Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goal Check-In

I originally started this goal as part of my accountability group to stay on top of my goals. Group has since dissolved, but as I am an honest Ginger I am following up on how I did in 2009. 2010 goals to follow soon(ish).
  • Lose weight: Pass! I thought my ideal weight was 170 ... as of last week I hit my Weight Watchers goal of 160 (as of this week, I am above that - too much holiday fun). So happiness. Sad that none of my clothes fit (I hate shopping for clothes), but I can take the bad with the good.
  • Professional Development: Fail. No formal training occurred. Although I have taken on some new responsibilities (due to some changes in the team) and I am generally happier with work than I was at this time last year, so while I can't honestly call it a success I am not feeling bad about the failure.
  • Strengthen connections: Pass? Attended class reunion, keeping up on Facebook and elsewhere ... it's lame, but I am keeping tabs on those important to me. I also intended to blog at least weekly, which is a fail, but disregarding a few time periods it went pretty well. And although I live far from my work friends we are still buds. Next step: friends where I actually live.
  • Increase practical fun skills: Pass, I think. Much better cook than I was last year, although I haven't quantified recipes. But less processed food goes into my mouth, so success. This goal was also intended to make me a better knitter - fail. Mostly due to lack of effort.
  • I thought I also had a goal to compete in a bike race. I did fail at this, due to my lack of competitive spirit. But I did bike much, and I enjoyed it. And I dragged Boyfriend out with me often (often on the homemade tandem), so that is a double pass.

Overall a good year. Perhaps reflection to follow, but 2010 goals to follow for sure. I just need to figure out what they are specifically. And I need some sleep, as I am rather a tired panda.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where's Emily Post When You Need Her?

I've been fortunate enough in my life that I haven't had any real close encounters with sad deaths ... only the old and/or sick have left my life. And I don't know if that's the reason, but I really never know what to say to the bereaved. I usually stick with Sorry and then something about prayers for their family. Which, while appropriate, seems inadequate.

And now the new etiquette of Facebook. The past few months have been hard on the loved ones of my friends -- most recently losing a six-month-old child and a father-in-law. Do you express sympathy online? Do you write on the Wall? Send a personal message? Say nothing, knowing that whatever you say online will be even lamer than it would be in person? Does it make a difference if your FB friend is some distance away and you don't see them in person?

Sometimes I say something. Sometimes I don't. Always I pray and send good thoughts. Hoping that's enough. Or as much as it can be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Since I've been engaged, people have been asking me if I plan to have kids, if I plan to keep my job when I do, how many I plan to have, what names I like, etc. So here's how it apparently goes ... when will you get a boyfriend? When are you getting married? Kids? What's after that -- when will I retire?

But anyway ... On Wednesday, Thursday and a little bit of Friday, a friend of mine had a 31-hour labor. Then they gave her a C-section. This after what seems to the casual observer to have been an unpleasant-all-around nine months.

Friday night, Sister left Nephew in my care for the night. And Nephew decided to have a screaming fit (one hour, then an hour after that ended there was another two hours of fun). He got a nap the next day. Guess who didn't?

So, no, I may never have kids.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Woe Was My Childhood

The Christmas season is coming. And apparently other people have already decorated. Decor is big around here because Boyfriend wants to get "that special Christmas feeling in my heart." So he will decorate. He will.

My tolerance for decorating is about 20 minutes. Maybe. On a good day. This weekend I am heading back to Hometown to help my mom prep her House of Fun (which has a purpose, but I think really the purpose is so she has somewhere to display all the decor shit she has accumulated through the years). And all that accumulated stuff is why I don't decorate. Spent too much time hanging stuff right in the exact spot ... nope, a little to the left ... no, higher ... maybe back to where it was. And the discussion -- would this look better? How about if it were a little darker? Maybe taller?

This is also why I hate planning the wedding. I think I ODed on this type of thing when I was younger. But the advantage is that I am willing to do the grunt work (less discussion).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Becoming a Grown-Up

On Friday morning it was time to go to work. So I went out to my car, started it and put it in reverse to back out of my spot.

And I went forward.

Because I am extremely observant, I quickly surmised that this was bad. Fortunately I park in the yard, so going forward doesn't equal breaking anything. However, going forward instead of reverse does mean my car is broken. Eventually it meant that I needed some shaft in the transmission fixed.

And car trouble is not new to me. What was new is how I reacted. Instead of calling my parents (who, as you'll remember, live like 300 miles away) to bitch/cry at them (because I know the can't fix it), I called Boyfriend. And he helped me solve the problem. My parents didn't even hear about it until way later.

So now, at the age of 29, I am apparently over relying on my parents to fix my problems. Most of them, anyway.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So Halloween is in like two days. And I think I'm going to wear scrubs and be a doctor ... unless I can come up with a better idea between now and then. But it's tough to come up with an idea that meets my criteria ... it's not that I'm picky, but I have standards.
  • Costume budget is like $5. I barely like to spend money on clothes I'll wear all the time, much less something pretty much guaranteed to be worn only once.
  • Costume must not be slutty nurse, angel, devil, schoolgirl or anything of the slutty genre. No one needs to see my tummy (which would be scary, as it basically glows in the dark).
  • Must be comfy. Also must not require maintenance throughout the day.
  • Ideally there is a coordinating costume for Boyfriend, although that's not vital.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's a Girl To Do?

Since I've been a Weight Watcher, I've developed a love for the oats and chocolate Fiber One bar (actually usually a generic equivalent thereof). Tasty. Satisfies my need for chocolate in the afternoon. Fills me up until dinner. Cheap. Meets basically all my needs. All pros.

Con: Apparently that much fiber in the afternoon doesn't sit well with me. Specifically, later that evening it causes a problem of the gastrointestinal variety, which causes unpleasantness for those around me.

I like the pros. In fact, I may love the pros. I seriously dislike the con. I am not sure how to solve this dilemma.

Why does everything happen to me?

