Friday, November 1, 2013

Quick Take #18

Number 18: It's November already!?!

1. I'm alive.
I know this is getting to be a familiar theme around here, ha, but I haven't been on Facebook in over a month, so I think a phrase like this is more pressing than usual. I know a few people have been worried about me, but I have friends who know I'm OK and are able to let others know. For those of you who weren't in the know or were wondering where I am, I'm really OK :) I have a post in the works about why I stopped at first, and then why I continue to stay away, but I need to finish it and of course, post it. We'll see if that ever happens, ha.

2. A few quick updates within a quick take:

  • Chris is still unemployed. It hasn't been two months yet, so I'm trying to be positive. It can be worse; it HAS been worse. First layoff: 16+ months. Second layoff: 5 or 6 months. The only difference is that I'm not working full time, so thankfully our savings is helping a lot.
  • I ran the 5K! I wasn't last! I ran it in 46:15, which was faster than any training I'd done. Chris finished in about 39 minutes. We were pleased at how we did!
  • My library school application materials are complete and have been sent to school; now I wait to be accepted. Hurry, acceptance letter!
  • I've officially lost 50 pounds since I started my weight loss trek about a year ago. I'm thinking about 30 more pounds would be great, which would be the weight I was when I met Chris. Right now I think I'm smaller than I was when we got married, and probably smaller than I was when we got engaged. I should pull out my wedding dress to see if it's too big...haha.

3. Do you know what a standardized patient is?
It's a person who is playing a patient for medical students. They aren't really sick or injured, they are almost acting it out for the purposes of training and teaching. A local medical school is looking for people to fill these roles, and I was thinking about applying. I go to the doctor enough, so I think I've got a pretty good handle on what goes on. It's $18 an hour if you're selected, which is almost double what I make at the library. It would be sporadic work, days here and there, but it'd be nice to have some extra income. I had been thinking about getting another job, since the library is feast or famine: some weeks I only work two days, others I'm working over 30 hours! However, it might be difficult to juggle full time school with more than one job. A job that I could do 'here & there' would be great!

4. I can't believe it's November!
A true sign I am getting old: I marvel at what month we're currently in. Haha. Thanksgiving was four weeks from yesterday. My godson will be turning EIGHTEEN the day before Thanksgiving. What!? Now I really am getting old...sigh. For Thanksgiving, Chris and I will be going to my parents' house, where my brother and Chris' dad and grandmother will join us. Maybe his brother? My brother-in-law lives in the Boston area and has a girlfriend with family in the area, so maybe they'll be with her family. Who knows. It'll be a small, quiet day. I miss the holidays when I was younger, with my mom's boisterous, bigger family, but that's life...

5. Thanksgiving and Easter are my favorite holidays.
True story. Thanksgiving because it's about the food and family and friends and just enjoying the day. No church to run to, trying to plan out when to cook and eat around Mass/Divine Liturgy schedules. No presents-nonsense. That sounds awful, but I don't mean it in a God-less way. I know of people who do attend church on the holiday, and that's great if it's your thing. It's not ours, nor has it ever been. I'll talk about why I love Easter when it gets closer to that time. Another reason why I love Thanksgiving: we don't host it! We've hosted every Christmas since we've lived here, and we've done two Easters, I think? It's nice to NOT have to prep and cook and clean for a major holiday. Just make a dish or two, get dressed, and drive to someone's house!

6. Speaking of living here...
As of October 26, we've owned this house for four years. October 28 was our four-year anniversary of actually living here. Some days it feels as if we've been here longer, and some days, I think "we just moved in last year." False. Our house has had more done to it in the past four years than the previous owners did in the 7? 8? years they lived here. And it was new construction! When we moved in, everything was white and bare. Inside and out. Now there's color and life and's more of a home than it ever was. But everyone was right: there's always something to be done. Even when you think you're done with one project, you look at something else and think "that needs to be taken care of next/before it gets worse/in the spring/when we have saved enough." That is, if you're into home projects or care about changing things. Some people might have looked at what the house was like when we moved in and thought it was fine.

7. I almost forgot!
In my last Quick Takes, I mentioned that our sixth anniversary was approaching at the end of September. Chris and I had talked about going away, as we have only been away twice since our honeymoon: we took a long weekend trip to Philadelphia for our first anniversary, and over the summer, we went to my aunt's on Cape Cod for the weekend. Then the layoff happened, but Chris took the bull by the horns and arranged a little getaway for the two of us, after checking with me to see if I felt like our finances could handle it. (I do the majority of our money/bills stuff) I said "Why not??? Life is too short, let's do it." It's not like we were going away to some posh resort with airfare and all of that. All I knew is that we were going to the Berkshires (mountains in Massachusetts), which is just under 2 hours from our house. This was very much unlike me not to know what we were doing, where were going. I usually need ALL THE DETAILS. All I asked Chris was to let me know what types of clothing I'd need. We spent three nights at a cute hotel and spent the days fishing, antiquing, visiting some local sites, and just having a great, low stress time. It was badly needed.

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick Takes #17 (Updates)

Number 17: Some Updates

1. Chris lost his job. I guess that would be the biggest update here. We'd known it was coming for awhile (another program being closed because of budget issues), but we didn't know exactly when it would happen until last Tuesday (day after Labor Day). His last day was that Friday, September 6. 

2. He is interviewing--a lot. The same day Chris found out about his last day, he was contacted for an interview at a similar type of company (albeit bigger and more secure), for two different positions, both with more responsibility and a higher salary. The first interview went extremely well, and he was invited back for a second interview with some of the "higher-ups," which occurred yesterday. Please keep him in your prayers, and maybe this will be a quick, painless transition. One thing that boosted his spirits: the guy he met with in his first interview told him that Chris already had some of the upper level experience that he'd get in these two jobs, and was obviously not being compensated for it. He'd already been on several interviews since he found out about his program's closure; proactive is good!

3. I'm back to being the breadwinner. Yes, at least for the near future, with a part time job...right. Oddly enough, I'm not as stressed or worried as I was in the past. Upset? Sad? Depressed? OH YES. I'd been in a horrible funk for the past month or so, but I think it was knowing the inevitable was coming, just not WHEN it would happen. After I had a date, it was as if life could then move on, and I've been in a much better mood. Not going to lie: I had been trying to wean myself off of the antidepressant I'd been on for years because I felt I was doing really well, especially with being out of my previously awful job, but I couldn't shake how I was feeling, so after waiting, exercising more, eating better, and talking with my doctors, I ended up increasing it a little bit. I feel a lot better, even though I have a love-hate relationship with this medication.

4. School is over! For now, at least. I've taken too many credits as a non-matriculated student, so I really need to hustle and get accepted. First I must take the GRE (scheduled for the end of this month!), get 2 letters of recommendation (one is being written, the other I have to write FOR the person...okayyy), write a personal statement (not done), and send the school my resume (I'll print that out when I'm ready to send in the other materials). My hope is that I'll be accepted soon and can start full time in the spring. I miss taking classes, but I do not miss the awful summer class I had. It will be good to have more structured busy-ness, which I think I really need.

5. I'm planning on running a 5K in October. Yes, me. I'm training for it now, and it's hard. Here's a confession though: I'm starting to LIKE running. In the past month, I've lost 10 more pounds, and I'm guessing it's from the extra cardio I've been doing? My time for the mile has decreased, but I'm still around 14:30, and I need to work on distance now, too.

