30 December, 2013

Looking Forward...

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I don’t believe in setting New Year’s resolutions and I don’t plan on setting any this year.   I do plan on making and keeping a few promises to myself.  I know it sounds like the same thing, but in my mind, it’s not. 

My first promise to myself has been to quit wasting time on that stupid Candy Crush game.  I cannot understand why I’ve let it consume so much of my life in 2013, but alas I did.  I deleted it from my phone today.  I’m done being aggravated on a daily basis by that thing.  Ahhh, it feels good.

I also plan on letting go a little more – especially the things I cannot change.  My job sucks.  My co-workers suck.  My boss sucks.  Without a career change, I cannot change any of those problems.  Unless something else magically comes along, I plan on sucking it up and making the best of it until I can move along to sunnier climates. 

This past year, we trimmed television from our lives and it has been a liberating experience.  I can honestly say it was sucking the life out of our household.   We still watch a few of our favorite shows, but the television is not turned on for the sake of it any longer.  I plan on making some more adjustments to how I spend my free-time.   

I plan on eating better – at least adding a few more fruits and vegetables to my diet on a daily basis.

I’ll never be a work-out guru, but I plan on walking more.  Because of the treacherous sidewalks this time of year, I may have to settle for the treadmill until Spring.

I plan on closely examining my personal friendships.  I think there is room for improvement there.

Everything is manageable – in small doses and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2014 has in store…

23 December, 2013

Pre Merry Christmas

Wow!  Where has the month of December gone?  The last I remember, it was late November and now, Christmas is upon us.  How did that happen?

On the upside, I’ve been done my Christmas shopping and decorating since December 1st, so it’s been a pleasant experience being able to AVOID the mall, crowds and crazies. 

I did however, fail at Christmas baking this year.  I don’t enjoy baking, so it’s not something I do willingly, but every year, I begrudgingly make J and The Boy shortbread cookies.    This year I’m blaming the lack of cookies in our household on the makers of corn starch (a key ingredient in the cookies).  Yes, the corn starch company!  For the past 15 years, the recipe I use for the shortbread has resided on the side of the corn starch box.  Imagine my surprise when I look for the recipe on my new container of shortbread and all I see are the instructions “for recipe ideas visit our website”.  WTH?   So because I’m not totally lazy, I trudge off in search of the recipe on the world wide web – only to be horribly disappointed when I receive a “404 Not found” error.  Seems someone didn’t pay the web hosting bill at the corn starch company and their server WITH the recipes no longer existed.

So, there you have it – my household is cookieless for the 2013 festive season.   Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t have won the mother of the year award this year anyhow, so no harm done. 

If I had made them though, they would have looked like this…



Not really, more like this...but a girl can dream can’t she?

 

Have wonderful Christmas! May your home be filled with lots of love and many, many cookies.

15 December, 2013

To Celebrate the Snow...

Here's a little something I've been working on.  It's fitting given all the snow we've been getting up here in Canada.




White Bear's Journey

Zuni carver, Everett Pinto, carved this white marble bear with the turquoise heart line.  The bear has been wrapped in heavy sterling and the necklace has been strung with white moon shell heishi beads, hematite beads, and nuggets of vintage Sleeping Beauty turquoise from the legendary closed mine in Arizona.

The Bear is a symbol of strength, with power from within.  The heart line, which starts at the mouth of the bear (where breath gives life) and point to the soul (where faith, spirit and inner strength reside).

04 December, 2013

Diabolical Scheming in Process...

For years, I’ve struggled with happiness in my career.  I’m easily bored, need to be challenged and most important of all, don’t like to be micro-managed.
 
Well, I’m 3 years into my current position and am still unhappy with my choice in careers.  It’s my problem and I’m dealing with it, BUT knowing it’s only short-term (3-5 years) definitely helps. 
 
That being said, I’ve come up with a plan of sorts – something that should keep me engaged, reduce my exposure to unpleasant people, allow me to be slightly creative and the best part – my report structure should change.  AND, there is a need for this position within the organization – they just don’t know it yet!
 
