Sunday, December 30, 2012

Take Away 128 - Inconvenience

I run to the store every Sunday morning about 7am to beat the crowd.  I've learned that if I get up just a little earlier and plan to get out of the house by 6:45am, I can usually get some good photos of the sun coming up, if isn't snowing or raining.

TAKE AWAY: My best shots have been taken at the most
inconvenient times but I'm always glad I took
the extra time and effort to chase
the picture. It usually always pays off.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Take Away 127 - Sugar Sugar

It doesn't seem to matter how much I resolve to control my sugar intake during the holidays, I find myself eating too much of it.

TAKE AWAY: When I've had enough, the rest goes in the trash.
The sugar must go.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Take Away 126 - Don't Worry

I had a taco party for my friends in the middle of the work week. It's sometimes hard for us to get together on the weekends. I planned it well and prepared everything I could the night before and it went off without a hitch. I have the best friends in the world who show up and just have fun even though I don't do anything fancy.

TAKE AWAY: Don't worry. Things always work out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Take Away 125 - Messin' Up

Yesterday I took a phone call at work and kind of messed up the message. I was a little flustered.  I finally just had to say "I'm sorry. I got flustered. Let me start this over."  And I did. And it worked out. 

TAKE AWAY:  I'm human. I make mistakes.
Get over it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Take Away 124 - Resolutions

Just a couple more weeks until the New Year and perhaps new resolutions. One resolution I made last year was to try really hard to lose the word "hate" from my vocabulary, especially while writing, especially especially while writing on my blogs. While I've made great strides in my resolution, I think I'll recommit to that one again.

TAKE AWAY: It's not too early to start thinking about
the New Year and where your life is going.
Time is flying by ... don't you just hate that?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Take Away 123 - Recycling Furniture

We found another great old chair today at an estate sale. There is a guy around here who goes to his customers' houses and prices everything and then opens up the doors to sell their goods, with his take being 40%. He has to haul away whatever doesn't sell so he's very motivated to move the stuff.  He had quite a bit of leftover merchandise so he rented a big space and hauled it there for the weekend. Sunday is always 1/2 off everything under $150.  We walked out with a very cool stuffed rocking chair/recliner for $35 and two beautiful ceramic lamps for $25.  SCORE!

TAKE AWAY: I'm glad we waited and looked for old, sturdy, used
furniture. With animals in the house, it won't bring tears to our
eyes if the cat decides to shred the chairs to bits.
There are plenty of pieces of nice, used furniture on
the market and when I get tired of this stuff, I'll pass it on
and go find something else.
Recyling at its very best!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Take Away 122 - Perspective

My new job has been challenging but today I had an "aha" moment and something finally clicked. What a relief. Every day gets a little better and I sleep a little better. There's another woman in the office who transferred out of the job I'm at into another job in the office. She is feeling exactly the same as me. I find some relief in knowing I'm not the only one filled with anxiety.  The other upside is I have a friend in the welder's apprenticeship and taking night classes while working out in the field in a completely different career than she's ever known. When I feel a little overwhelmed I just think to myself, "this is a lot easier than welding".

TAKE AWAY: Perspective is nearby if I just search for it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Take Away 121 ~ Experience

Started my new job yesterday. They tell me it was the craziest day they've had in a long time.  I like that. Things will only be better today, I'm betting. The phones were insane and the stack of mail we processed gave me a good idea of what comes into the office.  I'm a person who likes to get hit with it all at once so I can sort it out as days go by. I crammed a lot of information into my brain yesterday and I was dog-tired when I got home but I'm up and ready to go do it again. WOO HOO!!!!

TAKE AWAY: Nothing replaces having various experiences
in my work life. I have had slow jobs and I've had fast-paced jobs,
and some in between. In my 30+ years of working, I feel like a
very seasoned worker. I'm proud of my experience and will
use everything I know to do a good job where I've landed.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Take Away 120 - Never Go Empty Handed

I attended a big banquet last night where we served 500 people. It was grande! So much visiting, hugs, tears, joy, gratitude, and a bit of complaining by a small number of people.  The complaining seemed to be the only thing I could focus on and it stole some of my joy. By the end of the night, it left me thinking about things my mom taught me a long time ago and at the end of the night I realized that not everyone was brought up the same. We all come from different stations in life. The banquet we held was a fund-raiser and potluck. We provided the meat and people were to bring a side dish. When you're serving 500 people, that means we need everyone to participate. I watched as at least half of the folks coming in the door arrived empty-handed.  What's up with that?

Take Away: There are givers and there are takers.
Mom taught my sister and I to never go somewhere empty-handed. Never. Ever.
And, she taught us that when someone gives us something on a
plate, never return it empty. 
And one more thing.
Be grateful.
Someone, somewhere didn't eat today.
Someone, somewhere is cold today.
Someone, somewhere can't beat their addiction.
Someone, somewhere is alone.
Be grateful.

I'm getting down off my soapbox now.
love, susan

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Take Away 119 - Consistency

I've been on a mission to declutter my living space. This is an ongoing project that will never be done but I realize the only way to do it is to consistently stay on it. I have a couple of boxes sitting in a strategic area and have been dropping non-necessary items into them for weeks now, with the plan of donating them. Pure junk goes in the trash. It seems like I have hardly put a dent in all the junk we accumulate but I'm determine to pare down. I can't take the clutter.