6. Good health news for me. About a month ago, I was able to go off of my blood pressure medication!!!!!!! My nurse practitioner feels that I'm healthy enough to stop it, as long as I submit blood pressure readings to her every few weeks. (Yes, I'm the old person with the monitor in her bathroom, who takes it a few times a day.) She also thinks that I'm OK to get pregnant, as long as my midwife agrees. Of course, I found this news out while we were in limbo about Chris' job, so reluctantly we need to put our family plans on hold. Again. I worry a bit that we're playing with time to much, but my charting looks good, like my body is working the way it should.

7. SIX YEARS. Our sixth anniversary is at the end of the month. While we haven't been newlyweds in a long time, haha, things between us have improved a lot in the past year, so sometimes, it's like we're newlyweds all over again. I mean that in the "we're enjoying life and doing things and having fun" way, not in other ways. Even with my job loss in November and Chris' recently job loss, we're in much better places mentally, spiritually, and physically, than we were in 2007.

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Friday, August 16, 2013

And then there were ten...

Sometimes I go to church and want to cry. Yes, cry for my little church. It's a wonderful place, and I feel like it's slowly dying.

Today (August 15th, that is, this post is being written close to the midnight hour) is the Feast of the Dormition, or Assumption, for you Romans. Every holy day, I approach church with a bit of fear and sadness...hoping that I'll be wrong, that there will be more people, and then sadly realizing that I was right. No one comes.

We only had ten people at Divine Liturgy this evening. Yes, ten. 10.

The priest
The boy altar server
Boy's father and one of his sisters
The cantor
90 year old woman who still drives herself, God Bless her
A couple in their 70s
A recently widowed 70 something man

Oh yeah, and me. *waves* Chris was working until 7, which was the exact same time that DL started. There is no way he would make it, but Father excused him on Sunday.

I raced up to the city where our church is after I got out of work at 6. A patron had a question for me as I was trying to leave, so I didn't get into the car until 6:10. I made it to [city] with minutes to spare. I brought flowers from our garden for our Theotokos. No one else did. (Yes, they sat in my car all day. I cracked the windows, made sure they had plenty of water, and parked in the shade. It was a beautiful day and not too hot, which helped. They did well, see?)

I now have a smart phone. With a camera.

I also channeled Priest's Wife--last night, I assembled our dinner in the crock pot, and got that going before I left the house this morning, before 8:30. I cooked extra rice and steamed vegetables last night so that we didn't have to worry about those tonight. Just heat up a plate, and add the crock pot chicken on top.

I didn't get home until well after 9 pm, thanks to the state of CT deciding to do all road improvements during the summer at night. The usual 40 minute ride home from church took another 20 minutes. I had a very full day and I still managed to "do it all" or do most of it all ;-)

I don't understand why me, the one who grew up Roman, who lives ~45 minutes away and worked 9 hours before driving to DL, still made it to church, by herself, and so many other people can't or won't. That's why I feel like crying, that I put in so much and get so little out of it. And yes, I know it's not about me. It's about God and all of that. And I feel like I'm good with that stuff. But if our church dies, because of low numbers, then that's not going to help anyone's relationship with God, and how we serve Him as we worship. Indirectly, it's a mutually beneficial relationship.

Also making me sad: the lack of community aspect in our parish. That the only other young people (around our ages) do not engage with Chris or me. I have a few theories as to why, and I hesitate to say what they are at the risk of being called paranoid. Chris and I go back and forth about this: he thinks that a parish shouldn't be for socialization, but as a woman, I think my viewpoint is skewed because most women crave community, belonging, fellowship, sisterhood, whatever you want to call it. It shouldn't be wrong to want that from where you worship, from the place/events that shape your life. In a perfect world, I'd have a church community not so far away from my home, that I might run into people from church at the grocery store, at the library, at the garden center...and get to know them a little better, more organically than a few minutes as we're walking out of the church door to our cars each week.


Speaking of Priest's Wife, she is looking for suggestions on how our little Eastern Catholic parishes can survive and thrive. If you have something to add, she's all ears. (Or would it be eyes since this is print?)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


(Yes, this is a link-up-free post!)

This is becoming a theme with me. I don't blog for months, then come back and write a post about how I've been so busy and how I have all of these ideas for blogging, but I don't commit them to "screen."

I'm not that busy. At least I don't think so, when I look back at how busy I've been in the past and all I've managed to accomplish during those times.

My life right now:
  • part-time job, with a short drive
  • one graduate-level class
  • applying to master's program
  • house stuff
  • the gym and other appointments 
  • being mentally and physically present for my husband
My life in the past:
  • full-time job (and then some) with a long commute
  • occasionally took some graduate-level classes
  • house stuff
  • other appointments
What's different? Besides the "applying to master's program," that is.

Oh yeah, taking care of myself (gym) and being mentally and physically present for my husband. Not that Chris is disabled or in need of serious help, but when you're married you're supposed to be there for your spouse. Support them, help them with things that they need, talk to them, you know, those sorts of things. In the past, I was so "busy" with everything else, I didn't take care of myself and I wasn't "there" for my husband. Yes, I was home at night and on the weekends, but I was so absorbed with...nothing.

My old job made me so distracted and irritable that I wasn't a good wife. I wasn't a good person. I put things off--both with relationships and tasks--that when they'd pile up, I'd flip out and get even more irritable.

So while I'm not as busy in a traditional sense, my life has become a different kind of busy. That is okay. It works for us, and it's drastically improved conditions in our home. Do we miss the second income (and it was a lot more than Chris has ever made)? Yes, especially as Chris' current job will be ending soon. Do we miss the old Jen? NO. No one does. Even people who don't know me that well have commented on how I've changed.

I do plan on writing more on this topic. One potential post that's rolling around in my head is: how losing my job saved my marriage. That post might come in a few days, or a few months. Or maybe never, since I sort of touched upon it here. Right now, I've got to go prep my husband's clothes for his interview this afternoon. I don't do this because I "have" to, or because it's my "duty," I do it because I want to help him, and I'm off from work today. If I was at work, he'd be on his own, and that's OK. Besides, while I've struggled through my summer class, Chris has pulled me away from house chores and told me to go finish my reading. He's made me dinner and reminded me to eat while I've been in the midst of writing short papers, stressing about doing it wrong. No one told him he needed to pitch in with chores or feed me. He did it because he wanted to. He knows that me furthering my education is an investment in our FAMILY's future. Just like me helping him prep for an interview is also an investment in our FAMILY's future.

Now, to my readers: I hope everyone is having a great summer! With Google Reader's demise, it's been hard to keep up with your blogs, but I do think about you all and hope all is well. :)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quick Takes #16 (Sweet!)

Number 16: No Comments Make Me Sad

OK. I know I haven't blogged in a few months (almost three) but I was bummed that the last few posts I did write before my hiatus didn't generate ANY comments. I don't know who reads this anymore, but I'm not trying to guilt trip anyone. I'm just being honest. Readers (all two of you, ha), I like you. I like comments, if you want to leave me some. I'm so excited that the 7QTs haven't closed yet. Even though it's no longer Friday (more like it's barely still Sunday), I am posting. If no one reads this, oh well. I tried! Here are a few things that have been going on in the past three months...

