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Archive for May, 2011

Well for better or for worse we got the garden planted today.  Hubby was such a wonderful help, mixing in the compost and plant food and digging the holes for the tomatoes and peppers.  I planted everything else.  It took a couple days because Saturday as we were mixing the dirt it started to rain, then it poured all day Sunday, but today was beautiful.  We started working around 10 and were done by 11:30.

My garden is in four sections.   When you look at the picture, in the foreground (section 1) is one big beef tomato, a couple Roma tomatoes and what will hopefully be some parsley.  In section 2 there are a couple more Roma tomatoes, one big bertha red pepper, and smaller bell peppers.  In section 3 there are two rows of peas where the white rocks are and four rows of carrots.  Section 4 (nearest the door) has two rows of beans and four rows of radishes.  Along the edge is flowering garlic chives and onions are sprinkled in the line too.  I put the flowering garlic chives along the edge like that because I have read that rabbits do not like them and hopefully they will stay out of my garden.

I need to go get a watering can that sprinkles so I can keep it watered.  It is very wet right now so I shouldn’t have to water it till tomorrow.  We put up a little fence around it and ta da!! We have a garden.

The radishes should be the first thing to sprout, 4-6 days and the carrots will be next at about 7 days.  Everything else seems to be around 14 days for the first sprouts.  But it is supposed to be in the mid to upper 80’s for the next week so it might hasten things along.  I will keep you posted on this gardening adventure.  I have never had a garden before, so we will see how it goes.

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I hate painting.  I love the results I just hate everything else about the process.  Gpa hired a guy to paint the inside of his house, well the down stairs living areas anyway.  I am staying upstairs and now you can see and smell the difference.  So I got the bright idea of taking the left over paint and using it upstairs.  So this morning I grabbed the can with the most amount of paint (sea anemone) and now managed to get it on about a 1/3 of the space up here.

The room is set into three distinct areas so I have the area where my bed and clothes are painted.  I didn’t do too badly; I didn’t have any major oops till I got distracted by B’s wonderful new hair cut.  I shouldn’t paint and gawk at the same time.  It just ends up with stuff spilled.  Silly me.  It is starting to dry and I am seeing the places I missed.  Luckily I did not use up all of this color so I can go back and do touch ups.  I am going to wait a few more hours till the walls are good and dry before I put my stuff away and move things so I can do another third of the room.

The last third is the stairwell and landing, it will probably require us to buy another gallon of paint.  It will be the very last part I do.  I am going to take my time doing it because I do have a whole bunch of home work to do this week as well and it is already Tuesday.  Where does the time go?

If I was anywhere near BFF I would have hired her to do the whole thing but we are as usual separated by lots of miles.  So now I am tired, hungry, have a messy room because of the painting and a pretty big sense of accomplishment for the day.  I think it is time for a shower and some “relaxing” homework.

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Family comes in all shapes and sizes, big and small, all ages, young and old, and everything in between.  These are the people who mold who we are.  Some only have fleeting contact and minimal effect and some have such an impact on us that they essentially define who we are.  You never know how you are going to affect someone’s life with just a few words or actions.  It was an offhand comment by my brother that propelled me into getting my degree in engineering.  He doesn’t remember saying anything but I did and it helped me “show him” that I could do it.  In this case it doesn’t matter that he remembers, because I did.  It was my motivation.

We had Hubby’s Grandma’s funeral this week.  I am not sure if anyone shed a tear.  That makes me sad, it wasn’t a celebration of her life because she just wasn’t very nice and no one had a nice thing to say.  So we said nothing at all.  We had a lovely visit with Hubby’s cousins and family, but the highlight for me was Air Force Girl coming home.  It was wonderful to have her and Army Girl home together for a few days.  The only thing that would have made it better is if Navy Girl could have come too.  But we got to see her recently so I am good for a little while.

Hubby’s Grandma was one of those people who had a negative effect on many people.  I hope that I am one of those people who have a positive effect on people.  I try to thank people for doing wonderful things, like Hubby’s parents R&D who opened their home to us for the last few days, who cooked wonderful meals and took us to dinner and just made it a fun weekend.  I try to acknowledge how hard people work to make things nice.  So please remember that even when no one is looking you are influencing someone.  All it takes is a few kind words to change someone’s life.  Will you be that person today?

