Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Fragments

I'm getting a late start on these. Seems to be the song of my life lately.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

The geese were at the end of my street today blocking my way to work. They have taken to living at our neighborhood pond and they certainly think they own all land. Not afraid of cars at all.

I'm once again a member of the USA Today Ad Panel. We rank the Super Bowl ads. Anyone can sign up to be a member. I like having my voice heard. Not a lot of people join so I actually feel like I'm a part of something.

So I'm one of those people who watch the game for the commercials only. That's ok...I also watch the puppy bowl on Animal Planet to watch the cute puppies.

We had three straight days of record highs this week while the northeast was getting snow. I didn't feel a bit sorry for that.

The last two times I've filled my car up it has been $18. Gas prices last week were $1.65. Living in a state that is dependent on oil and gas prices, we've had huge announcements of layoffs because of the lower prices. They've already warned us that the state budgets may need to be cut. And tax revenue is down significantly. 

We tried two new recipes this week. One was definitely a keeper and we will make again soon. Basil Pesto Chicken only had a few ingredients and super simple to make. The other was a frittata recipe that tasted ok but nothing special. So out goes that recipe. 

My hectic work week finished with all the stress yesterday. Got all the proposals done and my last progress report turned in this morning. Now I can concentrate on all my regular job duties. It felt so nice to go home last night and be able to turn my mind off of work. I slept much better.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hodgepodge Today

1. When did someone last suggest you 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell someone (or want to tell someone) to 'chill out'? Or, when did you last tell yourself to 'chill out'?
I'm sure I've told myself to chill out multiple times this week. Way too much work stress going on.

2. What most recently caused your heart to melt?
I saw an advance copy of the Budweiser commercial for the Super Bowl. Puppy and Clydesdales equal heart melting. Have tissue ready people.

3. "An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

Your thoughts? When did you last experience either an adventure or an inconvenience? How did you see it at first, as an adventure or an inconvenience? Does it feel the same in hindsight?

Every day is an adventure at work but I doubt that's what he was talking about.

4. A Wendy's Frosty, root beer in a frosty mug, or a frosted chocolate cupcake...of these three, which one is your favorite 'frosty' treat?

Frosted chocolate cupcake please.

5. Would you say your life so far this year has been more like a circus or a symphony? Explain why.

A circus but looking forward to symphony days.

6. Since it's a 'snow day' here, what's your favorite song containing the word 'white'?

White Wedding by Billy Idol. I am a child of the 80's.

7. If you had to leave the city you currently live in, what would you find the hardest to leave behind?

Familiarity. I've lived in our house for 22 years and I so used to everything.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I passed on the gym last night to go to a wine tasting. While I'm sure my body could have used the workout, my mind enjoyed the wine.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Fragments

Mrs. 4444 is giving me the prod to get some kind of blog writing done this week. After last week's success I'm such a loser this week.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

After 70 degrees earlier this week that saw me doing my walk outside our the lake in our neighborhood, Thursday morning had a dusting of snow on the ground. Ah weather, you make me giggle.

On the above mentioned walk, I decided to try and run some of it. Last year I mentioned I wanted to actually run a 5K not just walk it and I didn't get anywhere with that one. So I did some running on Monday and it went really well. I'm in much better shape and didn't get as winded. The next three days though my thighs were going to die every time I got up and down in a chair. Wowser. I won't be running on the treadmill but when it is nice I need to maybe start it outside.

The Christmas stuff is finally down. Somehow I lost one of my s'more ornaments and I was extremely puzzled. Hopefully it will show up next year when I unpack them. Snowmen continue to be around my house though since winter goes through February.

I've been looking at my work trips that will be coming up this year. Quite a diverse group of places to go. And that doesn't even take into account vacation spots. I just might be able to use my frequent flyer miles for a free ticket this year!

We have a big deadline next week for some proposals we are submitting. 12 of them all due the same day to the same announcement. Needless to say we will not be getting funding for most of them but it is good for people to submit.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Fragments

What is this? I'm blogging three times in one week after taking a couple of weeks off? Is it magic? Maybe so. Just keep reading and enjoy it.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

Last night my women's group had a bunco night. It had been years since I played and it was a huge hit. We had three groups going (there was probably 50 women there) and it was a ton of fun. Everyone hoped that they would do it every month. They would have to work out a different day since we normally have bible study on Thursday nights. That starts in a couple of weeks. We are doing Malachi by Lisa Harper.

The sun came out yesterday and decided to stick around for more than one day. And temperatures will be in the 50's!

