Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
1. A weekend of exploring destinations outside of my bubble! It's too easy to create this bubble of work-home-local grocery store...and never live outside of that bubble. I can't do that! There's always a reason to drive and live out side of the mundane! Yesterday we packed up our kitties (and litter box) and started by driving out to where I'll be taking my first two masters classes this summer...ended up being much father away from main campus than I expected...but it made the venture an adventure!
2. The amazing frozen custard place we stumbled across while driving around downtown Burlington!
3. Brunch at the Pine Cone Cafe and the random trip through the outlet mall this morning. It's scary to realize just how close to home that outlet mall is!!!!
4. Reading books on the kindle...soo much easier than trying to hold a thousand pages for hours and hours!
5. My wall of books! It's not a full library...yet...but I have four almost floor to ceiling bookshelves along one wall with a small cluttered writing desk in the middle. The sad part is that I don't think I've read half of the books on my wall....hmmm I feel a resolution taking shape.....
Friday, April 27, 2012
Dew glistens on the blades of grass below
Tall leafy green trees stud the lawn
Yet I miss the fresh chill morning air
Alight with the fragrance of the trees
The Sound sparkling in the sun
Moss on the floor that sees no sunlight
For the rays are too busy dancing on treetops
Happy, fragrant trees waving and dancing
Encouraged by eyes of snow capped peaks
1. It's only appropriate that I'm thankful for trees on arbor day! They play so fondly in my memories! 15 years ago I could have walked off a plane and onto a jetway blindfolded and still known I was at Seatac because the smell of the trees was instantly present. Over the years that fragrance has been harder to find....when I moved back to Seattle in 2004 I had to get to my grandma house to smell it....then she had her evergreens felled because they were too old, too tall, and too likely to fall on the neighboring houses. The last time I smelled that sweet fragrance was when my mom and I went for a drive around the penisula (yes, I admit it, Forks was the destination, but the scenery of the peninsula was reason enough too) while we were back home for a vacation in 2011. It's been too long!
2. The views of green leafy trees outside my office window.
3. Coffee! I know...and as some of you know, I gave up coffee for tea. In doing so I knew there would days like these ("there'll be days like this my mama said") when coffee would be a necessary indulgence!
4. Seeing the Hunger Games last night...even though I was in tears within 10 minutes...ok, maybe 5...all I know is that I cried through the reaping.
5. I'm very thankful that my mom turned the news on this morning and I heard the weather forecast....I was planning on wearing a dress until I heard the meteorologist say that we wouldn't make it out of the 40's today! :( Seriously...couldn't we bump that up by, say, 10 degrees???
Thursday, April 26, 2012
2. Not having a migraine....even after all the sleep I packed into yesterday I felt a little headache lingering about the edges of my brain....but it did not turn into the dreaded migraine!
3. I finished the first book in the Song and Ice and Fire series...now I'm only a book and half behind my lovely friends...I think. And if one or the other of them has begun the fourth book I don't want to know yet!!!!
4. That some of the books for my grad classes are available in Kindle editions! My Kindle is so much more portable than big clunky text books.
5. Textbook information in general! I was starting to panic since my first class starts May 19th - aka in just a couple of weeks!!! And according to their website, the bookstore on campus still didn't have anything in stock and because it wasn't in stock I couldn't even see the title information. So I called one of my wonderful co-workers in the Education Department and she told me where I could find the textbook info without having to rely on the bookstore's website! And now I can breathe!!!
Monday, April 23, 2012
2. A fabulously successful first attempt into the world of preparing and serving a French-inspired 7 course meal to 3 people that blur the distinction between friends and family! Here was Saturday's menu, in addition to the standard bread basket lingering through the following courses:
- Pretzel-like bread sticks wrapped in prosciutto with a garlic aioli mustard paired with Chardonnay
- Wild Pacific Salmon with a mojito chutney paired with Chardonnay
- Mango Sorbet
- Roast Beef paired with Pinot Noir
- Spinach Salad with cranberries, pecans and a balsmic vinegar and olive oil dressing paired with Pinot Noir
- Dried apricots and Brie paired with a local Peach wine
- Chocolate and Vanilla Parisian Macarons and cafe paired with this Chocolate Red Wine from Walla Walla, Washington
4. A wonderful brunch Saturday morning at Cafe Centraal and I'm extra thankful since Derick picked up the tab! Thank you!!! :) It was amazing. I was a little skeptical ordering a savory pancake breakfast but it sounded too good to pass up....and it was!
5. That we've past the half-way point on the grant. For those of you who may not know, my current position is 100% tied to a 5 year Department of Education grant that Carroll University was granted. There has been a steep learning curve getting into the world of grants and federal money. But we are half way through our third year and therefore half way through the grant funded portion of the project overall. Is it improper to begin a countdown from this point until the last day of the grant????