Here is where by diabolical scheming comes in.  I need to figure out a way to – make them aware of the need for this position, convince them I’m the right person for the position, convince my boss he’s not the reason I’m want out of our department, so he’ll give the new position his blessing, recommend me and then find a suitable replacement so I can get the hell out.  Then all I have to do is make the position mine.  Easy - in my mind at least…
 
So, the position I’m speaking about is a corporate policy and procedure trainer.  The position title needs some work. 
 
Basically as part of my current role, I now write corporate policies and procedures and as part of the legal department, we then “roll them out” and magically believe people are adhering to them.   By “roll them out”, I mean send the policy in an e-mail.   Efficient, I know but not so effective.
 
I would like to take the role a step further and implement a formal training program which would entail initial training, ongoing training to new employees, yearly refresher training and of course, policy and procedure compliance monitoring.
 
I believe employees would find value in this because as it stands now, they are supposed to following policies and procedures that many of them don’t even know about.  They start with the company, are handed a policy and procedure manual and are expected to be aware and understand it.  People aren't wired to work that way – at least most people I know aren’t.
 
I know it sounds boring, but I enjoy the teaching aspect of these things, I like to make boring topics interesting and understandable and I like things to run smoothly and right now, things don’t run smoothly – at all.  
 
So there it is…my "escape from the legal department until I can escape from reality" scheme.   *insert diabolical laugh here*  muhahahaha

02 December, 2013

Things to Ponder…

Does anyone use the word “please” or is it just a given that they are entitled to something and therefore the word is not required?

Why are some people just bitchy assholes EVERY, SINGLE day of the year?

When did we become so self-absorbed?

Why do some people believe the world revolves around them?

Why does the festive season bring out the worst in mankind?

Why has Facebook become the first thing people turn to when they need to express their emotions?

What did we do with our spare time before social media and Candy Crush?

Do you really care if a Facebook friend cleared a level on Candy Crush?

Why does Facebook recommend “people that I may know” that only appear to be porn stars? Do they know something I don’t?

Does anyone read anything other than status updates anymore?

Why do the Internet Nazis allow me access to social media sites, but not the Weather Network?

Why do we wish our lives away and only live for the weekends?

Does anyone send Christmas cards anymore?

Why does work always feel like an exercise in self-preservation?

Is “thank you” really that difficult of a word to say?

Why do friends feel more like acquaintances than true friends anymore?

Since when has complaining become about everything become a sport?


As you can tell by this post, it’s been one of those days, weeks, months. Actions speak louder than words and lately, people’s actions are screaming at me. I’ve lost a lot of respect for certain people in my life and I’m hoping it’s only a momentary hiccup. I have hope for humanity and that suddenly we will realize what tools we’ve become and how social media is to blame. Wake up people. You’re not special - we’re all idiots.


28 November, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...

I wanted to wish all of my American blogger friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. I'm so jealous of all the turkey leftovers you will be enjoying - for the next few days.

Enjoy!

05 November, 2013

Good Thing Thought Bubbles Aren't Visible...

Just about sums it up...


31 October, 2013

Bah Humbug...

Do you ever have those days when you feel overwhelmed and feel like punching the next person that passes your way in the throat? No? So, it’s just me then.

Well, today is one of those days for me. As I write this it is actually October 31st – Halloween. It should be an uneventful day, except that it’s “dress-up” day in the office.

I’ve never been one for theatrics of the dress up kind. I’m happy for people that enjoy costumes and make believe, but I’m not one of them, so I respectfully ask to be left alone and not chided by co-workers I don’t even like for the fact that I’m not in costume.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – I don’t enjoy my job and putting a costume on for a day is not going to make having to come to work a pleasant experience.

It began on Monday – the questions and comments – What are you dressing up as? Do you want to be part of the 7 dwarfs team? How about catman from Kiss? Even today – I have a cape you can wear since you’re already wearing black. Seriously people, FECK OFF!

I should have called in sick and avoided the whole day. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE to have fun and would be the first person on the party train - just not today and with these people.

There, I feel better now that the rant has concluded. Better hope the next person walking through my office door is just delivering the mail....




Be safe and have fun...

21 October, 2013

Domain Dilemma...

