Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Wow, another year has gone by. I think the older I get the faster they go. Hope you have a safe and happy holiday!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

This may go down in the history book of my life as the best Christmas ever. I have spent the entire morning in my pj's, drinking coffee, opening presents, listening to Christmas music and speaking to family and friends on the phone. I am home alone in my apartment and it's wonderful! This may have to become an annual tradition.

Wherever you are, I hope today brings you peace and love and you feel with warmth of the season!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

25 Most Played Songs!

I have been busy downloading my music library to my new laptop and finally got most of it done a few weeks ago. Then came the organizing and it's now finally at a point where I can just enjoy it. The following 25 songs are currently appearing on the 25 most played list. They have been played between 7 and 14 times each. Hey, it's a start.

On Your Way - eastmountainsouth
Harbor - Vienna Teng
Eric's Song - Vienna Teng
Shasta - Vienna Teng
You Dance - eastmountainsouth
Interlude - eastmountainsouth
Mrs Potter's Lullaby - Counting Crows
Lullabye for a Stormy Night - Vienna Teng
Life Less Ordinary - Carbon Leaf
The Boxer - Carbon Leaf
A Moon Song - David Berkeley
So Are You To Me - eastmountainsouth
Galileo - Indigo Girls
You And I Both - Jason Mraz
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
Gravity - Vienna Teng
Enough to go by - Vienna Teng
Hope On Fire - Vienna Teng
Changeless - Carbon Leaf
Accidentally in Love - Counting Crows
Hard Times - eastmountainsouth
Honey, I Been Thinking About You - Jackie Greene
Say Uncle - Vienna Teng
Feather Moon - Vienna Teng
Homecoming - Vienna Teng

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my very favorite things about Thanksgiving is the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It's cheesy and predictable, but I love it.

I woke up this morning just in time for the beginning of the parade and enjoyed every minutes in my pj's and fluffy slippers. I cooked, baked and sipped coffee while marching bands played and amazingly engineered floats navigated their way through the streets of NYC. The end of the parade and the arrival of Santa Claus is always my favorite part and this years was no exception.

I hope you are having an wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I am thankful for so many things this year and hope you find so time today to be grateful for all you have.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Time Waits For No One

To realize the value of a sister, ask someone who doesn't have one.

To realize the value of ten years, ask a newly divorced couple.

To realize the value of four years, ask a graduate.

To realize the value of one year, ask a student who has failed a final exam.

To realize the value of nine months, ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize the value of one month, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

To realize the value of one week, ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize the value of one minute, ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize the value of one-second, ask a person who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Next Big Thing?

I was out to lunch with a co-worker last week and she asked if I had seen the upside down Christmas tree. She told me that it is the big “in” thing this year. I forgot the conversation until I received an email this weekend with a link to the Hammacher Schlemmer website and there it was in front of me…. The Upside-Down Pre-Lit Holiday Tree.

The description from their web site…

Evoking a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas, this unique 7' pre-lit fir is inverted to ensure a smaller footprint for less-spacious areas, and allowing more room for the accumulation of presents underneath. Originally designed for specialty stores to display delicate ornaments using a minimum of floor space, the unusual tapering shape allows the tree to stand in places that do not accommodate a traditional holiday tree, such as between two armchairs or in a corner. The tree’s weighted base provides extra stability to prevent tipping and leaning, and it has 3,700 lifelike PVC branch tips that are carefully pre-strung with 800 bright clear commercial-grade lights. The inverted shape makes it easier to see ornaments, which hang away from the dense needles and do not get lost in the foliage. Easy to assemble. 84" H x 54" Diam. 12" W base. (84 lbs.) ($65)

Do you think that the holiday season has gotten a bit out of control when we have to re-design the Christmas tree to accommodate more presents? I love my Christmas tree and will stick with it but if you just must have this tree, it can be yours for only $599.99, plus $65 shipping and handling.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Font Test

You Are Courier New

You have a deep appreciation for tradition and history.

You don't eschew modernity, but you do have a deep reverence for the past.

You are very literate. It's likely you enjoy writing and reading.

Some people may feel you're a bit cold, but you just have high standards for who you hang out with.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

They Did It!

Left - OSU celebrates after their historic 1985 victory.

The OSU Beavers faced off on the football field today against one of their historically toughest rivals, the University of Washington Huskies. This is always a tough game for the Beavs and if we pay attention to the facts surrounding the series one wouldn't have been hopeful about today's game. Even my brother, my Beavs #1 fan wasn't optimistic about today's game. Here are some other interesting facts about the series (shamelessly stolen from my from OSU e-clips weekly email):
  • The two schools played for the first time in Corvallis in 1897. The final score was 16-0 in favor of the Oregon Agricultural College "Agrics." Washington was known as the "Sundodgers."
  • This will be the 90th time the two schools have met. UW holds a 57-28-4 advantage. OSU is 16-32-2 in Seattle, 7-18-0 in Corvallis, and 5-7-1 in Portland. The 1914 game, played in Albany (Ore.), ended in a 0-0 tie.
  • In 1985, OSU went to Seattle as 38-point underdogs. The Beavers' stunning 21-20 victory went down as the greatest upset in major college football history (up to that time). No team in Division I had ever defeated an opponent so heavily-favored.
  • From 1906-1029, OSU managed to tally but six points in 12 games against Washington, a field goal in 1912 and another in 1920.
  • OSU's biggest margin of victory came in 1928. The winning score was 29-0. The game was in Seattle.
  • Washington's biggest margin came in 1991, when they pounded the Beavers 58-6. The game was in Corvallis.
  • In 1962, Terry Baker's Heisman year, OSU lost at Multnomah Stadium (PGE Park) in Portland, 14-13.
  • OSU's 1957 Rose Bowl team (1956 season) defeated the Huskies in Portland, 28-20.
  • In 2000, Washington defeated OSU 33-30 in Seattle for the Beavers' only loss of the season.
  • The next year, Head Coach Dennis Erickson's worst as a Beaver (5-6), OSU defeated the Huskies 49-24 in Corvallis. It was the most points ever scored against UW by OSU.
I was at the game in 1991 and it sucked! I watched the game today at one of my favorite brew pubs and cheered the Beavs to an 18-10 victory.

    Quote for Today

    "I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time."

    – Anna Freud

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    I FINALLY did it!

    I have been in my job for over 8 months. I work in Sales & Marketing for a company that makes products for hospitals and healthcare related business. I work with a product line of capital equipment, which means that we deal with a very long sales cycle. I was told not to expect my first sale for 6 months, but when the 6 months mark passed, I started to get more and more nervous about making a big sale. Well it finally happened today. I sold a piece of equipment to a hospital in Alaska. The relief is awesome. It's going to be a great weekend!

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    Some things never change....

    My brother and I were strolling down memory lane tonight. We were remembering Halloween evenings of our childhood. One year many years ago (I think it was probably 1981) my youngest brother Jimmy was a devil, David was a clown and I was a witch. Many years have gone by since then but Jimmy is still a bit of a devil, Dave is still a clown and me, well I can be a bit witchy at times. Who knew that our Halloween costumes of many years ago who hold such keys to our personalities today?

    Happy Halloween!

    I always loved Halloween as a child. My Mom always made sure that we had adorable costumes(with plenty of room for warm layers underneath) and my Dad always escorted us from house to house to gather our treats. Upon returning home, my brothers and I would organized and catalogue our candy and completely obsess about it for a few days until it was gone.

    Now that I am a "grown-up" it's not the same. I love to answer the door and see the little children all decked out in their finest. My career has prevented me from "dressing up" at work, but this year that was not the case. My entire department at work dressed as an 80's rocker hair band. We named ourselves Germ Warfare. We got the "runner-up" prize for best costume and I think we look pretty good!

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Gonna give this a try...

    Not sure if I am truly a "blogger" per say, but I have decided to give it a try. I used to be very good about sending out "weekly updates" to friends and family, I am hoping that this can take the place of that.

    Meet me!

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Weekly Update - All good things....

    Hello all!

