Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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The One About My Interview

Friday, January 16, 2009

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
~Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

I really need to get back in the game. While I haven’t been posting much, I have been keeping up with everyone else’s blogs (thanks to Google RSS Reader!). So when Ivanhoe at From Ohio With Love asked her readers who wants to get interviewed, I thought it would be a good way to try to jump back into the swing of things. Thanks Ivanhoe!

Here we go! Ivanhoe is asking and I’m answering.

1. What have you been up to these last couple of months while neglecting blogging?

Yeah, I have been kinda neglecting it, haven’t I?  Well, I’ve been busy putting together my package to become a Direct Commissioned Officer (DCO) in the United States Navy Reserve.  More specifically, I’m putting in to become a Public Affairs Officer (PAO). It’s highly selective and usually 1-4 people are selected each year from a group of 2,400 (or so I was told by my recruiter). This year, however, they are selecting 19-24… so odds are 10x better… but they are still a 1 in 240 chance!

Anyway, it’s a long process with lots of paperwork, photos (to make sure I’d look good on camera) and the like. I also had to do interviews. Interviews with current/retired PAOs are the best and with as high-ranking as you can is even better.  I managed to get three interviews (only one was set up by my recruiter) with three PAO Captains. In fact, I was able to score–by myself–an interview with a Captain at the Pentagon. And yes, I flew to D.C. and actually interviewed at the Pentagon.

I’m also trying to lose about 10 pounds before I get weighed in (if I’m selected) and trying to do better physically. See… I can do a total of ONE military-style, proper push-up in two minutes. I need to be able to do at LEAST 15 but 19 would be better. I have to do AT LEAST 47 sit-ups, but 54 would be better.  And here’s the kicker: I have to run a 1.5 mile in less than 15:45… but 14:53 would be better.  I’m not a runner. Even when I was in the best shape of my life with about 7% body fat, I couldn’t run more than 1/2 mile without walking. Running will be the death of me.

So I’ve joined my gym’s “body boot camp” and it’s killing me… in the first week. Heck, we had to run/walk a 5K on Tuesday and I’m still feeling it. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything more than a 1.5 mile run EVER. And it took me 49:36 to complete… definitely needs improvement!

2. Can you give us an update on your three awesome dogs?

Dogs are fine. They are HATING the cold. This morning, we finally found a temperature that ensures Mr. Skah of-the-fuzzy-butt returns inside immediately after doing his duties outside.  That temperature would be -5 with a windchill of -25.  At that temperature, the fuzzy, fluffy puppy ceases to play “catch me if you can,” “I can run faster than you” and the most favored game of all: “I’m not coming in and you can’t make me.” It is at that temperature that we the humans don’t even have to go outside and encourage him in… he runs to the door himself.

Speaking of the fuzzy Great Pyrenees puppy, Skah will be turning ONE YEAR OLD next Wednesday. One year! I can’t believe it. He was 92 pounds back on Thanksgiving when we found out he was deaf (see previous post for that info) but two months later, I’m thinking he’s around 105 or so. We’ll get him weighed on his birthday to see.

Chase and Lulu, the Greyhounds, are hating the cold, too. Lulu is my snow puppy but the last few days of negative temperatures have made BOTH of the Greys hesitate to go outside and painfully limp back to the house immediately after doing what they need to do. The snow is so cold out there that it’s physically painful for them to walk on.

3. What book did you read recently and what it was about?

The most recent book was “Amazing Gracie.” It was written by one of the guys who founded Three Dog Bakery and was about the Great Dane puppy they got… who was deaf. It was because of this deaf puppy’s unique food preferences that they started the bakery. I got the book and read it when I was still trying to find more information about living with a deaf dog.  It’s a great read, though, even if you don’t have a deaf dog.

4. If you won a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Um, right now… anywhere warm. I’d love to take a vacation to a sunny, beachy place. Of course, I’d love to go somewhere where there was some great history and I could tour the area (a WARM area, of course). What’s warm right now? Is southern Spain warm? Really, anywhere where I’ll finally get the feeling back in my feet and my fingernails won’t be perpetutally purple.

5. What is the first thing you do when you come home from work?

The first thing I do is take the dogs outside. They haven’t peed in 8 hours, so they need to go! Then I generally sit on the couch and love on them and calm them down since they act like I’ve been gone an eternity.
Now if you’d like to be interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Easy, eh?  Get to it!

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The One About Housework

Friday, January 9, 2009

Please don’t feed the dust bunnies.
~Author Unknown

I’m not even going to comment on what an utter slacker I’ve been in the blogging world.  So I’m just going to get some house cleaning on this site and do a meme that I was tagged for by Jen at LIVE! and In Color way back in November.

