Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
1. Swimming at lunch!
2. Mani/pedi plans the day before JJ & Derick's wedding!
3. The option of sleeping and then writing my paper in the morning since it isn't coming out right tonight.
4. Sleep! I was up too late last night reading and blogging.
5. Wet hair in the middle of the day. I love when my hair is wet...it's the only time my curls are truly ruly.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
2. Getting to share some of my favorite things about Seattle with strangers. After dinner I went to Barnes & Nobles to pick up the current issue of The Atlantic, because the cover story about work-life balance looks interesting. I sat down at a long table to start studying at the same time as an older couple sat down as well...they were looking at travel guides on Seattle. I asked them when they were going and mentioned that I'm from there and we chatted for quite some time. At one point there was another customer who overheard us that was also going to Seattle! How ironic?!?!
3. Post it notes!!!! I have post it notes of all sizes and colors and have found that they make a great space for taking notes on the text as I'm reading it when there isn't enough room in the margins.
4. Lunch with Josie today! We had sushi, which is always wonderful, and chatted on and on about life, grad school and a little about work! :)
5. "Kitten in a Box"...he's just so cute!!! Followed my "Paws on My Heart"
Monday, June 25, 2012
1. Swimming with Jodi today. We grabbed water weights and swam and chatted. Very pleasant!
2. Having a fan in my room. It's cool enough outside that we turned the ac off, but my space gets stuffy, so the fan is perfect.
3. Quesadillas! My mom made some for dinner...topped with half an avocado...yum!!!
4. Getting some reading done for class. I was leaving it, thinking that I could do all of my reading for the week in one day.... I've learned my lesson....pacing it out now.
5. Sushi lunch date with a coworker!!! She had a meeting in the conference room next to my office and popped in to ask me if I wanted to do lunch tomorrow!!!! I'm so excited...it's been way too long since we've chatted and waaay too long since I've had sushi!
Friday, June 22, 2012
2. That the calzone from Costco that I brought for lunch, while killing my bonus points for swimming, isn't greasy and is tasty cold...because the idea of heating it up made my forehead perspire just a little more than it was already.
3. That the weather is soooo pleasant! Mom and I (and pampered kitties in their stroller) got to enjoy dinner sitting outside of People's Park last night. And today is very comfortable as well! Why can't it stay like this ALL summer???
4. That this pleasant weather is supposed to carry through tomorrow meaning it should be perfect for walking around the Strawberry Festival in Cedarburg. I'm so excited about a whole festival devoted to strawberries...hands down the best thing after the chocolate festival. There are so many stories I could tell to illustrate just how much I love strawberries. I'll spare you their retelling...most of you know them or have heard them before. And if you haven't heard my strawberry stories....the next time we talk ask me just how much I love strawberries!
5. That I was able to get this written and posted before our "scheduled maintenance" wipes out my internet connection. Like the cable guy, we were given a window of anytime between 1 and 6 pm. And on a Friday afternoon....when the weather outside is so nice...and li'l ol' me can't work...what a shame!
Thursday, June 21, 2012
2. Crisp comfortable weather! It's in the 70's and I love it!
3. Lunch with Mary Beth and Jodi. I love when the three of us can break away from campus and enjoy an hour of good food and good chatting!
4. Vitamins....keeping me awake today! It's kind of amazing how much better I feel when I actually remember to take them.
5. That I don't have to actually perform research for the research paper that's due in a month....it's a theoretical proposal of the research I'll be doing for my thesis. I was getting worried about just how much work I had to cram into the next few weeks!!!! Now I know it's just a ton of reading and writing...I can handle that. If anyone is looking for me over the next three weeks, I'll be in a hole with reading glasses that resemble Belle's father's glasses and a stack of books as tall as the Space Needle!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
2. Air conditioning!!!! It's been in the mid 90's with the humidity in the mid 50% range.
3. Having a batch of brown rice cooked and in the fridge to make some super quick meals!
4. The picture of Paris that's hanging above my desk that was given to me by the wonderful JJ!
5. Bedtime...I'm so tired today....I'm ready for a long winter's nap...wait...it's summer....hmmm....either way, I'm ready to catch some zzz's.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
When I was in debate (both in high school and college) one of the events I competed in was impromptu speaking, and while it seems slightly counter-intuitive that one has to prepare for an impromptu event....prepare we did. To do so we read....Uncle John's Bathroom Readers! The stories and factoids became great fodder for impromptu speeches.
