Thursday, March 26, 2009

I like my life

Today I registered for the Sparkpeople Convention happening on May 2nd, in San Diego. It's a very full day which starts out with a "fun run" at 7am, and then speakers, panels, prizes, stretching routines, etc. etc. The website Sparkpeople is SO innovative and amazing, that my expectations are already pretty high for their convention. I am really, really, really excited (I am also really excited about the STUFF you get for registering..t-shirt, totebag, fitness dvds...) I can't wait til May. :)

I am incredibly good at my job, and every time I have a mandatory meeting for one of my overnight trips it comes back to me just how satisfying it really is doing something that I enjoy this much and that I am this proficient at. Event planning, especially when you are talking about taking groups of 40+ adults with developmental disabilities, is not for everyone. I am uniquely suited to it, I think, and I LOVE it. LOVE IT LOVE IT. So last night was our meeting for the Hollywood trip in two weeks, and I am finally excited for it. We'll be going to Griffith Observatory, staying at the Ramada in West Hollywood, seeing a movie at Grauman's Chinese Theater, and then spending the 2nd day on a Movie Stars tour and going to Universal Studios. It's going to be totally cheesy and wonderful. :)

I baked my 2nd loaf of bread in the bread machine yesterday - smells wonderful, tastes good, but is a funny looking loaf. They've both been really SHORT. I don't know if that's how they are supposed to be or if I am doing something wrong.

I want to finish my Moose at Sunset cross stitch - I am so freaking close to being done. When I finish, it will be the first humongous cross stitch project that I ever actually saw to completion. I have a smaller geisha girl who is beautiful, and to most people she looks done, but I never technically finished some of the top embroidery and cross hatching. The Moose at Sunset don't need added embellishment. ;)

After Moose, I think I'll start on the Bear Catching the Salmon, to keep going with the Alaskan theme. I did send away for the missing instructions for my Yoruban Women, so I could finish that too..but I'm just not feeling it right now.

At some point I'd like to get out those granny square bags I was making and SELL some. Now that the weather is improving, I really, really, really want to get a booth at the craft fair in LB and sell all my stuff. I have made a necessary promise to myself that I just can't buy more material or even make many more things without first selling what I have. My art room is full to overflowing. It's time to get the items moving.

I think I might sell some of them at the Spring Fling Festival I am holding for Project Independence. I'll donate a percentage of what I make to PI, that way everyone wins.

Okay. It's nearly 5. I can leave now. To the dry cleaners, then HOME, for hopefully a LOT of sleep tonight. SO TIRED! Also, very into capital letters today, apparently.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

furniture and friends

Heidi's blog makes me want to knit. I also want to take a cold, cold, looonnng shower. It is incredibly hot and dry here today - my hands feel like caked dirt and my lips feel like dust and my nose hurts when I inhale and all I want to do is pour cold water in my dry dry eyes. I had to wear sunglasses to work at my computer this afternoon - the glare from the sun through the window in this corner makes it so I can't see the monitor.

I didn't get much sleep last night on account of the fact that I didn't get home til midnight-ish, and then the puppy dog went nutso around 4. I stayed up with her til Adam went to work so I could leave her in her crate and hear her yowls and it wouldn't keep him up. So I didn't sleep well....

The reason I didn't get home til midnightish was because... let's see. I got home from work around 6, started the bread machine (sourdough bread), did some cleaning, playing with the dogs, and then met up with Chrispy and Swasthi (and their friend Larry) at my aunt's house, where we valiantly strove to put a humongous entertainment center in the truck Adam had borrowed from his dad.

This is the same truck we drove to and from Alaska in. I sit behind the wheel and WHAM there are memories of driving down the highway on the way to Wasilla to go grocery shopping, a fierce and strange angry and free feeling from escaping into Alaska on my own for a little while, the huge steering wheel, the all-or-nothing gas pedal, learning how to jump quickly up the tire into the bed. Made me think of driving to Talkeetna, the rain, the sun, the fireweed. Made me think about how in Alaska, you don't drive for comfort or looks, you drive whatever is there, however rusty it is, to get from A to B and you learn how to use the tools you have, and how to fix them when they break, and you never call anyone else to fix something for you. There are no plumbers or electricians or mechanics - you learn.