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I had an interesting assignment this week for my class.  So here is what I wrote:

Category 1: Soft drink while on the go (i.e., soda from vending machine)

I quit drinking soda at the beginning of the year.  It has made my stomach feel much better, but sometimes I still really want and need some caffeine.  On Thursday I went to the grocery store (County Market) and did my usual grocery shopping.  I had a head ache, partly from the weather, partly from the price of groceries and partly because I really despise grocery shopping.  At the end of the trip on the way to the check out I stopped at the cooler and picked up a Welch’s grape soda and a Sunkist orange soda.  I then went to the Pepsi cooler and picked up a Diet Pepsi.  I picked these brands because I like grape and orange soda and when I drink “brown” soda it has to be Pepsi because I am allergic to Coke.  I then went and checked out.  The first thing that was scanned was the Diet Pepsi, the checkout clerk put it on the ledge and I grabbed it, opened it and took a big gulp. It felt very fizzy and slightly biting as it went down.  It did help my head ache some.  I then loaded the groceries into the cart and took everything home.  I put the Diet Pepsi in refrigerator and finished it the next day.  I drank the Welch’s grape soda on Saturday, and my stomach has been on fire!  The Sunkist orange soda is still in refrigerator.

Category 2: Dinner out at “nice” restaurant with other people

When I go home I try to make sure I am there over a Friday night.  In Wisconsin on Friday you get the best fish fries.  A fish fry is just what it sounds like, pieces of fish usually Cod, Walleye, or some other firm white fish dipped in a beer batter and deep fried golden brown.  You can get the fished baked as well, but why?  A fish fry is served with French fries, cross cut fries, or a baked potato.  On this particular night it was a hot July Friday so we were sitting on the deck of the Harbor View restaurant.  It was my friend D’s birthday and we were having a fun time drinking some beer and having some amazing food.  D’s husband had gone to the bar to get a drink, he walked back from the bar and said “Look what I found at the bar” and my daughter Air Force Girl stepped out from behind him.  It was the first time we had seen her since Christmas, and a complete surprise to me.  I did the big ugly cry.

Category 3: Major item costing $1000 or more (i.e., appliance, major electronics, car, etc.)

The last major purchase I made was health care.  I go to the gym almost every day.  I am taking a class called women on weights.   On this day I was loading the leg press with 45 pound weights when one of them slipped out of my hands and landed on my big toe.  The initial shock of pain was enough to make a person want – no need – to throw up.  I was doing ok with just putting ice on it, but my trainer needed to see it so I took my sock off.  At that point laying on the floor was required.  This way if you tip over (pass out) you can’t fall off of anything and do any more damage.  X-rays were required so my sister was called to come and pick me up.  Two of the men who were working out helped me out to the car and my sister and I went to the emergency room.  A couple of x-rays and some vicodin later I had spent $1500.  My $1500 got me a wait in the emergency room, two hours of sitting in a hospital bed, a couple of x-rays, 1 hour of sitting in a hospital bed in a hallway, a couple of vicodin, a diagnosis of a broken toe and bone bruising on the foot, a too small surgical boot to wear, a doctor’s visit, a big ugly walking cast to wear for 4 ½ weeks and one more doctors visit. I can think of much better purchases I could have made with that $1500.

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I am late writing this today because I just don’t know how to feel about Mother’s Day.  It is another of those made up holidays that have a tendency to leave people feeling like crap.  I love my girls more than anything in the world and I appreciate the fact that they love me back.  But a day like today leaves me feeling bittersweet.  I miss my mom a lot.  She has been dead almost 13 years and I still miss her every day.  It is a hole in my life that I just can’t . . .  maybe won’t get over.  When we lose people “too early” it is harder.  But when is too early?  I think anytime someone dies it is “too early” for someone in their lives.