Thursday, April 19, 2012
1. Having the privilege of spending so much time with Dr Brenda J Allen during her visit to Carroll University.
2. Having the privilege of interacting with faculty and staff from across campus in a series of discussions inspired by Dr Allen's book Difference Matters: Communicating Social Identity. These interactions have made me that much more confident that I'm moving in the right direction in pursuing my phd and entering the world of academia.
3. The thank you card I received from the collegue whose meal I was able to pay for as a random act of kindness last week. I didn't do it for the recognition, but it was very sweet of her to send the card.
4. The thank you card and handpicked flowers that I received the next day from one of my bosses for my willingness to drive out to the airport to pick up Dr Allen. I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with Dr Allen so much that it didn't occur to me that what I offered to do was worthy of thanks. Somehow the flowers and card meant that much more.
5. Enjoying a couple of hours curled up on the couch this evening NOT doing the laundry and other small domestic items that should be done before our weekend company arrives tomorrow...they're SOOOOO judgmental if the house isn't spotless! [Please note the heavy sarcasm in italics!!!]
6. Realizing that I had learned AND retained more french than I thought when writing an email to my french professor...and my surprise was doubled when JJ came online and I was able to type out the first few lines of our conversation on gchat in french without difficulty and without even thinking twice.
7. That aforementioned friend studied french and so didn't think I was entirely crazy for chatting in a foreign language.
8. That the meeting of I'm not sure who was canceled in a particular room on campus allowing me to find an easy solution to a last minute problem...when I got the log in instructions for a 2 pm webinar I realized I needed a telephone...the room I had reserved and advertised for the event was phoneless! I was able to line up a room that had everything necessary, contact all the rsvp'd parties and post a sign at the advertised room redirecting anyone who forgot to rsvp in just about 2 hours!!!!
9. That one of my housemates (a collegue whose office is in the same house on campus as mine) offered to go take the above mentioned sign down later in the afternoon in my stead because I had already made arrangements to go directly from a meeting to the airport.
10. That it rained hard enough today to hear it. I love the sound of the rain!
11. That the little purrbox currently curled up on my back is so loving and so baby-like!!! It's so hysterical! Until he flops down and knocks the farts right out of himself!!!! SLIGHTLY less adorable...bit just slightly!
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
2. That my friends JJ and Derick are coming up to visit this weekend...I'm contemplating my first attempt at a traditional French full course dinner while they are here!!! It's very exciting.
3. That the tree in front of my big office window is blooming. They aren't flowering trees, so there aren't petals, but just watching the greenery of the leaves dancing in the breeze and sunshine is making me happy today.
4. That I have big enough windows to not have to turn the overhead lights on in my office. They are florescent lights and I'm pretty sure they trigger my migraines.
5. My electric tea kettle...making caffination possible any time of the day with just the push of a button...like now! It's caffeine time!
Monday, April 16, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
1. Having the opportunity to perform a random act of kindness. My mom and I went to Maxwell's for a friday fish fry because one of my coworkers suggested it. It was really tasty and about half way through dinner my coworker and her husband were seated at the table behind ours. She is always so willing to help me answer some of my most random questions. As a way to say thank you, I secretly paid her tab before my mom and I left the restaurant.
2. Shopping at Michael's (until it closed) in order to walk off dinner!!!! Now if only I could make time for all of the crafty projects I'm amassing at home.....if all goes well I may have finished off my Christmas shopping. Assuming these "projects" look somewhere near giftable by Christmas.
3. Tv on dvd....I'm all in favor of not having to wait a week in between episodes! And the added benefit of watching anytime and rewatching episodes that may or may not have been slept through is such an added bonus!!!!! AND it's a great way to catch up on all the tv I didn't watch as a teenager.
4. A super productive day! It felt crazy for most of it...and there were most definitely meals skipped...but I accomplished a great deal.
5. That yesterday's migraine didn't make an encore appearance. Part of why I had so much to do today was because I couldn't get as caught up on the post vacation workload as I had wanted to...yay for not having a migraine! :)
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
2. Sleep...aka the "free" time to spend lazing about in bed waking and dozing, waking and dozing past the wholly indecent hour of ten in the morning....for multiple days in a row. Even though many of those morning were made slightly less enjoyable by the nagging voice in the back of my head telling me that I should be getting up and doing something (cleaning....work that I brought home with me to do on my "vacation".... reading .... more reading .... eating ... exercising ... damn this American notion of abhorring the pleasures of doing nothing and being still and silent).
3. I'm thankful that the world did not in fact end because I didn't clean the kitchen on day one of my vacation....or day two...or day three....yea, you guessed it...I waited until the last day of my vacation to get inspired to be productive...then I did so much in one day that I needed advil by the end of the evening. I moved my "tenure" chair upstairs (despite my lacking of the he-man strength to actually be able to lift the chair...I've found that those things in life that can't be lifted tend to roll rather well...even up a flight of stairs!!!!). I finished my laundry. I cleaned the kitchen. I vacuumed. I scooped the cats' poo palace. And still managed to have some time to read a few chapters of Game of Thrones!