I was angry a lot of the time I was in Alaska, and for the last few weeks I have been able to think and dream and pine for nothing else. I miss it terribly. I'd like to go back and do it again. I'd like to go knowing what I now know. I wouldn't be so scared of hiking alone, I'd send more long emails about my experiences, I'd bring more books, and I would get OUT when I felt cooped up by Devil's Club and wildlife. I would take the canoe or the truck and go on my own much, much more.

So I miss it. And I keep remembering how much.

We got the entertainment center in the truck with the help from Julie's across-the-street neighbor who loaned us all his bungie cords. It was the first taste of the great example of community I experienced last night. Chrispy drove his car behind mine with his e-lights flashing while I drove the truck at 25 miles per hour from Cypress to HB. It took us nearly an hour to get there. When we pulled into the driveway, they got out to help, Adam was home, Chris and David came out from the middle house and Aaron joined us from the front house. All 8 of us got the entertainment center inside - I loved that these new friends of mine were so willing to help me and go so far out of their way for it, and I loved that those neighbors of mine came out to help just because that's what good friends do. I love that it's a piece of furniture that my uncle refinished and instead of getting thrown out, it goes to me. I love that Adam doesn't really want any new furniture, but he is okay with it because of the fact that it will make me happy.

After getting it into the house, the original four of us went to Norm's for dinner...which had been the plan all along since about 6pm.

It is so nice now to get home and fall asleep in a bedroom with curtains and a bedspread with leaves and branches all over. It feels like a real living space. Adam didn't have much homework either, so we fell asleep watching Eastbound and Down... I am not so into it, but it's okay to fall asleep to.

Tonight's staff meeting just got cancelled, so I am going home to move furniture around! I would like to have a How I Met Your Mother Marathon Weekend Sat/Sun..and I am planning on seeing Ave. Q twice when it comes to OCPAC. YAY.

Monday, March 23, 2009

this weekend

I am surviving puppy-motherhood...she is asleep under my desk. My favorite times with her are when Adam gets home and we sit outside in white plastic chairs and watch the puppy and Rommel play tug o war with the chew toys, and watch as she bounces as high as she can t0 bite him the the face and then gets nervous and runs back to us and then goes to attack him again. There is also a pattern of her slowing down a little bit around 10pm while I am in the kitchen doing dishes and she comes and lays on my feet and chews on a treat while I make lunches and clean up.

Tomorrow I am working at a transition fair in the morning, and then I am working allll day long and then I have a staff meeting tomorrow night with my staff who are going on the Hollywood Trip with me. Wednesday I have the meeting with the clients who are going on that trip. It's going to be a very busy April for me...

but in any case, It's past 5 and I want to get home and get some bread started in my new bread machine! I also want to get the entertainment center my aunt Julie is giving me - because my house is beautimous right now. I made green and white curtains for the bedroom and bought a bedspread set that has green branches with flower blossoms all over it, and my room is one step closer to being like sleeping in a tree.

I have a bunch of tree branches in my trunk, which I will spray paint and use as curtain rods once I have time for that project. And I also plan on painting two of the walls a light green, and then buying some vinyl decorations from - a tree sillouhette over the tv/dressers. ahhhhh yes. I love my bedroom. For a long time it had a "weird unliveable vibe" as Adam put it last night, and now it feels homey!

I am excited about speaking at the Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference in San Diego. I haven't been around a whole group of unschoolers for quite some time. Rosie's birthday party doesn't quite count. ;)

Oh, really quickly - since I last wrote, I made new friends, ate huge calzones, sang loud karaoke, watched the production of Little Shop of Horrors that Roxana asst. directed, saw I Love You Man with said friends, had an A2A event (edison dance), and celebrated Naw Ruz with my family, had long and wonderful discussions with Adam, started watching a new tv show (East Bound and Down...?) made a casserole, scrubbed the bathroom, did 6 loads of laundry - actually, this is not "since I last wrote" but "what I did this weekend."

At some point I'd love to follow up with a friend's post that is titled "I can bake my cake and eat it too" about falling into gender roles, nurturing, doing domestic/household things and being thrilled to death by it, and what our fore-mothers think, etc.
But the time is not now.
Tonight I am going grocery shopping to get bread baking stuff, and going out to eat with Xp and Swasthi and picking up the entertainment center! woohoo!

Friday, March 20, 2009

any ideas why the 10+ blogs I was following suddenly disappeared from my dashboard?