Monday, October 12, 2009

In Which I Advise Myself

So awhile ago, I saw a blog in which the writer was giving her younger self advice. At that time I meant to write a similar post, but I never did. Today, I rectify that. So from the ripe old age of 29, here are some things I know now that I wish I had known sooner.
  • You won't always have the same friends. And this is OK. What's not OK is doing things just because your friends are doing them. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it.
  • On the other hand, Juliet, there's no reason not to have a little fun. It's entirely fine to have fun and occasionally blow things off. Just decide which things are important to you, and don't blow them off.
  • It will be easier if you learn to keep your emotions in check. You may never be entirely successful at this, but try not to overreact.
  • Don't coast so much. Even if you're good at things, you can get better.
  • Money ... you'll be fine. Sometimes you will definitely be finer than others, but it's not worth wasting too much time worrying about it.
  • You are not good at directions. Get a definite plan and directions before you go.
  • Being honest with people is always better. Just say it. You don't have to be mean. Stringing someone along and being miserable is never the best option. And don't pretend that you like people and things you don't.
  • Get the allergy medicine from behind the counter by the pharmacist. It's worth it.
  • Don't be defined by inertia. It's not a reason to stay in a relationship, apartment or party. Or really anything else.
  • Be bold. Not obnoxious, bold.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Let Me See the Ring!

So I have recently gotten engaged. (No, not because of the health insurance issues raised in my last post.) And one of the first things people ask is to see the ring. And it's a natural instinct ... I've asked that question myself of the newly engaged female.

And I show them. And I tell them my favorite feature of the ring: It is from a mall kiosk, and it cost $21 with tax. It's pretty -- it says Love and the O is a (fake, obvs) diamond.

"But why didn't you get a real ring?" And not to knock other people's diamonds (if you want one, by all means you should have one), but I do have reasons. To wit:
  • It's a custom I don't really understand. Why does the woman get one but not the man? Is she being bought? Bribed?
  • They are ridiculously expensive. This is by no means the main reason, but saving several hundred dollars that could be spent on something I do want is a nice perk.
  • The diamond industry ... what a racket!
  • I don't really wear jewelry. Not for a good reason, I just don't. And my finger tends to vary in size, even within the span of one day (but it's always super tiny).

So those are my thoughts. And I will sport my Piercing Pagoda ring until the wedding date, when it will be replaced by a sweet tattoo!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Contribution to the Healthcare Debate

I can be a shouter, but plenty of shouting is already happening around the healthcare debate. Nonetheless, here's my story.

Now that I've shacked up and Boyfriend is laid off, it's time to add him to my insurance. I'm lucky enough to have employer-subsidized insurance, and my plan offers domestic partner benefits. It's a high deductible plan, but I have some money saved in my HSA and so far all has worked for me. Perfect. Almost.

I go to work and ask how to go about adding a domestic partner. You have to fill out a form and have it notarized (for the record, you are not required to prove you are actually married with any type of official form). Fine. His premium is not pre-tax like mine and like a spouse's would be. Slightly less fine, but grit my teeth and agree to pay it.

Oh ... and he can't access the money in my HSA. And my employer can't contribute to the HSA at the rate they would if we were married. Not fine.

Apparently it's an IRS rule. Since he isn't married, getting the full benefit of my insurance (which we would be paying for) is too much of a tax advantage. Remember that Boyfriend is not fortunate enough to be employed full-time (not for lack of interest or skills), so a tax burden is indeed burdensome.

So, now it comes down to marriage being a tax benefit for the married. We're fortunate enough to have the option to get married (a subject for another post), but we have chosen to remain unmarried for the time being (yet another post). I don't think access to healthcare is a good reason to get married (I'm sure it happens, though). I don't understand why standing in front of a judge or a minister would suddenly make him more attractive to insurers. I don't understand why marriage is a state institution (oops, treading on the ground of that other post).

So, to recap, my healthy 30-year-old boyfriend and I (a healthy 29-year-old) will pay about $900 a year for his insurance. Which will kick in after he reaches $3,000 in medical bills (let's all hope this doesn't happen). If it's a truly catastrophic event, we will pay over $5,000 out of pocket, and we won't be able to use my health savings account to pay for any of it -- and since we don't typically have an extra five grand, that money will either wipe out our savings or come from some type of loan, or we will pay a hefty tax penalty. We want him to have insurance. We want to pay for it. But the system sure does make it difficult. I've never written to a politician before, but I am researching addresses.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Abode

All my stuff is moved ito the new place -- not all put away, but we'll get there. I've given my new address to what seems like a lot of people. My old place is cleaner than it ever was when I lived there. So the move is done.

Now I just have to make this my home. I'll have a new schedule, but I'm convinced that after an adjustment period that will be good. Must get a library card. Find a stylist I like. Figure out where the fabled martini bar is (and find a martini I like). Learn all the ins and outs of the local hot sandwich places, oil changers, grocery stores, etc. Every time I've moved to a new town, those are the important things -- home is in the four walls and the other people there, but it's also in the community. I'm largely a homebody, but a girl's gotta have the places where everybody knows her name (or at least vaguely recognizes me as someone who occasionally comes in).

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's a Wrap

Today I bought a wedding present for a wo-worker. Then I bought actual wrapping paper, and wrapped the present with clear tape and everything!

Nothing special, you say? The last wedding I went to, I got the couple a lovely item from the registry. Which I gave to them unwrapped and uncarded (but I told them who it was from). Christmas presents are wrapped usually in newspaper (I do try and use the colored sections, such as the comics), or they aren't wrapped at all. I am averse to buying wrapping paper, plus I just plain ol' don't really like wrapping gifts (not on principle, I just don't like it).

Close friends and family don't get wrapping, and people I don't know as well get the shiny paper and the sparkly bag with the fluffy tissue. Dunno why. But I did wrap my brother's wedding present today (probably like the second wrapped gift I've ever given him), because I had leftover paper.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm Not Here for Your Entertainment

Over the weekend, I was out. I consistently found myself moving over, since I consistently found my ass with a (much older and married) man's hand on it.

Then yesterday, I was walking. First, I encountered some maybe 12-year-old boys on bikes. They threw down their best line: "Hey, baby, what's up?" Smooth.

Then on the same walk, I encountered a man sitting on a bench having a smoke. Starts with some small talk about how I am exercising. I counter with the fact that I was on my way to DQ, and he one-ups me with that you can't tell and I don't need exercise (this is not true).