4. Feeling like I had something to contribute to the book discussion group that I've been involved with at work. There is a group of faculty and staff who have gathered to discuss a book the author of which will be on campus next week: Difference Matters by Brenda Allen. I really enjoyed the book and was glad to feel like a valued voice in a group of people all of whom have more formal education than yours truly.
5. That I was able to make it through the work day with a pounding migraine, come home and knock it out with three advil and an hour of a near motionless respite on the couch. Granted the down side of this thankful thing is that I had a migraine at all...which means my prescription has failed me...but trust me when I say (type?) that not all migraines go away so easily.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Friday, April 6, 2012
2. Hydrogen peroxide, for keeping my cat scratches from getting infected and for not hurting when applied.
3. It's FRIDAY! Can't wait to get the work day overwith and get home and relax!
4. Megan Mims, for remembering that my birthday is coming up and for wanting to celebrate with me. I'm getting excited about having a girls' night next weekend!
5. Derick, who has decided to make me an easter basket this year AND hide easter eggs for me to find. I'm so excited!!! I also love that he knows that there is a difference between Easter and my birthday even though they're only a day apart, and has apparently gotten me little Easter presents that have nothing to do with my birthday present. It's going to be a good weekend! :)
Thursday, April 5, 2012
2. The ease and peace of the morning. I got up and swirled around the kitchen warming up my breakfast and making a cup of coffee while picking up the kitchen a bit...all while the tv played the soothing sounds of the Music choice soundscapes channel.
3. Getting to watch the cats sleep. After running themselves sleepy they have curled up and are zonked out!!!!
4. The sweet potato chili that mom made last night. It was warm and definitely hit the spot for lunch.
5. My memories....I know that sounds like a rather random thing to be thankful for, but since I didn't have to go to work today, I went for a walk. We've lived in this apartment for a year and a half and had yet to take the walking trail that runs south of the complex. I decided I would today. The path winds around the greenbelt that lies between our complex and the elementary school and neighboring residential area. As I rounded the greenbelt I came up towards the back side of the school. The first thing I saw was the soccer field.
In that instant, before the smile could even spread across my face, with my left foot on the trail in Wisconsin, my 10 year old right foot kicked the soccer ball on the field where we used to play in Italy. I went to school on the army base where my dad was stationed. Across the street from the front of the school was the dental clinic where my mom volunteered. Across the street from the side of the school was a huge field between the school and the fence that separated the American grass from the Italian grass. It was where we played soccer for hours (it was also where the chinook helicopters landed to refuel as they carried care packages to Somalia that year). It wasn't recess, it wasn't lunch....it was the never ending time between the last bell and taps. Otherwise known as the roughly two hours between the end of the school day and the end of the work day. We weren't friends, not really. Truth be told the group of us that played soccer after school spent every moment in school fighting with each other. But we still played soccer together because it was Italy after all and what else we were going to do while we waited for our parents to get off of work?
Still in Wisconsin, my feet kept traveling the trail and as I walked past the soccer field I saw the monkey bars. In short order I was back across the Atlantic, but not back in Wisconsin. I was in El Paso, Texas, in middle school, playing on the monkey bars with Corey and Sofi and our friends. The monkey bars were on the lower football field...with the grass they could never keep green and lush in the desert. We spent most of our free time there, not because we really played on the monkey bars, but because it was in the shade of the school building...and shade was a rare commodity in the desert.
With the hardships and obstacles that life has placed in front of me, I'm thankful that on a crisp, sunny day, I can take a walk down memory lane and smile!
Monday, April 2, 2012
2. Friday was an awesome, if unexpected, day! I had taken the day off thinking that my day would consist of wandering through a special floral exhibition at the Art Museum and trying a highly recommended fish fry....instead my mom and I found all kinds of cool finds in some really unexpected places...
3. One of which was the purchase of my first digital camera! I know it's kind of hard to believe that I haven't purchased a digital camera before now...but I've had cameras, albeit not fantastic ones, on my cell phones and haven't really made the purchase of one a priority. But I found a pretty great camera at a pretty great price....so as soon as I get it connected to my computer get ready for some shutter happy pics!
4. I found some really inexpensive....okay, really cheap!.....supplies to get crafty with. I'm not terribly crafty, but I have a couple practice projects that I'm hoping turn out to be super simple!
5. That our kittens are so happy about being in the car! Because we've traveled with them, even just around town to the pet stores, so much from such a young age, they are happy in car. We drove out the a pet store called the End of the Leash this last weekend and packed up the cats and their litter box. End of the Leash is only about 25 minutes away, but we spent enough time in the car for the cats to find "toys" to play with.
6. That today was so productive. I love when Monday's feel more productive than hectic....it's even more important for Monday's to feel like this when they are the beginning of short weeks....hence...
7. All of the vacation days I have coming up. I have 7 days off around Easter...7days that I hope to fill with cleaning and reading. Maybe I can catch up to JJ reading the Song of Ice and Fire series...haha!!!!!