Thursday, December 15, 2011

My schedule this week:
Monday - Wednesday:
5:15 gym
6:15 shower
6:30 breakfast
8:00 - 5:00 training
6:30 - 8:30 - dinner with trainer and other classmates
8:30 - 10:30 answer work emails and finish charts and projects

5:15 gym
6:15 shower
6:30 breakfast
8:00 - 2:00 training
2:00 - 4:00 drive to Corinth plant (get lost, get stuck in traffic, go really slow because it is raining so hard you can't see)
4:00 - 6:00 - tour Corinth plant -- HIGHLIGHT (other, than Babe's Chicken House) of my trip. Wander around the plant and ask all sorts of questions.  Garner new ideas for projects that I am working on.
6:30 - 7:30 - dinner with dotted line boss and counterpart in Corinth.  Texas smoked brisket, ribs, and sausage. No plates, just a stack of napkins and lots of bar-b-que sauce.  Delicious.
 7:30 - 9 - drive back to hotel (still raining, still getting lost - TomTom and I are not on speaking terms right now... he is not happy in Texas.  I told him to make the best of it, but he froze up and refused to give me any directions.  Found my way back home by myself. I am willing to forget all of this if he can find me a path to the airport tomorrow, if not, I will just follow the planes and signs).
9:10 - filled car with gas so I can return it tomorrow
9:20 - now (11ish) - answered work emails and brainstormed ideas for next week

One neat thing about driving back to the hotel in the rain tonight was watching the planes randomly appear out of the sky and drop in for their landing.   The cloud cover was so low and thick that you couldn't see the lights until just the moment before the plane appeared.  It was really interesting looking.  They looked like alien spacecraft coming in for an invasion.  heh.

Good night!  I am exhausted.  Maybe I can sleep on the plane on the way home tomorrow (Except I have the middle hiss... and have lots of work to do for work for next week - I am so behind).  HOME! My own bed!  My own pillow!  My own kitchen! More than one pair of jeans and some dress clothes to wear! Home! I miss you; here I come.  Jared, I can't wait to see you.  I miss you so much. 

Good bye 12th floor hotel room, that I forgot to take a picture of and will probably forget to take a picture of before I leave tomorrow. Maybe we will see each other again in 4 weeks...

things about traveling for work

Well, it has been a great week for training; everyday this week has been rainy and overcast.  I don't feel like I am missing much by being stuck inside.  Although, I would like to see what Dallas looks like in the sun. Maybe when I come back in January it will be sunny.  I hope.   I was thinking about traveling this morning and I decided to make you a list of some of the things I like and dislike about traveling.  Enjoy.

Things I like about traveling:
* trying new foods
* seeing new places (I wish I could see them during the day)
* having time to work out in the gym every morning (being the only one in the gym is even better)
* having my room cleaned for me each day and my bathroom straightened
* driving a small rental car (it is like an adult go-cart - ha ha)
* sleeping (I get to go to bed early and get up early because there is no housework to keep me up)
* reading books (I brought five on this trip, I will finish two)
* airport security (I love you TSA people)

Things I could care less about:
* giant flat screen tv in my room (haven't used it)
* newspaper under my door each morning (haven't read it)
* unlimited coffee (haven't had any)
* four pillows on my bed (really?)
* hair dryer (haven't touched it)
* pool (it fogs up the windows to the workout room)
* desk in my room (I lie on the bed when I use the computer or read a book)

Things I don't like about traveling:
* not being with Jared (the telephone doesn't really help)
* hotel food (bleh. unless it was the hyatt in Chicago, they had incredible hotel food and completely spoiled me)
* noisy people on the hall
* a shower that doesn't want to turn on (the lever to turn from bath to shower falls off and gets stuck...  I have to fix it each morning and wiggle it around until it finally changes over)
* that the cleaning lady took my notes that I had left on my nightstand -sigh
* airports
* flying
* airplanes (crammed in a little space for multiple hours is NO FUN even before you add in the fact that I HATE flying.  I don't like the feeling of taking off or the feeling or the plane shaking all around.  I don't like seeing the wing move up and down.  I don't like being in a cloud and not seeing anything.  I don't like that I am trapped in a row by two other people and I have to climb over them if I want to use the bathroom (which I try to avoid at all cost.  I don't like the drinks they give you because you have to hold this cup of ice until they finally come back and take it away from you. I don't like the larger people that I usually sit next to that like to STEAL my armrest. boo hiss.  I don't like the air blowing on my face the whole time and drying out my eyes, but I don't like the sick feeling I get when I start to feel too warm (thus, the air stays one).  I don't like wearing earplanes because I have tiny ears and they hurt (but it is better than getting a pressure headache that feels like millions of tiny needles all poking into your forehead). I don't like that they DON'T give you peanuts anymore.  I don't like that the pilot doesn't give me details about where I am and how fast we are going (I am curious about all these things and it might make the flight a whole lot more interesting to me, at least it would give me something to think about).  NOT TO MENTION, I work with people that design the wiring harnesses for these airplanes and I don't trust them.  ha. And those are a few of the reasons I HATE flying, yes, I hate it.)

Funny story of the day:
This morning at breakfast I sat near a table of high school football coaches.  They are staying at the hotel today for their high school's championship football game with 90 kids from the school.  They told the waitress that they from the smallest division and from a small school, but you never would have known that from the ways these guys talked.  I have never seen Friday night lights, but I am guessing that these guys would have fit right in.  It was highly amusing to me to listen to them talk about the team, the play strategies for the game, and how important this was to win because they had to have dinner with the in-laws this year and they would never live down a loss.  They were so serious about football.  It just made me laugh because it was so southern; it is what Jared is always telling me about football down south. 

Have you ever run into any stereotypes that turned out to be completely true? 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One of the best dinners I have ever had...

Babe's Chicken Dinner house is the real deal. 

I had fried catfish and all you could eat sides: green beans, creamed corn, biscuits and gravy, and mashed potatoes (for $14).  Wow. 

Plus, the restaurant looked so neat on the inside.  It was made to look like you were eating in the middle of a city plaza.  There are house and store fronts all along the walls.  And roof tops stick out over porches that are build into the eating area.  The storefronts are filled with old fashion items that you would purchase.  And it was all decorated for Christmas with old fashoion light bulbs and old Christmas items (that said Merry Christmas on them).  It was delightful.  The staff lined up and did the hokey pokey at one time and one waitress sang a song later in the evening. 

If you are ever in Texas and need a place to eat, you will be missing out if you do not go to Babe's.   It is one of the best restauants that I have EVER been to.  Wow wow wow.  I bought a t-shirt that I will proudly wear around back home. :)

I am trying to decide to go back there or to their sister store:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

I have been doing a lot of reading lately (The Johnstown Flood and the Great Bridge by David McCullough – I highly recommend either book – and the Anne of Green Gables Series – I had to stop after the 6th book, I couldn't read the 7th and 8th.  I am sorry if you like them, but they lost their charm for me.  I really enjoyed the first 3 books and even sort of liked the 4th book, which was mostly letter from Anne to Gilbert while he was at med school, but after that, the books just get more and more unbelievable and feel contrived).  I notice a trend in my life, quilt for a while, read for a while, or cook for a while.  I can't seem to be able to do a healthy balance of those activities.  Maybe I will be able to pull it off once this lab that I am teaching ends and I have a little more free time. 

Last weekend Jared and I decorated the house for Christmas!  I love the way the house looks during the Christmas season.  We pull out our Christmas quilts, table runner, and tree skirt (all made by us, except one quilt from Mrs. Shelton).  I have my little wooden spinning nativity from Germany (love love love) and Jared has his Swedish chimes from Sweden (they both turn around when you light candles under them).   We have our Willow Tree Nativity from the Lunas (thank you thank you). Jared has countless Charlie Brown and Snoopy characters that he sets around (some of them sing and make noise, others sit around looking pretty).  Jared wants to name a child Linus someday… hmmmm.  There are two sets of Christmas dishes that come out and are put on display in the cabinet in our living room (each has its own unique snowman on it), bowls, plates, mugs, and dessert plates. Jared has this HUGE abdominal snow man, from Rudolph, made by Jim Shore, which Hannah gave him.  It is awesome.  Jared thinks it is hilarious to stick it behind the Willow Creek Nativity scene, as if it is sneaking up on them. I find it like that from time to time and have to move it.  Maybe I will get my camera out and take pictures . ha ha ha.  It isn't the taking pictures that I fail at doing, it is the uploading them to the internet. 