I understand the sentiment behind wanting to honor mothers; I just am uncomfortable with it as well.  It has been turned into yet another shopping holiday.  Give your mother the gift of blah-di-blah, I don’t want something that you go out and buy, write me a letter, tell me you love me, rub my neck and my feet, pick me a flower, call me, even send me a text at 0530 because you are on duty and can’t call.  But it isn’t necessary to buy me things.  The way the commercials make it seem you can only prove your love if you buy something, I say you prove your love by not buying but by doing.  And really if you have to prove your love, who needs that?

Generally we don’t celebrate these made up holidays much.  My girls are off having a life and that is the way I want it.  I raised them to be independent women who take the initiative and try to right wrongs, and make a difference.  And they are doing that, for me that is the best gift they could ever give me.  (And maybe a grandkid or two someday)  The best thing about my relationship with my girls is that they don’t need a made up holiday to tell me they love me.

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I am learning to ask for help.  I have always been the helper, not the helpee.  It is in my nature to volunteer to help people.  Whether it is advice or physically doing something for someone, I like to be there for people.  That is why it has been so hard to ask people for help in finding a job.  It is something I have been learning to do.

Recently someone offered to help me from out of the blue, I tweeted that I was having problems figuring out some software and I was helped by someone whom I have never met.  I certainly appreciate it.  Now one of the people from school has taken me under her wing and is helping me polish my resume and my contacts to look and sound more professional.  I certainly appreciate it.  I need the help.

I am taking her advice and have reached out to my friends and some of my former co-workers and asked for a recommendation.  This was very hard for me to do; it goes to that being the helper thing again.  I also stepped out of my comfort zone and asked some of my classmates to join my network.  I even posted my link on my class profile.  When I am working I have no qualms asking people for their contact information and their help with a project.  I am trying to change my thinking, trying to think of my job hunt as a project and looking for the experts who can help me.

It is easy to get tongue tied when talking about yourself.  In a job hunt you are the product you are trying to sell.  If you were trying to market someone else’s services you could step back and really evaluate their pros and cons.  It is much harder to do so for yourself because we do not see ourselves the way other people do.  I am learning to step back and listen to what others tell me about myself.  It has taken time but I think I am starting to catch on.

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Wedding season is fast approaching and while at the moment I am not invited to any many of you will.  My darling girls this advice I came across on elle.com.  I read this quote and I thought WOW what a great sentiment.

“The only reason to have a fiancé is for fun, and the only reason to get married is for joy, so decide right now: Go straight for the happiness, or forget it.” (Ask E. Jean at elle.com

I have included the link below if you want to read the whole article.  But I am more interested in this particular quote from it.  We all get so caught up in life that sometimes we forget the little things like living life with joy.  We get so caught up in the everyday bullshit that it can sap the joy right out of us.  Making a commitment to someone who we don’t feel happy with is just taking more of that joy away.  Now I am not saying you have to be happy with someone 100% of the time but it should be a vast majority.

I have said it before and I will say it again many more times, only you can make yourself happy, sad etc.  But if your response to what the other person is saying or doing isn’t happy a vast majority of the time, you should rethink things.  If you have to compromise your way of thinking, doing or saying to “make the other person happy” or you expect the other person to compromise the way they think, do or speak you need to reconsider your relationship.  We all have things we need to learn, we all have things we need to teach, but trying to fundamentally change someone is never going to work.  If you are with someone because you think that you can save them, change them or help them, do both you and them a favor  . . . people don’t want to be changed.  Let them be themselves, let you be you.  If the two of you can’t find the joy in being yourself, well that is incredibly sad and you should take that sadness and go find someone you can be joyous with.

I once had someone tell me that I was too aggressive and a know-it-all.  I loved that person so much that it completely threw me.  I lost my way for a long time after that.  I tried to be the person that I thought he wanted and ended up making myself completely miserable.  Up until that point I knew what I wanted and I knew where I was going and I knew how to get there.  After he said that to me, I lost my compass, then I lost my map, I lost my mojo and pretty soon I lost myself.  It has taken me years to overcome that one little sentence that he probably doesn’t even remember saying.

Remember life is so short, spend as much of it having fun and living as joyously as possible!  Happy thoughts for a happy day!

http://www.elle.com/Life-Love/Ask-E.-Jean/Ask-E.-Jean-I-m-Not-a-Nag-Am-I

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