Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Workin' for the Weekend

I know it's been some time, nearly a week, since I last blogged. But I've been a busy girl. And when I'm not busy, I'm tired. And when I'm not busy or tired, I still can't blog because I'm having phone line issues at my house. (So, if you're my FB friend, that's why my crops are withered and my fish are dead.)
I work in the Comptroller Department. And we're coming up on the end of our fiscal year. You'd be amazed by how many numbers out there that need to balance. So, I've worked the last three Saturday's. (Lucky me, I've been off every Sunday.) And it's not like I'm working 18-hour days or anything. But I'm not getting to sleep in. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to sleep in on my weekends. Well, by working Saturday's and going to church Sunday mornings, I'm not getting to sleep in EVER. And I am REALLY missing it!

Tomorrow is officially the last day of the fiscal year. I've heard a couple of people talk about bringing in more comfortable clothes for the later hours of the evening/night. I asked my boss how late she wanted/needed me to stay. The message I understood in her reply was, 'Be flexible.' So, I honestly don't know how late I'll be working tomorrow. I could be out of here by dark. Or I could be here until midnight. No way to know at this point.

I also asked what our schedule would be like for the first week of October. Again, no specific guidance there. Could be normal days, could be long days. This is my first year in the Comptroller Department, so I have no idea. And those that have some experience with this time of year in this department, aren't willing to put in their bets. Suffice it to say, I have no idea how many hours I'm working this week.

That's okay with me though. Except for being ready to jump into my MK business with abandon and singing at mass this Sunday morning, I don't have much going on in my world.

...except that I need to get my phone fixed. Jeff noticed last weekend when he was home that our phone didn't have a dial tone. I rarely use that phone, so I didn't even notice. It's a cheap wal-mart phone; I figured it had just hit the end of its life-cycle. I planned to get a new cheap wal-mart phone the next time I headed that way (which will be well after this fiscal year scheduling is in the past). Then I didn't think about it again...until I had no internet this past weekend. It crossed my mind that perhaps my 'phone' issue is really a 'phone line' issue.

So, this is what I have to do. I need to take my phone outside and plug it into this little gray box that's hanging off the side of my house. If I have service there, that means the problem is INSIDE the house and MY problem to solve. We're hoping that's NOT the case. If I DON'T have service there, that means the problem is OUTSIDE the house and Verizon will look into it. BUT the little gray box that's hanging off the side of my house requires a 3/8" socket so that I can remove the bolt that serves as a lock, protecting the phone jack inside. I thought for sure I had such a tool, but nothing I had fit. So, I'll address it again tonight.

Again...let's pray together now...we do NOT want to have phone service from the little gray box hanging off the side of my house so that Verizon can come out and work their magic, making both my phone and my lovely internet connection functional again. THANKS!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Forty Days for Life - Day 1

Forty Days for Life is a campaign to end abortion through prayer and fasting. Today is Day 1. This record breaking campaign is being hosted in at least 212 cities in 45 US states, 5 Canadian provinces, and Denmark. People will be coming together to pray... for life. This is the largest, most-widespread, coordinated pro-life outreach ever.

In addition to joining one of the on-site prayer locations, there are daily devotionals available to keep you focused. You can access them at the Forty Days for Life website or have them emailed directly to you.

This is the fourth Forty Days event. What happened after the first three events?
  • Over 200,000 have joined together in an historic display of unity to pray and fast for an end to abortion
  • More than 70,000 people have taken to the streets, forming peaceful 40-day prayer vigils outside of Planned Parenthood centers and abortion facilities
  • Reports document 1,561 lives that have been spared from abortion — and those are just the ones we know about
  • Eighteen abortion workers have quit their jobs and walked away from the abortion industry
  • Three abortion facilities completely shut down following local 40 Days for Life campaigns
  • Hundreds of women and men have been spared from the tragic effects of abortion, including a lifetime of regrets
  • More than 400 news stories have been featured in newspapers, magazines, radio shows and TV programs from coast to coast ... and overseas
  • Many people with past abortion experiences have stepped forward to begin post-abortion healing and recovery

***NOTE: Much of this post was pulled directly from the Forty Days for Life website. But there's tons more information out there. So, check it out.***

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First Day of Fall

That's what it says on my Franklin Covey Day Planner. Today is the first day of fall.

