Monday, August 31, 2009

In which things did not go according to plan, but were really great

Initially there was supposed to be wheeling and camping this weekend, an annual event that we had been planning for since maybe February? But that was before the rain, and before an opportunity to catch up with the Nason clan for the first time in a while....and I really felt like the weekend I got was just what I needed.

Okay, first? I slept. I SLEPT! This is huge in light of the previous two weeks. No weird work dreams, no waking up in the middle of the night....just glorious rest. Oh man. I feel like an entirely different person, no kidding. Pete got up with the girl (since he was going out into the woods anyway) and I stayed in bed till he woke me up before he left.

I was able to get some cleaning and laundry done in the morning, and I told Lou that she could choose something fun to do in the afternoon....she turned down having a friend over, the Childrens' Museum and going to a movie in favor of getting a movie and staying at home. Can we make popcorn? Oh yes. We can even have Twizzlers. And TinkerBell was surprisingly pretty good.

She did some crafty stuff too, and we read stories and played cards...all in all a very satisfactory rainy day. I was afraid she might get stir-crazy but she didn't and was thrilled when her daddy came home and kissed her goodnight. Aw.

Sunday we headed out to New Castle to meet up with the the Common. By the water it is just so peaceful, there's the playground for the kids (and seagulls to chase)...perfect.
Molly loves that Little O
Little Nasons (some uh, not so little anymore!)

O Man!

And then off to the Icehouse for yummy ice cream. Ahhh. A great day.

Back to work today, and headlong into the two weeks that are fall start. This week is more purgatory than hell....maybe the second or third circle if you read Dante. Next week is the real deal. It's more than kind of ridiculous that it's like this every year, but I find it's healthier for me to go with the flow. I change the things I can and just roll. That's the plan, anyway. Tomorrow begins three days of orientation (two at each site), Friday is the day of tying up loose ends, and then a holiday weekend! Yeah!



Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009



Friday, August 28, 2009

Cold office






Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Variations on a theme

Lately it's been all I can do to take a picture each morning (probably the bad influence of the hamster wheel), so I thought I might look at ways to spark some interest, maybe find some inspiration. I did a week of self-portraits, which was interesting largely because I look mostly the same every day- sleepy. And sometimes, somewhat surly. I never claimed to be a morning person.

So this week I moved on. I guess you can call it "Stuff I've worked on/am working on that I like and am pleased about." A brief and succinct title, I know. The goal is quite honestly to find at least seven things that I created or grew that have nothing to do with work. Balance.

Bad and useless day today. People are so married to convention, resistant to any kind of innovation or improvement. If today were Evaluation Day, I give the company and most of my colleagues a Needs Improvement. But as I told my friend Jeff, one good thing happened. I met with a student and helped him with an application for additional funds to buy a laptop and pay some bills. As he left my office he said, "Thank you so much for meeting with me. You're the only one around here who gets stuff done, and that's why I always come to you." I almost cried. I felt like Willy Wonka when Charlie gives back the gobstopper: So shines a good deed in a weary world.
And that is why I do what I do. I know things that not everyone knows, things that can help a kid from Lawrence who works at Wal-Mart and lives with his sister get an education, achieve his goals and ultimately be who he wants to be. That is the balance to the marathon meetings, and the corporate BS, and the unrealistic goals. What's a shame is that those of us who actually care don't hear it often enough.

Tomorrow will be a better day. I will be home with Lou at 5:30, and I have an appointment for a pedi (!) later on....and it's Wednesday! Only one meeting (1 1/2 hours), and I get a quiet morning in my office with music. Good deal.



Monday, August 24, 2009



Sunday, August 23, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ten things to be happy about today

  1. I finally bought coffee filters, so I have a decent cup of coffee sitting here with me.The reusable filters only work if they're the right size for your coffeemaker, FYI.
  2. Taking pictures, even crappy self-portraits for my blog.
  3. No hurricanes yet.
  4. The girl is still sleeping. You would realize what a good thing this is had you witnessed the meltdown last night at around 7:30 or so. She was tired and hot.
  5. Yesterday's posts on A Dress A Day. Apparently the commercial pattern archive at URI is open to the public, for free for a week. I'm not that accomplished of a sewist (?) but it's really fun to think about.
  6. Handmade Home is finally out. I am hoping the projects are at my level, and since most of them are meant to be done with children I think I/we can manage. She's actually doing a signing on Sunday but I am not sure I can get up to Portland. Still.
  7. I finally finished the knitting on my Clapotis, which is doubly awesome considering the oppressive heat! [I only really knit in the air-conditioning in the summer.] It's kinda huge, but that's what I wanted. I still need to weave ends in and block it (!) so it could be 2012 by the time I'm ready to wear it. Pete's been angling for his sweater next, so we just need to agree on a pattern.
  8. It's Thursday. Nary a meeting in sight on my horizon. And there may soon be a solution to one of my most aggravating work problems.
  9. I plan to weasel out of Salem at a reasonable time, so I should be home for dinner!
  10. Lunch with Mo and a visit with the chiro tomorrow. Yeah, he's going to shake the finger at me for not enough exercise, but to be honest I deserve it. Lazy girl.

