Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Yesterday I turned in my vacation request form for May. I'm looking forward to our trip to Florida and a few days at the beach. In the meantime, we have a lot of stuff happening.

I drove the new car yesterday. It is quite zippy. Amazing how quickly it gets going. The minivan has great 'pick-up' and is a very smooth drive, but this little Focus is really peppy. I have forgotten what it is like to drive a small car as I have driven a minivan for the past 14 years. It is a big change to go to a small vehicle like that.

A new database program is in my future. I am going to be learning to use FileMaker in our attempt to create a master 'communications' calendar for the office.

The girl arrives home in just a few more days! The countdown is on. She seems to be ready for summer and seems to be freaking out just a bit about these last few final exams and the whole concept that her freshman year is almost finished.

The other daughter is freaking out about graduation and finishing up her high school career. She has 4 AP tests to take next week, an AP English Lit project to finish, and some random tests and quizzes to make up that she missed due to other things going on.

The boy is counting down to the end of the school year. He is more than ready.

The hubby is counting down to a BIG presentation next week as they learned they are one of the top 3 submissions for a major renovation/new building complex to be built in our historic district.

We are all counting down.

Monday, April 29, 2013

ummm, do over?

I could really use a do-over for this weekend. Not that I want to do the same stuff, I just need two more days to get stuff done!

We did manage to get the girl a graduation dress and found a cute dress she can wear to baccalaureate and wear for rush/game days come August. We also found the perfect wedges to compliment both and a nice pair of black flats. So, she is all good now.

The laundry did get done. The house did not get cleaned. The grocery shopping did not get done.

We did buy a new car.

It was one odd weekend. And Monday is here already! Ugh. Yikes.

The oldest will be home on Friday. It is the middle daughter's birthday on Friday. The boy is off to St. Louis on Friday.

Going to be another one of those crazy weeks. Let the games begin.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

out to lunch

The boss and I are taking one of our editorial advisory board members out to lunch this afternoon. The gentleman is in town for a meeting at our office and we are 'stealing' him away for a bit to enjoy a meal and conversation.

This man is always so positive in his emails and during our conference calls. The entire office comments about how pleasant he is to work with and how NICE he is.  He has been so supportive of the new magazine and I'm looking forward to chatting with him in person. He is also conducts very interesting research on circadian rhythms and 'light at night.'

The week has flown by, as I knew it would. We've been busy at work. I have been working on two different power point presentations for the executive director. I have one to finish up today and then we can begin editing/adjusting. It is a multi step process when we work with her on these.

The June issue of the magazine is coming together too...as in we are putting the files together for all the pages. This is a very interesting process for us as we didn't do that part of it last time.

Yep. It is Thursday. Let's go!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

playing catch up

I finally was able to get my closed cleaned out yesterday. Yeah! I have a huge bag of stuff to go to Goodwill today after work. Some things just really needed to be removed. It looks so much better now!

The desk also received some attention and the filing I had been putting off for a month is now complete. I also managed to get a handle on the laundry.  And I read a few chapters in the Melissa Marr book I am struggling to finish.

Going away for the weekend is fun, but it takes days to get caught up.

I had my performance appraisal, job review, etc. yesterday afternoon. All is well and I even managed to get a salary increase. Times are a bit tough at our association, so any raise is a good raise. I'm happy.

The rain they had been forecasting for yesterday arrived in the early hours of this morning along with thunder and lightning. It woke me up, but I was able to fall right back to sleep. Strange dreams last night. Very odd.

Today is hump day!! Wednesday, here we come!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

could be interesting

I have a meeting first thing this morning at work. It could prove to be very interesting. I'm sensing a glitch in the matrix!

The emails were flying fast and furious yesterday between a few folks. I stayed out of it. The executive director did not and wants stuff settled before she jets off again. She is off to New Zealand and Spain in the next month.

In other news, I haven't read my current Nook book in days. I had loaded a title from Melissa Marr, an author I usually enjoy reading, but I'm really bogged down in this book. I need to finish it off and move on.

The boy starts TCAPs this week. I saw a thread on facebook, one of our municipal school supporter pages, that talked about how some of the teachers are telling the kids that their jobs are on the line based on the students' performance on the test. That is true. The scores are used in a rubric for teacher evaluations. Not sure I like the idea of a teacher putting that kind of pressure on middle school students.

Our son loves taking standardized tests just to see how well he can do. He always does exceptionally well, and often has perfect scores in some sections. So, he isn't stressed at all and TCAP week is probably his favorite week of the year. No homework. Lots of treats after the test. It is a good time for him!

I also learned that two of the toughest, best, no-nonsense teachers at the high school are retiring at year end. I am so sad. I really wanted the boy to get these two ladies. One taught honors Biology and the other honors English I. They set the stage for the girls' success in high school. I can understand why they are retiring now. The mess of a school system that is coming is going to drive folks nuts, and if you are at the end of your career, why stick around for the shenanigans.

