Tuesday, May 31, 2011

short, sweet and to the point

The weekend is over.
The girls didn't make it to the championship rounds in their DII state soccer tournament.
We enjoyed our time away, got some sun and ate too much restaurant food.
Once we came home, hubby made some awesome ribs for his birthday dinner. I made him a hummingbird cake. It was all very yummy.
Memorial Day was nice and relaxing.

We are now back at work and ready for the remainder of our week.

Short, sweet and to the point..........maybe I will be more inspired tomorrow morning.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

weekend....and a long one to boot!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend to everyone....see you back here on Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

here comes the rain again....and let's hope that's all it is

Wow. The states to the west of us are getting hit hard by tornadoes and some very lethal spring weather. I was watching CNN yesterday and heard the names of several Oklahoma counties I recognize from my hubby's travels. One of the sheriffs he knows was then on CNN. I gave him a ring at the office and he turned on the TV to watch and get an idea of the storm's path because one of his guys is out there on a site visit. All is well with his coworker, but the path of death and destruction is heart wrenching.

We are in for rain here today and I hope that is all we get. I'm not going to like being away from my kiddoes when the bad weather rolls in. It is the last day of school for the youngest as he is not going tomorrow.

Time for Mother Nature to put away the heavy artillery.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

a bit of this and a bit of that

The textbooks are turned in and a variety of used and abused notebooks and other supplies fill my trash can. The boy racked up FOUR awards yesterday, three academic awards and one citizenship award. Whoot!! He was quite proud and we are quite proud of him.

Uneventful day at work yesterday except for the fact that my second screen arrived. I now have a two screen workstation!  Very exciting stuff. I feel very official and important.

The week is going to fly by as we get ready to leave for the soccer championships in Nashville. Unfortunately, the weather is preventing the girls from practicing. Both scrimmages were rained out yesterday as we had some heavy weather, it even hailed!

Not sure what Mother Nature has in store for us today, but some drying out might be nice.

I'm reading the next Flavia de Luce novel and so far it is off to a good start.

Monday, May 23, 2011

school is out and I'm overwhelmed

The girls finish the school year today as they are exempt from finals and do not have to attend the rest of the week. The boy will go, basically just to hang out, until Thursday. Why did this school year go by so fast? How is it that I'm going to have a senior and a junior the next time the bell rings?


It will be a different kind of summer now that I'm working. No vacation for us this year. No trips to visit. No beach. Hubby and the oldest will make two college visits, quick, short and to the point. Things are changing. Things are speeding up and I find myself doing a lot of juggling, coping and making do.  I need to find a new balance, a new normal, a new way....all three have been very elusive.

But for now, I need to get ready to go to work and wish my darling daughters a good final day of their sophomore and junior years. I need to tell the young man how proud I am of his academic efforts as I can't make his awards ceremony today, but will be thinking of him.

Yep, I need to find a new way through all of this. For some reason it is feeling very overwhelming today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

willy nilly

I will be running to and fro willy nilly over the next 48 hours as I try and get everything done that is on the schedule. But, first, some happy news.

When I got to work yesterday I was one happy camper by the time I finished reading my emails. Getting two 'atta girls' brought a smile to my face and a bounce to my step.  A column I put together on public outreach is going into the national journal as a sidebar piece to the executive director's essay. Woot!  I also received a note from the head of the education department that my html coding was outstanding on the web pages I'm building for a new online course the Foundation is creating. Woot!

What a joy it is to go to work and receive praise for your efforts.

My 'to do list' is quite long and I need to get started....so Happy Thursday to everyone and see you on Monday! I'm taking tomorrow off!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

making a speech

I gave a speech last night during the public portion of the town hearing on the budget. Haven't done that for a while. Like, never!

But, I felt I had something to say, something to add to the conversation, so I got home from work and wrote out my comments. Hubby helped me with the first draft and after two more edits, I was ready to go.  The chambers were crowded, although a few empty seats remained.  The town administrator went through a 65 slide power point presentation on the budget for the next fiscal year.

Like many communities, expenses keep rising, but the revenue has fallen flat. Our town depends heavily on property tax revenue and our current tax rate was set in 2002. The tax rate has been adjusted down a few times so that the town doesn't benefit from the county property reappraisals. With most businesses, the biggest share of the budget is consumed by personnel costs. Police and Fire are the biggest chunk of that. 

I spoke in favor of increasing the property tax rate. Only one person there spoke against it. The rest of the 10 speakers also saw the need to step up and solve this issue now.

I felt I delivered my comments well, but the biggest compliment was when one of the 'old' town gentleman said during his turn at the podium that 'the young lady in the pink sweater' stole his thunder and said exactly what he wanted to say.  Afterwards, even the mayor told me that I had done a wonderful job and that for Mr. Stamps to make that comment was the highest praise indeed.