TAKE AWAY: Even though I have a long way to go to get rid of the
excess stuff in my life, it feels good to be doing something about it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Take Away 118 - Train Your Feet

We listened to someone speak last night and he said a lot of profound things that perhaps I've heard before but he said them in his own words and from his heart. Whenever I listen to anyone speak, I try to take away one or two new ideas or thoughts that I can maybe incorporate into my life.  He said "train your feet". To me, this means if I want something to change in my life, I gotta train my feet to take me where it is I'm going. Gotta get up off my keaster and do it.

TAKE AWAY: Do something. It's all about my actions. Talk is cheap.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Take Away 117 - Upsides

I've been following a new recipe blog at Recipes Happen.  Every Saturday, she posts "upside" stories from her followers and I have joined her the last couple of Saturdays. It's fun to think about turning downsides into upsides. What a nice idea.

TAKE AWAY: To turn a downside into an upside,
often all I have to do is change my attitude.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Take Away 116 - Doing It

Monday was the kick off to the company's version of "The Biggest Loser". Everyone was greeted at the door with a big Fuji apple and encouragement to attend the kickoff at lunchtime for details. It's a good program and I'm already doing a lot of the good stuff. One of my downfalls is getting enough exercise. I have a treadmill but it's a love/hate relationship I have with it.  I have tennis shoes under my desk at work too.  Yesterday I decided early in the morning I'd take a walk at lunch. I've had those shoes at work for months and have never gone for a walk. In a split second I decided that if I didn't put those shoes on, I wasn't going to make it in this biggest loser challenge. That's how it is with me. I sometimes gotta do things I don't want to do. So, I put those shoes on and my iPod and headed out the door for an awesome 20 minute walk.

TAKE AWAY: What I did yesterday isn't going to help me today.
I have to keep approaching each day with a new resolve
to keep doing the things that keep me healthy.
Eat right.
A little mediation.
Some quiet time.
Light box.
Pet the dogs.
Put on my tennis shoes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Take Away 115 - Take Aways

I was at a WW's meeting tonight and the leader used the term "take away" as in taking away an idea.   The take away for her was an idea from one of the members who has a friend that places a treat on a napkin when she is playing BUNCO and carries that treat around to every table where she rolls the dice. The idea is that she has the willpower to carry the treat but not eat it. At the end of the night, she just throws it away.  I say, "why?"

TAKE AWAY:  I'm not trying this. I don't need to.
I know what would happen to that treat.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Take Away 114 - Learning From Others

My neighbor is not long for this world now. When I went over to see her last Sunday and offered to take her out for a stroll in her wheelchair, she just wasn't up to it. I kept my visit short and took note of her spark not being quite as bright. For the most part, since she was diagnosed with terminal cancer it has seemed like she would live forever. That's how it is with terminal illness. It's hard to imagine that from one day to the next things can go downhill in a big hurry.  I would ask her if she had any pain and she emphatically said no. She was bright and cheerful and always glad for my visit. I mostly just listened to her. I will treasure the talks we had these last two months.
Fast forward to day before yesterday. I  dropped in with a dish of bread pudding I had made at her request. She was having difficulty breathing and told me that oxygen was being delivered that afternoon. She scarfed up a bowl of the pudding but her words were jumbled and I didn't have a good feeling about it. The rattle that comes when the lungs start filling up (called by some "the death rattle") was apparent and extremely painful to witness. I didn't stay long. When someone is struggling for air, the last thing they should be doing is trying to talk. She is a talker!
Saturday, when I came home from a morning run out to watch the balloons launch in Prosser, one of her visitors told me she wasn't doing well at all. I rushed over to see her just one more time but she was making no sense and the palliative medication they gave her that morning was working and she quickly fell into slumber. The only thing I could do was get out of the way. Her family was gathered at her place the entire day and into the night.
I think I've done all I can for now. It will never be enough but it will have to do.
I learned a lot from her and I will miss her. When we moved here, she was friendly to us and we had lots of conversations about flowers and herbs. She knew a lot about them. I have a lot of iris growing on my property and every spring she'd say she wanted to have some of the bulbs and, of course I told her to bring a shovel and have at them. She never quite got around to it. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to look at an iris and not think of her.
Which gets me around to my take away. It's a no-brainer really.

TAKE AWAY: Got something you want to do? What are you waiting for?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Take Away 113 - Practice Sitting Still

It has been another crazy, non-stop summer. My plan today is to try to make no plans. This sounds easier than it actually is. So ... since about 7 a.m. today, I just decided to do a little and then sit still for a few minutes. I figure if I practice sitting still, I'll get better at it. In the meantime, I made a pot of steel cut oats and divided it into four little bowls for the next 4 days. I did a little clean-up in my herb garden, putting two 5-gallon buckets in the lawn debris can, I cleaned out a cupboard that's been bugging me all summer, and I scrambled some eggs to take across the street to my dying neighbor who is now totally dependent on others for all her needs. I get the most grateful after a visit with her. The two of us, we've never experienced this day before. I don't want to waste it but I gotta slow down for just a bit.

TAKE AWAY: It's good to practice sitting still.
And, that's about all I can do ... practice.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Take Away 112 - No Rules

So, I was looking back to see what date I started this fun 365 day project. It was September 22, 2011.  Obviously, I haven't completed it with 365 posts and I haven't posted every single day.  It is challenging sometimes to figure out what the take away will be for any given day. 
We were at the beach last weekend. Today, I was reflecting on our time there. Halfway through Saturday, I walked up to camp to grab a bite to eat and decided to lay down to read a little, knowing full-well I would fall asleep. It has taken me 53 years to come up with my "no rules" philosphy. So ... I napped guilt-free.  And it was good!

