Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Job Interview Anticipation

Finally, after all these months of submitting resumes and trying to find a job that would be a good fit for my skills, I have an interview today!   At this point in my life, I want a position which I genuinely like, and in which I have the opportunity to learn something new.  Something that challenges me intellectually, and where I am surrounded by nice personalities. 

Today I'm experiencing all kinds of feelings, excitement over getting to interview for a job that would have me working for a major university in an academic setting, which by the way is something I have desired for awhile now, and yet there is also a nervous feeling because I feel there is a lot on the line not to mention the whole interview process.

Interviewing is never fun, especially when you really want the job.  I've always felt that way, anytime I really want something I feel such extra pressure to make sure things go perfectly.  And that is near impossible in job interviews because they always manage to ask that one question that somehow throws me off. 

So today I'm sitting here thinking....what am I going to say.  How can I sell my skill set, my experiences, and educational background to these people.   Oh I can practice the questions I think they will ask over and over, but from experience when I get in the actual room with my interviewers all those great prepared answers I mastered always seem to disappear.

Plus, there is a part of me that isn't even sure she wants to go back into an office type environment.  The creative side of me seems to over power the logical somedays.  And the creative side wants to strike out on it's own, if only the logical side wasn't filled with such fear.

I'm one of those personality types that tends to feel rather claustrophic in the professional, business office type environment.  Some people thrive in those environments but not me.  In fact, my favorite job of all time was working for a small artist/designer in California.  To be around that kind of creativity was inspiring.  It was fun to come to work, I learned something new each day, and I loved my job.  And it's hard when you know what it feels like to have a job you love, and then experience ones that were the complete opposite. 

My ultimate goal is to find a job I love as much as that one. (then again I suppose everyone desires that)

Anyway....I'm off to review my notes, pick out my clothes, and then try to convince my future interviewers why I would be perfect for this job.

Update: they called me back today (the next day) and want me to come in for a 2nd interview!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Powerful Storms In Philly

This morning we are cleaning up after a storm that toppled trees, power lines, and anything in it's path.  The wind in our area was measured at 76 mph, and the hail was compared to golf balls.  At the height of the storm it was scary, between the heavy wind and hail it looked like a monsoon!

And it left us with no power over night, thank heavens it came on this morning because all the food in the freezer was starting to dethaw.  Many of the streets surrounding us are closed due to trees and lines down.  Major traffic lights are out which makes driving a major hazard to navigate.  It really left a mess to clean up.

And after all the mess and destruction the weather hasn't really changed all that much, as they are still saying the hot, humid weather is coming back for the weekend.  I was at least hoping this would cool us off for awhile. 

I remember as a kid being involved in a mini tornado and it was not fun.  In fact, I vividly remember seeing the funnel in the distance heading toward us.... as my sister and I ran toward home losing our flip flops because we were running so fast. 

Since then I've always been a tad scared of storms and the danger they bring with them.  Tornados aren't common in this area of the Northeast but they occur every now and then.  I just cannot imagine living in places that consistently have those kinds of storms.   It must be so scary and down right frustrating.

Anyway...right now there is a breeze coming through the window, of course with the smell of gas from all the leafblowers that people are using to try and clean up outside.  But the hot stuff is arriving back tomorrow with the potential for more stormy weather along the way, and this next round of storms I may just hide under the bed!





Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Every Garden....

Every garden has it's weeds;
They are merely a sign of life and growth.
There's no need to resent the weeds in your life....
they help you to truly appreciate the flowers.


Tiger Lilly and Butter Fly Bush from my garden. (and yes I have weeds too)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Perfect Days

Perfect days.  I'm sure each of us has an idea of what a perfect day is.

I myself can think of quite a few.  A day at the beach.  A day spent with my family.  A day spent cuddling with my dog.  A winter day frolicking in the snow or simply watching the snow fall.  A summer day spent outside amongst nature.  And well I'm sure I could think of many more perfect day scenarios but let me share yesterdays.

