Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Perfect Sunday

Today was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.  I started out at church.  Today's sermon was so thought provoking.  It has stayed with me all day.  I love when that happens.  It is now Holy Week.  I love Lent in general, but Holy Week is my favorite.  I shed a few tears every Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. As a practicing Lutheran, we have a service called Tenebrae on Good Friday.  It is the reading of a Gospel which describes the time from the Last Supper through the Passion.  As it is read, the lights are slowly put out at certain intervals, which symbolize the extinguishing of the life of the Savior.  At the end, you are in total darkness.  Everyone leaves the church in silence.  I have yet to get through this service without sobbing.

Anyway, backing up.  Today after church I had a couple of errands to run.  I had to run to Target for essentials like dog cookies.  I know better than to run out.  Then I ran to a store close by called Ulta, which sells beauty supplies.  They carry Bare Minerals, which I love.  I am on the very last powdery bits of my favorite blush, which I think lasted about two years.  This store is awesome and if you have one near by, check them out.  I ended up buying a kit which had three full sized eyeshadows, a lip gloss (I love me some lip gloss) and mascara for a ridiculously low price of $25.  When I got to the check out, it was only $21.  Then the super nice young lady at the check out told me that because I had spent a certain amount, I got a free gift.  It ended up being a super cute, sparkly makeup bag for the purse.  Plus I got a free sample on top of that.  That place was awesome.

I came home, kissed Liesl on her sweet head, made lunch, changed into my pajamas (yes, in the middle of the day.  I am a rebel.  A comfy rebel, but a rebel nonetheless.) and put on the race.  From what I saw it was an exciting race.  I happened to take a nap halfway through the race.  I slept for about an hour until a strange, scary noise woke me up.  Then I realized it was my own snoring.  Anyway, it was an exciting race and prayers are going up for Denny Hamlin.  I have never seen a driver collapse after a crash before.  

I got a little closer to stitching day.  I located and put together my Q-snaps.  They are now laying next to my silk gauze.  Tomorrow during the Voice could be the big moment when I put a needle and floss to it all.   

Anyway, it was a good day.  I am relaxed and ready to go back to my super cool job tomorrow.  I am so grateful for the time at home this weekend with Liesl.  She is such a good little companion.  She even got a little homemade chicken stock put on her dinner tonight.  She is fun to spoil.  She has had lots of belly rubs, balls thrown for her to chase this weekend, and lots of smoochies on her head.  We had fun together and it revived us both.  Weekends at home ROCK!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Really Good Day

Ah, what a good day.  It was so nice to sleep in until 8 this morning and have a couple of leisurely cups of coffee.  The morning was so sunny and beautiful, so Liesl decided to play outside on gopher patrol.  She stands perfectly still over a gopher hole, except for a twitchy rear leg, ready to spring into action.  (To date there has been zero action.)  She is determined.  Usually after a long while she gets impatient and tries to do a gopher-ectomy by digging up a gopher hole.  Again, the rate of success stands at zero.  I admire her tenacity though.  

So while the Great Gray Hunter worked the backyard, I worked on some homework for my online class.  I am perpetually in school.  Now I am taking an online class on investments.  It is a pretty interesting class and I am learning a lot.  I am happy to say that I am caught up on my assignments for another week.  Yay.

With homework done it was time to start the housework.  First step, to wash the gopher hole dirt off Liesl.  It was most certainly bath time.  She is pretty good about the bath.  She gets one every Saturday so she knows the drill.  When I run the water she starts walking to the bathroom.  She stands perfectly still in the bath so we usually are done in 5-10 minutes.  Afterwards she is rolled up in her apres bath towel burrito, where she promptly falls asleep for a while on my lap.  That is until she gets up and decides the best way to dry that beard is by rubbing it on the rug.

I am pretty caught up on my housework now, too.  I had to clean up my playroom (craftroom.)  Unfortunately, it is the room where clothes await ironing, papers await filing, bills wait to be paid and any number of odds and ends stay in limbo until I decide what to do with them.  It was out of control to the point where I was avoiding going in there.  Now it is all cleaned and organized and I am a happy girl.

The day sort of ended with Liesl and I running errands.  I had to run over to Carmel to drop off my library books.  Unfortunately, it took forever because there was a traffic jam a few miles long due to an accident.  We only have two lanes going each way on Highway 1, so an accident will cause all kinds of mayhem.  I was super cranky about the delay until I stopped and thought that the people in that accident were far more inconvenienced than me and were having a far worse day than me.  I had Liesl with me and we were on the road in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.  We had to stop at Petco on the way back.  I have to park very far from the store because it is where she gets her mani-pedis, so when we go near the place she starts shaking.  So I have to park outside the shaking zone and hike to Petco to get her organic, grain free, made in the USA food.  There is no way on earth she will come in with me.  Oy vey.  