    I hope that you all had a safe and happy holiday weekend and that your 4th of July was relaxing and fun. This week has been very busy and fun for me. Here are some of the highlights.

    I met with my adviser and attended an information session at the University of Washington on Wednesday evening in preparation for going back to school in the fall. I have now narrowed down my prerequisites to an exact list and now it just comes down to figuring out what kind of load I want to take each semester. The information session on the PA programs was informative and I left with many of the questions that have been rolling around in my head answered. I am excited and nervous to go back to school. It's been a really long time, but I am also older and more mature (well in theory anyway) than I was 10 years ago and everyone that I have talked to about it says that it's easier to be a student when you are a grown-up. I don't know about that, but will know soon enough!

    My Seize the Summer list kept me busy again this week. I am now 34% done and completed the following this week....

    #43 - Pretend to pirate a tall ship at the Tacoma Tall Ship Festival. I walked along the waterfront in downtown Tacoma on Sunday morning and checked out the ships. The lines to board them were extremely long, so I decided not to tour any of them, but it was neat to just be in the presence of them. I have always loved boats and I especially love tall ships, so I was in my element.

    #39 - Watch the crowing of the "Seed Spitting" King & Queen along with food, rides and fireworks on the Fjord in Poulsbo on the 3rd of July. Dave, Kristen and I drove up and spent the majority of the day in Poulsbo on Sunday. We shopped at the unique shops on Front Street, listened to live music, ate funnel cakes (Dave had never had one, so I got to be there for his first), played numerous games of UNO and then finally once the sun had completely disappeared from the sky, we watched the fireworks over Liberty Bay. The worst part of the day was the traffic. It took nearly 2 hours to get from our parking space to the main highway, I don't think that many people have been to Poulsbo since July 3, 2004 :)

    #40 - Enjoy the Family 4th at Lake Union Fireworks on my balcony following a barbecue with friends and family. This was the highlight of my weekend. I got to cook for a crowd of 9, which I love to do. The evening was filled with good food, great friends, laughter and FIREWORKS! I love fireworks and I was blown away by the fireworks over Lake Union they were incredible! We watched them on TV again right after the show and they are just not the same on TV as in person.

    So now to explain my subject, All good things. Well, all good things eventually come to an end. I have been doing this weekly update on and off for several years. The "off" times come when it is no longer a fun and joyful experience for me. Recently completing the weekly update has become more of a chore and not as much fun as it used to be. Because of my organized and orderly nature I have felt a lot of self induced pressure to get it out on a weekly basis and therefore have become to hate it. I have decided to share things on a more spontaneous basis and only to those who request to be included. So if you would like to receive updates from me on a "whenever" basis please send me an email and let me know and I will add you to that list. If you choose not to be included I completely understand and won't take it personally, why clog up cyberspace with unnecessary mutterings if I don't need to. I hope you are all enjoying summer as much as I am, where ever you are.

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Weekly Update - Summertime Harmony with the Animals

    Summer is now officially here and I am officially thrilled! I really like the warm summer days and sunshine, and I don't mind the occasional rainy days at all! It is tradition at work to toast the beginning of summer with root beer floats. Tuesday started out to be a beautiful day, but about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled celebration the thunderstorms began to roll in. That didn't stop us. We made our root beer floats and ran outside to quickly toast the beginning of summer and just as the last person made it inside the building it started to pour. I don't consider the rain a bad thing at all. I love summer thunderstorms and we were lucky enough to experience an all-around summer weather day on the first day of summer complete with sun, wind, rain, thunder and lightning.

    The animals (the birds and squirrels) are doing just fine, and we have seemed to fine a rhythm that we can all live with and not bother one another too much. I fill the bird feeder with fresh seed that the birds are able to consume in 24 - 36 hours, but like most birds they are slobs and drop quite a lot of seed an debris on the ground which the squirrels gladly eat saving me from having to sweep. Also they have not bothered my herbs and flowers, so everyone is happy. I hung a hummingbird feeder this week and am hoping that the hummingbirds will find it soon! My deck remains one of my favorite hangouts in the world! This week they launched the concerts at South Lake Union Park and you can see the lights and hear the occasional tune coming from the park. It just adds to the myriad of noise coming from the city and it's great to just sit out there and take it all in.

    I have been busy this week working on "the list" and filling my days will summertime fun! I am currently 28% done with the completion of 4, 7, 13, 14 and 30 this week! Here are the highlights:

    #13 - Hit Ivar's Lake Union Salmon House for happy hour including bargain drinks, clam strips and killer views of downtown's sparking skyscrapers. This is one of my favorite spots around town and the weather was PERFECT on Thursday evening for a some clam strips and bit of brew.

    #30 - Take a tide walk along Discovery Park 's two miles of protected shoreline for some prime limpet, sea star and anemone-viewing. My friend Nikki was in town for the weekend and we went on a guided walk on Saturday to check out the beach during a record low-tide. We saw sea stars, moon snails, crabs, sea anemones, and even got squirted by clams.

    #4 - Gather the girls and go searching for Seattle 's unofficial nude beaches (Hint: There might be one in Discovery Park , but you didn't hear that for us.) While Nikki and I were at Discovery Park we looked around for the nude beach, but no such luck. If there really is one, it may not have been warm enough.

    #7 - Join in the fun at an outdoor movie in Fremont at 35th Street and Phinney NE, across from Redhook Brewery. Who knew that a parking lot and a white square on the side of a building could be a great movie theater! We took our fold-able chairs and sat with a few hundred others and watched Napoleon Dynamite. It was a little chilly at the end, but very fun!

    #14 - Score some fun finds rip-off designer sunglasses and maybe 10-minute chair massage – at the European style flea market, the Fremont Sunday market. This was very different than I anticipated it being. I did score some cute new sunglasses and saw a whole lot of creative stuff and a whole lot of junk.

    This week is shaping up to be a busy one even before it has begun. I really looking forward to the holiday weekend, which is already filling up with fun activities! I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July!

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Weekly Update - THE LIST is finally here!

    Happy Summer!

    It's almost here..... SUMMER!

    I mentioned in my message a few weeks ago that I had picked up a copy of the June issue of Seattle magazine with 161 ways to seize the summer. For the last two weeks I have been transferring everything from the magazine to a word document and then once I transferred it over I played and played with it and I never did get it to add up to 161. And in process of transferring everything I realized that it would be nearly impossible to complete ALL of the activities. For example, I cannot see 6 firework displays at the same time on the 4th of July! So I narrowed it down, added a few of my own and created a list of 50 things that I am going to do to seize the summer. Here is the list!

    My List for Seizing the Summer of 2005!

