Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Year's Eve!

Another fiscal year bites the dust.

I've decided that I don't like the last two days of the fiscal year being during the weekend. My blackberry buzzed off the hook. I spent much of the weekend answering email and trying to connect to the server at work in order to fix issues for our customers. It was such a distraction to my football viewing.

I shouldn't complain; the folks that actually work with the money and the contracts had to be in the office long hours all weekend long. I just support the application that the customers use to do their jobs. So, my role was minimal really. I've just never felt so tied to my 'leash' in the past.

That's what I call my blackberry --- a leash. But I get paid well to be available like that. So, I'll stop whining now. Happy New Year!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Half a Million Dollars Worth of Equipment

What a GREAT day! I finally called someone about taking the dying tree down, the one that lost a huge branch (or limb, whatever) just Tuesday. They came out this afternoon to do an estimate which was A LOT cheaper than I expected. And they even took the trees with them when they left! I can't believe it took one phone call and just a few hours.

I left work early in order to pay them for their services. I got home early enough to watch a lot of the work. Amazing how fast it goes when they know what they're doing. Amazing! A couple of guys were in a cherry-picker trimming the tall branches on the big dying tree. Another one was grinding the stump of the dead trees that used to be next to the driveway. And another two guys were shoving the refuse into a chipper/chopper thing that had THE INTIMIDATOR painted on the side of it. When I told the the man in charge that I thought the whole process was efficient and impressive, he said I was looking at half a million dollars worth of equipment.

I just stood back and watched it all. Not only was the process impressive, but I took the time to appreciate the fact that I would no longer have to worry about these darn trees landing on my house or the neighbor's house. Not to mention, from now on I'd have far less kindling to gather prior to mowing my lawn. Victory all around. At least a half a million dollars worth!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Welcome Back

I finally went back to work yesterday. I didn't want to, of course. I could have stayed home and slept another few hours, read for awhile, played with the cat. But no, I went in to the office.

My computer took forever to boot up. Apparently I wasn't the only one stuck in vacation mode. I think NMCI pushed something that affected the performance of my PC. That should make for a productive week. When I finally got into my email, I had 128 messages. Gave me an excuse to ease into my day. It took me hours to read, reply, and file all of them. I actually enjoyed it...a built in list that I could attack one item at a time

Yeah, I'm a list girl. I get that from my dad. He's always making lists too. But he's much more accomplished at marking things off. That's the list-maker's favorite thing in the world, marking items off the list. The ultimate fate of the list is to be completely wiped out. I suppose it's sad if you're the list.

But let's be serious. The list is NEVER completely done. There are always new things to add to the list. And depending on my mood and my need to feel productive, my list often becomes more granular. 'Clean the living room' becomes 'vacuum, dust, fluff pillows, clear coffee table, clean windows, Febreze, etc.' I know, it's shameful. Then I get to spend more time making my list and marking things off the list and less time actually performing the items ON the list.

Well, the only thing on my list right now is 'go to bed'. I'll start a new list tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Day Off

I took another day off. I probably should have gone to work. But I just couldn't do it.

First of all, I didn't feel all that great. Just a minor cold, scratchy throat and such. But more accurately, I'm still on a high from my weekend and I'm afraid that I won't be able to maintain this feeling if I go into the office. So, I've been avoiding it.

Still, I NEED to go back to work tomorrow. So tonight, I'm turning in early. I NEVER go to bed early. My plan is to read several chapters of the Karen Kingsbury book that I'm reading, "Even Now". That will relax me and help me to fall asleep.

I accomplished more today than yesterday. I saved the flag at the high school. We had a huge storm this afternoon. While sitting in my living room watching the strong winds and heavy rains, I noticed that the American flag at the high school fell to the ground. It was still hanging onto he lanyard, but the knot came loose and the flag was touching the ground. I immediately got into my car, drove across the street, freed the flag, and returned it to the school. I was soaked! But it felt good. Just the veteran in me, I guess.

I also lost a HUGE branch from the tree that sits between my house and my neighbor's home. I can never remember which is bigger, a branch or a limb. At any rate, it's HUGE. I'm lucky that it didn't hit my house OR my neighbor's. That would have been horrible. I keep putting off having that tree taken down because it's so expensive. But I don't think I can put it off any more.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What an Experience!

I had the most wonderful weekend. I attended the Walk to Emmaus, a Christian retreat. It started Thursday night and lasted 72 hours. And it was amazing! What an incredible way to spend a weekend. I strongly suggest it to anyone looking to renew their faith. Wow! Just...WOW!

As I mentioned in my most recent post, James 1:2-3 is my favorite bible verse. "Consider it all joy, my friends, when you encounter various trials. For it is the testing of your faith that produces perseverance." With my recent challenges, it seemed appropriate. For the last couple of years, it's pretty much been my mantra.