I’ll be honest, I’m addicted to domain names. Seriously, I own domain names for businesses that I will never open and websites and blogs that will remain unpublished. I just dream up names and think that would be a cool website address, so I register them. I have a problem.

Each one has a story.

flamingotongue.com - My existing jewelry business.

imagineit-photos.com - J's business (website under construction).

surfingflamingo.com - New business, which is yet to be determined.

surfing-flamingo.com - Same as above.

drunkin-newfie.com - This will be the name of my barefoot beach bar...one day.

bonaireislandadventures.com - This one is a work-in-progress. One day perhaps, it will be the name of the blog I use if I actually move to Bonaire.

ridethemoment.com - I just liked the sound of it.

journeyandadventure.com - This blog, but I haven't quite got around to figuring out how to change it through blogger.


See, I told you I have a bit of a problem. Oh well, I suppose there are worst things I could be addicted to.

18 October, 2013

Something's Happening, But The Details Are Sketchy...

I have a plan. Well, I actually have MANY plans ongoing at any one given moment in time. My latest plan is this…


What is it? A logo for my new business. What’s the business? Well, that’s where the details get sketchy – I haven’t figured that out yet, but it does have something to do with my early retirement plan. Will it have something to do with surfing? Perhaps, but likely not.

I do have some ideas, but nothing has been 100% finalized. I’ll keep you posted, just as soon as I figure it out myself.

14 October, 2013

Giving Thanks...

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving today, so in the spirit of giving thanks, here’s what I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful for my family and friends. They all drive me bat-shit crazy on a regular basis, but I appreciate their quirks – in small doses.

I’m especially thankful to J for taking care of the majority of the household chores - cleaning, groceries, baking and margarita making.

I’m thankful for my sense of humor and the margaritas because without them, I would have totally lost my mind by now.

I’m thankful for The Boy and his sense of humor because without it, he would have made me lose my mind by now.

I’m thankful my in-laws are hosting the turkey dinner this year for the whole family. I’m especially thankful for not having to have those people in my house for an extended period of time and being able to leave when I want.

I’m thankful today is a holiday and therefore, I do not have to spend time with my boss or co-workers.

I’m thankful for my job, but would be more thankful if I was doing something else, somewhere else.

I’m thankful that I’ve have the ability to travel and see “the world”. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate that there is so much more to life.

I’m thankful for my health. Without it, well…let’s just say I’m extremely thankful for it.

I’m thankful for my blogging friends because you guys take me to different places and share different experiences, all without having the expensive airplane ticket. Thanks!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Eh…

01 October, 2013

Summer Round-Up and Camera Clean Up...

Well, now that summer has come to an end, I thought I better get cleaning up my summer stuff that's been lying around the house - patiently waiting for the next trip to the beach.  *sigh*  

This past weekend, away went the sunscreen, hat, sandals, beach bag, etc.  In the beach bag sat my camera.  The same camera I carried around all summer - most times it just sat in the bag, but there were a few photos that captured a few summer highlights... 


First Trip to the Beach - Early May, 2013

 Some of My Garden Flowers - June, 2013







Day on the Lake with Friends - July, 2013



 Beach Finds - July, 2013

 CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario Canada - August, 2013

 My Boys @ Fan Expo Canada - August, 2013

March of the Storm Troopers @ Fan Expo Canada - August, 2013

Pretty Beach Find Treasure - September, 2013

I'm sad to see summer go, but at least the memories will last me awhile.

13 September, 2013

Happy Friday The 13th...

I'm not one to get caught up in the unlucky hype of Friday the 13th. I figure karma has just as good of a chance of biting me in the ass on a Monday as it does on the 13th of the month, that just happens to fall on a Friday. Yeah, I'm cynical that way.

A place where I used to work, used Wednesdays as the days when they used to terminate people. Their rationale was that they "didn't want to ruin people's weekends by terminating them on a Friday". Ummm, geeze - thanks for your kindness...

Anyhow, whaetevr your beliefs may be - I hope you have a fantastic day! Happy Friday!!!

26 August, 2013

Admitting Defeat...

