Monday, August 31, 2009

Back from Paradise

I have returned from our 8 day cruise to Grand Turk and the Bahamas. I am now sitting at my previously empty desk to a mile high pile of work. Yikes. But, you know what? I am sitting here with a smile on my face feeling ready to cut that big pile right down.

Our vacation was great! Someone else cooked and cleaned, we went to a couple of amazing beaches (and I am so not a beach person so you know they were great if I liked them), we read, we played cards and we enjoyed each other's company. My hubby and I got up most mornings and did karate on deck before breakfast. How cool is that?

I read several books recommended by fellow bloggers and I will be doing some book reviews over the next few days. In the meantime, I am going to get back to work and demolish my pile of work. I will also catch up on reading everyone else's blog. I am anxious to see what you have all been up to.

Here's to home sweet home.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I am so thankful it is Thursday!

Do we really take the time we should to reflect on the things that we are thankful for? I am thankful for the big things - a loving family, good health and a job in this tough economy but I also want to focus on the little things that we often overlook. I hope you will join me in accentuating the positive.

I am especially thankful that today is Thursday because as of 4:30 this afternoon - I am on a much needed vacation!

I am thankful that I have all of the details finalized for the September and October meetings of a professional association that I am president of.

I am thankful that I am so caught up at work. I won't have any work issues to worry about while I am gone next week.

I am thankful that my boss was on vacation this past week. It made my week go much easier without him around to bug me.

I am thankful that I have a husband that I can trust and a relationship that is drama-free. Some of my co-workers are in relationships that are like train wrecks.

I am very thankful that my son has given me very little cause for worry. I know several other parents who can't say that.

I am thankful that I can provide my son with a stable home life where he doesn't have to worry about being safe or being homeless. We know other kids who aren't so fortunate.

I am thankful that I have such wonderful memories of growing up. The comment I made about accentuating the positive reminds me that my Dad used to sing that song to me when we went camping. It was how he woke us kids up.

This is my last post before vacation. I do not know if I will have an opportunity to post while on vacation so, in case I don't, have a great 8 days!

What is positive in your life today?

Here's to Thankful Thursdays!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I am melting......

I just knew this day would come. I really did. Every time I complained about the rain in June and July, I knew that there would be a day that I regretted those words. A day where I actually longed for another rainy day. That day is finally here.

Yup, it is a bright sunny day and I am wishing for rain. Why you ask? Because the weather is as hot as it gets in Maine and I am stuck in an office with a BROKEN AIR CONDITIONER!! It is just as hot inside as it is outside. I am sitting at my desk covered with sweat and feeling sticky and icky. I hate, hate, hate feeling hot. I really do.

The repair man has been called. I hope he gets here soon. I hope he realizes that he will be walking into an office with 3 menopausal women who NEED it to be cool. That is right - we don't just want it to be cool - we need it to be cool. If he knows what is good for him, he will get here very very soon.

What's making you hot and bothered today?

Here's to working Air Conditioners.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another helpin' of Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments?
It is Friday and you know what that means! It is another edition of Friday Fragments. This hopping event is hosted by party-planner extraordinaire, Mrs. 4444 over at Friday Fragments is where we bloggers take the little pieces of thoughts that we have floating around and try to make sense of them.

My son picked up his paycheck last night and it included a $50. tip for a function that he worked at. He had no idea that the dishwashers got a part of that. He was pretty excited, I tell you. What thrilled him even more was knowing that he is working another function this weekend. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. I may end up asking him for a loan!

We did most of his school shopping. It consisted of me driving him to a local outlet mall, handing over my debit card and waiting in the car while he shopped. He bought 2 pairs of dressy pants (for our cruise and for band events), 2 pairs of jeans and 2 shirts. He spent $160. and apologized for spending that much. I am sure we will make another trip but it was the easiest "back to school" shopping I have ever done. I was able to listen to music and chill for a few minutes by myself.

Thank you to everyone who gave me book recommendations. I now have a total of 9 unread books on my kindle for my vacation. I am really looking forward to them. I have to put in another plug for my kindle. No only is it light-weight and easy to transport but shopping for the books is oh-so easy. I sat at my computer last night for a few short minutes and searched on Amazon for the recommended authors and clicked the button for (free) samples of the books . I then turned on my kindle and voila, the samples were there. I got to read a couple of chapters of the books to make sure I liked them and then downloaded them (without having to hook up to my computer, no less) in a matter of seconds. Gotta love it.

I am a member of a professional organization and I am entering my second term as President of my local association - well, second term this time around. This will actually be my 5th term as president (or maybe 6th, it is hard to keep track) so I, hopefully, have a good idea of what I am doing. I am going to a leadership training session tomorrow for the presidents in our area. All of us are "experienced" as presidents. I really wonder what value this all day meeting will be and, I have to confess, I am a little resentful of having to give up a weekend day. The weather tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful and I will be stuck at a meeting. OK, enough of my whining.

