Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas to me!

I finally feel as though I'm a member of the 21st century. The urge to purchase all things computer-related has come over me, and thankfully I've been blessed with parents who understand that sometimes cash is the best gift of all.

So this week I've spent more on computer toys than I have in the past 5 years. And it's been fun!

I FINALLY bought a printer - and set the thing up on my own, which is no small feat for the technologically challenged (me). It does everything I wanted and more ... who knew I could plug my camera's memory card into a printer and select which print I'd like to make by the push of a button?!? So very cool. And I'm aware this probably isn't new to you ... I've just emerged from a hole in the ground.

I also bought an external hard drive. I've always feared the day when my computer decides it's time to quit. Now I'll be prepared ... 500 gigs of storage is far more than I think I could use in my lifetime, but hey - you never know.

So, yes ... I'm finally learning a little about computer stuff. And I'm thinking this is going to be a problem because I actually enjoyed my trips to Best Buy, Circuit City and Staples over the last week.

I think I need to put my credit cards in the freezer now.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I finally did it

It's been building for a year now. I knew I would do it when I felt comfortable enough to blurt it out. Sometimes it's just too hard to control the the power it has over me, so today I just HAD to ...

out loud
while listening to my iPod.


Yeah ... I think a couple co-workers might be suffering from whiplash tonight after jerking their heads around rather quickly to see just who was making the gawd-awful noise that suddenly polluted their workspaces.

And, although I had feared this day would come, I didn't think it would involve a Scissor Sisters song that probably should not be repeated loudly at the office. I just thank the good Lord I didn't sing the line that might have sent someone into cardiac arrest.

So, yeah. I'm feeling pretty darn cool.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone out there in blogland a very merry Christmas!
If I'm not back by the new year, have a safe and wonderful New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

ANOTHER goodbye

Like everyone else, I've got my good days and bad days at the office. Bad days usually are filled with computer crashes, missed deadlines and maybe a gigantic headache or two.

Most good days have a lot to do with the people I work with. You know the ones. They've got that positive outlook that helps you keep going even if InDesign has quit 20 times in an hour and every story you're waiting on is double the length it's budgeted for ... and comes in several hours late. They volunteer to help out even if it puts their own work behind. And they can still smile even when everything seems to be going wrong.

These people are few and far between, and sadly we had to say goodbye last week to one of the kindest and talented co-workers I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

Holly rocks. She could find a comma splice in a Nobel Prize-winning work. And she could also make you see the positive side of just about any situation.

I'm so excited about her future because I know she's going to be awesome at whatever she decides to pursue. I just know that there are a lot of folks in Chattanooga who are going to miss the girl who called everyone "friend."

Holly, Megan and me

Monday, December 17, 2007

'Souper' busy

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks, and I truly haven't had much time to do anything other than get noodles made, run lots of errands, make ornaments and work, work, work ...

So, while I had planned a big, long post about how fantastic this year's soup kitchen was, I just can't do it. I'm in the middle of a double shift at work, and it's going to be more of the same tomorrow.

But here's proof that all those noodles actually became soup ... and 20 quarts of it, at that. Fun times.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Noodle is a funny word

I've been thinking a lot about noodles lately. That's probably because making them has taken up a good portion of my (very limited) free time over the last couple of days.

And. I'm. Not. Done. Yet.

Check out my breakfast bar (i.e. my kitchen table):

Why all the fuss? Well, Jim's family has a rather large party every year around Christmas and all types of soup is served, along with yummy appetizers and fabulous desserts. Most years I've made chicken noodle soup - a recipe from my grandmother that I pretty much grew up on. If you like chicken and dumplings, you'd love my grandmother's chicken and noodles. But the key is the noodles have got to be made from scratch, and that takes time. There's mixing and kneeding and rolling and cutting and drying.

My little breakfast bar can only hold two batches at a time, and I've got eight to make! So far I've got four done, but the party is Saturday and I'm getting a little anxious about the time.

It has to get done. I'm just not sure when.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

And I finally feel like it's the holiday season, too. This past weekend, I put the tree up and decorated a little around the house. Christmas music turned up, I belted out my favorite holiday songs while once again my cat stared at me like I was out of my mind.

Ahhh ... the holidays are upon us, and yesterday I actually got a heck of a lot of my shopping taken care of. I was in Atlanta for an appointment and decided to head over to one of my favorite outlet malls where I struck gold for several people on my gift list. Such a great feeling!

This weekend is Jim's family's annual party, for which I'll be making a ton of soup and then Christmas will practically be here. Time is really flying. Can you believe 2008 is almost upon us? I can't.

Friday, December 07, 2007

These bunnies have a plane to catch

These little guys are finally done and ready to be sent out to their new homes in Rhode Island, Indiana, Kansas, California, Australia, Malaysia and Hawaii.

The ornament swap this year has been so much fun, although Jim often joked that I was a worker in my own sweatshop. I just couldn't seem to be happy with most of what I sewed, so I made A LOT of bunnies before I had enough that I felt were suitable to mail.

For those of you who also participated, I can't wait to see what you came up with!

So far I've received two ornaments, one from Rhode Island and the other from Hawaii. I bet you can't guess which was from Hawaii!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Do as I say, not as I do ...

Do not ever - for any reason - wait SEVEN years to see a dentist. It's just a bad idea for all parties involved.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Goodbyes are not my thing

We've had lots of interns come and go where I work. They're usually not around long enough for me to learn much about them - if I even catch their names to begin with. But we really lucked out earlier this year when we hired a recent University of Missouri grad for a 6-month internship. But now she's leaving for a job in Lincoln, Nebraska, and there are several of us who will really be missing her and the inevitable hilarity that seems to occur whenever she's around.

This is the girl who left a bar last night singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"at the top of her lungs - thus prompting the rest of the patrons to sing along after she'd already walked out the door.

This is the girl who calls me "hooker" as a sincere term of endearment. I'm still not so sure about it, but it's definitely a Jamie-ism that I'll never forget.

This is the girl who can play some serious pool. I've really never seen anything like it before.

But most importantly, this is the girl who I've come to know as more than just an intern who was passing through. She is my friend, and man am I going to miss her.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Healthy help

The other day I was walking through, a local grocery that specializes in organic foods and a lot of things I've always shied away from, when it hit me: I really should start paying attention to not only the quantity of what I eat, but also the quality.

So I was strolling up and down the aisles looking at all the interesting foods that I'd never heard of, and frankly I got a tad intimidated. I watched as customers filled their shopping carts with all-natural this and organic that. I stopped by the prepared foods case and sampled vegan pasta salad. I read the labels on soups, chips and a variety of other products. And then I bought a salad for lunch and walked out feeling a little like a health nut poser.

But I've decided that it's time to start learning more about the things I put into my system. I want to live a healthier life and if eating more all-natural foods is the way to go, then I'll do my best to figure things out.

So I'm wondering ... is there anything out there that you enjoy that's not loaded with artificial flavoring, chemicals and other ingredients that none of us can pronounce? Do you have a favorite good-for-you recipe? Or do you think I'm insane for walking into a grocery store and having the desire to change the way I've been eating?