It should surprise no one, then, that I have Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader in my collection. I decided that I would share some of this knowledge today for my 5 things....
1. "In Canada, it is illegal to board a flight while it's in flight." (pg 108)
2. For as much as I love ice cream....I'm not eating it in Japan unless the flavor is marked CLEARLY in English. These are some of the flavors that were introduced during record high temperatures in 2004: horseflesh, viper, eel, soy sauce, abalone....this list goes on. (pg 162)
3. "If a cow dies of heatstroke, the gases inside it can expand rapidly and cause the carcass to explode...[that same] gas released by cows' burping and farting is said to be one of the leading causes of holes in the ozone layer. The world's cows produce about 100 million tons of it every year." (pg 182)
4. "Sales of KitKat bars surge in Japan around the time of college entrance exams. 'KitKat' sounds like the Japanese phrase kitto katsu, which means 'good luck.' Parents buy the candy for their kids as a good luck charm." (pg 277)
5. Chewing gum and jelly beans are two things I don't choose to eat very often...and may never again. "Most jelly beans get their hard, shiny surface from shellac - which is made from insect secretions. The insects, Laccifer lacca, live in trees, and their secretions coat the branches. The branches are cut and the shellac is refined from the coating...Some chewing gum still uses castoreum, which is used to enhance flavors. Produced in the anal glands of beavers, it's also used in perfumes and incense." (pg 245)
Monday, June 18, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
2. My George Foreman Grill! While I was living in DC my mom bought me the G5. I used it most for waffles when I was living in DC....but we put these mushroom gouda burgers on there last night and it was tasty. Warning...don't clean grill plates after dinner...even if you can touch the grill surface, the underside is still boil-your-skin hot!!!
3. It's my turn to bask in the graciousness of a friend willing to divulge a password in order to enable an addiction. Don't worry...it's legal... :)
4. A free iced extra large caramel-macadamia nut latte. My boss always has multiple punch cards with just a couple punches...she gathers them up and gives them to me once there's ten punches between all the cards and then I get a free coffee! Coffee is such a wonderful thing...but like my friend Ken says, it tastes better when it's free!
In the time between writing #4 and #5 I popped out to Facebook...this is the cause of the sudden shift in mood...if you can tell that from just reading this.
5. For knowing Darrell Seeger. He was one of my co-workers in Seattle at Starbucks and I just found out that he passed away suddenly. I'm accustomed to leaving friends behind every time I move. But connecting with them on facebook makes the friendship feel so current....so even though I hadn't talked to Darrell since we were both in Seattle, it took my breath away to hear that he passed. He was an amazing guy and will be missed and wept for by many.
6. Thankful that this isn't written in ink....it would be awash in tears.
7. Thankful for my great-aunt's 90th birthday today! In the sadness of my friend's death, her strong life brings me joy. I only wish I could be in Seattle to celebrate with her and family. Happy Birthday Auntie Erma!!!!
8. The box of tissues I keep on my desk....just for days like this...days when my heart is heavy and eyes won't stop leaking.
9. Thankful for the heartbreaking reminder that life is fragile and that tomorrow is not guaranteed.
10. I'm so thankful that everyone of you reading this are part of my life. Whether it's been ten years or ten days, no matter how far away from me you are geographically, you are right here in my heart!
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
1. Left over tamales for lunch! And that smell of masa and wonderful that lingers on your fingers after you've eaten the last bit of tamale!!!
2. The delicate combination of rose tea and strawberry angel food cake. It was a great afternoon snack...even if it was so calming and delicate that it made me want to curl up in the sun and sleep. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I really don't know why we don't have siesta in this country. Granted I wanted nothing to do with nap time when I was little...I think it would be really useful now!
3. My water bottle...encouraging me to drink all the water I should and more than I would left to my own devices. With the temperature getting warmer, I really need to be better about drinking water.
