Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just another Sunday

First, let me apologize for the lack of posts Friday and Saturday.  It completely slipped my mind Friday and only briefly flitted through on Saturday.  And quite frankly, just fluttered into my mind tonight (yes, it's rapidly approaching bedtime!).  I'm not sure that the YDA Convention was entirely worth my time from an income standpoint, but it did give me an opportunity to expose a LOT of folks to Stella & Dot and will lead to a couple of trunk shows, too!  It's all about planting seeds, and this farmer is beat!

Tonight, I finally made it to a July cookout at church (did I mention I fell asleep last week and didn't wake up until it was over?  Oops.), which is great considering that it's the last one! J made the best burgers to grill there, and I fully intend to make use of that knowledge in the future!

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday--July 28

This week's Thankful Thursday post is a bit late in going up simply because I was up late Wednesday preparing for/up way early Thursday driving to the Young Democrats of America convention in Louisville. Why, you might wonder, am I attesting this event? Because they accepted me as one of their vendors and I figure event young Democrats have jewelry needs! After the rush of waking up ad driving to Louisville before the sun even came up, the downtime during sessions is a bit tough, but I'm thankful for the opportunity to be here.

I'm thankful, too, this week for the quiet days I started the week with. As I prepare to go back to work, I've become all too aware that my days to tackle projects around the house will be limited (as will mornings devoted to reading a book cover to cover). I'm so thankful that I was able to do both of these things this week!

Finally, I mentioned a month or so ago that I was thankful for new opportunities. I've referenced my new job a few times, but have been intentionally vague. Y'all know how I am about change, and saying it out lOud just makes it all so real, you know? Anyhow, starting Monday I'll be taking my Jean-of-all-trades act to church, as I serve our parish in an adminstrative role, as minster to youth ad their families, and with a touch of wedding promotion/coordination thrown in for good measure. I really didn't dream when I left Girl Scours almost a year ago that it would be so long before I found my way back to a desk job, and I'm actually getting pretty excited about it. I'm so thankful for this opportunity that will allow me to flex my desk-job muscles and still reap the benefits of working part time.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Rose by any other appearance...

Back in May I showed you a picture of the rose bush along our driveway.  While I do love the rose bush, particularly in May when it blooms, it's had a tendancy to grow outward into the driveway.  That wouldn't be a problem except that I park in front of it and have to dodge its thorny shoots every time I go to my car.  So as of this week, here is our bush:

It isn't nearly as impressive, but the thorn-free walk to and from my car (together with a pretty black trellis that matches most of the other accessories on the front of the house) makes it worthwhile. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Multi-purpose cake

Sunday was a special day at St. Raphael's.  We both celebrated the return of one of our favorite and most active families and wished two of our members farewell as they each move closer to family (interestingly, to me, one went to California and the other to DC...).  As is typical of our parish, it was decided that we would celebrate with cake.  This brought on a tough decision for me--How does one combine "yay, you're home!" with "boo, we'll miss you!"??

After much thought, it dawned on me that the best way would be to play into St. Raphael (for whom our parish is named).  We have a parish logo that references the book of Tobit, and particularly the idea of a successful journey.  Since we're a parish who pray for and celebrate all kinds of travelers, it seemed reasonable to use our logo and that verse.  Here is the final product:

This was actually a fairly easy cake to put together.  We wanted to do a half-sheet cake, and since I have some weird issue with single layer cakes, I was able to make two half-sheets--one chocolate and one white--then cut each in half and stack them for a double-layer half-chocolate/half-white half-sheet cake. Then, it was just a matter of frosting and decorating.  I should have evened out the layers before frosting, and definitely regretted that, but in general, I think it turned out okay!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer To-Do List Check-Up

Since we're most of the way through July, and a bit more than halfway through summer (meteorlogically speaking), I decided it was time to check in on our to-do list.  I mentioned the list here and here, and and am happy to actually cross a few things off!

