Thursday, August 31, 2006


My Favorite Things

1.) Tom Everett Scott: He was interviewed by my favorite morning show hosts, Ian and Margery on FM 107; this morning. Mmmmm. Hes my secret movie star boyfriend.

2.) Ian & Margery:

3.) Kevyn & Colleen:

4.) The Bird Chick: and her disapproving rabbits:

5.) The MN State Fair:

6.) Our new condo:

7.) Garnier Nutriesse Hair Color in Pomegranate;

8.) Bi-color sweet corn;

9.) My local library: from which I checked out The Red Tent which was fabulous!

10.) Lime Coke:

11.) The MDA: Dont forget about the telethon this weekend.

12.) Our Realtor:

13.) Our Kittens:

14.) Our Cats: ">

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

When It Rains...

I had a phone interview this morning.  I have a face to face tomorrow afternoon.  Since yesterday, I have been contacted by no less than 6 other hiring managers who wanted to schedule an interview today or tomorrow.  I had to say no to all.  I actually said no to one only because their location was in South St. Paul and I just dont want to commute that far.  But the rest could not schedule me in next week because apparently, all the hiring in the world has to take place before Labor Day.  Or something like that.  Although I do have an interview on Tuesday over the lunch hour, so apparently not all hiring has to take place before Labor Daybut most of it seems to.  I am really counting on the job I am interviewing for tomorrow though. 

In other job-related news, loud girl is leaving our team.  In a surprising email that stunned even the closest to her, it was announced that she will be moving to a new job, department, floor starting the middle of next month.  The relief of our current team was palpable after that e-mail circulated.  Once I leave, this department will be down 3 people, one from each team in this department.  That means each manager had to hire a new personif its approved.  There has been a hiring freeze for several months, so it may just be that the rest of the team will have to fill in where possible.  This news almost makes me want to stay since much of my work directed animosity was actually about her. 

Bob is taking the baby girls to the vet today.  They will be spayed and declawed tomorrow and we will pick them up Saturday.  When we go to get them, we will be bringing the big girl cats with us for their shots.  So the drive home should be a thrilling and lovely ride with all 4 cats.  Speaking ofone of our lovelies (Maisey, I suspect) peed on our bed night before last.  I felt her pawing at my foot and rolled over to give her a kick but instead my foot landed in the wet spot of her pee.  So, I got up at 3:30 in the morning, sprayed the spot with pet stain/smell remover, changed our sheets, and cleaned out the litter boxes in case there was a problem left in there that I missed.  Then we shut the door so no cats were allowed inside our bedroom.  The next morning, before I left for work, I found a pile of poo in front of the door, which I am assuming came from the same cat that peed on the bed (again, Im assuming it was Maisey, the disgruntled tabby).  We got through yesterday and all of last night with no other incidences of pee or poo.  She will probably think her excrement resulted in the banishment of the kittens.  Boy will she be surprise on Saturday!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tuesday's In Other Words

"I thought about the whole notion of "reproduction," and what it really means to replicate yourself. Is it merely about the passing on of eyes and chins and hair color? Or is it, rather, the replication of the heart? Do we leave a bigger mark by passing on our genes, or our thoughts?"
~ Shannon Woodward, author of
Inconceivable: Finding Peace
in the Midst of Infertility ~

I have this book. I cried most of the time I spent reading it. So many women and couples struggle with infertility.

It is true that I always wanted to be a mother. I always wanted to experience pregnancy. To feel the butterfly flutters in my womb when the baby first begins to move. To experience birth either through the baby coming through the birth canal in a vaginal birth or through a C-section. Yet, to me, being a mother is not necessarily about a biological child. To me, being a mother is to do the things differently than my mother did. Yet it is also to discover what my mother did right. It is to discover the universal truth that children are who they are and will do what they do and I will become my mother.

I always said I would be different. I would never say, "because I said so." I would not hit my child. I would cry with them and express joy with them. And yet I have no children. The reality is that biological children could carry Bob's disease. My illness.

We are open to adoption. Not just open. We want to adopt. It is burned within us. There is a child...there are children out there who belong in our family. Who will one day be brought into the fold of our family so we can care for them. So we can love them. We can show them that there is love. There is something bigger than them out there. That is the mark we leave. That is what we know. We will have children even if they never come from inside me. They will be ours because we were given the privilege and responsibility to love and raise them as our own.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday Monday

Spider on a web
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
Mondays are better now that I have decidedly taken a break from school. I don't start my week overtired and underprepared and that feels good.

My boss actually took me aside today to thank me for some extra work I did last week. She told me she appreciates it and I did a good job. I can't begin to explain how good I felt after that. All I ask for is a little balance in the feedback department.

I have an interview on Thursday after work. I feel really good about this and think this could be a good move for me. It's with the insurance department of Big Bank Co. It's a new department within insurance that is going "live" on October 2nd. It would be exciting to be in on the ground floor of a new department. I had a brief phone interview this afternoon and it went really well.

Bob has to take the van into where we bought it for some minor repairs. Someone drove over the ramp while it was down and now it is not working properly. It's a bummer, but nothing that can't be fixed.

The kittens go in tomorrow or Wednesday for their fixin'. I wonder if this will change their little personalities at all. Both our big girls were already fixed when we got them so we don't know if it altered their personas at all. The babies will be at the vets 2 full days and half of one so they should be OK to come home after that.

I found a gray hair on my head on Saturday so I am currently coloring my hair. I use Garnier pomagranite as my color of choice. Bob hates the smell as I sit in our office typing next to him, but he likes me as a red head.

The photo above was taken by me. A major accomplishment if you know me. I am bug-phobic. This giant guy lives on a web on our patio and as long as he stays there, I am not bugged by his presence. Now if he were to find his way inside our home, then I would have issues. Nope, as long as he sits on his pretty web and gorges himself on misquitoes and other bugs outside, I am fine with sharing my patio garden with him.