Well, I'm looking for a new bible verse to replace that mantra. I'm thinking about Philippians 1:6 which states, "I am quite confident that the One who began a good work in you will go on completing it until the day Jesus Christ comes." He has a plan for me. And he's already working on me, but He's not done. And He won't stop working on me until He comes again. Thank God!

Did you know that if you read six chapters of your bible every day, you'll have it completed in six months? Six chapters a day doesn't sound all that demanding. So, that's what I'm going to do. Since I'm starting today, I'll be done by March 23rd. I've read a lot of my bible, but I've never read it from cover to cover. And I'm much more familiar with the New Testament. I've found that it's easier to read and has more "good news". But I'm not going to let that stop me. Six chapters every day to finish the bible in six months.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's All Good

My favorite bible verse is James 1:2-3. In my bible, it reads, "Consider it all joy, my friends, when you encounter various trials, for it is the testing of your faith that produces perseverance."

My translation: It's all good.

Things happen to us. Some things are absolutely amazing; some things are horribly tragic. Sometimes we bring them on ourselves with the decisions that we make. Sometimes they're brought on by circumstances out of our control. Things happen.

The Good News is that our happiness depends on how we deal with those things. We can choose to be injured or we can choose to grow. If we think of everything, good or bad, as a blessing from God, our cross to bear, or a necessary step in our ultimate salvation, it's all good. Every event molds us. We just need to remind ourselves to focus on the grace gained from accepting ALL of God's gifts to us.

Personally, I usually start out injured or overwhelmed or angry, but I eventually get to the blessing. I know that I wouldn't be the person I am today without the experiences I've endured. I'm thankful for the blessings that allow me to live the life I do. But I'm also thankful for the hard knocks that have built my character and enriched my faith.

Just remember, it's all good. It's ALL good! It may not always feel good. But it'll get good.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Thought It Was Wednesday

Walking into the office this morning, I ran into a co-worker who always makes me smile. He asked how I was doing. I replied that I was glad it was Wednesday, half way there. He stopped walking, looked at me funny, and replied, "Huh...sure doesn't FEEL like a Wednesday." It took me a few steps, but I finally realized it was only TUESDAY. I was completely dejected!

I stopped walking. I let my chin fall to my chest. I even groaned out loud. Bob just laughed at me. That was how my day started.

Then it got crazy! So much to do. Busy, busy, busy. CRAZY busy! But enough about work...

My day ended with a night out with the girls. I love the girls! I love that we can talk about anything, laugh about everything, and accomplish a whole heck of a lot of nothing. A perfect girls' night out. We try to get together every month; I hope we never give it up.

Time to cut this short. After daiquiris and guacamole, I need to get some sleep. I have another Wednesday morning to endure!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

They're Mama's Boys Until Junior High

My sister-in-law and I were having a conversation about our boys this evening. Actually, we weren't discussing them specifically; we were just talking...when her son, my nephew, mentioned that he looked like a Mama's Boy in one of his old pictures. She replied, "You were!"

He was completely offended by this statement.

He wouldn't have been years ago. Probably not even last year. But now, he's in Junior High. We decided that Junior High is the beginning of the end of the Mama's Boy.

Not because they're too macho to admit that they have a close relationship with their mothers, but because they turn into these rude, crude, disrespectful, know-it-all sons-of-satan. They are no longer ours; they belong to Junior High. Gone are the Please and Thank You’s we used to hear. They speak only in short, snide sentences and rolling eyes. "Yeah right, whatever." (I swear, I'm going to write a book one day called "Yeah Right, Whatever: the teen’s response to EVERY statement".)

My nephew is not my first experience with this conversion. My son is now a Junior in High School and has totally MASTERED the Junior High mentality. Oh, he's gotten more sophisticated about it. His arguments are more like interrogations by a defense attorney. But it's obviously still the same situation… our sons creating separation from their mothers and their childhood in an effort to assert their independence.

It has to happen. But it’s painful for the mom’s. And even though we truly want our boys to grow up strong and independent, we’re still going to blame it on Junior High.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Another Beautiful Day in God's Country

I don't know when it started, but I refer to my home town, the county that I live in, the whole of southern Indiana really, as God's Country. So does my mom. I got it from her actually. She's lived here her entire life. I couldn't wait to move back.

We have four distinct seasons, each one with it's marvel and beauty. We have fresh air and blue skies, tall trees and rolling hills, and sunsets that grow more and more beautiful until they have no choice but to disappear. We also have white snow, rolling thunder, and enough lightning to put a fireworks display to shame.

No other artist could create such a masterpiece. Only One.

Today, the high was 79 degrees. There was a nice breeze and just enough clouds to make the sky look oh-so-blue. Every time I passed a window and saw the leaves wave with the wind, I wanted to run outside with my face to the sun, my eyes closed, spinning around in circles like Maria in 'The Sound of Music'.

But there was work to do. So, I smiled, added a bounce to my step, thanked God for the gift, and went back into my windowless cubicle. But I got a lot done. A very productive day. And if one has to work, there's nothing better than that.

Another beautiful day in God's Country.