Find and install a light fixture
Re-grout and seal floor

Paint/Replace shutters

Replace doorbell (Read about it here)
Address brass porch light (replace or paint black)
Buy/build black trellis for roses
Build pretty new mailbox post
Have gutters replaced
Demo/Rebuild deck
Move storage building

Remove mismatched bookshelves
Build base for barrister bookshelves
Clean and reorganize laundry room (for space to finish built-ins)
Sand and Stain shelves for built-ins
Build countertop for built-ins
Install built-ins

We're still almost done with the bathroom (Long story on the light fixture, but the short version is that it's now awaiting installation; still need to redo the grout...eventually...), and the outside hasn't quite gotten the attention I'd hoped for, but considering that I was out of town a third of the time, I'm okay with it.  The laundry room is now ready to be turned into a workshop so that we can finish the library shelves, so that's great progress!  Really need to so something about those gutters though...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Don't you love...

...a productive weekend?  J and I had one of those rare blessedly empty weekends and managed to fill it with just the right combination of relaxation and productivity. 

Saturday was by far the most productive, and Sunday far and away the most relaxing (I was up a little early to finish a cake before church, and countered the early wake up with an extra-long afternoon nap).  We also managed to watch three of the Harry Potter movies this weekend.  Two were on TV Saturday (three and four), and Sunday evening we rented the fifth from iTunes (who knew you could rent movies from them??).  I have a feeling that six and seven-a (and probably seven-b in the theater) are in our near future!

The most productive part of the weekend (aside from the cake I mentioned, which you'll probably see Tuesday) was in the laundry room (which you'll actually read more about in this week's Melton Point Monday post).  The laundry room totally wasn't on the 'to do' list for the weekend, but I'm generally not one to ignore the inspiration to clean when it pops up (not a frequent thing, you know). 

The only part of the weekend that I'm disappointed with is that my afternoon nap actually extended too far into the evening to make it to the cookout at church this evening.  Not that I've made it to any of this summer cookouts, but I did hope to see my co-teacher and this family, who moved back from England this week. I figure I've still got one more cookout before July is over though... (Hi Chris! Welcome back!) 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Saturday smells like... Duck Fat in the Deep Fryer

J, ever willing to please me, provided more duck fat fried goodness so I wouldn't be left with nothing to post today.  First, he sliced a cucumber and tossed them in.  Now, I'm totally open to comments on this, as they weren't quite as crispy as you'd expect.  Should we have baked the cucumber slices or done something else to dry them out before frying?  To be Atkins-friendly you've got to avoid breading, and actually, I think J was going for a chip-like texture.

This morning, he offered up some of the most delicious bacon for breakfast.  When I wandered into the kitchen to investigate, I discovered that he'd deep fried the bacon in more duck fat.  Y'all.  I don't know if you've ever eaten pig fat fried in duck fat, but believe me when I say it's pretty darn good.  Yes, I stopped at two slices before my arteries turned into fat themselves.

I'm both nervous and excited anticipating what he might toss into the deep fryer next...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Duck fat and chicken legs

If I were a smart blogger (or a less sleepy blogger) I'd save this post for a Saturday smells like... post.  Unfortunately, all I can think is "Fried Friday" so I'll just struggle to come up with another food-themed post again tomorrow. 

So what am I talking about?

J decided that he wanted chicken wings for supper.  He checked the freezer and found frozen chicken legs and the remainder of our Thanksgiving duck fat.  While frying the chicken legs two at a time, he whipped up an Atkins-friendly version of buffalo sauce to toss with the finished chicken.  He assures me it was tasty, and I bet if you ask nicely, he might whip some up for you!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday--July 21

I was surfing facebook last night and noticed a friend's status:  If you woke up this morning with everything you thanked God for yesterday, how much would you wake up with?  So my first thought was, "well, if I'd read this on Friday, I'd be set."  My second thought was probably more in line with what the poster intended--"gosh, I'm not nearly as thankful, nearly as often, as I should be".  And I'm not, but I suspect that most of us aren't.  We go through life taking for granted the things we have until we don't.  From the major (life, health, the health of our loved ones, a roof over our heads) to the small (toilet paper that is neither too rough nor too soft, ten different styles of black shoes), we just don't notice most things until they're gone.

