Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Taking Off

Last weekend, the DH ditched me for the opening day of fishing season and this weekend I'll be ditching him for BYU Women's Conference and fun with a bunch of girls. I'm flying out tonight and will be coming back on Sunday. I missed going to this the last two years in a row because our stake women's conference conflicted with the date. This year, I told them I was leaving either way, so we better have ours on a different weekend.

I can actually take or leave the women's conference, but it's a great opportunity to hang out with some of my favorite women. Camille was my best college roommate ever and we've stayed close all these years. I love her entire family as much as I do my own and always enjoy spending time with them. It's especially fun to spend time with just the women. I have just as much fun with Camille's mom and sister as I do with her, so we're bound to have a great time.

I'll report on all the details when I return!

Learning From the Cap'n

I'm reading about the Best Damn Ship in the Navy and the first thing that I learned that I really want to implement is that it's important that people know you care about them. This sounds like a no-brainer, but the chapter on this really opened my eyes. It made me realize that there are a lot of things we do unintentionally that give people the feeling that we don't really care.

Here's my list of things that I want to stop or start doing:
  • Don't let the phone interrupt an in-person conversation. The one exception is if I'm expecting an important call. In that case, I'll warn the person I'm talking to that I may need to be interrupted (so they know it's not because I don't value my time and/or conversations with them).
  • If I'm on e-mail when someone comes to talk to me, I'll ask them to wait a moment so I can finish what I'm doing and then physically turn away from the computer screen (and not look back at it while I'm talking to the person).
  • When talking on the phone, I will not multi-task by working on e-mail. I can always tell when I don't have someone's full attention, so people can probably tell when I'm not focused.
  • Be on time for meetings. This is the hardest one for me, especially when I have things scheduled back-to-back. It means that I will have to set expectations in meetings that I can't run over, because I have another committment. It also means paying attention to the clock.

Those are the things I get to work on because of the Cap'n's advice. let me know if you have any other good advice for sending the message that you really care about people.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Where's Our Stuff?

The overwhelming curiosity is about where our stuff is. Well, much of it is here in the garage...

and a bunch is in the guest room here...

It's a huge mess, but it will be worth it. I think.

Tabula Rasa

This is my living room...

and that in my dining room...
The contractors show up today to fix all the drywall issues in the dining room and hallway. As soon as they're done, we get new paint. Finally!


Saturday was a beautiful day here in the Northwest. The DH was enjoying the opening day of fishing season out on the peninsula and I had the day to myself. I slept in, got a pedicure, hung out wasting time, and then went to the nephew's T-ball game.

I thought it was a hoot watching T-ball. The nephew had it kind of sprung on him and didn't know any of the other kids there, so he wasn't as excited as I was about T-ball. I sure it will grow on him though. The bases are about 20 feet apart and an inning consists of everyone batting. There are no outs and they play three innings.

I laughed at the end of the game when one of the kids on the team asked who won. The coach said "We all did." I think that kid was still confused about the win/lose thing though. He's watched sports. He knows there's usually a score.

Speaking of scoring, the SIL and I at sushi and then shopped after the T-ball game and we both scored some cute stuff. I got new jeans, a couple of Ts and a new dress. The dress is supre cute and I wore it to church on Sunday. Then the DH came home. Good times!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yes, A Book

So, I started reading a book on Wednesday. It's true. It's a book, not a magazine. It's Called It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy. It was recommended by my former boss's boss's boss (or my GM at the big software company accross the bridge). Apparently, it's all the rage at that big software company. Kudos to the Cap'n for getting that message out there, because I'm sure it's boosted sales in a big way.

That comment just made it sound like I'm not a big fan, but so far I am. It's a fairly quick and easy to read and I definitely like his style. I think I have a lot to learn from the Cap'n and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another New Game

I was really excited when I got home from work today and found a package sitting outside the front door. It is a new game I purchased from Amazon last week after being reminded how much I love it on my last trip to the parents' house.
Facts in Five arrived today and I can't wait to have friends over to play. It's a game where you have a grid on paper and are given five letters down the side of the grid and five catagories accross. Then you start a timer and fill in as many answers as you can for each category starting with the appropriate letters. It may not sound like much, but it really is great fun.
Don't be surprised if we invite YOU over to play!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Reading Magazines

I know I'm too busy when my only free time is spent reading magazines or playing soduko. I love to read books and I think I can count on one hand how many I've read in the last two years. It's really pathetic. It took me several months to read The Master Butcher's Singing Club and by the time I finished it I was simply relieved to be done. That's not how it's supposed to be.

