Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fun Stuff!

I was reading blogs & jumping around the blog world when I found this blog - Green Twig & wouldn't you know - she's hosting a giveaway!

Head on over there & see if there's something you might want to win!

Personally, I'd love to win this little tea set because it matches some dishes my Grandma has. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Please, Step Into My Office

Here at my workplace we run a small operation. We just have four drivers, one driver/technician, two pharmacists, & one me - technician/billing specialist/timekeeper/driver. Our work space is correspondingly small. My office is actually the break room, too. My desk is on one wall & the break table is directly behind me. I kind of like this set up because it encourages chats with the guys. I would rather be around folks than tucked away behind an office door. Besides, this way I'm always within five feet of the coffee pot!
My desk however, is not at all what I would pick. In typical computer desk fashion it doesn't have a single drawer of any kind. I don't have a place to hide goodies or tuck my purse away. For years I have just set my purse on the floor beside my desk. Most of the time it's no big deal but when I have a light colored leather or fabric purse, bad things happen - they get dirty.
The other day I got all kinds of smart & do-it-yourself-ery. I bought one of those self-sticking but won't hurt your finish hooks & I stuck it on the side of my desk:
Pretty handy, huh? The only problem is that I stuck it high up on the desk side so that longer handled purses wouldn't drag the floor. In hanging it high I made it impossible for the hook to slide off of it's back piece so who knows if I'll ever be able to get it off. Oh well.

The other thing I did in my office recently I am not so proud of. It involves this shoe buckle:
When you are wearing shoes with buckles it is unwise to sit down with your foot curled underneath of you. I did just that this morning. What happened when I tried to get up was not a pretty sight. Unless you would have had a video camera; I'm sure this little snippet could have made America's Funniest Videos.
I stood up & tried to pull my leg down underneath me. The buckle caught in the cloth cover of my desk chair and two stumbles, one jerk, & one tear later - I was able to stand upright.

Poor chair! I pulled a fairly large chunk of fabric out & left a fairly large tear. Oops.
By the way, today marks the fourth anniversary of my very first blog post. My, how time does fly!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Fashion Report

Last Friday night I spent several grueling hours shopping for a new outfit. I had myself totally worked up about going to dinner in the Big City with Mike, his brother, & a friend. Somehow or other I was really worried that I would be underdressed & po-dunk. I have a few fashion missteps in my past & they were haunting me big time.
So I consulted you fabulous readers. You were empathic. You were encouraging. I drew upon your strength during my grueling fitting room escapades. And I learned some very important things.
First of all, never shop alone. I exhausted myself pacing around, picking things up in multiple sizes, making multiple trips to the fitting room & back. I'm getting tired again just remembering it.
Second of all, my sweet hair styling friend DeAnne reminded me that the clothes are nothing compared to the person you are. She kindly told me to remember that I already had everything I needed to enjoy a nice evening out. She said not to forget that I had been taught good manners; use them. She told me not to forget my smile; an engaging, genuine smile is better than the finest cashmere. She remarked that a good listening ear is one of the best things you can bring to a stimulating conversation; it's better than skinny jeans & the best high-heeled boots.
She is so right.
But I went shopping anyway. And exhausted myself but I think it was worth it.

I loved the soft knit & easy lines of this shawl-ish lavendar sweater. I had to use one of those long-handled hooks to get it down off of the display wall & I'm glad I did!
Underneath the sweater I layered a lacy-top cami & this soft drapey gray long-sleeved T with pleats at the neck. This outfit was all about soft, let me tell you. This t-shirt feels like it's made out of silk, only better.
I will admit that I tried on skinny jeans. I took two pairs into the fitting room with me. One pair was one size larger than my normal size & the other pair was two sizes larger than my normal size. I know they are supposed to be fitted, but come ON. I just couldn't make myself like them on me, even when tucked down into my boots. So I compromised & got these Levi's. They are described as Slender Straight on the tag & surprisingly, I really like them.
And then I finished things off with these fun little ankle boots. They were kind of an accident. I didn't come home with any shoes on Friday night. Mike & I agreed that I didn't have any shoes that really worked with the outfit. So on Saturday I did a bit more shopping & found these. I *heart* them. And they are easy to walk in. Plus they make my big feet appear smaller. I have died & gone to heaven.
Here's the obligatory self portrait. Mike was taking too long & I got tired of waiting for him to take my picture. *grin*
Proof of my shoe love. I don't want to tell how many times I almost tottered over trying to take this one!
Mike was finally ready to take my pic. Am I all awkward arms & legs or what?
And here is Mike all ready for the evening. He totally would not cooperate & let me take his pic or try to take a pic together. Goofy boy.