Here are the rules:

  • List six things that make you happy
  • Pass the award on to 5 other bloggers
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award
  • Link to the people you’ve passed it on to and comment to let them know

Six Favorite Things

  1. Reading. Reading relaxes me.  When I start reading a good book, I can’t put it down.  I have not be relaxed lately.  In fact, I have two library books that are about two months overdue that I keep meaning to take back across town to the library.  Ooops!
  2. Cuddling. I love cuddling with B. And I love that he’s such a touchy/cuddly guy. In fact, he’s usually the one who reaches first to hold hands when we are driving in the car or something. The world is right when my head is on B’s chest or I’m snuggled up next to him.
  3. Hanging out with my animals. Animals have always been my stress outlet. I’ve never NOT had an animal. I grew up with dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, hamsters and a turtle here and there. And now that I’m an adult, we have three dogs and our our oldest is the smallest weighing in at a mere 76 pounds.  Haven’t weighed the puppy in two months, but he was 93 pounds then and I’m guessing he’s somewhere in the 100-105 range. I’m waiting until closer to his 1st birthday on the 21st of this month to get him weighed.
  4. Closing my eyes and enjoying the sunshine on the first warm spring days. Sunshine, ah, lovely sunshine. Where have you gone? Michigan doesn’t see hide nor hair of you in the winter. Guess I won’t miss seeing it when we move to Washington.
  5. Massages. Oh, my. I love massages. Shoulders, back, neck, hands. Whatever. They just really relax me. One of these days I should go and get my first professional massage. B plans to get me one of those massage chairs sometime in the future.  Mmmmm.
  6. Finishing projects. Okay, so I’m not so relaxed when I’m actually doing the project, but that last second just as you finish and look around at your accomplishment is just so very relaxing to me.

I’m going to tag anyone reading this blog!

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The One About the 100th Post

Friday, August 22, 2008

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
~Sylvia Plath

So this is my 100th post.  Wow. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I’ve met (virtually, anyway) many great “bloggy friends” along the way and hope to meet more of you in the future.

So in blogging tradition, for my 100th post, I’ll write down 100 things you may or may not know about me.  This will eventually become its own tab where I’ll keep the 100 things updated (hopefully).

