Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last one for April

April whizzed by my face quicker than a fastball from < insert a pitcher's name here >. Just 5 days left and we'll be in May?!? No, it just can't be...I'm not ready. April feels like it's been really busy, and I'm not sure I'm ready to move on yet. I wanted to do so much this month (like garden and paint the bedroom), but I guess my to-do list will have to continue dragging on into the summer.

Before we begin the final countdown to May, I thought I'd share some highlights from this past week:

- the weather has been gorgeous (except for threats of tornadoes on Saturday)

- work was nice, not too crazy. My team even snuck out to get Italian ice one afternoon. score.

- GREAT yoga class on Tuesday. Oooommmmm

- Sean and I had a successful shopping trip to Kohl's and loaded up on new summer clothes

- I counted 21 blue shirts on Sean's side of the closet while I was doing laundry today (that includes stripes and checks.) Does anyone else think this is a problem?

- My brother has been staying with us all weekend (he's 11). We played lots of Super Nintendo, watched Twilight and ate way too much junk food. Because of this, I didn't clean house as much. I feel like a slacker.

- Miss Irene (one of my Mimi's friends) had our family over on Saturday. She wanted us to visit with her since she misses my Mimi so much. Her acreage in Shelbyville was beautiful and she served a delicious lunch. I ate too much and was suffering from a food coma for the 2nd half of the visit. I thought I was going to fall asleep on her couch which would've been really embarrassing.

- and finally, we hit up the Franklin Main Street Festival today (along with 35,000 other people) It was NUTS, but we enjoyed eating street food, bumping into good friends and shopping on such a beautiful day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crazy Dreams

If you've known me for more than 3 days, then you've probably appeared in one of my crazy dreams. (No, not those kinds of dreams...get your head out of the gutter.) Ever since I can remember I've had the most vivid and bizarre dreams, and I remember most of them! I recall dreams as if they were actual events. I even remember dreams that I had when I was 7 years old (like being with my Papa during a flood where there were alligators and snakes all around us). Last Monday night I had one of the strangest dreams of ALL TIME. And like I do with most weird dreams, I shared it with a few people. Of course, those people immediately said I was dropping acid because the dream is totally nuts. These dreams aren't like "Hey, my tooth is loose so I must be worried about money." No, I can't even begin to put any rhyme or reason to them, but if any of you readers want to take a stab at the hidden meaning behind this one then please do. I'd love to hear what you think. Here it goes:

Monday night I had a dream that resembled some sort of Adventureland complete with randomly funny pop-culture characters. I was walking through a pimped-out tree house with Captain Hook, and he was showing me around his home. It was like a grown up tree house – it had a kitchen and a bonus room with a pool table. He was, like, the real Captain Hook but more of a normal guy, and he wasn’t scary. All of a sudden, another man appeared at Hook’s tree house. It was either Captain Morgan or Panama Jack…or some sort of beach-y character like that. I learned that this Captain Morgan character’s real name was something like “Iggy” or “Spizzy” (I can’t quite recall), and he was wearing a vintage-like t-shirt and a cowboy hat. Turns out, Iggy was CAPTAIN HOOK’S EX-BOYFRIEND. I know, I know…hilarious, right?
They had been lovers at one point, and Iggy/Captain Morgan had come back to Hook’s place and it really upset Hook. I could tell they had a bad breakup. Hook started telling me “Oh, all he ever wanted to do was drink rum and write poetry.” . Somehow I ended up leaving Hook’s gay tree house and was wandering some ambiguous streets. I was on a long voyage, but I didn’t know exactly where I was going. I was walking, walking, walking…and I didn’t seem to have a map or any sense of direction. I wasn’t in the wilderness…I was around houses and towns, but I just didn’t know where I was headed. Then I ended up in a white-out blizzard. I couldn’t see ANYTHING. I could barely make out the shapes of houses and cars, but they were all covered with snow and it was very difficult to see what was just a few feet in front of me. But it was ok…because I had SANTA’S REINDEER WITH ME!!! Hahahaha! They were walking behind me, and I felt safe knowing they were there. I realized that I really needed to ditch the other reindeer and just ride on Rudolph’s back since he’s the one with the light-up nose…but then I looked at Rudolph and he was really small and frail. I could see his ribs and spine. Anorexic Rudolph? I was worried that Rudy wouldn’t be able to carry me on his back, and so the reindeer and i continued walking through the blizzard. We came to a very steep part in the road where it was difficult to walk uphill, and on either side of us were tall rock walls. The road kept getting narrower, and the walls were closing in on us….that’s the last I remember of that scene.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April Showers bring...Maximas?

After 1 year of zero car payments, Sean decided to treat himself to a new set of wheels. Well, new to us - it's a 2007 Maxima. We've both been driving 8 year old cars and praying that they last. His Intrepid was on the brink of needing some major repairs so we traded it in while the gettin' was hot. He haggled with the salesman for FIVE HOURS until they finally met his budget, and he felt good about the deal in the end. I think it's a pretty sexy car, don't you?