1. Chris "disappeared" the other night. Don't worry, he's OK, but I almost wasn't. He went fishing one afternoon after work. He left me a note. I knew where he was. However, when it got DARK at NINE PM and he WAS NOT HOME, I got a little worried. I called his cell phone and it went straight to voice mail, which means that it was OFF. I worried more. I didn't know what to do, he wasn't close to home (about 45 minutes away) and he was alone. His dad was going to come get me so we could go look for him, when the fisherman decided to return. It was TEN O'CLOCK. I was in tears. He was sheepish, and realized how much his wife really DOES love him. Needless to say, the cell phone has been charged and on constantly since that episode.

2. About a month ago, I had MRSA. And my first mammogram. Yes, the two are related, and I'll let you guess how. I'm relieved that I didn't have cancer; my nurse practitioner didn't think it was, but she just wanted to rule it out, hence the mammogram. That was an interesting experience, but I'm glad I've done it now. I'm not sure how I got MRSA and  I was glad that I didn't have to be admitted to the hospital or go on any crazy drugs. Just a little antibiotic pill for a week. I'm OK now...

3. Except I have a staph infection. In almost the same spot. Seriously. I'm not happy. I feel fine, it was just an itchy spot that my paranoia made me think was the MRSA coming back, so I went back to see my NP. I know we all have staph on our bodies (and lots of other germs), so we will be discussing what the heck is going on. I think I know what it is...

4. I blame weight loss. In my chest. Not to be too graphic, but I am well-endowed in that area, and I used to be even MORE well-endowed. Over the past year or so, I lost about 40 pounds and some of it came from that place. Now most of my bras are too big, and I think there has been some irritation...and I'll stop there. Have no fear, new bras are on the shopping agenda.

5. Speaking of shopping, we just spent a LOT of money (and I mean, like almost as much as Chris brings home every two weeks) on new interview clothes for Chris, since his old ones were many many sizes too big. His facility is closing soon, so he will be jobless too. Again. We're not worried this time, or not as much as we have been in the past. I mean, what can we do?? He's been applying to jobs and has had an interview already! For a higher level position, too, which is awesome. So why not buy some new bras while we still have his income coming in? PRIORITIES, people. I promise I will not spend nearly as much on bras as we did for his clothes.

6. I like my job, it's going well. I miss having a regular schedule, because some weeks I only work two days or parts of those days, and some weeks I work almost every day. It's hard to get organized, and sometimes the house is a mess because I think I have another day off to do chores, and then it's 8:30 at night and I realize, "OH NO! I have to work tomorrow!!!! ALL DAY!" How did I do this for so many years and manage not to lose my sanity? Oh wait...  Being unemployed for the first time, well, ever, and now working part time has totally changed my behavior. I'm even more lazy than I ever thought. I'm also taking a class towards my masters and I still need to apply to school before it's too late (aka, I can't take more than 9 credits as a nonmatriculated student). After that, I'll have to sit out until I get accepted. So I need to hurry. This class has a lot of work, moreso than any other grad class I've taken. And it's online, so the ability to procrastinate is even greater...

7. Last, but certainly not least, I met Trista this week (from Not a Minx)! She actually inspired me in writing this post, since she mentioned me in hers and then I thought "Great, all of these people are going to click through to my blog and see that my last post was in APRIL and think I'm lame." It was lovely to meet her in person after knowing her through blogging and the #CathSorority media. She doesn't live too far from me, which is exciting, as most of the people I know via blogging live time zones away from me. Trista and her husband live IN THE SAME COUNTY.

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why I'm not broadcasting things on Facebook anymore

So, I got a job!

I am working part time as a library assistant at the circulation desk at a local public library; I started this week. I actually can't even tell you when I got it, because there was such a weird process surrounding the job offer. Well, not really: first I didn't get the job (although I was told it was very close), then I received a phone call from the library a few days later. Something had changed--someone who had been on leave for awhile had decided not to return, thus there was another opening. They couldn't just  offer it; the public sector works much differently than the private one (and sometimes better), but this meant that they had to check with human resources about whether or not the job could be offered to me, OR if it had to be posted for the public. After a few days of phone calls from the library, I was officially offered the job (and accepted) and scheduled to start my training.

Back to the title of this post: Why I'm not broadcasting things on Facebook anymore.

When I got the job, I didn't want to say anything publicly. First: I would be working IN THE PUBLIC EYE. I didn't want any surprise visitors at work. I can't hide in a cubicle; I'm right there at the main circulation desk in the middle of a public building. Second: there are some unresolved issues with my former job, and I didn't want anyone on my "friends" list to report back. Might be paranoid, might be smart; whatever it is, I need to be safe. Third: if I say anything that's quasi-complaining about work, I don't want anyone to know who might rat me out. I've had that happen years ago, not with Facebook, but a message board. I need to keep things quiet.

I've been hinting on Facebook at the fact that I'm working again, and this morning, a very good friend  mentioned that she must have missed the memo.  I hadn't had many chances to tell all of my friends yet, especially with Easter craziness thrown into the mix. Plus, I'm not one to brag about things, and honestly, a part time job isn't really something to get THAT excited about. At least in my mind.

Then I realized that there was a another reason why I didn't say anything: I don't want people who haven't cared, who haven't reached out to me since I lost my job, to suddenly care about me and be all excited or happy for me. Where were you for the past four months? Maybe people were embarassed that they were still working when I wasn't, maybe they didn't know what to say, maybe we were just work friends...but still: their silence hurt and left me feeling very abandoned. Especially those people with whom I had worked for several years.

Of course, I will reach out to my friend and let her know what's up. She's been a good friend for a long time, and most of the important people in my life know the news by now. This unemployment experience shed light on who really matters in life and who will stick around; I don't want false friends or fake congratulations or a lazy "like" as people scroll through their feed. I'll still share small victories, especially with my weight loss progress, and I'll welcome those likes and comments. Big life events? Oh no, sorry. If you're not someone who will stick by me, you don't get to know everything.

[I've thought ahead to the future, to the someday news of a pregnancy. Nope, not going to do it, no matter HOW excited and happy I am. I've toyed with a few ideas, like waiting until after the child is born and posting a picture with the caption of "look what I did today." That would be so hilarous! Or, just posting some sort of "Dear Baby" comment, such as "Dear Baby, can you please stop making me puke all day? Love Mom," and then let the people guess!]

Friday, March 22, 2013

Quick Takes #15

Number 15: This week was messed up and random.

1. No job...then maybe job? 
I found out that I didn't get the job at library one on Wednesday, but it was the nicest rejection I'd ever received, and I was really OK with the fact that I didn't get the job. And then, this morning, the library called again. To see if I was still interested, things had changed. It's not official yet, I have to wait for them to get their ducks in a row, but they will be calling on Monday. I'm so glad I reached out to the woman after she called and left the "we liked you but NO" voicemail. I emailed her thanking her again, hoping our paths would cross in the future. I never expected it to be two days later!

2. "I wish I had called you sooner!"
That's what I said at the volunteer gig, when I started yesterday. It was great to get back out and be working around people and doing something positive for others. They need a lot of help, just with the sorting and organizing of books. I really wanted to go back over today, but I have things to do here. I hope the kids like the books that I picked out for them. 