For those that have been following this blog for awhile, you know that I have a terrible history for staying at one job for a long period of time.

Other than my favorite boss, whom I stayed with for 12 years and where I’d still be if it wasn’t for a non-solicitation clause in his employment agreement that kicked in after a corporate take-over, I’ve never lasted in a job position for more than 3 years. Yep, since 2000, I’ve worked for 6 different employers. I have varying reasons for why I left and moved on – everything from earning more money, needing more challenges, stupid co-workers, unbearable bosses, to extreme boredom and no work. The list goes on.

I’m hopeless in the sense that I can’t seem to find my career groove. I’ll toot my own horn and say that I’m really good at what I do, but tend to get bored, easily if not engaged. I liked to be challenged, but not micro-managed. I like the freedom to make decisions on my own, but also like knowing that if I need guidance or have questions, someone will be there to bounce ideas off of or back me up if I need assistance. I like being treated with respect. I don’t like to be chastised or made to feel like I’m stupid.

When I took my latest position, I was determined to stay put and not jump ship until the end of time…or at least until I could finish out my “5-7 year plan”. Well, here I am again – at the crossroads of “WTF and Hell-No I’m Not Doing This Any Longer”. I will have been here 3 years in November and I’m sad to say, that I’ve not been content a single day of that time and that’s no exaggeration. I wish it was.

Things started out okay (not good, just tolerable), but with every passing day/week/month, things have gotten increasingly worse. For the last six months, every single day when I come into work, I feel anxious about what the day will bring. Mondays are the worst. It’s gotten to the point, that I don’t sleep well on Sunday nights and I feel sick on Monday mornings. This is very unusual for me.

As I assess the situation, this is what I’ve asked myself:

What’s causing this? My boss – he’s a lawyer – enough said. He’s super smart, but should not be allowed to interact with humans. He has no grip on reality. He has no sense of what’s important and what should be given priority. What should take him days to complete, takes him months to finalize and then I get the blame because I didn’t prioritize it properly for him. He’s a master of twisting facts and turning minor issues into major problems. He’s not mean, but is very good a making everyone around him feel guilty for something. It’s like a bad marriage.

What’s keeping me here? The money. I’ll be honest, I get paid extremely well and have a bonus plan, which gets paid out every year. I’m ashamed to admit it, but money is the only thing that is keeping me here. I’m not sure I could do any better than what I’m doing here. I wouldn’t otherwise care, but I really don’t want to sacrifice my grand plans and turn them into a 10 year plan.

Can things be changed? No. There’s no hope. I wish there was.

Will I leave? I would love to say no, that I’m just having a bad day and overreacting, that tomorrow will be better, but it won’t be. I know that.

In the wise words of Kenny Rogers…

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.

I will say that I’m contemplating my next move and putting out a few “feelers”. If I learned anything in life, it’s when to walk away…



21 August, 2013

Neutral = Boring?

I love bright colors. I like being welcomed by the feeling of warmth and cheerfulness when I enter a room. As much as the houses in Architectural Digest are stunning to look at, I don’t think they are meant to be lived in – at least not by me.

I understand that some of the first rules when selling a house is to depersonalize it, remove clutter and keep wall colors neutral. This allows people to see beyond the knick-knacks and color on the walls and picture what their stuff could look like within the rooms. Here’s my dilemma – in my opinion, neutral colors can be too sterile, impersonal and boring.

I’m not saying I intend on keeping the orange walls in The Boy’s bathroom or the fire engine red paint in his bedroom, but I need to find a compromise that will work for us until we sell the house, but I would like to do it now while J is still willing to have me as his “boss”.

We are 98% done the spare room and have finished painting it and in case you’re wondering about the color, we went with a neutral color. Its’ called dolphin. What color is that? Grey or gray – depending on where you’re from. I don’t hate the finished product, I just don’t love it as much as I would have liked. Oh, well – it’s only the spare room, but at least it’s neutral.

Once The Boy moves out in a couple of weeks, his bathroom is next in line for a makeover (shhh he’s doesn’t know yet). He picked out a new shower curtain from Ikea last week and it does not remotely co-ordinate with the orange walls. One would think it would be cheaper and less work to replace the shower curtain than the wall color, but it needs to be done eventually, so I guess there’s no time like the present. Nothing like a hideous incentive to get the ball (and paint roller) rolling.