It's Tuesday. Let's make it a good day!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

back at it

We had a wonderful weekend! Our visit with the oldest was so much fun. We were able to meet up with hubby's colleague and sat with that group in the skybox for the scrimmage. It was a beautiful day. Had a great dinner with the girl and two of her friends. Spent a nice evening out at the hunting lodge. So pretty. So peaceful out there. I'd love to go back for a long weekend and just relax.

In less than 3 hours we had her room packed up and loaded into the van. She is down to the bare essentials for the last two weeks of school.

All three of us were having a hard time with the whole concept that her first year is almost over.

She will be home in 12 days.


We also got the checklist for all the upcoming senior events for the middle kid. I spent some time updating our calendar with dates and times for awards ceremonies and other festivities that will take place in May.

The school year is winding down. Before I know it we will be heading to Florida for our Memorial Day vacation. Excited to hit the beach and see my folks.

But, first, it is Monday. Off to work I go.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

off to T town

Hubby and I are heading down to T-town for the weekend. I'm so excited to see the oldest, to hang out at the sorority house, to enjoy some spring football, to return to the hunting lodge, and to begin packing up the kid's room for her return home! I think the last part is the most exciting!!

It is still hard to believe that her freshman year of college is almost over. Unreal.

Tonight we also have big stuff going on. The boy gets confirmed tonight. The oldest is his sponsor, but the middle daughter will be standing in for her. I took him yesterday for a hair cut so he will look all handsome for his big evening with the bishop.

I'm trying really hard to focus on the good stuff going on around us as the newspaper and TV are filled with such dark and horrible things right now. Between poison laced letters, bombs in Boston, idiotic votes in the Congress, and more....things are pretty grim. The darkness seems to be winning right now.

We need some good news. We need some light.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

review time

It is time for my annual review. I had to complete the self evaluation portion yesterday and my manager was working on the actual review. It was a team effort. He hates writing reviews, although he told me that mine was fairly easy to write as this is the first year I've been in this position and it is really the first year for the position itself. We have begun several new projects, including the magazine, so there is quite a bit to talk about.

I never minded writing reviews when I was in management. There was always something new to talk about as banking was in a constant state of change. We always had new procedures, new products, new teller programs, I could use to create a review. We had measuring sticks for performance whether it was cross sell ratios, teller balancing records, or audit considerations.

This will be my second review with my group as I was given an 'exit' interview and review when I left the foundation side for the association side.

Wednesday is here!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I've been to Boston. It was a long time ago. A friend of mine needed a date for a company Christmas party and I needed to get away and have some fun. So, I flew to Boston and we had a nice weekend. Neat town. Lots to see and do in the city and in the surrounding area.

Boston is on folk's minds for another reason. What happened yesterday is stunning and sickening. Along with several other folks in our town, my thoughts flew immediately to one of my neighbors and his wife. This man serves on the library board with me and is very active with our main street group. He was running the marathon in honor of his wife who has MS. I had just visited with them a week or so ago and we talked about the race and their trip to Boston. After we first heard of the bombings, it took about a half hour before he was able to get a post/tweet out to his family and friends that he and his wife were both okay. He was about 2 miles from the finish when the bombs went off and his wife was just starting to make her way to the finish line area.

Timing is everything. So glad they are okay. So horrified for those who are not. Last night they were interviewing a trauma surgeon. We just did an article in the new magazine on trauma and the surgical/medical skills needed to assist victims of traumatic injury. It is gruesome work. Our military medics have become quite good at stopping the blood loss and saving lives, although saving limbs is another matter. Biomedical research is important. What they learn in war does have applications on the domestic side.

Bombings in our cities is not something we are used to. We shouldn't have to get used to it. But, I'm glad that there are doctors and EMTs and others who rush into the smoke and debris to help.

We will learn more about this as the hours tick by. As far as I know, no one has claimed responsibility for this horrific act.

Monday, April 15, 2013

two wins

It was truly a win-win. Team Rondo beat the previously undefeated Team Ajax 1-0 on Friday night. It was a match to behold. Tough, gritty, fast, FUN! Ajax boasted an unbeaten record for 3 seasons until that match. Yay RONDO!!  The kids were thrilled and it was tons of fun to see them so excited.

Then on Sunday, Rondo won again 4-2 over another CSA team. Again, fun to watch....until late in the second, the darling middle kid went up to head the ball and collided with a boy. Down she went. A few scary moments, but she was/is fine.