So now we reflect on the normalcy of the day.  It has been wonderful.  I planned on stitching and even got out a piece of silk gauze.  But I am sort of tired from all that I accomplished today.  Liesl is working on a chewie, the dishwasher is cleaning up half a week's worth of dishes, and I have my feet up.  The laundry is done, most of the house is clean, I am up to date in my class.  I am looking forward to church in the morning and Nascar in the afternoon.  I treasure weekends like this.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yay! A Night In

I feel like I have not been home in days.  Sunday I was out of the house all day.  The past couple of evenings I have had to be out.  I have been looking forward to this evening all week.  I got to come straight home after work.  It was heaven.  I came home, put on my sweats, hugged my doggie for a while, baked brownies, had leftovers for dinner and puttered around the cozy cottage and garden.  It was so nice to have an ordinary evening.  Liesl was loving it too, and made sure that belly rubs were included on the evening's agenda.  

Now that I am employed again, I am back to thinking about all of the projects I want to get done on the house.  After a very chilly winter, I have been considering a fireplace.  I was thinking about the gas ones that you can start with a remote control.  However, I was watching HGTV the other day and they were talking about the warmth you can get from the ethanol fireplaces.  These fireplaces are relatively inexpensive, still have a real flame, do not need venting and are somewhat easy to install.  I am giving it serious thought.  

I am also thinking about the gardening that I need to do.  I really want to make it beautiful back there.  Unfortunately, I have an abundance of weeds and gophers right now.  I am hoping the gophers will move on to greener pastures, so to speak.  The weeds are going to take being pulled by hand, inch by inch.  I have a somewhat large yard so I see Tylenol and a heating pad in my future...

It was so nice to be home tonight.  It is so nice to think about what I would like to do with the house.  I feel blessed with having my home, and that I have choices in it.  I loved being home tonight and look forward to more evenings like this one.  Life is good!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Another Good Day

Okay, confession time.  I am not sure that I have ever shared this, but I almost always have music playing in my head.  I love classical music, with a passion.   I always have loved it since I was a child.  I love how a piece can have so much going on in it and that it evokes such emotion.  There is a reason it is so timeless and is popular in some cases a couple hundred of years after it is composed. Today I had a performance with a choir that I sing with.  I have been singing with the same very talented people for about nine years, with the small exception of a small break that I took when I bought my house.  Today we performed Mendelssohn's Elijah.  It is such a beautiful piece and there are parts of it that just make me well up with tears.  It was a beautiful performance and we even received a standing ovation from the audience at the end. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience receiving a standing ovation.  It is a beautiful thing.  The choir even got extra cheers.  

I was really worried that after a couple of months of working on the piece that I was not going to be able to perform today.  I am still recovering from that nasty flu that I had a couple of weeks ago.  Yesterday was the first day that I had my voice back, although I had an ugly cough.  I had gone to a rehearsal earlier in the week, and I had no voice.  Today, I still had the ugly cough and was concerned that I would not be able to go on stage.  My peeps already had tickets to the performance and I did not want to let anyone down.  

I have learned as a person of faith that I do not have to walk through this life alone and I may ask for His help.  So on the drive, I asked for His help today, and that He would remove my cough.  Almost immediately I felt my chest clear.  I got to the theater and did not cough.  I made it through a warm up, rehearsal and performing both acts.  I did not cough again until I was gathering up my stuff to go home.  One of the other altos said, "Oh, my gosh, that cough sounds terrible."  I definitely had divine help today and I am thankful for it.  It is truly a blessing to be a part of such beautiful music.

As usual, the best part of my day was coming home to my Liesl.  Usually after a performance there is a big party.  I had planned on coming home anyway to get myself ready for the work week.  It was funny that while I was walking to my car, I kept running into other choir members and asked if they were on their way to the party.  Most of them said no, that they really needed to get home to their dog.  It was nice to know that I am not the only silly person that can't wait to go home and see their dog.  Liesl was happy to see me, and super happy when I got her hairbrush out.  She loves being brushed and then having her mini massage.  

So I am ready for the work week.  I am looking forward to all that I have to do at my office this week.  I really like getting dressed up in a suit for work, so I have my outfit all picked out.  

So I am super thankful tonight for mini miracles, for beautiful music, for a loving little dog, for  a cheeseburger and milkshake on my way home, for my friends, my family and a life that continues to unfold magically before me.  I love this journey.

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Silly Girl

I think I have shared the story before about how Liesl likes to make a little pile out of her favorite toys and then lay on top of it.  This evening she decided to lay right in the middle of them and go to sleep.  As you can see, she has a ridiculous amount of toys, but she is a schnauzer, and schnauzers love toys.  She has a child's toy box for all of them.  I have to turn it on its side at times because she wants to reach every toy in the box.  So it is a little hard to tell her from the other cute furry creatures.  