15 August, 2013

Save The Drama...

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed here are my own and are based solely on my life experiences. I will say that I’ve worked with some fantastic women, but recently my bad experiences have outweighed the good.

Can I just say how much I dislike working with women? Yes, I realize I am one; however I’m more of a “tom boy” type of gal.

For the most part, I have great working relationships with my male co-workers. The women – not so much. They are an entirely different story. Don’t get me wrong, I can tolerate them, I just don’t enjoy interacting with them.

My male co-workers for the most part, are minimalistic. You ladies out there might disagree but I find that they don’t need as much babysitting. I can ask them to provide me with information and they don’t whine about it. Guys get shit done.

My female co-workers will do EVERYTHING in their power to avoid taking responsibility for anything. They will not simply respond to an e-mail request. Nooo, they insist of calling to “discuss it” first and then will proceed to whine about it and then, they will tell me how busy their schedules are and how it might be difficult for them to fulfill my request in a timely manner. With at least 10 minutes wasted, they could have easily completed what I asked and saved us both a ton of time and me at least two doses of headache medication.

I hear these same women constantly complain about inequality in the workplace and how life would be so much easier if they had a penis. Ummm, no – life would be so much easier if they would just shut the hell up and do your job. These women are their own worst enemies. If they put as much effort into working hard, they might get a little higher on the corporate ladder or at the very least, they would earn a little more respect at the end of the day.

Another reason why I like my male co-workers – you don’t need to pretend to care how their weekend was, nor do you need to tell them how fabulous their new shirt is or how great their new haircut is. They don’t care. I like that.

There is nothing I hate more than fake, idle chit-chat. If I take the time to ask you how your weekend was and then listen to you for 15 minutes, I expect the same courtesy in return. Don’t ask me how my weekend was and then interrupt me the first chance you get so that you can get to the point of telling me how fantastic your weekend was.

Another thing male co-workers don’t do that I appreciate is that the fact that they don’t size up your wardrobe the minute you walk in the door – your boobs maybe, but not your wardrobe. I like that. Women are bitches that way.

Not once before this job did I have to remove a “knife from my back”. Here, I do it on a daily basis – sometimes multiple times in one day.

Oh well, life goes on – those women will be here WAY after I’m gone. Why? Because I’ve worked hard, kept my mouth shut (for the most part), known when to pick my battles and that’s why I’m going places….far, faraway places.


30 July, 2013

Catch-Up Post...How You Doin?

I can’t believe we are already in the last week of July.  Eeeks!  Summer is passing me by.  How has that happened?  Where did it go and how can I get it back?  Seriously, I’m freaking out about this one.  The weather has been on a “cool” side and not in a “wow that’s awesome” kind of cool.  More like cold, put on socks kinda cold…brrr…
 
This summer has been a summer of “procedures”, with visits to Drs., Dentists and Specialists.   First, I had a filling, then a root canal, then another filling to fix the crown where the hole was made from the root canal.  Then there were miscellaneous Doctor’s appointments, blood tests or as I like to call them “tune-ups”.  Then, I had a biopsy on a spot that I’ve had above my left eyebrow for at least a year and that hasn’t seemed to heal and just last Friday, a follow-up appointment for the results.  Turns out, I have basal-cell carcinoma – a form of skin cancer.  On the upside – it’s not the real nasty kind that will spread to other areas of the body, nor is it life-threatening, but if left untreated it could become “disfiguring”.  WHAT???  So right now, I’m waiting for a call from the specialist to schedule a time for a consultation and then eventually its removal.  
 
Now for the public service announcement portion of this post – the most likely cause of this has been sun damage.  What am I getting at?  PLEASE, PLEASE use sunscreen and wear a hat!   Although I do wear sunscreen, I’m not great at putting it around my eyes and I’ve never been great at wearing a hat.  Needless to say, I will be more diligent in the future.   Too bad I had to learn the lesson this way.
 