3. The Incredible Shrinking Woman
Ha, I wish. Getting there, maybe. Today at my weigh in I wasn't down much, but we measured me for the first time in 6 weeks. I've lost another 2 inches from my waist and 2 inches from my hips, which leads me to my next thought: I need new workout clothes. What I have now is so sloppy and old. However, I'm falling all over the place on the size charts--ranging three sizes and both the regular women's department and the plus sized department. And people wonder why women hate clothes shopping...

4. A long way to go...
Chris and I had applied for life insurance a few months ago. I heard from our agent last Friday about the status of our applications. Chris' is almost finished; the company is ready to finalize their quote. Mine is another story. When we started the process, our broker told us the lowest price the policies would be per year, but warned that the insurance company reserved the right to raise them if they didn't like something about our health history. Because of my weight, I'm being quoted the most expensive rates, and they haven't even looked at my medical records yet. I can lose the weight before we finalize things, but we'd have to start the process again for my policies; they actually told me how much I'd need to lose, which is helpful. It's only about 30 pounds, or else I'd have to pay $500 extra per year. So now I have a nice incentive to keep on losing...which I need to do anyway. Bonus: in 30 pounds, I'll be at the weight I would feel comfortable being pregnant, sooo.... ;-)

5. Easter, just 'round the corner
We are hosting Easter this year, as we did last year, yet I haven't done much in terms of planning or preparation. I think we'll have lamb again--last year Chris did a fantastic job marinating the leg for 2 days and then we slow cooked it in a very low temperature oven. It was outstanding--even the leftovers were amazing and I'm not one for leftover lamb. My FIL is going to make a turkey (I don't know why, but OK). I need to ORDER said lamb or all we'll be eating is that turkey, ha. And clean this house. I'm not a fan of early Easter; it just feel weird.

6.  Going on leave
Not me, obviously, but Chris. His anxiety has been really bad lately and when he is anxious, his stomach goes into knots and cramps and he's just miserable and in a lot of pain. He also can't sleep, which doesn't help anything. Today he went to see his doctor again, and he (the dr) recommended that C take a leave of absence for two weeks, just to relax, rest, and take good care of himself. I hate seeing him feeling like this--both the physical pain and the worry--but I know it's for the best, otherwise he will be living in a vicious circle of worry, pain, sleeplessness, and who knows what else. If he doesn't take care of himself, it will affect his work. Of course, he worried about his employer giving him a hard time. I just hope and pray they are kind to him about all of this. 

7. I ate meat on a Friday
No, really I did. After Chris' doctor's appointment, he was hungry and actually feeling better for once, and we hadn't had a cheat day in a long time, nor had we eaten pizza (from a restaurant) in over six months. So pizza it was--with bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. Separately, not together, with plenty of leftovers. We cannot eat like we used to! Of course, now I want to go take a nap, haha. It's intriguing how our bodies respond to food.

If there are any issues with this post or if it looks weird, I composed it on the iPad!

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick Takes #14

Number 14: New Developments--Back to Books!

 It's not September, yet, but it'll do!

A note before we begin: last week, I wrote about the women in my family and where they were when they were my age. Several people commented that I needed to create my own story--don't worry! I am! I just never thought I'd be 33 and not yet a mom...that's all. Thanks for the comments and the votes of confidence ;-)

And for el-e-e--how do I know so much about my great-grandparents? I don't know, I just do! LOL I think it's because my mom and her siblings were the only grandchildren for those grandparents so they spent a LOT of time with them. My mom, aunts, and uncle talked about them a lot, too. And I'm a genealogy dork...

I'll put my BONUS first:
Yes, we have a new Pope. I thought I'd get one for my birthday (last Tuesday), but the day after was acceptable. But come on--a Jesuit???? I was so hoping for the Dominican. I love them. I went to a Dominican run college. Seems like so many of my Catholic peeps went to Jesuit schools. Meh, whatever. ;-) Besides, the fact that Pope Francis is? was? Ordinary for Eastern-rite faithful in Argentina who lack an Ordinary of their own rite. (Meaning: you're Eastern Rite? Have no bishop or archbishop? Cardinal Bergoglio was your guy.) And when I googled "eastern rite ordinary," the first hit was the Vatican's Who is Pope Francis? Allrighty then. I know there are a lot of knowns and unknowns and questions about him, but remember: no one is perfect. We're all sinners. We've all made mistakes. I couldn't help but go "awww" when I saw him on Wednesday (a perk of not working--I got to see the white smoke, the announcement, and get a sweet plenary indulgence!). He came out like a timid mouse..."all of me???" And I love how he was so down to earth. Many blessed years!

1. Interview 1
On Monday I had an interview with a library in the next town over for a part time library assistant job. Found for me by my mom. First in-person interview since I've been out of work. I think it went very well, although they didn't ask me many 'tough' questions...

2. Volunteer Gig "Interview"
Wednesday I met with the office manager of a local nonprofit that provides books to kids and meets with new parents in the hospital to provide them with books and information on the importance of reading to young children. I learned of this organization while I was working at the bookstore, years ago; I had done some joint event work with some of their staff, so it was nice to re-meet old faces. I start on Monday. I only wish I'd contacted them sooner; they were more than happy to have me come aboard!

3. Interview 2
On Thursday, I had another interview. YES. Two in a week! I don't think that has ever happened in my life! This was also at a library for a part time library assistant job. (This one isn't as close to home, but not too far either). Found for me by my friend, who is the head of technical services at this library. Don't worry, she won't be my boss. That interview also went well, even though they asked more typical interview questions. More hours, but less money than library 1. Also, they have more of a fixed schedule vs. library 1. Already getting ahead of myself, acting like I'm going to get more than one offer...

4. Back to books in another way...
For those who don't know, at one point in my life I was in grad school. Well, there were three different times, but the last one was for library science. I'd taken two classes, then I was promoted and my work life got busier. Trying to start a marriage and be ALL THE THINGS left little time for school and I was feeling pulled in too many directions, so I gave it up. I have all of this time, and I'm not having much luck in finding full time work in what I'm trained in/familiar with, so why not finish my masters in library science? I had been thinking about it before I had even applied for the jobs, or interviewed, so when I heard about these openings, it cemented the decision. Of course, I need to contact the school about re-enrolling, oh, and APPLY this time. Which also means getting recommendations, re-taking the GRE, but IT IS OKAY. Now I have lots of time to do all of this stuff. Four or five years ago--not so much. Plus, if I get one of these jobs, I'll have REAL on the job training before I graduate. My friend, the librarian from above, told me that her director will not interview anyone who has a masters without real experience. Good to know! And so many people can't afford to stop their full time job while in school. Not that it won't be tight, but it's an investment. And Chris is fine with me doing this--the only condition: FINISH YOUR DEGREE THIS TIME :-) (and my friends agree)

5. Another library opportunity, courtesy of Mom
While I was on my way home from the volunteer gig, my mom called to tell me about another library assistant opening. (Why is she finding them and I am not??) This one was in her school district, at another elementary school. More hours and more pay than the other two library jobs, but only 10 months (duh, it's a school). I applied yesterday, so hopefully I'll get a call about that one. 

6. "Fired" and saying no
Tonight I got an email from one of my freelance clients, saying he no longer needed my services, but to send him a final invoice. I was taken aback, but I sent him a brief email, letting him know I was sorry to see this, and asked him if there were any problems. He wrote back shortly--no problems, he's out of money for the project. Phew! It's OK. I wasn't really feeling like I was doing much for him. And as I'm getting busier with other things, I wasn't sure how much time I'd have to even try to help. I had an opportunity to interview for a local online paper, but given that the paper covers one of the towns that I've interviewed in and the one that I could be interviewing's probably not a good idea that I get mixed up with being a town employee AND occasionally writing about the town. Even if I don't get the jobs, it didn't interest me as much as it did when I had first applied. And that is OK.

