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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A plea to Alaska Airlines

You know the way to San Jose...
I go once a month, not everyday.

I fly at six am to arrive at 9
Oh for my bed I do pine.

While in Calufornia, I totally focus
Getting lots done is not hocus pokous.

When it is time to finally go home
Alaskaair.com for the best flight I roam.

The best option, the 3:00 pm is flight I am hunting.
I'm home with the family by dinner, best option running.

I search for flight AS327
Getting a seat, I'm in heaven

Oh no, booking flights for the fall
I can't find AS327 at all!

A flight at noon and one a six!?
What the heck, this is the pits

I hate to be so persistent
But is it so hard to be consistent?

These flights are full, of Golds you know.
How about for our business, some love you show?

Bring back the flight at 3,
With my family, happy I'll be.

I'm sorry if I sound like a jerk,
But it's tough when you travel for work.

I know I'm at your behest,
But please please honor my request.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

On the road

Last time I was in San Jose I had to come home early due to a sick little girl. I was able to get on the 6:00 a.m. flight but in order to save the $100 change fee I had to call at midnight to change reservations. Aside from the pain of spending one less day in an actual office environment was that my security pass did not let me into the building at 4:30 am to deposit my "leave in California" bag of toiletries. I had to check my hairspray, human sized shampoo, hair products and makeup. I didn't want to check a bag on this trip so I am the proud new owner of a fancy bag (from Marshall's) and fresh toiletries. Turns out my toothpaste was one year past the expiration date.

The benefit of having to run around and stock up is that I've found the Safeway and other services that will come in handy. I found a place to get my toes done. This is a silly thing to be excited about, but I'm not going to do this "important" grooming activity on the weekends when I could be spending time with Jason and Lucy and squishing it into a lunch "hour" during the week is challenging. Now, when I'm here I can pamper myself, kill some time and not feel guilty.

I am happily sporting bright red toes in honor of Independence Day. Go Me!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Personal Leadership Journey

I'm starting on a rather exciting adventure, that in spite of the title has nothing to do with Amway.   My superior and excellent manager is supporting a year long leadership training activity.  It is a facilitated course with 12 modules that will focus on leadership, personal style, personal growth, strengths and all sorts of other touchy feely things.  The thing I'm excited about is that while there are about 30 people participating, there are only 6 people in my subgroup.  The program focuses on professionals in my career field and we're all girls, er... women.

I just wrapped up the first call and I'm pretty energized and hopeful that it will be worth my time and energy. I'd say financial commitment, but my superior and excellent manager (who does NOT read this blog) is paying for the experience so the money thing is all her.

The "team" is an experienced group of ladies, someone with 25 years under her belt at a major financial institution, a senior leader at a federal agency, a VP at a major industry research organization, little old me with 12 years of security/management experience and a fellow colleague whom I'm looking forward to building a long term relationship with. (I already know her, but under the cover of this program I can see us being a superteam of security girl power.)

I also think that the girl security conference in Arizona will be a tad bit MORE social than in years passed.  Funny thing about social butterfly me, is that in a big group like that I tend to hide out and not break into groups.  I see a group of people chatting and I assume they all know each other and are life long friends and I'd be intruding.  Silly TPgal.

Anyway, I'm excited and hope to be able to answer the "where are you going in your leadership journey" by the time we're done.  Heck, maybe I'll even get a t-shirt.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wow!

Gosh, a random post from me about girl relationships spawned a plethora of personal messages that really helped.

Here's a sample of the kind thoughts that were sent my way:

I want you to know that I value you as a friend and as a mentor. Yep, you are younger than I am, but I think of you as a mentor and am so grateful for that fateful day that xx quit his job.

Do you have ANY idea how much you've changed my life? I would not be where I am today without TP gal. You would play a big part in my "it's a wonderful life" movie.

I don't just value you for what you've done for me. I also love hanging out with you and wish I was easier to get out of my comfort zone (my home) to socialize. You are one of the most fun girlfriends that I have and I have nothing but happy memories of any time we've spent together.

So, know that I love you and treasure you and I *know* that I'm not the only one.


And:

 I read your last blog and this is what I know for sure. No matter how long you have known someone, or how well you think you know someone, there are always things you will never know about them. And because of this fact you can never predict how they will react to anything said or did. Sometimes you can get back to the place you were in and some time you can't . It is because of them and you can't change that. I have lost a few friends in my life and pinned for the loss  a long time. It's how you take your losses that make you strong.