So, now, I can try and watch for myself on the local access TV channel.  I wonder how I looked on camera? My knees were shaking a bit, but hubby said I appeared rock solid.

Oh, and the other comment, from the lone female on the board, "you need to run for office."  I'm still laughing about that one!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the sweetness at the bottom of the pie

Alan Bradley has created a gem of a character and a fantastically readable mystery in this debut novel. "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" stars 11 year old amateur (although she might bristle at that description) sleuth, Flavia de Luce. Set in post WWII England, Flavia stumbles upon a man dying in the de Luce vegetable garden who utters the word "Vale" into her ear with his last breath. With that, she is off to solve the murder.

As the story unfolds we learn about the de Luce family, their estate, Buckshaw, and the nearby town, Bishop's Lacey. Flavia is a precocious young woman with a keen interest in chemistry and poisons and a keener interest in everything going on around her.

First chance I get, I'm off to the library to check out and read the other two books in this series.

Monday, May 16, 2011

a brief interlude

It was a lovely weekend. I tended to several things I needed to work on and enjoyed some down time. I didn't finish my book or watch the Netflix movie that has taken up residence on my kitchen counter. But, I came away with the feeling that my new schedule will be a good one for all of us.

Up this week is a variety of appointments, soccer related things and normal life stuff.

It is a cool, rainy morning here. Yet another Monday starting off a bit gray and dreary, but the sun promises to shine later on in the week.

Happy Monday....good to see you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

yesterday's post....gone like the wind

Apparently blogger had some technical issues and my post from yesterday has disappeared into the ether. Also, when I tried to sign in this morning to do my entry, I wasn't able to as they were still working on fixing the problem. It is now mid-afternoon and my normal creative routine has been hijacked due to these problems. I'm not an afternoon blogging type of gal.

So, have a great Friday and a nice weekend.....I will catch you early Monday morning, unless things are again, gone like the wind.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

how a hair cut can give you a new attitude

The oldest hasn't had bangs in her hair since she was quite small. I think she grew them out in second grade, at the request of her ballet teacher, so her hair could be secured into an appropriate ballet bun. I still remember the agony of her eyes disappearing behind that slowly growing fringe and the many barrettes we purchased so we could secure that hair away from her face.

She's getting ready to enter her last year of high school now and has decided, after I made an off the cuff remark, to get bangs cut into her hair again. She pulled up pics of Reese Witherspoon and Carrie Underwood, saved them on her camera, made a hair appointment and is all set for this new adventure. She wants a new look, a new visible 'attitude' and has determined a hair cut is the way to go.

She will most definitely not be conforming with this new look. Long, one length, straight hair is the norm these days. I remember when everyone had 'feathered' hair inspired by Farrah Fawcett. Or when many of us had hair modeled after Toni Tenille!  Yikes!!

Now with hair extensions, feathers, colors etc, nothing is permanent and the options available, if you have the money are endless.

Tomorrow is the day for the hair cut. I think I'm as nervous as she is!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

into the crockpot

I will be tossing some things into the crockpot today and making chili for supper. I don't usually enjoy chili or any type of soup when it is this warm outside, but I have a variety of leftovers to make use of today. It will be an easy meal to do and when I get home today, I won't have any dinner prep to occupy my time. That means I might be able to read another chapter in Flavia's story. Last night I managed one more section before my eyes started to cross, I needed to put the book down, turn off the light and call it a day.

Logged in another good day at work. I will be learning how to do some basic html coding and 'authoring' some pieces on the organization's learning library. I'm a bit excited about this new task as I've always wanted to understand how to 'code'.

In other news, I read a NPR piece about a gal who followed the Laura Ingalls Wilder books all across the Midwest. I'm not a big nonfiction reader, but I think I will be checking to see if the library has this book and borrowing it.  The Little House books were a huge part of my childhood and to read about another fan visiting sites from the books sounds like fun to me.

And that is all for Wednesday......midweek, no meltdown in sight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the moment when you know.....meeting flavia

As I start reading a new book, a moment arrives when I know whether or not the book is going to be awesome, a light but fun read or just an okay story. My current book has been sitting on my night stand for a month. I was told by an avid reader/blogger/teacher (APW) that the book was fabulous and the main character very well done. Before I finished the first page, I knew her recommendation was spot on.

I read as long as I could last night and have every intention of spending as much time as I can this week with Flavia de Luce. Once this book is finished, I will be on the hunt for the next title in this series.

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" begins with a great character building moment and makes you sit up in your seat and take notice. That is the moment when you know you're in for a treat.

I had a good day at work yesterday and have started to feel the pieces all fall into place. I sense the start of my daily routine. I felt a bit of accomplishment when I logged off my computer after my six hours on the job.  It is all very, very good.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, May 9, 2011

eye & mind candy

Eye candy. Mind candy. Those sweet, mild diversions from reality we all need in our lives. Not every book needs to be award winning. Not every movie deserves an Oscar. But those entertainments can be, well, entertaining in a mindless way.

