Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ohh the Holidays :)

I LOVE the holidays! I like the weather, the lights, the festive atmosphere. I like the smells and the gifts and seeing family. Its great. I wanted a real tree this year for the new home with Darrin, but we decided to go artificial. We covered the tree with blue and silver. To replace the scent of a genuine pine tree, I bought some xmas tree scented potpourri :) Its probably the neatest thing in the living room for me.

A couple things I really love about this year's holidays:

1. Experiencing it with Darrin, living together, and planning it together. I would love to do it this way every year. Last year I flew to Mexico as a single and met friends who showed me Mexico City. It was an extraordinary experience, but it was also overshadowed by a tumultuous breakup back home. I am glad to be free of that and will enjoy this peace as long as it lasts. In the future, I think I will be content whether I am traveling or sharing a home with Darrin, or whether he is traveling with me or not. What I mean by that is; I have finally experienced the peace that I knew was possible. I know what life is like with peace and without, and I believe I am prepared for both.

2. On a less serious note, I have saved in advance for Christmas gifts! For about 13 family members I have budgeted $520 to spend. And yes, the amounts are even broken down per person. It's tight and evey penny I save this month, even on gas for example, goes towards xmas. All gifts are ready except for 3 people and it's just today the last day of November! Now I can relax, wrap gifts as they arrive in the mail ...hehe, sit back, and smell my winter tree candle :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

obsessive organization?

Darrin has mentioned before that my organization habits are a little extreme. I dont think he is worried about me, ha, but I would agree: I get a lot of satisfaction from staying organized. A couple examples:

After forgetting too many passwords, I started a username and password folder. Really its all just scribbled down on a manila folder, but they are all there and reachable when I need them. I know other people must get fed up of emailing forgotten passwords and answering security questions, so what else can you do? The part that scared Darrin was when I sat down and transferred them all from a ratty notebook to the folder.

After 9 months of creating and tweaking a budget (after reading Dave Ramsey's plan) I am about to the point of getting to a zero balance every month. If you are not familiar, that means a person knows where every cent of their income goes and plans in advance. Its awesome! I have zero financial worries, and the great satisfaction of paying off debts quickly. Because of the financial plan, I budget on a weekly basis. I also log every expense as I spend. That doesnt seem extensive does it? Well either way, its working :) When I get free time you might easily see me flipping through my envelopes and written budget or writing down receipts, etc.

Those are probably my two extremes, most other areas I would say I am about average at organization, including at work. Until next time..

Monday, November 22, 2010

sleep and safety

Oh My it is Monday morning and the exhaustion is extreme. This weekend was short and labor intensive (I worked Friday night, played nurse, then unpacked for two days). My body is screaming for some rest and relaxation and there will be none of that in the next two days. I need to be home. I need to sleep.

Instead I will be at school until 10 pm both nights tonight and tomorrow. I am repeating myself, but Its ridiculous. I will take a nap in my car after school which seems to be how I am getting by. Really, any job can be overwhelming. Its not about how hard the job appears, it is the amount of your time that is consumed. Even if your responsibilities are only of minor importance, if it keeps you from a reasonable nights sleep it is too much and not even a worthwhile paycheck makes up for it.

So off that soapbox and possibly onto another: Someone is scouting Darrin's house and we are truly scared. A couple items disappeared from his property last month. Yesterday we discovered someone had tampered with and tried to enter the house through the back door (which they had to sneak into the back yard and pass through a fenced gate). We live out in the country; its not a busy street with people walking by. I just want to feel safe! Take what you want and dont come back! We are working on locks, doors, window coverings, alarms, but I cant do a single thing because I work every minute. arghhh. I just hope Darrin makes time to do some precautions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coaching and work

I do not have a personal life this week. Cheerleading has swallowed up every minute of my time before and after school for this month, as I had expected of course. I leave for work at 6:45 am and get home at 10:30 pm. The nights are not horrible, they can even be fun actually, but I can sense the exhaustion building up. The little cheerleaders are tired too. Work has compounded life: overwhelmed with grading artwork and more importantly dealing with misbehavior. I still have to get through tonight, and believe me I am not happy about doing this on Friday night as well. Next week; more of the same before Thanksgiving.

I am really looking forward to the end of my duties as a coach only because: I need sleep! It really has gone too far when sports force students and teachers both to operate on 6-7 hours of sleep per night for a month. I enjoy the time, but it is not balanced or moderately scheduled. Enough of that anyway.........

I am moved into Darrin's house, and after a frustrating ordeal with shampooing carpet, we have unpacked and reorganized. The house looks good and smells good now. We can also now eat in the kitchen and start doing the regular routine. So pleasant :) If only I were home to enjoy the new space.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


At the moment I am currently high on pumpkin flavored fudge and Dr. Pepper. You might be able to see the high and then the low on this post, haha. I am typing in the classroom as I wait my time to coach cheerleaders tonight.

I want to share some of the neat ideas I am picking up from the current book, 4 Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss. I think I have some natural qualities that he describes and which he used to further along his career.

Ferriss recommends an alternative view on lifestyle and career. His focus is on simplifying things, especially time-saving adjustments and challenging the traditional way of doing things. He is very business oriented but I am trying to pick up as much as I can apply to my career. One of the neatest concepts is to create mini-retirements for yourself instead of waiting until you're 60 yrs old and working your tail off until you are too old to enjoy retirement. I think I already save time, am an eliminationist at heart already, and have chosen a career that will allow "mini-retirements." Maybe I can improve it even more?