TAKE AWAY: I need to take an inventory of some of the
stupid "old rules" that are drummed into my head.
It's my life and I'll live it the way I want to, thank you very much.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Take Away 111 - Freezing

We took a very long motorcycle ride to Mt. Rainier yesterday. I really wasn't prepared for the 40 degree weather we encountered. But, we were with a group of people and I had packed a fantastic picnic lunch so we just kept riding as planned. (Thank goodness I remembered the thermos of coffee!) While we got very cold, I didn't freeze to death and have lived to tell the story.

TAKE AWAY: Perseverance and tenacity always usually pays off.
I learned a long time ago that most stuff won't kill me and
that it is often mind over matter that gets me through.
I'm not a sissy!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Take Away 110 - Going Home

I do love going and going. Love to ride motorcycles, ride in the car, take a hike, take an airplane to anywhere. But as much as I love to go, I love coming home even more. My hubby noticed a long time ago that I'm good with going just about anywhere and my head will stay in the moment and enjoy the "now" but once whatever vehicle I'm taking to get there turns around and is pointed towards home, all bets are off. I just wanna get home. Don't really want to stop and dawdle, just take the shortest route home!  It hasn't always been this way.  I just really happen to love my life enough to want it.

TAKE AWAY:  It's good to go, but so nice to want to come home.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Take Away 109 - Listening

I traveled last week to visit my kids in Michigan. I had been planning it since May and hadn't really thought about it until a couple of days before I left. It was a short 5-day vacation but I enjoyed it very much. I made a conscience effort to "be present" when I got on the plane. When I got to Michigan, we had no plans and decided to take it easy and let the days' plans unfold. In my past, I would have had to make every minute count and account for every minute. That's not how I live my life these days. So, minus the anxiety of trying to figure out what we would do, I simply listened. I listened to hear about my kids' life. I listened and watched to hear and see how they roll. We were sitting around Friday afternoon, unsure of what to do next. She said, "anybody wanna go to IKEA?"  My son whipped around in his chair with his eyes lit up. YES! He wanted to go. It was a precious moment for me. A little insight. I had no idea how much they loved IKEA until we were in the car 10 minutes later, set for 1 1/2 hour drive to IKEA. They were in heaven.  I was in "mom" heaven!
TAKE AWAY:  Listening is not always about hearing.
Sometimes it is about seeing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Take Away 108 - The Bubble Method

I recently took a 6-week online creative writing class for fun. For $99 I came away with some new ideas, dug up some old ideas and had my imagination fired up a bit.

One of the techniques for ideas taught in this class was one I learned many years ago. The Bubble Method, or "mapping". It's a simple concept that has served me very well in the past and I was glad to be reminded of it. Long story short, you start with a one-word idea in the middle of a blank page. Taking your pencil in hand, you draw lines out from the original word and just starting writing whatever word comes to your mind. You can map out from each of those words and when you've let 5 minutes go by, you should have some pretty good ideas mapped out. Don't question what you write down. Just write it down.  Try it!  I'm going to demonstrate it right here .....

           editing----writing----writer's block------chair glue

From any of these words, I could write a whole blog post.  But not today.

TAKE AWAY: Some old ideas are still good ideas!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Take Away 107 - Driving

Got back yesterday from our annual cousins' reunion which is 519 miles away. We took 2 days getting there but drove home in one shot yesterday, which took 11 hours. In the past we have pitched a tent on my cousins' property but decided to get a motel for 2 nights this time. I think it was the best decision we've made in a long time. A good night's sleep made for an easy and pleasant drive.

TAKE AWAY: Long distance driving is much easier to do on a good night's sleep along with a nice hot shower. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Take Away 106 - Timing

Yesterday we rolled out on an impromptu road trip. We literally did not know which way we were going until we dropped off the key to our house for a friend to let our dogs out as we knew we were going to be gone longer than just a couple hours.  No time to make breakfast so we grabbed a couple of boxes of crackers, fruit and thermos of coffee, knowing we'd stop to eat somewhere along the line. As it turns out, we headed right through The Dalles and our most favorite Thai restaurant. It was lunchtime when we rolled in.  "How fortuitous", as Gene would say. I tried the "house curry" and it is to die for!

TAKE AWAY:  Good things come to those who have good timing.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Take Away 105 - Picnics

We attended a concert last night. I loved it that we were able to take a cooler in along with our chairs and enjoy a nice picnic dinner. I don't know why we don't do that more often. I bought a special sized cooler just for this event. My plan is to use it as often as I can.

TAKE AWAY:  I don't have to wait for a special event to pack up a picnic and ask my sweetie to take me for a ride.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Take Away 104 ~ On Speaking

"Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it true, is it necessary, does it improve upon the silence?" -Shirdi Sai Baba

This quote has been on my mind for two days now. These certainly are words I would like to live by but I fall short some days. I just keep getting up every morning and give it another try.

TAKE AWAY: The golden rule is still golden.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Take Away 103 ~ Patience

Dude, I got a Dell today! My old computer contracted a bad virus last November and I've been working on a nice little, older laptop a good friend gave me. However, I really need a desktop but just couldn't bring myself to spend the $500+ for one. I found a screaming deal on a nice 'puter with a huge flat screen and some extras for $100.  Brought it home, plugged it and I'm in business.

