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Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Plans

It is the weekend and I've got big plans. I'm trying a new restaurant tonight as well as scoping out the local comedy scene. Yesterday the wind was knocking out power and tonight there is a tornado watch. I hope to not spend my evening crouching in the bathroom at the comedy club!

Tomorrow I hope to sample another restaurant I've never been to. Should be fun all around this weekend.

I may even attempt to clean off my desk in preparation for boot camp next week. I'll spend the next week and a half cramming in as much info as possible so I'll feel ready to take over as the new Sales & Promotions Assistant when my predecessor departs. And I thought I was stressed before. Nothing but big fun for me!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stressure

My new word for that feeling I've been having lately.

It has been a stressful week trying to dig out from the vacation fall out. On top of that we had a sales person leave us this week and one of our support staff put in her notice. (Not to mention the other sales person who left or the two new hires who are still causing waves in my sea of tranquility). What will probably all turn out just fine kinda makes me feel like I'm in a pressure cooker now.

To be honest it first happened last week on my drive to WI. It is that 5th and 6th hour that usually test my patience (which, let's be honest, is just hanging on by a thread as it is). I was experiencing some crazy slow, traffic-blocking WI drivers and I got pretty worked up. Then I didn't feel well. I had this tension in my chest and my head was hot (literally) and I could feel my pulse in my ears. I didn't feel well for the rest of the afternoon.

Now today I did it again. I couldn't tell you the moment I crossed over into panic stress, but I felt sick all afternoon. Could the young girl with the low blood pressure who needed salt just to feel normal have grown up? Could she have high blood pressure?

Like most other health problems, I hope this stressure just goes away.

Monday, April 26, 2010

WI Death Trip

I feel like I had such a whirlwind trip to Wisconsin and yet it was a longer stay than I've had in a long while.
I drove North Thursday morning and arrived in enough time to drop off Peanut, have dinner with the folks, and head to the big WLOP festival. With an unexpected (for me) appearance by Rob Base, a couple of VIP tickets, and bumping into a lot of people, good times were definitely had by all.

Friday was pretty laid back except for getting up at the crack of dawn to drive my poor pup to the vet for a surgery to remove a lump and a teeth cleaning that turned out to be a tooth extraction as well. When I picked him up Friday afternoon, he was pretty pathetic. My baby slept most the rest of the day and spent the rest of the weekend recovering. He is minus two teeth and with a big frankenstein stitch job, but in better spirits and getting used to the new cone. I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Saturday my brother and I went to the Between the Bluffs Beer, Wine, and Cheese Fest and thoroughly enjoyed our day. My favorite taste (besides the fried cheese) was an espresso oatmeal stout. I could drink gallons of it. Unfortunately it was brewed by a home brewer, so I can't just run out to the store to pick some up. I'll probably be looking for something comparable in the near future.

I enjoyed seeing all my family and friends over the weekend. It just made the time go so fast! I had a few low-key moments hanging with my sister and catching a movie (appropriately WI Death Trip in honor of my sixth straight day of drinking-across state lines- as a 31 year old).

I'm lucky I made it back alive! Practically the best time one could have possibly had. Practically.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Administrative Professionals Week

I'm on day three of my celebration of Administrative Professionals Week. That is what we like to call dedication to one's profession. I've visited our local work watering hole, entertained a prospective sales recruit, and now I'm ready to dig my heels in for the big she-bang.

Tonight is The Secretaries Party at the Prairie Capital Convention Center. Tonight will test my resolve as a dedicated professional. My plan is to not get dragged to any bars after the party. If I can manage that, I know I won't be out too late. I still haven't packed for my trip to Wisconsin and tomorrow I will be under a time cruch to make it there in time for their World's Largest Office Party. Yeah..dedication.

That is the whirlwind that is this week and I hope I survive to blog about it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More Adventure

This morning as I sipped my coffee on the porch I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with my day.
Considering my impending trip to WI, I decided it wouldn't make much sense to clean when in a few days I'd want to clean again. Thanks to my slacker mail person, I don't have any movies sitting around waiting to be watched. I picked up some of my Springfield pamphlets including the state park one (I forgot about that yesterday) and looked for something to do.

I landed on Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park because it was the closest I had yet to visit. I got ready, packed my bag, took Peanut out for a walk, and then hit the road. It was an easy drive and I didn't even get lost once. I did however, realize I forgot my bottle of water in the fridge. That would turn out to be a bummer.