    1. Spend a day soaking up the sun at Alki Beach in West Seattle then grab a broiled burger and thick shake from Pepperdock’s (2618 Alki Ave. SW) a true beachside burger shack.
    2. Gather together a big group of friends and spend an evening around a campfire complete with smores.
    3. Enjoy the sights and smells of the 3rd Annual Harvest Festival by the Vashon Lavender Growers Association.
    4. Gather the girls and go searching for Seattle’s unofficial nude beaches (Hint: There might be one in Discovery Park, but you didn’t hear that for us.)
    5. Chow on tacos and sip margaritas on Agua Verde’s outdoor deck, overlooking Portage Bay.
    6. Walk down to the Seattle Center and see an outdoor movie at the Mural Amphitheater.
    7. Join in the fun at an outdoor movie in Fremont at 35th Street and Phinney NE, across from Redhook Brewery.
    8. Drink a Jones’ soda and watch the sunset from Kerry Park.
    9. Grab a fleece blanket, a low back lawn chair and a few friends and head to the 7th annual Redhook Moonlight Cinema.
    10. Watch a summer blockbuster at the Valley 6 Drive-In before it becomes yet another housing development.
    11. Enjoy at concert South Lake Union Park.
    12. Enjoy a concert at The Zoo.
    13. Hit Ivar’s Lake Union Salmon House for happy hour including bargain drinks, clam strips and killer views of downtown’s sparking skyscrapers.
    14. Score some fun finds rip-off designer sunglasses and maybe 10-minute chair massage – at the European style flea market, the Fremont Sunday market.
    15. Enjoy the best of Seattle by having a Barbeque with friends. Buy fresh tuna at Fisherman’s Terminal and make kabobs with zucchini, onion and cherry tomatoes from one of the six Seattle neighborhood farmers markets.
    16. Chill out at Sunset Hill Park (7531 34th Ave. NW) and watch the sails dance across the waves at a Wednesday-night regatta (around 6 p.m.) sponsored by Corinthian Yacht Club, in Shishole Then hit Ray’s Boathouse for some prime Northwest fare.
    17. Hike through Seattle’s larges stand of old-growth forest at Seward Park and bird-watch for the city’s only flock of feral parrots.
    18. Dine in your car on bacon cheeseburgers and delectable fresh blackberry milkshakes and Burgermaster’s retro Aurora location.
    19. Spend an afternoon kickin’ around the antique shops on Greenwood Avenue around 85th Street.
    20. On San Juan Island, go for a 3-hour Taste of the San Juan’s sea kayaking tour with Crystal Seas and then quench your thirst and appetite at the Front Street Ale House with a pint of chili-enhanced Diablo Ale and a mondo plate of Ale House Nachos.
    21. On Lopez Island, camp at Spencer Spit State Park in mid-August for a perfect view of the Perseids meteor shower (we hear the 12th is the best night).
    22. See The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas performed by Theatre Schmeater in Volunteer Park.
    23. Watch Shakespeare under the starts with a production by GreenStage or the Wooden O Theatre. and/or
    24. Stop by the roadside and sample the tasty fruits of our most-appreciated and reviled week, the Himalayan blackberry. Throughout August, this can be done anywhere gardener’s vigilance has waned. Berry abundance can especially be found along the Burke-Gilman Trail near Lake Union and at ferry stops.
    25. Eat an ice cream cone at Waterfront Park on a hot summer day.
    26. Attend a Mariner’s game at Safeco field.
    27. Play hooky for a day in early August, and head to Mount Rainier National Park to see the wildflowers in bloom and tramp around the snow in nothing but shorts and a T-shirt.
    28. Enjoy a pint of Bullfrog Ale from Rogue Issaquah Brewhouse.
    29. Go berry pickin’ for sun-ripened strawberries and raspberries at Remlinger Farms and then make homemade jam.
    30. Take a tide walk along Discovery Park’s two miles of protected shoreline for some prime limpet, sea star and anemone-viewing.
    31. Pretend you’re in Cancun at Colman pool in Lincoln Park and enjoy a buoyant swim in the city’s only saltwater pool.
    32. Eat a hot dog and drink a beer at Shorty’s.
    33. Watch dogs of all sizes, from Rhodesian ridgebacks to pugs, joyously splashing at Warren G. Magnuson Park.
    34. Embrace my inner child by splash around a city park wading pool. A favorite is Soundview on Crown Hill, known for – you guessed it – great Puget Sound views.
    35. Walk on an afternoon ferry to Bainbridge Island and then meander into Winslow and have dinner at the Harbor Public House. Time your return trip to watch the sunset.
    36. Shop for hidden artsy treasure at a local Arts Festival. and/or
    37. Taste some new brew at the Summer Brewfest
    38. Enjoy the entertainment and crafts at the West Seattle Junction Festival
    39. Watch the crowing of the "Seed Spitting" King & Queen along with food, rides and fireworks on the Fjord in Poulsbo on the 3rd of July.
    40. Enjoy the Family 4th at Lake Union Fireworks on my balcony following a barbeque with friends and family.
    41. Enjoy some of the events for Seafair.
    42. Instead of running though a sprinkler in the backyard, run through the fountain at Seattle Center on a REALLY hot summer day!
    43. Pretend to pirate a tall ship at the Tacoma Tall Ship Festival.
    44. Enjoy a potluck barbeque in the park with friends and family.
    45. Enjoy a summer evening laughing and drinking beer on the patio at Hale’s Ale’s in Ballard.
    46. Dance to fun music, eat great food and people watch at the Folklife Festival.
    47. Perfect my plank grilled salmon recipe!
    48. Paddle around Green Lake in one of their rental paddle boats.
    49. Practice my home improvement skills by donating a day of my time to Barb’s house.
    50. Grow herbs and flowers on my patio!

    From my list of 50, 5 were completed in previous weeks! (33, 44, 45, 46, 47)! Woo hoo! This weekend saw the completion of a few more (28, 36, 37 and 50). Friday night I swung by Home Depot on my way home from work and picked up some flower and herb to plant on my patio. I planted sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil in a galvanized tub which will be completely growing out of control before too long. I also planted geraniums and daisies. The deck feels very summery now.

    Saturday I attended the NW Source Summer Brewfest with some friends, which was great fun! I also accomplished #28 by sampling a little Bullfrog Ale and the festival. I still may make it out to the Rogue's Issaquah Brew house to have another this summer, but just in case I am counting it here. Then on Sunday I shopped for hidden artsy treasure at the Edmonds Art Festival in Edmonds, Washington with friends. It was a GREAT arts festival with wonderful and unique treasures. The weather this weekend was phenomenal and today I am showing off my sun-kissed face, shoulders and arms.

    Hope the sun is shining on you wherever you are!

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Weekly Update - The big joke at the local Squirrel hangouts....

    Hello all!

    It hasn't felt very summery here this past week. It's been cool during the day and really cool at night. However, today the sun is shining bright and I can't wait to get out in the sun and play!

    I have gotten off my normal "weekly update" schedule of Mondays and for the past few weeks it has been creeping around to Wednesday when I realize that I have not sent it yet and I PANIC when I start getting messages about it. I apologize to those of you who count on it being delivered to your mailboxes every week like clockwork and I will make a more concerted effort to send it on Mondays from now on.

    It's been a busy week complete with the following....

    I had Thai food on Friday and it didn't make me sick! I avoided the entrees with coconut milk and it made ALL the difference. My fortune from my fortune cookie.... "Among the lucky, you are the chosen one." I don't know what that means but it's sitting here on my desk so I thought I would share.

    The squirrels continue to visit my balcony and they are not at all scared of me anymore! When I walk out on the balcony instead of running away like they used to, now they freeze and stare at me. They know that I am more scared of them then they are of me so they just stand there..... I know that they are laughing hysterically at me on the inside and in the local squirrel hangouts in the neighborhood. Can't you just picture it, a couple of squirrels sitting around comparing their favorite local haunts over a pitcher of beer, all the while joking about how I am scared of them. I just know it is happening! :) All the locals continue to assure me that if I plant patio tomatoes and herbs that they won't bother them, we will see I am planning on doing some planting this weekend. I continue to really enjoy the birds and they continue to visit in abundance and they are beautiful. I am adding a hummingbird feeder to the mix soon, which should be interesting.

    I was able to be with my little brother Dave as he celebrated his last 20-something birthday on Saturday. We figured out that we have not been together for his birthday since his graduation from Oregon State 5 years ago. Dave and Kristen's hosted a BBQ at Magnuson Park in Seattle on the banks of Lake Washington to celebrate their birthdays. It was a truly Seattle BBQ, complete with pouring down rain, but it didn't damper our spirits, we still had a great time!

    Other weekend highlights included attending a concert in Tacoma on Saturday night. We saw the band Shimmer, one of our favorites! And spending several hours at Green Lake on Sunday.
    It remains one of my favorite places, especially as it gets warmer outside.

    This weeks celebration of one of my friends is all about my friend Karri Buresh! I met Karri in several different avenues including church and PEO in the fall of 2003 and we were instant friends or family depending on whom you ask. Early in our friendship people often asked if we were cousins. When continued to happen over and over again, we decided to embrace it rather than be annoyed by it, so we call each other "Cuz" now. Karri and her boyfriend Dale came to visit me in Seattle for Memorial Day weekend and we had a fabulous time! She always makes me laugh and holds a special place in my heart because I am able to be the wacky, funny, purse-carrying, creative and loud woman that I am with her!

    Anyway.... Karri was featured on a story on Salt Lake City's Channel 5 promoting eye exams for infants. I have not seen the story but a link to the on line story is attached. From all the reports I have heard she was a bright and shining star, and I don't doubt it for a minute! Congrats Cuz!