Tonight, I have to go to the dentist (to replace a filling that I pulled out while flossing on Saturday night), to the gym, and to the grocery store.  If I have any extra time, I will clean the house and start a new quilt that I have been dreaming about.  I think the plan is a little ambitious, but it is better to dream big. 

I hope your thanksgiving was lovely.  I had an awesome thanksgiving; I agree with my mother, the more the merrier.  She had 20+ people over and we feasted on all sorts of delicious foods.  Yum.  I ate leftovers for 5 days (I finished the last leftovers at lunch yesterday).  It was amazing.  Thanksgiving food never gets old to me.  I am so thankful for my family and my extended family.  J     

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dallas - plan

So I am planning my trip (cough cough food) to Dallas.  Here is where I am visiting so far. ha.

Babe's Chicken Dinner House
LOOK AT THIS MENU (all you can eat sides - what?!? - I am looking forward to some fried catfish and some fried chicken)
Babe's Arlington Menu

Main Dishes
Fried Chicken
Chicken Fried Steak
Fried Chicken Tenders Smoked Chicken
Fried Catfish
Pot Roast

Vegetables & Breads
Mashed Potatoes
Cream Gravy
Green Beans
Green Salad
Grandma's Corn
Homemade Biscuits

Chocolate Meringue Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Coconut Meringue Pie
Banana Pudding
Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Sugar-free Apple Cobbler

In-N-Out Burgers
Animal Fries
All my favorite food blogs say that it beats the pants off Five Guys and is half the price.
Enough Said

Cheesecake Factory
I ate there three times while I was in Chicago - I know ... sad.  I should have tried some Chicago pizza or something, but it was almost an hour from my hotel.  There food may be better than there cheesecake, if that is even possible.


I am headed to Dallas in December.  Do you have any suggestion on anything that I should do while I am there?  I looked to see if there were any plays or concerts in the area the week that I am there, but there aren't.  I really wanted to see the Messiah, but it is showing the week before I am there.  Anyhow, if you have any suggestions, leave me a comment.  :)

My new coworker brought me real Mexican food today that his wife had made.  Yum yum yum.  Did you know there are over 40 ingredients in mole (mole-aye) sauce? I am trying to convince him to come to thanksgiving at my parents; I think it will be a lot of fun if he and his wife come.

I have a really funny story about our HR department, but I really shouldn't blog about it.  It was like being on the Office, but even more ridiculous. Basically, it came down to the HR department complaining about me helping them out.  :D  I can't begin to tell you how funny it is and I wish I could blog about things like this, but I know I would get in major trouble.  ha.  If you want the details, I may be persuaded to talk about it offline (that is a word that has dropped in my vocabulary from work - "let's talk about this offline", I have also started saying, "what are the action items that we can take away?" or "today's take away points are...", oh work).

I am thankful, very thankful, for my 4 day weekend and all the good food that I will partake in this weekend and all the great people that I will see.  I love you all.  I wish I could see my entire family (Hannah and Linnea and company) too, but I will have to be content with the 4 siblings and parents and my in-laws and niece and nephews. 

Lastly, happy late birthday to the best Dad in the whole world and my little, baby sister, Sarah.  I love you both.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Anne of Green Gables

As some of you know, I have been reading the Anne of Green Gables series over the past month or so.  I LOVED the first book, enjoyed the second book, and really liked most of the third book.  The fourth book was way to contrived and the fifth book even more so.  I was extremely disappointed in the plot for the 4th and 5th book because Anne makes everything in the world right by just being there.  Life doesn't work out that way and it started to annoy me.  She sets up 6 or 7 different couples together in the 4th book and plus, Gilbert isn't ever in it. I am currently reading the 6th book (just started).  I will let you know an update after I finish.  I highly recommend reading the first 3.  After that, I could take them or leave them, but now that I have started I am going to finish them.  ha. 

Ha.  I was telling Jared about them and how much better the writing was in the first two and he said, "she probably didn't even write the rest of them."  To quote several characters in the 5th and 6th book, "isn't that just like a man?"

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Last part for Anne of the Island

They lingered in the old garden until twilight, sweet as dusk in Eden must have been, crept over it.  There was so much to talk over and recall - things said and done and heard and thought and felt and misunderstood.

"I thought you loved Christine Stuart," Anne told him, as reproachfully as if she had not given him every reason to suppose that she loved Roy Gardner.

Gilbery laughed boyishly. "Christine was engaged to somebody in her home town. I knew it and she knew I knew it.  When her brother graduated he told me his sister was coming to Kingsport the next winter to take music, and asked me if I would look after her a bit, as she knew no one and would be very lonely.  So I did.  And then I liked Christine forher own sake.  She is one of the nicest girls I've ever known.  I knew college gossip credited us with being in love with each other.  I didn't care.  Nothing mattered much to me for a time there after you told me you could never love me, Anne. There was nobody else - there never could be anybody else for me but you.  I've loved you since that day you broke your slate over my head in school."

"I don't see how you could keep loving me when I was such a little fool," said Anne.

"Well, I tried to stop," said Gilbert frankly, "not becuase I thought you what you call yourself, but because I felt sure there was no chance for me after Gardner came on te scene.  But I couldn't - and I can't tell you, either, what it;s meant to me these two years to believe you were going to marry him, and be told every week by some busybody that your engagement was on the point of being announced.  I believed it until one blessed day when I was sitting up after the fever.  I got a letter from Phil Gordon - Phil Blake, rather - in which she told me there was really nothing between you and Roy, and advised me to 'try again.' Well the doctor was amazed at my rapid recovery after that."

Anne laughed - then shivered. "I can never forget the night I thought you were dying, Gilbert.  Oh, I knew - I knew then - and I thought it was too late."

"But it wasn't, sweetheart. Oh, Anne, this makes up for everything, doesn't it? Let's resolve to keep this day sacred to perfect beauty all our lives for the gift it has given us."

"It is the birthday of our happiness," said Anne softly.  I've always loved this old garden of Hestor Gray's, and now it will be dearer than ever."

"But I'll have to ask you to wait a long time, Anne," said Gilbert sadly.  "It will be three years before I'll finish my medical course.  And even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls."

Anne laughed. "I don't want sunbursts or marble halls. I just want you."

More parts from Anne of the Island

When Gilbert came the next afternoon he found Anne waiting for him, fresh as the dawn and fair as a star, after all the gaiety of the preceding night. She wore a green dress - not the one she had worn to the wedding, but an old one which Gilbert had told her at a Redmond (their college) reception, he liked especially.  It was just the shade of green that brought out the rich tints of her hair, and the starry gray of her eyes and the iris like delicacy of her skin. Gilbert, glancing at her sideways as they walked along a shadowy woodpath, thought she had never looked so lovely. Anne, glancing sideways at Gilbert, now and then, thought how much older he looked since his illness.  It was as if he had put boyhood behind him forever.

The day was beautiful and the way was beautiful. Anne was almost sorry when they reached Hester Gray's garden and sat down on the old bench.  But it was beautiful there, too - as beautiful as it had been on the far-away day of the Golden Picnic, when Diana and Jane and Priscilla and she had found it.  Then it had been lovely with narcissus and violets; not goldenrod had kindled its fairy torches in the corners and asters dotted it bluely.  The call of the brook came up through the woods from the valley of birches with all its old allurement; the mellow air was full of the purr of the sea; beyond were fields rimmed by fences bleached silvery gray in the suns of many summers, and the long hills scarfed with the shadows of autumnal clouds; with the blowing of the west wind old dreams returned.

"I think," said Anne softly, "that the land where dreams come true is in the blue haze yonder, over that little valley."

"Have you any unfulfilled dreams, Anne?" asked Gilbert.

Something in his tone - something she had not heard since that miserable evening in the orchard at Patty's Place - made Anne's heart beat wildly. But she made answer lightly. "Of course. Everyone has. It wouldn't do for us to have all our dreams fulfilled. We would be as good as dead  if we had nothing left to dream about.  What a delicious aroma that low-descending sun is extracting from the asters and ferns.  I wish we could see perfumes as well as smell them.  I'm sure they would be beautiful."

Gilbert was not to be thus sidetracked.  "I have a dream," he said slowly. "I persist in dreaming it, although it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home with a hearth fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of friends - and you!"

Anne wanted to speak but she could find no words. Happiness was breaking over her like a wave.  It almost frightened her.

"I asked you a question over two years ago, Anne. If I ask it again today will you give me a different answer?"

