Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rough Edges

Last night, Steve spent a few hours upstairs putting together a desk for me. Now that he's home in the evenings, we thought it would be good for me to have a place to do homework away from the distractions that he causes by just being himself and me loving him so much. Hence the new desk.

While he worked on assembling the desk, I sat downstairs doing homework. And giggling every so often. The man is pretty good with tools and following directions, but things didn't seem to be going his way last night. Every so often I could hear him ranting about the stupid instructions or drawer or whatever. Sadie would look at me each time he got loud, seeming to ask, "What is he doing up there?"

My husband is an ammo trooper with the AF. These men can cuss as good, or better, than any sailor you could imagine. Not being a cusser myself, it has been a little shocking at times, but it's something I don't bother to worry about too much. These men are also some of the best men I've ever met, especially my husband. Steve swears less than some of his friends but definitely could match them if he so desired.

So, imagine my surprise when the words that were coming out of his mouth last night were "fudge", "darn", "shoot", and other nonsense words instead of the stream of profanity that could have been. It made me realize that, without ever talking about my dislike of profanity, I have had an impact of Steve, me and my non-cussing family and friends. Some of his rough edges are becoming smooth.

He's not the only one in our relationship that has rough edges. While walking Sadie today, I thought about some of my own rough edges that Steve is smoothing out. Poor guy, I think his job is harder than mine; my rough edges are complicated.

In my favorite book, Fahrenheit 451, the old English professor told Montag about how he had been a chunk of wood when he was younger that had slowly, in time, become more refined, smoother, by his involvement with people and with learning. It's one of my favorite parts of the book, one that I think about often as I see how I have been refined by the people and experiences in my life. It gives me hope that someday I'll be a polished, smooth piece of wood instead of the chunk of rough edges I am.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Yellow Stripe

Yesterday, after arriving home from work, I took Sadie on our daily afternoon walk. The weather was warmer than I had expected, and I enjoyed the walk immensely despite the rain.

Actually, the rain helped make the walk so enjoyable. Sadie and I walked the path along the Weber River, and the smells of trees, grass, dirt, undergrowth, and water seemed magnified by the rain. I felt peaceful, energized, and happy while we walked along, soaking up the sights, smells, and sounds of the river and its surroundings.

The rain was probably light enough to warrant not using an umbrella, but I've fallen in love with my most recent, so gladly brought it along. It is the kind that curves down enough to actually protect my head from precipitation - if I hold it down so my head almost hits its top, its tips go past my shoulders - and it doesn't threaten to blow away or go inside-out with every gust of wind.

Now, you may be wondering how I'm able to see where I'm going if the umbrella curves down so much. Good question. It's clear, see-through, I mean! So, my head/face is nicely protected and I'm still able to see everything around me, which on a beautifully rainy day such as yesterday was quite a blessing.

The cherry on top, though, is the yellow stripe around the bottom of the umbrella. What a great color to contrast with the gray, rainy day. It brought me simple pleasure as I looked through my umbrella at the world around me.

Yes, that's Sadie peaking in underneath.

Simple pleasures are the best and easiest to enjoy - have you ever noticed?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Miscellaneous Thoughts (and some Rantings) While At Work

How am I ever going to lose weight (or not gain weight) if the women in my office keep bringing goodies? It's not their fault that I have weak will-power when it comes to chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, and practically anything else that has sugar/chocolate in it. I type this while eating chocolate cake with vanilla frosting while a tangelo from home sits in the fridge, ignored.

I wonder what trouble Sadie is getting into. Our poor dog. She has separation anxiety. Who can blame her? Steve and I are wonderful - I'd hate being apart from us, too, if I were her. Yesterday, I arrived at home to find she had chewed the bottoms of the horizontal blinds in our kitchen. Was I mad? No. I know it's not her fault. Was I frustrated? Yes. I feel bad for her and don't want her to feel panicked and out-of-control. I don't know what to do, though, because now that Steve works days and I'm at school/work, she has to get used to being alone for a few hours every day. I hope she adjusts soon...before she eats our whole house. We looked online for ways to soothe separation anxiety in dogs and put them into practice this morning. Fingers crossed that they help!

I'm lucky to have such a good job. The people I work with are so nice, the hours can't be beat, it's close to home, I can do homework (if I so choose), and I get all the holidays off. I'm so glad I got this job and plan on keeping it until I finish my degree.

Why do people cheat? Cheat on papers and tests, cheat the system, cheat themselves, cheat on spouses. You would think that only the young would cheat, not knowing or understanding the consequences of doing so. Not true. I'm amazed at how many people who should know better cheat. It comes up almost daily at work. People who once were students want to get free medical care and so lie about being a current student. Some slip through, most don't. They all make me mad. We're 100% funded by student fees - fees which are really high - so these people are cheating the students who work hard to pay for tuition and fees and every person who pays taxes that fund scholarships, grants, and loans.