One of my fellow karate students is a young adult who received a brain injury in a car accident. He has issues with his balance and his speech and he also doesn't have the filter between his brain and his mouth. If he thinks it, he says it! I have to tell you, it always makes my evening when he comes to class. Yes, his physical limitations do have an overall negative impact on our class as it takes him twice as long to get things done. We have to keep an eye on him because he isn't a weeble - if he wobbles, he does fall down! However, he has this wicked sense of humor and he has me laughing for much of the class. Also, him just showing up to train is such an inspiration to me. No matter how difficult something is because I am out of shape, I realize that it could be much much worse.

One week from this very moment, I should be on the cruise ship. Yeah!

What pieces of thoughts are you trying to put together?

Here's to fragments.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I need books, books and more books....

Those of you who follow this blog may remember a previous post about "the-best-Christmas-gift-ever" also known as my Kindle. I LOVE to read. You also know (and are probably sick of hearing about) that I am going on vacation in 11 days (not that I am counting). When I go on vacation, I usually read multiple books. I am very excited to take my Kindle with me this year instead of a bag bulging at the seams with books.

So, ladies and gents of blogdom, I am looking for recommendations of good books to read. I will be on vacation so I am looking for books on the lighter side as I don't want to think too much. I have gotten a couple of book recommendations already from reading blogs (thanks, Hallie, for the last one!) and I just know that you all have lots of ideas to share.

Here's to reading!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Fragments?

It is Friday and you know what that means! It is another edition of Friday Fragments. This party is hosted by the Exalted Ruler of Randomness Mrs. 4444 over at Friday Fragments is where we bloggers bundle up all the random thoughts that have come to us over the past week while we are doing important things like watching the Red Sox lose to the Yankees or contemplating how many days until school starts again.

My son has been out straight busy this week. He has been working 5 hours a day and then sitting in Drivers' Ed class for 3 hours. Yesterday, he didn't have Drivers' Ed so he got to spend some time with friends. He was supposed to work but, when he got there, the manager came out to him and my hubby and said that they decided that they didn't want him to work. He had worked 5 days straight, been doing a great job (according to the manager) and it had been short staffed so it had been challenging. They told him to go home and relax. He was a little disappointed about not earning the money but felt good about himself. My hubby was proud as could be over all the nice things the manager said.

Now that I have been taking karate for 4 or 5 months, we are getting so that we punch and block with a little more force. My arms are sporting several bruises, and I have to say, I am pretty proud of them. Last night when Erin (my fellow yellow belt) and I were doing drills, we kept saying "great block" every time we did what we imagined was a bruise-inflicting move. Don't get me wrong, I don't like pain (I am a real wimp) but it is nice feeling to realize that I might actually be able to defend myself. Erin and I compared bruises in the middle of class. Our Sensei taught us some new drills last night and laughed at us as we struggled to figured them out. Who knew that karate would be so much fun? I also didn't know that karate would be such good exercise.

The Tall Ships are sailing into Portsmouth Harbor as I type this. I can hear the cannon at a local fort salute them as the go by. My poor dog is freaking out from the noise. I read in the paper that an organization is claiming that they have copyrighted the term "tall ship" and they are trying to prevent others from using that wording. Hello, how can someone copyright a term like that? What is next?

I am starting to freak out about how close school is. It is just two weeks until my vacation (you just knew I would mention that, didn't you?) and school starts just a few days after we get back. School supplies purchased - no; School clothes purchased - no; Summer school assignments completed - no. Now the last one isn't my problem but the other two things are. School clothes in particular will need to be dealt with as the boy does not have any jeans that fit. Not even one pair. He grew several inches last spring and they all basically turned into capri pants. Not a good fashion statement on a 15 year old boy, I tell you. He got out the scissors and made shorts out of them, just like we used to when we were kids! I didn't have to buy even one pair of shorts this summer. However, I predict spending a fortune on pants in the next few days. Purchasing school supplies will have to wait until school starts because the high school doesn't provide a list. Each teacher gives the students a list the first class and you are expected to run out that night and buy them. I hate that! It reminds me of this spring when we were purchasing a display board for a history presentation. We ran into his classmates in Staples and in the parking lot who were buying the same thing.

The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend. I am planning on going to see a presentation of "Grease" in Portsmouth at a waterfront park. I am really excited. I am going with a friend. It is strange. We live less than a mile apart and she is a childhood friend of my husband. She and I have been acquaintances for years but have gotten to know each other much better the past few months because of facebook. Isn't that strange? She is a neighbor but I rarely see her in person. We do chat and correspond on facebook almost daily, however. She is really sweet and has always been very supportive of my son. She is the type of person that calls to see if my son is selling popcorn because she wants to buy it! It should be a fun evening.