Today, I'm particularly thankful for something I know I'll begin to take for granted all too soon.  J and I purchased a new laptop for me last night.  Having my own laptop is something I've pretty much taken for granted for the last five years or so.  When my last one died in June, it was a jarring moment for me.  Since then, J and I have shared (except when I was in DC, when I borrowed time on my mom's, and when I was in SF, when I 'made do' with the internet capabilities on my cellphone and did without the rest).  While sharing is certainly a option, it's just not a preferred option.  How can we curl up in bed and simultaneously surf our evening away with only one laptop?  (Yes, there was sarcasm implied there, no matter how true the statement actually is.)  Anyhow, I'm thankful for my new laptop, for J who encouraged its purchase, and for Glenn, the employee who helped us out (despite my ten thousand questions, J's use of his phone to 'check' Glenn's answers, and my general dorkiness at getting a new toy).

I'm thankful, too, for a new job opportunity (and great timing, what with the new laptop bill coming around the same time as my first paycheck... :)).  While I've mostly enjoyed my almost one year sabbatical from a desk job, I've learned (or made concrete suppositions) about myself.  Primary among these--I'm a creature of structure.  Hindsight being what it is, I think I've known this about myself for a while, but I'm just now realizing how pervasive it is.  For example, when I was in high school, I got my best grades during the fall and spring grading periods.  (Not) coincidentally, those were the grading periods I was most busy/most scheduled.  Likewise in college, I accomplished the most when I went from class to meetings to work to meetings.  Given my limited 'free' time in both cases, I learned to use that time wisely.  In sharp contrast, I've had loads of free time over the past year, and I've no done much with it.  More often than not I think to myself, "I can do that tomorrow".  So, starting August 1, four days a week I'll have a nice rigid structure.  I am hopeful that this offers just enough structure that I'll learn to use my other three days wisely!

Finally, J mentioned yesterday that I'm helping out with Vacation Bible School at our church.  That in itself provides one very good opportunity for being thankful--the children (mostly little boys) say the most precious things!  The experience actually gives me something else to be thankful for.  I spent more than two years as an Elementary Ed major in college before realizing that I wasn't cut out for spending day after day, year after year with classroom full of children.  I knew at that time that one of my life-goals would be to make a difference in the life of a child, but I just knew that wasn't the path for me to accomplish that goal.  This is still a definite goal for me, and I've been blessed to find many opportunities to influence the lives of children.  My moment of thankfulness came Tuesday as I tried (along with three other adults) to calm down eleven little boys for a story.  At that moment all I could think was "Thank goodness I have been able to find other ways to work toward my goal than the path of elementary school teacher!" 

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday . . . Zepp Trying to be Cool

Hi all, J. here. JE had a day, wrangling Vacation Bible Schoolers, so I get to do this post. Below is a picture of Zepp taken while he and I were on the way back to western Kentucky to attend a family funeral. We were playing bachelors then, as JE was in San Francisco, and Zepp was enjoying the A/C in the car. I think it's a great picture of him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to: Build a base/riser for a bookshelf

Okay, so I've already covered how we received our barrister bookshelves, and I think I mentioned that they would be placed in the library.  What I didn't mention is that they've actually been living in our living room for the last month.  Why?  Well, to be honest, because the basement floods.  A lot.  And I wasn't terribly inclined to put our "new" bookcases right onto a floor that could at any time magically transform into a swampland.  Solution?  A riser!
Now, you can totally purchase a riser made specifically for barrister shelves.  You can even purchase plans to build one.  I wasn't particularly interested in spending more money than necessary, nor in finding something that put form above function.  I just needed something to keep my shelves (and the books inside) dry.

One quick trip to Lowe's later (and yet another opportunity for Sandy to serve as family pick-up), and I was home with three 2 x 6's eight feet long, two packages of l-brackets with screws, and a small can of black paint (a pint?).  I quickly measured my bookcases and sketched out a plan, then mapped out the required cuts on the lumber.  Luckily for me, I only needed two of the 2 x 6's, so I got to return one on Saturday (J's car Irene actually got play pick-up truck for once!).

I took the wood outside to cut everything down (Note to self:  ask for a circular saw for Christmas--cutting a 2 x 6 with a jigsaw is tedious), then hauled it downstairs to put everything together. 

(Another note to self:  while it seems logical to put something together in the room in which it will be used, perhaps one should pre-drill holes outside...not on the freshly cleaned carpet...)