I am reading a book that I heard a lot about but never picked up. It's called The Red Tent and it's really good so far. I got it at the local library so if you live in the west suburbs and want to check it out when I am done, make your reserves now.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

State Fair

State Fair Scenery
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
I went to the MN State Fair yesterday. I met up with a friend, her sister, and her mom. I had a lot of fun. Click my Flickr Badge to see all the photos I took and maybe you will get a sense of the sea of humanity that encompasses the MN State Get Together.

Friday night I met 3 girlfriends for dinner. Friends are the best. We talked about everything and anything including all the scars and broken bones we had incurred in our livetimes. Good times.

You know what good friends are best at? Empathizing. Do you know what is missing in most day to day interactions among humanity? Empathy. Empathy is just allowing yourself to feel someone else's feelings for a moment. Walking in their shoes. Seeing things from their perspective. It doesn't judge. It doesn't coddle. It doesn't enable. It doesn't make excuses. It just says, "Huh, that sucks." or "Wow! That's great news!" And you know what? Empathy feels good. Give it a try.

In honor of my best friends and their empathy and their support, I am going to make a list of all the best things going for us right now.

1.) Our relationship/marriage. Bob is my best friend and my biggest supporter. He doesn't always understand me, but he loves me completely. I am amazed at all he endures every day and how he still maintains the most positive of outlooks.

2.) Our jobs. My job may not be great right now, but I have a job and am doing what I can to make it better. Bob is doing well at his eBay business and working at the gas station when he can.

3.) Our home. Right now we enjoy living in a lovely apartment community near beautiful parks and both our jobs. Soon we will live in a lovely condo community near 2 beautiful lakes and parks.

4.) Our cats. It may seem silly to some, but we love the joy and frivolity these furry friends bring to our lives.

5.) Our family. Never have we felt the love and support of our family as we have this year. They have rallied around us in a way that makes us feel a part of something bigger than us.

6.) Our friends and church family. Throughout our struggles and our triumphs, these faithful people have stood by us, held our hands, wiped our tears, prayed with and for us, cheered with us, and stood in the gap for us.

7.) Our hobbies, talents, and abilities. Bob has his love of coins, collecting, selling,and trading. He is also so very good at interacting with people. He writes poetry and is the best at putting himself in the place of others. I have my photography, writing, crocheting/knitting, and reading. In fact, I've rediscovered the joy that is the local library.

8.) Our faith...such as it is. I might be struggling but I am working through it and God, if He exists, is not offended at my struggle. Bob has a great faith and finds great comfort in his relationship with God.

9.) The MDA. We really do not know what we would do without them. The people working with the local MDA are the best. They are kind, caring, funny, warm, welcoming, and hard working. They do everything in their power to see that people with Muscular Dystrophy get the help and support they need.

10.) Life and the fact that every new day brings new promise, new opportunities, new lessons, new understanding, new friends, new possibilities, and new mercy/grace.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Condo Update Infinity Infinity

They have accepted our offer.  We just bought a condo!  OMG!  What have we done?  Ha!

Update Infinity Squared

So, we heard back from the realtor.  The sellers rejected our second offer.  They want full price, not to pay closing, not to put in any money to update appliances, and basically they want what they want and dont want to dicker, compromise, or give in at all.  My realtor says to sit tight and be patient.  In this market, they are being blind to what they can get verses what they want.  Basically, at this point, they are arguing over $5,000.  So, we sit and wait.  And we are OK with that.

In other updating news, I heard back from the gal who interviewed me on Monday and she hired someone else.  I emailed her a thank you note and asked for some constructive criticism from her regarding my interview.  I asked if there was anything I could have done differently or any skill I could improve upon to be better considered for a similar position in the future.  I have not heard back from her on that yet.

I DID have a phone interview from yet another department and should know within the week if they liked me enough to want to interview me in person.  Man, this is hard.  I got into Big Bank Co with 1 application and 1 interviewall occurring within less than 2 weeks.  Who knew it would be harder to get a new job within Big Bank Co than it was to get in in the first place?  Sheesh!

Today is the first day of the State Fair.  I am going on Saturday and cannot wait!  Photos to follow of course.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Condo update # 1,000,000,000

I just heard from the realtor.  The sellers want full price.  And there are four showings this afternoon.  And it is showing better now that all the furniture is out and the place is empty.  And the seller thinks he’ll get full price.  We can’t afford full price.  So we countered with a high offer by $6,000.  My realtor insists it won’t sell for full price.  She doesn’t think any of the people looking at it today will bite or start a bidding war.   Why is building a nest so fraught with so much red tape?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Condo Update #999999

Entrance into the building
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
We signed a bunch of papers and made an offer. Now we wait.

No "In Other Words" Today

I am not doing the Christian Women Online “In Other Words” today because the quote for today, while thought provoking, does not inspire me.  Well, that’s not true.  It does give me pause to think, but I don’t think it fair to participate in the exercise when I am struggling with my faith right now.  If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be questioning the things I am questioning right now, I would never have believed them.  Things are all topsy-turvy in my mind right now and I am giving myself permission to question, to ask, to seek, and to doubt.  My husband, the wonderful man that he is, is also giving me a wide berth in this area.  His patience with me is infinite.

So, the job.  I have had a week to process what happened last week.  A week ago today, actually.  I don’t know that I can explain the events of that day in a way that accurately describes how I felt, but I will try.  First thing in the morning, I received an email from my boss asking me to accept an appointment with her for a mid-year review.  I had been expecting this review a couple of weeks earlier.  Since it was a new thing and one never before done, I thought maybe she had decided not to do one. Oh no.  So at the appointed time, I walk into the conference room only to find it occupied by my boss and another woman I didn’t know.  My boss introduced me to this woman who happened to be an HR Rep.  The reason she was there was because my boss had a formal written warning issued to me because I missed 14 days of work that was unapproved.  As I read over the list of days, I saw that 10 of those days were actually the days I took off as sick leave last month.  Those weren’t approved as short term medical leave, but they should have been approved under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  That leaves 4 days of PTO that were “unapproved” and 4 days isn’t much.  Anyway, I signed the form and now it sits in my permanent file.

