Friday, December 30, 2011

Take Away 54 - Make the Call

I've noticed since we moved to Washington and have been with Charter Communications for our internet and basic TV cable, they play a game that drives me crazy. We started out with a decent pricing for basic TV cable and internet but I noticed the price changed after 12 months. I called and they magically "found" a better deal and that lasted for 6 months and then my bill went up again.We've been playing this game for 3+ years now. I just called again today because I noticed they were vying for new customers in the newspaper with a dirt cheap price. I played the game with "Lisa" at Charter and finally I nicely said, "hey, what pricing would you give me if I was a new customer?"  I finally got the price I was calling for and it only took about 10 minutes of my time and patience.  I will save $180 in 2012 for making the call. I can think of a lot of things to do with $180 versus giving it to Charter. And the cherry on top?  We're going from 15 megs to 30 megs for $15 less a month from a simple phone call.   

TAKE AWAY:  Play the game. Be kind. Ask for what you want.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Take Away 53 - Do One Thing

My friend Becky once said if we all did just "one thing" to lighten up our carbon footprint that it would make a difference in the world.  I think about that a lot. With the new year arriving next week, I can't help but think about my resolutions. 

TAKE AWAY: Do just one thing. I will try to recycle everything 
I possibly can this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Take Away 52 - Back to Normal

While the holidays were a hoot, I am elated about getting back to a normal schedule that doesn't include stuffing myself silly with food I don't normally eat on a daily basis. It seems fruitless (pun intended) to try to maintain any kind of good diet during the month of December.  I simply can't do it.

TAKE AWAY: Be grateful every day is not a holiday. There is something to be said for
a good salad. I am craving one today.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Take Away 51 - Bake Cookies for Holiday Spirit

I baked a wagon load of Russian Tea Cakes last night to take to a cookie exchange today. I haven't been involved in a cookie exchange in probably 15 years. People just don't do them much anymore. I was thrilled to pieces as my energetic "mother-of-five-children/college-student/co-worker" lit up when I asked her if she wanted to do it. She not only said yes, she sent the email out to get others involved. She is my current hero! While normally a cookie exchange involves 12 people with 12 dozen cookies, she rounded up 6 people so we're just exchanging 6 dozen.  Easy peazy!!!

TAKE AWAY:  Not in the spirit of the season?  Bake cookies.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Take Away 50 - Look Out the Window

There are windows at my office that are not far from where I sit. It has been pretty gloomy the last two weeks but today I happened to look out the window and noticed some patches of blue sky. What a difference sunshine and blue sky can make!!

TAKE AWAY:  Don't give up.  The sun will return eventually.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Take Away 49 - Enjoy Every Waking Moment

When I got news today of a friend who is in the process of dying, I am forced to take stock of my life and remember this day is a day that is not promised.

TAKE AWAY: There are constant reminders for me to be 
mindful of all the people in my path regardless of (fill in the blank). 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Take 48 - Clean Your Room

I woke up in a funk today.  I am disliking the gray weather. I can't seem to find anything to eat that sounds satisfying. I don't want to say "I'm bored" but maybe I am. When I was a kid, if I said "I'm bored", mom would say, "your room needs cleaning".  I usually found something else to do.  Today, I probably should just clean my room.  Mom had some pretty good advice.

TAKE AWAY: Mom knows best. This is so true.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Take Away 47 - Make Appointments

Going to see my hair stylist today for a haircut and hi-light. Yay! I made the appointment 7 weeks ago when I got my hair cut. Amy is a very busy stylist who also happens to be the shop owner along with being a wife and mom to two children. She doesn't work every Saturday so it's a crap-shoot if I don't schedule ahead. The last hair stylist I had before Amy just up and quit her job, leaving me scrambling to find someone new. I like a hair stylist who will make a commitment to be there in 6 or 7 weeks when I need a new "do".