The Boy has decided, rather last minute I might add that he’s going back to school in September.  Let’s hope the saying “third time’s a charm” rings true.  In all fairness to him, turns out he’s had somewhat of an excuse for not succeeding thus far.  You see, approximately 6 months ago, he was diagnosed with adult ADHD.   As there weren’t any childhood symptoms and he performed well in both primary and secondary school, we didn’t see there was a problem until he went off to college the first time and even then, we just chalked it up to “laziness” and “lack of ambition”.  We were wrong.  As a parent, I feel horrible that his problems went undiagnosed for so long.  Well on the upside, The Boy’s not holding a grudge for our less-than-stellar parenting.   He’s now seeing an ADHD specialist and is taking medication to help with his “focus” issues.   Now that I know what to look for, I’ve seen a huge improvement.  I won’t lie, I still think he’s a bit lazy and unfocused, but I’m not sure if that’s the ADHD or whether he’s just being a “boy”.   Time will tell…
 
So back to the school thing, now that The Boy has decided to return to school, we need to find him a place to live.  Since he’s waited so long, college residence isn’t an option.  Not that it would have been a great option in any event considering his “focus” issues.  He’s determined he’s better off in an apartment on his own without a lot of distractions and I have to agree, so we are planning on heading north in a couple of weeks to look for accommodation.  It’s an exciting time for him – his first apartment.  Let’s hope it meets his expectations, although I don’t think he really has any.  Okay, so let’s hope it meets mine.
 
This weekend coming up is a long weekend in Canada.  No special name for it – just the August Civic Holiday.  Will I be enjoying it on the beach somewhere?  Nope, we are finally having our first liquidation yard/garage sale.  I must say it’s slightly overwhelming to think about what needs to happen in order to eventually liquidate our entire home’s contents, I’m taking it one step at a time.  This weekend will be the first round of many and mostly consists of stuff that’s been sitting around in the basement, on shelves, in boxes and that hasn’t been used within the last 5 years.  Boy, we have a lot of stuff and boy, did it ever need to be dusted!  The sale will start on Friday and hopefully will wrap up on Sunday mid-day, which will leave me at least Monday to rest.   Let’s hope the weather holds out and it’s doesn’t rain…or snow. 
 
On the upside of things – we’ve got another vacation planned for March, 2014.  I know!  I’m not even through the one to Puerto Rico in November; however there are times when you have to book far in advance and this is one of those times.  J and I and four of our closest friends are heading back to the Galapagos Islands for 10 days of scuba diving and sightseeing.  We had been so fortunate to go on a “once in a lifetime” adventure in 2003, I can’t believe we are off to do it again!  I guess it’s back to eating ramen noodles for the next 7 months…
 
After the March vacation, that’s it – no more “vacations”.  I can’t afford that kind of tomfoolery when we are trying to fast track an early retirement.  The only exception will be “research vacations”.  Those are the ones needed to determine where our retirement location will actually be.  You heard it here first – no more leisure vacations.   Just business…
 
And last but not least, we saw KISS in concert this past Saturday night.  This was the second time we've seen them live and I must say, they do put on a good show.  It's interesting to see the demographics of concert goers - everything from young children to senior citizens and everything single one knew how to rock!  Good time was had by all...
 
That’s it for now, I think you’re up-to-date.  If you made it this far – thanks for your patience.  That was a loooong post…
 
 

08 July, 2013

Unsettled...

Do you ever have that creeping feeling of impending doom, butterflies in your stomach for no reason, or that something’s just not quite right in the Universe, or maybe the stars aren’t quite aligned?

I usually feel at peace with myself, but not lately. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt “off”. I can’t pinpoint where exactly these feelings are coming from, but I know that something’s amiss. I just can’t seem to relax. I almost feel like I’ve forgotten something, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what that something might be.

Work has been busy as usual, but not enough to make me feel like this. Home life is fine – not busy there either. Life is less stressful since J has been home taking care of the daily chores and our to-do list is slowly shrinking, so it’s not that nagging at me.

I’m not sure what it might be, but one thing’s for sure…I don’t like it. 