7. TMI development of sorts
In my Creighton/NaPro saga, things are finally straightening themselves out. I have a new instructor who is WONDERFUL. I am seeing "changes" where I should be, so my body might be starting to wake up after it played Sleeping Beauty for years.

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quick Takes #13

Number 13: The Birthday Edition

1. Next Tuesday is my birthday and I will be 33. Not a very monumental birthday, but I'm certainly not where I thought I'd be by now. I was one of those girls who assumed she'd be married by 24, have her first by 26, and another by 28, and have her life together by 30. HAAAAAA. No.

Let's look at where some of my female relatives were at 33, shall we? Not as a negative type of comparison, just as one of those "how people lived back in 19XX" showcases. My quick takes haven't been that quick lately, but meh, whatever.

2. Mom, 1988
When my mom was 33, she was a stay at home mom to an 8 year old (me) and a 6 year old (my brother). She was trying to do some part time work--I remember her trying to work at this crystal and silver outlet, but it didn't work out for whatever reason, and then she worked at the Weathervane (remember that store!?!) for a bit. I remember being so mad because she would buy other people Christmas gifts with her discount and not me. I don't know if her brain tumor (benign) had been discovered yet, but it would be soon. Also within the next year or so, she would start substituting as a school nurse, which would be her gateway back into full time work, seven years later. She's still at that same school today, and her going back to full time work has helped my parents have more money for fun things and their retirement.

3. Nana Mac, 1958
At 33, Nana Mac (a play on my mom's maiden name) worked full time at night as a nurse. I know she and my grandfather didn't have a lot of money; he was a police detective and back then, nurses and cops didn't make the money they do now, so that's why Nana worked. I don't think she was an OR nurse yet, but I know she was pretty high up in the chain of command and well respected by the doctors, which was a big deal back in the fifties! She had three young children at the time, and her parents spent a lot of time and money helping out. While she worked and raised her family, Nana also dealt with the effects of MS. There wasn't a lot that could be done back then, and fortunately, Nana's flare ups were rare, but it was something she still had to manage every day, with a very high pressured job. If it wasn't for the MS eventually forcing her early retirement, I think she would have worked until she died. She loved her work, and had she been born a boy, I am 100% certain that she would have been a doctor.

4. Grandma, 1957
I think it was around this time that my grandfather started his own business, and Grandma was his right-hand lady, answering the phone, sending bills, doing other office work, while raising my dad and his older brother (two more years would bring another boy). I know she was on her own with the boys a lot, since Grandpa had to travel to acquire materials and to deliver products, and was lonely with his absence. Grandma knew how to stretch her dollars; my grandparents were very poor, and the only running water they had in the house until my younger uncle was a toddler was a SINK. Yes, outhouses. In Connecticut. Grandpa's talent for making business deals and delivering a good product and Grandma's organizational skills helped them to develop a family business is still in existence and enabled them to rise out of poverty, to acquire land and save money that sent their kids to college and provided little nest eggs for their grandchildren (No trust funds! Just a "small" amount, that, invested wisely and combined with a scholarship and my mom going back to work, helped me get through college without loans).

5. Nana Z (Nana Mac's mother), 1937
Nana Z was the only great grandmother who I remember, even though three of them were alive when I was born. She passed away when I was 15, so I have a LOT of memories of her. Born in 1904, she remembered the Titanic sinking, which delighted my brother who was really into the ocean liner when he was about 10. In 1937, she was a mother of a 12 year old, her only child. Her husband was rendered sterile from Type I Diabetes, otherwise I think they would have had many more children; he worked as a weaver in the textile mills of New Hampshire, and later did something where he had to travel around the country to visit other mills. I don't know if he was an inspector or an engineer or what, but I know that Nana went with him and took care of all of his correspondence and paperwork. I think at 33, though, they were still living in New Hampshire, or they might have moved to Pawtucket, Rhode Island to work in the mills there; either way, she was a homemaker and was an excellent seamstress. Later in her life, she would work in the Providence Police Department as a matron (aka patting down the females who'd been arrested, making sure they were OK, nothing like Matron Mama Morton in Chicago, ha!).

6. Aunt Patty, 1994
My mom's little sister who I idolized as a child. She was funny and loved to play and do fun things with us, especially since for many years she lived in our town. She had a cool job in New York City and seemed to be going fun places. By the time she was 33, she had moved back to Rhode Island, met her future husband and was engaged. We still saw her often. While I have grown up, and no longer want to be EXACTLY like her, I do admire that she had three babies right in a row "later" in life at 34, 35 and 36 (they are all 13 months apart) and has worked full time even after children, while still being a very hands-on mom. She also does what's best for her family, which right now means that she works a plane ride away during the week, and flies home on Friday mornings. This happened after my uncle lost his job and right around that time, she received a promotion that required travel. So the decision was made for my uncle to be a stay at home parent, which I think might have worked out well, since the kids were pre-teens and needed a lot of rides and supervision. I highly doubt that if I'd asked her when she was 33, if she thought her life would be like this, she'd have said yes. Her life is not perfect, and she also has some hip issues that she grits her teeth through, but she's been able to raise good kids and support her family. Even though there are only six years between my mom and my aunt, and nineteen between my aunt and I, I think my life mirrors Aunt Patty's more than my mother's.

7. Me, 2013
So where am I at 33? Married, a homeowner, a cat wrangler. Trying to find my way. Unlike my foremothers, I don't have children yet. Lately the absence of children has been getting me down. Most women aren't stay at home wives unless they have children, yet I'm home, not working and not parenting. I feel as if I don't have a purpose. The women of my family seemed to have been very connected to what their family structure was at the time--be it helping their husbands with their work, working out of the home themselves, or raising children (and sometimes doing all of this at the same time). I don't do any of this--wifely duties such as making dinner, having food in the house, doing the laundry, etc, only take up so much time. I write this knowing that it will be read by women who are juggling their very busy lives, and they'll probably roll their eyes wishing they had a few minutes of peace. I was one of them, not too long ago. I have been looking at volunteer opportunities and part time jobs, if the full time work doesn't come, but I still have to wait for those things. For the first time in my life, I don't HAVE to do anything, be anywhere...well, except home for dinner. :-) When we have little direction, we are lost.

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Two posts, one day

Just a quick follow up on my recent Pope post, since I got some comments, and I'm not sure who goes back to see if I've commented on THEIR comments! My comments are below in italics.

  1. I was wondering how this would play out in the Eucharistic prayer at our Roman church, too. This was the first weekend with no Pope to pray for in that spot in the Eucharistic prayer.... and then I decided not to go to Mass. So I still don't know! 

    Hahahaha, now you'll be in suspense for next time! 

  2. During the Eucharistic prayer yesterday I paid special attention. Instead of "With Benedict, Our Pope." They said, "With Benedict, Our Pope Emeritus." 

    I like that they still included him, since he still needs our prayers.

So what happened on Sunday at our church? See, in a Byzantine Divine Liturgy, we mention the Pope a few times, so there were multiple times for our priest to forget or get tripped up. The first two times the priest made the transition flawlessly...he just said "for our Metropolitan William, for all the bishops," etc.