1. I have a mother.
2. And a younger brother.
3. My father died unexpectedly when I was 22.
4. I am currently dating an active duty Navy sailor, B.
5. He’ll be going back to submarine duty sometime in the spring of 2009.
6. I plan to go with him.
7. I grew up in a small farming community in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
8. Our town had 2,000 people in it.
9. It was the largest town in the county.
10. In fact, there was only one high school for all the kids in the county.
11. And yet, we still had under 1,000 students in the entire high school.
12. And yes, we had a “drive your tractor to school” day.
13. I didn’t have a tractor.
14. But my cousins who lived on the family dairy farm across the road from me did.
15. I grew up with a lot of animals.
16. Dogs.
17. Cats.
18. Rabbits.
19. Hamsters.
20. The occasional toad or turtle.
21. And horses.
22. I got my first horse when I was 5.
23. And started showing horses when I was 8.
24. Which sounds like we had a lot of money, but we didn’t… far from it.  The horses were bred and the babies paid for most of the horses’ upkeep.
25. My most favorite horse was my last one: a 16HH red dun named Impressive Gal Dun.
26. But her barn name when we got her at age 5 was “Sam.”
27. We also called her “Sammie.”
28. Or “Samantha” if I was irritated with her.
29. I miss Sam very much, even to this day.
30. Even though she was sold 9 years ago just before I went to college.
31. She’d be 19 now, if she is still alive.
32. I’d love to see her again and would love to let her live out her old age with me.
33. But I don’t have anywhere to keep her.
34. But I’d find a way if I had the opportunity to have her again.
35. When I was 15, my parents moved two hours south of where I grew up.
36. Starting at a new high school your Sophomore year is no fun.
37. Especially when you come from a very small, poor county and move to one of the richest ones in the state.
38. It wasn’t until halfway through my Junior year of high school that I stopped longing to return to my hometown.
39. I even made some good friends during that time.
40. I went to Grand Valley State University.
41. I began majoring in journalism because I wanted to be a reporter.
42. When I got to the “investigative reporting” classes, I decided I didn’t want to pry into people’s lives.
43. So even though I was only 2 classes shy of a journalism major, I switched majors.
44. I majored in advertising/public relations with an emphasis on public relations.
45. Even after switching majors, I managed to graduate in only 3 1/2 years.
46. I was lucky because a lot of my classes worked for both majors.
47. I love this field and am glad I ended up choosing it.
48. My favorite flower is the daisy.
49. I like them because no two are the same and they are spunky and unique.
50. I think Gerber Daisies are absolutely gorgeous because of all the colors they come in.
51. My boyfriend and I have three dogs.
52. Chase came to me as my third foster dog and I couldn’t let him go.
53. He’s a retired racing greyhound.
54. He’s nine years old and retired when he was five.
55. Lulu was my 7th foster… I think.
56. She came to me when she was 4 1/2 months old.
57. She’s now two.
58. She’s a greyhound but never raced and came from a totally different situation.  See the “My Animals” tab for more information.
58. Skah (Matoskah) is a Great Pyrenees that B and I got together.
59. He was born in January 2008, so he’s still very much a puppy.
60. I also have two cats.
61. Sadie is 7 and I got her when she was just 3 1/2 weeks old after her feral mother left her litter at the lumberyard where my dad worked.
62. She hates strangers and only comes to you when SHE wants attention.
63. But she only comes to B and me.
64. Jake is 4 and I got him from an animal shelter.
65. I picked him out when he was just four weeks old.
66. We also have two Betta fish.
67. They are named Diablo and Beta.
68. Beta is the replacement for Alpha who died after three years.
69. Get it? Alpha Betta and Beta Betta?
70. I’ve been a waitress.
71. And a ranch YMCA camp counselor.
72. And a resident assistant for college freshmen girls.
73. And a summer intern at a zoo, where I did animal demonstrations.
74. The demonstrations included snakes, lizards, rabbits, chinchillas, birds and even an opposum.
75. I’ve also worked as a teller at a bank.
76. And I currently work in public relations, which I love.
77. Oh, and I also worked at Wal-Mart.
78. And after being treated like crud by a manager who didn’t like me and the assistant store manager she was sleeping with (they were both married), I gave my notice.
79. It was a 2 day notice.  Five days before Christmas.
80. And because of that, I was told I’m never allowed to work at Wal-Mart again.
81. Oh woe is me, what ever shall I do? =P
82. I’ve been to Canada.
83. I actually had a penpal there that I met… we had the same first and last name (which is an uncommon one) and our middle names are the first 3 letters of our mothers’ names.
84. I’ve also been to Costa Rica.
85. I went there with my Spanish Club when I was 16.
86. That was the best trip I have ever taken.
87. I saved enough money to go to the Dominican Republic with two friends to celebrate our high school graduation.
88. On the way there, we changed planes in Puerto Rico.
89. Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is a beautiful place.
90. I want to go back, but I want to visit Santo Domingo the next time.
91. I’d love to visit Denmark and Scotland… where my family is from.
92. And Europe, and Mexico, and England, and… oh heck, I just want to TRAVEL more.
93. I’m a bit disappointed that B can only ever be in one of two bases because I’d love to be based abroad for a few years.
94. One day, I want to write a book.
95. I don’t know what genre… history, a romance, a children’s book–I just want to write!
96. My ultimate dream is to open a camp for kids with terminal diseases and their siblings. Like a traditional summer camp, only with some modifications like an on-site hospital/clinic with doctors/nurses who volunteer their time and can do any treatments the kids need at the time.
97. Because I think that kids should be able to have normal kid memories… not just of hospitals and treatments.
98. And I think sometimes the siblings of ill children get the short end of their parents’ time… so they should get a few weeks of “fun time” just for themselves.
99. But I have no idea how I’d ever find the money/support for it or even get it started. So I doubt it’ll ever happen.
100. I can’t believe I actually found 100 things to say.  Wow.

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The One About Orders

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happiness pulses with every beat of my heart.
~Emily Logan Decens

Guess what!!!!!!!!!!

I’m smiling so much I’m afraid I’m going to get permanent wrinkles… but I DON’T CARE!!

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The One About Money

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am having an out-of-money experience.
~Author Unknown

The economy is tough everywhere. But nowhere is it more obvious than in Michigan. June’s nationwide unemployment rate was 5.5%, which isn’t very good, but at least it’s improving. In Michigan, it was 8.5%… the highest in the nation. That’s sad. That’s really sad.

I know I’ve been feeling the pinch. Gas prices are astronomical. Milk has gone up more than $1 a gallon in the last year or so, fresh vegetables and fruit is insane. Heck, even the ground turkey I buy has gone up $0.20 a pound in the last two months. And that’s way cheaper than beef.

I found a link yesterday that allowed me to compare the rate of inflation from any given month to any other given month. I decided to see what the rate of inflation has been from when I bought my house in October 2005 through the end of June. Guess what it was—9.85%. Seriously. I know my salary hasn’t increased by nearly 10%… which means I haven’t been imagining things when I kept thinking I was way better off financially a couple years ago than now. Nope, the rate of inflation has skyrocketed, the Michigan economy is the worst in the nation (which it has been since it took over the top spot from Louisiana and Mississippi just a few months after Katrina… and it’s stayed there).