Does anyone know if diet can make you feel anxious? I haven’t been eating the best – too many summer beverages, too much BBQ goodness and not enough greens. Maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s just stomach indigestion…

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves. ~Henry David Thoreau







25 June, 2013

Looking for a Home...

Nope, I'm not homeless yet, but this little girl is.

She stumbled into our front yard last evening.  We had just been on the front porch saying goodbye to J's parents when we hear a "mew, mew". We turn to see the source of the noise and there she was...looking for love, attention, food and water.

My conscience would not let me leave her outside.  We live on a busy highway and have lost a few "strays" that we have tried to keep as outdoor cats.  So needless to say, she is living in my laundry room at the moment. 

Although we have one other cat, I don't want another one.  The one we have is The Boy's and although he started out with good intentions, J and I have ended up being the cat's primary caregiver.  Nope not interested. 

I'll endeavour to find a home for it, but I'm not very hopeful - cats and kittens are everywhere and shelters are overrun this time of year. 

In the meantime, I've purchased kitten food and some deworming medicine.  Guess he's getting a bath tonight too - especially if he's going to be staying awhile.





21 June, 2013

Random Thoughts - Update Edition...

Well, it’s been almost 3 weeks since the beginning of my poison ivy, oak or sumac outbreak and the itching is finally starting to subside. I only have a few remaining itchy spots – mostly on my neck and hairline. That was without a doubt, the worst experience of my life.  It certainly was not painful, but extremely exhausting both mentally and physically. I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind (more so than usual).
 
Approximately 1 month ago J and his employers came to a mutual decision to “part ways”. I guess that’s a nice way of saying he is now unemployed. Believe me – we are both extremely happy with this decision. I’m happy because I have a built-in maid, cook and contractor. J’s happy because he is no longer working for morons (unless I count of course). The house to-do list is dwindling and we have come to the realization that if it weren’t for him being able to work away on all the projects now, we would never be ready to sell the house and vacate the country within our original timeframe.  Maybe now, we can go sooner?

Our de-cluttering has not yet started, but I do keep thinking about it - a lot. That should count for something.


A few weeks ago, I participated in a one day art show and sale. It was held in a couple of old renovated barns on a great country property. The location was fabulous and the vibe was great. I’m happy to say, it was the best show I’ve ever done with my jewelry sales at an all time one-day high. It’s re-affirming when people buy my stuff. It provides that boost needed to continue on.

Work has been very busy and challenging as of late and it has been increasingly difficult to “keep my head in the game”. I’m doing everything I can to remain professional and focused because I know 4 years is still a long way off and I still need this job until then, but I can tell you that it makes for a hard time putting up with extended bouts of B-S.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

P.S. The photo is one of J's from Bocas Del Toro, Panama.
Happy Summer Solstice Everyone! 

18 June, 2013

Whirlwind Tour of Washington DC...

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a one-day seminar in Washington, DC.  Unfortunately I had only planned for a half day of touring, but by the time I arrived, after flight cancellations and other delays, my half day turned into a couple of hours - in the rain. 

Oh well, I made the best of it and powered on.  My hotel was within a 5 minute walk to the White House, so that was my first stop.

J came along for the trip and spent the following day touring around while I was attending the seminar.  Maybe he'll share some of his photos with me so I can share with you.

The highlight of my trip (besides all of the sailors at the Naval Memorial) - I saw the Presidential Motorcade -sirens, secret service men, dark glasses, black SUVs and all.  Very exciting!

One day certainly is not enough time to see everything DC has to offer.  J and I can hardly wait to go back.


Back Lawn of the White House

Secret Service Squirrel

Sorry, didn't get the name of this one...

Front of the White House


House Where Lincoln Died...

 
Gumby @ Smithsonian Sculpture Garden

06 June, 2013

Itchin to Stop Scratchin…


So, you may recall that a couple of weeks ago, we were busy with cleaning up the trees that we had cut down in our side yard. Well, I’m happy to report that is was finally completed on the May 25th weekend.