TAKE AWAY:  Patience always pays off.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Take Away 102 ~ Laughter

Last night I stepped outside my comfort zone and said something that caused an entire room full of people to crack up laughing which in turn busted me up. What's best about my rare moments of comedy relief is that people don't expect it from me. I'm a little too careful most of the time. I'm trying to get over that but how do you undo a lifetime of carefulness? Being married to a witty man helps.

TAKE AWAY:  If there is a chance I can make someone laugh,
I'm gonna do it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Take Away 101 ~ Sleeping on a Slope

We traveled to a big camp-out on Friday. Great friends, beautiful weather, awesome food, butterflies everywhere, a nice quiet river nearby to cool the dogs off.  We pitched our tent in a nice shady area that had a slight slope to it. I said to my husband, "that's no big deal" but I had to eat my words. By dawn the next morning, we decided to pack it up and come home to sleep in a comfy bed after one night of tossing and turning. I love those quick decisions we both can agree on!

TAKE AWAY: The older I get, the less likely I am
to be unnecessarily and physically uncomfortable for very long. As I hunkered down on our sleep-number mattress last night, I was so happy to be home.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Take Away 100 - Freaky Joy

Our new dog, Abbie, is a freak of nature. She lives to catch the frisbee and can tear up some ground getting from here to there fetching it. We had to move her out to the more established grass on the front lawn because she is so focused on catching it that her feet have torn up the ground in the back yard. Between the two of us, we figure we throw it to her no less than 150 times a day and it's probably closer to 200. The take away?

TAKE AWAY: I cannot think of anything more relaxing than 
throwing the frisbee to Abbie. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes 
to completely wear her down to the ground. It is really something
to watch and be a part of. I'm pretty sure the universe knew
we needed her as much as she needed us. What a joy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Take Away 99 - Time I Can't Get Back

I attended a 7-hour photography class on Saturday. I've been to it before and the speaker presented pretty much exactly the same material as the last two I've been to. I thought perhaps I would get something from it that maybe I missed the last two classes.  Note to self: don't need to do that again.  While it was exciting the first time I took it, it was hard to sit still through screen after screen of information that really led to the only one take away I was looking for.  White balance.  I still don't understand it but I think I'll do some googling and figure it out. That's 7 hours I can't get back.  The only consolation is that it was raining.

TAKE AWAY: Sometimes I only get one take away and I might 
have to sit quietly for 7 hours to get it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Take Away 98 - Splitting Up

We are having heavy rain here in the Tri-Cities. If it isn't enough that the skies are gray and I feel like someone has kicked me from head to toe (colder, damp weather does this to me), everyone is saying how bad this is for the cherries. I learned yesterday that when it rains right before cherry picking season, it makes the cherries split.  Who knew????  The farmers' remedy is to fly helicopters over the orchards so the down draft whooshes the water away. They also use large, industrial sized fans to form wind. I am amazed at the lengths they go to for this precious crop.  I do love cherries and will have an even greater appreciation for them now.

TAKE AWAY:  Rain in June = no bueno.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Take Away 97 - A Dog Named "Dumpster"

Our neighbors came over to visit this afternoon to meet "Abbie", the dog we have on a trial basis from the Humane Society. It hasn't been quite the wonderful experience we had hoped for with our dog, "Missy".  Abbie is high energy and not playful with Missy, as we had hoped for.  Our neighbors are dog lovers and they encouraged us to give Abbie and Missy a chance to adjust to one another.  They had 3 dogs but one of them died last year. The two remaining dogs are each very different in personality and it was refreshing to hear them talk about how one of them is a very difficult dog to live with.  I love that they did not give up on that dog.  Her name is "Dumpster".  Because that's where they found her. (gulping the lump in my throat) ....

TAKE AWAY:  I never know where encouragement is going to come from.
It's always at the least likely time and place.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Take Away 96 - Greek Yogurt

I'm a picky eater.  Always have been. Always will be. I'm all about textures. Not sure why. It drives my husband crazy. I don't like to be forced or coerced into eating things I don't like or think I don't like. This, I am quite certain, stems from very old childhood baggage. But, if you let me try things in my own time, I might actually change my mind. 

Take Greek Yogurt, for example. I've tried it before and in the past it just tasted sour and gritty to me. My cousin recently purchased a large container of it and she didn't like it either. She left it in the fridge and I finally decided to give it another chance as I didn't want to waste it. Okay, this is soooooo weird.  I like it now.  What's up with that?  I surmise it is because I quit drinking coffee the first of May and my sugar consumption has dropped drastically. All of a sudden, that Greek Yogurt is not sour and I find it very creamy with no grit. All I can taste is how wonderfully sweet it is. Who knew?

 TAKE AWAY:  I gotta keep an open mind.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Take Away 95 - Rain

The weather has been rainy and windy this week, so far.  A storm is coming through today and we are due for sunny days for the weekend.  I see on my FB all the people who love the rain.  I don't get it. When the skies are gray and the rain starts, I feel blue.

