Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Common Phrases

Since I don't have much time to sit on the computer tonight (it will only be a matter of time before the next storm system is here), I have to make this week's edition of Ten on Tuesday short. But, hey, I didn't want to leave you hanging.

While you may be sick of hearing about William and Kate's wedding, I'm really sick of the non-stop doppler that covers our tv screen. It's really messing up my dvr schedule! But considering how bad last night's storm was not too far away, I know I shouldn't complain.

Here's 10 Words/Phrases we've heard non-stop on tv:

  1. Take Cover

  2. Classic signature

  3. Straightline winds

  4. Hail (penny, dime, quarter, golf ball, tennis ball, 2", and Hen Egg)

  5. Doppler Radar

  6. Spin & Hook

  7. East/NorthEast

  8. Storm spotters

  9. Strong rotation

  10. The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning....

More on the storms in the next edition.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Things I've Never Done

Hope everyone is safe tonight. I hear that Illinois is getting pounded with hail and tornadoes and considering our weather radio has already gone off, I'm sure we are headed for much the same here later tonight (I heard they call this fatality alley since tornadoes here keep happening in the middle of the night!). It's hard to believe it's been 15 years since Decatur was struck back-to-back with tornadoes. What a terrible weekend. I was on campus and remember being so scared. And our sorority's formal was the next night at the Holiday Inn, just across from where one of them hit. Time sure does fly.

But even though time flies, I realized there is still lots I haven't done. So here we go for this week's installment:

  1. In honor of the approaching Easter dinner, I know for sure I won't be bringing the homemade yeast rolls made from scratch. Even with 10 years of cooking projects in 4-H, I steered away from the breads. (I didn't want to fail). When I worked at the 4-H office I grabbed a copy of that project book, but have yet to give it a try. One day I will. Everyone keeps raving about the Pioneer Woman's recipe so really it's on my list to do.

  2. Also related to 4-H failures, I have never sewn an outfit from scratch without help from my mom. (FYI--My mom was a home-ec teacher too if you didn't know that). She always just told me what to do when I had to sew, and rip out, for 4-H. Today, I have no clue how to cut out a pattern. I can thread the machine and sew curtains and pillows, but that's as far I excel.

  3. I've never been hospitalized. I'm rarely sick (thanks to biting my nails) and despite not being so coordinated, I've managed to escape major injury. I have no idea what an iv feels like, or a broken bone, or getting put to sleep...nor do I care to know.

  4. I've never been pulled over by the cops. I follow rules. I think if I ever do get pulled over, I would for sure either have a panic attack or burst into tears. Do you think they would let me get out of it considering I've been good for for almost 18 years?

  5. I've never had a cavity. Yes, my teeth may be crooked and slightly yellow but I must just be lucky (And hopefully I'm not jinxing myself here). It seems like a joke when I confess to the dental hygienist that I drink several cokes and sweet teas a day, but so far I've avoided that horrid drill I hear about.

  6. My great-grandpa was a farmer. My Grandpa was a farmer. My uncle is a farmer. I lived in Illinois for 30+ years. But...I've never rode in a combine. I just never thought much about it I guess until I moved away and started missing the harvest season. It's something that now I really would like to do.

  7. My office co-worker Kendall is going to gasp and yell out loud, but I have never read nor seen the movies of any classics like Gone with the Wind or Casablanca. It still would take a lot of consideration to do it now.

  8. I have never tried to golf. Putt-putt is about the extent. I just think the probability of me swinging with enough umph and actually making contact with that itty, bitty ball without removing a big ole' chunk of dirt seems like about a 2% odds.

  9. I grew up on 12 acres, and we mowed about 10 of those acres. But I was always in charge of mowing the patch in front of the house and along the ditch. All with a push mower (oh where was my self-propelled mower then!). I have never driven a riding lawn mower or tractor to mow.

  10. Recently I discovered something that is quite common here in the South that I have never done....go to an estate sale. In the North, they just pile all of your "crap" into boxes from the liquor store and throw it on the rack wagon. But here, they tag it and let everyone rummage through your house, just as you left it. Well, that's what I presume. I do love antiques, and I do love looking at houses so I'm definitely going to have to add this to my to-do list.

