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.