Then my husband had to say something. Nice going, Chris. (He's an altar server, if you didn't know.)

Just before the consecration, I see Chris lean into Father and whisper something. Father smiles and nods. Then starts the prayers. During the consecration, he walks away from the altar with the Holy Gifts and in and out of the doors of the iconostasis (icon screen) all the while praying out loud. Followed by Chris, who holds a candle. There is another Pope mention at this time. Father started to say "for our Po-" and then abruptly cut to "for our Metropolitan..."

What I didn't see, but found out later, was that when they got back behind the iconostasis, my husband waggled his finger at Father and gave him a look. Then the two of them were laughing. I'm not horrified or anything, I actually find it funny that they can laugh at themselves while up there. The only reason Father was so flawless with the earlier mentions was because he has his books, with which he follows along. When he went to take the "walk," he was doing it from memory. Even though Chris reminded him. I wonder if Chris' reminder ended up confusing him, and he would have been fine had he not said a word!

Just before dismissal, Father came out to read the announcements, and commented on the lack of a prayer for the Pope, then explaining why we don't say it at this time. So, since I know SO many of you were hanging on to find out what happened, there ya go!

Pretty Happy Funny Real

Haven't done one of these in awhile! If I wanted, I think I could do a link up every day now, so many bloggers have started them. They are fun, but I really should write more substantive posts.

~Pretty Happy~

Lilly and Sammy are pretty happy sitting on my Classic Penguin (or is it Penguin Classic? The bag has both sayings, one per side) bag. This accompanies me to errands and appointments. I don't get the attraction to the bag. In Sammy's defense, it was day time and the southern light was coming through our slider, so it was a warm nap spot. Lilly, however, was perched up there at night. Random!

(Ha, I made a publishing funny! Since Random House and Penguin are now going to be under the same ownership. Yeah, you probably didn't get that one. Trista might, and maybe Anne?)

I was waiting for our other cat, Bella, to hop on the bag, but no such luck...

This came in our boat's registration renewal from the state. I thought it was more than funny, more like hilarious. First, the hokey Boat Safe - Boat Sober. Then the use of Lucida Handwriting (or is it Casual?) to caption the drawing (you might have to click on the image to see it better). Then what the Lucida was used to say "Get it on Connecticut!" Which doesn't make me think of putting on a life jacket...

LASTLY, the drawing! When I posted it to Facebook, Elizabeth said it looked like a hydra, which is funny since it IS water related. I think it's supposed to be a life jacket?


I promise, I'm almost 33, not almost 83. Yet, I have one of these pillboxes. For real. I had one in college, but it was just one box per day, since I took everything at the same time. Then I went through a period of time where I didn't need to remember what to take when or wasn't taking a LOT of things. Now that I'm working with a NaPro doctor and a new Creighton instructor, they both have me taking LOTS of things to try to regulate my cycles. Some of the things I've been on for awhile, some things I need to take at different times. I was getting tired of clutter from all the bottles and containers. So what do we have here?

AM: calcium chew (using them up, I don't have a problem with pills, obviously), Vitamin C, Vitamin D x3, Spironolactone (androgen blocker), Lisinopril/HCTZ (blood pressure), and Adderall (I do have ADD, which I don't think I've talked about before, I try to down play it since I HATE having it).

PM: fish oil, Metformin, multivitamin, Vitamin C. I also take Celexa right before bed, but that's on my dresser.

My hope is to get off the Lisinopril soon. My doctor is willing to let me wean down if she likes what she sees the next time I go to the doctor, and I am starting to have low blood pressure symptoms :-) My very mild depression and anxiety is at bay most of the time and the dose of Celexa I'm on is low. Also, Celexa is a weak drug and isn't often prescribed for people with depression. I've been on more of it in the past. I'd like to get off of that too. And the Adderall. It helps, a lot. I'm afraid of getting pregnant because I would have to discontinue it...and I don't know how I'd function. That's for another post.

~See more at Like Mother, Like Daughter!~

round button chicken

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I Can Haz No Pope? Brief (Maybe Funny?) Thoughts...

Silly kitty, you're only Roamin' Catlick, not Roman Catholic!
So, we Catholics now have no Pope. But it's not like in the past when we mourned one Pope's death (which may or may not have been expected). This is different, and regardless of the REAL or FAKE reasons His Holiness decided to step down, this leaves all Catholics in a bit of a lurch.

However, some of us Byzantine Catholics are in a bit of a bigger lurch. Those of us in the Eparchy of Passaic, specifically.

At the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, we pray the Litany of Peace, which are prayers said by the priest, to which the congregants reply "Lord, have mercy." See all of it here.
The part I'm looking at is this:
For our holy ecumenical pontiff (N) the Pope of Rome let us pray to the Lord

as well as this: 

For our most reverend archbishop and metropolitan (N.,) for our God-loving bishop (N.,) for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, and for all the clergy and the people let us pray to the Lord

You already know of one problem. We now have no Pope, so I don't know WHAT the priest will say.

The other problem: we have no Bishop. Ours was elevated to Archbishop and Metropolitan. Our priest has been saying "for all the Bishops" in place of "for our God-loving bishop (N.)" as we await the selection of our new Eparchial leader.

We're going from:
For our holy ecumenical pontiff Benedict the Pope of Rome let us pray to the Lord


For our most reverend archbishop and metropolitan William, for all the Bishops, for the venerable priesthood, the diaconate in Christ, and for all the clergy and the people let us pray to the Lord who knows? What will this weekend's Divine Liturgies sound like????


Friday, March 1, 2013

Quick Takes #12

Number 12: A Week in My Life

In trying to have a theme for this week's 7QT, let me reflect on the past week. Yes, I'm copying what Trista did, but hey, it's a good idea! :) And most of the days involved medical personnel...which looking back, is making me chuckle...

1. Saturday: Chris wasn't at work! He had to switch with someone--so he went to help his dad with firewood and I tooled around but more importantly, I called my new Creighton instructor. We had a LOVELY hour and a half phone conversation, and will be doing our follow ups via Skype and phone. She's older, and a mom to four girls, which I think will be VERY helpful in making me feel more confident with my observations, vs. the early 20 something flakes that I had worked with before. (I'm sure I'll write more about this at some point).

When Chris got home, we decided to order and watch Argo on TV. I really enjoyed it and I want to find out more about the entire hostage situation. Remember, I was an American Studies major/History minor! And I made homemade pizza for dinner--by the way, I highly recommend using chimichurri instead of red sauce!

2. Sunday: First up, Divine Liturgy of course. It was different last week, as there was a Deacon participating in the DL, along with our priest, Fr. Tony (Yes, he's Italian, well, Italian American. Yes, he's ByzCath. Yes, there are ByzCath's in ITALY). Oh, and yes, Chris was there too, serving. It was his first time serving DL with a Deacon; he hadn't even attending a DL with a Deacon since he was a little boy. He really enjoyed it, even though he didn't get to chat for long with Father Deacon; Chris is discerning his call and would have liked to have talked with him, especially on the balance of church-home-work-other stuff.