I arrived in the park, pulled in to a picnic area overlooking a lake, and parked. I really lucked out. I walked down the hillside to find a bridge. I figured I'd get some nice pictures, so I crossed...and then crossed another, and before I knew it I had taken a nice, mild hike. I had joked about getting eaten by a bear, but once I was out in that prairie I was way more concerned about snakes.

I hiked back to my car without incident to explore more of the park, but after an hour of exploring, I'd say I hit the jackpot right off the bat. On my drive I did see a snake cross the road as well as a herd of deer. That was all the wildlife I got to see.

On my way out of the park I swung back though that first place I went and ended up checking out a map. As it turns out that little hike was the first leg of the journey around the biggest lake in the park. Now I'm tempted to go back for the whole thing.

We'll see what the summer brings. The park was about 45 minutes from home, but it didn't feel that long. And the fresh wilderness air was amazing. I'm all tired out.

It has been a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sangchris Lake State Park Adventure

The beautiful weather today called me out on an IL Adventure. My sister-in-law motivated me to seek out a nearby state park, which I've looked into before, but never done anything about.

The closest was Sangchris Lake State Park. From what I could tell, it didn't come close to rivalling Perot Park, but it would be a lovely spot for a picnic. I did also see a nature trail that I was unprepared to venture down by myself. I'll have to plan on it another day. Today was mainly a reconnaissance mission.

In that mission I was successful. I found the lake after a little round about action. I stumbled across a little historic site and a magnificent children's playground and in the process drove by a lot of pretty houses. Speaking of which... I found my future plantation home. Just sayin'.

I also took it as a sign that I drove by the winery about five times. On my way back I stopped in for a bottle of red to go with my steak tonight. The bottle was over-priced, but I was delighted to find a wine bar. I think they also serve food. It will be worth checking out with a wine buddy.

Last but not least, my adventure ended, like so many others before it, at the antique mall. I found treasures left and right, but settled on two National Geographics I plan to deface for their intriguing Coca Cola ads, a glass juicer, and a painting for that one spot in my house that still needed something on the wall.

I'm happy. It was a great day. Now my thoughts turn to that wine, and a steak on the grill with a side of asparagus, and maybe movie night.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brat And A Movie

With the possibility of an impending rain shower, I made the difficult decision to grill brats and put off mowing for another night (or so...).

Of course I thought it a logical decision (rationalized), because the mower is due for an oil change. So I shouldn't mow when I don't have time to do the job right. That is my extraordinary work ethic talking (or my proscrastination we've seen in other areas recently).

Whatever the excuses, I feel as though I made the right decision. That brat was mighty tasty. And now I have some free time to watch my Netflix movie I didn't get to last night. Here I come Indie!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Successfully Extended

I scored an appointment at the H&R Block tonight to FINALLY get my taxes done. I arrived about ten minutes early and waited over 40 minutes. People came in after me and were served before me. I'm not really sure that having an appointment was in my favor.

When I finally ended up getting called, it was by the dufus I kept secretly hoping I would NOT get stuck with. Oh joy! I was not feeling confident in his tax preparing expertise. In our short 15-minute meeting he seemed to have way too many issues.

So, as luck would have it, I was unable to file today and instead filed an extension. You see, I'd been given a corrected W2 by my employer and was told to use that instead of the original. As it turns out, it was the original that had all of my information on it. You have no idea how much I wish I didn't have a cross-cut shredder because I may have been able to retrieve the documents I shredded moments before heading out the door for my appointment.

So there was nothing I could do at this point. And I'm glad to know I have another six months before I have to do this again. ;)

Taxes Anyone?

So, I can't believe that I waited until the last minute to do my taxes. You know what that means? I'll probably be doing them myself. Last year I think I waited until the end of March (procrastinating hiring a tax person) and finally did them myself.

It is so sad.

I was that girl who phoned in my tax returns in college about a day after I received my W2s. Oh what I wouldn't give for those easy peasy phone-in taxes back.  *Insert long, painful sigh here*

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sunny. 72.

Okay, it may have been sunny and 72 yesterday, but today my thermometer in the car read 82 as I drove home for lunch. I tried cruising with the sunroof open, but it was way too hot and I eventually gave in and turned the air on. Yikes! Where is Spring?

At home I was happy to find a package in my mailbox with my new tomato "plants." They are actually seeds in little seedling cups that I will need to grow myself. The reason I wanted to purchase plants was so they would have a better chance at survival. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for my poor little tomato seedlings. I realize I'll be going out of town for five days during the critical first stages of constant moisture. I hope my intense desire for tomatoes growing in my back yard will pull the little guys through.