The puppy is driving me insane, and when I stop and breathe I KNOW she's just being a regular puppy (well, a slightly high intensity puppy since she was bred that way) but I don't know how to encourage her natural puppiness and still retain my sanity (and clothing. and furniture. and shoes. and fingers.)

She chews. and chews. and chews. she has the sharpest teeth in the WORLD - so sharp that I wince just reaching to pet her or get the toy to throw. Her nails are sharp too. I am covered in well-meant scratches. I am trying to do what everyone says -ignore the bad and encourage the good and redirect when she chews the wrong thing, but she isn't INTERESTED in the right things! There are only so many stupid chew toys she'll pay attention to before going SHOES SHOES SHOES ROYA'S FEET ADAM'S HANDS CLOTHES SHOES BED PAPER BOOKS DVDS WIRES WIRES WIRES. She loves these dental dogbone things - it's the only thing she will actually sit and concentrate on until it's done (which usually lasts a whole half an hour) - but I am not sure how many of those I should give her in a day.

She's fine in her crate when we drive, but she hates going in it in the morning so I can take a shower and get ready for work. So I started putting her in the backyard so Rommel and her could play - but she jumps at the back door and scratches and whines and it has to bother the neighbors.

When I'm not home, she refuses to sleep at all. Last night I was out with a friend til 10pm, and Adam had to be in bed at like 8:00, and when I got home he was up with her, because she wouldn't sleep. Once I got there, she went in her crate and slept, no problem. ARGH.

Okay. so those things are frustrating. Here are the amazing bits

-she's house trained already. It took 4 days. Every time she goes outside on our lawn now she at least tries to pee, even if she doesn't have to. If she's inside, she heads to the front door and whimpers and I let her out and she pees. At work it's the same thing. It's awesome. She's so smart.

-When she's crying in her crate at night, she stops instantly if I stick my fingers in the holes in the crate. I think all she needs is to know I (someone?) is there. It's very sweet, and makes me feel needed.

-When she pushes her limits with Rommel (read: jumping next to him and biting his face) she turns around and runs as FASTASPOSSIBLE back to me for protection. She doesn't stay there long, but I am her off-limits-safe-place, apparently.

-She wants to eat grown up dog food rather than puppy food, which I find precocious.

-According to everything I've read, she is exhibiting all the signs of an "adolescent" dog - one many months older than her. All of the things that are frustrating are only because she's SO smart and SO driven. I am comparing this in my head to my sisters and I in school - or any really smart child who's bored to death sitting in a classroom. Instead of being annoyed that she won't sit still, I really need to give her more chances for her to expend that energy and use her smarts. I can't wait til she's had all her shots and I can take her everywhere. She'll be good at running with me, she'll love meeting new dogs, and I really, really, really, really, really can't wait to start obedience classes.

-I think obedience classes won't be enough for her. I also can't wait to start her on the Adlerhorst Police Training. She will learn to bite and to track and I will learn how to be good at having her.

I just wish I had more ideas about how to keep her interested in my office and at home. Regular old toys aren't really doing the trick. Maybe it's time for a trip to Petsmart to find something that lights up, squeaks, runs away from her and bounces. maybe I could feed a lightbulb to a guinea pig.

I gave her an ice cube the other day. She liked that for about 45 minutes and 3 ice cubes. The fourth one melted somewhere in my living room without her interest.


In non-puppy news..

...I have no non-puppy news.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

doggy and food

Well, Ronia's name is no longer Ronia. We don't know WHAT it is, but Adam and I decided that Ronia is too much like Rommel and the 3 syllable thing just doesn't work for a dog. So we're now trying to think of an Alaska-related name... something like Willow or Sitka or.. I don't know. Ideas?
In other news, I am trying to eat healthy and keep boyfriend eating healthy too. This is hard, as he is resistant to many of the "alternative" staples that I use.... so my mom and I got to talking about Monkey Platters and now I can hardly wait to see how that works out for us!