I love fall. It's my favorite of all the seasons. Has been since I was a kid and loved summer like all other kids do.
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

The temperature in this part of the country is mild and comfortable. Perfect for sitting out on the porch and opening the windows to let in the fresh air.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

The leaves on the trees turn the most beautiful colors. And they're ever-changing. It's just a beautiful time.
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

And the corn and soybeans are ready to harvest. Everything is ready to harvest! It's just a neat time.
For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale

Not to mention, I love that it's football season. Weekends spent with my favorite teams.
Deep inside, we're still the boys of autumn, that magic time of the year that once swept us onto America's fields. ~Archie Manning

What's not to like about the fall?
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tired Baby Girl

I was so excited that nearly every morning when I woke up last week, I felt rested. It's been awhile since I've felt that good that many mornings in a row.
Well...THAT has come to an abrupt end! Today, I am a tired baby girl.

I know I stayed up too late watching the Giants beat the Cowboys. And unfortunately, I intend to watch football again tonight. The COLTS' one and only Monday Night Football game AND the two-hour premier of "House". Why on earth did those two events have to be scheduled on the same night?! Last night, I tossed and turned so much, I pulled the sheets off my bed. I don't remember having any traumatic dreams. But for some reason, my body just wasn't restful. I hope that changes for tonight.

Jeff was home for the weekend. I didn't see him much, but I'm sure he was there. We went to dinner Friday night at Los Bravos. Just like old times. We sat and talked for about half an hour after we'd stopped eating. Then he went to the volleyball game and I went home to veg out. He got home after I'd gone to bed. Saturday, I worked all day and then went to an Emmaus Candlelight. Jeff slept until noon and then hung out with friends until well after I was in bed. Sunday, I sang at mass with the choir while Jeff slept in. We did spend the afternoon together...at my parents'. We had dinner with them before Jeff headed back to school. So, we shared a couple of meals. He seems to be doing well. And I think he enjoyed his weekend home.

It's September 21st. That means we have less than ten days of the fiscal year left to get everything ready for the next fiscal year. So far, so good. I've been able to keep up with everything that's been handed to me to do...by working a couple of Saturday's. I'm sure things will start getting a little crazy here. But if I can just get some restful sleep, I think I'll be okay. I have a feeling that this coming weekend is going to be a little crazy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nice job, Leslie!

Every Thursday, I run a report that lets the financial folks at Crane know our current numbers. We have targets that we're trying to hit by the end of the fiscal year (FY). So, some folks are anxious to see this report each week...including my bosses.

This morning, I finished the report and sent updated numbers to a few folks in key positions, like I do every week. One of the people that gets that information is the Comptroller. I really like Mr. C. We've been a little concerned with hitting our projected Revenue numbers this year, so I let them know that our revenue was up $12M this week. (It was up a little more last week, but less than that the three weeks prior.) Anyway, he came back with a message. "Good job, Leslie! $12M is a good number."

I had to stop and think about that. The fact is, I don't do ANYTHING to 'affect' the numbers. I simply run the report and then report the results. THEN it crossed my mind that maybe I SHOULD HAVE BEEN doing something to 'affect' those numbers. I started to freak out a little, thinking that the previous employees who filled this position were accountants and probably knew how to adjust balances between the various departments, etc. to improve our numbers. But no one has ever taught me how to do this, so I've never done anything like that.