Now I'm on Good Reads and suddenly I'm feeling guilty about all the great books out there that I haven't gotten around to reading. And it makes me a little sad when I see how all my friends are reading all these great books and I'm not.

My new goal is to start reading books again. I'll even commit to posting some new information on Good Reads.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This is Just WRONG!

It started snowing around 5:30 and looked like this.

Now it's snowed enough to stick and looks like almost an inch on the grass. It's just wrong.


I was shocked, I tell you, SHOCKED on Wednesday when I got a notice in the mail from the Washington State Department of Transportation. It was a notice telling me I was not getting a ticket, but that I had been reported as driving in the HOV lane alone. Seriously!

You may not know this about me, but I believe that people that poach the HOV lane should get very heavy fines and I love seeing the cops on SR-520 pulling over the poachers. I tell you, I LOVE seeing that, because I am so vehemently apposed to people driving in the carpool lane when they do not have a carpool.

I drove home in rush hour traffice on SR-520 for two-and-a-half years watching poachers speed past on a regular basis and just wished them all tickets. It's one of the traffic laws that I really wouldn't ever disobey (as apposed to any and all posted speed limits), so I'm still wracking my brain wondering how this could have happened.

Then the DH told me to get over it. It's not a ticket and I don't know when or where it happened, so I should get a life. But, oh, the injustice of it al!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Who is TED?

Several weeks ago, my Dad sent me a link to a talk that Isabel Allende had given. I was moved by her words (which has happened more than once where Allende is involved) and I had to investigate.

The talk was part of a series of 18-minute talks given for TED. TED is an acronym for Technology, Entertainment, Design. They have an annual conference where folks come and give these 18-minute talks on a variety of topics that fall into those three categories. Many of the speakers are people you have heard of (like Bono and Al Gore) and many are people who are much more obscure, but no less interesting. I've enjoyed talks by Karen Armstrong and Jill Bollte, and music by M'Bifo. There's a huge variety of ideas there to explore.

You can just go to the site and explore, but I've also registered and I get a weekly mail that gives me links to three new recordings. That way, I find out about things that I probably wouldn't find on my own.

Go explore! You may find something interesting there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thanks, Yvonne!

Yvonne told us a while ago about her wonderful experience at a new Mexican restaurant. The DH and I love Mexican food, so tonight we decided to try it out.


SeƱor Moose Cafe in Ballard (5242 NW Leary Ave) serves wonderful Mexican food and you won't recognize much on the menu. I had Camarones Enchipotlados. The only way I can describe it, is Yum! We also had a couple of appetizers. One was Guacamole, but really it was sliced avacado with tomatoes and onions and a little tiny bit of smashed avacado to hold it together. The DH ordered a Jicama and Cucumber salad. It had lime juice and some spiciness to it. For his main dish, the DH had El Mole De La Abuela Adela. Try saying that five times fast!

We sat at the bar and watched the action while we were there. The staff was delightful and we got our dinner faster than we could down the guacamole. The only thing we could complain about at all was the parking. Street parking in Ballard is anything but easy and there's no lot in the vicinity. The walk in the fresh Spring air did us good after dinner, though, so really there's nothing bad at all about the place.

We'll be back there again.

ADDENDUM: I just realized that I should also provide a warning with this post. The restaurant has only about 8 tables and a bar. We arrived at 6:15 and all the tables were full, so we sat at the bar. There was a line of folks waiting for tables and about a half hour wait. If you go, go early or prepare to wait. On a brighter note, it's totally kid friendly.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Saturday -- Another Long Day

Saturday was long, but really pretty great. It started with our Stake Women's Conference. First of all, even after a short night, the DH got up and went over to the church with me to help take photos. He'd done tons of work on all the programs (and has the tired hands to prove it).

With the cruise theme, we wanted to have everyone get a lei and have their picture taken, just like any old cruise. We had the front entry way set up like the entrance to a ship, then sent people to the Releif Society room to have their pictures taken, then to the cultural hall that was set up to look like the prow of a ship to learn about the rest of the "cruise". The DH took pictures for about an hour, then left to take care of all the chores that have been ignored around the house while we've been traveling and getting ready for the women's conference. He sure has been a good sport!

The main part of the women's conference was a set of three mini-classes. We had 3 or 4 choices during each time slot and most of the women said they had a really hard time choosing which class since they all looked so good. We ended up with about the same amount of people in each of the classes, so we deemed that a success. (We were really afraid that one class would have 100 people and another would only have two or three.)