At more than one point during the day on Saturday I thought our dinner plans were going to be cancelled. We had a bit of a snow storm & no one likes driving any kind of distance in a mess like that. Also, Mike had to work Saturday & they wouldn't tell him what time he would be getting off. First they said he had to work until 4 pm. Our original dinner reservation was at 4:30 so we had to cancel it. Then he got off at 2:30 & we were able to get there in time for dinner reservations at another restaurant at 8:30. It wasn't as fancy-schmancy as the first place, but it was a nice local Italian restaurant. We had wonderful appetizers of Toasted Ravioli & Crab Cakes followed by a Fish Stew or Italian Wedding Soup. For the main course I ordered Fettucini Alfredo while the boys ordered Lobster Stuffed Ravioli. We all shared some Tiramisu & a Cannoli or two for dessert. To say it was good would be to sell it short. It was fabulous. Each dish was served with an orchid for garnish & I couldn't keep myself from saying, "That's so pretty!" whenever they brought something new to our table.

It was a fine evening - good food, good company, & good memories!

I know, I know...

You guys are all white knuckled just waiting to hear what I bought to wear to dinner Saturday night, aren't you?
I'm sorry to say that I don't have all of my pics organized yet, but I'm hoping to have the whole thing written & posted by this time tomorrow, expressly for your reading pleasure.
However, I make no promises. Deadlines, commitments, promises, etc. - all super scary! Especially when computers & cameras are involved. So much that can go wrong...
Anyway, to leave you with just a little piece of Christmas joy, I thought I'd post a pic of one of the ornaments Mike has made lately.

Isn't she a pretty angel? He's made an entire nativity set that goes with her. They all have magnets on the back and work well on the front of a refrigerator. That was our gift to his momma for Christmas. She's getting it early so she can enjoy it before the season is over.

See you soon - fashion tips in hand *grin*

Remembering the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Perhaps it is because I have been privileged to travel to Hawaii three times & visit Pearl Harbor twice, I cannot forget that December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day.

If you ever travel to Hawaii, I urge you to visit Pearl Harbor. I think I should warn you though. You won't have fun. You might not even feel compelled to take any pictures. You probably will be compelled to shed a tear or two. It's not something you would add to your vacation itinerary for the fun of it, but it is something you should make time to do.

Just like anything momentous in history, taking time to learn about it will make you a better citizen.

I suppose that's just my humble opinion.

In honor of the fact that today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, I have searched the internet & found this page that has a compilation of Pearl Harbor Attack Facts.

Here are some highlights, facts I found particularly interesting:

1. The attack took place on December 7, 1941.
2. Although the aerial attack was very successful, the submarines failed to finish off any wounded ship inside the harbour.
3. The attack's success surprised the Japanese as much as the Americans.
4. The last part of the decoded Japanese message stated that U.S. relations were to be severed.
5. The Japanese force consisted of six carriers with 423 planes.
6. At 6 a.m. the first Japanese attack wave of 83 planes took off. The air raid lasted until about 9:45 a.m. The entire attack & all of its resulting devastation took less than four hours.
7. Eighteen U.S. ships were hit.
8. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy," in reference to the attack.
9. Casualties included 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians.
10. 1178 people were wounded.
11. The day after the attack the U.S. and Britain declared war on Japan.
12. The harbour is on the southern coast of Oahu.
13. All of the planes on the Japanese ships were fully fueled and armed.
14. The attack brought the United States into World War II.
15. The Japanese were interested in the Hawaiian islands since the islands were annexed by the U.S. in 1898.
16. Japanese suffered just small losses.
17. The attack crippled the United States fleet.
18. Because of the unpreparedness of the U.S. military, Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short were relieved of duty.
19. The attack severely crippled the U.S. naval and air strength in the Pacific.
20. Of the eight battleships, all but the Arizona and Oklahoma were eventually repaired and returned to service.
21. Once the fleet was out of action, Japan would be able to conquest a great area.
22. A U.S. Army private who noticed the large flight of planes on his radar screen was told to ignore them because a flight of B-17s from the continental U.S. was expected at the time.
23. More than 180 U.S. aircraft were destroyed.
24. During the attack the USS Arizona sank with a loss of more than 1,100 men.
25. A white concrete and steel structure now spans the hull of the sunken ship as a memorial.
26. The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1962.
27. U.S. officials had been aware that an attack by Japan was probable, but did not know the time or place it would occur.
28. Pearl Harbor was not in the state of high alert when the attack started, Anti-Aircraft guns were left unmanned.
29. The main targets for the first wave was the airfield and battleships.
30. The second wave targets were other ships and shipyard facilities.

Events in history like the Attack on Pearl Harbor remind me of how grateful I should be that I know the Lord is in control & that all of the political maneuverings of man cannot thwart His purpose for this world.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Realization...

I was doing some reflecting this week about blogging. I love to blog. I have fun thinking through ideas for posts. I love taking pics for posts. I enjoy writing posts. I even determine to like dealing with computer stuff I don't understand.

Through all of this mental sifting I did however, come to one stark conclusion:

I am a better blog reader than I am blog writer.