Well, Mr. C stopped by my desk about 20 minutes later. I couldn't help myself...I just had to ask him... "When you said, nice job to me, you're not REALLY saying that I personally did something to improve the flow of Revenue for Crane this week, are you? Or that I might actually do some creative accounting with the data to 'fix' errors the systems might have caused?" He flat out laughed at me and said that no, he knew I was simply reporting the numbers, that his comment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I told him that I was relieved, but that it had crossed my mind that if our Revenue was already improving and I hadn't even tapped into any power *I* might have for improving things... well shucks, things could be GREAT if I actually knew how to take advantage of that 'power'. He looked at me seriously and said that there would NEVER be a need for me to report anything other than the real story.

Good! Because that's all I know how to do! I really like working for Mr. C.

I have to say, I didn't honestly think that I was expected to do anything sly or under-handed to improve the financial picture at Crane. I simply thought that there might be accounting rules or financial tools that I wasn't aware of that I could be (should be) using to correct any previously made errors. But no...I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do...at least with respect to this report. I was relieved to hear that!

Nice job, Leslie!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How 'bout them Colts?

Okay, for a Colts fan, I need to pay better attention. I didn't even know until today that Hunter Smith wasn't a Colt anymore. No more Hunter the Punter...well, at least not in Indy. He's playing for the Washington Redskins. He's a good man; I wish him all the best.

He had a good day today. The Redskins were down 17-0. It appeared that they were going to kick a field goal. Hunter was the ball holder. As the kicker approaches the ball, Hunter picks it up and runs it in wide for a touchdown! Probably the best part of their game. They're losing 20-10 with less than five to go as I type this. But good for Hunter!

It was a good day for another former Colt. Brandon Stokley, now with the Denver Broncos, found himself in the right place at the right time. Denver nearly won that game with wimpy score of 6-0. Then Cincy goes and scores a touchdown. Looking at a sure loss to the Bengals with next to no time on the clock, Kyle Orton throws a long pass. The intended receiver was only able to tip it into the air. That's usually the best way to guarantee an interception. Instead, teammate Brandon Stokley snagged the ball out of the air and went in for the touchdown. You could almost see the air deflate out of the Cincinnati players. Denver won 12-7. Nice job, Stokley!

The current Colts weren't too bad today either. Actually, parts of the game weren't at all pretty. So, it's nice to pull out a victory over a conference rival in Jacksonville. I guess sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. But as a fan, it's a lot less stressful when they're just good! So, hopefully we can work on some of our weaknesses and have a more convincing showing next Monday against the Dolphins...in Miami.
I'm so glad football season is here.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Today is Patriot Day. The anniversary of the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and one "lucky" plane that didn't reach it's planned destination.

Today is the day that we honor our civil heroes...the firemen, the policemen, the emergency medical teams...and the average Joe's that step in when needed, just to do the right thing...the volunteers.

It's hard to believe that it's been eight years. EIGHT! Eight years of recovering and healing and moving on. Eight years of security enhancements at our airports and military installations...and even our not-so-military installations. Eight years of "We will never forget..."

But I think people are forgetting.

I know it's not Christmas. And I realize that it's difficult to reflect on a day that holds such sadness for our country. And I know it's still early in the day...but I haven't heard one person mention Patriot Day or the 9-11 anniversary even once today. I don't see obvious signs of red, white, and blue and yellow ribbons and T-shirts that memorialize that fateful day. I heard no reminder on the radio on my way in to work. And the only mention of it on my MSN.com homepage is an editorial on what it's like being a kid in the post-9-11 era.

It's Patriot Day, people! A day of remembrance and perhaps some sadness, yet. But also a day of celebration! We have so much to celebrate. This country's ability to unite and rise above and build up and bounce back and move on and persevere through.


...and celebrate!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I need some air.

Okay, so my plans last weekend were to whack down the weeds around my home and FINALLY finish painting the white parts gray. I was so excited about these plans. I got all the supplies I needed. I borrowed a lean-against-the-house kind of ladder. I made no other plans for my three-day weekend. I was focused.

Then my weed-eater died. So, she's at the shop to be repaired. The mechanic said that he'd probably be done with it Monday or Tuesday. Well, it's Thursday and still no word from the mechanic. I tried borrowing my dad's, but that didn't work out. I was so bummed.