Once HR Rep Woman left, my boss handed me an agenda for the mid-year review.  First she said that the other managers weren’t going to do one because of time constraints and since she only had 2 people under her, she could afford to do the mid-year review.  However, I could see this was not a really a formal review because the paperwork she handed me was not the official review paperwork.  The official review paperwork has objectives and a rating scale and a space for comments, improvements, and outstanding examples.  The sheet of paper my boss handed me just listed everything we were going to talk about.  As I looked down the list, I could see there wasn’t one good or positive thing listed.  Boy was I right.

The first thing she brought up was the absences.  I told her I understood where she was coming from, but that I thought it unfair for her to list the last 10 days on a formal warning as I wasn’t just playing hooky.  I was out with a medical condition that may have not been approved by the insurance company as short term disability, but should be covered under the FMLA.  She glossed over it saying if I had had questions about that, I should have asked them when the HR rep was present.  Okay.  Then she brought out a thick manila folder.  She began talking about how she has been disappointed in the quality of my work for some time.  Then she began to lay out photocopies of each and every mistake I have made in the past 10 months.  One by one she laid them before me.  Things she had brought to my attention months ago were now paraded before me once again as though they had never been addressed or taken care of.  After about the 15th ones, the little voice in my head started to say those old familiar things, “you are no good.”  “You are bad.”  “You can’t even do the simplest of things.”  “You have wasted your life.”  “You can’t do anything right.”  And then the tears came and I was powerless to stop them.  At first I was able to cry silently as she continued to lay proof of my failings before me.  But after a minute, it became obvious I was crying and she kind of hurried through the last of the things on the agenda.  She ended with telling me this wasn’t a formal review and it would not be in my permanent file but I had to sign the paperwork anyway.  She left the room telling me I had 15 minutes to collect myself but then should get back to work.  I asked her to fire me and she said no and left.

I sat in that room for 10 minutes longing to take the chair I was sitting on and bash it against the glass window in hopes that I could break it and jump out after it.  A drop from the 13th floor should be enough to kill someone, right?  I even went up to the window to see how high it was but I think the glass is shatter resistant.  I had 2 more hours to work before I could go home so I sat miserably at my desk googling suicide methods one can do from home.  It’s amazing what you can find on the internet.

When I got home, Bob was sleeping in our bed and I did not want to disturb him so I curled up on the sofa and fell asleep.  Later on, I heard him in the office so I got up and went into our bed.  He found me there and asked if I was OK.  Thus began a 4 hour talk about my job, my life, my feelings, my fears, his feelings, his fears, and lots of other stuff.  Nothing was solved, but I felt better.  I did tell him he should probably hide his morphine until I felt better.  Bob is amazing in his ability to love and care for me.  He listens without offering advice or fix-it solutions.  He did say I could quit my job.  He said we only live life once and if this job was making me so miserable I didn’t have to stay there.  He said he could not understand how I could be so wonderful and yet not see any of that myself.  He said it made him mad that I could be good and do good but not see it in me at all. (By the way, he does the same thing!)  I ended up falling asleep with him rubbing my back.

Do I have to say that going back to work the next day was especially hard?  It was and it still is.  I did have a job interview yesterday that went very well.  It’s with another department at Big Bank Co dealing with document management.  It is a laid back office about a 20 minute drive from where I live right now.  I should know by the end of the week if that’s the job for me or not.  I also received another call today from another manager asking for an interview, so that’s good.

Counseling yesterday was good.  My counselor is awesome.  She pointed out that whenever I receive negative feedback/criticism, I tend to take it all in as a message that I am bad.  Not that I just made a mistake or messed up in some way, but that because I made a mistake or messed up, it must mean that I am bad.  This is true.  I don’t know why this is.  I don’t know how to change it. I can see good stuff as good but bad stuff is my fault because I am bad.  It helps to see it and know it.  Now I have to figure out how to change it.

Bob and I are meeting with the realtor tonight.  We will ask questions and based on the answers may be putting an offer on the condo.  I drove down there this weekend and it’s only 10 miles away from where we live now.  To hear Bob tell it, it’s like we’ll be commuting from the moon.  Sheesh!  He wanted to get a house 25 miles or more North of here and he’s now complaining about 10 measly miles.  Sometimes I think we both need something to worry about.  So we should know more after tonight.  I hope it’s good.

The kittens are getting fixed next Friday.  We will take them to the vet Thursday night, they will get cut and yanked on Friday, and we will pick them up on Saturday.  When we go to get them, we will be bringing the big cats with us to get their shots.  So the ride home with all four cats should be a splendid treat!   At least everyone will be freshly fixed and vaccinated though.  Bob saw a stray on our patio today and is worried about potential problems if it should get in a tangle with any of our girls.

There is more but this has become longer than I intended.  Also, I don’t have to tell you everything, do I?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Condo Update 2.1

I am thankful it is Friday but this has got to be the slowest moving day in the history of the calendar.  It doesnt help that our condo purchase seems to be stalled by our own credit issues.  We do have an OK credit number but there are about a half dozen things on our credit report that have been taken care of in the past and are still sitting there mocking us.  So our lender passed us to a credit clean up company.  We pay them a gob of money each month for 3 months and they send registered letters to all 3 credit reporting companies asking to remove certain things from our report. After the 90 days, our credit report should be cleaner and better.  If its not, our money is refunded 100%.  If it is, then the lender reruns our report and uses the newer, shinier number to get us a better rate/loan and the cost of the credit clean up is refunded back to us at closing.  The only problem is this takes time.  We are looking at 3 months right now.  We dont have 3 months.  This condo is dated but its otherwise fine and at a good price.  If we dont move soon, we will lose it and then were back at square one and who knows how long it will take to find something that has everything we want at a price we can afford.  Arg!  I cant stop my leg from hopping up and down. All this waiting and seeing has brought on anxiety and restless leg syndrome. It probably doesnt help that today is the day my period is supposed to arrive.