The last part of the conference was a big buffet lunch and a live band in the cultural hall. The food was fantastic and the band was a lot of fun. They played mostly oldies and really got everyone swaying to the music.

By the time the conference was over and we'd cleaned up the mess, it was 3:00 in the afternoon. The DH picked me up and we went and took a nap before leaving for the Mariner's game that evening.

The game was wonderful. We had great tickets (section 144, row 1) and sat by really fun and friendly people. The Mariner's won and the DH got some great pictures. The weather was amazing for April -- a high of 79 degrees -- so it was very comfortable in the stadium. We didn't have any balls come our way during the game, but that's probably for the best. We didn't have a mit anyway.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Friday -- Staying Up Late

Our Stake Women's Conference was Saturday, so for me, that meant a late night Friday night. I made all of the flyers, programs, name tags, and thank-you notes.

Our theme was "Cruise to Perfection" so everything was built around the cruise theme. The programs were made to look like passports and all the name tags, flyers, and thank you notes had the ship on them.

The passports were the most labor-intensive project I've taken on for a Relief Society event. Also, my printer took a full minute to print each page, so it took a really long time to get all the pages ready to assemble. Then, everything had to be cut, the corners rounded, and then stapled together. Marie, our stake RS secretary, came and helped on Friday night and it only took us until 10:00 to finish up. If that had been the end of my assignment, we would have all been doing well.
After finishing the programs, I still had to sew scripture bags for Laurels in the stake. I only made three, but I had to wrestel with the sewing machine enough that it took me at least an hour longer than it should have. They turned out just fine though.

I love how everything turned out. I'll admit that I'm glad I'm done though. It made me a little tired getting all of that finished.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Getting to Sleep in No Time Flat

This post is a big thanks to my mom for introducing me to Melatonin. It's a hormone produced by the pineal gland (who knew you even had one of those?!?) that helps in sleep regulation.

I'm no insomniac, but I have a problem that I know is common to many women. I go to bed at night and then can't quiet my mind enough to go to sleep. I think about all the things I didn't get done, all the things I should get done, all the people I should be thinking about, and so much more. All of those lists just run through my mind as I try to get to sleep.

When we went to Boise, I complained about the bed at my parents house, so my mom offered me the wonder-drug, Melatonin. I've been taking it ever since. I take it about 20 minutes before going to be and when I roll over to go to sleep -- I actually go right to sleep. It's amazing! No running through all I did that day. No mental lists of all the things I need to do the next day. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I just go to sleep.

I wake up just as much in the night as I ever did, but it's such a beautiful thing to be able to fall right to sleep. If you have the same problem, then try it out. You can find it with all the supplements at the grocery store or supplement store. I found my bottle at Target.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Back Home

We're back home now and happy to be here. Even going to work was fine, since it meant getting back to the regular routine.

The rest of our Anchorage trip was still fun, but I don't need to go back to Anchorage pretty much ever. We were fortunate to see the amazing views when we flew in because they were gone by nightfall. We had grey skies and snow the rest of the weekend. I think they got a foot of snow there on Saturday and overnight until Sunday. Good times in April.

The second highlight of the trip (after the surprise for the DH's son's birthday) was playing Settler's of Catan. We bought it there and then the five of us played three games in a row. It was great! I highly recommend the game to anyone. It took some time to get the instructions straightened out, but we sort of played through one game and had it all figured out by the time we were done. We had the expansion kit so that 5-6 players could play--especially since there were 5 of us and none of us wanted to sit out and watch. That made the first game a little harder, but nothing insurmountable.

Actually, I might be convinced to go to Anchorage and/or Alaska again, but only in the summer. I'm just not that into snow, especially in April.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Third Trip in Three Weeks

Rager made a comment about all of my posts ending with talk about sleeping in my own bed. It's true. I've been traveling a little too much and when I'm away, I dream about my own bed.

Now I'm in Anchorage. The good news is that this is, again, personal travel. The DH's oldest son turned 29 yesterday and we flew to Anchorage with his younger son to take part in the big surprise. We just showed up at the restaurant he and his wife and daughters were going to for his birthday dinner. It was a wonderful surprise and we had a really good dinner at Benihana in downtown Anchorage.

This morning, I ate reindeer sausage for breakfast. Seriously. it was pretty good, too. Now we're hanging out for the rest of the weekend in Alaska. It's my first visit to the state and I think it may not be the most beautiful time of year, but I'm still in awe of the mountains here. BEAUTIFUL! I thought Provo had the best mountain view, but I think Anchorage wins--especially since it has water on the other side, which is a special bonus.