Yesterday was one of those.  Beautiful sunny, summer day spent outside playing golf with my favorite guy.  I would have to say it made for a perfect day.  I know in the past I didn't take in such moments like I should have.  But now....I really try to take it all in.  The moment, the surroundings, the feelings.  I have learned to truly appreciate such days.

Toward the 16 hole, another group joined us.  And the one man said to me "you are lucky that you can both play together", and he went on to say "if my wife played I would not only golf more often but would get to spend more time with her".   And at the moment I had another sense of gratitude.

How many couples are lucky to share the same interests or hobbies.   And I don't know if my man fully appreciates the fact that we have so many interests in common, or that we can golf together such as we do but I appreciate it. 

Our opinions may differ from time to time, so may our philosophical thoughts, and financial ways.  Oh and I'm still working on getting him to leisurely walk a mall ,or even Target, without being in a complete rush to exit. But those things don't change the fact that days spent together can still be perfectly perfect.

And so yesterday while out there on the green I knew that this was one of those perfect days.  

After all the stress I have been feeling lately it just felt so good to be in that moment.  I'm really hoping we can come up with more fun activities and ideas to do this summer because those little moments and things mean so very much.  And can make for such great days.

Did I mention I even had a birdie?  (for those of you who don't golf it is a score on a hole that is one stroke below par or the standard for the hole)  

Here are some photos I took throughout the day.




Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jumping Through Windows

What a morning.  I've been up since 7 am, had to take the man to the train because he still hasn't got his car back yet. 

And so next on the list was taking care of the grill situation.  For those of you who don't know we finally got a new grill, courtesy of my parents.  Nothing crazy, just a simple grill for bbq'ing on those hot days so the kitchen stays cool.  (our old grill went up in a ball of fire about a month ago)   So we found a very inexpensive char-broil model at Walmart.

Well upon putting together the grill. (which I did mostly myself)  We realized there was a problem with a key component.  So I spent this morning calling the manufacturer and Walmart to find out how to get the piece we need.  Well anything dealing with automated company phone systems seems to take forever to get to an actual person.  And by then you feel completely frazzled. haha

After finding out I could drive back to the store to pick up the piece I just felt frustrated because it means trecking across the city and lots of traffic for at least 30 mins to get to the store.  Upon learning that, I decided I needed to go outside to try to relax amongst the beautiful flowers that are all starting to come into bloom.

As I was walking out the door the wind blew it shut, and I knew right at that moment I was locked out.  Normally we  have to adjust the lock before we go out so that the door stays open, knowing I had not done that....well my first thought was "oh no'.

Luckily I had all the windows open, so it just required finding a tool to pry open one of the screens with.  And luckily there is a small auto body place near by, for whom I know the owner pretty well.  I explained the situation and that I needed a flat head screw driver. 

Well being the old school type he is, the owner said he would help.  So he came over, popped the screen for me, and I was able to climb through the window.  And he was nice enough to help me get the rather large screen back on the window. 

Whew....I don't know what I would have done had the windows not been open. 

What a day, and it's only just begun.  ; )


The window.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Cake Recipe

I happened upon an eggless cake recipe that sounded good. (I have an egg allergy)  So I decided to try it today but ran into two issues. 

First, didn't have cake flour, but managed to find a great way to substitute all purpose flour instead. (simply take 2 tbsp out of each cup flour and substitute with 2 tbsp of cornstarch)

Second,  I only have one cake pan, so I decided to use these two glass baking pans I have instead. This is where it got tricky.

Although heavily greased and floured the pans were no match for a non stick cake pan.  Oh they came out looking great, but when I tried to turn them upside down to remove from pans....well they stuck to the pan too much and crumbled.

Quickly I right sided the pans and pushed down so the cake would adhere back together. haha  So much for making a two layer cake, these cakes are leaving their pans until they are ready to be sliced and ate.