    Hope you are all well and I will catch up with you next week!

    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Weekly Update - Seizing the Summer and my new PEO Chapter!

    Hello all!

    I apologize for being a bit delayed in sending my weekly update this week, I have been working on in for a few days, but just haven't be able to get it finished. Every time I have sat down to work on it, I end up getting distracted. So better late than never, here it is.

    It's hard to believe that less than 2 weeks ago it was extremely warm outside and I was ready to seize the summer. I was ready to trade in my sweaters for flip-flops, but no such luck. It's been a cool week here, which makes for great sleeping weather, but I am ready for sandals and Capri's and eating lunch outside! Maybe next week.

    Speaking of seizing the summer, I picked up a copy of Seattle magazine a few weeks ago and it's their official summer issue which includes 161 Ways to Seize the Summer. After reading the article I made a decision, I am going to do all 161 Things! When sharing this hair-brained idea with the locals, many thought me completely nuts, oh well. As I have been transferring the list to my palm pilot it has become very clear that I cannot complete all 161 things because many are happening simultaneously and there are a few on the list which I have absolutely no interest in. In addition there are a few things that I think that should be on the list that are not..... So I decided to make my own list with many of the items from Seattle magazine and a few of my own. It's currently a work in progress, but I will share it with all of you once I complete it.

    Work has been really busy! I wrote a record number of quotes last week (7), which was aided greatly by our recent appearance at the trade show in Cleveland. We finally worked out the travel schedule for the remainder of the trade shows this year and I am attending all of them, which should be a lot of fun!

    I have visited a total of five PEO chapters for various activities and meetings since I arrived here in Seattle. I had decided that I really wanted to take my time and find a chapter that was the perfect fit for me. In the past I know I shared my experience visiting the "Anne" chapter which met in Queen Anne and everyone seemed to have Anne in their name somehow and no one had noticed it! After visiting the first three chapters I was sure that I would never find a good fit. I began to think that my chapter in Utah was even more exceptional that I previously thought because none of the chapters I was visiting even came close! But then I visited Chapter ID and after that first evening I knew that it was different than the rest and that feeling was just reconfirmed on every visit since. I really wanted to hold off making a decision until the fall, but when it's right, it's right. I received a call from the chapter president right before the Memorial Day holiday asking for my address and a few days later my invitation to dimit arrived. And although no chapter will take the place of AE in my heart, I am really excited to create some new friendships in Chapter ID. On Sunday morning I sat down and wrote letters to my chapter in Utah and the 4 other chapters I had visited in Seattle to let them know that I was accepting Chapter ID's invitation. It feels really good to have found a PEO home here in Seattle and if there were a doubt in my mind about this chapter it was eliminated last night. We prepared and served a meal to 40 PEO's including the State Officers and the State Convention Planning committee and we had a blast. We worked hard and pulled off a beautiful evening, all the while laughed, joking, talking and sharing some wine! Here is a excerpt from the "thank you" email from the chapter President today.....

    "And our new member REALLY rallied - As whip cream flew and hands puckered in the dishwater, I knew Julie Anne was a great fit! Thank you for jumping in with both feet!

    On Thursday night I was smacked in the face with one of those experiences when you realize that you are getting OLDER. My friend Barb wanted to see Marc Brossard at the Showbox in Seattle and I agree to go with her. I had burned a copy of the CD from Barb a few months ago and liked his Louisiana Pop style and thought it would be a fun evening. We ended up meeting some friends who weren't attending the concert for dinner before hand at the Alibi Room. The doors to the Showbox were supposed to open at 8 pm, but 30 minutes later we were still out on the sidewalk outside the building. When the doors finally opened and we got it, I realized that there were 2, not 1, but 2 opening acts prior to Marc Brossard. It was a "school-night" and I am a grown-up and he wasn't even going to be on stage until 11pm. Urgh! I decided to chalk it up to a great experience and have fun with it. Marc was great, although he looks like he is about 12 (he's actually 22!) and we met some fun people!

    I have been on a bad picking streak as far as movies go lately. Everything I have rented has been "only okay" or "downright awful." So when I picked decided on Bend It Like Beckham on Friday evening I was really nervous, but it turned out great! Then when I talked to Jimmy over the weekend, he told me that he met David Beckham in NYC last week. He promised to send a picture that I could include in this update, but he is traveling and I am sure it slipped his mind, but it was a odd bit of coincidence.

    I hope you all have a great week (what's left of it anyway)!

    Monday, May 23, 2005

    Weekly Update - Finally..... The House Beautiful Photo Shoot!

    Hello all!

    It's been a busy week starting with my first trade show last weekend which went very well. It was small state show and a little on the slow side, but it was a great chance to get my feet wet. I was grateful to get some practice before I am thrown into one of the national shows.

    Work was very busy last week. We were prepping for another trade show in Cleveland. All of my co-workers for the city that ROCKS (whenever anyone mentions Cleveland, I remind them that Cleveland ROCKS!, they are not so convinced and growing less and less amused by my reminders) and they will be back in the office on Wednesday morning. So, that leaves me to hold down the fort in the meantime. This would have scared me to death a month ago, but I am fine with the idea now.

    I have been promising you all pictures of my apartment for weeks and weeks and now.... I have them. Don took this pictures with his digital camera and built this webpage, it's almost like a real "House Beautiful" photo spread. You can view them all at once or in a slide show, it is very cool. Check it out at... (link removed because it's too old, if you want to see pics, email me).

    Shortly after I moved into my apartment, I purchased and hung a bird feeder on my patio. I was quite annoyed and upset when it went untouched for a month. Finally one afternoon in mid-April I noticed some debris below the bird feeder and thought that it was finally being used, but it took another 2 weeks before I saw a bird. Since the beginning of May, I see them often and am really enjoying them. When discussing birds and bird feeders at work, several of my co-workers warned me about squirrels and told me of their battles to keep squirrels out of their bird feeders. I dismissed this because my bird feeder is hung on the roof of my 3rd story deck, and no squirrel is going to get to it. Well I was wrong. I was sitting on the patio Friday night and in the corner of my eye caught the glimpse of a squirrel eating the bird feeders remnants from the floor of the deck. I watched him for quite sometime and he didn't seem to be bothered by my presence at all. I was planning on planting some patio tomatoes this weekend, but decided against to hold off until I can figure out how to keep the squirrels out.

    The frustrating thing about this squirrel situation is the attraction that these animals have for me. Two
    years ago when living along the edge of Cottonwood Creek, my storage area was taken over by rats who ate many of my holiday decorations. Last year at the community garden at Church, I lost 17 plants to the gophers. And now, it's squirrels. Why do these rodents love me so much! AARRHHG!

    In addition to potting some patio plants, I had quite a few things other things planned for this past weekend, but got very little done because I spent the majority of the weekend fighting off a bit of the flu. I am feeling better today, but still not completely 100%!

    I am a little bit delayed in celebrating one of my friends, but since she is out of the country right now, maybe she didn't even notice! :) My dear friend Elisa Owen graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary on Saturday, May 14th with her Master of Divinity! I met Elisa in the fall of 2001 at my very first event with National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. It was one of those immediate *spark* friendships and we were very tight very soon! Elisa saw me through my darkest days when I was going through cancer treatment and never let me lose sight of hope. Athough we are many miles apart now and we are don't talk as often as we should, I think the
    world of her and know that she is going to be GREAT at whatever adventure is around the next bend for her!

    I hope you all have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend! My friends Karri and Dale (from SLC) will be visiting Seattle for the weekend and I am sure the weekend will be filled with non-stop adventure!

    Friday, May 13, 2005

    Weekly Update - A week of work craziness!

    Hi all!

    I decided to send my update out early this week since Sunday and Monday are super busy days for me!