I’m at the point where I’m about to start looking for a part-time job. I’d like to keep Sundays free because that’s the only day B has off most weeks (even though he worked for several hours this past Sunday too… his first day off in 14 days will be this coming Sunday—hopefully) and that’s when we take our Little Brother (we’re a Big Couple in Big Brothers/Big Sisters). We’ve made a commitment to the boy and can’t let him down.

I have one iron in the fire that I’m waiting on before I start looking around at the local bars and restaurants to see if anyone needs a waitress. I don’t want to have to do this, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Though I shouldn’t have to do this with a full-time job in a field that requires a degree. But I work at a non-profit. In a bad economy. In the worst state of the whole economy. Without much choice to work anywhere else.

What I wouldn’t give to go back to being and kid and the only thing I’d be worrying about at this time of year would be getting my county fair projects done and trying not to think about the fact that school would start in a month.

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The One About Wordless Wednesday- 13th Edition

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.
~Bill Dana

wordless-wednesday.jpg

It’s Wordless Wednesday again!

Summertime. Cats. Birds. ‘Nuff said.

Sadie and Jake

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The One About Winter and Leap Year Musings

Friday, February 29, 2008

February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.
~Shirley Jackson

Why is it that people never cry, “Global Freezing!”? This has been the snowiest February on record and one of the coldest.  Yesterday, we got up to a high of 21… and our normal high is 20 degrees warmer than that!  I am really tired of this.  I keep telling myself that I only have one more winter left and since tomorrow is March, this winter is nearly done (though we can still get whollaped with a huge snow storm one week… but we usually have at least one 60 or 70 degree day in March).

Speaking of tomorrow being March, today is February 29, Leap Day and we won’t have another one for another four years.  Though I won’t be doing any leaping or hopping or jumping to celebrate it, it does make me think.

Four years ago, I was applying to a job at the nature center.  I’d start in the middle of March that year.  I had justcalendar-page.jpg graduated from college in December (3 1/2 years, yay!).  I would be moving down to Kalamazoo in April, where I am now. Now I’m working an world-renown aviation museum and I love my job.
Four years ago, my brother was a senior in high school.  Now he’s finished with his college education and has been scouted by Audi for their auto repair program.  He’ll be leaving for who knows where in the country (wherever they send him) in the next couple months.

Four years ago, my dad still had a year to live, though we didn’t know his heart was bad until days before he died.  Now, it’s been three years since he died and it seems both so far away and yet feels just like yesterday.

Four years ago, I only had one animal: Sadie, but was about to meet 4-week-old Jake and pick him out and take him home in April. Today, with my boyfriend, we have two Greyhounds, two cats, two Betta fish and one rat… and in three weeks, we’ll have a Great Pyrenees puppy.

Speaking of my boyfriend, four years ago I wasn’t dating anyone and now I’m in a relationship that I fully believe will go the distance.  Though I’ve dated here and there in four years, I really haven’t had a “serious” relationship since I was 20 and in college.

So much has happened in four years.  Makes me wonder where I will be in four years.

Four years ago, I was still only 21… four years from now, I’ll be a few months away from becoming 30.  Thirty?  I know it’s not old, but wow, my 20s have gone by so quickly.

In four years, B and I will be either in Georgia or Washington state… two completely different areas that will take our lives in opposite directions.  By the next Leap Year, we’ll have nearly completed his three year submarine duty rotation and will be getting ready for his three years of shore duty.  I doubt he’ll be a recruiter again, though.  Right now, he’s thinking of becoming an instructor for that shore rotation.

In four years, Chase will be 12 1/2… if he’s still around and Lulu will be 6 years old… just a few years away from being considered a “senior.”  And the Pyr puppy who is right now approaching 6 weeks old will be just over 4 years old… a solid adult at that time.  Sadie will be 11 and Jake will be a senior cat at 8.  Both the Bettas and the rat will be long gone by then.  But will there be any other animals?  Will I finally get back to my roots and have a horse once again?

In four years, there is a better-than-average chance that I’ll be a mom.  Will I be a mom who works outside the home, or a stay-at-home mom?  Honestly, if finances can work it, I’d love to either work from home or only work part-time.  But who knows… that’s four years from now.

Four years seems like such a long ways off… yet, the previous four years has flown by so quickly, so it can’t be as far off as it seems.  That’s one of the wonders and the best things about life… it’s constantly changing and you just never know where you will be or what will be happening from one year to the next.

So what about you?  What has happened in the last four years?  Where do you see yourself in the next four? I challenge each of you who are reading this to post your own Leap Year Musing and leave a link to it in my comment section.