We are both pretty tired tonight.  It was a full week at work.  I learned a lot this week.  I am now flying solo because the person who held my job and was training me left today.  I set about to organizing my office area.  I have to bring in a few photos and pretty things to make it feel more comfortable.  My boss told me that he was going to give me a huge budget to decorate, but he was laughing pretty hard when he said it.  

I am settling into the job pretty well.  I really like the company I work for and the people I work with.  I have so much to learn, but I know I will need to be patient.

We have been blessed with a couple of the most beautiful California sunsets the past couple of nights.  I just happened to be walking through my kitchen last evening as the sun sank into the Pacific.  It was breathtaking.  Both evenings were postcard worthy.  It was pretty amazing.

It is wonderful how much beauty there is in everyday.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Good Day

Today was such a beautiful, warm, sunny day.  It was so gorgeous that I decided to seize the day and have an ice cream cone for lunch instead of my yogurt.  It was heavenly and made me happy.  I snack throughout the day on grapes and almonds, so it was not a totally un-nutritious day.  Plus I came home and had an uber healthy dinner.

It was so gorgeous when I got home that Liesl decided to play for a long time in the yard.  She generally likes to stay close to me, but she had gopher holes to inspect.  I was making chicken breast for dinner, which is her favorite, so I made her a plate, too.  She thought this was the best day ever.  She is such a happy girl and has adjusted pretty well to her mom's new job.

The job is going fantastically.  I am learning a lot, which can seem overwhelming some days.  It will all come in good time, but I have a lot to learn first.  My other team member is a quilter and crafter so we got to talk today.  She is much more advanced than I am at quilting so I am in awe.  

I am still trying to find the balance of my day.  I have the best of intentions of stitching when I get home in the evening.  My head is so crammed full of information that I tend to just want to read or watch television after I have made and eaten dinner, given Liesl attention, finished up a few chores, etc.  Again, I know it will come, so I have to be patient with myself.  

So all in all, things are pretty wonderful.  I am well and happy.  I will be so much happier when I get to be really good at my job.  But that is a journey...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Such A Great Day!

Today was a great day.  No stitching, but all in all a great day!  This weekend has been all about getting rid of the last of that nasty bug I had.  I still have a bit of the cough, but it is not so ugly sounding and I am not wheezing anymore.  In total I have had this thing for twelve days.  I am feeling much better.  I made sure that even with the time change I went to bed early last night.  

So today I went to church first thing.  I said big prayers of Thanksgiving for my good fortune this week.  Afterwards, I headed over to Home Depot with a big idea.  This past week my best friend has been coming by during the day to let Liesl out for a few minutes to potty while I am at work, just to aid in the transition.  I have been wracking my brain on how to get Liesl to go downstairs into the garage during the day to potty (in addition she has full run of the house!).  Last week I tried putting down puppy pads, but she will not go inside. I have been looking on line for all kinds of  products I could buy. Today I went to Home Depot and bought a roll of grass sod for $3.78.  I took the lids from three large totes and put them underneath it.  Liesl now has a grassy spot in the garage that is all hers.  She loves her her grassy spot.  I have hidden charlie bears in it, so that she has a little hunt.  I think this may solve the problem.  When the grass dies off or it gets smelly, I can just go get another roll of sod.

After a trip to Target, I ran home to watch the race.  I changed into my sweats and settled into the sofa with my furry girl.  She actually felt like cuddling and crawled into my lap at one point.  This is out of the ordinary and I really treasure it when she does this.  We played and snuggled.  It was just what I needed to recharge my batteries.  

I had such a relaxing day and weekend.  I am really excited about getting to work and learning more this week.  Best of all, I love coming home to my happy home and my happy little dog.  Life is beautiful!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Week 1, Done!

Well, I made it through my first week of the new job.  It is a really mentally challenging job.  For a brief moment this week, I thought I might be in over my head.  Then I remembered that I have felt that way before, and everything always worked out.  I also remembered that my boss never would have hired me if he thought I was incapable of doing the job.  He has been super supportive and keeps reminding me that learning what I need to do is going to take time.  I think it is helpful that my team members are so calm and are willing to take the time to teach me and answer my questions, even ones that I have already asked.  I already love the atmosphere of the company and kindness pervades the company through and through.  

It is nice to be at my weekend.  I could not wait to get home to my little furry girl.  She is adjusting well and I was happy to see had eaten her breakfast this morning.  We had a couple days this week where she did not touch her food during the day, so I was worried.  However, all seemed to be well today.  She gave me lots of kissies when I walked through the door.

This evening I needed to run my errands.  I put Liesl in the car as my ride along and off we went to Trader Joe's.  TJ's has some of the yummiest things around and I just love their snack foods.  I am all stocked up now.  I also went to Petco to stock up on Liesl's food.  She loves the chicken stew from Wellness and I was down to my last half of a can.  Yikes.