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Storm update

Considering it's Sunday and Friday at 2am was when the storms hit, hopefully you aren't just now questioning whether Matt & I are fine. But...if you are...we are fine.

Everyone seems to have their storm story to tell. Ours isn't all that exciting really. Basically, the weather radio started going off at 10pm. Around 12am, it was going off much more often. I got out bed to go check out the tv coverage (this is when I wish we had a tv in our bedroom!). It was just firing up on the West side of the state so I knew we had some time. But still, it was hard to sleep, as I was so worried I would sleep through it. Needless to say, the storm radio made sure that didn't happen. A little before 2am, I was up and I told Matt he better get out of bed as it was about to hit our area. We were under a tornado warning, though the weatherman said there was only a 35% of a tornado. It was the straight-line winds and hail that were a problem. He wasn't kidding! Minutes later, Matt was looking out the windown in the family room. We were just waiting for a giant rain storm. Instead, came the wind. The windows literally gave a squeel, and Matt & I bolted for the storm closet (which unfortunately still needs cleaned out...but when your life is at risk, you make do!). By the time we got to the closet, the wind was more of a roar and the hail was pounding down. Matt & I both say we've never heard wind like that. The weatherman said it was gusting to 80mph, but later reports said it went even higher. It was scary!! We really wondered if the room would blow off or even if we really were under a tornado.

Fortunately, we don't have trees near our house! Our porch furniture all blew over. Even the grill moved about a foot. But sadly, 7 people died here in the Little Rock area because trees fell on their houses (houses, not even trailers). 3 of them were just kids. This is a photo of the tree that fell on a house that killed a mom and her 8 year old son, leaving safe a 2 year old and an infant without a mom.

Source: KARK 4

Breaks your heart!

Recipe: Tortilla Soup

At our camp "retreat" last week, one of my co-workers offered to bring crockpots full of this soup for our Mexican-themed lunch. The concoction was made up by her chef-aspiring 15 year old daughter. It was quite tasty!
Tortilla Soup
Mix together, and cook over medium heat or on low in crockpot:

  • 2 cans Rotel (She used 1 mild and 1 hot--I would use 2 mild). She also crushed hers up to disguise the tomatoes.

  • 2 can shoepeg corn, not drained

  • 2 cans northern beans, not drained

  • 1 medium size bar of Velveeta (not the 1lb size), cubed

    • Add 1 package of cooked Fajita Chicken that has been cubed.
      Mix and re-heat on low until warm. Serve with tortilla chips.

      To Do: Go Camping

      On my job description it does not note "go camping with a smile" but I think that falls under the category of "all other jobs as assigned."

      I don't mind being outdoors, but camping just isn't my thing. It seems like a lot of work, without a lot of sleep. Two strikes against it already.

      But last week, I went camping for 2 nights. Our membership department has a "retreat" (now called Staff Development Days due to the lack of fun) twice a year. This spring, we saved money on hotels and instead got to experience the other side of Girl Scouts...Girl Scout camp!

      1980's picture stolen from internet

      My boss, Anna Beth, and I went down on Tuesday night to get the camp ready for the rest of the staff. I admit, I wondered what I did to get this extra day of punishment. But once I got there, it wasn't so bad. In fact, I sort of enjoyed it. (Don't tell her that though). We wiped alway the traces of spider webs, swept the inches of pollen from the tables and bathroom floors, and bought enough groceries to feed 25 people for 4 meals and snacks (that's a lot of groceries!). We cooked past midnight. Anna Beth will admit she doesn't usually cook. But I actually learned how to make fiesta-seasoned chicken in a pan from her! And I also have a new breakfast recipe! My family will laugh knowing what I spent the evening making.... Yep, the dreaded vegetable tray! (We fight over who has to bring this to family functions). My boss was great because she let us stay in a building the first night instead of the cabins. I know AB is a true camper and sleeping indoors was probably a sacrifice for her. I on the other hand had to borrow a sleeping bag! And let's just compare our luggage to illustrate who is the real camper:

      You may notice my bag is overflowing...because I was sure to come prepared with many, many layers.

      Anna Beth came with a hat and a toothbrush I think!