Still Anne could not speak. But she lifted her eyes, shining with all the love-rapture of countless generations, and looked into his for a moment.  He wanted no other answer.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Psalm 139 (ESV)
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
I praise God for his grace and goodness in my life.  He works all things to His glory.  Wonderful are his works; I know it full well.  Gracious and merciful is He.  There are so days that His goodness and mercy overwhelms me; today is one of those days.  Today I feel like I can truely say, "I know it full well." and "It is well with my soul!"  Somedays I feel like I am just gliding by, but then God tosses things in your path that you have to trust him fully for. I am thankful for those things that bring me closer to God and allow me to know more riches His grace.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Another section from Anne of the island

This is after Anne has refused Gilbert (two years ago - last blog post) and is basically engaged to another person (he actually asks her to marry him and at that moment she realizes she loves Gilbert, but he is supposedly getting engaged to Christine sometime soon (so says everyone at college)).  Anne graduates and goes home to Avonlea and then goes to visit some friends for three weeks.  When she returns she finds out that Gilbert was sick the entire time and has almost died.  She spends the whole night crying until she sees the hired man and asks him how Gilbert is. To which she thinks, "Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning."

"I've come up to ask you to go for one of our old-time rambles through September woods and over hills where spices grown this afternoon," said Gilbert, coming suddenly around the porch corner. "Suppose we vist Hester Gray's garden."

Anne, sitting on the stone step with her lab full of pale, filmy, green stuff looked up rather blankly. "Oh, I wish I could,"  she said slowly, "but I really can't Gilbert. I'm going to Alice Penhallow's wedding this evening, you know.  I've got to do something to this dress, and by the time it's finished I'll have to get ready.  I'm so sorry. I'd love to go."

"Well, can you go tomorrow afternoon, then?"

"Yes, I think so."

"In that case I shall hie me home at one to do something I should otherwise have to do tomorrow. So Alice Penhallow is to be married tonight.  Three weddings for you, in one summer, Anne - Phil's, Alice's, and Jane;s.  I'll never forgive Jane for not inviting me to her wedding."

"You really can't blame her when you think of the tremendous Andrews connection who had to be invited. The house could hardly hold them all.  I was only bidden by grace of being Jane's old chum - at least on Jame's part.  I think Mrs. Harmon's motive for inviting me was to let me see Jane's surpassing gorgeeousness.

"Is it true that she wore so many diamonds that you couldn't tell where the diamonds left off and Jane began?"

Anne laughed. "She certainly wore a good many. what with all the diamonds and white satin and tulle and lace and roses and orange blossoms, prim little Jane was almost lost to sight. But she was  very happy and so was Mr. Inglis - and so was Mrs. Harmon."

"Is that the dress you're going to wear tonight?" asked Gilbert looking down at the fluffs and frills.

"Yes, isn't it pretty? And I shall wear starflowers in my hair. The haunted woods is full of them this summer."

Gilbert had a sudden vision of Anne, arrayed in a frilly green gown, with the virginal curves of arms and throat slipping out of it, and white stars shining against the coils of her ruddy hair. The vision made him catch his breath. But he turned lightly away. "Well, I'll be up tomorrow. Hope you'll have a nice time tonight."

Anne looked after him as he strode away, and sighed. Gilbert was friendly - very friendly - far too friendly.  He had come quite often to Green Gables after his recovery, and something of their old comradeship had returned.  But Anne no longer found it satisfying.  The rose of love made the blossom of friendship pale and scentless by contrast.  And Anne had again begun to doubt if Gilbert now felt anything for her but friendship. In the common light of common day her radiant certainty of the rapt morning had faded. She was haunted by a miserable fear that her mistake could never be rectified.  It was quite likely that it was Christine whom Gilbert loved after all. Perhaps he was even engaged to her.  Anne tried to put all unsettling hopes out of her heart, and reconcile herself to a future where work and ambition must take the place of love. She could do good, if not noble, work as a teacher; and the success her little sketches were beginning to meet with in certain editorial sanctums augured well for her budding literary dreams.  But - but - Anne picked up her green dress and sighed again.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Some sections from Anne of the Island

This is Gilbert's proposal (end of sophmore year at college):

Gilbert sat down beside her on the boulder and held out the mayflowers.
"Dont't these remind you of home and our old schoolday picnics, Anne?"

Anne took them and buried her face in them.
"I'm in Mr Silas Sloanne's barrens this very minute," she said rapturously

"I suppose you will be there in reality in a few days?"

"No, not for a fortnight. I am going to visit with Phil in Bolingbroke before I go home. You'll be in Avonlea before I will."

"No, I shall not be in Avonlea at all ths summer, Anne.  I've been offereed a job in the Daily News office and I'm going to take it."

"Oh," Anne said vaguely. She wondered what a whole Avonlea summer would be like without Gilbert. Somehow she did not like the prospect. "Well," she concluded flatly, "it is a good thing for you, of course.:

"Yes, I have been hoping I would get it.  It will help with next year."

"You mustn't work too hard," said Anne, without any very clear idea of what she was saying. She wished desperatedly that Phil would come out. "You've studied very constantly this winter. Isn't this a delightful evening? Do you know, I found a cluster of white violets under that old twisted tree over there today? I felt if I had discovered a gold mine."

"You are always discovering gold mines," Gilbert said -- also absently.

"Let us go and see if we can find some more," suggested Anne eagerly, "I'll call Phil and -"

"Nevermind Phil and the violets just now, Anne" said Gilbert quickly taking her hand in a clasp from which she could not free it. "There is something I want to say to you."

"Oh, don't say it," cried Anne, pleadingly. "Don't -- please, Gilbert."

"I must. Things can't go on like this any longer. Anne, I love you. You know I do.  I - I can't tell you how much. Will you promise me that some day you'll be my wife?"

"I - I can't," said Anne miserably. "Oh Gilbert - you - you've spoiled everything."

"Don't you care for me at all?" Gilbert asked after a very dreadful pause, during which Anne had not dared to look up.

"Not - not in that way.  I do care a great deal for you, as a friend. But I don't love you, Gilbert."

"But can't you give me some hope that you will - yet?"

"No, I can't," exclaimed Anne desperately. "I never, never can lover you - in that way - Gilbert. You must never speak of this to me again."

There was another pause - so long and so dreadful that Anne was driven to at last look up.  Gilbert's face was white to the lips.  And his eyes - but Anne shuddered and looked away.  There was nothing romantic about this.  Must proposals be either grotesque or - horrible? Could she ever forget Gilbert's face?

"Is there anyone else?" he asked at last in a low voice.

"No - no," said Anne eagerly. "I don't care for any one like  that - and I like you better than anybody else in the world, Gilbert. And we must - we must go on being friends, Gilbert."

Gilbert gave a bitter little laugh. "Friends! Your friendship can't satisfy me, Anne. I want your love - and you tell me I can never have that."

"I am sorry. Forgive me, Gilbert," was all Anne could say.  Where, oh, where were all the gracious and graceful speeches wherewith in imagination, she had been wont to dismiss rejected suitors?

Gilbert gently released her hand.

"There is nothing to forgive.  There have been times that I thought you did care. I've deceived myself, that's all.  Goodbye, Anne."

Anne got herself to her room, sat down on her window seat behind the pines, and cried bitterly. She felt as if something incalculably precious had gone out of her life.  It was Gilbert's friendship, oh course. Oh, why must she list it after this fashion?

"What is the matter, honey?" asked Phil, coming through the moonlit gloom.

Anne did not answer. At that moment she wished Phil were a thousand miles away.

"I suppose you've gone and refused Gilbert Blythe.  You are an idiot, Anne Shirley!"

"Do you call it idiotic to refuse to marry a man I don't love?" said Anne coldly, goaded to reply.

"You don't know love when you see it.  You've tricked something out of your imagination that you think love, and you expect the real thing to look like that."

Monday, November 07, 2011


I am thankful for:
* Skype (so I can see my sister Sarah)
* all my siblings (I have the best siblings and I love them all so much!)
* the Sunday School lesson on listening yesterday (I realize that even though most of the world does not listen well, I can listen to them and hopefully they will sense a difference in the way I listen.  Although, it could be frustrating to look at how often I am not listened to (or that lists of things I leave my employees sometimes do not get done exactly how I ask for them to be done), I choose to focus on the fact that I can learn to be a good listener.  I am thankful for a great book that my father and Mr. Seipp are teaching in Sunday School.  I am thankful that they are willing to teach up how to be peacemakers.  It is funny how simple listening can be and yet how hard it is at the same time.  God, make me a good listener for you.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My office (or half of it in pictures)

I have painted you a picture of my office (this is the latest layout as of Friday at 5 when I left, I have moved the office around 5 different times lately to fit more people in the office - we are up to 4 full time and 3 part time people right now.  It is so crowded that I can't have meetings in my office anymore - boo!). The door is that little squiggle on the upper left side.  John's desk is the one right next to the door on the left.  Mary's desk is squished between the storage cabinet and the filing drawers.   The interns get the desk between the sign maker and the printer.  I am in the corner next to the printer and Otho is directly behind me. 