We have also sorted out the birthday, graduation, etc. festivities for the end of the year. She is going to have her b-day party on her b-day and keep the guest list to the small side. Then, at the end of July, we are going to have her graduation/off to college party. So, we can send out her graduation announcements now. Whew. Too much going on in a short period. I'm glad we have this all scheduled and now we can relax a bit.  Her boyfriend is having his graduation party the day after her birthday and should be back in town for her party by the end of July. He is off to work on a farm in the delta for a month and a half. Should have seen the look on his face when he thought he might miss her party. One sad young man. Well, it is all solved now.

The boy gets confirmed this week! Hard to believe. Off to the cathedral we will go on Thursday.

Should be a quiet week beyond that. I did a ton of cooking on Saturday, so we have real food to eat this week. It was great grilling weather, so we took advantage of it.

Enjoy your Monday!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

reading update

I am still trying to clear off my Nook. I fell off the wagon a bit and did check out a couple of books from the library. What I've read of late.......

"Exiles in Time" by Sarah Woodbury: I really enjoy this self published author and the time travel novels she has written about medieval Wales. With this title, she took us north into Scotland. These are also alternative history novels as her characters are changing the course of history in their alternate realities.

"The Colour of Milk" by Nell Layshon: I picked up this very short novel, it is really a novella, at the library. It is an interesting read and a gripping story. Sort of depressing, but fascinating too. The story is told by a 15 year old farm girl who is sent to a rector's house to assist the rector's ailing wife. Her voice and her observations are consuming.

"I am Half-Sick of Shadows" by Alan Bradley: Flavia is at it again. I adore this character. She's smart, she's witty, she's just fantastic. Yet another murder mystery to solve for Flavia.

"Eternal Kiss of Darkness" by Jeanine Frost: Frost never disappoints. Quick, action filled reads featuring her brand of vampires. This one is about Menchares, an Egyptian pharaoh, and Kira Graceling, the human who 'saves' him. Very much a potato chip sort of book....can't stop reading, but not a lot of brain food there. Fun!

So, that is what I've read the past few weeks. Still trying to stay on my goal for the year, I better pick it up a tad.

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

book sale

The Friends book sale netted about $5100 for their efforts. A couple of observations came to me from what I saw there. Some things never change.  I saw many of the same folks in the 3 hours I was 'around' the sale. The Friends are getting old and we don't have new members that are willing to step up and do the heavy lifting. That is not good.

Traditional sized paperbacks are on their way out. Yes, we still had plenty of them to sell, but I swear they are the same books we've sold for the past 5 years. We had 20 boxes in storage of the trade sized books. This is a change and seems to indicate that those books are eventually going to dominate our donations.  I actually mentioned in an email to the president that she may want to encourage the current store managers that it is time to rethink the store layout. They devote one book shelf 'run' to the trade sized and the rest of the wall to the standard size. AND they have been begging for the smaller paperbacks in every email they send out.

Stop begging and rework the shelving to fit what you're being given in donations. Double the size of the space for the trade sized books.  This isn't hard, people.

I have yet to hear back from her. I may have overstepped my bounds, even though I wasn't as blunt as I was just now. Oh well.

As I did the original store layout 7 years ago, I guess I feel I have a pretty important opinion on the matter.

The Friends also did give a donation to the Town in order for the work to begin on the library expansion. The first part of the plan is to get a plan in place. So, 25K will be matched from Town funds and that whole process will begin.

Always interesting at the library!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

hail cards

Even though I'm a Big Ten girl, I am very happy to see that the Louisville Cardinals won it all last night and defeated Michigan for the National Championship.

I'm glad for Kevin Ware. I'm glad for the rest of the team. Heck, I'm even glad for Pitino.

Kudos all around. I'm going to have to send an email off this morning once I arrive at work to one of the gals I know who works for the university. She will be so excited.

Speaking of excited, tonight is the senior art exhibition at the high school. We will be attending to view the middle kid's art. Fun stuff!

It is going to be a very nice day today, it might even reach 80! Then, because we've had 4 decent days in a row, it will rain and storm tomorrow. The weather people are already pumping up the double, super, dooper, doppler for the big weather event they are predicting to hit us on Wednesday. Ugh.

Today is my best buddies oldest kid's birthday. This young lady is 22 today and she was quite the topic of conversation at my wedding as her mother was my matron of honor.  This child is the only one of my friend's six children to arrive on time! We all swear she was danced out at our reception.  So, Happy Birthday to K.E. Glad you waited 3 days so your mom could stand up with me!!

Off into Tuesday I go.

Monday, April 8, 2013

soccer, art, and random stuff

The Rondo Express played two matches yesterday. Up first was the team the oldest daughter played for last year. The score was 0-0 at half, but Ajax eventually got a break away and managed to tap one in for a goal. We lost 1-0. The good thing is that we get to play them 2 more times this season and hope is high that we can come away with a win or two in those matches. 

The second game finished with a much better result as we won 2-0. The middle daughter game so close to scoring on two occasions, had some amazing crosses and assists, and even played in the goal for a while. It is so much fun to watch this group of kids enjoy the game. 