So ... why am I putting the vibe out there that makes inappropriate men think they should hit on me? It should be noted that I was walking on a huge T-shirt that said Gassy Fanny's on the back ... apparently that is a good look for me? Or maybe society is falling apart?

Monday, August 3, 2009

All Apologies

Lately it's come to my attention that I apologize too often. I do apologize for my transgressions (usually), which I think is fine. What I think is not fine is asking forgiveness for doing nothing wrong, or really nothing major at all ... asking a speaker to move to the front of the room, not holding the door wide enough for two seconds when helping someone move (seriously, the helping move part should cover all other sins), not having non-scented lotion in the guest bathroom, etc. Those are just major examples for the last few days.

So this ends now. I vow to be more careful about what I say. I will hold my apologies for when I actually mean it. I will use "excuse me" or some other interjection when necessary. And I will not verbally make myself the transgressor.

Thinking too much? Perhaps. Sorry? No.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Big Move

I'm finally making the move to shack up with Boyfriend. It's been a long time coming, yet it seems like it's all happening really fast. But even though it means a lot of change and a certain amount of sacrifice, it's a good decision.

So since I have some time to do the actual moving, and my new landlord is nice enough to let me move in slowly, my goal is to do one moving thing a day. Today I packed up some books to give away and cleaned up my small bookshelf. I never buy books (too cheap), yet somehow I have tons of them. Same with clothes. And furniture. Seriously, where did all this crap come from?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Look At Me

Today, for the first time, Boyfriend and I took his recently restored classic truck to town and really hung out near a bunch of people. Typically, we both drive silver sedans that are almost indistinguishable from hundreds of other vehicles.

It's different being in an attention-getting car. People stare as you drive by - not meanly, just curiously. And when I wave, they seldom wave back ... they're too busy checking out the wheels. Then when we get out, people want to look at the truck and talk about the truck. I am almost completely unqualified to talk about the truck, but since I'm smoother with strangers in general I do my best.

But overall, it's kind of a special feeling to have people look at something you've worked hard at. And it gives me a general sense of community, though we're far from active in the classic car circuit. It's a subtle way to get attention ... subtlety isn't usually my friend, but I sort of like it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


If I could freeze time, I would consider doing it right now.


Because my bangs are perfect. They have a very short time between being too short (short bangs on me look like forehead parenthesis) and hanging in my eyes, and today is the day. Overall hair is good.

And I tried on a dress that used to be too small, and it looks fantastic on me. It's about a month until its big debut. Maybe perfect bangs and dress will de-emphasize the fact that I am the spinster sister.

Or maybe the fact that I am drunk will de-emphasize that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

White Skin Privilege

So I'm full-on ginger: red hair, pale skin, blue eyes, freckles, the whole thing. Generally, I like the distinctiveness of the red hair, and I don't mind the overall effect.

Yesterday, I biked a little over 10 miles. Walked around, looked at cars, chatted, ate a hot dog. Came home, and my face is all gritty so I decide to wash it. I rub a wet washcloth on my face, and I look at the cloth and noticed I there is quite a bit of rubbed-off sunscreen. So clearly I adequately applied. Yet my nose is distinctly pink. Sigh. Seems a girl can't win.

And let's not even talk about the burn on the back of my hands, which is ridiculous.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Something I wanted to do this year was increase my practical fun skills. Then when the revolution or the apocalypse comes, I will be able to do something besides be silly and good at remembering mnemonic devices (two skills I currently have). Yet I sadly lack the patience to really master most practical skills: sewing, cooking, gardening, home repair, small engine repair, hunting, fishing, running ... all things I am not good at.

After the apocalypse, can I live with you? I can sort of do a lot of things. I am good at spelling, playing with small children, nail filing, laundry, and a host of other things. Plus, I am good company.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Today was the first surprise party I ever planned. And it was a success! Guest of honor was happy and surprised, food was fabulous, entertainment was adequate, good times all around. I feel good about that.

Got to see a former co-worker and friend this weekend. More good times.

Was in a parade last week (and decided that made me a princess).

And even though it's totally hot, I'm not sunburned. So overall, all is well in Julietland.

And my plan for this weekend is to try a Hungry Girl breakfast recipe (it is becoming apparent I can't eat cereal every day). Any suggestions?

Monday, June 15, 2009

This is an excerpt from an essay I wrote in college. It seems appropriate considering recent events.

For years I have tried to imagine a scenario where I forgave you. I couldn’t think of one. And now, hearing you speak, I realize I was right, there is nothing you can say that will make any difference to me.
You can’t say you’re sorry. That would be too little too late. You can’t promise to make it up and do a better job in the future. I don’t think there will be a future. You can’t say anything, because I don’t believe you and I don’t care.
I remember the sweater you got me for my birthday when I was about eight. It was purple and had flowers across the chest, and it was beautiful. I was so proud of it, and I wore it all the time. I showed everyone the wonderful sweater you had given me for my birthday, because you loved me and you weren’t poor. I didn’t know why Mom was so upset about the sweater. I didn’t know then that you deducted the cost of my birthday “gift” and the other things you bought us from the child support you so seldom paid. About that same time, I realized why we were poor and I couldn’t have the things I wanted that my friends had.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Uexpected Victory

This morning, my blood was rejected (low iron -- I should stop attempting blood drives, as my body apparently rejects iron). Then, my color opinion was rejected (and I was kidding about it and made people feel bad -- there's no reason for that, as I am well aware of my fashion and decor deficiencies). So overall, not a stellar morning.

And I expected the afternoon to be much of the same. Since I'm into oversharing, I'll admit that I was hoping to weigh 179 by this weekend's family event (which is about the least I've weighed as an adult). And I didn't think I would make it, after two weeks of bad weigh-ins (which I deserved). But this week apparently my obsessive point counting led to a record-breaking loss, and I'll be attending the reunion as a (semi-)thin person. And that inspired me to rock out 12 miles on my bike, clean, do my nails and be done with it all in time to watch Top Chef Masters (which I hope doesn't suck).

My class reunion is July 4. Time to set a goal for that.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Double the Pleasure

When I was in college, some friends and I discovered the joy of double features - that would be seeing a movie, then staying and seeing a second movie. I figure that I need the money more than, say, Disney or Julia Roberts. And going to the movies is expensive.