Hopefully my Sable will hold out a couple of more years. She's been a good car. Not as sexy as Mr. Maxima, but loyal and trustworthy.

Saturday night we met up with a group of friends and saw an awesome local band at the Bunganut Pig. I danced my butt off, and Sean even did a little dancing too. I don't know what's going on with my hair in this picture, but I promise my cut doesn't look like it's been leveled off with a razor. I think there was a mirror casting a strange reflection behind us.

And this little booger has been keeping us entertained. He keeps us clean, too, with all his incessant licking. He's doing very well with training and behaving himself while we're at work. We ran for a solid hour on Saturday and he was tuckered out in the end. Now if he could just mind his father while they're on the evening walk...

Also, we are retarded because we talk baby talk to him. But wook at the wittle guy, he's just so tweeeeeet.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm very, squealing, giddy excited. In just 2 weeks we'll be receiving our very first CSA crop share from Avalon Acres (based in Hohenwald, TN). If you haven't heard of a CSA before it stands for "community supported agriculture." A few friends of mine have participated in CSA's , and I've always been interested in trying it. I came across an online article about CSA's and it provided links to our local farms. I thought, "Why not?" I'd love to grow a garden of my own - and maybe I will one day - but in the meantime, I figured I'd just buy locally grown and organic produce. (I don't have enough yard or enough time to have a garden.) Surprisingly, I don't care so much about the organic part as I do about the local part. Check out some great benefits to buying from a local CSA farm:

-Keep your dollars in Tennessee by buying locally. Support the local farmer more directly. When you buy food from the conventional grocery stores .9 cents of every dollar goes in the farmers pocket. When you buy from our CSA 60-75% of every dollar goes in the farmers pocket. Your support DIRECTLY impacts small farming and the local economy.

-Assures more food dollars go to farmers and not truckers. Get rid of all the middle men who end up lowering the farmers income.

-Knowing where your food comes from (who, how, where).

-Eating healthier. Free-range meats contain CLAs and are the only way to get Omega 3s other than through fish. Produce that is picked fresh retains more of its nutrients.

-Enjoying a much broader variety of foods than you find in a store. You'll certainly try vegetables that you've never had before (or perhaps had as a child and never tried again).

-Knowing that animals have been treated with dignity. Supporting hormone-free, preservative free and chemical free meats.

-Preserving heritage breeds and seeds.

-Preventing antibiotic-resistant strains of disease.

-Saving petroleum and other resources.

-Enjoying what your state has to offer in food choices!

I'm looking forward to eating *super* fresh vegetables and trying new recipes. Avalon Acres' website provides lots of creative ways to prepare the food they'll be sending. In addition to 1/2 a bushel of vegetables, we'll also be receiving a dozen fresh eggs and one portion of meat. Mmmmm, bacon! The first delivery is scheduled for Sunday, May 2, so stay tuned for some cooking blogs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Who am I?

I came across this little article on Career Chemistry: The Best Jobs for Six Personality Types. I'm having a really difficult time figuring out which personality type suites me best, so I thought my friends and family might be able to tell me. Won't you, please? Weigh in on Facebook or comment on this blog and tell me who you think I am. I see a little bit of myself in each of these categories, but I can't decide which description is the clear front runner. Is there one? Surely I'm not equally balanced among these 6 options. Me? Balanced? HA! I'm a Gemeni. Even from birth I was born to contradict myself.

Realistic, hands-on people tend to be practical and straightforward. They like to work with concrete objects. (I'm practical and straightforward, but I don't know about the hands-on part. Seems a little too technical for me. Maybe instead of straightforward I'm just insensitive?). Careers compatible with this personality type: electrician, orthodontist, surgical technologist, biomedical engineer.

Investigative people are analytical, intellectual, and scientific. Typically, they like to gather a lot of information before making decisions. (Um, no...definitely not me. I make most of my decisions based on feelings and gut reactions.) And they question ideas that aren't backed up by rational data. Compatible careers: professor, software developer, physician's assistant, veterinarian, librarian. (I'm not very intellectual or scientific at all.)

Artistic people are creative and imaginative, as you might expect. But they can also be strong problem solvers, since they bring an intuitive mindset that complements the more rational approach others might offer. (Everyone loves to say that I'm artistic, but I prefer the term crafty instead. I believe that true artists find ways to express their emotions through their craft...and I simply copy other people's work. I've never created anything on my own. I find it difficult to think outside the box because I'm such a black-and-white rule follower. Need lists and boundaries and all that good stuff. Definitely not artistic.) Compatible careers: landscape architect, graphic designer, director or producer, interior designer, editor. (All of those jobs sound really intriguing, but it would never work out. I can't even decide where to hang a picture in my own house.)

