I like to test myself and see how far my stress level can be tested.

Aside from work, this week was a social flurry. Monday night was dinner club. It was my pick this month and picked the new steakhouse in Redmond called the Prime Steakhouse. 


It was good. Expensive - that's for sure. I'd have to say I have no need to go back there. If I wanted a good steak I'd fire up my own grill.

Wednesday night the girls all went to Cirque du Soleil to see Kurio.  It was fun, as always to be with the gals.  The show was fantastic...I've yet to see a Cirque that isn't. Kurio wasn't my favorite show, but it was good and spectacular - as usual.


Thursday was more working late and Friday was more working late. By the time Saturday came around I was ready to sleep in. Only the demons cats had other ideas. So I was up at the butt crack of dawn. 

Seattle SIL came over Saturday to do some pretty special things....WE CHECKED IN FOR OUR CRUISE.

That's right. In a short 49 days we'll be in Barcelona. I cannot wait. We've got our hotel booked, and have started talking about what we want to do in Barcelona.  SIL is going to make me go through an art museum - which may be good for my soul...we shall see. Admittedly, I wouldn't mind going through a Picasso museum or two.

So we're checked in. We've paid for our excursions. We've paid for our on boat daily fees. Everything is set. Now we wait.  I do think, though, that March 31 will be here before I know it.

Today I went with Blueberry to shop for cars. She was in a car accident a week or so ago and totaled the CRV.  Today wasn't nearly as bad of an experience as I thought it might be. She's done a good job at doing enough research to not seem lost.

That's all for now. Over an out.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Never on a Sunday, a Sunday, a Sunday...

I've not heard that song in a LONG time, and suddenly today it's stuck in my noggin'.

Yesterday was Sunday dinner. 

This happened...

... after we had dinner.  There must have been something odd in the Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole...besides AWESOME-SAUCE. 

We're trying to come up with some Sunday dinner themes.  Mr. Landlord asked if we can have a 50 Shades of Grey - ah no. The image of that with my friends just sorta made me lose my appetite.

Tonight Mr. and Mrs. Landlord, Blueberry and I did our dinner club thing tonight. It was my selection and I chose the Prime Steakhouse in Redmond.  It was delicious. Expensive! Very expensive, but delicious! I'm not sure I'd go again though. Mostly because if I want a good steak I BBQ it.


I had these meat skewers. 6 oz of New York and 6oz of Sirloin. The side was potatoes gratin. The sauce was a red wine beurre blanc or however you spell it. It was, in a word, delicious. I took the leftovers home and plan on having them for lunch tomorrow.

And that's been that for the last couple of days. What about you? What have you been up to?



Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Happy Birthday Demons

So right...it's been a couple of days. And I know you're just dying to hear what I've been doing. Let's back up some ... shall we?

This last Saturday (Jan 31st) I drove BACK up North to see those darn snow geese. Suffice it to say, I'm not 100% convinced that these "snow geese" are a myth. I drove up and down the roads in the Skagit Valley and saw nothing. No snow geese. I saw seagulls. I saw trumpeter swans. I saw black birds. And I saw this little bird...


On the bright side, I did meet my good friends P & S from up North who have the beautiful golden retrievers for lunch in La Conner. I got up there a bit early and strolled the very empty street of La Conner.



Then Sunday...oh so sad Sunday. If you're not up in the world of sports, the Superbowl was Sunday. And our team the Seahawks, sadly, lost. Regardless, Seattle SIL, Blueberry and I had a fantastic time eating and cheering.

After we lost the Superbowl we all had to go back to work. Ugh. So sad, and such an unfortunate loss.

Tuesday, however, was a great day.  The demons kittens turned TWO.  They didn't seem at all thrilled with the party hats I bought them.




I can't believe it's been two years since these little kids were born and then started living with me. So many things that I didn't know about having two kittens.  But I'm so glad I have them...mostly.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

WAHHH BAMMM January is done

My friend BeagleBabe does these monthly updates that I think are rather entertaining and interesting.  And since, like her, life has somehow gotten crazy busy and hasn't allowed me to blog as much as I'd like. Well, being busy and nothing overly interesting happening.

Instead, I'm doing this little ditty...

Listening

Really my listening happens mostly in the car to and from work. I've decided I'm bored with my music. So at work I've started listening to Pandora and trying out some new stations. Nothing has wow'd me yet and I'm hoping it will soon.

If we're talking what am I literally listening to right now. Well that would be Linus meowing at the front door over something. 

