Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crunch Time

Sorry I have been MIA from my blog. Things are getting harried and heavy in my Research Design class. I have a group meeting tomorrow night and I'm working on the first half of 10 literature review summaries. I've been fighting the cold at the same time, and working my full time job. No time for creative thoughts right now. Must push on... More later! Wish me safe driving in the A.M. on my new 40 minute commute zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scratchy Throat, Positive Outlook

I'm getting a cold. I can feel it inflaming my throat and coating it with phlegm. Tasty... There's nothing like stress to make you vulnerable to little microscopic nasties. How to fight it?

Sleep? Vitamins? Juice? Hot tea? Short of fattening myself up and then hibernating for the winter in a lovely, dark cave to sleep through the symptoms of this cold, I think there isn't much to do but let the bug run its course. Stinkerroo!

On the plus side, I did manage to find a full time temporary opportunity as a receptionist with an area township. I wanted to be honest with any potential employer to let them know I would only be available a few months before I have to student teach and they were OK with that. I heard about this job through my husband who heard about it through a mutual friend (thanks Jay), I submitted my resume that same day and got a call back to go to an interview the next day (yesterday) and today I got a call with a job offer! Yay! I am thankful for the Lord's provision.

My cat Hobbes is snuggled up on my chest between my arms as I recline on the couch with my legs on the coffee table and type on my laptop which rests on my thighs. I'm wearing my teal terry cloth bathrobe and this cat loves to snuggle with me when I'm wearing it. I wish I could take and post a picture of how we look here together. My typing on my laptop, jostling him a bit as I type and him not caring. He is such a love able sweetheart.

Last night I visited a bit with my friend Christi after class. I bought a WaWa sub on my way to her house and she showed me what she's been doing to redecorate her apartment in her spare time as I inhaled said sub while sitting rapt with attention (between bites) on her couch. Then we went out for ice cream at a place called Handel's in Wayne, PA. I had a single dip delectable delicacy they called "Chocolate Cake Batter" ice cream in a waffle cone with chocolate sprinkles. Amazing treat that icecream cone. Diggity Dang!

Well, I'd best be about my bidness. Shoot me a comment when you get a chance and let me know how your part of the world fares. Mine is faring just about average. X's and O's, -Orion

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Trouble Concentrating

I'm being distracted by Daytime TV, specifically Jerry Springer and The Maury Show. I know. I know. Trash TV! Due to lack of discipline and my aversion to reading up on academic research I've got the TV on and find myself diverted from my best laid plans of doing homework.

My eyeballs automatically glaze over when I go to read an academic article. The authors take 200 words to say what they could in 20. I start to read a sentence and by the end of it, I can't understand what it means. Oi Vay! Digesting academic jargon takes time; time that I can never get back...

Sometimes I think authors compete to see how complicated they can make their papers. The more complexly worded it is, the more "academic" the article. I have to keep my eye on the prize and just think that this will be over in just over two months. Argh. Other people have survived this class...and I will too. I will never be an academic writer and probably will never pursue a doctoral degree...but I can make it through this class. I think I can...I think I can...I think I can....


Maybe I'll take a trip to the local farmer's market and get some juicy apples...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Yowser! Stress...and Commentary

I'm feeling a little blue so I'm going to be all over the place with this post. Try and stick with me.

This is a picture of me looking at the giant aquarium exhibit with all the sharks and big fish, on vacation in NC. It seemed to fit.

I have the canker sore that ate Manhattan swelling in the inside of my lower lip. It started the second to last day of vacation and it's growing to monstrous proportions... Several things are conspiring to form the "perfect storm" of stress in my life. There is a growing sense of being overwhelmed right now...to use a beach analogy, I'm feel like I'm being rolled by a big wave and pummeled by the surf. Going on vacation after the fall semester started was a bad idea.

I had a very vivid nightmare early this morning about my Research Design class. I was presenting a project that I was totally unprepared to present and I had no idea what I was supposed to talk about and everything was disorganized and unfamiliar and everyone was looking at me with disdain and the professor was completely disappointed in me and gave me a really bad grade and wouldn't let me make it up. There were scissors, scotch tape and poster board involved, and it was horrible.

At some unknown and black hour of the night, Hobbes (our tiger cat) woke us up before the butt crack of dawn to play fetch and to be petted (he missed us a lot). In between settling him down I went in and out of the aforementioned nightmare and another new one about wandering around in a supermarket, without a list, while the lights kept going out and people almost started looting the place and threatening violence and I couldn't find my mom. Yup. I'm officially losing control.

I think I'm really starting to realize just how crazy my life has become. I know that everything is relative, but I really am stressed out of my mind. The causes? A non-relaxing vacation, lack of sleep, constipation, sun burn, period, hormones, weight loss woes, household chores, poor diet, course load and lack of understanding for what I should be doing, being buried in homework for said class, and missing my family in western NY. Did I mention that hormones suck?