I took two of the three kids to see Thor yesterday. I have to say, I'm excited by the fact so many of the characters I enjoyed on Saturday morning cartoons and in the comic books of my youth are headed to the big screen. Iron Man. Hulk. Green Lantern. Spiderman, Batman. The list goes on and on and now Kenneth Branagh gives us Thor.

Plenty of eye and mind candy in this film. Thor is quite easy on the eyes. I was pleasantly surprised by the witty lines and the look of the movie. I'd give it two big thumbs up and advise a big bucket of popcorn and one of those bottomless soda combos they sell at the concession stand for the price of a small car.  Just sit back and be entertained. And, enjoy the view.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Mother's Day weekend is here and I find myself thinking of the many moms I know. Most of my friends are moms. I know a lot of other 'soccer' moms through my daughters' teams. I volunteer at the library with moms and grandmoms.  And although being a mother only requires giving birth to a child, being a Mom is something different.

I've relied on those other moms for advice, a shoulder to lean on, a kind word and a shared laugh. I've cried with some. Some have come in and out of my life. Others have stayed and that trusted relationship has grown and flourished through shared thoughts, fears and experiences.  It is an amazing thing to have another mom beside you who you know has not only your back, but your kid's back as well.  I have women in my life like that and the feeling of community and solidarity is amazing.  It is the whole 'don't mess with OUR kid' vibe.

Of course, I have the best mom in the world. She is my advisor, my friend, my confidante and my own personal cheerleader.  I'm the mom I am today because of her. I love her to pieces and wish to her, and all the other Moms out there, a very Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Sookie is back. Several other fans of this series complained a bit that the previous book was lacking in the action department. Well, Sookie had almost died and did need to recuperate from some very serious injuries. Several other characters either died or were seriously hurt in the battle at the end of the tenth book. So, I don't blame Harris for taking a slower pace and setting up the ground work for what was to come in book eleven.

Dead Reckoning starts off with some attic cleaning and a Molotov cocktail. The show down is coming not only for Sookie, but also for Eric and all those who call him Sheriff. It is time for a Dead Reckoning in the Bon Temps corral.  I'm not going to recap any further or be tempted to reveal any spoilers. If you love Sookie, you will love this book. If you aren't into this series, the novel won't make a bit of sense.

I do have to say though, I like the nods to the HBO series True Blood sprinkled throughout the story. When I read Pam say, "Are you picking up what I'm putting down," I about spit out my tea. I loved that line in the TV series and to 'see' Pam utter it in the book made my afternoon!! Ha Ha!!

I'm off to my new job today, kid pictures in tow along with other things to make my cubby/office more homey for me. I'm excited, nervous and anxious all rolled into one.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

what a difference a smile makes

I was welcomed with warm smiles, cheerful greetings and lots of laughter yesterday. Amazing what a difference those three things can make when you are starting a new job. I talked Sookie Stackhouse with the folks in the marketing department. I talked AMC's The Walking Dead with the two guys in IT. I talked soccer mom stuff with the gals in the Education department. I talked Architecture with the head of the Communications division. I talked, laughed, grinned and had one heckuva time. The six hours flew by and I came home energized.

My schedule is set. I have things to do until my boss returns in a month. I begin, officially, tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have a Friends meeting to conduct and a Sookie Stackhouse book to read. I have errands to run and some chores to complete.

I've landed in a good place.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

off on yet another new adventure

I resigned my post at the bank yesterday and today I start yet another new adventure. My life is a bit chaotic so far this year, much more like a roller coaster than a merry go round, but that is okay. I think this new opportunity will allow me to settle in and settle down into a nice routine.

So today I head to a new office and get to meet a group of new folks. I bring with me all I learned over the past three weeks. The formal information won't be used, but the informal lessons I learned by working with a variety of people in a variety of settings might just come in handy. I'm looking forward to getting started.

Onward I go....off into a new beginning.

Monday, May 2, 2011

rain, rain go away........for a good long time, please

I've become quite adept at finding and reading flood maps for our county. Not exactly a skill I hoped to hone at this point in my life, but I am grateful for all those elementary school teachers who taught such things to me when I was substantially younger.

We've received enough rain over the last several weeks in our locale as well as the surrounding areas to cause major flooding. Then when you factor in what is happening in the whole middle of the country and how so many of those waterways feed into the BIG river, well, needless to say, we have quite a mess on our hands.

It is raining yet again this morning. I have several things I need to do today and I may not be able to accomplish all of them because of roads being closed.  I've looked at alternative routes, and yes, those too might be closed.

There is no way to get THERE from HERE.

So, I will take care of what I can and hope that the rain stops soon so we can dry out.