Reading

I just finished the January book club book, How to Build A Girl by Caitlin Moran.  I plan on writing a little book report about it. It was not so great at the beginning, but it turned out to be a fantastic book. Once that was done I immediately picked up White Bird in a Blizzard by Laura Kasischke. I'm 55 pages in and am not 100% sure what this book is about.

Eating

Not nearly as healthy as I'd like. I had done well planning for a couple of weeks, then this week not so much. I still managed to bring my lunch 3 out of the 5 days. The other two days work provided the food. Thursday was our ThanksUnlimited meeting (I won again). Then Friday we had a Tail Gate pot luck.  So much food there and so much fun. I just love that most the people in this office are foody types.

Working On

I've gotta say, work is taking over the majority of my time right now. I love it. I love everything about it. I even love the mistakes I've made. They taught me a lot about what not to do.

But besides work on I'm working on working out. I still love my gym KokoFit but am finding it hard to fit it in. Life after work appears to be on a scheduling frenzy too right now. And so I'm contemplating how to either go at lunch time, or go in the morning (which I hate).  As the weather gets better I do plan on starting up the Couch to 5K again. I don't really care if I ever run a 5K at this point, rather I just love how they have the program set up. The less I have to think about how to work out correctly, the better.

Loving

These little demons. I stumbled on to them at Safeway and made the mistake of buying two bags. Now I'm addicted and can't find them at QFC. Which means I drive all the way to Safeway to find them and then I have to keep them in the kitchen so I have to get up and get more each time.

Contemplating

Really lately has been about contemplating weight loss and health. I've had a lot of weird thoughts bubble to the surface that I need to deal with. Trying to figure out how to deal with these little issues is the challenge. I have to first determine what it means and THEN determine if I want to deal with it. It's exhausting.

I'm also contemplating the potential Seahawks win of the Superbowl tomorrow.  Go Hawks!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Introducing...Pucklette

I feel I should apologize for the 10 day lag in my writing. I really have no excuse. I just guess I didn't have anything important or interesting to say. Some would argue I never do, but those who say that are currently suffering my wrath.

First a little catch up...the job rocks. I love the job. Love the company. I'm feeling like I'm hitting a stride and yet still have so far to go. I'm in the danger zone of knowing enough to be dangerous. I have to purposely slow myself down and think about whether I KNOW or whether I THINK I know. It's a dangerous area for me because this is where mistakes happen. And I loathe making mistakes.

So you may remember my little buddy Puck. He ran off with the circus a couple of years ago and hasn't been seen or heard from since.  Several of his relatives have stayed with me but none of them were like Puck and so I sent them packing.

Until now...

Meet Pucklette.


Pucklette is an East Coast distant...very distant, granola-eating, earthy cousin of Puck. She comes to us dreaming of seeing the world and hoping for adventures like her cousin Puck used to write to her about.  She arrived in a box in triplicate and almost immediately found herself involved in my life.

She's a keeper.

This weekend Pucklette, Seattle SIL and I took a road trip. It started by SIL wanting to see how far NOAH was since The Niece will be doing her externship there in April.  That plan turned into a road trip of epic fun.

On our way to Stanwood, which is where NOAH is, we stopped in Everett for a bite to eat. This place was amazing. Craving Cajun Grill was absolutely New Orleans in the NW.  The service was S-L-O-W, but we didn't care since we weren't in a hurry.




We started with deep fried pickles. DEEP FRIED PICKLES y'all!!! They were hot and delicious. The dipping sauce had a kick to it, but it added to the flavor so well.

SIL had deep fried catfish and  I had a shrimp po'boy. The sandwich was GYNORMOUS...and oh so good.

After downing this yummy food and about 4 gallons of sweet tea we hit the road.

So in addition to seeing NOAH I decided that I would check another thing off my "bucket list". I've heard that this time of year snow geese essentially take over the fields up north. Thousands of them. I've seen photos where you can't see the brown dirt and can only see the white snow geese. This, to me, is something to see.

And since we were heading north, I thought to bring along the Washington Curiosity book and hit the two up north on the list.

The snow geese adventure, it turned out was an epic fail. This was the largest amount we saw.




I was able to get out of the car at one point and get a bit closer. Their "honking" cracked me up. They sounded like trumpets going off. SIL made a comment that if BigBro was there he'd totally be making that sound "calling" them closer. That made me laugh.

After driving around for an hour or so not finding geese, we decided to find the Washington Curiosity Woody Wonder.