What random thoughts are clogging up your brain today.

Here's to randomness.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thankful Thursday is Today

I have had a bad week at work this week. In fact, it has been one of the most challenging weeks that I can remember for years. It would be really easy for me to get wrapped up in the drama and hassle but I am choosing to get past that and focus on the good in my life. Do we really take the time we should to reflect on the things that we are thankful for? I am thankful for the big things - a loving family, good health and a job in this tough economy but I also want to focus on the little things that we often overlook.

I am thankful that the sun is finally shining for more then one day in a row! The weather here in Maine has been very rainy this summer and it nice to finally get some real summer weather!

I am thankful for the air conditioner at work and my fans at home. They make these warm days much more enjoyable.

I am thankful that I lost weight at my last weigh-in. The bad week at work has been a challenge for me but I am determined to get back on track.

I am thankful that I have a teenage son who still says "I love you" every time we end a phone conversation.

After this week, I am thankful that tomorrow is Friday (I think I will be able to make it!) and that my vacation is 15 days away.

I am thankful that Home Depot has many many paint colors. I didn't like any of the colors that I brought home last week so I went back last night and picked out 5 more paint chips. Who knew there were so many shades of yellow?

I am thankful that my husband put screen and/or new screen on all of the possible places in our house that he thought a bat could get in.

I am thankful that I have some really amazing friends like Mary Ellen. She is an incredible woman and has been a friend for many years and I really look forward to our Girls Weekend Away next year. We will be 50 and fabulous in 2010! I am also thankful that she will reach the 50 milestone before me! :)

I am thankful that I have a hubby who asks me how my day was and actually listens to me complain.

What are you thankful today?

Here's to appreciating the little things.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Yee Gads! It is time to set some goals!

I find that I do really well when I have stated goals to keep me on task and focused. Last week, MightyMom over at It's A Wonderful Life wrote about her goals for the week and I posted some goals I wanted to accomplish in the up-coming week. I met some and didn't meet some but all in all, I know I got more accomplished than I would have if I hadn't written down some weekly goals.

This post is going to be twofold. Number one, I am going to post 3 goals for the up-coming week and check in next Wednesday to see how I did. I hope you will all join me and post your own three goals.

Secondly, I hope you will share with me (and anyone else who happens to read my blog) what tips and tricks you use to accomplish the things you want or need to accomplish.

My three goals for this week are:

1) To take my lunch to work a minimum of three times. This will be good for my waistline and for my wallet.

2) To walk a minimum of four times.

3) To practice karate at home a minimum of three times.

What are your goals?

Here's to making things happen.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Black & White Person living in a Gray World

Nichole recently posted a blog about liking a friend and not liking her actions. At the time, I shared the story about a co-worker and being in the same situation and how I dealt with it. As time passes, however, my co-worker is making more and more decisions that make it harder for me to close my eyes to her actions.

A little background for you. I am a very black and white person. I know what I believe and I rarely, if ever, change from those beliefs. Having an affair is wrong. End of discussion in my book.

My co-worker (CW) was married with two kids and started an affair with a woman. I didn't have an issue with the gender of her new partner but I do believe she should have ended her marriage before starting the new relationship.

Fast forward a couple of years and she is now divorced and living with a different female partner. The reason that I mention the gender of her partner will become obvious in the future. Her newest partner is married so, once again, my co-worker is involved in another affair.

This is where it gets complicated, however. Her new partner (NP) got married to another woman last summer. (CW and NP started dating less than 4 months after the wedding.) This woman is apparently dying from brain cancer. We will call her DW. I say apparently because we have been hearing for several months that DW only had a few weeks to live and she was just awarded a wish from the Make A Wish Foundation to take her kids to Disney for a week. However, DW is hanging in there and is well enough to drive and to work.

Talk about a complicated mess. NP and DW can't currently get a divorce because they live in NH and NH does not currently recognize same sex marriages. They would have to move to a state that recognizes them, establish residency and get divorced there. CW and NP are already talking about their wedding.

The trip to Florida was for DW, NP and their 3 kids (one for DW and two for NP). It was scheduled for a time that conflicted with a long weekend away for NP and CW so they had the Make A Wish trip postponed. (Yep, you read that correct - they postponed a make a wish trip for a dying woman so they could go away for a long weekend.) When it came time for the actual trip, CW pitched a fit about NP going so DW took the 3 kids to Florida by herself for the first 1/2 of the vacation and NP flew down for only the end of it. (You also read that correctly. A dying woman went to Disney with 3 kids by herself for 4 1/2 days.) Since NP left, we have been subjected to: deep sighs, tears and slamming of telephones. I understand that CW misses her partner, but I am finding it hard to be sympathetic when I believe that NP is where she should be - with her kids and dying spouse.

How do you support someone when you believe they are making very bad choices?