      The next two days were busy with workshops, brainstorming, practice role-playing, etc. The next night, I discovered I was a hero in my cabin of 5 women, as I was the only one who would kill the spiders. And despite the cool air, I slept like a baby!

      Tuesday, April 12, 2011

      Ten on Tuesday: 10 Retirement Jobs I Want

      I feel like my blog is always about working (Gee...cause that's all I seem to do lately?) I've told you about jobs I dream about doing and jobs I've lived through. But ultimately, I just cannot wait till I retire! I know that is still (at least) 31 years away, but I just can not wait! I know I will be one of those "busy" retirees....going to play shuffleboard then bingo, then volunteering somewhere, then taking a long nap, before heading out to dinner. I know I have some time to worry about this next phase of my life, but while on vacation, I found 10 jobs that maybe I could handle in retirement.

      1. Train Announcer:

      The genious who thought of having trains run from parking lots to venue, also thought of the genious job that I think sounds ideal. I would just announce parking lot letters then remind them "please keep hands and feet inside train at all times." I maybe could even practice a few corny jokes on the crowd. All while sitting and being in the fresh air, shaded too I might add.

      2: Staff Photographer

      I've got 31+ years to practice my photography skills for this one, but please, if they don't like the photos I take, they don't have to buy them! When we went on the tour to go feed the giraffes at Busch Gardens, the jealousy I had for this guy was immeasurable! He didn't have to answer questions. He didn't have to talk. He just snapped pictures of people and animals. What a great living. And how fun to be with those loving giraffes several times a day!

      3. Ice Cream Shop Owner

      Even though Matt would probably open another Dippin' Merv's today if I let him, maybe I'll consider it when we retire. This little stand at the end of the pier seemed like an ideal place. Not so sure I would love to touch bait, but maybe just to please the crowd I could throw around that idea. This guy even had pelican food to buy....like pelicans are such picky eaters!

      4: Hot Dog Stand Owner

      This hot dog stand in St. Petersburg was honestly my first experience at a hot dog stand. But this simple life seemed like it wouldn't be such a bad gig.

      5: Waverunner Rental Girl

      This one I have experience with....I wonder if they ask for that on the application? When we spotted this guy directing the waverunner on how to come in for landing in Clearwater, I knew I better practice my instructions even more this summer. Surely if I can get a waverunner onto a trailer I can get the driver to stop before going on the sand!

      6: Ticket Taker

      Matt and I have been going to Spring Training baseball games for 3 seasons now. Last year we thought that the parking attendants at the game had it made--they could always go catch the rest of the game. But this year I decided that ticket taker would be more my game. Shady, stress free, and still done before the 3rd inning!

      7: Lead Singer

      If ticket-taking doesn't work out, then my next option would be to help people find their seats. I thought this seemed ideal enough but then when I saw our guide whip out actions to Sweet Caroline and lead the crowd to Take Me Out to the Ballgame, I wanted to cry. It would almost be like leading a group into rounds of Make New Friends at Girl Scouts!! Put me on the waiting list!

      8. Street Performer

      While waiting for the sunset at Mallory Square in Key West, there were street performers everywhere. We watched some guy who had trained his cats to jump over people, etc. We watched another guy play the bag pipes while on a unicycle. But the best one by far was watching this guy jump out from behind the palm branches to scare people. Of course, he was noticed only after he scared the living daylights out of me. I screamed so loud and once I got over my embarrassement, we stood back so we could watch others in fear. He seemed to be doing quite well with tips, and I think his investment seemed fairly cheap!

      9. Guest Photographer

      Again, I see a need and I want to bank on that demand and increase supply (thank you Econ 101). While in Key West, you MUST go to the most southern point in the U.S. And to tell everyone you made it there, you need a photo to send back. But...wouldn't it be nice if you could trust a professional photographer to take your photo instead of just the next person in line, who you hope (a) speaks English and (b) doesn't run off with your new, good camera. And if that wasn't enough, I would make sure those idiots sitting right behind the darn thing move out the way so they aren't in everyone's picture!