Social people often end up in "helping" professions where attributes like patience, empathy and generosity make a difference. They're often strong team players good at achieving consensus. Compatible careers: school physiologist, mediator, nurse, physical therapist, social worker. (This category definitely speaks to me, and it's one I'd desire to be in. Unfortunately, I think I'm too rough around the edges. I need to do some growing before classifying myself here, but I hope that one day people will call me patient and empathetic. Definitely a social person, though. No doubt about that. And I really do want to help people. I just need to learn how to really help them rather than bossing them around.)

Enterprising people are competitive, energetic extroverts. (Extrovert, yes. Competitive and energetic? No. I take way too many naps.) They often end up as entrepreneurs or group leaders, and prefer to delegate the pieces of a project while focusing on the bigger picture. (Sure, who doesn't like to delegate? I usually end up as some sort of leader in a group setting, but I think this category might involve too much risk and politics for me.) Compatible careers: executive, financial manager, sales rep, sales manager. ( current job might be classified as sales rep. Maybe that's why I'm struggling.)

Conventional people, also described as orderly, are somewhat misnamed. They're not necessarily bland, thought they do tend to be reserved (ha! I'm totally not reserved), careful and efficient. These folks are who handle all the details that keep the trains running on time. (I do really enjoy paying attention to details...when I'm in the right mood. Other times I'm a big picture person. Either way, I consider myself to be extremely organized and efficient.) Compatible careers: accountant, actuary, financial planner, technical writer, building inspector.

So who do you think I am?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

St. Louis Part I

We made it back from St., 1 hour ago. Can you believe I'm blogging already!? I know, I's very much unlike me to be updating the blog so soon. But, it was either Blog or Unpack...and I went with Blog. Wouldn't you?

We came home to a very happy puppy and an overgrown yard. Sean is mowing the yard as I type. Neither of us were prepared to come back just yet. Good vacations always end too quickly. We were just starting to settle in, learn our way around the city and bond with the Jensen kids...and now we're back in Franklin where we have busy schedules, career woes and home responsibilities. Yuck, yuck and more yuck. The first thing I did when we entered the house was open my calendar and start to organize our plans for next week. BIG MISTAKE.

...Easter Sunday service, visit with my family at noon, visit with Sean's family at 5, meal planning, grocery trip, give Murphy a bath, do laundry, back to work on Monday, try to raise money for MS, reserve D1 class for Thursday, confirm cookout time with my uncle, get a copy of rabies tags for Murphy, buy Amanda a birthday present, work out, cook dinner, coordinate logo consultation with Faby, pack for Grand Rapids, business trip to Grand Rapids on Tuesday and Wednesday, unpack from business trip, cook dinner, buy new blinds because our new renters already broke a set and they've only lived there 4 days, work out, squeeze in a much needed happy hour with Sherri on Friday, cook dinner (if still sober), go to rental house to repair the fence and hang new blinds for them, haircut from KC, family cookout, karaoke for my sister's birthday....oh yes, and run with Murphy every morning and go to work and fight with people all day...

But it'll be fine. I think.

At least I had 4 days in St. Louis to spend with my husband and good friends.

Sean and I took the Budweiser Brewery tour (free!), and I'm glad we didn't have to pay anything for it because it wasn't the best. Fun to see the Clydesdales and bottling factory, but not very heavy on the actual brewing process. I'd say 2 out of 5 stars.

Sean and I rented 2 of the Jensen kids (Sarah and William) for a day and took them to the Zoo - also free! It was hotter than blazes so we gave in and bought $18 worth of B&J ice cream. Kind of defeated the purpose of the free trip, but oh well...We really enjoyed the lazy and comical chimps. The hippos put on a good swimming show, and the penguins were super cute. By the end of the zoo trek the 4 of us were wiped out. We walked all over Forest Park (larger than Central Park in NYC) to get back to our car. We spotted a wading pool and cooled off for a bit before heading back to the house.

St. Louis has a lot to offer as far as tourism, and most of the sites are free. The City Garden is a quiet stop in the middle of the bustling city, and it's home to several quirky sculptures like this bunny. City Garden also has a great view of the Arch.

Another St. Louis must-see (or rather, taste) is Pappy's Smokehouse. We knew the line would be long since Pappy's was featured on Food Network and the Travel Channel, but we were willing to wait it out in order to try this famous Memphis style BBQ. Being from the south, we had to see if Pappy knew what he was doing when it came to pork. Even though the line of hungry visitors wrapped around the entire restaurant it seemed to move really quickly. I'd say we had our food and a seat within 30 minutes. And it was worth the wait! A generous portion of pulled pork on a sesame seed kaiser roll, sweet potato fries and garlicky green beans. The sauces were thick and rich with the right hint of sweet. Too bad Pappy's isn't part of the free stuff in St. Louis.