Because seriously. This weekend I had a sore throat, so I had an Icee. A small one. And Boyfriend had mini-doughnuts. Again, a small order. Over $10. And for the first feature he had a $6 popcorn.

And it's not stealing, because me seeing that movie doesn't stop anyone else from seeing the same movie. In fact, I'm known for having the scoop on feature films, so I might bring people to the movie. It's a community service.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Ways To Spend Time at a Quilt Retreat

I understand that you can quilt at these things, and there were some cute purses that nearly tempted me to sew, but then I remembered I don't like things that require patience. And I don't really know how to match colors, so I was surprised when the pre-selected fabric looked as nice as it did. But I was never bored. So here is a primer.
  • Play with a baby nephew. He's not good at racing down the hall or going forward in the walker, but that's OK.
  • Read. I went through a book and two magazines.
  • Talk incessantly. Debate the merits of Ryan Reynolds, Greek yogurt, Adam Lambert, hair straighteners, pink shirts, iPods, your mom's dining room table, etc. You can keep this going for three days if you do it right.
  • Step on a nail. Subsequently get a tetanus shot. Actually, I don't recommend this.
  • Iron. Apparently you need to iron quilt blocks. It's also easy to overstarch.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Go to some fake Stonehenge and then get a hot fudge "cyclone" that was supposed to be a sundae. Enjoy it anyway. Pass on the Nerd cyclone.
  • Walk the trails. See a creepy Equus horse.
  • Eat cake at every meal. Yummy homemade cake.
  • Rip out seams. Note that if I had been sewing I could have spent the whole time doing this.
  • Sit outside. Look at the most beautiful bridal veil ever.

Also, this is an awesome way to spend time anytime:

Monday, May 25, 2009


It's windy outside and I assume cold, and either way I am still in my jammies. So I am wasting the morning watching TV. And Full House is on, which means I feel compelled to watch it. I think I am reliving my childhood, and I like it.

I've been thinking about family lately and my childhood. (Note here that this is not a roundabout way of announcing that I'm pregnant. I'm not.) I hope that I can give my kids opportunities to try new things. And be successful. And fail with grace. And be comfortable with lots of people an situations.

And I hope that someday I can do all those things myself.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I Do Not Look Forward to Aging

I have a traveling pain in my shoulder that won't go away and isn't caused by an injury or seem to have a pinpointable cause. Earlier in the week, I got a blister on the balls of both feet (admittedly, this one was caused by stupidity). I also overdid the jumping earlier in the week and have sore calves.

Seriously, I am 28 years old and I am falling apart. In about a month we celebrate my grandma's 80th birthday. I anticipate living a long life, but I'm going to have to toughen up when I start having actual problems. Or I'll have to surround myself with people who don't mind hearing me whine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My Thoughts on Weight Watchers

Because there's hardly any information online about Weight Watchers (sarcasm, in case you didn't catch that), I have some thoughts to share.
  • Easy-to-follow: Yes. I struggle (a lot) with math, and I can do it. And since I can eat anything, I haven't had a problem being hungry or craving a food so badly I can't stand it. I thought I would be hungry all the time, but I'm not. And when I am hungry, I eat something. I am definitely eating less, but that's the point.
  • Effective: I think so. I've lost just over 14 pounds since the beginning of April (one more pound and I get a sticker). Some weeks are better than others, but I can usually pinpoint the results to what I have or have not done during the week.
  • Cost: I think that is part of what motivates me. I do the at-work program, so it costs a little more, but if spending money is what it takes me to stay motivated I think it's worth it. The branded foods add up quickly, but I don't buy them.
  • Nutritional value: It encourages fruits, veggies, whole grain, lean protein and dairy. Lots of water. Good oils. Hard to argue with that. The branded foods have a lot of unpronouncable ingredients, which is another reason I don't buy them - I find similar products in the store to be cheaper and better for you.
  • Meetings: I like them. I happen to like cheering for other people and getting stickers and sharing and learning a little lesson. I know that's not for everyone, but it works for me.
  • Overall life effect: When I said I was going to join, Boyfriend said I shouldn't tell anyone. My reply is that people can see I'm fat, so I don't have a problem with them knowing that I'm working on that. And doing it at work means I have a support system there I can rely on. And he's come around now that he knows we can eat in restaurants and cook good meals and even bake dessert. I think more about what I'm eating, but it hasn't made life sad or dreary or dull. I go out, I have a drink on occasion, I have dessert on many occasions (just not as much of it). It's all good.

Overall, so far no complaints with Weight Watchers. My latest goal is to lose 20 pounds (total) before family reunion in June. I don't see this side of the family often, so that would feel good. And I think that's pretty realistic. Further updates as events warrant.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Good Housekeeping

It was chilly here over the weekend, which did not make me happy. Then my mom texted me that it was snowing there (not sticking, but still snowing). I responded that she should move. She thinks she's funny, so she offered to move in with me.

Then when I said she could clean, she suddenly changed her mind. Apparently I do not meet her standards.

Then Boyfriend's mom got in my car and commented that I should clean the floor. Which is probably true, but unlikely to happen.

I guess there was a reason I never won the clean desk award.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Alexandria, Minnesota Recommendations

So it's almost tourist season here in Alex (hint: pronounce it "Alec"). And because I've been thinking about local businesses lately and where I should spend my money, here's a list of my favorite local places in town. Note that I'm sure I left something off, so feel free to remind me.
  • Sixth Avenue Wine & Ale. Order the Juliet.
  • Butler's Pantry. I love sandwiches. This is the best place for sandwich supplies.
  • The DATA trail. Ride it, walk it, whatever.
  • InStyle Salon. They do a great job, not too spendy.
  • City Park. I don't really get why this place isn't constantly crowded.
  • Deck Bar at Arrowwood. Great view. Food isn't great, but the atmosphere is nice.
  • The Corral. Technically this is in Nelson, but good food and it's an easy ride or drive. And you can shoot a minnow.
  • Neighborhood National Bank. My checking account there earns way more interest than my supposedly high-interest online account.