4. Trying something new without a disastrous outcome. We got this random veggie at the farmers market, garlic snape/snare...something like that...anyway, I googled it and read that you can treat out like asparagus and that it's good in stir fry...which was perfect because that's what we were planning for dinner. I can't say that it came out fantastically, but it wasn't completely awful either.
5. Mom was willing to clean up the dinner dishes and set up the strata so that I could study!
2. Sleeping in on a sunday morning.
3. Chile rellenos for dinner...yummy!!!
4. A couple hours to sit and read at Barnes & Noble this afternoon.
5. That Jake is curled up next to me on the couch...even though he would rather I not pet him so that he can finish bathing himself.
Postscript: So in doing this on my phone last night...I erased a previous post....boo. But this is what I attempted to post last night!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
1. Mom made a recipe from one of Paula Dean's cookbooks called gooey cake....it was yummy...of course it would be with all of that butter and sugar!
2. We bought a rice cooker months ago at Costco and have used it a few times. Each time making the smallest batch of rice possible. This time we decided to make a large batch of brown rice to have some ready for any meal. We also had some squash, zucchini and baby bell peppers in the fridge and an onion on the counter. I thought a stir-fry would be quick and easy. And it was...we chopped up and sauteed the veggies and mixed in some of the pre-cooked rice with some meat that Costco has packaged in the freezer section as philly cheesesteak meat. It cooks up fast and everything came to together nicely!
3. Farmer's Markets! Today was the first market day that we packed up the kitties and hit downtown Waukesha for the weekly market. The cats in their stroller were a big hit! We bought some veggies...but what we stumbled upon that was absolutely wonderful were these baskets from Ghana that you can read more about below in #4. After wandering around downtown Waukesha well after the farmer's market had ended we decided to go to another - larger - market in West Allis. More veggies and herbs quickly filled our new baskets.
4. Plowshare, especially the baskets from Ghana! One of the stands at the farmer's market in Waukesha was Plowshare, with a selection of the items that they have in the store that's in downtown Waukesha (on Main St right next to Divino Gelato). I fell in love with the baskets they had hanging around the edge of the stand...especially for only $32. We bought one and made our way through the end of market. After grabbing lunch we meandered down to the Plowshare store to see what other treasures awaited us. Not only did we find a second basket, we found the story behind them. I now love them even more.
Plowshare pays women in Ghana upfront to make these baskets. Many times giving these women their only opportunity to raise money for their families that doesn't include being ladies of the night. After the baskets are sold, Plowshare again sends these ladies money. So they pay on the front end for the women to acquire the supplies and then they pay on the back end to give these women a share of the proceeds. There are just so many things about this process that I applaud. I am thankful that I was able to not only buy a beautiful basket for an amazingly reasonable price, but also that I was able to make a difference in the life of a woman miles away!
5. I'm often thankful that we have had our cats since they were itty bitty and have been able to get them used to being in the car. We have a litter box just for the car and we have sealable containers that we can put wet food, dry food and water into. And amazingly enough, they use all of things so well. They are not phased at all about being in the car and traveling....which is especially important for days like today (more about that in #6). In this picture you see Jake cuddled into the blanket in the back seat while Edward chomps into his first bites of the masa from tamales!
6. After our trip through the farmer's markets we decided to stop a hispanic market for some of the best tamales we've had outside of El Paso. And you know that's not all we ended up buying. After we loaded everything and everyone back into the car we decided to drive along the lakeshore of downtown Milwaukee on the way home. We ended up driving all the way up to Sheboygan before turning back towards Waukesha. We walked along the water, snapped some pictures and then found a little family diner to have dinner in. It was completely unplanned and really just a ton of fun.
7. The first stop of the day was to Target to get some sunscreen. My mom and both burn to a bright read crisp in about 2.5 seconds in the sun. So sunscreen was an important thing to get before wandering around outside for the farmer's markets. And mom picked a good one! It's from Neutrogena and it's called Cooling Mist. It's an spf 45 and it feels very cool and refreshing going on. And it kept us from turning into Elmo's relatives...don't get me wrong...the fuzzy little guy is cute and has an infectious laugh (hmmm maybe we're already related????), but I don't really care to be that shade of red!