      10. Segway Tour Guide

      The final job I desire may not even wait till retirement. Matt and I had a blast on our Segway tour. But we left thinking this was a business we should pursue. It took about 2 minutes to teach the old and young alike how to operate these machines. Then we just went on a walk, well ride, around town. Our tour was just over 2 hours. The tour guide was going to eat lunch when we left then come back for another afternoon session. She said she could always add a weekend session or a 3rd session if she wanted more money. But of course, if you just want the day off, you tell people who call for reservations that you are "full" that day. Gee, I think Little Rock really needs this job. We could call it Rollin' on the River. Would you come visit?

      There's no doubt in my mind that Matt will also have to find a job... or two or three. He MUST keep busy! We think that this job of moving the sand on the beach looked like it was right up his alley. Except of course, he would be on a CAT tractor.

      But then again, I sort of envision retirement to be a lot like this:

      Tuesday, April 5, 2011

      Ten on Tuesday: 10 Jobs I've Had

      Today my co-workers were talking about what you say in a resignation later. Apparantely, I've had a lot more experience with resignation letters (not sure if that's really worth bragging about though!). So let me tell you about my resume of experiences so far in life.

      1. My first job, though dont' tell the government that I didn't pay taxes, was when I was quite young. Not really for sure how old, maybe 10. My Dad had a produce stand and also grew several acres of vegetables. I remember filling the baskets and weighing the tomatoes. I bet my cuteness helped us sell more! But to this day, I think the smell of a tomatoe plant still reminds me of the day we planted like 10,000 of them. Maybe this is why I pretty much don't like any vegetables.

      2. When I turned 16, I landed my first "real" job, or should I say a job with a real paycheck. It was at Wal-Mart. I worked in the Fabrics & Craft Department. Back in those days, Wal-Mart closed at 10pm. After closing, we had to make sure all the shelves were pretty before it reopened at 7am. Sam Walton would have been proud. My high school friend, Jennifer's, mom (Dana) was actually my department manager. And in the small world we lived in, the other lady who had worked their forever, Elvira, had 8 kids--1 of which later would be married to Matt's older brother. I learned a lot from Dana and Elvira. I worked at Wal-Mart through college even and really enjoyed it...except I remember how much my feet ached.

      3. Probably one of the best jobs I have ever had was in college. I was a Child Development major and they had a program you could sign up for to do babysitting. It's landed me two jobs. The best was when I got to watch baby Lois. She was just 6 weeks old and her totally cool parents trusted ME to keep her when they went to work. I just hung out at their house. Thinking back, Lois was just such a great baby! We went on walks, watched talk shows, played, etc. I just loved her. The family ended up moving to Oklahoma. They were so sweet that before they left, they even had me come stay with them for a few days that summer so we could all say good-bye. It still makes me tear up a little. I kept in touch with them for a long time, but unfortunately, they all have common names and I haven't found them yet on Facebook. But I believe Lois is now 15 or 16 to put it into perspective. After them I went to work for sort of a weirdo family. They were tree huggers who fed their child weird, healthy food I had never heard of. The Dad worked in an office upstairs and the mom was a part-time professor. Oh, so many stories. Examples: I had to take this 2 year old to her mom's office sometimes to breast feed. Gross! I had to drive this little brat around till she fell asleep and then carry her upstairs for her nap, hoping that as I ackwardly got her out the car using all my muscles, that she wouldn't wake up--because if she did, we would drive the mini-van around some more. More? Let's see, they also had a lady come in and cook up meals for them occasionally, and when I left another girl from my college classes came to watch the girl (whose name has left me). Oh, and lots of ackward moments when I took her to the Kangaroo class at the park district for mommy & me like classes. So wanna know the kicker--right before graduation, the other "nanny" told me to look in Time Magazine. I tracked down a copy and discovered that these weirdo's had a big secret--Daddy and his brother had started Netscape, one of the first versions of the internet!

      4. For some reason, the rich folks must not have been paying me enough. So I had 3 other random jobs in college. One is quite comical...can we say desperate? I cleaned a house. It was also weird. Again, I think they were two lazy professors. I literally went and filled & emptied the dishwasher, washed and folded laundry (gross!), watered plants (and they had tons), and weekly cleaned the sinks. It was easy and I could go when I wanted. But really, I can't believe I ever did that job!