The Woody Wonder is located in a rest stop -which made me laugh all the same. And really is one of those road stop wonders that is absolutely ridiculous and wonderful.

 
 
 

We also tried to find this teapot espresso drive through. Ended up taking the long route, and found that it had been bull-dozed and replaced by a strip mall. Sad face.

Because we were out shooting photos, we stumbled onto this little garden that had a HUGE chair in it's front yard. We pulled off and found a little rusted garden too.





All in all it was a great day. SIL and I had a blast and while the weather was sunny and we couldn't put the top down, road trips in Sparky are always fun. And Pucklette was an excellent co-pilot too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whatever Wednesday

I blinked on Sunday and it was Wednesday. That's what this week has felt like. The great thing, or bad thing depending on how you look at it, about having a job you love is the time flies. I no longer sit at my desk and count the minutes before I can "legally" go home. No siree...not no mo'. I knew it was just a matter of time before I felt like I 1) knew what I was doing and 2) would feel the pressure.

And the pressure did arrive this week.  All of it my doing, naturally. I made a couple of mistakes and it cost me some time.  But the best part, I made one of those mistakes TWICE. ARgh. On the bright side I learned a lot, and now know what NOT to do. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.

But let's back up, shall we?

Sunday was Sunday dinner. A wanted a small crowd this month and that's what I got...thankfully. The main peanut gallery showed up to this scrumptous Sunday dinner. The theme this month was Comfort Food. I asked each invitee to bring their favorite comfort food casserole or crock pot meal.  We had quite the combination of food.

I made curry chicken in the crock pot. Mrs. Braspir made a broccoli casserole with biscuits on top. The Pantry Goat made cream corn (from a cookbook made in Minnesota). Seattle SIL made this chicken, cheese, spinach wrapped in phyllo dough thingy. And Blueberry made hamburger casserole.  I threw together a salad so we had something green and voila a mid-west pot luck.

See that little pink Puck looking thing? Yah, that's one of the new Pucklettes. A lady I met on the cruise last year crocheted me three of these little darlings.  You will start to see one of the Pucklettes in my photos very soon.


 
The best part of this photo is Linus. He hopped up on the chair and Mr. Braspir told him to look at the camera...so he did.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Dear Jenn...

So a friend told me last year after BigBro died that she writes herself a letter each year on New Year's Day and then reads it the following year on New Year's day. She's been doing this for years. She said it's interesting to see the themes that come out in these letters: relationships, healthy and finances always seem to be the things she talks to her future self about.

So in Dec 2013 I wrote myself a letter.

12/29/13
Dear Jenn of 2015,
As I sit down to write this letter I think of all the promises this year (2014) has for you. A new year, a new slate. For some reason this year feels different. Let's hope.

My first wish for you is that as you end 2014 that there was no significant losses in your life. Losing BigBro in November was hard. I wish that you heal from that wound. Have you learned to live without him yet? Do you still miss his presence every single day and every Sunday dinner, and every time the family gathers?

If you were unfortunate to lose someone, I hope the healing process will be easier and less painful.

My second wish for you is that you were kinder to yourself. You're feeling a little less than useful these days and am hoping it has everything to do with the current job. Are you going to find a new job next year? Still contracting?

Looking at your goals for 2014 I predict:
  1. Losing weight will still elude you. You'll try hard, you'll even likely join some club to help lose weight, and yet, something will stop you from success. Will you looking into why that is?
  2. Reading will be no problem.
  3. Photography will also likely not be as frequent as you like. Life seems to get in the way. Did you take any training?
  4. You may have reached out to a few friends but not much beyond that. Maybe next year (2015) you'll be better about strengthening your relationships. 
  5. Saving and finances seem to be in the forefront of your mind today. I hope the year shows a plus in the savings column. 
  6. Scrapbooking I suspect you were a little caught up and a little behind. I also suspect you purchased randomly and spent more than you probably should have. Face it, you'll never change that habit. 
Your relationships are mostly healthy. You've grown closer to Seattle SIL and for that you're very grateful. How'd you do with Blueberry this year? Did she frustrate you over the smallest of things? Did you learn to not be such a pooper with her?

Patience is another thing you need to work on. How'd that go? Did you offer patience to people who  needed it?

So as you sit and write this know that you're mostly happy. And that 2014 you really want to heal and be more you than ever before. Be kind to yourself. Don't be too judge-ee toward yourself.

See you in 2015
Love,
You