 No a little doodle can only show you so much... Did I mention that the walls are half wood paneling and half painted dark red?  You can see them belong.  In the first picture my desk is turned facing the door; we had to move it to fit Otho in our office.  In the picture you can see my white board (hidden behind the wooden door - so old school) and the window that runs along the top of the wall (it runs almost to the sign maker). I now face the window (which is too high for me to look out, but it is natural light and I one of 4 offices in the plant to have a winder, so, I am thankful!!!!).

 This is where Otho's desk is now.  This is the other corner of the end of the office.  Here is one of the red walls (and an intern at the intern desk).

And here is where the intern desk is now... There is the end of my desk at the far left (it is now facing the wall).  There is the printer, Otho's old table (where the intern new desk is now), the sign maker, and John's chair. 
The carpet is so worn that my chair can move around extremely easily.  The joke in my office is to talk about how big it is because there used to be only one person who used to have this office.  I bet it seemed really big when there was one person in it.  ha. 

I found these pictures that my interns had taken and thought they would make an interesting post. So, when you picture me at work, here is my office. What does your work place look like?

Friday, November 04, 2011


As of Thursday night, I had worked 41 hours at my normal job and 4 hours at Salisbury University teaching (plus 2 hours grading labs).  I was so tired. I came home at 6:15 on Thursday and knew that we had to leave for our small group book study at 6:45 (starts at 7).  When I walked in the house, not only had Jared gone grocery shopping (and found my favorite brand of tea on sale), Jared had cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom and straightened up the rest of the house.  He is the best. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jared!!!  I love you. 
P.S. I have the best job in the entire world!!!!  I can't say enough about how much I LOVE MY JOB! 
P.P.S. I have the best husband (for me) in the entire world (and he is pretty cute too).  :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

3 meals from some super cheap chicken

I bought a pack of chicken thighs for really cheap this week and didn't have time to do anything with them by the time they expired (they were cheap because they needed to be used that day - $0.75/lb - 10 thight for $4.30).  So I boiled them down with onions, parsley, and celery for a couple hours.  Then I picked the chicken off the bone and strained the juice to make chicken broth (homemade chicken broth is the best).  I chilled the chicken broth and them skimmed off the fat once it had hardened. 

Meal 1: Chicken and dumplings with biscuits
Used - chicken fat, chicken broth, chicken
From the chicken fat I made biscuits and dumplings.  Then I used some of the chicken broth and chicken to make chicken and dumplings.

Meal 2: Chicken Pot Pie
Use - chicken broth, chicken, and rest of dumpling dough (for crust)

Meal 3: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Use - chicken broth and chicken
Throw the following ingredients into a pot and let them cook down for an hour or so.
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 can crushed tomatoes (or equivalent chopped up tomatoes and tomato juice or some combination - I use whatever I have)
1-1/2 cup chicken broth (the recipe calls for 1 can condensed chicken broth and 1-1/4 cup water - again, use whatever you have on hand)
1 cup corn (I have used canned and frozen)
1 can black beans (drained)

I serve this with rice (sometimes), tortilla chips (UTZ yellow corn rounds are the best), cheese, sour cream, and green onions.

(the basic recipe came from Rachel Townsend, I had it at her house two Halloweens ago.  I have made a few minor substitutions because of what I have on hand)

So that is what I have cooking this week.  We had the chicken and dumplings on Saturday and Sunday.  Last night I did not cook dinner.  The soup should last us two or three days and I will break those days up by cooking the chicken pot pie.  Yum.   Jared and I love chicken.  And I still have some chicken broth left!! :)  I am thinking maybe cheese soup this weekend sometime... maybe.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

It feels so wrong not to blog today (after 31 days).  So, I thought I would type in a short post.  Yesterday, for Halloween, I dressed up as an important person in a company leading tours of the plant to people from different countries.  After that I changed into university professor mode and taught two classes.  ha.  And then I realized that I wasn't dressed up for Halloween, but for life.  Isn't being grown up weird sometimes?  A lot of days I feel like I am playing at being older than I really am...  Does anyone else feel that way?
Today I am still thankful for my office staff (or some of them) and the huge help they are (most days).  And I am thankful for my mentors from the other plants that help my job go a lot smoother. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thankful day 31

I am thankful for:
* day 31 (YAY)
* my new wool coat (I may have blogged about this before... it is from Uptown Cheapskate... I bought a J. Crew knee length 100% wool coat for $30 --> it is amazingly warm, incredibly warm, almost too warm).  I love it. 
* the consultant and V.P. that I get to spend time with the next three days at work (I LOVE MY JOB some days).  They are fascinating.  We are presenting next years plan and plea for funds to the CEO tomorrow.  Woohoo. 
* remote desktop that allows me to be in lab and communicating with my interns at work (some times technology does make my life easier... some times).
* an easy lab to grade
* a short cold that is almost over  (God's grace to get everything finished that I needed to even with a cold and even a chance to rest on Sunday)
* colder weather

thankful day 30

I am thankful for:
* stockings (I secretly love them) and leggings
* dresses
* scarves (it is a little hug around your neck all day long)
* boots

Thankful day 29

I am thankful that Jared's goal in life is to be unscented.  I would hate to have to ask him not to where some scent because it made me sneeze.  I wish the new guy in my office didn't where so much scent (ugh, I can't breath and my dotted line boss is coming today and he will smell almost the same, it will the battle of the scents with me sneezing in the middle - I know this is a strong smell because I have a cold and can't smell anything else, but I can smell him - bleh bleh bleh).
I am thankful for cold medicine, books to read, and the reformation speaker.  The speaker was excellent. 
I am thankful for Ms Dana and Mr. Jeremy and their love of the reformation conference and willingness to run the children's program every year.  It is a lot of work.  They do a great job.  I am glad they let me run the store.   

Friday, October 28, 2011

thankful day 28

I am thankful for:
* the reformation conference
* being prepared and one step ahead of what is required of you (when it happens, it is great, usually I am playing catch-up)
* cold medicine (that my river of a nose has been dried up, but my head is all foggy feeling - bleh)
* dishwashers
* dish drying racks (as much as I love my dish washer, there is something satisfying about washing dishes by hand)
AND A REALLY BIG ONE (I am so excited about this!!!!!!):
I am so thankful that tickets to Denver where on sale yesterday when I checked randomly and Jared agreed to let me go out to visit Steffy for 5 days in February.  I am thankful the decision had to be made quickly because if I had paused to think about it, I might have talked myself out of going because I hate flying SO MUCH. But I didn't and now I am going.  I am so excited.   It is going to be cold and snowy (hopefully) and absolutely WONDERFUL! I love the Rockies.  I love Stef.  I love her precious little children.  And I even though I hate flying and planes, I agree with Linnea, that I am thankful for flight because otherwise, Stef and I would never see each other.   I am also thankful for the telephone and internet that allow us to communicate when we are far away.  I am thankful for a good friend. Yay yay yay!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

thankful day 27

I wrote an entire list of things to blog about today on the back of an envelope last night.  I filled the entire envelope up because I kept thinking about things throughout the evening and writing them down.  But now I can't remember any of them.  Hmmmm.  So, this is a whole new list that I came up with this morning.
I am thankful for:
* the chicken broth that is cooking in my crockpot
* the chicken and dumplings that I will make with it
* and the chicken soup that I will make with it
* food lion, which is not the best grocery store ever, but it is not as expensive as giant and has a pretty descent produce section
* paper bags
* my new $5 turtleneck from lands end.  It is so cozy and soft!  I love it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Smith Taylor Smith - new (old) dishes

Reveille. Last made in 1958.  Jared fell in love with them.  91 pieces are now in my house.  An 8 piece setting is in my cupboards (plates, mugs, saucers, dessert plates, bowls).  Replacements are in the attic.  I have dinner sitting in the casserole dish, butter in the butter dish, and I have filled up the salt and pepper.  :) I also have 6 or 7 seven serving platters and bowls or assorted sizes. 

Jared found these in one of the best antique shops that I have ever been in.  Why was it one of the best? I have included two pictures below of some pyrex bowls that I LOVE LOVE LOVE! Do I need these bowls?  No, I have plenty of mixing bowls.  Are these my favorite mixing bowls ever? Probably.  I love seeing them in antique stores.  I also love seeing all the bright cheery red and white appliances and kitchen things (red handled potato master, red handled biscuit cutting the lard into dough tool... etc).  If I ever break all my bowls, I am going to invest in this lovely set of bowls.  This store was unclutter, but full.  They had vintage feedsacks for reasonable prices, served me hot apple cidar, and knew what a cherry pitter was (I will pay up to $50 to buy an old fashion cherry pitter like my Dad's).  She had just sold her cherry pitter, shame shame shame.