I drink more water the few times I have to go to the water jug. Today I brought a Detriot Lions 10oz glass to work to replace using the 2oz paper cups we have at work. On a typical day, I'd refill those cups once, totalling a grand 4 ounces of water for the 4 hours I worked. Already today I've drank a whole glass of water and have drunk half the refill. That totals 15 ounces in just 3 hours. Vast improvement!

I'll do anything to get out of reading my Intermediate Accounting textbook at work - even write a blog about what I'm thinking about at work. Never about 6 minutes I'll buckle down and read.

Not everyone should go to college. Did you know that there is a shortage of plumbers, HVAC personnel, and similar trade professionals? A college degree can be a great thing for many people, but it doesn't guarantee a great paying job. If someone went into trade, there's a good chance they'd be paid well because not very many people would want to do it (ie crawling under houses looking for dead animal carcasses - thank you Dirty Jobs for that wonderful episode). Also, it kind of frustrates me that people who can't spell "throat", "problem", "find", "cost", and other every-day-type words will someday have the same degree that I currently hold - a Bachelor's degree from an accredited university. I know because they come into my office daily and misspell the most common words in the universe. Do I feel like it cheapens the degree? Yeah, a little.

I hope the Lions make it to the playoffs again next year and make it a little further. Like the Super Bowl. Like winning the Super Bowl. That would be awesome.

Alright. Time to hit the books. Just an hour before I head home, so it shouldn't kill me to do a little homework. If it does, please don't wear black to my funeral. Red is my favorite color.

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 - The Year of...

...School. It takes up pretty much all my time, and I feel like I live on campus. I go to class. I work on campus - the Student Health Center. I exercise at the university gym. I do homework practically all evening every evening, except for Saturdays and Sundays. I manage to get enough done during the week so I can have a break on the weekend. This semester, I have three classes, all Accounting classes. I really enjoy my professors and am learning a lot. I'll take the summer off and then will have one undergrad class left to take in the fall. I'm also hoping the department will let me take one or two Masters classes to help speed things up a bit.

...England. Steve and I are talking about going somewhere this summer and are leaning toward England. We live in such a way, and are blessed with a good enough income, that we're able to put a good chunk of money into savings every month. We're going to assign a healthy portion of those savings toward a fun trip. I've always wanted to go to England and am so excited to start making plans and figuring out where to go and what to see. If anyone has suggestions, please email me, leave a comment, text, call, whatever. I don't Twitter.

...Journaling. One of my resolutions is to write in my journal every day. I realized that one of the reasons I haven't kept up with my journal like I used to was that I'd go so long in between writing that it would take forever to catch up. I'm also too detail-oriented when I write it would take a long time to write, so as part of my resolution, I'm only writing a page each day. I have to decide what I really want to record; whether it's a funny thing that happened in class, how I felt about my hair, or what Steve and I did for date night. I'm really enjoying writing in my journal again.

...Running. A couple years ago, I had a resolution to run in a 5k. I kind of accomplished it. My friend Kyle and I walked a 5k that February, and then I ran the last little bit in order to finish before him. (teehee). This year, there's a 5k on May 19th that I want to participate in. I may not run the whole darn thing, since I haven't run in over a year, but I'd like to run as much of it as I can. To that end, each week I'm working on running a bit more than I did the week before. And, I'm back to recording my exercise. My goal is to exercise 100 miles a month, every month.

...A New Car, 2nd Dog (maybe), Camping, and Lots of Fun. We bought a new car on December 30th, 2011. I swore I'd never buy a brand new car, too much money and too much immediate depreciation, but we found a good deal on a car we really like and that we plan to have for many, many years so depreciation isn't as important as it could be if we were planning on selling it sooner than later. It's a 2012 Subaru Outback, red. I love it. It has seat warmers. *big smiley face*

We got it so our greyhound Sadie would have more room and so that we could have passengers in our car at the same time as our dog. And because we're thinking of getting a second dog. We're looking at dogs online, no puppies and nothing for hundreds of dollars (really, people?! $2000 for a puppy that will pee all over my carpets??). We may get another greyhound since Sadie is so awesome. We definitely want a male this time.

With the new car, we also have more room and capability to do more of the things we like to do that we didn't do last year (partially due to lack of time last year). More fishing, more camping, more hiking, more exploring. My brother gave us his old tent and a really cool camping table that we're excited to finally use. I'd also like to give snowshoeing a try this year. Lots and lots of possibilities and I look forward to making the most of all of them!

I hope everyone has a very wonderful 2012!