I focus on the fact that this has happened before, and that this too shall pass. I also focus on not directing my angst towards my husband. Nobody likes to be the dog that gets kicked. At least maturity has guided my actions to this point and I have been able to decide to not pick at Jeff in a sorry attempt to gain some control of my life. I was able to focus my thoughts on a walk yesterday and then able to talk things through with a friend. Instead of attacking my husband, I'll focus on my schedule, and on my syllabus, and on exercising and cleaning. Those things always help. :)

Speaking of husbands...I'm watching a husband and wife get hitched on TV on GMA today. Tom and Annette are getting married in front of Niagara Falls. She walked down the aisle without her daddy. I wonder what the story is there. It's a super short ceremony, with stupid, shallow vows, easily broken, no depth. It's ridiculous...and scripted for TV.

Our cats are on patrol in the living room, poking around, searching for bugs, and I think for each other. It's always fireworks when they find one another. :) Perhaps I should adopt a philosophy of simplicity like my cats...but if I did that, I wouldn't ever graduate with my degree. Sigh.

Are there any storms in your life right now?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Vacation Journal

Drive down to Stoney Creek, VA (just south of Richmond) and stay at the Sleep Inn.
Likes: King size bed, free WiFi access, snuggling with husband and relaxing, knowing we have a week to be together on vacation.
Dislikes: knowing we only have a week of vacation before it's back to the daily grind and anticipating needing an additional week to really relax.

Waffles for breakfast at the Sleep Inn in Stoney Creek, VA. Yum!
Weather: Rainy and windy (driving through the aftermath of tropical storm Hannah)Occurrences: check in, have discussion with the lady who has taken over the other three units in our vacation rental for a Tuesday wedding and family get together. She is unhappy with the parking situation. She is upset we have two cars and she wants to park six. We think she’s the mother of the bride or something. The free WiFi access we are supposed to have at the house is non-existent and both beds in our unit are sway-backed and uncomfortable to sleep on. We stock up on food for the evening meal and for breakfast.

Weather: Sunny and humid.
Occurrences: I get my period. We attend a local Baptist church. We eat lunch at Ruby Tuesday’s and go to Super Wal-Mart for supplies. I find free WiFi at two local coffee shops. I email my homework to my professor but am unable to access my University’s website and therefore Blackboard and my class forum. I continue to work on my paper for Wed.

We get up early and head to The Point (tip of the island) to go beachcombing while Jeff and Ian body board. I avoid a sun burn and stay on a regular regimen of Ibuprofen. Good times. We hang out with the Beams at their place for Monday night football. I get to see Caleb. He’s 18 months now and his favorite word is “Wow!” Steph is preggers with Caleb’s little brother Jake. Caleb has a cold and coughs a lot after drinking lemonade. Caleb’s coughing leads to vomiting and to his credit, Ian catches most of it in his cupped hands while Steph gets the rest. Ah parenting! I get to know Marcy, Ian’s brother’s girlfriend a bit better. I edit my paper some more.

First half of the day…went to the coffee shop…so cute…bought some Decaf Black Vanilla Tea (for Mom and I to try later) and a bag of freshly ground coffee, and a small Café Mocha and I settled in to finish posting my paper and check my email. I took two power dumps in the café toilet because I had my period and I had caffeine in my system. It wasn’t exactly pleasant at the time. The internet cut out and I had to lurk outside the other coffee place in the plaza (which was closed) to finish posting the paper. I went home, collected my mother-in-law (our neighbors were headed out to their Wedding celebration) and we went shopping in that same set of shops. It was fun. I bought a gift for Aaron and Michelle as a “Thank You” for watching our kitties and house.

Second half of the day…trip to New Bern. Visited an art gallery, walked around, visited a store where I talked on a cell phone and took pictures. I shouldn’t have done either, and I didn’t know until I was asked to stop taking pictures. When we left the store I glanced back and saw a sign that asked people not to talk on their cell phones in the store. Oops!Evening…we watched Ratatouille and drank tea or HC.

It was supposed to rain today so our trip to Bear Island got put off another day. I had two or three cups of coffee this morning, brewed from our beach house coffee maker. Jeff dropped me off to visit with Steph, and picked up Ian and went surfing at The Point. I hung with the Beam gang at the house while Caleb napped. Steph fed me a yummy blueberry bagel with cream cheese and I made more coffee at her house (drank 2 cups).