Cherry pitter I want!!
Bowls I ADORE!

Those bowls make me so happy (the price does not - ha). 

Here is the plate.

 mug & saucers
 creamer (not pictured, sugar bowl)
 butter dish
 salt & pepper (they are adorably small)

thankful day 26

I am thankful:
* for my Mom and Dad having me over for dinner last night
* for my Dad giving me an empty two-liter bottle so that I can try to make my own ginger ale (next time I am going to dig up some sassafras roots from my parents yard and make my own root beer -- it is going to be delicious)
* for my Mom and Dad having Annadrew over last night too (I love my family!!!)
* for the amazing sweet potato pie that Anna made last night (sweet potato beats pumpkin every time)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

thankful day 25

I am thankful for:
* my watch (that I forgot this morning and I haven't known what time it is all day - sigh)
* that every day is NOT a Tuesday (it seems to never end and so much work is piled on my already growing list)
* the Y (so that I can go after work on a stressed day and feel better)
* my 9.99 wool dress pants from Anthropologie.  I love you.  My legs are so cozy today.
* my first lab class that finishes early so that I can grade their labs between lab (my second lab usually takes the full 2 hours)
* water
* Christmas (it is coming with all of its cookies, decorations, family gatherings, and songs)
* Thanksgiving (that is usually forgotten in the shuffle, yet, is my favorite holiday of all)
* all the family that I will get to spend time with this thanksgiving (I love having married sisters! They are so cute.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

thankful day 24

I am thankful for:
* my own bed
* my new dishes (last made in 1958, so some of the pieces are probably older than that - I will try to post pictures later)
* the trip home, that was 1.5 hours shorter than the trip to WV (yay, for no traffic around DC on my side of the road)
* my husband who carried in all the camping stuff
* everything being put away last night (so I don't have to think about it tonight). I didn't want to put it all away when I came home, but I am so glad that I did now.
* a dishwasher
* my sister, Sarah, who made us dinner on Saturday night (yay, chicken pot pie!) after being in the cold all day
* state parks (If you ever go to visit Sarah, visit Pipestem State Park, it is gorgeous! We didn't stay there, we stayed at Bluestone, but we went there on Saturday and hiked around)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

thankful day 23

I am thankful for:
* cold weather (it means you have to use less ice to keep food cool when you are camping)
* my tent from the Libbys
* our sleeping bags (from Jamie and Dasha and the Griswolds)
* our Christmas dishes that we can take camping with us
* our cooler from the Spicers

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thankful day 22

I am thankful that:
* I don't have to sit in traffic every day on my way to work
* that Jared will split a sub with me and let me get whatever I want on it
* for mountains
* for leaves that are changing colors

Thursday, October 20, 2011

thankful day 21

I am thankful for:
* my mom cooking me dinner the other night
* a bed that is out of the rain

thankful day 20

A funny thing happened when I was reading my "three volumes in one" Anne of Green Gables book yesterday.  I had finished the first two books and I went to read the third book (in this volume) and it jumped 8 years.  I was so confused.  They were talking about characters that I did not know and events that were not in the first two books.  So I looked up the series and realized that the third book in this book set was really the 5th book in the series.  Why would you do that?  So I left work at 4:40, drove to the library, parked, ran in the library (it was raining), ran upstairs, and had to ask a librarian where the teen section was (why is A of GG under teen fiction?  Another funny thing, it is on the shelf right below the Twilight books.  I got a good laugh from that.) because they close down the search computers 15 minute before they close, and checked out at 4:58. 
I am thankful for:
* the library
* free books
* cheerios, pecans, and craisens

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

thankful day 19

I am feeling really not inspired today. Rain makes me tired and even a cup of tea is not waking me up this morning. 
* I am really thankful for the rain, but not the fact that the rain makes it harder to get out of bed and makes it darker outside (which also makes it harder to get out of bed). 
* I am thankful my parents have camping supplies that they let me borrow.
* I am thankful for smart people in manufacturing, that have imaginations, that work on my projects and want to work on my projects.
* I am thankful for my Bass clogs that keep me high above all the puddles in the parking lot (because I am not allowed to wear heels, nor would I want to because walking on concrete all day is painful in heels).  I am old; I love clogs.  As my other shoes die out, I am replacing them with old comfortable shoes.  My favorite expensive shoes are Privos by Clarks.  I have two pairs (of the same shoe, one I bought 10% off and one I saw a year later on the sales rack for 60% off - yay).  I will probably visit the Clark outlet again this weekend and see if there are anymore shoes my size on the clearance rack.  When I bring a new pair home, I have to throw away an old pair. 
* I am thankful for comfortable shoes!! That last a really long time.  Although, my one pair of Privos has started squeaking when I walk around the plant (just one shoe).  I can only get it to stop if I walk funny (kind of to the side of my right foot).  ha. They are so comfortable though that I can't give them up.  :)  
* I am thankful for my polka dotted umbrella that Hope gave me for Christmas (it made me smile this morning and kept me a lot drier than most people in the building). 
Wow!  I have a lot more things to be thankful for than I thought I would when I started this post.  I am really enjoying this challenge.  It makes me happier each morning.  God is good. It is good to remember his goodness. If you haven't started listing the things you are thankful for, I challenge you to start today.  :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

thankful day 18

I am thankful for:
* changing season (I am so glad fall is here and summer is GONE)
* the leaves changing colors and being able to drive around and see them
* having plans for the future
* water

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 17

I am thankful for:
* my sister Anna (she makes me laugh and I love her being married, she is great).  She sat next to me during church yesterday and I couldn't help but think about how much I love her. 
* another beautiful day
* more walks outside (with a sweatshirt on - YAY)

Thankful day 16!

I am thankful for:
* the beautiful weather that we had this weekend
* a short walk on the boardwalk
* a chance to visit Jared's grandmother
* dinner at a restaurant that I have been wanting to go to for two years
* good food (mixed grill, sweet potato, fried chicken, green beans, and mac & cheese with an apple dumpling for dessert - yes, please!)
* Fisher's popcorn

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thankful day 15

I am thankful that Christmas is coming!!!  And that my favorite holiday of all, thanksgiving, is going to be so grand this year with ALL my family celebrating together!!!  YAY!! I love Fall.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thankful Day 14

I am thankful for:
My new lands end dark blue polka dotted bathing suit top (only $10 on the overstocked end of clearance sale) and the pink skirt bottoms (only $5).  I love Land's End bathing suits!!  Love love love love love them!!! 

I am also thankful for the new $5 black turtleneck that I found also on sale; it is so soft and will be perfect for work.  I am thankful that I am old enough to wear a turtleneck and look classy at work. :) Okay, I am not so sure about that last one.  I am not really thankful that I look like an old woman, but it is better than being an awkward teenager and I suppose it would be weird if I still looked like a child.

For all you people older than me... I have a question... Do you ever get used to looking in the mirror and seeing yourself (older than you have ever been)?  Do you think you look older?  Do you ever think, "who is that person staring back at me?"  I am just curious.  Someday I look in the mirror and I think, "that can't be me, it looks nothing like me, I am not that old". 

Age is weird. It is really weird. I am guessing that you never really feel fully grown up, do you?  I mean, I run a department a a company with 850 employees.  I am responsible for saving over $2.5 million dollars next year alone. Today I discovered a way that we can save $130,000 a year by just making a couple wires shorter and not throwing away so much waste. I meet with upper level management weekly and just walk into their offices when I have questions or need things done.  I take visitors on tours about the plant.  I have conference calls with people from 5 or 6 different countries.  Yet, I don't feel like I am old enough to be doing all these things.  It is really weird to be working with people your parents age and older and having them as peers.  Age is weird, my friends.  I guess it is probably more weird for all the older people who now have to work with someone that is their kids age... I wonder if they think about that.  I wonder if that is strange to them.  Maybe they don't really think about it and that is why they are constantly surprised by my age.  Anyhow, that is what I think about throughout the day.  Welcome, to about a 30 second thought process from my brain.  I think a lot.