You can see where the one cake crumbled.

Lesson learned....when it says use a cake pan, use one speficially designed for cakes not a glass pan. In the process of the one crumbling a little I did get a taste....and for an eggless cake it's tastes good. ( I have been searching for an eggless cake that stays moist and light for quite some time)  It looks like I might have found one.

The official verdict won't be decided until dessert this evening! 




Eggless Double Layer Birthday Cake

3 cups cake flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup shortening

3 T. water, 3 T. oil, 2 tsp. baking powder; mixed together

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two cake pans. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat until well mixed, approximately 4 minutes. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks. Frost when completely cooled.

Note: Baking powder is intentionally listed twice in this recipe. The combination of 3 T. water, 3 T. oil, 2 tsp. baking powder; mixed together is the substitution for 2 eggs.

This recipe and more can be found on http://www.foodallergy.org/page/static-recipe.
It's a great site for people with various types of food allergies.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change."


Fresh Hydrangeas from my flower garden.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Love Endures....

"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

Love this quote.  As a hopeless romantic I'd like to believe in enduring love, because too often in the news we hear the opposite.  Love seems to have a harder time surviving than it did in our grandparents era.  Not quite sure why that is, I imagine it's a combination of reasons....the throw away mentality, laziness, selfishness, lust, the internet, and maybe sometimes it comes down to simply not understanding what love is.

But when I read a quote like the one above....it inspires. 

Within any love there will always be ups vs downs, agree vs disagree, happy vs unhappy at times, etc.,that's how it is with with everything in life.   Besides love involves two individuals, two unique souls. And somehow through the uniqueness love has to be able to merge those worlds together which really when you think about it, isn't all that easy. So how does love endure?

I happened upon this quote at a good time. As my man made some recent financial decisions that really hurt him and his credit. And may have really hurt our chances of ever getting a house.  He was suppose to be working on improving his finances. So this news came as a surprise, especially when I saw where some of the money had gone.  I felt both anger and sadness at the choices he had made, oh I was hot and to the point I even questioned how he got an MBA in the first place.  Then I came upon the quote.

And it made me think. I realized even though you love someone....their choices are theirs to make and their lessons in life to learn. Seems selfish yet aren't many of our choices selfish.  That is where love really requires a whole new unselfish way of viewing life.

For love to endure it takes understanding that our partners will make choices, decisions, and hold opinions we don't always share nor agree with.  But it also involves our each person learning and understanding how their choices affect not only themselves but those they love. 

It requires finding a way to understand, to help, to compromise, to work on each others strengths and weaknesses together....hopefully grow stronger in the process.  Too often the selfish ego tendencies of the individual can hinder that.

Love asks a lot....it means putting aside judgement of the other, to simply love them for who they are. Mistakes and all. It's giving affection and love on those days we don't feel like it, but that our partner needs it.  It means creating and spending quality time together.

Love is really about putting another's happiness before our own. 

Think about it....that is huge.  How many of us are truly capable of that kind of unconditional love?

Yet that is what love is about.  Love is not perfect, it requires loving the imperfections as much as the perfections.  And lets not forget the virtues of honesty, loyalty, kindness and compassion.

And love needs romance. Affection is to relationships, as water is to a flower.  It needs kisses, hugs, snuggling, making love, date nights, cards, and all those other little expressions of romance that make love an intimate bond shared between two people.  It's what distinguishes love from the other relationships in our lives.

For love to endure it requires learning to grow as individuals yet together as well, and to constantly nurture one another.  Yes love requires work, everything in life does.  Especially unselfishness. It's talking, listening, giving support and love during the happy times, and at those very times you just want to walk away and not deal with any of it.  It's about not turning your back ever on the other, no it's about having the others back always.  I think that is how love endures.

Creating that kind of love? Well I'm not exactly sure it's done overnight....like a fine wine it has to age to reach perfection.  And even then nothing is guaranteed.