So tomorrow is supposed to be my RDO (regular day off, for you non-Crane types). My mission was to resume last weekend's plans. Well, without my weed-eater, I'm pretty much in the same boat I was in last weekend. But more to the point, being that I work in the Comptroller Department and September 30th is the end of our fiscal year (FY), I'll be working in the office instead of in the yard. That's okay, I suppose. But I'm running out of weekends that will be fit for outdoor painting.

I'm only scheduled to work six hours tomorrow. But sometime during that six hours, I'll find out if I have to work Saturday. I have this sneaking suspicion that I'll be working on Saturday. We have a significant organizational 'evolution' that we're incorporating in conjunction with the turn of the FY. (wow, that's a lot of buck-fifty words) We've been given access to a test version of one of our systems to see if our new organizational structure is going to work in that system. Well, it HAS to work. We have no choice there. But we need to see what and where our limitations are going to be. That could be a frustrating day.

One of the offices here has sprung a leak. I'm not sure what is leaking, though it's NOT the ceiling. Whatever it is, it's been leaking for a week. The entire office floor is soaking wet and starting to smell bad. Finally today, someone came to repair the leak. At one point, they had to use some kind of plumbers glue that immediately gave everyone in the room a headache. Talk about pungent! Well, that smell is gone now. But after that, various co-workers began spraying Lysol or Febreeze or other name-brand air fresheners around to mask the 'wet, dank' smell of this one office. So, I had this constant headache today due entirely to the various strong smells. I think I spent more time looking forward to fresh air than anything else.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And the GOLD STAR goes to...

The University of Oregon!

After Oregon's opening game against Boise State, one of the Boise State players (Byron Hout) celebrated the victory by shouting at and then tapping the shoulder pad of Oregon player LaGarrette Blount. Before the Boise State coach could pull his player aside to chastise him, Oregon's Blount threw a right hook to Boise State's Hout, knocking him to his knees.

Blount is a senior. He's a 6' 2", 240 pound running back. He rushed for over a thousand yards last year. He also set a school record by scoring 17 touchdowns. Those are great stats. Blount was a huge part of Oregon's offense.

In spite of that, the University of Oregon chose to suspend Blount for the rest of the season, including Bowl games. The Pac-10 supported the decision.

Athletes are not above the rules. Regardless of whether they want to be or not, athletes are role models to our young people. Not to mention, college athletes represent the schools they play for. The University of Oregon recognized that Blount's behavior was well outside of what is acceptable for their student athletes and took swift action to make that point.

Kudos for doing the right thing!

Living in Blue Chip Conference country, I wonder if any of our local principals, coaches, or athletic directors would have made the same decision for their star basketball player. Unfortunately, I doubt it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

So much to say...

I know I've really been an inconsistent blogger of late. Well today, I'm doing my part to make up for it. So, get comfortable.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I'm not a good sleeper. Well, Tuesday at work, I was so darn tired, I left an hour early just to go home and go to bed. I didn't get to bed until around 7pm, but I slept the better part of 12 hours. TWELVE! Who even knew there were 12 hours available in a day to sleep. But I did it. And today, I feel wonderful! I'm ready to take on the world!

Work is good. Today is the first day of September. For folks that work in the Comptroller Department (or any financial role, for that matter) for a government agency, this is when the heat is turned up. The goal is to clean up, close out, and balance every number you come across. I'm not really a financial person, per se. But I'll keep busy updating a records for the latest 'evolution'. Being a 'systems person', I can update data from the 'back end' much easier than it can be done through the user interface. So, that's where my time will be spent.

Today, the entire Comptroller Department had our end-of-year kick-off/cook-out at the Marina. Lunch was paid for by the managers and prepared by our three young, male accountants. The food was good. The weather was perfect. And then we went out for a boat ride, chauffeured by the comptroller himself. It was so nice. I love my job!