TAKE AWAY: I have had enough rain and gray days to last me the rest of my life.
Give me sunshine any day of the week. I promise you'll never hear me complain 
about blue skies!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Take Away 94 - Pain

On our recent long motorcycle trip, I realized that the pain in my back from sitting in one position too long was responsible for keeping me alert.  Between that stabbing pain and the dull headache I developed from the wind making my bike constantly shake and my teeth rattle, it got me home in one piece. 

TAKE AWAY: I am constantly amazed at the level of
discomfort I can withstand to do the things I love doing.
The fun of being outdoors, the wind in my face and the freedom 
of riding on two wheels outweighed the nagging aches & pains 
sometimes, but not always, associated with it. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Take Away 93 - My Secret Weapon

I had some friends over to my house last night for an idea-fest. I learned a long time ago that if you want people to get together and you want to guarantee they'll show up, serve food.  So I did. And they did. Show up! I took the easy-peazy route by baking two big containers of frozen lasagna, served salad out of bag and friends brought bread and sherbet for dessert. Every person I invited SHOWED UP!

TAKE AWAY: No matter what the occasion, if you serve food they will come. Love that!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Take Away 92 - High Mileage

We took a 263 mile motorcycle ride today. It was only my 2nd time out of the garage this spring. I think I'm going to be putting some major miles under my belt this season. Two 400-mile trips late last summer seems to have set the bar higher for me.

TAKE AWAY: With gas a $4+ a gallon, riding is going to get expensive this summer!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Take Away 91 - It's Always a New Day

Around here, if you don't like the weather just wait a bit and it will change. I've learned to not pay too much attention to the forecast. I know the weather people try to get it right but mother nature has a mind of her own. So, I don't dwell on last night's weather report, I'd rather wake up and be pleasantly surprised. The sun is shining this morning, can you tell? :-)

TAKE AWAY: Don't make today's plans based on yesterday's forecast. 
Always have a Plan "B" just in case the weather changes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Take Away 90 - Time

When I first started the job I'm in, I had to adjust to working 10-hour days. It took several weeks to figure out what time I needed to hit the hay. I'm a morning person so it's easier for me to adjust my "go to bed" time vs. my "get-up" time. Now that we have a lot more light, I'm having to adjust again, having a hard time getting to sleep at night.

TAKE AWAY: Time is adjustable.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Take Away 89 - Umptysquat

Learned a new word yesterday.  Umptysquat.  Yah huh .... it is a word!!   According to the Urban Dictionary it means "an undetermined amount".

TAKE AWAY:  There are take aways every single day if you seek them.
My take aways may be silly and meaningless
but they are take aways nonetheless.
How many of you knew there is such a 
thing as an Urban Dictionary?  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Take Away 88 - Time It

I saw the coolest thing recently.  A water-saver timer that sticks to the wall in the shower. You press it and a little green light goes on and about 4 minutes later a blinking red light comes on to alert you that your 5-minute shower is almost up. When you have many people in one household taking showers, this is a good thing.

TAKE AWAY: Who thinks of these clever devices?

Take Away 87 - Just Google It

I have a friend at work who loves to "Google It".  I've adopted that phrase.  Is there anything you can't figure out how to do on the internet?  I don't know. I'm not finished trying yet.  The other website my friend uses a lot is YouTube.  When she needs to learn something like how to make pie crust, she YouTube's it. I never really thought about doing that before I met her.

TAKE AWAY: Listen carefully to others. 
There is much to be learned in this lifetime.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Take Away 86 - April Fools

I love April Fool's day and yesterday was no exception! I used to play awesome pranks on my sister-in-laws (sil) when I lived in Fairbanks. You'd think year after year they'd be on to me but I was always able to pull one off. Yesterday I was going down memory lane on FB with one sil and 5 minutes later I posted something on my profile and once more caught her in my April fool's trap. I laughed so hard and could hardly stop laughing. Later in the day, a local friend texted me a long, elaborate April fool's lie and I bought it hook, line and sinker. I believe I have met my fooling match!

TAKE AWAY: There are some people in my life who give me
the greatest gift of laughter. I treasure those ones the very most! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Take Away 85 - Assisted Living

I was complaining to a friend about how I felt like someone kicked me from head to toe when I got up Sunday morning. The day before I had spent about an hour cleaning up dead leavings in my herb garden and another hour wiping down the baseboards on the main floor in our house. While these chores may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, this body didn't like it. I spent most of Sunday like an old woman hobbling around the house trying to figure out why I was sore. (It took me a while to figure it out ... my mind is not as sharp as it used to be either!) At work yesterday, I took a Naproxen out of my purse and laid it on my desk in search of my water glass. I got side-tracked and about an hour later I wondered by the pain reliever wasn't working.  I turned around and noticed it was still sitting on my desk.  I'm losing it! (laugh out loud)

TAKE AWAY: I have said it before and can never say it enough, I
love those mechanical things that make life easier.  I just wanna know 
when do I qualify for assisted living??????

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Take Away 84 - Spring Cleaning

I have a short window of time to get any spring cleaning done before Gene starts talking about rolling down the road on weekends. My friend who helped me with my spring cleaning last year has up and moved to Phoenix. I have another acquaintance I'm thinking of contacting to do the really crappy jobs I hate like cleaning the oven and fridge. And, she does windows! I can only do so much before I start gritting my teeth and wishing I lived in a smaller place. My house will never be perfect .... I got over that a very long time ago. I just wish there weren't so many dust bunnies hiding out.