Now my thoughts are turning to more things I can grow. Anybody want to build me a raised vegetable garden? That would be dreamy.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hot Tamale!

Another beautiful day in the 70s here in Springfield. The tulips by my front steps that were still closed yesterday morning, had blossomed by afternoon. The droopy palm that I had moved indoors for the winter, has perked right up with a good soaking and some sunlight.

Saturday I spent some backyard time trying to dig out stepping stones. I unearthed a few. A few I uncovered and couldn't pull out. They seem to be bigger rockes as opposed to flat pieces.  I didn't think I worked too hard and I gave up when Peanut got antsy to go in. However, Sunday I was sore. Heck, I'm STILL sore. I'm old.
I also got a good pic of my headstone tulips. They are pretty. RIP.
If my lawn is lucky, I'll get it mowed early this week. I still need to finish ironing my freshly laundered curtains and get them hung up again. And stay tuned for the rest of the projects I hope to squeeze in after work this week. Good times shall be had by all.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Signs of Spring

Actually at this stage, they are probably signs of summer...considering I'm supposed to change the oil in my lawn mower and my grass is already overdue for it's first trim.

I saw these flowers in full bloom peaking over a fence along the alley. There are carpets of violets everywhere, spent daffodills, tulips in full bloom, and trees blossoming or on the verge. It is beginning to smell a lot like pollen. I've uploaded more pics to Flickr. Maybe I can add more later.

My Spring to-do list is growing as I putz through it. Today the curtains are in the wash and the windows are due for a cleaning. I plan to get Peanut in the tub (once the shower curtain gets back up) so I can finally vacuum up all his shedding fur and mop the floors.

I feel as though I'm losing daylight already!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Is That A Spider?

After hearing the radio ad five times a day for the last 341 days (give or take), I was finally motivated to visit ready.illinois.gov to find the list of things I need to be prepared in case of emergency. What really motivated me was the stormy stormerness last night complete with driving rain and howling winds that kept me checking the TV for weather updates until midnight. It made me a nervous nelly in a hurry.

So I stopped by the grocery store on my way home and picked up some bleach and water. I have a few questions. I need one gallon of water per person, per day, but the jugs were 3 liters. Am I going to have to do conversions while making my way to my storm shelter? And why does my dog need a two-week supply of food and water and I only need enough for 72 hours? Are we assuming he will outlast me? Scary. And will I know what to do with the bleach when the time comes?

Well, I know I have a few more things to add to my storm shelter supplies, but I'm feeling more prepared already. Now I'm back to only worrying how I'll get my 80-pound-afraid-of-stairs dog down the stairs and what spiders will be crawling on me once I do.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

So We're Back To This

It appears we are back to tornado weather. Oh goody! I can't decide what was worse, living in the hotel afraid the whole building would come down before they told us or seeing the warnings on TV and having no idea where they are talking about.

Yeah...weather buddies...if you are going to talk about some town that is next up to be hit by a tornado, I'd like to know the proximity to ME! See...I know where I am on that map, but all the little tornado alley towns...not so much.

I think I may have to go back to non-TV days during storms. Then I just have storm nervousness instead of this big ball of thunder, lightening, trains, planes, tornadoes, or is that just the dishwasher fear. What you don't know can't hurt you, right?

Weekend Relaxation

I began my Saturday with laundry. After loading up the washer with my first load, I headed back upstairs. My slipper got caught under the open steps and sensing I would fall, I slammed my foot down. I hit my shin on the next step up and I think my arch slammed down on the backside of the stair. OUCH!

I took this as a sign that housework was not a good idea. I put my feet up, iced the shin, and sipped my coffee while perusing the Better Homes & Gardens.

After getting all numbed up, my leg felt pretty good and I headed out to walk my dog. On our way through the backyard, we stopped to clean up the yard. Peanut hung out while I raked. In the process I noticed a stone surface in the grass. I pulled away the grass to uncover a stepping stone. My curiosity urged me to look for more. This is when I stumbled upon a few that have the look of marble and are verticle instead of horizontal.

Yeah...you're thinking it too. I noticed there were numbers in one and I thought do I really want to keep looking and find out for sure what these stones really are? That is when I realized why there are random flowers in the grass around these stones.

Really? This is my relaxing weekend? I'm nervous to find out what today has in store for me.

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