And:


Family is static.  We can’t change family very much unless there is a divorce, and  if you’re a (name of nice people), then you remain friends. Moms remain Moms and sisters remain sisters, etc.  However, as we age friends become like the tide.  When the tide rolls in, it deposits friends on our beach.  When the water recedes, it takes a few out with it.  You’ll find that as you age and your interests begin to differ greatly from your friends that this phenomenon happens more often.  It isn’t a bad thing and one should never, never feel guilty about that.  This friend could have been content when you were single and leaning on her.  But, when you married and had lovely Lucy, you leaned less and the dynamics changed.  Sounds like she is much more inflexible than you are.  (Go figure...Leo’s are never flexible.)
 
This friend is here to shore you up and say making friends and putting some into neutral is just how it is.  Don’t stress!!

Zoinks Shaggy, I didn't expect incoming comments and wouldn't have guessed that my little problem is actually just part of life.  I am humbled by the responses and truly grateful for everyone I have met and loved along the way in my charmed life.  

The sermon at church Sunday was about a piece of scripture where someone (someone old, maybe Jesus?) was talking about the insignificance of the mustard seed but that once planted it becomes a strong bush that supports the weight of birds.  Translation to our modern day world, you never know what small thing you might say or do that has an impact on others, or that might change the direction of your life.

Hopefully the awareness of that truth will help me to error on the side of kindness, but I have found that those mustard seed moments happen when I'm not paying attention.  Heck, I agreed to go out with a nerdy guy whom I KNEW I wouldn't really like because I wanted to go on a real date and good gravy look what happened:

a rejected holiday card option

That was one good date, I mean we're dressed alike for pete sake.  Don't worry, that seldom happens on non-picture day.  We will "coordinate" for a party, but the full on family in RED doesn't occur naturally in the wild.  

Yes, I am poking Lucy in the ear, but we were trying to make her smile.  We have at least 70 pictures that look similar with the baby making all sorts of indifferent facial expressions.  When I look at them in order, Jason and I look like crazy people with our eyes wide and our mouths open in gleeful smiles.  Next year we will solicit assistance with our photo.  The in-laws will be visiting in October, we may set up a tree and fake a "year end" shot at that time.  

Anyway, thank you for reading me from time to time and also for your support.  It is very appreciated.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Girl Relationships; I stink at it.

I'm still blogging in my head, I just haven't put fingers to keyboard in a while.  "Pen to paper" has better alliteration, but it just isn't the way the world works anymore.

There are many things swirling around in my world that I may have freely blogged about in the past, but I hold back these days.  For one, I don't want to hurt the ones I love, and the other is that maybe my reality on  day X isn't exactly clear. The mental illness that takes over my brain before "mavis" comes to visit seem petty after she moves out.   My beefs are still valid, there are moments when the activities of keeping our home cleaned up are lopsided but when I'm in my right mind I can see that those moments are not the norm and the significance is minute.  Mental illness is a strong term, but my perspective is certainly skewed.

Also, I've learned the hard way that no matter how hard I try to talk about an issue with a friend or family member in the abstract that they ALWAYS figure out I'm talking about them and the question is asked "why didn't you tell me that to my face?"  This is a fair question and I'm not sure the answer of "I feel better when I write about it" is acceptable.

I will share that I am in sort of a mourning period over a long-term relationship that has made a drastic shift from frequent, intentional interaction to a see each other every now and again.  I have many many people who are dear to me that I see infrequently and when we get together I'm genuinely thrilled to catch up with them and then we go back to our regularly scheduled lives without issue.   This particular situation has been (here I go being dangerously honest) painful and I've been doing lots of thinking about my 'friendship' value.   There are frequent moments when I miss my friend, but my pride and stubbornness holds me back from reaching out.   I'm not in the arms crossed, foot stomping pouting place, but since she was the one to withdraw I can not beg her to be active in my life.  I've been trying to accept and move my 'hurt' aside and be thankful for the years of friendship that we shared.  However, there are times when that childish "nothing is my fault" ugly side steps out into the forefront of my inner thoughts and I wonder why we spent so much time together if I'm clearly so hard to be around.   That kind of negative thinking is not helpful and it is squashed as soon as possible.  Clearly, it doesn't go completely away because as I write I'm getting sad, and truth be told we haven't reached that point of "every now and then" seeing each other, maybe we never will.