TAKE AWAY: Making appointments and placing them on my calendar 
on the fridge makes my life so much easier to manage. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Take Away 46 - "Just Say No" Doesn't Work

The holidays are tough for those of us who overeat. Luckily, I work with some awesome women who are trying, just like me, to minimize weight gain and look for healthier options in our diets.  I failed a bit this week but I'm not going to quit. We had a potluck at work on Tuesday and I definitely overate and was miserable the rest of the day. I had good intentions of eating moderately early in the day and even if there had been good, healthy choices on the potluck table, I gotta be honest ~ I would have passed up carrot sticks for the ham roll-ups.

TAKE AWAY: I may have to skip the next potluck. Seriously.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take Away 45 - Take the Camera

Left work early today for an afternoon of bowling with 60 co-workers. Fun!  On the way to the car I could have kicked myself for not having my camera today. We have stagnation in our air system so the fog is sitting low and still, leaving hoarfrost on the trees.  IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL!  Luckily I have tomorrow off and the frost is promising to stay another day so I should get some good shots. Lucky me!

TAKE AWAY:  Carry my camera with me every single day 
even if I don't think I'll get it out of the case. 

Take Away 45 - New Friends

So ... yesterday I ventured over and chatted with the administrative assistant in our group. She can scale tall buildings with a single bound. Read: she is one busy chica!  I've been at this assignment for 3 months now and I don't know why it has taken me so long to approach her but I'm so glad I did!!!

TAKE AWAY: I think most people have just a little bit of
fear about making new friends. I just need to
remember to push past that fear and go for it. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Take Away 44 - Cheapness Pays Off

I ventured down to the vending machine yesterday afternoon to see if I could find a cure for my afternoon slump. I had a big whopping dollar bill in my pocket and an uneaten cucumber in my lunch bag. I swaggered up to the machine, intending to buy myself a Snickers bar. When the reality of giving away my dollar in exchange for a quick sugar fix, remorse, regret and likely added poundage to my already overweight vessel, I left the dollar in my pocket and ate the cucumber instead. Some days, a dollar is just too much for a candy bar.

TAKE AWAY:  One dollar is too much to pay for regret.
If I could resist that candy bar yesterday, I can do it again today, right?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Take Away 43 - Try It

I went to a potluck yesterday and sat with some good friends. The Mister made a sweet potato pie and since I've never tried it before I decided to put a small sliver on my plate.  I ended up going back to get two more small slivers!  It was sooooooo good!

TAKE AWAY:  Try new things even if 
you think you won't like it. You might be surprised!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Take Away 42 - Do With What You Have

Now that it's winter, I am in soup-mode. I love filling the crock pot with soup and eating it for days. Yesterday I stopped at the store to pick up a couple of items I needed to get a soup started. I didn't have the recipe or a list with me so just had to go on memory. While I was  missing a main ingredient, I improvised with something I had in the pantry. The soup turned out great and I was glad to use up some items from my freezer.

TAKE AWAY: Improvise whenever possible. 
It will make you feel creative!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Take Away 41 - Looking Ahead

I love it when I have plans scheduled on my calendar. November was a busy month and December is stacking up nicely. Yesterday I had lunch with my old work friends. It was something I really looked forward to and enjoyed very much.  I think we all need stuff to look forward to.

TAKE AWAY: Write events on your calendar and 
stand back to see what you are filling your life up with. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Recap of November

Even though I've been blogging for a little over a year now, I'm still new at it. I learned that I can copy and paste all my "links".  So, here's a recap of my Take Aways for November. I'm sure I learned a lot more than the few things I remembered to blog about.  

What are your take aways?  Do tell!

Take Away 40 - Eat Local

This is not a new take away but one that can never be said enough. While at the coast last weekend, we asked a "local" where they go for breakfast.  She pointed us in the direction of Newport Cafe which is on coast Highway 101. It's a funky little restaurant that serves up awesome homemade food served by the cutest little tattooed waitress. We ate a hearty breakfast there and decided to go back at dinner time. I had a sinful chicken fried steak with the best grilled veggies ever.

