Thursday, March 4, 2010

Don't talk to strangers

Remember as a child, there was that blanket statement of "Never talk to strangers". Well, I'm not a child any more...but I still follow that rule. I actually like that rule, and wish others would follow it.

Nothing irritates me more than standing in line at the grocery store, and the man in front of me saying "I see chili peppers, meat, tortillas, and avacados....SOMEONE'S MAKIN TACOS"!

I want to respond saying "No. I'm not. I just bought ingredients to make tacos. But I'm going to put these together to make lutefisk and lefse. Dumbass."

But my "Real-time Response" still isn't very nice. It' would usually go, "Yep. No kiddin." And then I'd roll my eyes.

When I get home from the day, and my neighbor is sitting outside smoking -- I grab my cell phone and start faking a conversation to avoid having to talk to him and hear his voice.

Sometimes, on the airplane, my I-pod dies. (traumatic) But I still wear my headphones. Just so the person next to me doesn't talk to me. (unless it's Ryan, I like talking to Ryan on the airplane. He's fun)

In lieu of this...I have realized that maybe this is something I need to work on? And it's my favorite time of year. (This is where some may think I'm a little *off*)

Lent.

I think Lent is the most wonderful time of year. It's time for us to truly buckle down, work on our problems, and strive towards a better relationship with the Lord. It's the time of year where everyone makes little sacrifices, and although the sacrifices and resolutions are for better their self -- it's all in the goal of becoming a better Chirstian.

And I think that is just beautiful!

So, in addition to trying to focus harder on being a good Catholic, taking more time for prayer, and continuing to center our marriage with Christ. (A cord of three strands is not easily broken -- this versefrom the Bible hangs in our living room).......

I am trying to be a nice person.

You may read this and think, "And you're going to be a NURSE? But, you sound like an antisocial b****!"

However, I am very connectd to my patients, family, friends, loved ones..

I could care less what kind of day the lady on the tredmill next to me is having, however!

But I still need to be nicer.

I don't believe in being fake. Fake is the epitome of TOO MANY-relationships in our society, (sometimes I feel.) And I don't want to become that! But I still need to be courteous.

Does it really take that much energy to tell the annoying man in line at the grocery store, "Yes. I am making tacos. How did you guess? *smile*"

So far -- I have made bounds of improvement. Here are my 2 deeds that I have done (this is hard for me okay? Step 1 is admitting you have a problem, people!)

1) I didn't do the self-check out at the grocery story last week. I went through the real line. And when the check-out person asked how my day was going.....instead of staring at the floor saying "Good." I looked her in the eye and stated, "My day is going well. How is YOUR day going?

2) I passed someone on the highway today. It was a run-down truck going 10 miles below the speed limit. I didn't give him the finger, glare at him, OR shake my head in disgust. I just simply passed him. No road rage included.

I am making leaps of improvement!

Maybe...by the end of the week....I will say "Hi. How are you." to my neighbor.

We'll see.

This is a process, afterall.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What a birthday!

For a long time...I really didn't like birthdays. Here's a little birthday history:

High school sucked. So all my birthdays were lame and depressing.

In fact, the first birthday that I spent with Ryan...the day's prior I remember him saying "What do you want to do for your birthday??!! Are you excited? It's coming up." And I remember responding saying, "I will spending digging in a cadaver in anatomy lab. It'll be a good reminder that I'm one year closer to death. Birthdays are over-rated."

Yep! That was me! He changed my negativity towards birthday's though, and the past 3 years have been pretty good ones!