Jason has been helpful and makes every effort to hear me out when this backs up on me.  I talked it over with one of the long-distance girlfriends and she had lots of support to offer but it has been months and I'm sure this is a permanent situation.  Self help gurus (or me, if I was asked) would say "reach out, mend fences" but since her last direct words on the topic were "you said your piece, I said mine, let it lay."  I'm doing just that, and right now it's laying like dead roadkill.  I don't mean that to be flip, I miss her but I have enough pride to accept that just because I feel warmly about someone that those feelings don't have to be reciprocated.

I just wonder, do all adult (female) relationships shift, or do I simply use people up and they grow weary of me?  Will everyone whom I love tell me out of the blue that I'm making them crazy and then stop communicating?

ANYWHO... see, posts like that will get me into trouble.  If I don't have the guts to call her up and initiate conversation is it fair to discuss it openly?  Probably not, but I also think Jason doesn't need to hear this same thing over and over again.

The take away, besides the fact that at 43 I'm still insecure about my value to others, is that we need to nurture our friendships and be thankful for those whom we can't live without.  Jason and I have talked at length about my conflict resolution skills and roadblocks.  I need him to know where he has to pull me out of the quicksand if we ever get into trouble.  I'm will fight to work on issues but hurt me twice, and I'll retreat.   My stubbornness will work against me at that point and as painful as this friend thing has been, a rift in the Jason/TP world would be the end of me.  Thankfully, our issues are (thus far) limited to a kitchen cleaning inequity and when I sneak out to TacoTime for lunch I am a horrendous gassy mess to live with.   It's sad because TacoTime tastes yummy to me.

See what I did there, I talked about a deeply personal topic and then ended on farts.  I AM A GREAT WRITER.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Some silly baby videos

The Swinger


Lately, Lucy has been very busy in the morning.  Jas & I are not ready to get out of bed yet, but she's got stuff to do.  This morning she was all about the trash bin on my side of the bed.



Here's an oldie - from 5 months old.  Seriously, she's just laying there doing nothing, but she's so small...


Jump back to this week.  She's playing with the Lego toys.


Last night she had a temper tantrum because I took the pacifier away.  There is a video of her in the bathtub screaming and wailing.  It isn't cute and therefore it isn't posted.  There's also a rather vivid shot of her "brittney spears" and it seems wrong to broadcast that across the internet so early.

However, I've saved the best one for last.  This last video makes me laugh out loud.



Thursday, June 07, 2012

My big project


Original Jazz Hands
I've gathered all the family photos that my parents had in their possession and combined them with the photos I found in Messy Martha's house and have committed to a rather large project.  I will be scanning the photos into digital format and then will make an attempt to put them into some kind of order and publish them in a photo book.

The process is cumbersome as the pictures are not in order, nor are they all labeled and thus the dates are iffy.  The other challenge, other than the questionable focus and clarity of the aged photos is that many are in "adhesive free" books and can not be removed without tearing the backing off the photos.  These dastardly photo books had lines of sticky material (made by dupont I'm sure) to keep the pictures in place behind the cellophane covers.  This was supposed to be better for the photos than tape or the hassle of photo corners.  

I hope I'm not doing them further harm by scanning them and taking them from the physical world into the digital world.  I'm sure some of the charm of a photo from 1913 is lost when converted into a jpeg.

Art the Aviator

I do get a kick from these pictures, this one of my dad looks like it was taken in the 40's, and I'm guessing the war was going on at that point.  It's cute that he was always interested in flying. (Also, note the curly hair popping out from under that cap - Lucy gets it from somewhere.)

I also like his coy look.  It's as if he knows something and doesn't really intend to tell anyone.




Grandpa Milton
Grandpa Milton (Mom's dad) was rocking the flattop hairdo and this picture is in the 50's (maybe).  Goodness knows who was cropped out of that photo.

As for the superb picture of little me, I would venture a guess that those dish gloves are alive and in tact in some landfill somewhere.  I'm sure they recall happier days when a small child took delight in wearing them around the house.

I've had many of the photos for a number of years and got the final box this last weekend.  It took a barn fire to unearth the motherload and get me to actually start.  I worked on it for an hour this morning and copied 47 pictures.  At this rate I may be done in about 15 years.  However, I will try to do about 2 hours a week and hopefully I'll have something done for the holidays, but don't hold your breath...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Things that will preserve my marriage

We are watching DIY channel and I a very thankful that we have no illusions that we possess more skills than we actually have. Most DIY in our house will be limited to painting and minor repair, everything else will be managed by checkbook