Putting the riser together was fairly simple. I'd purchased two packages of l-brackets, which come four to a package, and as you can see in the plan I sketched (above), I had two end pieces and a center piece for structure.  To be extra secure, I actually braced the center piece on both sides, I used all eight brackets.  To start, I pre-drilled and secured all of the brackets to the back piece.  Then, I attached the short pieces, and then finally attached the front piece. 

Finally, after everything was securely screwed in place, I painted the outside of the riser black.  Why black?  So that visually, it will fade away when someone looks at our bookcases.  While I wanted the extra height that the 2 x 6 offered in a riser, I do sort of wish I had just used a 2 x 4, which would have blended better with our baseboards in this room. 

For a quick and easy project (that got the bookcases out of our living room and into the basement where they belong), I'm happy with the end result!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Checking in on the Earthtainer

We had dinner with friends last night and mentioned the Earthtainer to them.  Of course, I had to show them pictures of our little container garden on my phone.  Which is about when I realized that I didn't have any current pictures of our garden!  Then, I realized that if I didn't have any recent pictures on my phone, I probably hadn't shared any pictures with you, either!  So, remember where we started?  Here is what we have now!

This is Container A.  Rutgers, our heirloom tomato, is definitely the primary plant in this container.  If you look closely, you can see a couple of small green tomatoes starting near the top of the plant.  We're pretty excited about those!  The brown square on the right side of the picture is where one of our Better Boys was located.  That one, which we nicknamed Poor Boy, just didn't make it, even after J gave it a rock friend.  The other lost cause in this container is the Cilantro which was in the front-center of the container.  It just never developed roots in its new home.  To the left of the cilantro-spot are our Chives.  They're doing great, and we've enjoyed them in all sorts of dishes.  To the right of the cilantro-spot is our Rosemary.  Rosie has given us pause, but she seems to have finally taken hold and started to grow for us.

Next up, Container B.

Our early frontrunner in this container was the Jalapeno Pepper.  I mentioned last week that we grilled the first two peppers off the Jalapeno plant and stuffed them with cream cheese and chives. Yum!  Unfortunately, we don't really have any more peppers yet.  There are a couple of little pepper-buds in the making, and lots of flowers, but no actual peppers yet.  The Poblano is kind of the same way--lots of flowers, no actual peppers.  In the center of the container are the Twins.  Big Boy, the largest of the Better Boys, is definitely the centerpiece of the container.  The other of the twins has the saddest looking stalk, but somehow seems to be thriving in his big brother's shadow.  Big Boy, like Rutgers, has a few small (one inch diameter or so) green tomatoes and tons of flowers.  Finally, on the left side of the container, we have the basil in the back (HUGE and much-used), parsely in the middle (meh.  It's there, but not the star of the herbs in this container), and Oregano in the front (doing fairly well, though not as amazingly as the basil).

I have to say, the herbs alone are paying for the garden system for us.  We've used a ton of fresh basil and chives, and a fair amount of parsley and oregano.  Of course, I'm still eager for some tomatoes and more peppers to really make all of the effort worthwhile!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another Sunday Sermon

So first, I just want to share that I noticed earlier that yesterday's blog post was our 300th.  Three Hundred!  Wow.  So Happy Three Hundred One!

Anyhow, I finally made it back to church today for the first time since before I left for DAR Continental Congress.  If you'll remember, that Sunday's sermon was really tied into the 'job' I was scheduled to tackle at Congress.  Now, long story short--I kinda think God laughed at my blog post and gave me one heck of a test.  I seriously had one tough guest who did not inspire my welcoming spirit.  If nothing else, at least I remembered the sermon and worked harder at being welcoming.

This week, I think that I've got an equally tough challenge.  The Gospel lesson was a parable from Matthew about weeds and wheat.  In it, some servants notice weeds growing in a wheat field and offer to pull them.  Jesus' lesson is that the weeds should be left to grow together with the wheat and that, at the harvest, His angels will pull and burn the weeds, then collect the wheat.  Here's my takeaway--it's not up to us to determine who is or isn't deserving of going to Heaven.  In fact, maybe I'm not.  I don't know.  Neither do you.  At the harvest, God will determine this. 