After getting all that sleep, I'm ready to take on the task of painting my house. I know, it's about time! Well, the weather has been so darn pleasant. And the work has been begging to be completed. So, hopefully by the end of my 3-day weekend... The house will be painted, the falling guttering will be down, the lawn will be mowed, the weeds and other foliage around the house will be whacked down, and the carport will be orderly. It'll be a lot of work, but it definitely needs to be done. And I'm looking forward to it!

Monday - Jeff calls to tell me that he has another kidney stone. It's on his right side again. I can't believe that he could have developed another one since May. It was making him sick, but it seems to be moving along its little path now.
Tuesday - Jeff calls me to tell me that he's totally stressed and is ready to quit school. That's the second Tuesday in a row that I've heard that story. I told him to hang in there. I'm pretty sure his biggest stressor is that he doesn't have a job. So, I told him to expand his search.
Wednesday (today) - Jeff calls me again. (We never talked this much when we were living together.) He sounded SO MUCH BETTER than yesterday. I think it's because he's looking into on-campus employment. That will be great for him since he doesn't have a car. He won't get many hours and he may lose his job to a work-study candidate next semester. But still, it'll fit his immediate need. He also told me that while eating puppy chow last night, his tongue swelled up to fill the inside of his mouth. They think he has a peanut allergy. He's never been a fan of peanut butter, but he hasn't avoided nuts in other forms. Yet he's never shown this kind of reaction before. So, they gave him tons of Benadryl and the swelling finally went down. So, now he has to avoid peanuts. Amoxicillin and peanuts.

In the spirit of Ally McBeal, I have decided that I need a theme song. I'm ashamed to say, I can't remember what Ally chose as her 'theme'. I just remember that her therapist told her that it didn't fit her at all. Ally was completely offended that this doctor person would shoot down her theme song. Well, my theme song this week is "Awaken" by Natalie Grant. It's upbeat and fun. And the first verse just hit me. It goes like this...

Sometimes I feel like I'm just existing
I'm not really living
I'm only watching the time slip away
I've forgotten who I am in You
I'm not who I'm meant to be, Lord
I'm drifting farther away from my destiny

Awaken my heart, awaken my soul
Awaken Your power and take control
Awaken the passion to live for You, Lord
Awaken me

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I am Leslie and I have an unhealthy relationship with food.

[Hi, Leslie!]

It's not the only unhealthy relationship I've ever had...and it probably won't be the last. But it's the unhealthy relationship I'm living with right now.

I thought that by having less food in my house, I'd be less likely to over-eat. But that just entices me to eat fast-food.

I thought that if I kept busy doing other things, I wouldn't have nearly as much opportunity to eat. But I've learned that I have a talent for eating while doing just about anything. (I am amazing. Write it down.)

I thought that if I worked out more often, I wouldn't have to worry about what I was eating. And that may still be true...but I'm not nearly as diligent about working out as I am careless about eating. So, that theory still needs to be adequately tested.

I even put a bible verse on my refrigerator: "Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31 I thought that the Word of God might sway me to think twice before eating a whole tub of strawberry ice cream. But not so much. There's another bible verse about one's body being a temple for the Holy Spirit and should be treated as such. Maybe if I find that one, it'll be a more effective deterrent.

One of my friends told me that I need to have three food-related rules. Apparently these helped her during her 'reprogramming' period.

  1. Absolutely NO food after 6pm. It's really bad for the metabolism as you sleep and can even prevent you from sleeping well.
  2. NEVER eat while doing something else. Mealtime is for eating...not working or watching television or driving or whatever else. So, if you're doing something else, you have to stop what you're doing in order to eat.
  3. Always leave something on your plate. The portions that we choose for ourselves are often too large...so don't be afraid to leave some of it on the plate. She went as far as to say that when she goes out to dinner, she asks for a box shortly after her meal arrives...and puts HALF of her meal into the box as soon as possible.

I always say, "You have to find something you're good at and stick with it." Well, I'm good at eating and it's definitely stuck with me. I just need to find something ELSE that I'm good at, something I enjoy MORE than eating. Hopefully that something isn't worse for me than food.