I called my realtor and she said to call the lender.  I called the lender and left a voicemail.  I guess all of this is to get the lower rate but we might be OK with the OK rate. I need to wait until Bob wakes up so I can ask him what he thinks we should do.  Hes the best.  More waiting.  Waiting to hear from the lender.  Waiting for Bob to wake up.  Waiting to see what happens next.  I hate waiting.  I especially hate waiting when I think I have found home.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Two Entry Thursday

The lender just called and can I say how much I like him so far?  He’s kind, gentle, funny, helpful, and the father of 5 girls.  He said that he works with a company that will send the credit reporting companies registered letters requesting older items be removed from our credit report.  We have 4 or 5 items that should be removed and once they are removed, our credit score should go up.  Right now it’s at or about 675 which isn’t bad considering we have a 4 year old bankruptcy and Bob’s ever present student loan issues.  Once those things get resolved our score could shoot to over 700 and that means our interest rate goes down as does our payment.  I was kind of bugging over the association fees, but they include cable, water, sewer, trash collection, AND heat.  The only utilities we would be responsible for is internet and phone which for us is a bundled service.  Considering those things, it isn’t so high after all.  Plus, when you think about it, when we do finally move into a house of our own, we can put the money we were spending for association fees into a savings account and not even miss it.  So things just continue to move along.

Bob went to a training session this morning to learn how to be a speaker for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  I’m not sure how many training sessions he must go to, but once he’s fully trained, he will be called on to speak on behalf of our local MDA.  He is really excited about his and it’s a high honor to be asked to represent MDA in this way.  Yay Bob!  The Telethon is only 2 weeks away and we can’t wait. 

Remember a while back how I said my belly button was red and itchy and yucky?  It happened again this week only it wasn’t itchy or sore.  It was REALLY red and…um…it stunk.  I kept getting a whiff of a funky body smell on me.  I kept checking my pits to see if that was where the offending smell was coming from and it didn’t seem to be the source.  Finally, I went to the restroom and as I sat down I caught site of the inflamed belly button and then I caught a whiff of said button.  YIKES!  I told Bob about it and he said it was most likely a yeast infection.  IN MY BELLY BUTTON!  We had some cream on hand and that seemed to have taken care of it.  At least it doesn’t smell any more and the redness is pinker now.  Blech!

I did not sleep well last night.  Not only was I wide awake at 2am but the kittens decided it was time to play.  Why is it they only play with the noisy toys after bedtime?  They were both playing with a jingly or squeaky toy that I had to confiscate.  Then they decided to play with my feet and/or wrestle each other on the bed.  Finally, around 3, I kicked all members of the feline persuasion out of the bedroom and shut the door.  I think I finally fell asleep around 4 only to have Bob wake me up at 5:45 to say my alarm was going off.  *yawn*  I’m so tired.

Condo Watch 2006

Well, we looked at the condo again last night.  Bob was able to get around it just fine and he liked it.  He was as impressed as I was regarding the amount of storage available in the unit and its location.  It is very close to a lake/park/recreation area that would be awesome to hike and bike in.  As I’ve stated before, the condo is fine structurally but is very outdated in appearances.  The couple that owns it now has owned it since it was built in 1982 or 1983.  We have not yet made an offer, but our realtor is meeting with our lender and then we will all meet and sit down and write up an offer.  We are fairly confident that we will get the place.  If things go as smoothly as they have so far, it looks like we may be moving in October or November which suits us just fine.  The couple that owns it now is moving to California tomorrow so whenever we close, we can start painting and cleaning things up.  Eventually we will want to replace the flooring and appliances but for now it’s fine.  Some day we may also want to enclose one of the 2 balconies to create a screen porch, but again, that’s off a ways.  This is very exciting!

There is other stuff going on but I don’t really feel like sharing it here right now.  I had an emotional set back on Tuesday and am still processing through that.  I will say it has to do with some work stuff and the sooner I can find something else the better.  I have an interview tomorrow and one on Monday.  Hopefully this will lead to bigger and better things.  It can’t happen soon enough for me.

It is the middle of August and sadly the fingers of fall can be felt on each new day.  The tree outside our apartment has leaves that are turning red. The day does not start as brightly and seems ends earlier.  The nights are cool and good for sleeping.  The state fair is still a week away so we are guaranteed some hot and humid weather yet, but fall is making its presence felt already and I’m not ready.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Did you know that buying a home is scary?  Did you know that it costs a bunch of money up front?  Did you know that it may not start out to be but can end up being very stressful?  Did you know that there is a buttload of paperwork that needs to be filled out, signed, and submitted?  Yeah.  I did not.  What are we getting ourselves into?

Finding The Opportunity

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein~

The quote to blog by this week, at the onset, seems simple enough and yet I struggled to come up with something to write about. Not that we haven’t seen our share of difficulty…because we certainly have. I think the problem, however, is seeing the difficulty as opportunity.

I’ve never been one of those people who fail and think, “Only 999,999 more tries to victory!” I mean if it had been up to me to invent the light bulb, we would still be doing our blogs by candlelight. Yet Thomas Edison failed hundreds of times before he succeeded with his light bulb invention. Good for him. I am not like that.

However I think in the midst of my most recent depression, I was able to see opportunity. I saw the opportunity to take care of myself instead of wallow and isolate. I saw opportunity to save my life instead of end it. I also saw an opportunity to spend some time with my husband.