TAKE AWAY: Always talk to the locals. 
You'll find out they don't bite.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Take Away 39 - Stay Put

Another take away from our trip to the coast this weekend .... just stay where you are. We found an inexpensive (read: cheap beyond belief!) nice motel where we landed Friday night. When we got up the next morning, we decided to stay another night. Normally, we would pack up and do more traveling but it just felt right to stay. The upshot is that we had a grand time exploring Newport, Oregon and I felt rested when we came home. 

TAKE AWAY: Cheap motels and restful sleep = priceless.

Take Away 38 - Keep My Comments to Myself

On our recent trip to the coast, we stopped to watch a guy in his glass blowing studio. There were two women standing there with us with two small children. I made the assumption that the older woman was the grandma and made a comment about how much her granddaughter looked just like her. Nope, it was her daughter!!!!  Oops! I know better than to make assumptions like that.  I'm not sure what possessed me to open my mouth. Poor lady. Her face turned beat red. I was embarrassed beyond belief. When I tried to back myself out of it and try to make it better, it just got worse.

TAKE AWAY: Just keep my mouth shut!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Take Away 37 - Don't Operate Machinery Without Caffeine

I know better than to bake in the morning before I've had my coffee. But today, in the interest of time, I did it anyway. The same thing that always happens, happened. I knew my zucchini bread wasn't mixing up well and I looked over the recipe with non-caffeinated eyes 3 times before I realized I forgot the 2 1/4 cups of sugar. Yikes, that's a big deal. So I folded it in and it still didn't look right but I placed the dough in the pan and the bread is baking as I type this. I looked at my next container of frozen, shredded zucchini and measured it to realize I froze them in 1 cup increments instead of the two I normally do.  Next batch should be good to go!

And, Gene wonders why I have to get up so early in the morning? It takes a while to get all the ponies running in my brain.

TAKE AWAY: Slow down. Drink coffee. Seize the day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Take Away 36 - Hammering Out Details or Not

We're heading west for Thanksgiving tomorrow. It's still a little up in the air as to where we'll actually eat dinner but we have no worries about it. It will all work out.  Our part is to show up with dessert. After T-day, we have 3 days to go wherever we choose. We're leaning towards Lincoln City but don't have reservations so we can change our minds at any crossroad. I personally love living this way. Much less heartburn, tears and disappointments.

TAKE AWAY: Go with the flow.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Take Away 35 - Regarding Potatoes

I helped a caterer friend all day Friday by scrubbing, piercing and wrapping 450 potatoes for a banquet Saturday night. At the banquet I helped serve and my job was to unwrap the potatoes and slice them down the middle for our guests. You can't imagine our horror when we started slicing into the potatoes to discover they were partially black inside.  I didn't know why this happened until one of our guests explained that if you pierce a potato with a fork but don't cook it right away, the air goes into those holes and oxidizes the potato. The taters that had been sliced with a thin, sharp knife were perfect.  Lesson learned!  So, there I stood explaining to 225 guests (we had two potato lines for our potato bar) why the potatoes looked rotten. Most guests were so grateful for the food, others just couldn't get past the look of the Frankenstein spud.

TAKE AWAY: Use a thin, sharp knife to pierce your taters 
before you cook 'em! If you don't pierce your potatoes before 
you cook them, you run the high risk they will explode in the oven.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Take Away 34 - What Would You Do?

The other night we pulled into the driveway and as I got out of the car I heard a crying kitty. I discovered about a 6 week old kitty across the street on a guy's porch who lives in a duplex. The man was not home so I roused up his neighbor, who happened to be his brother and asked him about the kitten. His kids said they had found it about 2 blocks from here at an abandoned house. They brought it home and fed it and left it out on the porch in the cold. Luckily, the man brought the kitty into his house or I would have brought it home. I'm not sure what I would have done with it but I could have never gone to sleep knowing I had left it out in the cold. Trust me, I did not want to bring that kitty home but I was willing to do it versus leaving it to die out in the cold.

Here's the take away. I know there are hundreds of animals and people out in the cold every single day. I know I can't help them all but what kind of person am I if I don't lend a hand to those who are right smack in front of me? 