This conclusion is largely supported by the fact that very nearly every day I can find the time to check my google reader & read every post that I have subscribed to.

I don't know what motivates me. Mike would say that it's because I'm nosey. Blogs are a polite electronic way of peeping in someone else's window. He's probably right. I am very interested in people - people I know, people I don't know, people who know people that I know...you get the idea.

When I lived in an apartment house I would quite literally watch through my windows when the other tenants would come & go. I wondered who they really were & what they were doing & then I would make up little stories for their lives.

I obviously had too much free time.

Back to my main point - better blog reader than writer...

This was a bit hard for me to acknowledge. You see, in my dreams I could become another Pioneer Woman. Her website is so FUN! I enjoy just about every aspect of it - even the homeschooling stuff which, quite frankly, is completely outside the realm of my current reality.

So as I was digesting the notion that I am not at all like the Pioneer Woman I realized that several things in my life would have to change if I were going to be like her.

#1: I'd have to find a new husband. Mike is not at all like Marlboro Man. Not to say that he wouldn't look great in chaps & that he doesn't have killer forearms (because he would & he does). Mike just doesn't want to be discussed here except for in the vaguest of ways. He doesn't want me to write a best seller out of our love story (& believe me, it would be a best seller!). He doesn't even really want his pic on here which has made for some interesting incognito photo attempts.

#2: I'd have to get a new camera. And learn how to use it.

#3: I'd need to get a new computer. And learn how to use it. You know, links, tabs, better blog design, photo editing. I don't really do any of that. I think I'd need to take a class? Or several?!

#4: I'd need to have a bunch of kids. They just make everything more colorful. I'd have more stories to tell, more pics to post, just more everything!

#5: I'd need to get good at something like Pioneer Woman is good at cooking. I have no naturally obvious gift to develop & no inspiration.

#6: I need to come up with some cool catch phrases like, "whatever makes your skirt fly up" & a cool nickname like "PW, P-Dub", etc.

#7: We would need to get a dog or some other pet. Just like the aforementioned kids, the pet would just be another great source of content. Mike & I don't exactly see eye to eye on dogs at this point in time, so I don't see this one happening any time soon.

#8: I'd need a cool sign-off. Usually my posts kind of end awkwardly. I feel funny saying good-bye because that seems weird & totally unlike saying good-bye at the end of a letter or email. Sometimes I pose a question to help prompt comments & some interaction, but if I was going to be a super successful blogger I think I would need a sign-off.

So much to think about! And so much to do if I am going to reverse the trend & become a better blog writer than blog reader!

Until I decide to enact some major change, I guess I'll just remain -

Pharm Girl

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Calling All Fashionistas!

Since it has already been established that I need an intervention a la "What Not To Wear", I thought I'd send out a little S.O.S. to my bloggie friends.

This Saturday Mike & I have plans to go to the Big City to meet his brother & a friend for dinner. This should really be no big deal. However, my brother-in-law (a.k.a. 'Stew') is a professional man & he has some distinct ideas of how to do things. First of all, we will not be going to Olive Garden, P.F. Chang's, or even The Cheesecake Factory. I actually don't know the name of the restaurant but it requires reservations & he said it would probably be around $100 for our dinner (OH.MY.WORD.) He lives downtown, the restaurant is downtown, & we will be walking about 11 blocks in the crisp winter air to get there.

Enter my dilemma. Stew has massive fashion sense for a man. He actually has massive city fashion sense for a man. I have no fashion sense, let alone city fashion sense. Mike is easy to dress. Cool jeans, nice shoes, & a freshly ironed button down. He's done. Ready to go. Just doesn't seem fair, does it?

I know that I should probably paint my nails. I've already got them filed down nicely. My regular salon appointment is today so my hair will be freshly trimmed & there will be no grays peeking through.

The real problem (& you have already guessed it, haven't you?), is clothing. I am fairly certain that my normal outfit of layered t's & hoodies will not be acceptable. I know that I should be planning on some black (preferably high heeled) boots, dark rinse skinny jeans, & a tunic sweater of some sort, probably topped off with a scarf. This would look fabulous on a tall, willowy girl.

There are several issues with that imaginary outfit.

First, I am tall. I am not willowy. Amen.

Second, the high heeled boots. Walking 11 blocks? No to the way. And I mean NO.TO.THE.WAY. Plus, I'm 5'10". I don't need any help in the height department.

Third, nobody & I mean NO BODY wants to see me in skinny jeans. Amen.

Fourth, I don't own a tunic sweater. See #2. I'm tall. Tunic sweaters on me just mean that when I bend down I don't have to worry about anything showing.

Fifth, there is no fifth. I have some scarves (or is it scarfs?) & I love to wear them. So I just might end up rocking a scarf.

Help me out here. What should I do? I have a Old Navy gift card & a Fashion Bug gift card.
Any suggestions?