I don't dream, like Anne of Green Gables, but I certainly question the world like she does.  When she talks in the book, I feel like I understand her brain because that is how my brain is; it. never. stops. NEVER.  My parents say that my mouth moves so fast they can't understand me sometimes.  I try to talk slow, but there is just so much to say.  My mom thought I would not be able to write papers well because my hands couldn't keep up with my brain; then she stuck me in front of a computer and Dad taught me how to type.  There are still missing words and my thoughts jump all around, but it is so much better than when I write on paper (unless I am taking notes, I prefer to take notes by hand).  Hayley said that reading my old letters was like figuring out a code because I would leave out words and run other words together.  I reverse letters and numbers sometimes and substitute the wrong words (Jared laughs at me).

I am constantly curious about something or trying to solve some puzzle.  Example, while waiting for Jared the other day outside of the computer lab, I decided to estimate how many bricks were on the outside of the new teacher building at SU.  I counted the bricks up and across and figured out how many were taken out of the windows and doors.  It was quite fun. I know, I am a complete nerd.  Life fascinates me.  I love it. I meant to stop three paragraphs ago (or maybe after I mentioned that I was thankful for my new bathing suit - ha).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And old post that needs to be revisited!!

First posted in Summer 2005
this post is dedicated to my favorite Sarah.  I am going to see you soon! Yay.

This is one reason I love and miss my sister. Today she sent me a message that said, " * Why can’t Walter be my drawing master?"

To which I replied, "Why can’t Gilbert be in my school?"

And from there we went back and forth for the next hour with the following. Brownie points to the person who could name each and every referenced movie, book, and/or musical... heh. My favorite is by Sarah... It is, "Why don't we have a farm boy?" I laughed out loud when I received that one. I love you, Sarah! So much. Oh, I get to see you tomorrow. I am so excited. :) Oh, and Hayley, the second to last one was for you. I don't know if anyone else would get that quote. haha. I can't wait to see you either tomorrow. WOOHOO!
* Why can’t Mr. Bingley move to my neighborhood? And bring his friend?
Why can’t John Harmon work in my house?
* Why can’t Peter Warne ride on my bus?
Why can’t Marius sit in my park?
* Why can’t Prince Phillip haunt my forest?
Why can’t Percy rescue my brother?
* Why can’t Raoul rescue my scarf?
Why can’t Laurie move next door to my family?
* Why can’t Will Darcy find me strangely attractive?
Why can’t I take my father’s place in a haunted castle?
* Why can’t John Preston convict me of sense offence?
Why can’t Batman be my childhood friend?
* Why can’t my brother go on strike with Jack Kelly?
Why can’t Hans Solo find me in a prison cell?
* Why can’t Dr. House be my doctor?
Why can’t Wooster try to get on of his friends to marry me?
* What can’t I lose my gravity so that a handsome young prince can be willing to die for me but he doesn’t and we live happily ever after?
Why can’t Peter Parker live next to me or work in my office?
*Why can’t someone fall in my well and then help me watch the sheep?
Why can’t I be the governor’s daughter?
* Why can’t I marry the son of a sea cook?
Why can’t George serve me ice cream?
* Why don’t we have a farm boy?Why can’t Prince Rillian be trapped under my house?
* Why can’t Robin Hood take me to Sherwood Forest?
Why can’t Jamie Boy kiss me?
* Why can’t Murphy watch me play the violin?
Why can’t Benedict write me sappy poetry?
* Why can’t I throw Buck’s flowers in the trash can?
Why can’t Rhett drive my buggy?
*Why can’t Humphrey Bogart let me get on the plane?
Why can’t Indi rescue me?
*Why can’t Captain Wentworth write me a letter?
Why can’t Jack be stranded on my Island?
*Why can’t Jack be my pumpkin king?
Why can’t Andrew come fix my room?
* Why can’t Woody help me defect from Russia?
Why can’t Woody be my cowboy?
* Why can’t Horatio Hornblower captain my ship?
Why can’t I argue with a kidnapped boy?
*Why can’t I watch Captain Von Trapp’s children?
Why can’t I bee a lonely stubborn school teacher out west somewhere?
* Why can’t Landon Carter promise not to fall in love with me?
Why can’t Captain Blood anchor his ship in my port?
* Why can’t Cornelious Hackel put on his Sunday clothes to come visit me?
Why can’t I twist my ankle while chasing a blue patch of sky?
* Why can’t Jimmy live in my town?
Why can’t I discuss politics and slave trade with a man who sings amazing grace parliament?
* Why can’t my shoe be the smallest in the kingdom?
Why can’t loops be my pilot?
* Why can’t I go singing in the rain?
Why can’t I be the lost penny that keeps coming back?
* Why can’t I be stranded in the desert with Dirk Pitt?

This is stuck in my head (and a bonus song)

God of the break and shatter
Hearts in every form still matter
In our weakness help us see
That alone we’ll never be
Lifting any burdens off our shoulders

If our days could be filled with small rebellions
Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all
If we stand between the fear and firm foundation
Push against the current and the fall, the current and the fall

God of the worn and tattered
All of your people matter
Give us more than words to speak
‘Cause we are hearts and arms that reach
And Love climbs up and down the human ladder
- Jars of Clay

Push against the current and the fall, I really like that line.  At first I just liked the tune, it stuck in my head, but then I started thinking about what it really meant.  We should be in the world, but not of it, influencing the people around us for good. We should be more than words that speak. :) That is all I have to say about this.  I am going to listen to it again and this has moved to the top of my "cds to buy" list.

Bonus song:
Oh happiness, there’s grace
Enough for us and the whole human race
Oh happiness, there’s grace
Enough for us and the whole human race
-David Crowder Band

Okay, one more thing about the second song I included.  I heard this song on the way in to work one day last winter, while I was still suffereing through days in the engineering department trying not to let them steal my joy.  An aside, I am so thankful for those months spent in engineering, they were hard and boring, but I know so much about the company because of them.  Back to the story, I heard this one the way to work.  Well, that was an especially bad day, more terrible than they normally were, trapped in the fishbowl, blamed for things I didn't do with so many errors in the paperwork I was shuffling through.  I can't remember what happened, but I know there were several things, and each time something happened, this song popped into my head, "oh happiness, there is grace, its enough for us". It made a day that should have been awful, seem not so bad because there is grace and it is plenty enough for us.  Praise God for that.  Since that day, I can't listen to this song without smiling  and thanking God for his grace and goodness in my life. 

Extra thankful!

Today I found out that the company's health care, dental, and eye care is going up 18% next year in all the Labinal plants.  However, at our plant, the company is reimbursing us that 18%. So, our cost is not changing this year! YAY!  How cool is that?  I am thankful that my health care cost is not going up. 

thankful day 13

Source: Fingerpost

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
-Benjamin Franklin

So I read this little quote over at Fingerpost, and if you don't read Fingerpost then you are missing out each day at a fun little phase or saying, and it made me think. Let me start out by saying, I am a saver. I would probably dumpster dive and wear the same clothes for the rest of my life if it weren't for Jared. My siblings laugh at my frugal ways. Jared spends money. I am not saying this is bad and in some cases it is actually good, but it is different. Example: Jared and I are on vacation and we grab lunch at a fast food restaurant somewhere. I quickly locate one of the cheapest items on the menu and either get a free water or go drinkless. Jared adds on the chips and a drink with his order. Second example: Jared buys coffee out sometimes; I would never buy a soda or coffee out unless I had a coupon, it got me something else, or I had gone crazy. When I was in college I skipped a lot of meals, not because I didn't have money, but I would rather not spend it on expensive lunches. If I did eat, it was usually something that I had bought in bulk and portioned out to myself. I ate a lot of Frost Mini Wheats and Goldfish. Okay, so you get the picture?

The reason that this quote made me want to write a post was because I have found it to be entirely true and I wanted to share with you something that I have relearned. Jared and I budgeted for the first year or so of our marriage. By that time we both had jobs and we were able to put some in savings (YAY). Over the past year or so, we have both been more free with our money (not all of this is bad, a lunch with my interns, supplies for VBS, dinner for friends, presents for people, quilts and fabric for family and friends...etc). It wasn't like we were throwing it away on bad things, just too many good things. A little here and a little there added up to a lot of little things (as the quote says). This was all well and good until a couple months ago I realize that we spent more than we took in (thanks to Jared's school bill and medical expenses for his thumb, but still, it sort of freaked me out and made me think).

So we sat down and re budgeted our expenses. The funny thing about it is how many times I was spending money without even thinking about it (and I am the saving type). Most of the time I would think, “oh well, it is on sale”. Since being put back on a budget I think about every single thing that I have to buy. It has made me a much better planner. I semi plan our meals (still based on whatever meat is on sale). It was so much easier not to spend money when I made minimum wage (when I was 15), but each year that my hourly rate goes up, the fewer hours it takes to buy that shirt or that bag of sunchips. I remember when I first started shopping (and paying) for my own clothes. I used to consider each article of clothing, “is this worth X number of hours at Chick-Fil-A? In most case, I said no. I am thankful for a budget because it makes me think. I have to think about what I buy. I have to think about where my money goes. I have to think about saving up enough money to do something else and thus, not spending money on another thing. It is good; I haven’t had to do that for a while.