TAKE AWAY: Do the right thing.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Take Away 33 - Participate

I had a super busy, fun day yesterday. Met some old homies (read: good friends) for a late lunch and had a ball just visiting without a care for the clock since it was a day off for all of us. Later in the day, Gene and I joined a few dozen friends for a finger-food potluck and fellowship and then met a group of about 12 friends at the bowling alley. All in all, it was just a super fun day. Today is stacking up to be another one of those kinds of days starting with meeting some great friends for coffee, a service commitment, a quick stop in to say hello to old friends at a Scentsy party, and dancing to a live band tonight.  I love showing up for my life!

TAKE AWAY: If I say my life is boring, that means I'm boring. 
My life is so not boring!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Take Away 32 - Worry Not

I've been worrying about something all week. It was something that was really stuck in my craw and I could not give it up to the universe. I finally talked with a friend and she got me straightened out and the thing I was worrying about didn't even happen. So many times I lose sleep over the dumbest stuff. Pole vaulting over mouse turds.

TAKE AWAY: Stop worrying so much. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Take Away 31 - Safety First

The company I am working for has a great safety program. Yesterday was the start of a campaign called "360". It is designed to get us in the habit of walking all the way around our car to check for obstacles and low/flat tires before we roll to go home. Naturally, I forgot to do the 360 last night but I had to go back out after I arrived home and I spotted the big circle magnet they placed on the rear passenger side of my Buick. I get to take that magnet in this morning and claim a little safety prize!  I say "whatever it takes" to form a new habit ~ works for me.

TAKE AWAY: It's never too late to learn new things.
I hope this 360 program is going to form a life-long habit for me!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Take Away 30 - Carry Light With You

We were at a function out in Hermiston last night where we enjoyed a great potluck dinner with fried oysters, visiting and whatnot. This event always has a huge raffle at the end and just before the raffle, the electricity went out. There were no back-up lights, only candles on the tables which were there for decorative purposes. We couldn't leave because they had many awesome items on the raffle table including a big screen TV and an iPad. Who wouldn't want to win an iPad? Luckily, Gene had a baby flashlight in the glove box and although we didn't win a big screen or iPad, we did come home with a beautiful crocheted lap blanket and a homemade purple necklace & bracelet set. 

TAKE AWAY: Keep a flashlight handy. 
It could really pay off in more ways than one.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Take Away 29 - Drive Like Someone is Watching

Today at our staff meeting, our manager announced that someone almost ran over our company president in the parking lot this morning.  She was not amused. Tonight on our way out of the building there were several safety personnel in bright, lime green and orange jackets reminding us to drive 5 mph out of the parking lot. In the meeting, we were reminded to slow down, don't  talk on the phone while driving and watch for pedestrians. I'm guilty of talking on the phone while driving out of the parking lot. Bad Susan. I'm embarrassed to admit that. I won't do it again.

TAKE AWAY:  Follow the rules so no one gets hurt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Take Away 28 - Go Towards the Light

Yesterday I sat in front of my light box for 30 minutes. I read an article in my AARP magazine, wrote a note to a friend, and made a journal entry. Multi-tasking at its best. I need light, whether it be real sunshine or artificial light.

TAKE AWAY: Don't skip getting some sunshine in your life. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Take Away 27 - Think About It

I bought three big boxes of microwave popcorn equaling 75 bags. That's what the gremlins will be getting in their pumpkins when they knock on my door tonight. I simply cannot have a gigantic bowl of candy sitting in my living room this year. 

TAKE AWAY: I am powerless over candy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Take Away 25 - Talk is Cheap

If Monday wasn't bad enough, I perhaps ate even worse yesterday. I was on the run yesterday, met with a friend, ate very bad fast food on my way from work to friend's house.  At least I did a little time on the treadmill but not nearly enough to make up for fried chicken strips and fries.