    I was inspired to write this list having read a post this morning about how it's so much easier to complain but that it's "much less stressful to list instead all the things that smooth out the rough edges." I like that- smoothing the rough edges. Psychic sandpaper. Or something. [Thanks, Aunt Purl.]



Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together....

...yeah, unfortunately, today was not one of those days. I had stuff to do, both at home and work, and somehow managed to not accomplish much of it. How does that happen? I've been awake (um, mostly) for the past 15 hours or so. And yet, nothing.

Usually when I get home from work at a normal time, on the nights where I pick Charlotte up, I like to make dinner. I try to plan a couple of dinners that I will find fun to make or eat (preferably both!) for those was supposed to be one of those days....nope. Mac-and-cheese for the kidlet, leftover pulled pork for me and the man. Eh. My excuse? It was hot.

Laundry is piling up....this doesn't bother me as much right now as it did this morning, or as it will tomorrow morning when I am looking for clothes for work. Eh. Too tired to walk up and down stairs (really need to give this laundry chute idea more serious consideration).

I feel like Grandpa Simpson trying to spend his late girlfriend's money. EHHHHHH!
I work each day surrounded by people who feel tethered to the job, based on the culture and based on the time of year. I can't say that I feel exactly the same, although I do often feel somewhat irresponsible and guilty because of that. And I do still have a hard time breaking away, feeling as though I am punching an invisible time clock each day, that someone somewhere is making notes (she leaves at 6:30 on her late night, she doesn't work at home, she was 1/2 hour late today, she took a lunch break, she left her BlackBerry at home when she went on vacation). It's hard to explain to people who have never worked in this environment, but it's there, the measurement of who does more, works more, and I have become a sucker for the quantitative (disheartening in and of itself). So while everyone else is ready to buckle down and get things done this August, I see summer around me and watch the days pass on a calendar and know that by the time work is quieter, summer will have slipped away.

I'm not okay with that.

At the same time, the insomnia is back....and that's probably where a lot of this is coming from. I'm just tired. I'm putting off the normal, easy stuff (forward email from boss to staff, breaking down the content in bullet points so they get what he's saying) just because I can't be bothered. And forget the more challenging stuff. At least today, anyways.

I'm going to bed soon, hopefully to sleep. Tomorrow will be better, because I'll be rested. I'll set better priorities than I did today (on both fronts) and then the weekend will be just around the corner. Any weekend with your Grandma's 90th birthday party has to be a good one, right?!?



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Late again


Monday, August 17, 2009

Fun while it lasted

Such a beautiful weekend, and I am just not feeling enthused to leave it behind. I'm totally stalling on making lunches/getting showered and dressed even though procrastinating never makes Monday any easier.

Friday night I was able to go out for dinner and drinks with my friend Kim, which was great. It had been a while; we try to get together every month if we can but it's been a busy summer. No space on the decks by 5:00 (!) but we at least managed to listen to a marginal cover band while sitting outside. It was fun.

Saturday was the annual Family Fun Day at Garrison City....when it started at 9 the weather was already way too warm, but by the time everyone took off two hours later it was just ridiculously hot. It was a good morning- they had the petting zoo people and the wildlife encounter people, plus food and iced coffee...

We had stuff to do around the house but I ended up modifying some of my plans so I wasn't inside all day cursing and sweating. I did run some errands and get groceries. I hate going back to work after a weekend without having done the food shopping- it feels like showing up for classes not having read the book you're discussing, or being on a conference call where you're not really paying attention and then being asked for your opinion. NOT that either of these things have happened to me.

After some time in the kiddie pool, we headed over to the McGough's for dinner and to cool off in the A/C. It was nice to get a chance to catch up with April and the kids.

Yesterday Pete took off wheeling while Lou and I headed off to Wallis Sands for the day. I packed a lunch and drinks and snacks...and I still have no idea how I managed to drag all that stuff into our spot. We got there early- around 9- and I figured we might beat most of the crowds there, but the tide was going out and the beach was already filling up. I have never seen it that crowded...amazing. I've also never seen that many people in the water in New Hampshire...

This is early on, maybe around 10.
And later, closer to lunchtime.

We ran into a couple of my friends, which was fun....and we spent most of the day in the water. And applying sunscreen. And looking for shells/pretty stones/crabs/snails/seaweed....we were both exhausted last night!

We got home late afternoon to find some friends hanging out in the yard, and Pete had run the smoker, so we had pulled pork and some veggie salads I threw together (cucumber and red onion with a mustardy-vinegar dressing, and a carrot slaw with blueberries and toasted sunflower seeds....both courtesy of the Bittman). So good.

I am beat. Could use a lazy day in air-conditioning today....but instead I will take the worky day in air-conditioning, I guess. I have lunch plans with Mo today, so that's something to look forward to!



Wallis Sands




The sunny side of the street


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Red light