Why is this good? It makes me appreciate the things I have. It makes me look for ways to use up what I have instead of throwing them away and buying something new. It makes giving more rewarding and it makes me communicate with Jared about money more. Lastly, it makes me think about God more.

How does it make giving more rewarding? Instead of buying everything or anything that I could, I have to think ahead and maybe sacrifice some new fabric or something else I wanted so that I have the money to buy a gift. I have to give something up to be able to give to someone else. I am also thankful because it is good practice for the future. Someday I am going to have kids (no not now) and I want to be able to stay home with them. It is challenging me to think of others instead of myself. It is making me think about the money that God has blessed me with and to be careful with what he has given me.

I fully recommend putting yourself on a budget. Maybe it is because of my math brain and the fact that I am saver, but whatever the reason, I actually like being on a budget. It will stretch you and give you opportunities to grow. I have also found it allows Jared and me to talk about our money more. Before, if you had money, you spent it. Now we have to work together to decide what the money will be spent on.

One last thought, no matter what I have in savings or don't have in savings, does not (and should not) make me happy or comfortable. My true source of comfort is with Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can grant ultimate satisfaction and peace in this world. He is the giver of all good gifts. He has blessed me with way more than I could ever ask for. I am grateful for my job and Jared's job. I am grateful that God has let us be stewards of SO much. I hope I can always honor him with what I have (in plenty and in want). I am thankful for a budget that makes me think. I like being made to think. It is too easy to be in autopilot and not notice the world around you.

Today I am thankful for:
* a budget
* my jobs
* the ability to be healthy and be able to work
* the ability to save money for my future family
* my understanding husband
* for my parents who helped pay for my college and who encouraged me to stay in-state to stay out of debt and who brainwashed me into being frugal
* for the grandi-howards who wouldn't let me pay them for room and board and gave me the best house to live it of all my friends at college!!! They are great.
* that I could sell some of my old college books so that they are out of the house
* for my husband that encourages me to keep the house uncluttered and clean (and teaches me how to get rid of things that I will never need)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thankful day 12

I am thankful for:
* water
* bananas (they have their own wrappers)
* my basil plant (it is over 3 feet high and as long as I keep pinching off the flowers, it keeps growing up and up and up, it will be sad when winter comes and there is no more fresh basil)
* spaghetti and meatballs (that going to be my dinner)
* homemade English muffins (with butter and honey)
Do you see a theme today? ha. I really didn't mean to do that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

two things from Anne of Avonlea

1. Anne graduates from college at age 16 (granted it is a one year teaching degree) and is teaching her own school at 17 (along with many of her classmates). How many 17 year-olds do you know that are teaching a whole school room of children from 6 years-old to16 years-old? I can't believe that this is entirely fictitious that people used to teach school at such a young age and be given such great responsibility. Again, this reminded me that we give people too little responsibility these days. Apparently, people are capable of so much more. I am not saying all 17 year-olds should be given charge of a classroom, but that more than we think could run a classroom and teach material.

2. A quote:

"Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one's life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one's side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music; perhaps... perhaps... love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath."

Thankful day 11

I am thankful:
* for Chia tea (with cream and honey)
* my chemistry lab that makes me relearn all sorts of things I have let myself forget
* Tuesday meetings... ALL. DAY. LONG. I am thankful that they make my day go by really quickly and that they help to accomplish things that I don't have the power to do myself. :) None of us is as dumb as all of us, HOWEVER, all of us has more power, than one of us.  I try to keep a positive perspective on meetings (plus, I am paid the same whether I am sitting in a meeting or making a spreadsheet - as Jared says, "it is all 8 hours".  And since we simply reporting and requesting resources (and not planning and putting things together), they go quite smoothly (as smoothly as I think a meeting could go around here...) especially since I am running them (as much as someone without seniority can run a meeting around here...) and for the most part keep us on track and under 1 hour (my goal is to have 15 minutes meetings some day... it is going to happen and it is going to be marvelous!!).
* I am thankful for my job (again, I know, but I am just so thankful for it, I LOVE it)
* the ability to read and write my own language (it is amazing what the power of being able to record and read records can do)
* the beautiful sky last night when I came out of lab.  God created an amazing world filled with beautiful things.  I am so grateful to a loving creator.  I am so glad that, "it was good" and that it is still good.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thankful day 10

I am thankful:
* for cooler weather
* pancakes
* books
* a stack of graded labs (until tonight - ha)
* sunrises
* a car that works
* my faculty parking pass at SU (I don't mind walking to the building, but it is so less sketchy not having to walk accross a dim lit parking lot late at night after my lab)
* Psalm 130 (the Psalm and the hymn)

Thankful day 9

I am thankful that I got to talk to Sarah and Josh on Skype at my parents. 

Friday, October 07, 2011

Thankful day 8

Since I will be with Michelle watching Little Women and eating Ledos pizza this weekend, I will post Saturday's thankful post now.
I am thankful for:
* Michelle
* Michelle driving to see me and bringing me stuff from Trader Joes
* Ledos pizza (with peppers and onions)
* Christian Bale in Little Women and Equilibrium
And I am thankful for my Mom who is making me dinner on Saturday night and made me dinner last night.  It was so great to get text from her about chicken, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and stuff at 4:00.  I was going to eat my chili, but I would rather eat Mom's cooking any day.  I am thankful that she let us run over there from we went to our book study group at Church.  Thanks, Mom. 

Thankful day 7

I am thankful for:
* casual friday
* my favorite pair of Banana Republic jeans.  I have worn them for the last 4 years and they are still going strong (and I have an extra pair that I have never worn that I bought becuase I loved them so much, so, I have a good 5 or 6 years of my favorite pair of jeans left) 
* cars that run
* the fact that it is cooler outside

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Fresh Air Quote

I heard this quote on the way back to work from lunch.  I work with people.  I work with people that should not have ever been hired.  I know people that are smart and motivated and don't have a degree.  This quote is so true; most companies do hire people just to do what they are told and completely waste the ideas that those people have floating around their heads.  Jared and I were just talking about people and how if you expect a lot from them, they will usually try hard to reach the goals you set for them.  However, most companies expect little from their employees and so that is what they get.  People rise to the level of responsibility that you demand of them.
"Most companies hire people to tell them what to do.  We hire people to let them tell us what to do.  We focused on hiring motivated, smart people."
– Steve Jobs
I believe most companies would be much better off if they took this advice.  I like my job because I am allowed to start giving people some room to cultivate ideas of their own.  It is fun to see them be able to see some of their ideas actually happen.  We expect too little of people.  Challenge the people around you.  Encourage them on to better things!  God has trusted us with so much.  Let us use what we have to the best of our ability and help the people in our lives to run the race with perseverance.  Strive to reach the goal. 

day 6 extra

I am thankful for Microsoft Excel. It makes me job so much easier.

thankful day 6

I am thankful that my mother taught me to love reading.  I am thankful that I can read.  I am thankful that she read to me. I am thankful for all those trips to the library toting hundreds of books.  I am thankful that my Mom wrote down each and every book when we came home from the library so that we knew what books to look for when they were lost.  I am thankful that I won't ever have to do that because the library now print out a list for me.  I am thankful for free books that I can borrow and read (because otherwise I would blow my budget on books).  I am thankful that Jared reads to me while I sew and cook. I am thankful that between Jared, NPR, and the Economist, I have learned to read non-fiction and learned so much! 
I am thankful that I don't have a computer at my house.  I would waste so much time getting "inspiration" from food blogs and craft blogs and I would not accomplish as much.  I am glad Jared feels the same way.  And I am thankful that there are plenty of places that have access to a computer and wi-fi so when I need to check something I can. Thank you businesses that have free wi-fil.  :)
I am thankful for Grandipop's chili recipe.
I am thankful that Chalice is willing to give up 6 months to go to Uganda.  You should pray for her and follow her exciting journey.  I would link you to her site, but I am writing this as an email and I can't edit links.  The link is over to the side of my blog.  I am thankful that God works in the hearts of people around me.  I am thankful to I can see that.  I am thankful for change.  I guess I am weird. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