TAKE AWAY: Get real.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Take Away 24 - Connect the Dots

Yesterday I ate a piece of leftover birthday cake someone left in the lunchroom at work. It had pretty pink flowers on it with glazed strawberries in the middle with a light whipped, yummy frosting on top. The selling point of the cake: it was from a Mexican bakery in Pasco. I sliced a piece of it early in the day, thinking I'd have a bite of it about 3p.m. with a cup of coffee. It never made it past 12:30. I felt sluggish and "icky" about it all afternoon ~ especially when the banana and apple I had sitting on my desk kept staring at me. Late in the day, a well-meaning co-worker dropped a bag of buttery, popped Orville Reddenbacher at my desk. At least I had the foresight to share it with the next cubicle over. If that wasn't enough, I met a friend for dinner and had a nice, lite bowl of chicken pho, which wasn't too bad calorie wise but the salt put me over the top. 

TAKE AWAY: I need to remember that what goes in 
determines how I'm gonna feel, whether it's food or information.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Take Away 23 - Be Flexible

My weekend did not turn out anything like I might have imagined it would. There are still piles of laundry to fold and I just finished washing dishes from a bit of baking I did on Saturday. So, here's what happened.  The sun shined! We got up yesterday and took a drive into town at sunrise to take some photos and meet a couple of friends for an awesome pancake feed and then decided it was far too nice of a day to pass up a motorcycle ride. Knowing I still had dishes in the sink from the day before and laundry piled up, I went anyway. It was probably the last good riding day for me. I don't do cold rides and it was a little chilly where we rode. 

TAKE AWAY: Be flexible with your plans. 
The dishes will always wait for you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Take Away 22 - Just Do One Thing

I have a friend who is in her 40's and going to college at night as her goal is to change careers. I met her at my last job and we became good friends. She's  an earth muffin like me and I see her as a mentor in making less of a carbon footprint on the world. I didn't even know what a carbon footprint was until she told me to go to the website in this link. I always asked her a lot of questions about recycling and how each of us can really make a difference in the world.  She told me, "just do one thing". If each of us just changed one thing, we can make a difference. I have made a lot of changes but know I can do better.

TAKE AWAY: Change just one thing.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Take Away 21 - Dignity and Respect

The president of the company I work for stopped by my desk yesterday to say hello and introduce herself. I think my desk was just a random stop for her but I appreciated it nonetheless. In appearance, she looked like any other hard worker. She wasn't dressed in a 3-piece suit and she certainly did not put on any airs about who she is. It made my day! And it reminded me of the good old days when people were treated with dignity and respect.

I love, love, love this company I am working for right now. The communication from the top down is excellent. We receive daily emails about what is happening in the company and it's written in a positive fashion intended for busy working staff to read. This company is set for closure in the next two years but you'd never know it by the great  "can do" attitudes I see every single day I am there.  Git'r done!

TAKE AWAY: Always treat everyone you meet 
with the dignity and respect they deserve. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Take Away 20 - Pack a Lunch

For the very first time in my 30+ years of working, I only have 30 minutes for lunch. This means I pack a lunch every day instead of blowing it off and eating out.  "Eating out is a  treat to working women", said one of my mentors  a long time ago and I adopted that mantra.  However, I must say that I am enjoying packing a lunch immensely. I'm eating much better food and have actually shed some pounds because of it. I also get great lunch ideas from the other wonderful women in my office who have been packing their lunches way longer than I have. My new mantra:  Pack a lunch.  Thanks girls!

TAKE AWAY: Be creative while packing lunch. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Take Away 19 - Try Something New

We took a road trip to The Dalles, Oregon yesterday to spend time at our favorite thrift store and found 2 others to roam through. We asked the last store owner for a recommendation for a local place to eat. She turned us on to the absolute best Thai food we've ever had and recommended we try the Pumpkin Curry dish. I decided to be brave and ordered it with vegetables. The pumpkin tasted a bit like potato but much firmer. The rest of the veggies were still firm, which is the only way I like them. I had to give the dish a "10" and give myself a huge kudo for ordering something totally out of my comfort zone.

TAKE AWAY: Life is so much fun. Try something new.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Take Away 18 - Seasons Change

I have been incredibly busy working along with having company. I go to work in the dark and by the time I get home from work, eat dinner and maybe go out of the house again, it's dark. I went for a quick drive today to run an errand and noticed the season has seriously changed.