TAKE AWAY: I do what I can today. I'm not a domestic goddess.  
Never have been, never aspired to be.
I'd rather ride. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Take Away 83 - Full Circles

A woman who works at the office called from China yesterday. The adoption of her baby girl was finalized Monday and they will be bringing her home next week. I got to eavesdrop on the conversation by way of speaker phone. Note:  The office had a baby shower for her about a week ago and it took a huge loading cart and a half to haul all the pink gifts to her car. Our entire office is bursting with happiness for her.

I was adopted. Seeing and hearing my co-worker experience this event has been an "over-the-top" kind of real joy for me. I often asked my mom about our adoption (I have a sister who is adopted as well). She related what she could about it but I feel like I have been witness to how mom must have felt way back when.

TAKE AWAY: Life really does come full circle if I'm patient 
and keep my eyes and ears open to it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Take Away 82 - Daylight Savings Time

One word:  WHY?

TAKE AWAY: Us busy people do not have an extra hour to give up.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Take Away 81 - Survival Mode

I haven't felt much like I've been taking anything away from the last couple of days except surviving. Just when I think I can't take one more day of winter, the sun comes out and hope for better weather is right on the horizon.

I noticed that daybreak is arriving now as I drive to work at 6:20a.m. and it's completely light out when I walk out the door of the office building at 5:00p.m.

TAKE AWAY:  I have survived another long, dark, cold winter.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Take Away 80 - More

I have a great 3-day weekend.  All my weekends are three days now. No matter.  I always wake up Monday morning and wish I had just one more day off. 

TAKE AWAY: It's never enough, whatever it is. 
That's how it is with me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Take Away 79 - Nailing Down Stress

I had my nails done by a professional about two weeks ago for only the second time in my entire existence. I've been a nail biter from early childhood and the thought of having someone actually look at them and try to do something with them was horrifying. The nail lady did a great job and although the $30 worth of polish and pampering has worn off, I found that I haven't bitten my nails since that visit. I bought a nail file and have been caring for them like never before.  I can only surmise the reason I've been able to keep them growing is that my fingers are busy typing 10-hour days. And, I have zero stress in my life.  Love that.

TAKE AWAY: I can add "zero stress" to the 
list of reasons I love my current station in life. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Take Away 78 - Cheers

"The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up." ~ Mark Twain

Friday, February 17, 2012

Take Away 77 - Life's Curveballs

Yesterday was the last working day for a co-worker who was "bumped and rolled" out of her union job of many, many years. It was a difficult day for her and the company of people she served in her capacity.  Life has a way of throwing curve balls that we sometimes don't expect.  I am always amazed by other people's grace and how they handle such times. I felt a genuine heartache for her and long-time work friends. 

TAKE AWAY: Sheryl Crow's "Everyday is a Winding Road" is 
my theme song this week.

Change happens.  
It's how you handle it that matters.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Take Away 76 - Sleep Well

I didn't get enough sleep last week and it caught up with me. By Sunday, I was cranky and on the verge of a meltdown. I promised myself I was going to work well, eat well and sleep well this week.  I got to bed on time last night, woke up refreshed this morning. I'm gonna do it again today. 

TAKE AWAY: I'm a much better person 
when I take care of the basics. 

HALT: Don't get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Take Away 75 - Sweet Moments

I was having my nails done the other day and there was a little old lady who had just had her hair coiffed (love that word). A guy who came in to have his hair-dresser daughter cut his hair had just gotten out of his chair.  Here is the dialogue that made my day:

Guy to old lady:  "You look beautiful!"
Old lady:   "Well, thank you."
Guy:  "Are you single?"
Old lady: "No, I'm married.  Wait, he's dead. Yes, I'm single."
Guy: "Are you on Facebook?"
Guy's Daughter:  "Dad!!!!"
Guy to Daughter:  "Hey, I'm a lady's man!"

There wasn't a woman in the place who didn't tilt their head to the side and say "Ahhhhhh".  Next, the guy asked his daughter if he could go get her something for breakfast. She asked him what he would bring her, and he said the magic words every woman I know loves to hear, "Anything you want."

TAKE AWAY:  There are tender moments almost every day.
Sometimes I have to listen carefully for them, other times
I'm in the right place at the right time.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Take Away 74 - Planning Ahead

I made Valentine's Day cards for the grand kids about a month ago. I might actually get them in the mail today so they'll arrive by Tuesday.  They are nothing fancy but I sure had fun making them. I like to go to my favorite bank and get those little gold dollar coins to tape inside the cards. The kids are on to me now and I'm certain it'll be no surprise when they get the cards in the mail. I gotta change up my game.  Any ideas?

TAKE AWAY:  It's never too soon to 
make cards for the next event.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Take Away 73 - Carving Out Time

At someone's suggestion, I am on week 2 of preparing 4 days worth of lunches and stuffing them in the fridge so I can free up time to get on the treadmill in the morning. I'm not sure why I didn't think of this on my own except for the fact that I'll use just about any excuse to not get on it. Much to my surprise, this change in my handling of my lunches has gotten me back on track. I'm happy to report that salads stay fresh when I use a dry leafy lettuce mix. I also pack up  containers of grapes to stick in my lunch box. Easy peazy.