Her beau asked her to prom on Saturday via a game they play, Clash of Clans. Very cute. I talked with his mom at the game and she is going to host all the kids again for the pre-prom 'dinner' like she did last year. The kids want finger food-heavy appetizers again, so that is what she is going to plan. Not sure if I will do all the desserts like last year, or something else, but she will let me know what she needs help with.

It was a long afternoon of soccer. Lots of sun-kissed noses and cheeks even though the skies were cloudy and gray for most of the time we were at the field. I was very glad I put some sunscreen on my arms and neck. Hubby wore his big floppy hat. All good!

The middle kid has her senior art exhibit tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Both girls are good at drawing and painting. Skills they did not get from me. 

The boy hasn't had much homework or any projects of late as they are gearing up for TCAP. He loves TCAP week. No homework at all. I think he views those tests as a challenge to see just how well he can do on them. I always liked standardized testing weeks, but back in the day, we took the Iowa Basic Skills test and the prep for them was nothing like what they do now. 

Here is Monday. Here we go into yet another week. Full speed ahead.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

24 hours no complaints

I've seen a posting trend on Facebook that encourages folks to try and go 24 hours without complaining.  Hmm.

Going to be a lot of quiet people!

I woke up later than normal. Or should I say, I woke up way earlier than normal and managed to get back to sleep and then overslept.

So, I'm running behind.

Think about the 24 hour no complaint experiment today. I wonder. Just how much complaining do I do in a day?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

photo books

Hubby spent some time over the weekend going through the photo files he had on his computer. It was time to organize them and make sure I had all the photos he had so we can begin the next photo book. Last year we put together an album for the oldest as part of her graduation present. We'd like to do the same for the middle kid. Of course, looking through all those pictures gave us plenty of time to think about the last 22 years.

We will be married 22 years on Saturday.

It is funny how memory works. April 6, 1991. I can remember getting my  hair done. Going to the grocery store with my mom to buy odds and ends that she needed. I can remember waiting for the photographer to arrive at the church.  It is like a hodge-podge mish-mash of images and scraps of conversation.  Some of it is just a blur.

I'd really like to put more of these photo books together so we would have nice albums of all the pictures that are just sitting inside my computer. It helps you remember. They are fun to look through.

We had a lot of laughs just going through the few files we tackled. And of course, it reinforced just how quickly the last 22 years have gone by and how close we truly are to having one more baby leave the nest.

I think we are both feeling it. This part of the parenting journey, the next chapter in our lives, a big chapter in their lives is happening while we are busy with the mundane, daily tasks of living.

Yep. I need to make more photo books.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


My beloved Hoosiers did not manage to get beyond the Sweet Sixteen this year, but the team I picked to play them in the final did and has perhaps become the team of destiny due to a horrific broken leg. I had picked Louisville to be the team IU would face in the final. I still have hope L'ville will make it to that game even though IU will be be watching it from B-town.

L'ville faced Duke (my strong dislike for Duke continues - it is totally irrational, but I just don't like Duke) and during that game Kevin Ware broke his leg. It was horrific, gruesome, and worse than you could even imagine.

It seems that his surgery went really well and I saw pictures of him up on crutches and moving around a bit yesterday. Amazing. I hope that young man has a total and complete recovery and can get back on the hardwoods playing the game he loves.

We have been so very fortunate with our girls. We never had serious injuries to deal with during all their years of playing soccer. The oldest had a few stitches once. Both had rolled ankles. One had 'turf toe.' A few deep bruises. But, no torn ACLs, the most common severe injury I've ever seen in soccer girls.

Let's hope the luck continues as the middle kid finishes off her soccer career. Her Rondo Express Team has another match on Friday. Looks like the weather will be perfect for watching my favorite group of young ladies take to the pitch.

Off into Tuesday we go!

Monday, April 1, 2013

waiting game

Now that my long awaited spring break is over it is time to start the waiting game for the end of the school year. Wow. The school year is ending? It seriously seems like we just started.

As busy as the next month is going to be, I know that the oldest will be home from school in what will feel like a week. The middle one will be getting ready to graduate as will the youngest. We have so many events coming up that my calendar needs extra space just to note all the stuff happening.

I had a wonderful 5 days off. Really couldn't ask for anything better. I was able to visit with friends, enjoy some down time with my hubby and kids, and move through the days at a much slower pace. Perfect. I had a wonderful time with the oldest and we were able to get her shopping done for the 2013 Rush at her sorority and not break the bank! Got some great bargains.

While I normally dread Mondays, I'm not feeling too bad about this one. Time to get back into the routine.

Here is a goofy picture we took yesterday of our attempt at the awkward family photo. Happy Easter Monday. Or, as they call it up north where we are from, Dyngus Day!