TAKE AWAY: Slow. Down. Right. Now.
This. Is. Your. Life.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Take Away 17 - Full Moons

There is a full moon tonight. We had a blustery day and there were a few clouds lingering but I  still got to see the bright, full moon as it was making its way to wherever it goes at night.  I don't know how many times I've seen a full moon in my lifetime; I always think it is amazing. When I look up at the moon, I always wonder if all the people I love and care about are seeing the same moon.

TAKE AWAY: You might be many moons away from me 
but I'm still thinking about you. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Take Away 15 - Power Naps

This is day six of feeling crummy. While the sore throat and headache are gone, I'm left feeling zero energy. Thank goodness my friend from Phoenix who is visiting for the week is also sick. We watched a movie and then both took nice, long afternoon naps. While I'm still feeling less than 100%, there's nothing better than taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon.  Even better than that is having a friend who is totally okay with doing the same thing.

TAKE AWAY: Do what I need to do to care for myself, 
even if it feels a little rude.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Take Away 15 - Say Yes

We went bowling with a great group of friends last night. It was already 9:30 by the time I got the bowling shoes on and rolled the first ball. My knee started throbbing with the first throw but I kept bowling in spite of it, not knowing if I'd be able to walk on it today. I'm fine

I'm still not feeling 100% after being sick this week but I said YES to bowling anyway. I have learned to say yes to things that maybe I don't want do. I've learned to ignore the lame voice in my head that spouts some stupid excuse not to go. I would have missed a great amount of fun. The best part was watching my friends have so much fun.

TAKE AWAY:  Say yes even when you don't want to.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Take Away 14 - Listening

Today I sat for an hour with a friend, listening and then hearing myself offer suggestions. I am reminded that the suggestions were not anything I thought of ... merely suggestions someone else gave to me when I felt the same way.  I hold a huge amount of gratitude for those who have really taken the time to hear me when I was down. Pay it forward takes on a new meaning when I remember we're all in this together. 

TAKE AWAY: Always take time to listen to others. 
Someday I might be the "other".

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Take Away 13 - Blogging

I have ventured out and stuck my toe in the world of blogging and this week my blog has been featured in what is called a Blog Hop. The "hop" is to help other bloggers get their posts out there and read by each other's followers. It's a great idea and I have discovered some interesting reading by simply clicking on the links. I hope you'll take a few minutes to check out the blogs below and if you are a blogger, feel free to add yours to the list. Just don't ask me how the whole thing works (read: there are codes I know not how to write) ... I'm new to "hopping" and the real truth is I jumped into this with both feet. The take away?

TAKE AWAY:  Try new things!  Let's go.

Welcome to 
Thirsty for Comments Thursday! 

Check out the cool new badge:
and our first Featured Blogger of this new era is:
Please make sure you show her some comment love this week, 
in addition to visiting some of the other fabulous links!

If you want to be featured in the near future, visit your fellow participants and give good comment!
What is Thirsty for Comments?

This is a blog hop dedicated to giving good comment - please, when you are visiting, actually READ the post that is linked and make a thoughtful comment!  
This is NOT a hop for "I'm here from the hop, follow me back" comments!

Link up your own SPECIFIC POST that you'd like comments on - remember - no giveaways!
The rules are simple - 
1. Link up a SPECIFIC POST (NOT just your blog URL) that you'd like to have more comments on - can be anything EXCEPT GIVEAWAYS and OTHER BLOG HOPS - they will be deleted

2. Visit AT LEAST THREE other blogs and READ the posts and then comment thoughtfully on the post.
Extras (nice but not required):
Consider following the blogs you visit 
Add the Thirsty for Comments button to your post
Blog about Thirsty for Comments
Add Thirsty for Comments to your Meme List!
Leave a comment here on how I can improve Thirsty for Comments :)
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Take Away 12 - Home Remedies

Well, I only made it to 10:00 a.m. on Monday at work. I came home sick and ended up at home for 2 days. Bad cold. I haven't been sick in years and years. I don't do sick very well.
More than once I have recommended the Neti pot to my friends and family. Years ago, I had a friend who kept bugging me to get a Neti pot every time I complained about my allergies. The symptoms got so bad, I finally spent $13.95 on a pot and wondered why it took me so long to try it.  While I love to give advice, sometimes I don't like to take my own. Thank goodness my husband was here to encourage me to get my Neti pot out and use it. I could hardly breathe before I flushed my sinuses but within a minute of using it, I felt so much better. I also have been gargling with warm salt water and it works miracles.