Got a little deep today I know, but I have this dream of making the world a better place one step or in this case quote at a time.  And today I'm thinking if love could only endure our world would be a better place.

What do you think about the quote?  What do you think it takes for love to endure?

{Google}

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday Musings

Welcome to Monday....started off by driving Pat to the train station, looks like it could possibly be another week of driving duty given his car is still sitting in a lot somewhere.  Hoping he gets it back very soon. 

Have I mentioned I've been trying to get back in shape?  Wow does it feel like a long road.  I tried to work out pretty much from highschool through my twenties.  Nothing crazy just some mountain biking, walking, a little running, skating and some weights....but it kept me in shape as far as endurance and stamina. 

Besides I had to be becareful because I'm thin or as the charts like to point out underweight.  So losing weight wasn't an option, working out always came with having to eat more for me.  Which included drinking lots of ensure high protein drinks.

Yeah, yeah I know who does that right?   For the most part I was born into a genetically thin family, and combine that with my rather high strung personality at times and it makes it hard to maintain weight. Seriously any kind of stress can cause me to drop lbs quickly.

Anyway, at some point a few years ago I just gave up working out.  It got old, hard to fit in after a long day at work, it felt like I would never put on the weight needed if I used up all my energy on working out.  Plus I got diagnosed with a heart issue, which made me scared to even move.  Combine all that and working out took a major backseat.

So what did I do.  I ate whatever I wanted and instead of working out I tried to do more sendentary activities.  Well I managed to put on 8 lbs., though still have some to go.  But fast forward to present when I suddenly realize how out of shape I have become.  Walking the golf course last summer felt arduous.

So I made a New Year's resolution to get in shape.  I bought a treadmill which I walk three times a week, combined with some situps, and some leg exercises.  Nothing crazy because I'm just trying to start out slow and see how it feels. You definitely won't find me in any crazy spin class or strenous workout of that sort because my workouts have to be more low key in nature.

Well today I decided to add some push ups.  Well I could barely do two bent knee ones before collasping to the ground in serious fits of laughter.   Why laughter you ask because it felt completely hilarious to not be able to do more then two push ups.  Seriously????  I'm really that out of shape?  How did this happen. 

All I know is this.  I'm going to start eating more spinach and leafy green vegetables, increasing my protein, and find within my limited budget some cheap weights because I'm obviously need to focus on strength too! 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dream

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."

"Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

"There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.”

"Dreams are like the paints of a great artist. Your dreams are your paints, the world is your canvas. Believing, is the brush that converts your dreams into a masterpiece of reality.”

What are your dreams....for yourself, for your loved ones, and for the world?  What small step can you take today to make those dreams a reality?

One of my dreams is to own a house.  Guess all my moving around over the years and renting various places has left a deep seated desire to find a place to call home, that is all my own.  To decorate, landscape, and be able to put my hard earned money into something real.  I'd rather a small house with some land surrounding it, so I could garden and create a little outdoor space to watch the stars at night. 




Thursday, June 3, 2010

East Coast Hot

Yes, I am writing two blogs today.  Partly because I started writing the first one yesterday but never got around to publishing it.  Just realized it was sitting in my saved posts area....so might as well post it.

Let's talk today though!  Now if you remember me mentioning we rent the bottom floor of an old victorian house.  Hence it was never updated with central air.  And today in Philadelphia it's going up into the 90's with high humidity. Yikes!

Since we usually were both working during the days, we never got more then one a/c unit.  When it got too hot, we put it in the bedroom and let the dog stay in there while we went to work.  And we would just hang in there at night until the temps outside went down. 

Well now is a different story.  I'm home all day with no a/c in the areas I am working.  At the moment, I only have a desktop computer which is in our office room.  Yeah don't laugh....I know a desktop is so outdated but I just never got around to buying a laptop because I didn't spent much time on my computer here at home. (I always just used my computer at work)

Anyway....seeing how we are on a very tight budget at the moment there is no buying another a/c unit right now.  Besides, I don't even want to put the bedroom one on yet because I know it will mean a much higher high electric bill.  Oh but what I would do for central air right now. 