I think we just hung out the rest of the day. I made a roast turkey which fed us for two more days. Even now that I'm home, I still enjoy the batch cooking concept. In the afternoon I watched movies on TV--half of The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (both which I hadn't seen)--and folded laundry. At night I watched the Oscars. I'm not usually an awards show person, but this year I'd seen a bunch that were nominated--Les Miserables, Lincoln, Argo, so I actually felt like I had more at stake.

3. Monday: I woke up with the most bizarre pain/discomfort in my neck, and ended up at the chiropractor, who I hadn't seen since I was in college. An hour later, I was feeling completely better. Now I have more exercises to do, to help strengthen my shoulders and back, so that my neck doesn't get thrown out of whack again.

Also on Monday, I started feeling itchy, but didn't think much of it...

4. Tuesday: HA. By Tuesday morning, I was an itchy, miserable mess. No rash, no hives, no bites. Very bizarre. Apparently I was so bad during the night, I kept waking up Chris. Oops. Suddenly my mom popped into my brain and I put myself into a baking soda bath to see if that would help, along with mild soap, followed by almost half a tube of cortisone cream, used like lotion. And of course, we had no Benadryl in the house, so off to the pharmacy. The rest of the day was a blur...or haze? But we all slept much better that night, thank you Benadryl! This was also the three month mark of my unemployment and was a little bummed about that...
5. Wednesday: I was still "hung over" from all the antihistamines, so I skipped the gym but ran a few errands. I didn't do much else.

6. Thursday: Back to NYC to see my NaPro doctor for a little procedure to help clear some things up. I don't want to gross anyone out that might not be familiar with all of the intricacies of NFP or Creighton, so I won't go into vivid details. It was pretty quick, 5 to 10 minutes and was less painful than having a cavity filled. Now we wait and see if my signs get clearer ;-) If you know anything about NFP, then I'm sure you will get where I'm going, especially the word CLEAR.

The trip itself was quick too--I left the house at 9:20 and was back in the door by 5:50. Seems like a waste of a day in the city, when last time I had more time to enjoy things. This time, I only had an hour to get lunch/kill before my appointment, and I was done and back at Grand Central less than an hour after I walked into the doctor's office. In fact, I was home still well before Chris and had dinner on the table waiting! A real dinner, including rice that takes 45 minutes! Lucky me to have booked an appointment on his late night AND he ran an errand after work.

And now we have no Pope. I'll be honest, I've never been connected to a Pope, the way many people are, but it's a very interesting time to be a Catholic, that's for sure. I have another post coming up about this.

7. Friday: Today is still on going, but my day started out with a visit to my primary doctor for a blood pressure check in. She was happy to see that I'd lost 17 pounds since I'd last seen her in October, but more importantly, she's willing to see about me titrating off of the blood pressure meds. Of course, not for a few more months, but she's confident I will get to that point. Yay!

Then to the gym, where I hadn't been in a week, but Shane was kind and didn't push me too hard. Then back to the chiropractor, where I was given even MORE exercises to work on... Home where I've been tooling around, not doing much, but I do have some freelancing stuff to work on and some personal housekeeping nonsense.

Chris works late again tonight and then he has to be in at 8 on Saturdays so Friday nights are usually very quiet. It's OK, especially me being home; we just have a different weekend than others.

BONUS. Saturday: Tomorrow I am having breakfast with one of my friends, M. I met M in college and she only lives about a half hour away, so we try to get together every now and then. I don't see her as often as I like, and she has a busy life in her own way--teaching sixth grade language arts and living with/helping her elderly parents (no really, her dad is almost 80, while mine will be 61). It will be nice to get out and socialize, since I miss doing that.

One more thing: could you please pray for a different M and her family? She went to have her 20 week ultrasound yesterday and the baby had passed. She delivered her little boy, G, early this morning.

Have a great weekend!

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Friday, February 22, 2013

7 Quick Takes #11

Number 11: Lent and Such

1. I skipped two weeks of Quick Takes. Oops. I hope to be back on track. I did post a few non-QT posts in the past two weeks, including my guest post about Proverbs 31 over at Jen's Medatitio. Go read it! It's about strength.

 I think my arms are starting to look like Rosie's. A little bit.

2. Byzantine Lent started almost two weeks ago as well. What did I give up? Ummm, not much. I've never been a good Lenten giver-upper. I know, I could focus on doing something, or including something in my life instead, but that always falls short too. I try. I've joked that in the past six months or so, I've given up all junk food and other bad foods, diet soda, going out to eat, any extra money lying around since it goes straight to the gym, oh, and working, so what else can I give up? I know, that's probably not what God wants to hear, but really, I have no clue what to do.

Here's a funny. I was just looking for pictures, using the search words "Byzantine Catholic Lent." This picture looked familiar. Then I saw the source :-)

That's Priest's Wife's blog, if you didn't know. I bet the fact that I was signed in as my Blogger account had something to do with that hit.

3. Speaking of strength, I'm getting even stronger and lighter. Just got weighed in today, and was surprised to see I'm down about a half pound from my weigh-in two weeks ago. Last week was a weird gain, but apparently it didn't stick around too long. I don't know what happened, although I might blame the Metformin and the stomach upset it causes.

Yes, I am on Metformin now. (I was on it years ago, but I don't remember it causing any upset stomach.)If this is any indication of what all-day sickness is like when one is thanks.

4. I went to see a NaPro doctor in New York City on Valentine's Day. All by myself; Chris had to work. ¡Que romantico! And yes, this lady was involved ;-) Her name is Saint Gianna Beretta Molla. She was a doctor and a wife and a mother--yes all of them! You can learn more about her, here.

 I had a great visit with the doctor, who was extremely thorough and attentive. She's the one who gave me the Metformin. I'm not going to go into big details here about why I went, except that my Creighton charting has pinpointed some possible medical issues that can be fixed. Some of them have to do with having PCOS. We're not trying to conceive yet; we still need to avoid until my blood pressure and weight are both lower. My feeling was, if there were other issues that would impede success with getting pregnant, why not deal with them NOW, while I'm in the midst of getting healthier? The doctor thought that was an excellent idea. I also have had some serious issues with my instructors and the doctor referred me to another, more competent one. Well worth the time and expense to get to NYC and home. The train ticket and lunch were more than the office visit copay! I go back this week to have a little procedure done which will hopefully help clear up my charting.

5. I think I need to go back to work. I think I need the structure. I know, I do love being at home, doing my own thing, but I am not doing MUCH. Or so it feels. I feel like I just blow off the day, and the projects and things that I had dreamed of doing are still not crossed off on the to-do lists. But finding a job is easier said than done. Part time work would be great, too.

Yes, time is flying. And the freelance jobs aren't coming in as fast as I thought they'd be. I did get a link to a site that has more legit freelance opportunities, which I do need to check out. I passed my resume to a former coworker who is now working at a publisher that I would LOVE to work for. I've been applying for openings there, but said former coworker told me that they always hire interns directly from their internships. Gah.

6. What are your plans for the weekend? This could be hung on our refrigerator.


Chris usually works Saturdays, but has Sundays and Mondays off for his weekend. Sundays we get up and head to church, then come home and putter around, not really doing anything exciting. Mondays we go to the gym, then afterward, Chris usually has appointments or needs to do things that he's been putting off all week. I do whatever around the house. Real exciting! *roll eyes*

This weekend, he's switching with a coworker, so he'll be off Saturday and Sunday. I wonder if we'll try to do anything fun or different. It's hard, with his dietary restrictions and money being tighter with me not working. And free stuff in the winter is hard to come by.