TAKE AWAY: Home remedies work, especially the Neti pot. 
Just try it. Best $13.95 you'll ever spend.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Take Away 11 - Suit Up

I'm not feeling my best today but I'm going to suit up and show up and see what happens. My experience over the last 30 years of working tells me that once I get going I'll be okay. I always have the option of throwing in the towel and going home if I'm too sick to work.

TAKE AWAY: Suit up and show up and see what happens.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Take Away 10 - Time

"I see my folks, they're getting old, I watch their bodies change...
I know they see the same in me, and it makes us both feel strange...
No matter how you tell yourself, it's what we all go through...
Those eyes are pretty hard to take when they're staring back at you.
Scared you'll run out of time ...
Life gets mighty precious when there's less of it to waste. ~ Bonnie Raitt 

TAKE AWAY: Don't waste time.

My dad was here for a visit this weekend. I can't seem to get the lump out of my throat. He took a fall several weeks ago and hit his head. He hasn't been the same since. He's dizzy all the time and life is just not much fun for him right now. I see the fear in his eyes that perhaps it never will be again. We didn't talk about it. Those words will be left unspoken.  

I'm going to try to live my life to the fullest. There's no time to waste.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Take Away 9 - Treasure Tricks

About 20 years ago, I worked in administration with a great group of women at the small hospital in Juneau, Alaska. One of the ladies there was also volunteer for the Salvation Army thrift store. She shared a tip with me that was the best "take away" I remember the most. I want to share it with you.

She was always dressed to the 9's so I asked her one day where she shopped and she let me in on a little secret. Because she was a volunteer, she was allowed to choose 2 items each shift from the mounds of donated clothing. She said the trick to finding brand name treasures at thrift stores is to start at the beginning of the rack and to move every single hanger. You cannot stand out from a rack and expect to see the treasures.

Personally, I think this trick works when meeting new people.  How many times I have judged someone in the first 14 seconds of meeting them and when I took the time to move the obstacles away, I found such treasures.

TAKE AWAY: Carefully look for hidden treasures in every situation.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Take Away 8- Resolve and Restraint

I ate far too much day before yesterday. It started early in the morning when a friend at work brought an oatmeal breakfast muffin she wanted me to try. I had already eaten breakfast but I ate it anyway and it started a runaway train of eating the whole day that I could not stop. I was miserable by the time I got home that night.  When I arrived at work yesterday, I resolved to show some discipline and I felt so much better.

TAKE AWAY: Resolve and Restraint (R&R)
Just get back on track when you fall off. It pays off! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Take Away 7 - What If and So What

My husband told me yesterday he started following this blog. He said, "what if you don't have a take away to write about?"  I told him I'd just write exactly that. But only once.  I thought about it a lot yesterday. You see, I'm always thinking. The day I don't have a take away is the day I'm not present and accounted for.  Not today.

So, my peeps are coming to visit us today! My dad and Nancy will be here when I get home from work. They will be heading south shortly so we are going to pretend it's Thanksgiving. 

  • What if we don't have pumpkin pie for dessert; so what?
  • What if I don't worry about getting the china out of the cupboard; so what?
  • What if my house isn't spotless; so what?
  • What if the lawn doesn't get mowed today; so what? 
Seriously, who cares?


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Take Away 6 - Dining Together

When I'm working, the lunch hour is my favorite time of day. It's something to look forward to, and it's a landmark in the day, so to speak, that splits the work-time in half, making it bearable to be away from home. At my new job, we only take 30 minutes but it is so enjoyable. About 6 or 7 women in our group gather around a small table to share lunch. Invariably, we talk about each other's fabulous lunches and venture into other topics. There has hardly been a day gone by that someone hasn't brought a favorite box of crackers or a container of hummus or something new they found on the shelf at the store to share. I love that!

