Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
I usually bring my lunch to work, so I love going out for a change. Today a group of co-workers and I indulged in a leisurely, European-style lunch (at a German café, no less). It was one of those meals where you order drinks; then, you order an appetizer for the table; then, you order entrees; then, you order dessert and coffee… These are extremely rare, so that makes them extra-special.
Our waitress was one of the best parts of the experience. When one of my co-workers ordered a German beer, she asked him whether he wanted “the baby size” or “the manly size.” “The baby size comes with pink panties and a pacifier,” she announced with a trace of her native German accent. Our table erupted in laughter.
As we walked back to work, another co-worker mused, “Maybe lunches like that are what it’s like to be retired.”
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
I am SO GLAD my workplace has manual-flush toilets. By gosh, I don’t want that toilet to flush until I tell it to.
Monday, August 29th, 2011
I’ve changed jobs a lot, which means my health insurance has bounced around, too. I’ve had to buy my own when it wasn’t offered by my employer. I’ve had Health Savings Accounts and PPOs. I’ve had vision coverage; I’ve not had vision coverage. I’ve worried about co-pays, deductibles and exclusions. I’ve spent quality time poring over bills and on the phone with insurance companies, doctors’ offices and pharmacies.
As frustrating, complex, expensive, and just plain annoying as the world of health insurance is, I am thankful to have it.
Sunday, August 28th, 2011
This post may anger other people in my area who lost power during last night’s storm. (But they might not be reading it for that very reason ). We were fortunate to keep our electricity and all its glorious benefits… air conditioning, refrigeration, cooking appliances, TV…
The hurricane did not do as much damage as expected. We were thankful it was basically a very, very long rainstorm in our area.
Saturday, August 27th, 2011
We complain when the weather forecast is a little off. It rains when it’s not supposed to; it snows one inch instead of two feet. But without weather forecasting, we wouldn’t know that a hurricane is on its way. We wouldn’t have time to prepare. Areas couldn’t evacuate. Who knows how many lives are saved because of meteorology?
Friday, August 26th, 2011
There’s a hurricane headed up the East Coast. Though we’re not due to catch its full impact, it is likely that we could have power outages and flooding around town. I saw a news report this morning where North Carolina residents who have endured several hurricanes were giving advice about preparing for the storm. (It sounded very much like this list of tips.)
One thing I wouldn’t have thought of was filling your bathtub – in case water service is interrupted, you can use that water to flush the toilet. I like being able to do that.
Thursday, August 25th, 2011
Being thankful for gratitude on a blog about being thankful… how meta.
Today I’m actually talking about people being grateful to me! I’ve received some thoughtful thanks recently. Thank-yous are like compliments – it’s easy to dismiss them. “Oh sure, she’s just checking the box by sending me that thank-you note.”
But, like compliments, we all could do better at accepting them. Absorbing them. As Jon Acuff says, “If I get a 1,000 compliments and one insult, guess which one I listen to? The insult, of course.”
In one of my favorite songs, “Vienna,” Billy Joel sings, “Though you can see when you’re wrong, you know you can’t always see when you’re right.” We seem to shortchange ourselves instinctively.
No one has to thank me for anything. When someone does, I should appreciate it.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
This week, I’ve returned to working out in the morning instead of trying to cram it in after work. Once upon a time, I thought I would NEVER be able to get up early and go to the gym. Then, I did it. After awhile of not doing it, I missed it. Here are my Top 5 Awesome Things about Morning Workouts:
5) No matter what else happens during the day, you’ve already accomplished something.
4) Only need one shower for the day.
3) Can do other things with your evening and actually have time between work and bed.
2) “Saved by the Bell” reruns are on.
1) It’s the only way I know to ensure consistency in working out.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
I picked one heck of a day to work from home. I was sitting at my kitchen table with my computer when I started to hear and feel the rumbling. Thoughts started racing through my mind:
Is that a train? No, I’ve never heard a train that loud… and the ground doesn’t shake like this when trains go by… The house is shaking! Are there high winds? No, I don’t see any wind outside. This must be an earthquake! Should I get in a doorway? I don’t really feel threatened… my teapot is rattling! I’d better make sure it doesn’t fall off the fridge.
“Experience earthquake” was not on my bucket list.
But yes, there was a 5.8 magnitude earthquake today. Fortunately, it was mild, as you can see by the photo of “damage” that occurred in my office (added at right).
For some reason – possibly because I have a catalog of songs/musicals in my head – I couldn’t get the minstrel song from “White Christmas” out of my head for the rest of the day. (“Mr. Bones feels rattlin’”)
Many who were in downtown D.C. at the time were relieved it was not a terrorist attack, which shows how relative these things can be. “Oh, it’s just an earthquake.”
These moments when we experience a little rattlin’ – and no major damage – tend to shock us back into appreciating our families, friends, homes and safety.
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
The mornings are starting to get ever so slightly cooler. Perhaps I just imagined it, but I thought I caught a whiff of fall. In my mind’s nose (Why not? We say “in my mind’s eye”!), I can just smell the fragrance of fall – some kind of mix of leaves and bonfires and cool mornings.