What am I missing? Honorable mention to Raaper's, Time Square and Jan's Place. And of course, a special shout-out to Mike's Lunchbox - gone but never forgotten.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Better Late Than Never

Today is Cinco de Mayo. Since up until last year I was ignorant as to the meaning of this holiday - like probably most of you, I thought it was Mexico's independence day - here is a free history lesson for your edification.

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the day the Mexican army - wildly outnumbered - defeated the French at the Battle of Pueblo. The war eventually went to the French, but not the battle. I'm told today is actually a bigger deal in the U.S. than it is in Mexico.

So now you learned something. I went to a festival today featuring different businesses and mariachi and Latino dancers. And apparently there was free food, but I refuse to stand in line for an hour for a hot dog and a taco. Still an enjoyable evening though.

If you need more history than I have provided here, see what my friends at Wikipedia have to say:

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Like 'poo

I read a few articles online about no 'poo people, who don't use shampoo. Some of them go months without shampooing their hair, using combinations of baking soda, vinegar, essential oils and other products to keep their hair fresh. They all said their hair was shinier, bouncier and overall better than before.

I don't see myself going months without washing my hair, but many people said they cut down to just a few times a week, and in addition to shiny bounciness, they don't have dandruff. Most of them do condition every day. So today I thought I would try it and not shampoo my hair. I conditioned and massaged my scalp as recommended.

Any my hair is not shiny. Or bouncy. Or in any way more beautiful. It looks dirty, especially as the day goes on, and it feels terrible. The article said it might take a few days for your scalp to adjust, but I'm just not going to make it. I may occasionally have flat, dull hair and a flaky scalp, but it's not as bad as this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the Line

I just realized, at 7:55 pm, that today is Tuesday and American Idol started at 7:00. I don't have a DeeVeeRRrr, so over to YouTube for me to see the performances. I'm not a big Tuber (or a potato of any type, ha ha), but sometimes the Internets do save me.

However, I have decided that Charer is slowing down on me. Are there any ISPs that don't suck? I rent so no satellite dish on the roof for me, but surely there is something out there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Does Everyone Do This?

The weather here has been sporadic ... nice and sunny, crappy and wet, windy, cold, cloudy and still, you name it.

And on the nice and/or sunny days, everyone - yours truly included - gets all excited. People are in a better mood, the trail near my house is full, work clears out early.

Is this just a Minnesota thing, or do people around the world have moods and activities so closely tied to weather?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Positive Balance Sheet

All week long, work has been INSANE! And most of what I've been working on comes with at least some frustration. So I've been complaining more than is strictly necessary.

And today was no different. Last-minute tour (which I honestly don't mind, but they do throw a monkey wrench into the day). Reproofing the same (super boring) rules over several times. Finding out that a sign-up sheet I created was seriously underused. Just lots going on in general. And at the end of the day I was in the bathroom and I noticed that my hair was quite greasy looking - I hope it didn't look that way all day.

But it's the end of the day now (Idol is almost over), and when I look back over the day I feel positive about it. I feel like today was overall a very good day. And at the risk of being schmaltzy (which despite the occasional tone of this blog I swear I am not), here is what made today a good day.
  • I got to ride my bike to work for the first time this year. It was Earth Day, and it was a beautiful day. If I never had to drive a car again that would be OK with me, so biking is always good.
  • I won the Volunteer Fair drawing. I got a blanket. A nice fleecy one.
  • After four weeks of Weight Watchers, I officially lost 10 pounds today!
  • Perhaps best of all, tonight was wine bar with my friends. And wine bar is always fun, but tonight seemed like an especially good time. I only had one glass of wine (and more chicken pizza than was probably advised), but it was seriously great.

I hope things are this good tomorrow!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Could Be

I sometimes wonder if I'm better suited for work in the non-profit sector. I think I might be: I have a lot of causes I feel strongly about, I like helping people, I need a lot of variety in my work, and I'm not motivated by money (which is good, because I did not choose an especially lucrative career path).

Then today I read that women who work for nonprofits are more likely to marry rich men, because they are in contact with wealthy donors. And working in my current job has not led to a lot of (any) contact with wealthy single men.

Anyone have a non-profit job I would be good at? I'm skilled and cute.

Disclaimer: Don't read too much into this. Things at work are fine, and things with Boyfriend are better than fine. But I have an active fantasy life.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

In Which I Fail

Tuesday was one of those days where many things went wrong for me. It's like the universe was telling me to give it up. I told the universe to suck it and went on with my day.

Today is Maundy Thursday. Readers with long memories will remember that I should be nearly done with the 100 push-up challenge by now. And I am not. I told the challenge to suck it and went on with my day.

Really, I gave up. I decided that's not for me. So I can't do 100 push-ups. And I don't really care.

I try not to give up on goals once I've set them. But sometimes, I realize that the goal isn't important to me. And then it's time to concentrate on something that is.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whoa - I Need to Pay More Attention

In my Internet travels recently, I found this article: The title of the article is "Your Cell Phone Costs You $3.02 per Minute." The title basically sums the thing up.

I just paid the phone bill (Boyfriend and I share a plan and alternate paying). We aren't big phone talkers, especially during the day, so we get tons of rollover minutes every month. And we're really not big texters, so we usually only pay like a buck or two in extra charges.

Anyway, the bill was $71. I don't have the actual bill in front of me, but I think we used about 200 minutes. So I don't think we pay $3 per minute, but it got me thinking: are there other things we pay too much for? I pay Charter $50 per month for Internet, which is apparently the price of a bundle. I've asked at least once if a lower rate is available and they said no ... maybe I should ask again. I have some food I bought pre-the new diet plan, which I may now not eat. I keep my thermostat pretty low to save on electricity.

But now I'll remember to look at things more closely. I would not like to pay 30 times the cost of a landline for my phone. Or anything else for that matter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

How Should I Feel?

I have been reading about people who have two jobs, go to school and have kids. Personally I have one of these four things and that is more than enough for me. Initially when I read these stories, I have a brief flash of inadequacy.