On the one hand, this is kind of freeing.  I mean, Jesus is telling me that I don't have to worry about judging my fellow man.  I can check that off the worry list.  Nice.  On the other hand, I'm human.  Don't we all like to judge others?  And if Jesus is telling me to just live side-by-side and not worry about judging, isn't He really telling me NOT to judge?  Eek.  This might be a tough one, after all. 


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday smells like... Porkchops and cream cheese

One of the items on my to do list for Thursday was to clean the kitchen.  As much as I love J, and as much as I enjoy his cooking, cleaning up afterwards just isn't his strong suit.  You can imagine what the kitchen looked like after my two weeks out of town.  So, in an effort to get the cooktop clean, I tossed the grates in the dishwasher and scrubbed down the stainless top.

When J got home from work he commented on how awesomely clean the cooktop looked and then started digging around in the refrigerator for something to cook for supper.  This is about the point that we realized that the dishwasher was still running with the grates inside.  It's kind of impossible to cook without something to balance the pan on, so we went the next obvious route--the gas grill!

The pork chops J found in the fridge were fabulous, and the broccoli that really needed to be cooked was excellent when cooked in our iron skillet (with a little bacon grease--yum!).  While we were outside at the grill, J noticed that the chives really needed to be trimmed, so we cut those down and mixed them with a couple scoops of cream cheese.  We used the combined mixture on the cooked broccoli and spread inside two jalapenos we picked from our plant.

Altogether, it made for a delicious meal (with almost no cleanup afterwards)!  I think I might just relegate J to the least for the rest of the summer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Truly flakey Friday

I'm all over the place this week, which is often the case when I don't have a lot of structure going on. So it's a bit of a flakey Friday at the MP.  Hope you're in the mood for that!

Despite being flakey and all over the place, this has been a pretty awesome week.  After two weeks of on-the-go, not-enough-sleep, makeup and heels and fixed hair every day, I finally got to just be.  In fact, three out of the five days this week I didn't even leave the house other than to get the mail or walk out back with Zep.  Absolutely awesome. 

Wednesday was my 'big' day out.  I ran errands, dropped by the church, ran more errands, and finished the day at the Junior League Horse Show with Becky.  Where I saw William Shatner win second place in his class.  Now, mind you, I didn't actually know it was him until he won and they announced his name.  In fact, Becky and I had this huge conversation about how he kind of looked like William Shatner, but not really, well maybe the profile, but not the face.  Hmmm...  Don't ever count on me picking someone out of a lineup is all I can say.  Anyhow, it was a beautiful night, and a nice end to a nice day.

Even though I haven't managed to leave the house much this week, I did manage to cross quite a few things off my to-do list.  During the time management workshop at Hoopla, our Director of Training mentioned keeping a list every day, and at the end of the day moving anything not crossed off to the next day's list (and then throwing away that day's list).  Now, that might sound totally normal to you, but I'm a girl who keeps lists around forever until everything is crossed off.  At some point, it becomes a huge guilt thing because I still have *this* piece of paper because I haven't done *that* one thing.  There are definitely a few things I've transferred from day to day to day this week, and while I'm not a fan of having to do that, it isn't nearly as guilt-inducing as not being able to move on to a new list.  And that's nice.

Also this week, I made a pinch of progress on putting the library in shape.  At some point, I'm going to share the personal vision statement I put together after Hoopla and the goals I've set to help me realize the vision.  Until then, just know that having a functional and organized house in on the list.  One of the ways to do that is to move the barrister bookshelves  (I mentioned getting them almost a month ago...) out of the living room and into the library.  We're almost to that point!  Not quite, mind you...but almost!

And finally, on yet another unrelated note--How long does it take to kick jet-lag?  I've been home longer than I was in San Francisco and I'm still struggling to fall asleep at a decent hour (which of course means I'm also struggling to wake up at a decent hour).  Thoughts?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday--July 14

Okay, so call me crazy (J already has said as much, so it really won't hurt my feelings), but I think I heard God's whisper at Hoopla this weekend.  God's whisper at an event celebrating capitalism?  (Yeah, that's what J said.)  I know how it sounds, but when I shared it with our priest today, his response was that Moses didn't really expect to hear God from a burning bush, so it's clear He uses any means available.  (So while not my official thankful point this week, I'm also thankful to Fr. Johnnie for pointing that out to me!)