Last Thursday, May 30th and out of nowhere, a small red rash appeared on the inside of my right elbow. I thought I had been bitten by a spider because it wasn’t like any mosquito or black fly bites I’ve received before. Within a couple of hours, I had another spot on my knee and then on my inside of my ankles, then on my thigh. Overnight, the amount of spots had doubled. By this point, I’m thinking a rogue mosquito had a feast on my ample body during the night. The itching had also started by this point in time.

Over the past week, the spots have shown up on my arms, legs, hips, shins, but have stayed away from my torso, back, stomach and chest. Did I mention the itch? 

Finally today I was able to get into see the Doctor. I had already scheduled an appointment for something else and felt stupid booking an appointment earlier for what I believed were mosquito bites. Well, I’ve been diagnosed with poison ivy, oak or sumac dermatitis. Once again, did I mention the itch?

Apparently, I came in contact with it sometime with the last 12 days – likely around the time of the tree clean up and it was simply incubating until last week when the first signs appeared. I know what the stuff looks like and I know well enough to keep away from it, but apparently – it found me.  Still itchin...

The good news? Well, there isn’t any – it can last up to 21 days and new bumps can appear anywhere during that time – even where it didn’t come in contact with the skin. I'm on day 8 since the itchin began and I'm goin out of my mind.  The initial spots are less itchy than they were, but new bumps are appearing daily. Today’s bout have appeared on my hips and upper buttocks.

It has taken every ounce of my will-power not to scratch my butt against all the door frames in the office – seriously, it's that bad and the more I think about it, the itchier they become. I seriously feel like a redneck – itchin and a scratchin places I shouldn’t in public. Well, golly I just can’t help it…



23 May, 2013

Creepy Bears…

I’m not a fan of costumed characters - never have been.   Mascots of any type could easily warrant a kick from me if they stray to close and want a hug.   Photos are not an option.  As much as I like Walt Disney World, the costumed characters roam a little too freely for my liking (sorry Krystyn) and I want no part of them.  I don’t like clowns either.  Yes, apparently I have issues.

So imagine my dismay, when Kraft changed the bears on their label.  This is the one I know and love.  Non-threatening right?
I eat a lot of peanut butter with toast, but now I’m not sure I can stick with Kraft peanut butter any longer.  These bears freak me out…


I’m not sure if they truly intended to go for the “stalker vibe”, but honestly that’s what I’m feeling.  Guess it’s time to find another less threatening breakfast treat.



16 May, 2013

Not All at Work is Unpleasant…


Over the course of the past month, I’ve taken the following series of photos of the wildlife here surrounding my work building. We actually are located in the middle of the city, but on a large landscaped property with beautiful courtyards and a manmade pond out front - a perfect haven for some wildlife.

Can you spot the kildeer?  She made her nest amongst the tiny pebbles/gravel.  I would walk by her every morning and would have a hard time finding her.




The large planters typically make great nests for the Canada Geese; however this year our custodian decided to kybosh the idea and strategically placed sticks in the majority of the planters. If you look closely you can see a planter in the background with the sticks.

This goose however was one step ahead.

Then, last week...I came to work to see this little surprise.  She had 6 babies (goslings).



Then by the next day...they were moving out of the planter, into the world beyond.



Dad decided to show up - better late than never I guess...




09 May, 2013

Progress...

By the end of this week, we will be pretty darn close to checking two major items off of our “house to-do” list. 
 
The major work on the spare room is almost complete.  We still have to paint, install closet doors, light fixtures and new carpet, but in my opinion those are minor items compared to gutting, wiring, dry-walling, mudding and sanding.
 
The other major item almost accomplished this week has been the removal of 4 very old pine trees from our side yard.  The trees have been there a long time and were quite large; however because of their age, they had started to die from the bottom up and had become a very large eyesore. 
 
Knowing I would be losing my privacy once those trees were removed has caused me a great deal of anxiety this week because our back yard is now visible from the road that runs alongside our house. *sigh* 
 
Here are some before and after pictures.  There’s still a lot of clean-up work to do once the tree guys come back to finish.  Once all is said and done, it will look much better and J won’t have to worry about cleaning out the gutters filled with pine needles on a weekly basis.
 



 
Hmmm, what project should we tackle next?  There certainly isn’t a shortage of things to work on, but I think a privacy fence may be in order….