thankful day 5

I am thankful that Walmart is open after 9, unlike most other grocery stores because that was the only time that I had to go grocery shopping last night.  Normally, I would avoid Walmart, but today I am being thankful for them (and even their fruit flies... I avoided all fruit purchases -- stay away from my house fruit flies!!!). 
I am thankful because we have not had that many fruit flies this year.  There have only been one or two residing in my kitchen for the past month or so and soon it will be too cold and they will all go away!!
I am thankful for my pillow from IKEA and how it has lasted longer than other pillows and was cheaper and has real feathers in it ($9 for a feather pillow - what?).  I do love IKEA. I bought a bunch of dishtowels last time I was there for 50 cents.  How can you beat that?  I use them to wipe up spills in the kitchen (they are not my nice hanging up on the stove, dry my hands off on towels).  They have nearly rid our house of any paper towels (which are expensive).  As soon as I had to start buying my own, I tried to start using dish towels as much as possible. 
I am thankful that IKEA is two hours away from my house or I would be tempted to buy things that I didn't need.
I am thankful that the labs I teach are usually over before the two hours they give us so that I can grade the first labs before the second one starts. 
I am thankful for water. I drink it all day long.
I am thankful for curly hair!!  I love it. This is probably going to sound gross, but I love not having to wash my hair every day.  And I am thankful that I can roll out of bed and it takes only a little bit of work to make it look decent. 
P.S.  Free chick-fil-a breakfast every Saturday this month if you wear your pajamas into the store.  :)  I am trying to decide if I should go before the gym at 6:30?  Or change back into my pajamas after a shower and the gym at 9:30?  I am thinking the earlier spot to avoid everyone I might know in their pajamas, however, if Jared is coming with me, it will probably be the other one.  He seems to be able to sleep in on Saturdays; I am too set in a schedule.  6:00 rolls around and I am awake.  I was even getting up at 5:30 or 6 when I was with Steffy last week and staying up later.  It was really beautiful to watch the sun rise, though.  It made getting out of bed much easier.  So did the coffee (I would have gone for tea, hot chocolate, or spiced cider... anything warm).  Happy vacation memories.  It is funny how I actually like the mornings now.  I used to hate them.  I feel more productive when I get out of bed earlier. 

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Thankful day 4

I am thankful for goldfish (and wish I had made time to go to Sams club and buy some more on Saturday) and trail mix to keep my brain working throughout the day. 
I am thankful that I am so much more busy than I ever was, in my old department, and that I don't spend time wasting time because there is no work to do.  It is so awesome to have a job that keeps you busy ALL the time (I feel like a lot of desk jobs are just sitting at a desk and trying to look busy).  I am so thankful that my job is not like that; I would go crazy.  I love having things to do, meetings to go to, tools to order and prototype, screens to program, training to do, things to organize, people to interview, and phone calls to make (okay, not the phone calls, but I am thankful that I am getting used to them and don't mind them as much as I used to).  
I am thankful for my husband and the way he makes me laugh.  He is my own personal muppet and he entertains me all the time.  I have never met anyone like him and I am afraid, that someday, when we have kids, they will be just like him.  I think he is going to show up on my thankful list a bunch of times because I am so super thankful for him. 
I am thankful for boots and leggings to keep me warm and so that I can keep wearing skirts all year long!
I am thankful for homemade oatmeal cinnamon raisin bread and english muffins.  I have an excuse to warm up the house and to eat yummy foods. 
I am thankful for food blogs that share creativity for me and for cookbooks that I can hold in my hands and mark up.  

Monday, October 03, 2011

Thankful part 3

October 3:
I am thankful for an extra job that I can teach on Monday nights to save up extra money for my little family someday.  I am thankful for running water and a clean shower and a husband who keeps the shower clean.  I am thankful for a husband that cleans the sink after he shaves/trims his beard.  I am thankful for Jared singing and being goofy all over the house. He makes me laugh and it is great fun being married to him.  I am thankful for the way he puts his arm around my chair during church and that he is always warm and willing to give me a hug to warm me up.  I am thankful for my bright blue slippers to keep my feet warm on cold days (thanks to Linnea and Ben).  I am thankful for Mrs. Shelton lending me her other sewing machine because the other one she lent me is not working.  I am thankful for cooler weather and scarves and Chia tea and leftover gumbo for lunch today!!!

thankful day 2

October 2:
I am thankful for my nephews and nieces (Happy Birthday, Krue) and their excitement about life.  I am thankful for someone else cooking for me (Mrs. Shelton yesterday, Ben cooking Gumbo on Friday (yum yum yum) and all sorts of other yummy foods all week).  I am thankful that Chick-fil-A has delicious chicken and for my calendar that I can use to get free chicken from them (I wasn't appreciative of HOW good their chicken is until I tried some nasty dry chicken at Hardies this weekend on my trip home - bleh).  I am also thankful that they let you get as many ketchup packs as you need (unlike other places that only give 5, no matter what, unless you buy fries... boo Hardies, boo).  I am thankful for cell phones, so that I can talk to my Dad on the trip home.  I thankful for a car with air conditioning.  I am thankful for my my space heater in the bathroom on cool mornings, for quilts and blankets to curl up under, and for a good book to read (and thankful that I know how to read).

Thankful day 1

Several people I know are doing thankful blogs this month, I love this idea.  I have so much to be thankful for!!  Since I was away part of last week and this weekend I am going to post three posts today to catch up. 
October 1: I am so thankful for a good friend that I can talk to about anything!  And I am extremely thankful for the chance to visit her, her precious family, and her parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews.  I am thankful for a job that allows me two days off.  I am thankful for the warm weather that we had last Thursday and Friday while I was at the beach.  I am thankful that my freckles have appeared on my face again (it has been too long).  I am extremely thankful that it rained during my trip down to the bay bridge tunnel, but not while I was on the bridge.  I am thankful that there was $2.10 (ten cents more than I needed) in the change holder in the car (to go with my $10 bill) to pay to get accross the bridge.  And I am thankful that for safe travel back to my husband, for my husband that makes me feel so loved and adored, and our quiet little clean house!!!  I am thankful for my own warm bed (with extra quilts on it now) and that my husband helps me keep the house clean.  Yay!
I could go on, but I will save it for another day. :)  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

1. Work is still crazy, but I still enjoy it.
2. I am about to finish my fourth quilt this month (one was almost already finished, one I had the blocks sewn (but not sewn together or with a back or quilt), and two I have started from scratch).  I am feeling very productive.  I might start a few table runners or maybe even another quilt soon.  I even let myself buy some new fabric (because I used up so much old fabric) and 20 yards of Cotton batting. I did use that new fabric very quickly for a new flannel quilt that will soon be making its way to Colorado (for two cute little blond kids - that I get to see next week).
3. Less than a week until I get to meet the Stef's children and spend some time with my Hornor "family".  Vacation day!!! Not counting my wedding, because you really don't visit with anyone during your wedding, I haven't seen Stef in over 4 years when I was last out in Colorado.  I am so excited.  I feel like the day before Christmas. 
4. I have an amazing recipe for you, but I have to make it first and make sure it is as delicious as it sounds...  I might make it for the hymn sing.  It is something about peanut butter pound cake with chocolate chips (or Reese's cups inside) with peanut butter glaze and chocolate fudge icing... 
5. So I walked into my house last night and it smelled like an old person's house. It was musty and like walking into a house full of antiques or a thrift store.  I am not sure what is going on.  The windows are going to be opened tonight and the house aired out.  Also, I am cleaning everything this weekend.  YAY!  Maybe it is the large plant that Aunt Suzanne gave me that was part of her mother's grandmother's plant.   
6. Last weekend was great.  My parents and Annadrew and Jared and I spent the weekend in Shippensburg, PA at a Bed and Breakfast.  It was so relaxing to just hang out with all of them and do nothing all weekend.  We went on a 20 mile long bike ride and listened to some fun bands and some not so fun bands.  I bought a bunch of old sheets to turn into some quilts and some apples to turn into apple cake.  I love my family (as it grows and grows).  They make me happy.  Anna posted pictures on facebook.
Have a great week.  Recipe and pictures to follow.  Also, pictures of two of my quilts.  The other two are secret for now. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I purchased 20 yards of cotton batting on an amazing sale!  It is lovely.  I wanted the unbleached cotton batting because I think it is prettier, but no one is going to see it inside the quilt so I settled for the bleached batting.  They were sold out of the lovely nateral colored cotton. 
Listen to Jars of Clay (over and over again).  They would be on my top 5 list of artists.
Finished grading my 48 labs.  At least 10 of my students spelled flour as flower... really? 
Received a begonia from Aunt Suzanne that was once part of a plant from her mother's grandmother.  How cool is that!?!