      5. The other random job I had only lasted a few weeks, but I won't forget it. I was a telemarketer for the University's Alumni Association. I was living on campus one summer and my roommates convinced us we should all do this. It was only a few weeks, but let's just say that now understand what it's like to be on the other end of those annoying calls. It was ackward and brutal but a good story.

      6. My last job in college started my love with 4-H. I interned at the State 4-H Office, helping the Marketing Director. She was a super hard worker that passionately believed in giving her interns lots of responsibility but lots of control. I try to block out the memories of weeks at the state fair, sweating away. Instead, I think about the time she took me and the other intern to tea at the Governor's Mansion to meet First Lady Ryan. (Whose husband now sits in jail, but still). The summer after my Junior year and Senior yes (yes, I actually have had more than 10 jobs, but let's clumb them together so you won't notice) I was the 4-H Assistant at the Macon County office. There I met one of the coolest bosses ever, Cathy! It's kind of amazing that both of us were able to keep our jobs because we sure had a lot of fun together! Right, Cathy? But unfortunately my plans to work for 4-H forever ended when they changed the criteria my senior year to require you to get a Master's Degree. No thanks!

      7. Matt says you are all done reading this by now, but I will pretend that's not true. It's time to say I graduated and I had to really get "real" jobs. My first grown-up job out of college was working at the elementary school where I went K-8 grade. Barb Thiele had faith in me and gave me a start. I headed up a fairly new program, which was providing parent education to kids 0-5 years. She let me do whatever, whenever. I had school hours, with a few nights and weekends (which I thought was rough...should I remind you how many more I work now?). My favorite thing I added was the Itty Bitty Music classes. I can not sign worth crap, but I sang like a fool and played the autoharp like a pro. Those kiddos are now in Junior High but I remember them well. Unfortunately it was a grant and I got freaked out when Blagojevich came in with that big hair threatening for reform. Sadly, Growing Together ended this year due to state budget cuts.

      8. And that's when I thought Girl Scouts sounded like a great place to work. I commuted to Springfield for 5 years, then went to Decatur for 1 more. I made lifelong friends and lifelong memories. I would have never guessed that I would work for Girl Scouts in Arkansas, and I definitely would never guess that I would supervise 10 people. It's still scary to me! But as they say, my blood must run green.

      9. While in South Carolina, I took a break from GS and went back to my field of infants, doing home visits with children under the age of 3 mainly. I usually had 18 kids that I went to see weekly, who I came to adore (well, some I dreaded let's not lie). Just last week I had one of my kiddos call me on the phone--2.5 years later she had "graduated" from speech therapy. She was one of the first kids I got. I nearly cried when she told me about her new bike, thinking that when I last saw her we were cheering when she just would have labeled the picture of a bike with such a simple word. I keep in touch with 2 or 3 families still, but most don't have internet access so I'll just wonder and pray that they turn out okay.

      10. So before I start crying like my sisters, let me tell you about the BEST job I ever had. Dippin' Merv's changed my life! Matt's ice cream store is where I reunited with Matt, where we went in the middle of our first day, where we spent 3 years counting money, cleaning machines, frying fish. I had flexible hours, a fun atmosphere, a great boss, and maybe a few "extra" benefits :)
      I wonder what my next 10-15 jobs will be?
      Stay tuned for next week's edition when I feature 10 jobs I want to have when I retire!

      To Do: Blog!

      Have you missed me? Again, my apologies go out to my fan club. But...how exciting...now up to 20 followers! (And a handful of "stalkers" who read often but don't follow....so I've heard). I wish I had a good excuse as to why my blogging world came to a fierce hault, but I only have one excuse....J.O.B. So it's with a little irony as I sit down at the computer tonight with a sleeve of Thin Mints to catch up on my blog. I mean it's Tuesday--I MUST do my Ten on Tuesday! Luckily, tonight was the one night I didn't have to work after 6pm. Yes, let me emphasize one night! Get out your tiny violin and play a song for the crappy hours I have this month. Basically almost every night for 3 weeks (2 nights included camping....next interview I plan to ask if that is part of the job!) and every Saturday until May 14. But...that's why the Thin Mints allow me to get paid the big bucks. Keep checking on me and I'll try to at least post on the weekend. Don't give up on me just yet!