Thursday, June 26, 2008

I did it!

You may remember a while ago I was contemplating leaving a job which was not fulfilling ... well, today I turned in my letter of resignation, and I feel great! I have been agonizing over the decision for a long time but know that the job has not been good for me and even though I hate the "quitting" part, I know it's the right way to go.

I will still be working with the group for a while to ease the transition, but the end is in sight and it does feel good.

Now I get to clean out my office (some people would call it a closet but I like to think of it more officially) and --- biggie, here --- figure out what comes next!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

They're Here!

Met all the Hillmans yesterday at the airport ... they are happy to be in Minnesota again! And we are happy to have them :-)
Especially the boys, because now they finally can play TOGETHER.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today's Laugh

Laughed til I got tears ... check out this YouTube video about a little girl who loves her goldfish crackers.

Snapping Turtle

On Tuesday, I took the dogs out as usual in the morning, and right at their favorite rock-to-pee-on was this HUGE turtle! I pulled them away - they didn't seem to notice it, nor it them, but I freaked out a little bit. I went back to the house and called Ben to come see (Ty was at a friend's) and he came out and agreed with my take on it -- it was a female laying eggs. He went back inside and verified online that yes, this is a snapping turtle, and June is the prime time for egg-laying. She seemed to be in a bit of a trance, not noticing us at all. We watched her for a while, then went inside, and when we came back out about an hour later she was gone and the egg hole was neatly filled in.

According to the website Ben looked at, hatching can occur anywhere from 9 - 18 weeks from now ... that's quite a window, but we will be watching for signs.

I was amazed at how far away from the pond she was (almost 2 blocks in a residential area) and how quickly the whole thing went - I mean, I don't know when she started digging the hole, but if I had gone a different direction that morning for the walk, we never would have known.

We have been trying to get the dogs to pee there now to keep raccoons and foxes from finding the eggs. Don't know if that will actually work, but we thought it sounded good. If we do see baby turtles I will get photos!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Today's Focus ...

... is on the Hillmans, who are beginning their journey which takes them from their much-loved home in Arusha, and will eventually land them in their new home in Beijing ...

As I write this they are scrambling to gather up all their luggage, and will shortly be heading to the airport in Arusha ... they will fly to Dar es Salaam, then to Amsterdam, then to Minneapolis.

Send your best thoughts for a safe journey their way!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Today's Appreciation

I am kinda getting into this "Today's _________" theme I have going here ....

Today, I am grateful for Keens. I bought a new pair of sandals at REI last weekend, and I love them. I have been having heel pain for the past 6 weeks - bad enough that I cannot walk barefoot at all, anywhere, because it is just too painful to put weight on my heels. I think it's a form of plantar faciitis (though it's definitely not a bone spur), and unfortunately there really isn't a cure, other than analgesics and good shoes.

Well, I started taking Advil and I started wearing my Keens every minute of the day except when I am sleeping, and the pain is almost gone.

As far as I am concerned, IT'S A MIRACLE !

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Today's Rant.

Today, I hate technology again. I have been having computer problems lately, and bought a new computer - a notebook, for the convenience, about 10 days ago. Still haven't been able to use it, though, as first there was a software mix-up and now I can't get the darn machine online.

I can get it online if I disconnect one of our other computers and plug it in, but I bought a wireless router so that I could use it anywhere in the house, and therein lies my hatred of technology.

I cannot for the life of me get it to work. Now, I am not a technogeek but I hold my own, usually. I got it to work on the kids' notebook computer just fine, but cannot make everything align properly to work with my computer.

I was basically ready to smash the entire thing out the window, or burst into tears, or both, earlier today. Now I am just resigned, and have called in the experts to help me figure it out ... but it will be another day or two before help can get here.

So today, I REALLY hate technology. And please, no one point out the obvious that I am using technology to rant about it. I know. It doesn't help.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Today's Trivia

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) maintains a list of the world's most-translated authors. The current top 10, with works that have been translated from and into English and hundreds of other languages and dialects, are:

Agatha Christie
Jules Verne
William Shakespeare
Vladimir Lenin
Enid Blyton
Barbara Cartland
Danielle Steel
Hans Christian Andersen
Stephen King
Brothers Grimm


Well, I am ***THIS*** close to booking a cruise for the boys and I over MEA! We are going to take a 3-day Disney Cruise ... none of us have ever been on one before and we are VERY excited.

Anyone want to join us? I got a great price ... will tell you all the details if you are interested. We'd love to have friends on board!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Recipes Sought

While we are in the cooking mode, I am seeking good recipes to make for a family going through a bit of a hard time right now. Friends are bringing them meals a few times each week, and they are people who like pretty basic, plain food. Last time I made grilled chicken breasts, white rice, and steamed carrots and broccoli. Nothing with strong spices or unusual sauces.

Now I am surfing for other good ideas (it also has to transport and reheat well) ... thought I would see if anyone out there had good recommendations???


Saturday, June 07, 2008

For Carla

This morning as I was reading the paper I turned on the TV, and ended up on the food network channel where Paula Deen was deep-frying macaroni and cheese.

Really not something I would ever think of on my own. Made me think of Carla who is the only person ever to entice me to eat deep-fried Twinkies on a stick at the state fair. Or maybe it was deep-fried Snickers.

Anyway, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it and just looked up the recipe ... may have to try it while Hillmans are in town. It looks pretty easy ... here is the recipe.

If I do make it I will TRY to remember to take pictures as I do it, instead of my usual photos of the crumbs at the end of the meal.

Monday, June 02, 2008

30 day check-up

It's been a month since my blood pressure scare began. Had a check-up this morning.

In the past month I have:
1. started taking hydrochlorothorazide daily
2. cut out all caffeine (well, except for a little chocolate here and there)
3. cut out all added salt
4. nearly cut out all alcohol (one beer in one month!)
5. increased exercise (OK, not by much, but a little!)
6. increased fruits & veggies on a daily basis
7. (for the high cholesterol) cut out eggs
8. (again for cholesterol) had oatmeal 27 out of the 30 days

And today my blood pressure was NORMAL.

Now I go back in 6 months to check it, and the cholesterol, again. And I am supposed to lose some weight, too.

Feeling pretty good right now!