TAKE AWAY: I'm finding that at age 52+ there are 
still really good ideas I haven't heard and tried yet.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take Away 72 - Future Tripping

I've said it before but it bears repeating ... I am usually not a future tripper.  But, I gotta say that I am really stoked about my weekend trip to Seattle to see a good friend I haven't seen in far too many years. To add to it, the weather in Seattle, according to the forecast, is going to be sunny. I'm charging up my Kindle so I can listen to an audio book on the bus ride and I'm just really look forward to the entire experience. I've never taken a long bus ride, and I've never been over the pass in the winter time. In the meantime, I still have today and my thoughts remain focused on today and what I can bring to it and what I can take away from it. 
TAKE AWAY: I won't keep looking at the clock and wishing my day
away. I don't want to miss a minute of my life by wanting it 
to be tomorrow already.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Take Away 71 - Things You Learn Over Lunch

Still loving my temp job after 5 months. Among my very favorite parts is the 30 minutes of talk-time I get with my beautiful co-workers over lunch. We are mostly made up of seasoned women with a couple of youngsters among us. I have learned new recipes, taste tested more new products than I have in a life-time, heard funny and sad stories, and witnessed awesome workplace friendships formed through years of sitting next to one another day after day.  This experience is priceless. Yesterday I learned one of my co-workers has a condition called Keloids. She encouraged me to Google it, so I did. (And she said I could blog about it.) There are people who have this skin condition that perhaps don't know there is a treatment for it.  I love learning new things.  Thank you, ladies!

TAKE AWAY: Don't miss the opportunity to learn 
or experience something new.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Take Away 70 - Wrapping Up January 2012

Goodbye to another January. I'll see you again soon. It has been a long month but I survived. As difficult as winter months can be for me, I know the payoff is coming soon.  Last year about this time, we were seriously considering moving back to Arizona. A quick, crazy winter road trip in February to Phoenix (see The Death of An Idea) nipped that notion in the bud. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that Phoenix is sounding good right about now. 

I'm heading for a weekend getaway to Seattle this Friday to visit a friend. I checked the forecast and it's going to be sunny there!  Sunny in Seattle? Who needs Phoenix?

TAKE AWAY: Although I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl,
it's smart for me to make plans for January and February. 
I really need something to look forward to.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Take Away 69 - Weekends

I am a person who really likes to work.  That's no lie. I love the structure of a work day, the people I work with, and right now I'm loving the work I'm doing.  Having said all that, when I get up on Monday morning, I always wish I had just one more day off.  That always makes me laugh a little. The truth is when I'm working, I'm looking forward to time off. When I have too much time off, I'm looking forward to going back to work.  That's just me.

TAKE AWAY: I'm right where I'm supposed to me.
Happy Monday everybody!  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Take Away 68 - Overtime

I got to work 6 hours of overtime today. It was sweet! Those of us who chose to work decided to go in at 5:00 a.m to 11:00 a.m.  I was surprised by how productive I was with no background noise or distractions.  It helped knowing I was making enough to cover my r/t bus ticket to Seattle next weekend.  And, because I started so early today I still have lots of weekend left.  Overtime?  Sign me up, baby!

TAKE AWAY:  I have an idea for something I'd like to 
buy with any future overtime.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Take Away 67 - Write It Down

  • Don't you just love lists?
  • Do you make lists?
  • What kind of things do you put on your lists?
  • I've discovered my lists are different depending on the season of the year.
  • Right now, my lists are not very concrete.
  • Just ideas and musings and a little bit of "to do's".
  • In the summer, my lists are way more detailed and focused.
  • Hmmm
TAKE AWAY: I forget I have a little button on my blogger that 
allows me to make bullets.
I love lists with bullets! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Take Away 66 - Full Circles

Today I saw a photograph of a co-worker's daughter whom she has not yet held in her arms. She is in the process of adopting a 10 month old baby girl who was found abandoned in an apartment in China. I got goosebumps as I ventured over to her cubicle to sit down for a few minutes to hear about her. After 5 years of being on a waiting list, she found out yesterday that she and her husband will be traveling to China in about 8 to 10 weeks to get her. She was overwhelmed with happiness!  It was nice to be on this end of things. I was adopted some 50+ years ago. I went back to my desk and thought about my own parents and what it must have been like for them when they discovered my sister and I were available for adoption. 

TAKE AWAY: Life has a funny way of bringing me full circle. 
What a joy for me to witness! 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Take Away 65 - Appreciation

I had not been to the theater to see a *movie on the big screen for over a year, until today. I think the last movie we saw on the big screen was "Unstoppable" last year (Nov. 2011). It isn't that I don't love going to movies more than just about anything else. It's the time factor. I feel like there are so many other things to do that it's hard to give up a couple of hours to go sit in a chair. Having said that, I felt the excitement of sitting in the comfy theater chair today with the surround sound speakers turned up and the vivid colors on the screen. I'm not sure I would have appreciated it so much if it hadn't been so long since the last time.

TAKE AWAY: There are some things that just do it for me. 
I love going to the movies! 

* "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo". It is a dark, demented, well-acted movie in my humble opinion. It was hard to watch in some places. Not for the faint of heart. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Take Away 64 - Nothing to Take Away

We were released from work at noon today due to some horrendous winter driving conditions. I got up, got showered, went to work for 1/2 day and then home.  I truly can't think of one take away today.  Sad, isn't it? (shakes head and laughs) 

TAKE AWAY: Some days are just ho-hum. 
Thank goodness not all days are
like this. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Take Away 63 - Buddy Up

I buddied up with a work friend to get accountable for exercising. We started texting each other on Friday when we completed whatever exercise we are doing that day. Just the thing I really need! Up late out of bed this morning but still got 16 minutes on the treadmill.  I'll take it!!