And then I realize there's no need for that. I work. I volunteer. I take care of myself, and to the extent that I can I take care of the world around me. And some day I may have kids and a second job and go back to school - but frankly, I kind of doubt that. And it's working for me. And I will not apologize for my life. I know I would have/be more if I worked harder at it, but I like what I have and what I am. And I think that's the secret.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So as a blogger, I have two choices: be someone who never talks about politics, controversial subjects or deeply personal messages, or be someone who talks about those things if so moved. And since I can't keep my mouth shut, I've decided to talk (write) about whatever I want.

So today's subject: Special Olympics is mounting a campaign to ban derogatory use of "retarded." There's a petition at I encourage you all to sign it and support this cause.

Why? It's just a word. It doesn't mean anything. Right?

Wrong. Singling out people with any type of disabilities and categorizing them as "other" takes away some of their humanity. It asserts that you are better than they are. And it brings already-disadvantaged people lower. And you don't need to do that. You may be able to make change or tie your shoe or write poetry, but I hope you don't think that defines you. Just as some people's inability to do those things doesn't define them.

I urge you to check out Special Olympics's page. If you're so moved, I urge you to sign the petition and/or support this worthy cause in other ways. And please stop using that word.

P.S. If there were a petition to stop using "gay" in the same manner I'd tell you to sign that too For the same reason.

Monday, March 30, 2009

No Stumpers

So Monday nights when I tutor, we sometimes kill the last few minutes of class by playing Hangman (or Hangwoman, Hangwitch, Hang-various-animals, etc.). I am the designated Vanna, which is what I call myself as the leader. And I never stump the group. Here are some of my latest phrases. Seriously, what is harder?

Peacocks are not purple.
Goldilocks ate porridge.
Silver crayons are shiny.
I went to the zoo and saw a water buffalo (I was sure I would have this one).

Next week is our last class of the year. Suggestions?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I live in the land of 10,000 lakes, and a number of rivers. And today I was able to do something I've never actually done before: I went to Fargo and sandbagged.

And it made me happy (some would say grateful). Happy that I am physically fit enough to help. Happy that my home has never been threatened by floodwaters. Happy to see so many people helping. To see the people who weren't able to help for whatever reason supporting the efforts with sandwiches and bottled water. Happy that I got a paid day off to help. And happy to be home and warm (and I'm hoping not too sore tomorrow).


PS: For more reading fun, check this out. Food for thought, anyway.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meet Them Where They Are

Once, my cousin (who is much younger and therefore maybe forgivable for this transgression) asked who Michael Jackson was. To the horror of my family, she just wasn't getting any Jacko incidents or milestones. Then I mentioned that it is his song playing at the end of Center Stage*. And she got it. As I knew she would. Then I suggested she invest in a Michael Jackson CD (this is when people still bought CDs).

And today, the importance of meeting people halfway and using something they already love to appeal to them was again driven home to me. For three years, I've been trying to convince Boyfriend of the joy of reading. And for three years, he's been insisting that his one date with the Boxcar Children is all the reading he needs to do.

Until today. Today I convinced him to stop at a used book store. And as usual, he walked away once it became apparent I was going to be there for more than 30 seconds. So I made my selection** and went to find him.

And find him I did. In the section about classic vehicles. AND HE WASN'T EVEN DONE LOOKING! So I got to go back and browse the fiction some more. And when we got back, it was couple's reading time. Which is pretty much everything I ever dreamed of. And since he got to learn about really old trucks and have my feet in his lap, I assume it was everything he dreamed of too.

*A movie I have seen way too many times, though that wasn't entirely my fault.
** I got a book of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates. Because I like short stories, and I find Oates to be the perfect cure for when I am just too happy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Do Love Shoes

So I hate shopping. Because I generally don't find it fun, I am cheap, and I tend to feel guilt over using resources for things that probably won't bring me genuine enjoyment (I am trying to get over this last one, but not very hard). Honestly, I don't remember the last time I bought pants, and I think I bought a shirt this spring (I did get a few clothes as gifts, but I didn't actually have to buy them).

Until yesterday. I went to Target for TP, lip balm and deodorant (necessities I do shop for ... and I had coupons). And somehow a super cute pair of sandals that are appropriate with skirts or pants fell into my cart. And went through the check-out. And were charged to my debit card. Strange

But they're so versatile. And I didn't get the nail polish. And I just got a bonus. And savers are almost single-handedly ruining the economy.

And they're so pretty.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

You Will Thank Me for This

Here's another recipe. I'm pasting in the link, because I am lazy and want to avoid all appearances of plagiarism. I will add my own endorsement. This is delicious. Easy. And it allows you to have a tasty meal and then many tasty leftovers. I cooked the chicken with potatoes and carrots.

Also, I know chicken skin is not healthy, but at least try a bit of this skin hot. Yum!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


I spent grades 7-12 in a small town (500) in North Dakota. Before that I lived in southern Minnesota, except for some short stints in my toddler years that I barely remember and don't count. I don't consider southern Minnesota home, since I was pretty young and was too young to really be formed at the time.

I've now spent more time living away from North Dakota than I spent living in North Dakota. And, although a lot of good things happened during my formative years there, I knew even at the time I wasn't cut out for small-town life in North Dakota.

Yet when someone asks me where I'm from, I usually answer North Dakota. And I know I'm not that far from the ND border, but I don't actually live there. And probably won't again.

So does that mean home is Alexandria, where I've lived for five years? Where is home? Does it matter? I'm not homeless, and rooted more in people and experiences than an actual place. And that works for me. So home is either North Dakota or Alexandria.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well Said

Those of you keeping track should know that I am in serious pain from my genius decision to run last night. But I haven't (totally) given up (yet). I walked today, which I am hoping stretched out the hurty parts and was slightly less cardio but still better than nothing.

And you should also know that my weight loss quest is not all consuming. Yes, I am overweight. I know that. But I will also rock a bathing suit if the situation requires it, etc.

In my online travels I came across this article that I think better explans the dichotomy:

It's a website devoted to raising healthy girls ... I don't actually have a daughter, but still many interesting reads. Enjoy!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Will It Really Be Easier?

It is now March. Early March. And I live in Minnesota, which means we got a blizzard last week and may or may not get another one soon.

The thing about blizzards is that they come with cold and slipperiness and bitter cold winds. So I've been inside a lot. And I don't care for workout videos or inside workout equipment I have at my apartment. Fortunately I have access to a free gym, otherwise I would just sit around and become a blimp all winter.