Last night I made a baked chicken dish with marmalade, soy sauce and bbq sauce, which I marinated the chicken in for a while, then baked in the oven and poured more of the sauce...then flipped the chicken and poured more of the sauce... and then served over brown rice with asparagus and a salad topped with brocolli slaw. It was a hit with Adam, and I like it too. The chicken was super juicy and yummy.
I also made Amish Friendship Bread, but the alternative version. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar and 1 cup of oil, along with the milk and eggs, etc. etc. So I substituted applesauce for oil, and splenda for sugar. The result is a little chewier than the other bread (texture reminded me of the crockpot banana bread I made last week) but it still tastes good. I also chopped up an apple and put that in, just for kicks. Next time I'll also try soy milk instead of regular milk, and maybe adding pumpkin.

The puppy formerly known as Ronia is asleep under my desk. I wish I could sleep. She's doing better sleeping throughout the night - I took her out to pee around 10pm, then again around 2am, then again at 4am, then again at 7:30. She peed every time, but doesn't cry in between that now. Phew. She cries the most when I put her in her crate after breakfast in the morning so I can take a shower and get ready for work. Poor doggy.
She's incredibly driven, very smart, and has endless energy. I am exhausted, but she is still cute enough to make up for it. ;) Her and Rommel have struck an understanding....she bounces around him and jumps up to get his attention, and he pays attention when he wants to. I saw him once put out a paw like, "puh-lease, must we?" It's funny. I never realized how BIG he was until I had her for contrast.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ronia, the love of my life

I have turned into one of those all-consumed doting "parents" that I always made fun of. But on my gosh, my new puppy is so cute and so sweet and so smart! She is eight weeks 1 day old, she's amazing. She's house broken already (knock on wood) how do you get this cute??? How do you get so smart??? She's amazing amazing amazing.

Monday, March 9, 2009

it's been a while

Hi everyone,

I haven't posted on here for a very, very long while it seems. I have just been ridiculously busy. Work just kind of..exploded lately - it's all really great stuff, (I LOVE MY JOB), and I feel really good about all of it, but I am working without stop all day, every day. The events I am/was in charge of last month/this month/next month and some of my other projects:

1. Valentines day karaoke dance
2. Steering Committee Meeting
3. Publishing a 1500 circulation newsletter
4. Acapulco Fundraiser
5. Organizing a class of volunteers from CSULB
6. 5 Interns
7. Kickball and Carnival with Whittier College
8. St Patrick's day dance with CSULB volunteer group
9. Edison Dance
10. Meeting for staff going on Hollywood trip
11. Meeting for clients going on Hollywood trip
12. Hollywood trip
13. Souplantation Fundraiser
14. Spring Fling Festival
15. Grease
16. Self Defense Workshop
17. Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
18. Transition Nights
19. Medieval times
20. Steering Committee Meeting
21. Another newsletter
22. Updating website
23. Walk for Independence
24. Supervisory Meetings
25. Nature Walk
26. Bowling Blast
27. Color Me Mine and breakfast
28. Race track and dinner
29. Vegas meeting for staff
30. Vegas meeting for clients
31. Vegas trip
32. Figuring out new transportation policies since we will no longer have vans
33. Disney Cruise to the Bahamas
34. Prom on the tiki boat
35. Choosing volunteers
36. Redoing the A2A Coordinator notebook
37. Redefining the volunteer/intern program
38. Credit card blah blah blah for work
39. Taking on a new training program
40. The service records, progress notes and spreadsheets that accompany EVERY SINGLE EVENT
41. Writing a healthy living grant
42. Developing a healthy living program
43. Safety Committee meetings
44. In charge of to go kit shopping/planning/reinforcing
45. Making emergency plan for all programs

Not at work:
1. Adam at academy. I still do dry cleaning, laundry, lunches, and other random picking-up-of-supplies, plus help with flashcards, etc.
2. Fish, and the fact that the fish had 150 babies
3. Rommel - regular feeding, playing, etc.
4. Backyard - trying to get it ready for...
5. NEW PUPPY, this wednesday!!!!
6. New bed, trying to sell the old one
7. Karate
8. Sparkpeople
9. Exercise every day
10. Moose at Sunset cross stitch (ALMOST DONE!)
11. Art Supply Room - puppy proofing
12. Garden - collecting seeds of winter veggies, planting new ones
13. Adam's graduation - June
14. Marina's wedding

So anyways, that's an incomplete list of my life right now. And me being me, and the job being the job, that list of work stuff does NOT keep itself within the M-F 8-5 time slot. ohhh no.

in any case, life is pretty grand my little duckies..and one day soon I will be back. one day.