I think the hardest thing about depression is how much is negatively affects the people around me. I hate that. I wish I could suffer alone but we are not built that way and life doesn’t work that way. It’s also very difficult to see outside of the depression. It’s a selfish illness that tends to turn the spotlight inward. Yet in the middle of my depression and in the middle of that difficult time, Bob and I found that we were happiest when helping others.

Maybe that’s what Einstein meant. In the midst of great difficulty lies the great opportunity to reach out to others. Even if we are suffering or hurting, we still have the strength to reach out to others. While I was taking time off to care for myself, I also took the time to volunteer with the MDA. I also met with friends who were similarly hurting. I took the time to email a friend who was also facing a difficult time. It is through these opportunities for care that I saw through the lies depression whispers to me. I am not bad. I am a loving person who cares for others. There are people who care about me. I am not alone in this. At the same time, I was able to reach out to others to show them that they are not alone in the difficulty they are facing either.
Galatians 6:10 (New King James Version)10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Almost home

So I got a hold of our mortgage guy who crunched the numbers and it looks like this is something we can do. He emailed me some paperwork to fill out and sign. I called the realtor and we are going to look at it with Bob on Wednesday. If he likes it as much as I do, we are going to put in an offer and put down some earnest money. Yikes!

There are a couple of caveats. We have been trying for 3 years to get Bob's student loans dismissed due to complete and total disability. We were successful with one, but the other company continues to drag their feet. Our lender suggested we submit a letter of explanation on that and contact the company again to see what it will take to get this settled. So I called and they are sending ANOTHER application and document list to us. This is the third or fourth one. I am going to fill this stuff out myself and send them every peice of documentation we have, THEN have all of his doctors write a note, THEN have someone at MDA write a note, THEN...well, that should be OK. Oh, I also called the other company and they are sending me written confirmation in the dismissal of Bob's loan with them. I WILL be sending a copy of that with the other documentation so that company B sees that company A is alot smarter than they are.

Also, that earnest money thing? Ummmm. We are earnest but don't have the money. Actually, we WILL have the money within the next week, but it's not clear when. I am getting a check from my college which is just the leftover money after all my financial aid was applied to the total bill. It would be more than enough for earnest money but there is no guaranteeing when it will arrive. Could be Wednesday. Could be Monday. As in next. Bob might be able to get enough earnest money together via his ebay business, but I'm not sure. He is currently at the Viking preseason game courtesy of his sister. So I don't know about ebay until tomorrow.

I had one phone interview today. The other never called me, though she did leave me a voicemail. The phone interview I had went well though the job is probably not what I really want. They have the schedule I want but the job is a customer service job with upselling. They pay a base salary (what I'm making now or more) plus incentives for making sales goals. So it could be good but I hate upselling and I hate selling to people who aren't asking to buy. We'll see.

Ummm. Not much else is new here. Other than we might be home owners soon! Which means...moving! Yikes!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Our Home?

It rained almost all day today and it was the perfect day to sit inside and read a good book. Which I did. But I also looked at a condo. It is a tad on the small side and needs some cosmetic touch ups, however it has everything else we are looking for. Fireplace? Check! In-unit laundry? Check. Storage galore? Check. Balconies? Check and check! Yes, 2 full balconies. Also, 2 bathrooms. One is 3/4 and one is full. It needs paint and new flooring. It could use new appliances and cabinets at some later date. There is SO much storage and it's an end unit which is the best. It is in our price range but I don't know if, after taxes and association fees we can really afford it. I am sending the info to my mortgage guy at Big Bank Co to see what he can come up with. This building is in one of the largest first ring suburbs but is located in a great area. There are parks and a nature preserve bordering the building and it's on a quiet street. It's gorgeous! This may be our new home. Who knows.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Saturday

My Favorite Flowers
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
Today I woke up around 9am and didn't have a plan for the day. As I washed up and got dressed, I decided to suck it up and FINALLY motor over to St. Paul to check out their farmer's market. Boy am I glad I did. It was awesome! Click my Flickr badge to see all the photos I took. It is the peak of the growing season and there was definitely a bounty of good things to be had. I could have gone crazy purchasing fresh veggies and flowers but only bought a half dozen ears of sweet corn, a small bouquet of sunflowers (from the vendor displayed in the photo abover), and another small bouquet of blue and purple flowers. I was tempted to buy some sweet red peppers but I have a bunch in my freezer just waiting for me to implement them into some tasty dish. I also wanted to buy some yummy heirloom tomatoes but couldn't come up with anything to do with them so left them for the next burst of cullinary inspiration. I had a blast taking photos of all the things that caught my eye. Click on the badge and leave me a comment on your favorites.

I was home by noon and able to spend some time with Bob before he had to go to work at the gas station. He is the best. He has been working very hard on his eBay business as well. He works on that probably 6 or 7 hours a day. He's very hard working and feels good bringing some income into our budget.

Once he left for work, I grabbed our dirty laundry and headed for my favorite local laundromat. When Bob does our laundry, he likes to use the machines in our apartment building. When I do laundry, I like to take it all to the laundromat. The laundromat I use is clean and pleasant. Half of the building is the laundromat and half is a dry cleaners. I think it's the dry cleaner staff that keeps the laundromat from becoming a ghetto hangout. Anyway, I like the laundromat because you can do all your loads at once. Today I had 7 loads and I got it all washed and dried and folded in about 2 hours. Versus the all day event it would have been had I stayed home and used the apartment facilities. I was also able to read my library book AND have a nice lunch at the local Thai place. Yum.

Once I got home, I put everything away and made Bob some dinner. I brought him his dinner at the gas station and was properly rewarded with kisses and a furtive grope. I left him to his work and went home to cook up some of the yummy sweet corn I picked up at the market. Then it was time to pay some bills (I use our bank's online bill pay feature), do some filing, and then here to document the day.