Four of my "dreamlines" or mini-retirement goals are:
-Have a pool that I can swim in anytime of anyday
-Learn Spanish fluently
-Have an Art studio room for making my own art
-visit Greece

Now these first four are supposed to be reachable in 6 months. Why wait, right?? Retirement is too far away!

So I am working on all four goals, and fortunately 2 of them are at no cost. I have a Spanish tutor and the public library on hand. I have a plan for the Art Studio, just need to run the idea by someone special :) The pool idea is the hardest, even harder than Greece actually. Anyone know of someone with an indoor heated pool in Sedalia? Maybe I could rent some time. The other idea for a pool I considered is pretty far-fetched but I am still brainstorming and already took a couple steps. Finally, I have the summer off and would like to start researching summer opportunities in Greece. Even just a 2 week trip would be exhilarating. The downside is that I would want Darrin to be with me for that kind of grand experience.

Well those are my first four from a list of about 15 dream mini-retirements. More to come in the future of course. It feels great to dream, because there have been a couple times that no dream felt worthwhile or enticing. Live life, and do it now :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

vacation and the latest

Darrin and I had a worderful and laid back vacation. The drive was nice, weather plenty warm, hotel plenty modern, the city Eureka was interesting, yummy food, and good times. We also visited the Beaver lake Dam, bought some fudge and spicy salsa jalapenos, and rode with the convertible top down. We did not spend too much money and enjoyed our calm times at night in the hotel. I must say we both felt boring retiring so early on vacation to our hotel room to watch TV and play UNO, yes Uno hahaha. But it was nice and lovely. I had sadness about going back to work Monday.

I am almost completely weaned off of pain meds for the viral infection, its mostly cleared. Good news I can start light exercise this week and next. My two pals still competed in the half marathon and they both had personal records. I am not sad about missing it; just glad to be healthy and ready for MODERATE exercise.

I started reading a new book, The Four Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss. It is right up my alley: Traveling, living rich although not being rich, getting past the 9-5 boring day job etc. I am only on about page 10, ha but I can tell this book will be a great read. I am also finishing up Pearl Buck in China, which is a highly fascinating biography about an author.

Teaching this year has gotten officially boring and I know Christmas will be here very soon. I am supplementing career with the couple college course opportunities I can find. The first is the dual credit high school class that I am hoping works out for January. The other is applying for a job at SFCC in Sedalia, as a part time adjunct art teacher, in which I would probably teach one night class and hope to teach one summer class. I dont want my career to get into a standstill, and I definitely dont want to get beleaguered down by behavior problems in the public school system. The few kids today made it rough enough.

I am moving the big furniture into Darrin's house this weekend. Yay for more change. And I was disturbed by a friends pessimistic remark about us living together last night. He admitted that he is an obnoxious cynic when it comes to relationships, but the comment still hurt and discouraged me more than it should have. I am happy for Darrin and I, our compromises, our continued support and love for each other, and our easily possible future. I hope my friends and loved ones can share that hope and happiness. I also hope my friends and loved ones can see there is more to life, and my life, than just this relationship. There can be more to our friendship, our conversation, our growth as people, than judgement and cynicism. I love my friend that I mentioned, and I hope to see him soon and hope he can see me as more than a buddy's girlfriend, because we used to have a whole lot more in common.

Thanks to Fred and Jill for the wonderful evening out with the ladies tonight and I look forward to our next get-together! Gotta have those girl nights :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

change of luck

WOW....everything in that last post "8 days" ended up being WRONG. I woke up the next morning with a migraine! The headached I mentioned turned into a viral infection keeping me in bed for 10 days! I had to call in sick to work for the past week, missing every night of school events also. I made it to Art Club's pumpkin carving contest, but missed my little cheerleaders first game as well as conferences and senior night. The vacation was cancelled! booo hooo We are hoping it is just postponed to this weekend. And I had a CATSCAN today. Just making sure I dont have a tumor or anything! really? And this whole week that I have been homesick, I have been lucky to be able to eat, shower, or even pick up a dirty Tshirt. Needless to say, I didnt get a single box packed while I was home doing absolutely nothing. I also visited the hospotal ER to get two shots for a migraine and a bag of fluids because I was so dehydrated. Its been very very Very painful.

I truly hope it is over. Cat scan results are normal I assume; unless I hear otherwise. The pain has finally receded somewhat and I will try to return to work tomorrow (Tuesday). I saw an old friend and classmate, he actually performed my cat scan today how neat is that? I am very sick of taking Vicodin, believe I dont like how nauseus and woozy it makes me. I just want to be healthy dammit! There are a lot of things I would love to be doing and enjoying in this life if I can just get painfree.

Btw, our fitness challenge is over. Darrin and I have tied, although he is trying to say I won and give me the money. tempting ...:) We both got a little healthier and tied in weight loss etc. You definitely cant count my weight loss anyway after throwing up meds and losing appetite on vicodin.

Also lately, I have realized I want to travel. Kel and Courtney are in california. An old college friend Molly has a spare room in colorado. I would like to start saving for trips! well, until next post, gbye.