It does seem kind of crazy, but several statements that several people made just kind of all came together for me in this incredibly clear message.  First, another stylist shared her Why--her reason for selling Stella & Dot.  Now, I'd heard lots of women share that they sell for the financial security or stability it offers and it hasn't much moved me before.  I mean, yes, I'd like to be contributing more to our bottom line and reducing the stress that my hobbies sometimes place on our budget, but Naomi's Why (which had nothing to do with family finances, by the way) crystalized that sentiment for me.  I realized that I have this terrible habit of sitting back and worrying about finances but letting J do most of the work to relieve my worry.  Not a terribly nice realization to come to, I guess, but an awesome one to come to when the solution is so plainly in front of your face.  So I'm thankful for that.

I'm thankful, too, for a couple of statements made during a workshop on time management that I attended.  Now, I've been pretty lackadaisical about promoting my business.  When I have, it's typically come with worry.  I like being a Stylist and Brand Ambassador.  I don't know if I want to be a Director.  Now, even if you know nothing about Stella & Dot, I bet you know that there are a few career levels between Stylist and Director.  What on earth am I worrying about being a Director for?  Talk about putting the cart before the horse!  We were encouraged not to worry about things we don't need to worry about (like whether or not I want to be a Director).  Later in the presentation, someone shared that you should pace your work as if you are one career level higher than you are.  Now, as much as I've worried about not wanting to be (or even work at) Director-level, I have no worries about being (or working as) a Senior Stylist.  What a wonderful God-Whisper to be reminded that He will not give me more than I can handle, but that He will always give exactly what He knows I can acheive! 

So there you go, even at a conference celebrating style and jewelry and capitalism, God can still find ways to whisper, if we're just open to listening.  I'm so thankful that I got to experience that!

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking back...

My mom pointed out that I've fallen off the blogging wagon and that perhaps I should explain where I disappeared to. Well, two weeks ago I spent the week in D.C. attending the NSDAR annual convention (called Continental Congress or Congress for short).

Then, after coming home, catching some sleep, and re-packing I headed out to San Francisco for Stella & Dot's annual conference, Hoopla.

Between the roughly 3,000 women at CC and the 2,000 women at Hoopla, you can imagine that I've been thrilled to see no one but J and Zeppelin for a couple days. Enjoy the pictures and I'll be back to my regular blogging schedule soon!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday--July 7

I know it's Friday morning (and heck, it's probably Friday afternoon where most of you are), but I really wanted to do a Thankful Thursday post this week. So, welcome to Thankful Thursday/Friday.

First this week, I'm thankful for safe travels. In spite of some serious bus issues and a slightish discomfort with flying (not a fear of flying, mind you), I both made it home from DC and to San Francisco in, as J likes to say, one JE-shaped piece. I'm thankful for the opportunity to continue my habit of being out of town in July!

I'm thankful, too, for my family. While I know we Ought to always be thankful for the folks who raised us and loved us, but this week I had a reminder to do this. Our friends Becky and Daniel (I've linked to her in the past and talked about their boys before) lost Daniel's mother in a freak accident last weekend. We just take our families and friends for granted (at least, I often do). This week, I'm certainly counting my family as my blessing.

Finally, I'm so thankful for Stella & Dot. I know, I've shared this before. But, this conference has brought about such a sense of peace about what I'm doing here. I've talked before about the women who started DAR and Girl Scouts and ADPi. I so admire those women, and I'm thrilled to find that this company is inspired by te same type of woman. I'm so thankful to just know I'm in the right place.

So what are you thankful for?

Picture-less Wednesday

I have an awesome picture to share with you from my trip to San Francisco, but cannot figure out how to blog a picture from my phone. I'm sure there is a way, but 11:00 pacific time isn't the time to learn it.