I was awoken this morning by a weird dream. In the dream, Bob and I were apparently picking up a boy we were going to foster/adopt. We were picking him up from his mom's house. She had four boys from four different fathers and was living on welfare. Even though she was living on welfare, in her garage was a black Hummer and a red Harley. We were picking up her 2nd youngest son to come live with us. He was 5 years old and his name was Eddie. He didn't want to come live with us so he was acting out. He took all the clothes and toys we were to bring with us and dumped them in the lake behind his house. We fished them out and were about to get him in the van to go with us when he bit me on the cheek. His mom laughed and laughed. I was trying to deal with her lack of concern when he bit me again on my arm. This time he hung on and drew blood. His mom just laughed. We decided we couldn't take him based on his biting and her lack of concern or discipline. We were heartbroken and his Mom sobered up quickly and begged us to take him or she would get in trouble. That's when I woke up. Told you it was weird.

So, on to other topics. I have 2 phone interviews on Monday. One at 12:30 and one at 3:30. I also have counseling at 2. And of course, school at 6. It's a busy day. Of the 4 contacts I received from my applications, 2 resulted in the aforementioned phone interviews. 2 resulted in the hiring manager saying they could not accommodate my school schedule. Plus, I have 2 people who are going to "get back to me" when they get through all the applications and decide who to call back. So, good. I feel like I am accomplishing something. My biggest fear, though, is that I will jump from the bad workplace frying pan into another bad work situation fire. I hope I can be wise and make a decision based on what is best for me/us and not just jump at the first offer because I am desprate to move on.

Oh! How could I forget this? Yesterday I had lunch with the health director from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I had emailed them asking them if they had any projects I could do for them. It turns out that Jodie, the gal I lunched with, needed help with the newsletter. We lunched and she told me what's what, gave me examples and a CD of photos and basically gave it all to me. I thought I would be helping, but it turns out, I AM GOING TO BE DOING IT! The MDA newsletter for the state of MN is entirely in my hands! How cool is that? Not only do I love the MDA and the people that work there, I have a cool volunteer job and a good resume builder. Sweet! Now I hope I can do it justice.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I ended up getting three responses to my submitted applications.  Dont know yet if any of these jobs are anything I would really be interested in, but at least there are options.  Still, only three responses from over 30 submissions?  Thats not a very good return is it?  Oops, make it 4.  I just received a voicemail asking to set up an interview for one of the jobs I was really interested in, so yay!

Yesterday at work I had a horrible headache so I went to the first aid station and grabbed a couple of Excedrin.  As I took the first pill and swallowed a giant gulp of water, I knew it was going to stick and it did.  I began to choke on the pill in front of everyone in my office.  I began to spit up phlegm and someone ran to me with a waste basket to catch the drippings.  I could not cough it up, but it apparently lodged somewhere in my throat at a point that made it possible for me to still breath and talk and swallow.  Yet all the rest of the afternoon I kept tasting the medicine and felt it in the back of my throat.  It was so embarrassing. One of my co-workers looked ready to perform the Heimlich maneuver should it be required for my health and safety, but thank God that wasnt necessary.  Today I still have some irritation in my throat from the incident, but feel much better. 

I went to bed early last night and even so when my alarm went off this morning I had a hard time distinguishing what that noise was and where it was coming from.  It took me about a minute and a half to hit the snooze whereas usually I hit it before the first syllable is out of the DJs mouth.  I feel like I am walking in a fog today.  This is not good because we are working on a giant collating project for another department that needs to be completed and ready to hit the bed of the overnight truck first thing Monday morning.  I cant wait for Saturday.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


So far I have received 2 responses to my submitted applications.  I also took some initiative and emailed the hiring supervisor of one position that looks quite interesting. I submitted my resume and told her why I would be good for the position.  She emailed me back to say she would look over my qualifications and get back to me later in the week or early next week.  Sweet. 

Favorite Commercial

My newest favorite commercial and the song that will not stop running through my head is for Snickers:

Happy peanuts over chocolate covered mountains and waterfalls of caramel.  Prancing nougat in the meadow sings a song of satisfaction to the world.


So I went home last night and perused the Big Bank Co job bulletin board.  In total I applied for 30 jobs yesterday.  I applied for things I might not qualify for but could do.  I applied for nothing that paid less than I make right now.  I applied for things I would actually enjoy doing.  I hope to hear something from someone soon.  30 jobs people.  Out of more than 200 available just in MN alone.  The jobs are out there.  I just need to find one that fits me better than this one.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Four Things

Everybodys sleeping
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
This comes from my Mom. And the photo is of three of our four cats. Maisey is anti-social and won't snuggle with the rest of the bunch.

Four things you may not know about me....

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Nursing home kitchen worker
2. Portrait Studio Photographer
3. Hostess at Olive Garden
4. Radio Announcer/reporter/and news anchor

Four movies I would watch over and over :
1. Say Anything
2. The Wedding Singer
3. When Harry Met Sally
4. The Emporer's New Groove

Four places (just 4?) you have lived:
1. Frederick, MD
2. Sioux Falls, SD
3. Basking Ridge, NJ
4. Wisconsin Rapids, WI
5. Burnsville, MN

Four TV shows you love to watch:
(These are my summer shows)
1. Saved
2. The Closer
3. The Girls Next Door
4. My Life on the D List

Four TV shows you love to watch:
(This is my prime season list)
1.) Lost
2.) Veronica Mars
3.) CSI
4.) Law & Order SVU
5.) Grey's Anatomy

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Florida
2. Washington DC/Maryland
3. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area/Echo Trail, MN
4. Amsterdam
5. Rio Brazil

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Anything Mexican
2. Almost anything Thai or Asian
3. Pizza...especially Broadway Pizza
4. Corn on the cob...the bi-colored kind with lots of butter and salt

Four songs that remind me of summer
1.) Let's Go - The Cars
2.) And She Was - The Talking Heads
3.) Devil Inside - INXS
4.) Rattle and Hum - U2

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. The Lottery winning jackpot headquarters
2. Lying on the white sand of a tropical beach
3. swinging in a hammock under a shady (bird-free) tree
4. In a brand new handicapped accessible home

Four readers of this journal who should do their own meme:
1. Robyn Anderson
2. Cubbie Girl
3. Kitchen Kathy
4. Yvonne


I just applied for 12 jobs open within Big Bank Corp.  Somethings gotta give.