    I am sitting at the office and it's nearly 6:00 p.m., and it's a FRIDAY! Usually if I were crazy enough to be here at this hour, my car would be the only one in the parking lot, but not today.... today there are 7 cars and 1 motorcycle in the parking lot. It is a very busy, exciting and crazy time to be working for this company. We are shipping 7 systems on Tuesday, which is a new company record! In the past, the most systems ever shipped in one day is four. So all aspects of the business are a buzzing.... production, engineering, marketing, we are all crazy!

    On top of that craziness, we have two trade shows next week. The first starts on Sunday afternoon and is ALL MINE! It's my first trade show with this company and I am pretty excited. I have checked and double checked my lists and I think that I am finally ready to go! I will let you know how it goes next week.

    And on top of all of that.... I had my first big sale TODAY! I sold a system, but I don't get credit for it, as it is one of my co-workers accounts.

    So I am going to head out of here, at least until Sunday, and attempt to cram a whole weekend into the next 36 hours! I hope that you all have a great weekend!

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    Weekly Update - Holding on to spring.... as an official Washingtonian

    Hello all!

    I hope you all had a fabulous weekend, and for those of you who are mothers, I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day!

    Spring is in full swing in Seattle, but I fear that it will be over before I know it. I love the sights and smells of spring, the trees and shrubs in bloom, the rain, the birds, all of it! I could really get used to spring, but it seems that as soon as you get used to things the way they are, they change. I was surprised to see something new on my commute Friday morning, two gigantic cruise ships in Elliott Bay. Friday marked the official beginning of the "cruise season." In the next several months over 700,000 people will travel in and out of Seattle on cruises. I have never seen a cruise ship close up and I know that I will really enjoy watching them come and go as I drive past the bay on my way to work every day.

    Friday night I enjoyed one of my favorite things in the world.... FIREWORKS (over water)! The Windermere Cup Sky Light Celebration took place at 9:30 p.m. on Friday evening. The Windermere Cup is an annual rowing regatta that is followed by a boat parade that marks the "official" launch of boating season and subsequently summer in Seattle (see I am still enjoying spring, and it's time for summer already!). So picture this... It's 9:30 p.m. on Friday night. I have found the perfect, hidden-away spot to watch the fireworks, my radio is tuned to the station playing the music for the show and I am very excited! The fireworks begin and all of the music is "Summer" themed. "In the summertime, when the weather is hot..." etc, I am standing in jeans and a sweatshirt, watching the show thinking, "Summertime, my ass!" I really enjoyed the fireworks and I have been told by numerous locals that we have 2 weeks of summer every year. So I guess we have to start pretending that it is summertime now, so that when those two glorious weeks arrive, we are ready to go!

    After two months of living here I can now officially say that I am a Washingtonian! On Saturday morning I went to the Department of Licensing completed the last two tasks to becoming an "official Washingtonian" by getting my WA Driver's License and registering to vote. I have to say that it was the most positive experience that I have ever had at the DMV or similar agency. Everyone was friendly and helpful and the entire process took just a little over a half an hour. Several co-workers had warned me that the test was "really hard" and the state took great pleasure in failing people the first time. So I ran out an got the book last week and then didn't spent a whole lot of time reading it, so when "test time" came around I was a bit nervous, but in the end I only missed one question. All that worry for nothing...

    The weather was great this weekend and I was quite the weekend warrior. I circled Green Lake numerous times on Saturday and Sunday! Green Lake is becoming one of my favorite places in Seattle. I have walked around it's 2.8 mile loop too many times to count and yet I never seem to get tired of it. It is always changing and there is always something new to see. This weekend the park was alive with activity. People transporting themselves and many various types of transportation from bikes to boats, people of every size, shape and color, and boy some of them are really colorful"! You can check out the lake and park at the following link:

    I always use this platform to report on the events of my life and as a result you often hear about the people that are in my life. Many of you have met one another through me or have come to know one another by reading these emails. So, I have decided that occasionally I will include notes of celebration about the lives of the people I love and the great accomplishments of their lives. Today I am celebrating my friend, Jenna Seeley.

    A little background... I met Jenna under a tree on the campus of Skyline High School during gym class when one of us (think it was me) didn't have a watch and we were required check our heart rate! Jenna has been in my life now for 17 years, so I have known more of my life with her than without. Jenna is one of those friends who is always there for you, especially when you are moving. You don't even have to ask, she is just there! And I am not exactly sure why, but it seems that whenever Jenna moves I am unable to assist. Unfortunately this will be the case again this weekend as Jenna moves into her recently purchased town home in Salt Lake City. I am really excited for her and wish that I could be there to help her. We have joked for years about "growing up and buying a house" and Jenna did it! Congrats girl!

    Hope this email finds you all happy, healthy and enjoying spring in your corner of the world!

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    Weekly Update - If it looks like a DUCK and quacks like a DUCK, it must be....a TOURIST!

    Hello All!

    It's been another incredibly busy and fun week! WOW! I had only two days to catch up a bit between Jimmy's departure and Mom's arrival. It was just enough time to do some laundry, change the sheets and clean the house and take a deep breath.

    Mom arrived on Thursday afternoon, Dave and Kristen met her at the airport and they all came to my office. I showed them around the office and they got the brief training on the equipment that I sell and a tour of our manufacturing area. We then went to dinner at Red Robin.

    Mom met me at the office on Friday at noon and we went to lunch with some co-workers and then spent the afternoon shopping at the SUPER MALL. They have a lot of stores available in Seattle that are not in SLC, so it proved to be full of options for us! We then headed back to my place where we met Don and went to Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner.

    On Saturday, Mom and I had breakfast at the Queen Anne Cafe and then we were then joined by Dave & Kristen. One advantage to having visitors is that you can do those cheesy tourist things that locals never do, but really want to do. When you have someone visiting you can blame them for your participation in such activities. So, we took full-advantage of this opportunity and did one of the tourist activities that locals never do, we rode the duck, which is an amphibious World War II vehicle that tours the downtown area and then splashes into Lake Union. The Duck is known around town for loud music, crazy tourists waving and "quacking" and those on the street. In celebration of this reputation, we took full-advantage of that and quacked, waved and sang the entire way through the tour. It was great! Following the tour we spent some time enjoying the people, sights and sounds of the Seattle Center (home of the Space Needle) and then visited the Pacific Science Center and watched an IMAX movie titled, Forces of Nature. We then had dinner at Ivar's Salmon House and ate on the deck on the banks of Lake Union. It was great!

    On Sunday, Mom and I had a lazy morning at home and then headed to the airport for her afternoon flight.

    For those of your a bit more curious about the places we visited, you can check out the following links.

    Auburn Super Mall -
    Rock Bottom Brewery -
    Ride the Duck -
    Seattle Center -
    Pacific Science Center -
    Ivar's Salmon House -

    Spring is in full swing in Seattle. The rhododendrons, azaleas and many more flowers and plants that I can't name are blooming. It's amazing to watch the trees fill in with new growth and the entire landscape change. I hope spring is appearing where ever you are and this message finds you enjoying it.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2005

    Weekly Update - Funeral Potatoes and Non-Stop Fun!


    I am incredibly late in sending my weekly update and I apologize for that. I appreciate the fact that many of you have been concerned enough to contact me to make sure that everything is okay. Yes, everything is okay, I have just been very busy! I believe that it was just last week that I was stating that my week had been void of great adventure, this week has certainly been the opposite! So much has happened I don't know where to begin...

    Work was incredibly busy last week. I had my most productive day thus far last Wednesday (4/20). We had a pot-luck lunch on Thursday for our Bookkeeper who is retiring at the end of this week. I decided that my contribution to the pot-luck should be a Utah classic, "Funeral Potatoes." Everyone loved them, but they didn't get the whole church function, funeral potato connection, I guess it's a Utah thing. My mother has been insisting for years that they are "Potatoes O'Brien" and yet whenever she serves them everyone in Utah calls them funeral potatoes, but everyone at work just called them "good."

    Don and I went on the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train on Friday evening. The train leaves Renton, WA and travels along the banks of Lake Washington to the Columbia Winery. It has been a very long time since I have been on a train and the trip was great!