TAKE AWAY: Being accountable works.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Take Away 62 - Bugaboos

"Bugaboo". It's a word that came to mind today while I was entering data. Every day I get a report from my supervisor with errors to correct from the previous day's entries. Every person has "bugaboos", which means there is a letter or number series that they type consistently incorrect. I know what mine are so I try my hardest to slow down when I'm typing those particular sets of keys. Still ... I make mistakes.

TAKE AWAY: My bugaboos are trhough (through), RWD (RWP), etc.

P.S.  Don't you just love the word BUGABOO?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Take Away 61 - Nobody Cares

We met some friends for karaoke last night after our road trip. Typically, I am not one to stand up in front of a room full of strangers, much less good friends, to show them what a bad singer I am. However, in the spirit of joining in the fun, I did it! Belting out the first song, I was so nervous and shaking like a leaf. The 2nd song was a very poor choice. By the third song, I was wondering if my future agent was in the room. Lots of laughter, a little dancing and something I can now cross off my bucket list. 

TAKE AWAY: Nobody cared that I am a bad singer. 
I was in super good company.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Take Away 60 - Road Trip 101

We headed out on a road trip this morning at 9:00 a.m.  Over the last 10 years with Gene, I've learned about the basics of getting out the door with all the things we need for a fun road trip. A steaming hot thermos of coffee is at the very top of the list. Sunglasses, check. Coat, check. Missy's leash, water dish and a treat, check. Today we visited the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Wenatchee and then found a real treasure of a thrift store (Philadelphia House) after we had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant recommended by 2 locals we met at Sally's.

TAKE AWAY: Never doubt the recommendation of locals.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Take Away 60 - Pleasant Surprises

I had a one-on-one lunch with a co-worker yesterday and from that conversation I'm working on a little blog post for my other blog,  It will be called "The Sweater".  It was a little awkward at first because I don't know this person well but within 10 minutes I asked the questions that got me right where I wanted to be. We laughed, I cried, and laughed and then I cried again when I went back to my work station. I need to write my blog post and run it past her before I post it up. (She did give me permission to blog about it.)  I want to make sure I convey correctly the things she told me. In exchange for 30 minutes of her time, I got so much in return. The post will be about love, loss, friendship, moving on, traveling, and who knows what else will reach the keyboard. 

TAKE AWAY: Don't be afraid to let someone know you just a little.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Take Away 59 - Ask the Questions

At work the other day, a co-worker was wearing a bulky, brown hand-knitted sweater.  I overheard her telling another co-worker the story of that sweater. I was moved to tears by the short version of "the sweater" and I have to know more about it.  I asked her if I could sit with her at lunch and ask more questions about the sweater and her life so I could blog about it.  She said yes!!  I am hoping to do that today and write about it on my other blog.  Everybody has a story. 
TAKE AWAY: Ask the questions and listen mindfully to the answers.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Take Away 58 - The Best Intentions

I get up in the morning with the best of intentions to do better than I did yesterday.  Today is no different.

TAKE AWAY: Never give up.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Take Away 57 - The Work Week

I've discovered while working four 10-hour days that I cannot really do anything during that four day stretch except work, sleep and eat. I started out knowing that and then tried to add a few after-work activities and it just messes up my sleep pattern. I must hit the hay by 8:00 p.m. as I am up at 3:30 a.m., although I don't have to leave my house until 6:10 a.m.  I love mornings and that's when I get stuff done.  Now .... off to the treadmill.

TAKE AWAY: Find a sweet spot in my schedule and stick with it.
My life goes to smooth when I get enough sleep, eat right and exercise. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Take Away 56 - Make Time and Space for Friends

One of my New Year's resolutions that I didn't add to my official list is to invite more people over to our house this year. My home is my castle and refuge but when we moved here I envisioned having friends over. I'm usually paralyzed by fear that my house is never clean enough or decorated well. I am no Martha Stewart. I suspect I am in good company regarding this fear. But I've decided to invite people over anyway. Today I have 2 friends coming over for lunch and visiting. Yesterday I had a friend over for coffee and fresh home-made cookies. She is just back from 8 weeks in Costa Rica and we spent nearly 3 hours talking about it. I hope she felt comfortable enough to come back.  The day before that a friend came over to teach me how to knit and I cooked her some brunch. Great fun!  That's how you do it.  Just do it.

TAKE AWAY:  Whatever it is you want to accomplish, sometimes you just 
have to push past the fear and do it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Take Away 55 - Attitude Adjustments

I spent some of my afternoon helping set up the New Year's dance. It's a lot of work and there were a lot of people helping who were there way longer than I was. Truth is, I'm feeling my age. When I got home from decorating, I took a 30 minute nap and woke up not wanting to go back out to the dance. I really just wanted to go back to bed. Wait for it ..... HERE COMES THE CHANGE IN ATTITUDE: It just so happens the movie "Saturday Night Fever" was on TV. Who can sit in their chair when John Travolta is dancing to the Bee Gee's? And that's exactly how it happened. My mood changed in a split second, I got dressed, slapped on some make-up and my favorite dancing boots and decided to go dancing with my handsome husband.  We hardly sat down for 3 hours!

TAKE AWAY: My attitude can change if I allow it to.