I got the call.  I did not get the job.  He did pass my name and contact info to someone else hiring in his area, so maybe that will bring some good news.  In the meantime I am applying for lots of other stuff that is out there on our in-house job posting bulletin board.  Hopefully something will happen quickly.

tick tick tick

So, its almost 2pm and I still havent heard back about the job.  That cant be good can it?  I did send a thank you email first thing this morning to the manager that interviewed me yesterday.  But then I may have hit overkill.  I also sent him an email with my final school schedule as it was referred to me today.  THEN I realized I made an error so emailed him AGAIN to correct the error.  Did I wreck it?  Man, I hate waiting.  If you are going to reject me, just get it over with.  Everyone knows pain is best dished out quickly.  Think band aid removal.  The quicker its ripped off, the better.  Arggggggg!  Im probably just going to get the computer generated, thanks but no thanks email tomorrow.  Nice.

In other Words

“Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.
That’s why it’s a comfort to go hand in hand.”
~ Emily Kimbrough ~

Today's quote is easy to blog about. In light of the struggles I have had this summer, I would not have been able to work through them half as well if I had not had my loving and supportive husband by my side. He's the one I prayed for whenever I read the following passage in Ecclesiastes 4; Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Bob is my friend, my warmth, my defender, my partner, my lover, and my hand to hold in times of trouble. Even though I staunchly try to do everything myself without help and everything in me says I am to go it alone, my circumstances tell me otherwise. We were meant for community. We were meant to help one another. I couldn't have gone it alone this summer. It is only due to Bob's faith in God and love for me that I was able to do what I needed to do to get better.

He's not the only one who helped me. But he is the one closest to me. He is the one most affected. He is there in the midst of the battle and he is there no matter what.

I wish I were perfect. I wish I didn't have flaws and defects. I wish my baggage and my flaws and defects didn't harm the people I love, especially Bob. Yet, there in the midst of it all, he stands by and with me. I couldn't have made it through this toughest of times without my husband. Though I wish I wouldn't have had to put him through it, I am thankful he was there to help me.

Hope For Something Better

Morning Glory Bud
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
I had an interview yesterday that went really, really well. It's for a job with Big Bank Company's home mortgage department insurance call center. I want it but may not get it because of my school schedule. They need someone 10-7 Monday through Thursday and 9-6 on Friday. I have to be at school by 6 on Monday. Arg. Either way, I find out today. If you are a praying kind of person, please pray I get this job. Thanks!

Monday, August 07, 2006


I have the BEST idea in my head.  I was thinking of a way to keep the kittens from eating the cat food and the cats from eating the kitten food.  I came up with a great idea but I am not technical enough to create it.  As I was pondering it, I realized it would also work to assign multiple cats to their own litter box so you can more easily detect a problem with your kitties.  Man, I wish I was technical enough to invent this myself.  It is an awesome idea!  More later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Secret of my Unsuccess

Just got a call from Bob. Gas has jumped from the $2.92 it was this morning to $3.19!  And guess who need gas!!! Crap, crap, crappity, crap.

In other news I am part of the Big Bank Co Power ball pool.  Man, we almost need to win the lottery in order to fill our gas tanks these days.  The drawing is on Sunday. If we win, I am NOT coming in Monday.  AND I will be going post haste to our independent builder and getting our barrier free home and lot set and built.  Thats my plan and Im sticking to it.

Just in case we DONT win the lottery, I have an informational interview with the manager of the communications department in my building.  She told me that she doesnt have the funds to build her team this fiscal year, but that she IS definitely going to be adding to her team next year and would like to meet with me.  I told her I am graduating next year with a Communications degree and would like to know what kinds of things she will be looking for so I can plan, learn, grow, and build accordingly.  I also have an actual interview on Monday with another department at Big Bank Co.  I like to keep my options open.

Counseling has been going well this week.  I am learning still more about me and how I see/view myself.  For instance, I rarely think I will succeed in things I set out to accomplish unless I have already tried and succeeded.  Hence my solid stance on trying anything new and/or different.  I am not afraid of success, I just cant conceive of it.  If I try something and mess it up or do it wrong, I almost immediately want to quit or run away as the thought, Whats the point of even continuing to try.  I wreck everything.  I cant do anything right.  No wonder I am unhappy and depressed, huh?  No wonder Ive never really had goals and plans beyond marriage and children.  Today I learned that I need to be more communicative with Bob about things.  Imagine thishe cannot read my mind!  I knew this and yet I have kept many things bottled up inside me because of fear.  Why do I fear my husband?  Hes never been anything but supportive and loving towards me.  It must be part of my brokenness.  Anyway, the thing I most want to talk to him about is starting a plan on the path to adoption.  We have always said we want to but we have never put any kind of a plan in motion. I think its time to talk about the plan.

It has finally cooled off here.  Not that 88 is cool by any stretch of the imagination.  However, 88 degrees is not 101.  Its also nice because the dew point and humidity levels are most lower which really ups the comfort level around here.  Speaking of the new cooler temps, Bob turned off the air and opened the windows up night before last while I was sleeping but before he went to bed.  Around 5:30 I heard the kittens playing in the vertical blinds.  I got up to fix them so they wouldnt rattle and saw that the sliding glass door was openand so was the screen door!  They were romping out on the patio all by themselves.  Our bedroom balcony is about 20 feet off the ground or more.  The kittens are not so good with depth perception at this age so I was a little freaked out.  I managed to get them inside all safe and sound though.  When I mentioned it to Bob last night he said he never goes out there and that I was the last one to come from the balcony.  I asked him if he was blaming this on me and he kind of sheepishly hung his head and said in a small little voice, no Good, I said and mentioned that when he opens the sliding glass door in the dark, all he has to do to check to see if the screen is closed is to try and stick his hand through the doorway. If it goes all the way through, the screen is opened and needs to be shut.  He agreed.

