Friday, January 10, 2014

Top 10 reasons why this was a good move for us!

I've been a pretty lame blogger these days and with my job responsibilities I don't see that situation ending anytime soon. I have been active on Facebook but mostly because it takes just seconds to upload a picture or status update. Blogging isn't like that or at least for me its not. I seem to take a long time to put down into words what I want to say. Except for today. Today I'm doing a Top Ten. That's right...I've gone there. A list post. It's a sad day for me I can tell you.

Here are the Top Ten reasons why our move to Washington State has been good for us

#10 The local farmers market is amazing. While not as big or year round like in Houston, this market is friendlier and very local. Such as know the name of the farmer, local. Or get invited to their farm, local. 

#9 JR can find his way around the town. Our town is so small that it is almost impossible for JR to get lost. You may be thinking; "What he lived in Houston for 4 years and he was lost?" JR can get lost in his own museum (name that movie quote?). JR is directionally challenged and in all the cities we've lived in it usually takes him many many years to know his way around. Oh, he can get to work and back and maybe to the grocery store but any place new is out. Our town is very small. As in there are only three streets in town that have stop lights. Getting anywhere in town is a 5 minute deal. I suspect it takes longer to get the car out of the garage than it does to get to the store. In good weather we walk.

#8 The scenery. You can not beat the views from my office. Even the drive to Costco (30 minutes away) is amazing.

#7 We live 1.2 miles from my office. See number 9 above. I can get in a little exercise going to and from work. Of course, that is only if the weather is nice. When it is 14 degrees out and windy that just doesn't happen. The campus is gorgeous, small and friendly. I've felt very welcome here.

#6 Wineries. We have at least 2 dozen or more wineries within 60 minute drive. We may or may not have visited several of them when we first got here. I may or may not have signed up for a wine club in a wine sloshed haze.

#5 Friends. Our long-time friends are all very close. In 2 hours we can be visiting with them or visa versa. Pretty happy about that situation

#4 My job is amazing and while it keeps me very busy I'm liking what I'm doing. Plus, the benefits are the best ever! 

#3 We are saving enough in reduced rent, power bill, health insurance, car insurance, etc that JR can retire to whatever it is he wants to do. At present, I believe that is read books, watch copious amounts of ESPN and taking the dogs for a walk. Pretty sweet deal for him.

#2 I've lost 14 pounds. With all the walking and such, the fresh produce and a bit of disciple has almost got me back into my bikini. Not that I'll post any of those pictures. 

AND the NUMBER 1 reason
These guys are only a short drive away.

Stay groovy,

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Taj Mahal

The trip to India was amazing and surreal all at the same time. And, I don't think I can really express how much I learned, about myself and about India. Some day after I've had a chance to process the whole thing I'll try to put into words what I learned about myself on this trip. Until then, let's have a look at the Taj Mahal or as I say, "The Taj". 

 Here is the Taj from across the river. The same river that the people wash their clothes in and the water buffalo hang out. It's a quaint and sort of disgusting thing. To tell you the truth the whole country is quaint and disgusting and very very seductive. 

To get to the actual tomb you drive through the streets of Agra. This is an experience that will have you thanking your lucky stars that you were born in the United States because no matter how bad you think it is here just go to India to get some perspective. There is no safety net in India. To be poor is to be uneducated, dirty, and hungry. It is to live in squalor. It is to beg for food. Okay, that's enough of that. 

Your first thought when you look at the gate is Wow!, it can't get any more impressive. Those Muslims sure go all out.  

Seriously, it can. 

This is slaps you in the face when you walk out the other side. Folks, pictures do not do it justice. All that just to bury one guy. 

Here I am wearing the Taj like a hat.

Up close...just as stunning.

Still cool. 

 The carvings. Impressive 600 years later.

The inlaid work. Crazy!

Just to give you fair warning I will probably be posting nothing but India pictures for another couple of weeks. And, not because I'm boring (I am) but because I have so much to share. 

Peace out

Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday decorating

Okay, okay, I know it is not yet Thanksgiving and holiday decorating should not be started before that day but I will be out of town (actually out of the country) during the Thanksgiving week. Add that in with the fact that this holiday decorating is for the competitive library department holiday decorating has a compressed my timeline. Which means that I had to get on it right now.

Yes, I know that I have staff that can do the decorating and they will do most of the manual work (the whip will be cracked, meh probably not) but my staff is not very creative. They have other gifts and skills that I will never have so I will be in charge of aesthetics.

A trip to the thrift stores in our little town netted me 4 little fake Christmas trees and some mardi gras beads ($10, you can't beat that considering the long term use I'll get out of them). 

I also got online to one of my favorite digital library websites, American Memory, to find some WPA posters. Which I asked one of my staff members to print up on our large plotter printer. They look very cool.

We are going with a winter wonderland theme. Trying to keep in secular, you know since I firmly believe in the whole separation of church and state thing.

This week I'll head to my local store for some fake snow and some fishing line to hang the snow flakes we will cut out of maps that we had scheduled for destruction.

I'm going for thrifty charming. I'm hoping it doesn't look trailer trash charming. Trust me that's a thing. And, it's not good.

Stay groovy,