A group that dines together shines together.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Take Away 5 - Responsibility

I have a few regrets in my life. Not all of them can I post on a blog but one of them haunted me most of yesterday.  I once knew a woman who was very ill.  She made calls for help and sometimes I showed up but not always. She eventually died by her own hand. After her funeral, I vowed to take better care of my relationships with people. While I don't feel responsible for her death, I do feel responsible for blowing her off sometimes. Today, I feel responsible for showing up when I'm aware of important events in other people's lives. "Important" can have about a million definitions. It is not for me to decide what important means to you.

Be there for others even when sometimes it is inconvenient or 
uncomfortable.  We need each other.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Take Away 4 - Thunderstruck

I've only been up 2.5 hours and I've got a take away.  Can I go back to bed now?

I am back to walking on the treadmill every morning now that I'm back to work and time is short.  I cannot walk on it unless I have my iPod turned way up. It drowns out the voice giving me every excuse why I should not get on the treadmill.  My very first song on my playlist is "Thunderstruck" from the AC/DC Live album. I love the sound of the thunder, the sound of the crowd going wild and the awesome driving beat.  I'm about 2 minutes into the song when the endorphins hit and I have been Thunderstruck.  WOO HOO!! And I turn it up!!
TAKE AWAY: Find out what gets you thunderstruck!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Take Away 3 - Gloomy Days

I have never been so happy to wake up to gray skies and wind. I have so many things to do around the house: laundry, shopping, cooking dinner for the rest of the week.  We're not home much when the weather is good so a lot of stuff gets put the wayside.

TAKE AWAY:  Gloomy days can be a good thing.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Take Away 2 - Stamina

We got up very early to hit the road at 5:30 a.m., traveling by car 20 miles to see the Prosser Balloon Rally. It was worth getting up early and I enjoyed it as much as the first time I ever saw a balloon go up. They let you out on the field so you can watch the whole process starting from the rolling out of the huge balloons to putting hot air in them and then you can talk to the people in the basket before they go up. There were at least 30 balloons today.

When we got home, we decided to get on the motorcycles because tomorrow it's supposed to rain and our number of riding days is dwindling fast. We left at 10:00 a.m. and got home about 6:00 p.m.  It was a 300 mile day. This was my 3rd three hundred mile day this summer. I didn't even feel tired when we got home.


I have way more stamina than I think I do. The trick is to not think about what a long day it is going to be ... think about how much fun you can pack into it! 

P.S. I got stung on the face by a yellow jacket while riding today. It hurt like crazy. If that wasn't bad enough, I got stung again as I was parking my bike in the garage when we got home. The bee had apparently gone up my sleeve and hitched a ride home with me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Take Away 1 - A Blog is Born

Thanks to my friend over at My Healthy Eating Challenge, who gave me the idea for this 365 Day Project, it starts today.  My challenge is find a take away every single day for the next year.  

What is a take away?  My definition is that it's an idea, thought, or principle one learns throughout the day that will be useful from that point on. I learned about "take aways" a long time ago from a seminar speaker.  The speaker said that in every seminar she gave, she hoped the participants got at least 3 "take aways" from the day. I have remembered that lesson for a long time and have used it to try to get at least something from every experience, whether it's a good or bad take away. I believe I have an opportunity to learn something new every single day ... something to take away from my experiences.  So ... this blog is born.

Take Away #1

Don't complain about my life.

No matter how tired I am or how full my life seems to be, there is always someone in my path who is busier and has more responsbility. Take for instance, my new co-worker/friend. She is a single mom raising 5 children, working a full time job and taking 3 classes and she still has time to put make-up on in the morning. I have never once heard her say she is tired. I asked her recently how she does it and she said, "I don't have a choice."  I am inspired.  Her tenacity and good attitude have helped me adjust to my new working hours. I will be forever grateful to her.