I took pictures at a co-workers wedding shower yesterday and was just reminded once again how much I love to do that.  Maybe I should look into starting my own event photography business.  I would need a better camera (an SLR) and maybe some initial money for advertising.  How fun would it be to offer my services for family and class reunions, birthday parties, baptisms, field trips, anniversary parties, work team building exercises, trade shows, etc.  The premise behind the idea is that people all have their own cameras now but who has time to actually take photos at these eventsespecially if you are the host/ess.  I would be there to catch all the money shots and magical moments freeing these people up to do what they need to do to ensure a successful event.  Also, they would actually appear in the photos instead of always being the person behind the camera.  Also, it would eliminate one person having to take the same photo 20 times because everyone hand them their camera. All I would have to do is take the photos and then set up a Flickr or Snapfish account for the person paying for my services.  Once the bill has been paid, I would email them the link to the photos and they just order the prints and share the link from there so others can order their favorite prints too.  Easy peasey right?  See above regarding my incomprehensible fear of all things new and inconceivability of the success of anything I try.  Stillthe idea has been planted.  I dont know how I would promote my business, what I would name it (although I have ideas), and how much to chargeby the hour?  By the photo?  Flat fee based on packages and if so what and how?  I need a business partner to take care of all those details while I run around and have fun taking pictures and uploading them online.  Also, would it be possible to contact Snapfish, Flickr, or Shutterfly and set up a deal where I get a tiny percentage of the money they make from the prints ordered.  After all, I will be throwing new business their way with every event.  I wonder how I would check into that?  I wonder what I would do when they say no?

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday.  This week has been the longest of my life.  Thankfully the month of August is pretty low key and unbusy for us.  September, however is the very definition of crazy busy.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

God's Way

"There are two kinds of people:
those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,'
and those to whom God says,
'All right, then, have it your way.'"
C.S. Lewis ~

That is todays Christian Women Online In Other Words quote.  In response to this, I am taking a break from my normal every day blogging and will blog about a time in my life where this quote fit completely.

I dont remember a time that I didnt want to be married.  All my growing up years I longed for a boyfriend who would one day be my husband.  I longed for prince charming.  I went to college looking for Mr. Right and my MRS. Degree.  Isnt it funny, then, that I didnt get married until I was almost 33 years old?  Ha!

My marital status was issue number one in my prayers to God.  I prayed for a boyfriend and then for a husband.  I prayed for the literal man who was somewhere out there.  I prayed for his safety.  I prayed for his friendships. I prayed for his jobs. I prayed for his family.  I prayed that God would hurry up and allow us to meet already.  This went on for many, many years.

I had a boyfriend in high school.  I left town after graduation.  He didnt.  There were other issues, but that was 20 years ago.  I later fell in love with a man who returned my affections but not my desire.  His preference was for the male species.  We were engaged for about 30 minutes when I was 25.  Interspersed between these men were many, many recipients of unrequited love.  Some of these men were friends and some were just objects of desire from afar.

Soon after I turned 28, I began to seek God more deeply to see why I remained single.  If it was something I was doing wrong, I wanted to right it.  If there was something I was missing I wanted to find it.  As I prayed and read my Bible I came across a passage inChronicles, I think.   The nation of Israel was crying out to God for a king.  They wanted to be like everyone else around them.  God wanted them to be different.  He wanted to lead them.  He wanted to protect them.  He wanted their love and allegiance.  He wanted to be their king.  Reading on I saw that the people persisted bugging God for a king and He finally relented and told them He would allow them to have a king.  Not without warning, however.  He told them that while they may be like all the nations around them, they would also be subject to a man who may not have their best interests at heart.  They would have to submit to someone who might abuse his power.  They would have to follow someone who might not know how to lead them.  They took the good with the bad and got their king.

As I read this, I got the distinct feeling that God was speaking directly into my heart.  I wanted a husband.  I wanted to be loved by a man.  I wanted to be like all my friends who were getting married and starting families.  I wanted to feel whole in heart and I thought the love of a man and marriage would bring that.  I felt as though God was telling me that He wanted to lead me.  He wanted to love me. He wanted to fill me and He wanted me to find my wholeness and to feel completed by Him alone.  I submitted my desire for a husband to Him and for about 2 years I was completely and wholly content with being single.  I said, Thy will be done, and it was and it was great.

Around the year 2000, I began to feel discouraged with waiting.  I was 31 and began to feel the pang of discontentment again.  I started seeing a man off and on.  (More off than on, really.)  He wasnt really my type.  He was needy and selfish and immature.  At the time I thought that was better than being alone.  He played head games with me and liked to try and manipulate me.  I remember crying out to God saying how frustrated I was and how all I wanted was a man who was captivated by me and was that too much to ask?  Deep in my spirit I sensed God say to me, Amy I will give this man unto you if you really want him.  Just know that he is not My best for you.  With that, I felt release to break up with this man. Roughly 3 months later I met the man who would become my husband.   If I had continued to pursue this manthe one who was not Gods best for meI am sure that I would have had my way but not Gods will.  Who knows where Id be now6 years later.  I am happy that I let God have His way.

By the way, one day early in our courtship Bob turned to me, looked me deep in the eyes and said, Amy, you captivate me.  I had never told him about my prayer to God and yet here was a direct answer to my prayer.  It pays to let God have His way.