On the way home, I stopped at Marshall's because I need a couple of new professional outfits for work.  Marshall's is hit or miss and tonight they had some really nice items at a good price.  I also picked up a new golden retriever sized bed for Liesl.  (she likes to stretch out.)  Speaking of dog beds, did you know Serta makes dog beds?  I saw one at HomeGoods a few weeks ago.  They run about $70 there.  But I digress.  So I am happy that I got to have a little fun shopping.  It has been a while.  

Now best of all, I can stay home for the weekend and hopefully get rid of this bug and this awful sounding cough.  Other than taking Liesl for walks and going to church, I am in for the weekend.  It is a good weekend for dog snuggles and reading books.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Life Is Good

Well, it has been a busy couple of weeks at the cozy cottage.  I still have the flu from heck, but I have big news.  I have a new job.  An awesome new job.  A job where I get to wear business suits every day and work as a senior accountant. 

You will probably remember that last June, I posted that I had a pretty serious medical condition.  Sadly, my job could not hold my position.  Although truthfully, I had a few lapses of faith, for the most part, I knew that it would all work out.  I was off for nine months (no, I was not pregnant!)  I took good care of myself, followed doctor's orders and spent some time just living in the moment.  I knew in my heart of hearts, when it was time, God would show me the way to the next place I should be.  Which He did exactly one day after my medical leave was up.

Last Friday, when I was really, really sick, I got a call from this company after my first interview and completing a project that they wanted applicants to do, to see the level of proficiency.  It was super difficult, and I doubted my ability to get the job.  They wanted me to have a second interview with the CEO that day and I told them that I was so sorry but I was too sick to drive anywhere.   About two hours later the CFO called (I had interviewed with him) and said that he just wanted to tell me where they were in the process.  He said that he was emailing me an offer letter right then and that he wanted me to start this Tuesday.  (An hour later I got another job offer from another company.  When it rains, it pours!)  

So I started work on Tuesday.  I am still sick with the flu, but I hope to be better before the weekend is up.  I work on a team with really nice people.  There are two of us plus the CFO.  It is the calmest, nicest group of people I could hope to work with.  The company treats their employees well.  On my first day, my new boss took the team out to lunch as a welcome for me.  It is nice to be on such a nice team.  I have so much to learn about a new industry, but it is really exciting.  What really made me feel good today, is that the gentleman who is leaving, whose place I am taking, said to me, "You are really going to do well here.  I am so glad you got the job."  I nearly teared up a bit.  He is going on to be a CFO, and leaves really big shoes to fill.

The toughest part for me is leaving Liesl at home while I go to work.   It hurts my heart. She has always come to work with me, and then I was home for close to a year.  I miss her so much during the day, especially at lunch time when there is no one mooching my lunch.  My friend has been checking on her while we both transition.  I think Liesl is taking it better than me.  I walk her in the morning, then give her lots of attention in the evening.  There is a really great doggie day care near where I work, so she can have a change of pace every once in a while.  She is actually doing really well.  I am looking forward to the weekend with her.

So that is where life is.  I am still trying to find the after work balance and I suspect it will take time.  In the meantime, I am happy and oh, so grateful.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Making Progress!

Thank you very much for your kindness and well wishes.  Today was a better day.  My fever is at about 100 degrees and I have a spot on the top of my head that keeps throbbing.  My daughter is also really sick.  We texted back and forth today.  She said that the chills were nightmarish.  I told her that I felt her pain.  My advice to all, if you wake up with a scratchy throat and feeling cold, go back to bed immediately.

My best friend called me today to check on me.  She offered to bring food, clean my house, or take Liesl for a walk.  I told her that I did not want her to get sick and to stay away.  She also wanted to make sure that Liesl has food.  Puppy mommas are the best.  My BFF is a nurse practitioner.  She told me that she was really glad that I got to the doctor yesterday.  I told her that I did not even know that a human being could have a temperature of 104.  She said that it is uncommon in adults, but at about 105 you can generally start slipping into a coma.  As usual, God was watching over me, because I already had that appointment scheduled for yesterday morning.  

So Liesl and I laid around, watched bad television and took naps.  I really wanted to stitch, but my eyes and head hurt too much.  I am starting to get fidgety because I am not the type of person who can just sit and watch television.  I have to be stitching, knitting, playing with Liesl, etc.  So I am just hoping I can get back to playing with all of my toys tomorrow.  I am getting wiggly.  On top of that I am wearing my leopard jammies, my frog socks, no makeup, I have bed head and am slathered in Vicks Vapo-Rub and I am mouth-breathin'.  I am a sexy beast.

So I am happy to be going to bed and ready to turn out the light.  I will be dreaming about stitching, throwing a ball with Liesl at the beach, playing in my craft room, and reading my books.  I so love my life and I am ready to get back to it.