    My little brother Jimmy arrived on Saturday morning for a visit. Dave, Kristen, Jimmy and I visited Snoqualmie Falls and had dinner at my place on Saturday. On Sunday, Jimmy and I had breakfast at one of the neighborhood spots, went to Port Orchard to visit Dave and Kristen, did some shopping downtown and had dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Although our weekend was super busy and fun, I have to say that the highlight was attending the U2 concert at Key Arena on Monday night. It was an amazing performance and we had a lot of fun.

    Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted yesterday! I worked a 10 hour day, but I don't quite know for sure how I did it after having 3 hours of sleep. Last night I went home and did something that I haven't done in years, went to bed at 9 p.m. And, I have caught up on my sleep just in the nick of time because my Mom arrives on tomorrow afternoon for a long weekend which will be filled with just as many adventures.

    Hope this update finds you all well!

    Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    Weekly Update - Not to busy for a Natural High!


    It's been a pretty normal week, void of great adventures, so I am feeling that I don't have a whole
    lot to report, but here is the little bit that I do have.

    Work was busy last week. Two of my co-workers were on vacation, which made for a busy workload. I had the opportunity to work with one of our other product lines, Aqua Guard, which was challenging at time, but a fun!

    I did do something that I have never done before. I have my new home completely organized and finished it 6 days prior to my first guest arriving. There is nothing like out-of-town company to force you to finish the last few strangling boxes, but I am usually the one who is finishing up just minutes before the guests walk in the door. So, you may be asking, who is coming to visit? My little brother Jimmy arrives on Saturday morning! I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with him, as well as Dave and Kristen. I know that next week's message will be filled with plenty of adventures to share with you.

    Since this message is a little short on news, I thought that I would share some a little something
    extra with all of you, don't forget to enjoy your natural highs this week!


    Think about each of these things, one at a time BEFORE going on to the next one.. Don't ever be too busy to appreciate the natural highs that we have the opportunity to experience everyday!

    1. Falling in love.

    2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.

    3. A hot shower.

    4. No lines at the supermarket.

    5. A special glance.

    6. Getting mail.

    7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.

    8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.

    9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.

    10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.

    11. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla or strawberry!)

    12. A bubble bath.

    13. Giggling.

    14. A good conversation.

    15. The beach.

    16. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last

    17. Laughing at yourself.

    18. Holding a newborn baby.

    19. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.

    20. Running through sprinklers.

    21. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.

    22. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.

    23. Laughing at an inside joke.

    24. Friends.

    25. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.

    26. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.

    27. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).

    28. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.

    29. Playing with a new puppy.

    30. Having someone play with your hair.

    31. Sweet dreams.

    32. Hot chocolate.

    33. Road trips with friends.

    34. Swinging on swings.

    35. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.

    36. Making chocolate chip cookies.

    37. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.

    38. Holding hands with someone you care about.

    39. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.

    40. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.

    41. Watching the sunrise.

    42. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.

    43. Knowing that somebody misses you.

    44. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.

    45. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what other people think.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2005

    Weekly Update - Promenade is my new favorite color!

    Hello Everybody!

    The last week has been like a whirlwind week and I have just been whirling along with it. I have to say that I don't care for daylight savings time very much.I do like having the extra hour of daylight in the evenings, but think that it is a pain to change every clock, watch or timepiece in your life, and my natural clock has just seemed a "bit-off" all week. If it feels around 7:30 p.m. in my head, you can imagine my shock when I look at the clock and realize that it is actually 9:00 p.m. After catching up on some sleep this past weekend, I think I can finally make the adjustment.

    I attended a PEO meeting last Monday evening after I received an invitation from one of the Seattle chapters. It was very nice to meet some Seattle PEO's and attend a meeting. There was one really unusual thing about my evening. When I arrived, I met the President, her name Julieann, then during dinner I sat next to Martha Ann and Margaret Ann. Then another woman joined our table, her name Marianne! Then at the meeting I sat next to Hazel Ann. The meeting was in Queen Anne. It was like being in the Twilight Zone of Anne and it was a bit too much Anne for one evening, don't you think?

    Work has been super busy. We had a trade show in Cleveland last week, and although I didn't attend, I had tons to do to put everything together so that the company would be ready to go. Then while half our teams was in Cleveland I had my two most productive days thus far on Thursday and Friday, so I had jello for brains by Friday night. I continue to love it and it gets easier and easier every day!

    I shared my frustration over selecting a paint color for the bathroom a few weeks ago. I was mistaken when I thought that selecting the paint color would be the most difficult part of the project. I have never painted a room from start to finish, although I have assisted friends in painting their homes, but never a room of my own, so I had a lot to learn! But I am happy to report that 2 days and 4 trips to Home Depot later, I have successfully painted my bathroom. It is a lovely shade of earthy green called Promenade (from Behr paint). I did learn a few things during the process of this project, and because you are my family and friends, I have decided to pass on this valuable knowledge to you, if you should ever decide to embark on a painting project, keep the following in mind....

    1. I was wise to cover every surface not being painted with plastic and tape because I am kind of a sloppy painter, however when you only have a one-bathroom apartment, it is really stupid to cover the toilet!

    2. No matter how carefully you tape and paint, when you remove the tape you will have to touch up some edges, I wasn't planning on that and had removed the drop cloths.

    3. Make sure that the only functional light that you have in the room is not a "sun light" (you know those light bulbs that warm the bathroom so you feel like you are on a beach)!

    4. Make sure that you look in a mirror every once in a while and remove paint from strange places. Right in the middle of my project I ran out of paint, so during an errand to Home Depot and Taco Del Mar I was told by the woman making my burrito that I had paint on my forehead.

    AND, finally....

    5. Double the time that you THINK that it will take. I assumed that a few hours into it I would be done, but no such luck!

    You have no idea how glad I was when I was finished cleaning and moving everything back into the bathroom. I love it now!

    I just have two more boxes to unpack and my moving project is entirely done. I am making the final
    arrangements for my House Beautiful photo shoot and will send some pics to all of you soon!

    Hope all is well with you!

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    Weekly Update - Monumentally Bad April Fools Morning....

    Hi all!

    I had a fairly normal and boring week last week and I was thinking to myself on my way home from work on Thursday night that I didn't have much to report in my weekly update, but that was before April Fools Day and now I have quite an adventure to share.

    April Fools Day is a weird holiday. I rarely am able to successfully pull off a prank on anyone, but nearly every year I fall victim to a prank. This year proved to be no different because I feel victim to a prank in a early-morning phone call from my old roommate and friend Lyle. But that was after I had the worst commute since moving to Seattle.

    I left for work early on Friday morning because I wanted to get in early so that I could catch some night shift folks at my hospitals. So I was headed along my normal route and was atop a "bridge-like" overpass when all of a sudden, a crashing bang scared me and steamy smoke began pouring out of the front of my car. The engine was off, but I have enough momentum that I am coasting along absolutely stunned. Of course the first thing that pops into my head is that I am going to be on every traffic report in the city as "stalled car on 99 South blocking right hand lane" which is not necessarily how I wanted to make my debut in the Seattle media! I got to the side of the road, called a tow-truck and had them take it to the dealership. I made arrangements for them to diagnose the problem and then one of the service guys gave me a ride back into downtown Seattle so that I could catch the bus to work. So my commute was quite the adventure, including 5 forms of transportation (my car, tow truck, dealer car, bus and my feet) and took nearly 3 hours. Around 1130 I got a phone call from the service manager with good news and bad news. The bad news was that he informed me that it was indeed a blown head gasket which had cracked the block and the car was, in one word.....terminal. The good news is that they were willing to give me money for it as a trade in on a new one. Well it took me about 10 seconds to figure out that I was buying a new car this weekend!

    I spend 5 1/2 hours at the car dealership on Saturday and after test driving 4 different cars and asking more questions than they ever thought possible I purchased a Chrysler Sebring Sedan. You can check it out at It is silver and really fun to drive. So all in all a really bad day turned into a really good weekend. Now I don't have to deal with the headache of registering a car in Washington, because the dealer did that for me.

    The remainder of my weekend was spend showing off the new car. Don and I celebrated my purchase at Rock Bottom on Saturday night and I ventured to "the other side of the pond" to Port Orchard on Sunday to share it with Kristen and Dave. I had a lot that needed to get done this weekend (like paint the bathroom) but none of it was completed because my weekend was consumed by the new car.