7. I'm having a hard time with number seven. I need to do a ton of errands: bank, post office, pick up a prescription, buy some birthday cards, and go grocery shopping. I really should go do that now.


Sometimes, I feel like my to-do lists are the same thing, over and over and over again. I know!!!! Maybe I should start doing some of the things I've been PUTTING OFF and then my life would be more interesting AND my to-do lists wouldn't look so repetitive. GENIUS!

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's been an interesting few weeks

I haven't done Quick Takes in 2 or 3 weeks, but I'll be back tomorrow with some, don't worry! The past few weeks have been weird and busy, and I haven't really felt like blogging. That happens a lot with me. Blah. Is it spring yet!?!

Oh, one more thing. I don't know if Blogger did some formatting updates or if it was me updating some things on the iPad in general, but it's MUCH easier to write blog posts on the iPad now. But...this guy also helps me do the job EVEN faster: 

Chris gave me this bluetooth keyboard and stand for Valentine's Day. MUCH better than flowers! I am having trouble inserting a picture from the iPad or from the web into this post, however. The link will have to do.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Getting around on the blogosphere...

Today, a post that I had written for Jen at Meditatio, as a part of her Proverbs 31 series, went up. Read it here:

I think this is my first guest post! Next up Huffington Post!! ;-)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lent is coming (and here's a recipe!)

Yeah yeah, and so's that snowstorm that I don't want to talk about. Go me, posting something that is NOT a Quick Take!

Lent starts for Byzantine Catholics on Monday, and since our first day (and Good Friday) requires total abstinence from all animal products (but not fish--I still don't really get it), we like to plan ahead for what to eat that day.

This year, I'll be making this:

Photo credit:

Ensalada De Pimientos Estilo-Andaluz
(Red Pepper, Tomato, And Tuna Salad, Andalusian Style)

From One Pot Spanish, by Penelope Casas, page 20; recipe copied from since I was too lazy to type it all out.

This version of Andalusian red pepper salad comes from the Cazorla restaurant in Madrid and is an especially delicious rendition. It includes tomato, white-meat tuna and mild bright green olives and it is served in a bowl with lots of liquid from the peppers and tomatoes. More than salad in itself it is meant as a side dish to Andalusian fried fish and grilled shrimp to place on your plate with the fish and take more as you please.

Serves 4

6 medium-large, deep red bell peppers
1/2 pound good-quality white-meat tuna, preferably imported from Spain
1/2 pound ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then halved
12 mild bright green olives, such as Cerignola
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar, preferably mild white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt

Preheat the oven to 550'F. Place the peppers in a roosting pan and cook until charred, turning once, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a deep dish. Cover with foil and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin, core, and seed the peppers, reserving the juices.

Slice the peppers into 3/4-inch strips and place in a bowl. Add the tuna, broken into chunks, the tomatoes, olives, and parsley. Fold in the oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Notes from me:
The picture in our cookbook is different from this one that I found online, but I think this will be delicious. I'll be making a few adjustments: I'm using canned tuna, black olives, and dried parsley, since we already have those things on hand. I was excited that red peppers have been on sale for *only* $1.99/pound lately. If you don't have or can't find Vidalia onions, I'd think that a sweet onion, or really, ANY onion would be fine. I'm using whatever we have in our bin in the basement. I just wish I could get summer tomatoes now, since I think the dish would be even better with those, versus the ones we get in the winter.

Additionally, this recipe is great for those of us who are always scrambling to get dinner on the table, as you have to prepare it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge. Now, as for what to serve it with...I was planning on buying a loaf of crusty, multigrain bread at the store, but we're expecting THAT storm and who knows if I'll be able to get down to the store. Plus, it won't be so fresh by Monday. I do have some whole wheat rolls in the freezer(which happen to be vegan!) that I could toast under the broiler and serve with olive oil. Also, to fill up the plate (and the belly) a little more, I think I'll serve it over a bed of raw spinach or kale. I have both in the fridge.

Friday, February 1, 2013

7 Quick Takes #10

Number 10: ALL THE RANDOM!!!

1. Most important: ALL of Chris' labs were in the normal ranges. Thank God. He was so excited and happy. The doctor even said he was proud of him, and to keep doing whatever he was doing because it was working. All the hard work paid off, and some of the restrictions have loosened up. He can even have a cheat day once a month.

2. Here's a free tip. Don't EVER allow your dough to rise in the preheated oven. It's TOO hot. You will start to bake your dough. Yup, last night while making pizza dough, I had the "brilliant" idea to throw the dough in the preheated oven to rise. FAIL. I had to scramble to make another batch of dough before Chris got home. Usually I put it near our wood stove to rise, but the past few days have been warm, so I haven't lit it. If you're curious, we use Bobby Flay's recipe, but use half whole wheat flour/half white flour. And I don't pull out my mixer for this, I mix and knead by hand. Faster and easier.

3. Are you ready for some football? lol

I'm not a football person, and neither is Chris, but we're going to a Super Bowl party on Sunday at one of my oldest friends' house. She bought it in September, and it's pretty close to me, but with life and all of that stuff, I haven't been over to see it and we haven't seen each other since...I don't know when. We talk all of the time, but I guess we're too lazy to drive the five miles to see the other. Ha! :) It'll be nice to get out and socialize, since we rarely do. I guess that since the Ravens beat the Patriots, I should root for the 49ers?

4. I've been invited to speak at a conference affiliated with my former workplace's industry by one of my clients. And then I was sort of outed to my former employer via conference call. Heh. It should be interesting, but it's definitely an honor and an awesome opportunity to put myself out there. However, the conference isn't until May. I'm a bit nervous about seeing people who made my life a living hell, but on the other hand, it will be very sweet for them to see that they didn't ruin my life, not to mention, I'm a lot thinner, ha.

5. I'm going to take back my comments about making a Wikipedia page. I made the page and it was really easy--once I figured out that I could "edit" an existing page, copy the code, and change it with my client's information. All I had to do was find someone who had a page similar to how I wanted my client's page to look. Done! Well, it's waiting for approval. My client suggested that this could be a lucrative part of my business, for others. Even though that goes against Wikipedia's code of ethics...but they aren't paying my mortgage either.

6. A business. Yeah, I might start one. I think I mentioned that before, but I'm stalling, even though it will probably have more "pull" than just me, freelancing. I have to think of a name and I don't like anything yet. I don't want it to be too stuffy or too goofy, be just my name, or refer to something about my work that pigeon holes me. Suggestions?

7. Speaking of my mortgage--the strangest thing happened. I had been thinking about calling the bank to see if we could refinance. The rates are going down, and although we have a good rate already, why not try to save some money? Then I lost my job and worried that we wouldn't be approved. Last week I got something from the woman who did our mortgage (newsletter thing) and I thought about calling her just to see if there was anything we could do. Tuesday night she called our house, unsolicited. She wanted to tell us about how the bank offering existing mortgage customers lower rates. They want to keep their mortgage customers, they were doing this without making people go through the refinance process. No credit checks, no income verification, no appraisal. A $750 fee to cover the paperwork (refinances can cost more than that) and we'll be saving $175 a month! I joked with Chris that things are getting easier for me to really not go back to work. He told me not to get any ideas. We'll see. ;-)

Don't forget to visit Jen over at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes! Have a great weekend!