And I tell myself that I will naturally lose weight in the summer and I will be outside exercising. Too easy an excuse? I love my bike (I miss it now), but I tend to peter off on riding it as the cold starts to come. I frequent the farmers' market, which fortunately is near my casa.

So will I lose weight in the summer? Time will tell ... but I suspect I will have to work at it. Which is a bummer, but I can do it! I ran on the treadmill today -- maybe I will get over my hateration of running and start doing that this summer.

But there's no reason I can't start now!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cheese Tortellini with Beans and Feta

In my quest to make your lives better, here is a recipe I recently made and enjoyed. I added zucchini, which I wouldn't do again, and I cooked the spinach when I added the beans to the pasta. I used canned tomatoes, because it's February and I live here. I think you could make the topping with pretty much any pasta. The original creators of this recipe are my mom's best friends over at Better Homes & Gardens (she already gets all their magazines, so in an effort to give them more money she got me and my sister subscriptions for Christmas).

9 oz. refrigerated cheese-filled spinach tortellini
15-oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
Ground black pepper
4 cups baby spinach

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and return to pan.

Add drained beans, feta cheese, and olive oil to tortellini in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until beans are hot and cheese begins to melt, gently stirring occasionally. Add tomato; cook 1 minute more. Sprinkle black pepper.

Divide spinach among four dinner plates or shallow salad bowls. Top with tortellini mixture. Serves 4.

In other news, I correctly called 14 Oscar winners, and my new Lent project is the 100 push-up challenge. I am doing knee push-ups because I am a wuss, but either way it will tone my arms and core (closer to the sage dress, and also a good look in general).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday and 41 More Days

So it occurs to me that Lent starts tomorrow. And though I'm not very religious, I like the idea of using the opportunity to give something up/do something good. I would like it to be something that would make me healthier (something that isn't giving up sweets - let's be realistic here) or something that results in an improved social condition (volunteering or otherwise giving something). Any ideas? I'm am thinking of seriously curbing my screentime, doing something like the 100 push-up challenge (challenge being the key word for me), or something like giving up pre-made lunches, but I'm open to suggestions. Help!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Picks

I actually saw a good percentage of the Oscar movies this year, although I see now that I have not seen many of the acting favorites. But since my Oscar companion insists in writing in Gran Torino for Best Director, I may win this thing!

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire (I quite liked this movie)
Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler (have not seen)
Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader (have unfortunately not seen, but did not care for Doubt)
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (I will always love him)
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (have not seen, since apparently Netflix is only sending it to other people)
Foreign Language: Waltz with Bashir (dying to see, but I live here)
Documentary: Man on Wire (boyfriend picked this movie because it is confusing and has lots of music)
Original Screenplay: WALL-E
Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog
Art Direction: Dark Knight
Cinematography: Dark Knight
Costume Design: The Duchess (always go with the most over the top)
Score: Slumdog Millionaire (do people like Bollywood music?)
Song: Jai Ho, Slumdog (I do like a song and dance number)
Animated Film: WALL-E
Documentary Short: The Witness (I have nothing here)
Editing: Dark Knight
Makeup: Benjamin Button (again, over the top)
Animated Short: Presto
Live-Action Short: New Boy
Sound Editing: Dark Knight
Sound Mixing: Dark Knight
Visual Effects: Benjamin Button (did this movie make other people miss Brad Pitt circa Legends of the Fall as much as it did me?)

Monday, February 16, 2009

More Slllooowwwness

I've been working out pretty consistently for like a year. I have no willpower, so I'm not "dieting," but at least I've been working out.

And lately I feel like I see results. My gut is (slightly) smaller. I can make it through a class without wanting to die. I use slightly heavier weights than I used to. And I feel good.

So my brother is getting married at some point in the future ... like probably the fall. An I'd like to look goood for this wedding. I have a sage dress that I've had for a long time and seldom worn, because it does not look cute on me. And I want to be toned enough to wear the sage dress to the wedding. Even if I decide to get a new dress, I want to have the sage dress option.

So here we go. I think I need to lose like 20 pounds. In maybe six months. This may even require watching what I eat. Stay tuned ... if I get brave and can figure out how there may even be photos along the way.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


For Valentine's Day I got a card, some pictures of my nephew and $20 from my mom. (Yes, I am a terrible daughter, as I forgot to send her a card even though it's her anniversary.) She suggests I spend the money on a hair straightener -- I recently got a hair cut and mentioned that my stylist used a straightener and it looked good.

But after careful consideration, I have decided to go against her wishes. I don't really need a straightener to collect dust next to the curler, since I am really not someone who does my hair (I consider blow drying an achievement). And I am in need of new sheets -- bad need, as my current ones are in college-bachelor condition.

So that is how I spend my windfall. Expect me to be well-rested but with slightly wavy hair.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love and Money

This weekend is Valentine's Day. I will be in St. Cloud with Boyfriend (who needs a better pseudonym). It will be our third Valentine's Day as a couple. We've both been careful about money lately, although I have a little now.

So now the dilemma is this: stay home or go out?

Stay home:
  • Cheap (pro)
  • We're both crowd avoiders, and VD on a weekend will equal many crowds (pro)
  • We can make a romantical dinner and play games and other things we enjoy (pro)
  • We've been home a lot lately (con)

Go out:

  • Crowded (con)
  • More expensive than home (at least somewhat con)
  • Would be fun to do something different (pro)

A friend is in an erotica poetry slam in the cities, which would be fun but involve much driving and expense. THere's always the double feature option, which I never hate. But really, I'd like to do something else ... I just don't know what it is. I don't need huge romance, but I like fun.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Sssssllllloooww But Sure

There's a move in my near future ... within the next year or so, I expect to be living with Boyfriend at his place. There are some things that need to be worked out first, but it will happen.

And I'm a packrat. I never buy things, but I never get rid of things either. TO that end, my apartment is full of things I've had since like junior high and barely looked at since. Many of these things have been through several moves. Why? I don't know.