Sooooooooo......I'm trying to figure out how me and Angel are going to stay cool.  I've come up with a list of ideas.

1. Cold showers
2. Water Ice or Ice Pops
3. Ceiling fan on high (but again there isn't one in our office room)
4. Take Angel and go hang out in Petsmart 
5. Go to the park, find a shady tree and catch up on some reading
6. Wrap an ice pack on my body
7. Wave my Flyers fan around hoping to create a breeze (they gave them out at the pep rally yesterday)

Well that's just what I've come up with for now.  These are the days I wish I was back living in San Diego, yeah it got hot but we never had this crazy humidity.  And plus there was always a nice ocean breeze.  In fact, never had to use a/c while living out there.

These hot, humid days of the east coast make it hard to do anything when you don't have a/c.   Cooking is crazy because the house gets all heated up, and by the time you are ready to eat....you are too hot and sweaty to enjoy it.  haha   Lounging by a pool, surfing, or tubing down the Delaware would be about the only activities suited for this type of weather.  Maybe I should add a pool to my house wish list.   ; )

Btw, we didn't win the 260 million powerball jacketpot last night.  Oh how I was hoping to wake up this morning and go buy a house! 

All righty, I've said enough for today.  If like here, it's hot and humid where you live try to stay cool.  And if it's a perfect temperature where you live....well lucky you.  ; )

Hopefully Rita's has lots of cotton candy water ice today!



That's the Flyers fan that was given out at the pep rally.  (and that is pats desk in the background.  We each have our own sides to the office, each decorated in our own tastes)  That was his idea. haha  As you can tell his is a sports theme.

Awkward Moments

There are moments in life that are just awkard. We encountered one last weekend. (yes I know it's been a crazy week so I'm just now posting about my weekend) haha You see we went to a wedding of a friend of Pat's from college.  It's been over ten years since everyone actually saw each other, the catch was his ex from the early years of college (and her husband)  were also going to be there.  Which we really didn't give much thought to, given it's been so long and everyone has their own families now.

Dispite numerous warnings from a close friend of his, who kept saying it would be very awkward and the ex would act weird, but we didn't give it much thought.  Well his friend was right....it felt very awkward.  In fact, in a few ways I had not imagined.  My man blamed it on her being drunk, but I find it hard to believe the girl was drunk at the very beginning of cocktail hour.  Besides, doesn't drinking making most people more social? 

Guess not in this case, as her behavior and her husband's was rather aloof.  Which was something neither of us anticipated. 

And honestly in the process I found myself thinking what did he see in this girl.  There was something in her attitude or mannerisms that just didn't sit well with me.  Now those were the thoughts I never imagined would crop up, and surprised me.  It was actually surprising because thought for sure we would all get along well but instead they never even acknowledged us.  We barely got a hello. Oh well what can you do.

And it makes me wonder what my man would think of some of my former flames.  And  wonder how they would act.  He'd probably be thinking some of the same thoughts I was. (and he would definitely be thinking why did his short woman date such tall guys because my early boyfriends were all above 6'7) haha

His friend was right.  It was one of those akward moments of life, but we still had a good time talking to all the other old friends, who were friendly and fun so it wasn't that big of a deal.  On a side note, the pork chop that was served was rather pink and has left my stomach feeling not so great this week. Whole other story though.

And although everyone's experience is varied and unique we learned somewhat of a lesson....for the most part don't expect old flames to be friendly. And thinking they can be friends or thinking you can comfortably socialize with them usually just doesn't work or feel right. There is a reason they are considered the past.  People change, they grow, they learn, and they become different they we remember them.  And some people don't change.  But that's the thing we learn from our past, it helps us better understand life, what we want from life, and who we want in our life.  And so that is my little story for today.


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