I need to take my tree down this weekend and put away Christmas decorations. I've enjoyed the extra time with the lights on but alas all pretty things must end. Plus if I get the tree put away I can start working on puzzles again.

My new assistant has been here for two weeks and I'm encouraged by how hard she is working and picking things up. I think I made a good choice!

Whitney is happy to be back at school. She only has four classes this semester but three of them are acting like capstone courses. So she will be working on lots of business plans and should be quite the expert when she is done.

The gym has been super busy with all the new year resolution people. As long as I have a treadmill to walk on I'm happy but getting a parking space means parking way far away. Not a problem except when it is 20 degrees and I'm in shorts. But I've increased my time on the treadmill because it was seeming too easy. That means more time to read my books.

And there you have it...a complete fragments post!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hodgepodge - #1 for 2015

Look, I'm actually participating in the hodgepodge again. If she can do all this while recovering from a cold and a wedding, I can participate.

1. What's your best piece of advice for a newly married couple? I'm asking for a friend.
Communication is key to keeping the marriage long lasting. Don't assume something about your about it.

2. Before we're too far into the new year I wanted to post a question Teresa submitted during the December giveaway. Teresa blogs over at Being Refined As Silver, so everyone go say hi.

Teresa asks, "What were you doing on December 31st, 1999?"and "Did you or your family make preparations for Y2K?"

We were watching the OU bowl game (which we won) and then woke up Whitney to say Happy New Year.

3. According to Global Language Monitor, the most used word of 2014 isn't a word. It's the heart emoji. Huh? How can something that's not a word be the most used word, but I digress. What do you think was your most used word in 2014?

An emoji is not a word so that isn't right. I think my most used word was NO. As in no I can't do that or no I don't have time for that.

4. Speaking of words, it's that time again. Time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, and general uselessness) in 2015. You can read more about the decision making process here, but this year's top vote getters are-

bae (before anyone else), polar vortex, hack, skill set, swag, foodie, curate/curated, friend-raising, enhanced interrogation, cra-cra (as in crazy), takeaway, and -nation (a suffering sports suffix).

Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?

I haven't even heard of a couple of those. But working with weather people I'd say polar vortex should be banned. And I remember that selfie was on the list the year before but it still needs to be banned now.

5. January is National Hot Tea month? Are you a fan? Do you like flavored teas? How do you take your tea? Have a favorite cup or teapot? How many cups of tea do you consume in a given day?

I always think the idea of hot tea is better than the actual drink. I always get loose tea from China as a gift from my visitors and I never like it. I do drink hot tea when I have a cold with honey in it though.

6. Whatever happened to________________________________?

The Sun. I think this is the grayest winter ever.

7. What is one book on your must-read list this winter?

I don't have a must read...just an always read a book.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We are back to empty nesters. We enjoyed having Whitney home for her last Christmas break from school but I know she is happy to be back at school for her last semester.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Month Two - Winter Reading Challenge

Oh my, I was a busy reader last month. I knew I read a lot but this seems like a really large list.

Vegas Vacation by Crystal Jordan
Jane Austen Girl by Inglath Cooper
Forever and Always by Jasinda Wilder
Reinventing Mona by Jennifer Coburn
Beyond the Waves by Lynnette Bonner
Fire at Twilight by Lila Ashe
Reservations for Two by Anne Patrick
Secrets of the Heart by Laurie LeClair
Saving Forever by Lexy Timms
Let Me Love You by Kristin Miller
Outback Hearts by Susan Stoker
Loving Lauren by Jill Sanders
Losing Faith by Jeremy Asher
Breaking Up with Barrett by Katy Regnery
Operation Cinderella by Hope Tarr
Make it Rain by Terri Marie
Hidden Moon Bay by Vickie McHeehan
A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert
Winter in Sweetwater County by Ciara Knight

After last month, I had several people comment on how much I read and wondered how I did it. The answer is three-fold.

1. I read at least one hour a day and probably more. I read on my lunch hours and when I walk on the treadmill at the gym. I get free e-books and have them on my ipad. It helps the exercising go faster.

2. I don't read intricate books that take concentration. Let's face it...look at those titles and tell me that anything was in depth. I read romance and chick books.

3. I speed read. When I was young I learned how to do this. It really works well on these type of books. My speed reading is really a skimming technique. You don't really need all those words you know (i.e. the/and/a; descriptive terms, etc.). I really can skim and get the gist of a story. This technique does not work on anything where you have lots of characters or need to follow a story closely. But since all the books I read end up in a similar fashion, I don't have to follow closely.

And that's month two of the reading challenge people. I can't wait to count the books for next month. It won't be impressive since I won't have almost two weeks off of work during that time.