So my newest goal and project is to get rid of these things. I packed a box for Goodwill today - dishes, a few clothes, a picture frame that claims to be 11x13 but isn't. Technically my goal for the next two weeks is to pack up one box. Now that it's check done, I intend to fill two more. And get them to my car and then to the second-hand store. I'm regularly held up on all these steps. So here goes nothing ... crap gone. It will make an eventual move easier, it will make it easier to clean, and it will make me less burdened by stuff.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Major Accomplishment

I've had the same job for five and a half years. And every in the year I have a review. I don't think this is uncommon. For those keeping track, this would be the fifth time I was reviewed in this job.

I may not be a great employe, but I am good. Above average in some areas, about average in others. So my reviews are good or better than good. And every year, I have gotten myself so freaked out and ended up in tears. Not because I was yelled at, disciplined or nearly fired. All the criticisms are fair, and there are a number of compliments. Because I got so tense or worried that I just bawled. The big ugly cry with the snot and the red face and then 20 minutes to pull myself together.

But not today! Today was my review, and it was fine and I was fine. Kept myself in check the whole time. I'm not sure what was different. I've been intentionally not overthinking it, so that probably helped. And this year we are in a raise pause, so really the consequences were not a factor (and I do realize a raise is not what a review is about).

Whatever the reason, I am proud of myself. It's a small thing, but it matters to me. And it probably made my boss more comfortable.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


One of my goals for the next few weeks is to do my own taxes. This is mostly a money-saving measure ... I am happy to pay the $50 for the accountant when I have it, but the fact is that I don't. So I am planning to do them myself. There is a reason I've never done them -- it's the same reason I was an English major. I don't do math well, and I don't enjoy it. But in the interests of self-improvement and money saving, I was going to o my own taxes. I rent, I only have one income, it shouldn't be that tough.

Then the other night I was tutoring. The building often advertises various social services. And one of the services the advertised the other night was free tax help for low-income folk. Their definition of low-income happens to be, in my estimation, pretty generous, and it's well above what I make (the threshold is $45,000, which I suppose is tight for a family, but in my opinion plenty for a single person such as me).

So now, do I do my own taxes, or do I have them done at the clinic? Or do I attempt to do them and have them checked at the clinic? It's sad that this was easier when it was just about math.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just Outside of Your Front Door

So lately I've been unexplainably tired and generally down. Not sad necessarily, but certainly not happy. And I was thinking about how it was about a year ago that I briefly went back on antidepressants. And how I generally lose it at my review, which occurs in January or February. Generally I tend to lose it pretty easily, especially around now.

And then it occurred to me: I live in Minnesota. Outside time right now occurs to brief spurts between my car and a building, and when I absolutely must take the garbage out. General malaise probably at least somewhat attributable to lack of sunshine and fresh air and overall outsideness. I wouldn't describe myself as outdoorsy, but during the summer I generally walk and bike and read and hang out outside. Minnesota is great in the summer.

So tonight I made it a point to come home before dark, put on my boots and my hat, and go for a walk. My regular aerobics class got cancelled, and it turns out that walkin through snow is great exercise. It's a small step, but an important one. And one I will make it a point to repeat as the weather allows.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


So lately I've been thinking about getting a master's degree. And I've come to the conclusion that that's not really for me. I can't bring myself to take out more student loans (and ultimately I don't think it would pay off), and I'm not really focused enough to give it the time it needs. But more than that, I don't think that in my career path and in the information society that it will get me where I want to go. I think some type of certification or a one-off class is more for me.

So now the question is what class to take. Work will pay for half of it (pro). I live in Alexandria, which is not exactly filled with institutions of higher learning (challenge). I have good Internet connection and I love to read, etc. I'm mostly focused on internal communications, but general communications will be seriously considered. It's probably too late to get in this semester, but I can start in the summer or fall (or anytime if it's some type of self-directed class).

Next action step: serious research.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Victory 1

Knoephla soup was tasty! Turned out exactly like it was supposed to, so that was awesome. Knoephlas were originally a little big, but it turns out you can just cut them in half even when they are partially cooked. I am pretty excited about this progress. Cut my finger on a can of tomatoes last night, but still happy. Ripped out several recipes for consideration this weekend.

Shoulder continues to heal. The exercise class I usually attend is cancelled all week, so trying a new one Thursday and determined to work out on my own tomorrow (volleyball tonight counted in my world).

Need to narrow down the professional development. Now. At the point in the year where my job is a little dull, so I need to make some progress there. Just need the specifics on that.

Purchased a spiffy new laptop over the weekend, so the blog can now be cooler. For some reason my camera wouldn't start just now, but I assume that's just the battery. But keeping with the blog so far.

One of my yearly goals is to see all th Oscar nominated movies. I never meet this goal, and this year seems to be no exception. At this point it's a geography issue ... most of them never come to a theater near me. But I have made peace with that, and I am doing OK so far this year. Side note, but there you go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Still Here

No, I'm not one of those bloggers who blogs twice and gives up. Give me at least 10 posts before giving up. And I'm not one of those bloggers who whines about poor progress. But I am one of those bloggers who takes time off over the holidays and was tired. So here's the LD (which I think is a stupid thing to say, by the way).

Christmas was good. New Year's Eve was good. Parents kicked in a generous amount to the laptop fund, so that will blogging even cooler. Scary drive home, but as I was driving from North Dakota to Minnesota in January that's really not surprising.

Goal updates:
  • Lose weight/bike race: I am back in the gym. Good volleyball game tonight - sweat and the whole thing. No progress on the actual biking, but the overall objective is coming along.
  • Professional development: No progress. 2009 is still young, though.
  • Practical fun skills: FAILED attempt at gravy (which I love) last weekend. Attempting knoephla soup (North Dakota girl at heart) this weekend ... updates as events warrant. Dug out some knitting patterns and signing up for a class. Maybe it's because this goal is "fun," but I have made most progress here.
  • Connections: Christmas cards not out. That's pretty indicative of the progress there.
  • Other: All visible vermin killed (there was a mouse problem). Shoulder has been looked at -- probably bursitis, which it turns out is much easier to fix than I could have hoped. So I am declaring success.
Since blog is still secret from Boyfriend (who occupies all weekends) and my weeknights are redonkulously busy, hope for an update soon but don't hold your breath.