By the way, yes, I dO realize that it is now Friday on the east coast (and in my part of the world). And that I missed a post for Sunday and Tuesday. Again, being without a computer makes regular blogging tough. Being out of town and on crazy schedules makes it tougher. I hoped to at least keep the record on an every other schedule. Maybe I can bring you up to speed next week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Road to Great Adventure

So Monday was an interesting day at the MP. Mom and I were to return from Washington on Sunday night, but due to some issues with our bus (suffice it to say, the bus company motto "The Road to Great Adventure" was carried out), we did not make it back until Monday morning. It was 3:30 before we crawled into bed and nearly noon before we crawled back out. Together with a late afternoon nap and early bedtime, we made up for an exciting early morning with a rather dull Fourth of July evening at the MP.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saturday smells like... Good Meals and Bad Meals

Note:  I realize I missed a few days of blog posts at the end of the DAR conference, but since I did manage to think about what I might write about each day (just didn't actually get to a computer to write) I decided to try and get them all in.  And, quite frankly, I'm leaving town again Wednesday morning for another busy trip.  I thought I ought to give you something to read.

So.  Last week was a week of what I think of as "good" meals and "bad" meals.  Most days I got one of each.  Well, not including breakfast.  My trusty fiber bars took care of breakfast , so those were technically "good", too.  Some days my "good" meal came at lunchtime--Wednesday I had beef tenderloin and asparagus.  And carrots, I think (they all run together at this point).  Friday I had a delicious spinach and chicken salad from the Dept. of the Interior.  Saturday was salad, chicken and carrots. Those evenings I ate a Quiznos sub, a slice of pizza, and sugar wafers respectively.  Alternately, Tuesday and Thursday I had wonderful suppers (fruit plates, beef tenderloin, more asparagus).  I don't even remember lunch either day.  Odds are they involved more sugar wafers.

Unbelievably, I ate a lot of asparagus last week.  J can tell you this is a vegetable I usually avoid like the plague.  I'll let you know if I can figure out what was different about it.  Also, unbelievably, I avoided gaining any weight last week.  While I ate dessert at the "good" meals and had more than my fair share of carbs, I also managed to walk a mile or so almost every day (the walk from the hotel to the Hall across the Ellipse is one not to be missed) and worked to maintain appropriate portion sizes and stop when I was full.  I know that trips can sabotage a diet, and I'm happy to be halfway through my two week travel stint with the scale still intact!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Frenzied Friday

Confession: Most days at Continental Congress are frenzied.  Today though, I managed to take a morning off, so (now, at least), Friday doesn't feel quite as frenzied as the other days.  I'm sure this will change. 
An example of the frenzy this week--

Last night (really, late yesterday afternoon), I attended a dinner.  The DAR arranged for a bus to transport us from the dinner to the evening session, and intended to run the bus two times--once for ladies who needed to get there early and a second time for those who could arrive 'right on time'.  I, and many others, skipped dessert to take the early bus.  It did not arrive.  After twenty minutes of standing in the late June heat, and with little hope for the arrival of the bus, I spotted ur Kentucky bus across a plaza (about a block away).  I quickly mentioned it to the ladies around me, sent them off toward a crosswalk and sprinted across four lanes of traffic to the plaza to catch the bus driver and make him wait.  Okay, perhaps I didn't sprint.  I didn't even run as fast as Carrie Bradshaw.  But then, she never ran in a formal and pins, did she?

Another example--

The DAR has 53 state societies.  50 for each of the states, one for the District of Columbia, and one each for France and Mexico which each have enough chapters to require a state governing body.  Can you imagine wrangling 53 nervous and anxious ladies at one time?  Last night was State Regents Night, when each State Regent (it's like our President) has two minutes to report on the activities of her state over the past year.  Because they process into the hall, we take their purses and other items.  The often nervous ladies end up with their reports folded into tiny square and tucked into their gloves.  You can imagine what those look like when they are finally unfolded to read!  Last night, the lining-up part of the evening actually went well.  I only pinned one or two corsages, and only had to steal a pin-back from one page to re-dress a State Regent.  Still.

Now, I 'm off to jump back in the frenzy.  I promised mom a new two liter of diet coke, so I'm headed in search of that before heading back over to the hall.  Today is one of two days that we have a morning and afternoon business session, puncuated by lunch and teas, dinner, and then the exclamation point of National Defense Night tonight.  Another long, and about to be frenzied day.  And I love it.