8. While the sunscreen really was cool and refreshing...after wearing it all day I was so thankful for a the chance to scrub it all away in the shower when we finally returned home from our impromptu day out and about in weather that was well over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
1. It started as a chain letter text, which I hate, but opened up lines of communication with two old friends that I haven't talked to in way too long.
2. Making the time to sit down and write a handwritten letter to a friend in North Carolina!
3. Amazon for suggesting books that I didn't know existed! Here's to hoping the books turn out to be as useful as they sound interesting for my research paper!!!
4. Super saver shipping...aka free shipping on amazon! Allowing me to spend nothing on shipping and therefore allowing me to spend more on books!
5. Discovering the locking mechanism on the reclining outdoor chairs we have on our balcony. It was so much easier to lounge and relax/read this afternoon without having to fight with the chair to keep my relaxing position.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
2. Free frozen yogurt. The university is considering two different fro-yo vendors for a spot in the campus center and so we get to be taste testers...it's a tough gig!
3. No voicemail! I'm not sure how I managed this, but I returned to my office this morning after more than a week of vacation and there were no voicemails on my phone! Miraculous!!!
4. I caught up on all my emails in a very decent amount of time.
5. An overall not unpleasant day back in the office...I think I really may be on to something with this whole returning from vacation on a Tuesday instead of Monday.
Monday, June 4, 2012
2. Lunch with my mom. We work about 30 mins apart so we don't get to lunch very often. It was nice to grab lunch today.
3. A phone call with a good friend today. I tend to not be much for talking on the phone...I know that's kind of shocking for some of you...I definitely went through many years with my phone glued to my ear. So it was a treat to spend some time chatting on the phone this afternoon.
4. Cupcakes! After I dropped mom off at work after lunch I stopped at Gigi's Cupcakes (over across from Mayfair Mall)...it's always a good thing when there's more frosting than cake!!! And oh so yummy! :)
5. Summer dresses! I loved pulling on a fluttery dress and flip flops today! :)
Sunday, June 3, 2012
1. My class yesterday was awesome! I'm so excited to get my bottom back in the classroom!
2. That the one person in class who doesn't live close to campus was willing to drive an extra ten minutes so that the rest of us didn't have to drive 45 mins away for class!
3. Impromptu oil change....I got out of class early and mom was getting her oil changed, so I met up with her at Firestone so I could get my oil changed too.
4. Getting some reading done today.
5. The books that my mentor in DC lent me before I left...that I subsequently purchased for my own library before returning his books...I think I'll be using one of those books to write a paper that may turn into my thesis. I love that after one day of class my brain is already thinking about possible thesis topics!!! Those instant connections in my head wouldn't have been possible without the books he exposed me to!!!
Friday, June 1, 2012
1. I start my first graduate course tomorrow morning. I'm excited and very thankful for the opportunity to whip my brain back in to shape....some part of me should be in shape!!! :)
2. Employee tuition benefits! I'm very fortunate to have all of my tuition covered as an employee at a university.
3. That one of the two classes I was signed up for was canceled. To be completely honest, I was a little unnerved at the idea of taking two graduate classes in the same condensed summer term. Now I can decide if I want to take it later this summer or wait until next summer.
4. Cleaning at a leisurely pace. My back is still killing me, and I didn't get quite as much done as I had hoped...but enough to feel confident about having a space that I can think clearly in to study.
5. Coming across some of the must wonderful things I have received in the process of organizing my papers. What kinds of things you ask? Well in and among the not-so-fun bills and bank statements (how long is one supposed to keep those things anyway???) I found the following things that all make me smile with sheer delight: a beautiful love poem written for me by an ex-boyfriend; pictures that are lifetimes old (some figuratively and some literally); thank you cards from some of the Archer Alums that were in DC while I was working there; every honor roll and award certificate as well as every report card k-12 filed away meticulously by my mom (and me as I got older) in an organizer....these are some of my most treasured things...not because they hold any intrinsic value - and they will surely be some of the first things to burn in the event of a fire - but because of the emotional value, the memories they hold. It's a fine line between keepsakes and being a hoarder, I know....it's not hoarding if it's organized, right??????