    Hope this finds you all well!

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Weekly Update - Feedback and Folgers

    Hello all!

    I have to say that I have never received as much feedback as I did from my update last week. I really appreciate all of your suggestions on paint and sharing your painting stories, it seems as though everybody has one. I do feel compelled to share one story in particular. This week a friend (name withheld to save any embarrassment caused by sharing this story) called to tell me that it is really hard to pick out paint and said, "At least you only painted a small square and not the entire room before you realized you hated it!" I had forgotten but my poor friend did just that painted the entire room and then realized that she truly despised the color. I have not progressed on the painting project at all this week, except to think about which color area I would like to pursue next. I will keep you all updated on my progress, and when it is all done, you will get pictures!

    Work is great! It is getting easier and easier to speak and deal with customers. I have only been in a few situations where I wish I knew the talking points just a little bit better, so I continue to study up on everything. I am also adjusting to working in a cubicle. I was extremely nervous about working in a cubicle, because I tend to be a bit loud (don't laugh) and I wouldn't want to sit next to me in a cubicle. But I brought this up with my co-workers the first week and we made a pact to tell each other when we are annoying and not take it personally. Fortunately, or not, my entire area is marketing types, so we are all loud and all tell each other to quiet down from time to time, so it works.

    One things that is really annoying me at work is the coffee situation. First of all, we have a housekeeping rule about coffee, if there is less than 3 cups in the pot after you get your coffee you must make a new pot. Well it seems that every single time that I go to get a cup of coffee there is less than 3 cups there. I think that people purposely avoid taking any coffee so that they don't have to make a new pot. I don't know for sure how many pots of coffee I made last week, but it was a lot. The other point about coffee is that I think that Mr. Coffee and Folgers are in cahoots together. It is impossible to pour a cup of coffee from the coffee maker carafe without dribbling a large amount of coffee on the counter, hence wasting coffee, hence increasing Folgers profits...... The point in sharing this all is that I now realized how spoiled I was to have a coffee cart in the lobby at St. Mark's and never be forced to make a pot of coffee myself.

    It rained all weekend here and it was wonderful. A perfect weekend to stay inside and work on projects. I am nearly all settled, just the office remains, and that project is being held up by the search for a desk. I know what I want, but cannot seem to find anything like it, ugh! I promised to send pictures once it is all settled and done.

    I hope that you all had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day holiday. I know that my family (especially my mother) makes a bigger deal of this holiday than most, but I was very disappointed by the lack of participation in the holiday this year. There were only two of us at work that were dressed in green and almost everyone had FORGOTTEN! I can't believe it! I did my best to spread the holiday cheer dressed in green and drinking green beer (after work of course!) it was great!

    Hope you all have a wonderful week! And, HAPPY EASTER!

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Weekly Update - Challenged by picking out paint!

    Hello all!

    What a week it has been, crazy, productive, busy, scary and fun. I am going to have to pick and choose what to include in my update this week....'cause there is just so much to chose from, here are the highlights.

    Work continues to be challenging and fun. I found out on Tuesday that I would be "going live" with customers on Wednesday, which was one week earlier than planned. Needless to say, I was a wreck on Wednesday morning. But, I made is successfully through my first call and the subsequent calls and by the end of the week, I was much less nervous. My greatest fear was being asked a question that I didn't know the answer to, but the fact is that our customers don't know everything and that is why they need us! I continue to work on some special projects including a redesign of the company web page and re-branding efforts.

    My apartment is getting more and more settled everyday. We have mandatory recycling in Seattle, which is fine, I am certainly willing to participate, however, for over a week all of the recycling receptacles have been over-flowing and the wrapping paper from my fragile items continues to sit in my apartment waiting for the bins to be emptied. I have now been staring at them for over a week and am getting a bit tired of it.

    I still think that one of the best parts about my new home is the view from the deck. I am now able to tell the temperature outside (roughly, of course) by the color of the water in the lake. The more grey it is, the colder it is outside and the more blue it is, the warmer it is. And, watching the activities on the lake is equally fun including sea planes and boats.

    My bathroom on the other hand is an entirely different story. When I moved in there was a LOVERLY "under the sea" mural painted on the bathr oom wall. I have included a picture for you, so that you can truly experience it. The super gave me the option of leaving it there (ah, no!), having them paint the bathroom white or painting the bathroom myself, any color that I like. So, I opted for painting the bathroom myself, any color I like. I have decorated this bathroom in the "angel" motif, just like my last several bathrooms and decided to got with a very light taupe brown color. I spend nearly a hour in the paint section at Home Depot and came home with a handful of samples and a "tester" of the color that I had narrowed down to my favorite. I painted the sample color on the walls in three spots in the bathroom and it is horrible. I thought that it would grow on me, but each and every day I just hate it a bit more and I have come to realize that I really suck at picking out paint. So back to square one on that project, I will keep you posted.

    One of my co-workers, Barb, invited me out with "the girls" on Friday night. We met at her friend Wendy's home for appetizers and wine and then walked to the Sunset Tavern to see a band called "Weather." Turns out that the band actually started in SLC and moved to the Northwest to work with their new producer who is a friend of Barb's. Their album comes out on April 5th. You can check them out at I had a great time, and made some new friends, which just made the night even sweeter.

    Saturday I was forced to be home the entire afternoon awaiting the arrival of the Comcast cable installer. Without sharing every detail of this horrible experience with Comcast, I will just leave it to say that I HATE THEM! I will be calling them today to let them know exactly what I think of them and demand satisfaction. I will keep you posted!

    The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here, very little rain, lots of sun and mild temps. Unfortunately there are consequences including our Governor declaring an official drought last week and the talk of restrictions on water usage. But while it's beautiful I am going to spend lots of time exploring Seattle. Yesterday I took a long walk and soaked up the sun.

    Well enough for now. Hope you all have a GREAT week!

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    Weekly Update - Spring in Seattle

    Hello all!

    It's been unseasonably warm here in Seattle, and not much rain for my first week, although we desperately need it. Spring is here! I am looking out the window at daffodils in full bloom, and the trees outside my bedroom window are alive with pink blossoms, CRAZY!

    Everything is good, actually everything is VERY GOOD! My first week in Seattle was exhilarating, joyous and exhausting. Here are some of the highlights.

    I love my new job! I survived my first week without ending up completely overwhelmed, which is a miracle considering that everything is new to me! I am learning a lot about the company, the products and have jumped into a project for branding the company name/image with both feet. There are only 23 employees including me, so I knew everyone by the end of the 2nd day! It's a big change from St. Mark's, but refreshing. I will continue in training mode for another week or so and then begin my regular duties.

    My commute is better than I anticipated it being. It takes me about 25 - 30 minutes, but I travel at an
    average speed of 50 - 60 mph. I made a few wrong turns early in the week, but by week's end it was smooth sailing.

    I stayed with Dave and Kristen through Tuesday and got to experience a commute via ferry, which was fun but made for very long days. I signed my lease on Tuesday evening and the movers moved everything in on Wednesday afternoon. Once again, my couch tried to be difficult to maneuver around the turns and up the stairs, but I was not going to take it and we managed to squeeze it in! All of my furniture fits well and looks great. My friend Don helped me get the bed, dresser and couches set up on Wednesday night. I have worked hard to get the unpacking done and I am very, very close, I only have a few office boxes left and then it is all done! I promised to send pics in a
    future message when everything is put away.

    I spent the weekend unpacking and getting settled it. I explored a bit on Sunday and ventured out to Jiffy Lube, Home Depot, Target and the grocery store. I ended up a few places that I didn't plan on, but in the process discovered a few fun places. Last night I took a walk up to the top of Queen Anne hill just in time to see the sun set over the Puget Sound, it was beautiful!

    Hope this finds you all well!

    Sunday, February 27, 2005

    Weekly Update - Safely in Seattle

    Hello all!