Mom and Dad Schoon went off on their own after an early walk to the pier.This afternoon I finished my book Rachel lent me (The Art of Racing in the Rain) while Mom and Dad went off again on their own while Jeff was shooting. I decided I wanted to walk down to the Beam’s cottage. I took water and my celly in a backpack and told Steph I was coming and Jeff I was going. Stepher drove me back home. I walked about seven miles along the beach in a light drizzle. It was invigorating.

Jeff and Dad are grilling sausage and salmon for dinner while Mom is making broccoli and her potatoes. So yummy! It’s going to be a Delish Dinner! I think we’ll try to go to Bear Island tomorrow morning.

We had a fabulous trip to Bear Island. I was badly sunburned around my upper legs (basically everywhere not covered by my bathing suit bottom) and the backs of my legs. I went shelling without putting sunscreen on my lower extremities and I have paid the price by sunburning my padonkedonk. If it wasn’t so painful, it would have been very funny. We walked about five miles today.

After Bear Island we had freshly made waffle cones at the local Dairy Queen. Yum!We had dinner at The Spouter restaurant in Beaufort, NC with my in-laws and a couple of friends that were down for the week. Jeff and I traded steaks when mine came to me rare and his was medium-well.

We bought some Aloe Vera spray at the local Food Lion for my flaming ass. It’s our last full day in sandy paradise.
We all went to the NC Aquarium and went antiquing during the day. We take a walk on the beach by the light of the moon on our last night here. It is beautiful and I am sad to leave tomorrow despite the fact that our mattress sucks.

Mom and Dad head for home in their car. Jeff and Ian play in a volleyball tournament. Stephanie and I head for Goldsboro, NC after a brief stop for coffee at Beans and Screens Internet Café. Steph spills hot coffee on her leg but recovers quickly. We have a nice day of shopping. Caleb gets kissed by a little girl at a second hand store. Jeff and Ian struggle to get two pizzas for our dinner at a local Papa John’s from a group of unmotivated teens.The king sized bed in Jeff and my room is awesome!

We drive home and avoid being involved in a tractor trailer accident with three other cars. We just had to sit through the traffic delay. I unload the car and do laundry. Nuff said!


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back from Vacation

Our trip to the NC Aquarium in Emerald Isle, NC
Shopping in New Bern, NC the birthplace of Pepsi Cola....

A view up the beach from our rental just before sunset...

Well, I'm back from vacation, wading throught piles of laundry, making a grocery list and trying to get caught up on homework. I thought I would post some pictures so you may get a look at what it was like to vacation in NC.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"View" Poo

Being unemployed has its perks. For one thing, I get to watch all kinds of quality TV programming I normally miss when I'm busy earning the big bucks. I caught a segment of "The View" today. Dem bitches don't let each other get a breath in edgewise.

In this testy, tension filled political climate, poor, in-the-minority, diehard conservative Republican, Elisabeth Hasselbeck hardly gets a word out before she's got three rabid Democrats at her throat, barking to cut her off and assert their perspectives.

It's hard to be in the minority sometimes. There are so many other voices speaking, drowning out your small voice that strains to say, "What the Hades?! I have an opinion too, you know." Expletives aside...Some people can't take programs like "The View" where everyone is yelling at once. I love that stuff! My only complaint is that there aren't enough hours in the day to hear what everyone really has to say. That and the fact that often times, the minority voice, no matter what perspective is being shared (either Dem or Rep) is usually squashed by that of the majority.

I think there are good points to be made on both sides of an issue. It's too bad that we all can't agree on a moral code of conduct during these debates. Sure things might be a little bit more boring to watch, and not as many topics would be covered, but we'd all have a say. It's a little known value of depth over breadth. "Deep" just doesn't make for exciting TV. I don't think most people have an attention span for it either.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Follow up to my last post. I tried them and they were superb!

See the tarts below from my last post. They were delectably delicious! The Raspberry Tart was creamy, fruity and devilishly delish. The Turtle Temptation (my words) was out of this world, caramelly and chocolaty goodness. For me...chocolate always trumps fruit...so I'm going to have to go with the Turtle Temptation recommendation for my neighbor.

Uh...MAY...zing! (yes I know how to spell "amazing").

Monday, September 1, 2008

Yup...You Can Officially Be Jealous

Do you have neighbors bringing you gourmet desserts at 9:30 pm at night? I do.

It's OK. You can drool...just a little bit. My neighbor and her husband brought them over for Jeff and I to sample. She wants our opinion. They are from a test batch...Raspberry or Turtle Tarts? Which ones should she make to take to work? I tell her I'll be her guinea pig anytime. We exchange pleasantries. I let their little doggie Toby lick my hand and say "Hello." We say goodnight. I just brushed my teeth or I'd be into them tonight. Good grief. My diet is being waylayed by gourmet cooking. Diggity Dang....Thank you Lord!

I take pictures and post them to the web to share with you! Good night!