    Just a note to let you all know that Mom and I arrived safely in Seattle on Friday afternoon. The drive was great and the weather was beautiful. In fact, as we headed through the last mountain pass on I-90 into Seattle the temperature was 58 degrees, and it is FEBRUARY! Crazy!

    It feels wonderful to be here after so much anticipation, I am extremely excited.

    Friday evening we spent some time relaxing with my brother and sister-in-law (Dave and Kristen). Saturday all four of us ventured to Seattle and spent some time exploring my new neighborhood. I decided that I needed to "practice" getting to work and ended up getting there after several wrong turns and am fairly sure that there is a straighter, quicker and easier way, but I will discover all that in my adventures the next few weeks. Today Mom and I took the ferry to Seattle and met my friend Don for lunch and then it was off to the airport to say goodbye to Mom. What a trooper she is! She is an awesome truck driver (although I was constantly telling her she was going TOO FAST!) and wonderful for taking the time to get me here.

    I will be settling into my new job and new apartment this week and I am sure that next weeks message will be filled with many adventures about all of that!

    Hope you are all well and thanks for your many messages!

    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    Weekly Update - On the eve of my great adventure.....down the road less traveled!

    Hello all!

    Well tonight is my last night in Salt Lake City! It's kind of hard to believe, but I am very anxious to get to Seattle and get settled. I feel like I have been in limbo for the last few months and I am ready to get on with it already!

    My family came over tonight and helped move the majority of the boxes from my basement apartment to the garage to make loading a bit easier. We are picking up the truck in the morning, loading it up and then Mom and I will be headed out in the afternoon. We are planning to drive as far as Ontario, Oregon tomorrow and then on into Seattle on Friday. We will be staying with my brother and sister-in-law (Dave and Kristen) and spending the weekend exploring the new neighborhood and playing! Mom flies back to Salt Lake on Sunday afternoon.

    I start my job on Monday, February 28th and move into my new apartment on Wednesday, March 2nd. I may be a bit out of touch for the next few days as we are traveling, but I will let you all know how everything is going next week.

    For those of your in SLC, I apologize if I didn't get a chance to formally say "Goodbye!" I am not very good at goodbyes, in fact, I hate them. And, I feel in many cases that this is not goodbye, but rather "see you soon!"

    As I have spent a great deal of time thinking about change and life's great journey in the last week, and while packing up my books last week I came across this Robert Frost poem that I have loved since I first read it in in an English class at Churchill Junior High. I felt like sharing it with all of you as part of this email tonight, and have included it at the bottom.

    Thanks for all your messages of congratulations and well wishes for a safe journey.


    The Road Less Traveled

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth

    Then took the other as just as fair
    And having perhaps the better claim
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear
    Though as for that, the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet, knowing how way leads onto way
    I doubted if I should ever come back

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence
    Two roads diverged in a wood
    And I took the one less traveled by
    And that has made all the difference

    --Robert Frost

    Sunday, February 13, 2005

    Weekly Update

    Hello all!

    It has been another busy week for me. Here are some of my adventures for the week.

    Last Sunday afternoon, my roommate Lyle and I took a trip up Millcreek Canyon and I asked the fatal question of my postal worker friend, "How do they deliver all that mail?" Well, that prompted him to invite me on a tour of the post office. So on Tuesday at noon, I met him and a class of partially blind students from a local school for a tour of the post office. All I can say is WOW! It is truly amazing all of the organization that goes on there everyday! At the end of the tour, Lyle and his friend Maggie (a doll) reminded the kids to always be very cautious and safe around mail trucks and we all gathered together for a picture. It was great fun and good to know how the mail actually makes it to our homes!

    On Wednesday morning I left to fly to Seattle via San Francisco. I completed three successful interviews, including one call back, and should know exactly where I stand with offers, or not, on Monday. I am very excited about the potential opportunities and hopefully next week's message will include some definite news of where I will be working. I spent some time looking at some neighborhoods and exploring Seattle a bit more this time around. I have narrowed down where I would like to live and will continue to narrow this down once I have accepted a job.

    My trip was not all work, I did take some time to play and spent some time with my brother and sister in law, Dave and Kristen, and my friend Don. Highlights of my play-time included sampling the famous Seattle micro brews, eating Indian cuisine and shopping at Pike Place Market. And of course, I drank my fair share of coffee! The weather in Seattle was perfect, sunny skies and mild temps during the day! I hear that they get a lot of rain there, but I have not seen a whole lot of it during the last few weeks, so I am beginning to wonder!

    I appreciate all of your notes, emails etc. I will continue to keep you updated on all of the great changes and excitement in my life!

    Monday, February 07, 2005

    Weekly Update - Weekly Update and a Top 10!

    Hello all!

    Well today marks the beginning of my 4th week of unemployment and although I have managed to keep myself very busy and not have a single "lazy day" I am growing a bit bored with the whole thing and ready fora full-time gig again! So, to keep myself positive I have created my own Top 10 Reasons that Unemployment ROCKS! Here goes....

    10. I don't have to punch a time clock!
    9. I have more time for hobbies!
    8. Reading, I think I am up to 6 books so far!
    7. No commuting!
    6. Spending time with my nephews!
    5. Two-hour or more lunches with friends and family!
    4. I can spend time relaxing in the hot tub after a workout!
    3. I am my OWN boss!
    2. Watching Oprah!
    1. I get to wear jeans everyday! (Except, of course, when I am interviewing!)

    Maybe not as funny as David Letterman, but still mildly amusing, right?

    I picked up my new glasses last Monday! And I have to say that I had a ball with the entire experience. I have never been able to pick out new glasses and choose from every frame in the store, but this time I did. I ended up going with a plastic tortoise shell frame that everyone tells me makes me look smart, academic and sophisticated. I had a tough time adjusting to the progressive lenses, and had a whopper of a headache on Monday night! But by Tuesday I was completely adjusted and now I LOVE THEM! I was going to include a picture, but I have my contacts in today, so look for one in a future email!

    I had the joy of applying for my unemployment benefits this week and have to say that I was pleasantly surprisingly how easy it was. I was also surprised how little the benefit is. I qualified for the maximum amount, which as a friend pointed out, equates to approximately $9.25 an hour. Woo Hoo!

    My job search is still plugging along and I am leaving for Seattle on Wednesday morning for my second interviews with my 1st and 3rd choices. I have to say that I am MUCH more nervous this time that the last, but also excited that the search may be nearing a conclusion. I will keep you posted on what happens!

    I received a couple of requests from people to get monthly updates instead of weekly. If you are interested in receiving monthly updates or no updates, please let me know, you won't hurt my feelings, I promise!

    Hope this note finds you all well and I will write again next week, or as things develop on the job front!

    Sunday, January 30, 2005

    Weekly Update - Update on Me

    Hello all!

    I know that the last communication most of you received from me was notice that my email address was changing, and was somewhat vague, so in an effort to clarify and keep you updated on the latest news in my life I plan on getting back into the habit of sending my weekly updates. If you don't want to receive these messages, just let me know, you won't hurt my feelings, I just wanted to include the majority at this point.

    First a bit of history. I was laid off from my job at St. Mark's Hospital on the 30th of December. I was shocked, but determined to turn it into something positive. For some time my goal has been to go back to school to become a Physician Assistant. The program that I would love to attend is at the University of Washington. I still have some prerequisite courses to complete, but would like to make this a focus in the future. So, I just returned last night from a trip to Seattle where I completed 8 job interviews and a meeting with the University of Washington. I also took the time to drink plenty of coffee and have some fun! I have made the next round of interviews for at least two of the jobs, so I will be back up in the greater-Seattle area in the next few weeks to follow-up with those opportunities and find a place to live. So my future days will be filled with packing boxes, sending out resumes and living off unemployment.

    I was a bit freaked out about being unemployed for awhile, but have decided to embrace this little bit of"free time" with enthusiasm. Like I said above, I am planning on getting back into the habit of sending out my weekly updates. And I promise they will be filled with wonderful details and typical "Julie Anne" stories of the adventures that only I seem to find myself in.

    Please drop me a line and let me know how you are doing and again, if you don't want to be haunted my these messages every week, please let me know.