And last Saturday, February 27, I had a wonderful birthday! Here's how it went:

  • Thursday it began: I had 2 final tests. Ryan took me out to dinner to celebrate at my favorite Brewery. I got to have my favorite Rasberry Blonde.
  • Friday evening we went to Ryan's Dad & Step-Mom's house for dinner. His sister is in town for the weekend! So it was a double bonus. They served a meal of my favorite foods: crab legs, shrimp, mussels, scallops, potatoes, asparagus, and edamame! Dessert was Strawberry shortcake ice cream and chocolate-covered strawberries!
  • Saturday morning we "slept in" .....woke up at the usual 6:30 a.m.
    • Ryan wouldn't let me leave the bedroom, and said "I'll tell you when you can come out"
    • So I sat in the room for a few seconds, and within seconds had the chlorox wipes out and was scrubbing the sinks in our bathroom.
    • Yep. I have a problem!
  • When I came out of the room on the kitchen island was:
    • My present
    • 12 pack of Diet Mountain Dew
    • Crystal Light Immunity & Energy packets
    • Ice Breakers Sours
    • He always know the way to my heart!
  • I then opened presents where I got:
    • A Sportline Heart Rate Monitor from Ryan (Please excuse how scary I looked...I just woke up, okay?!)

    • From my Mom and Dad: I got a plethora of goodness-filled kitchen tools! Including a Cuisinart coffee bean grinder and Caribou beans! Mmmmmmmm!!! Also a Kohl's gift card!
  • I then headed out for a nice run -- my birthday present to myself! Seven miles through the pecan fields on a cool, foggy morning = heavenly!
  • I received phone calls from all my siblings -- who I miss dearly! I got to talk to my nephews -- (I am having nephew-withdrawals! I miss those little guys so much!!) Even my Dad, who was fishing out in the ice house, gave me a call. What a guy! :)
  • We then got ready and took a little road trip up to Phoenix to see Lisa!
  • The WHOLE 1 1/2 hour drive.....Ryan let me listen to whatever type of music I wanted! And he put up with my singing the whole drive.
  • Upon arrival, I was gifted from Lisa a new Anthropologie apron, "The Sunflower (amazing book), and some Regina Specktor cds! Thank you Lisa!
  • We were hosted by Lisa's friends Heidi & Chris. And being the wonderful hosts they are - we had a champagne toast to my birthday!
  • Dinner was at a wonderful mexican restaurant in Chandler, AZ! Great margaritas and wonderful food!
  • After dinner, we played a game called "Loaded Questions". Very fun! Highly recommended it!
  • The evening was full of good conversation, wonderful food, and tons of laughter! When Lisa & I get together, we are able to recall almost-forgotten stories of our past that bring up roaring laughter! Laughter is so good for the soul!
  •  Here are some pictures from the evening! Thank you to all who made it so great!




Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. If you were given an hour to use a $200 Amazon gift card, what would you buy?

-I would put it towards a new Dyson vacuum cleaner!
2. Are there any fairly common foods that you’ve never had?
-I've never had lamb, which I could consider fairly common. However my father in law did put it in spaghetti sauce, so I can now say I've *had* it. But not plain.
-I've never eaten Girls Scout cookies. And probably never will....I'm not a big cookie fan.

3. What was your favorite way to use your imagination as a kid?
I played a LOT of "House" as a kid. All kids do that though, so it's not that neat.

 I also remember practicing the piano a lllloott (I started piano when I was in first grade), and pretending that I was putting on a concert. I would take like 10 songs, arrange them in order, and imagine I was performing my own concert.

4. What’s your favorite state? Why?
Minnesota: it has my family, our lake cabin, Minneapolis, the chain of lakes (great running trails), I got married there, I was born there, and I ran a marathon there! It's a good state. :)

I also think AZ is a pretty cool state. It's often the warmest state in the country. And there's so much variety: Tucson desert, the Tucson mountains, Phoenix, lakes of Phoenix, Lake Havasu, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff (wintery and snowy), great camping, White Mountains, John McCain.


5. If it was our culture to have our parents choose our spouses, do you think yours would make a good choice?
Yes. I think they would have hand-picked Ryan to be my husband!
6. What’s your favorite herb?
Cilantro. It can really bring a fresh kick to many dishes -- Mexican food, many salads, and I make a cilantro-lime vinagerette that is great on salads. It can also complement Asian food too!

7. If you could have dinner with one celebrity, who would you choose?
Zooey Deschanel. I know very little about her personally. But, if she is anything like the blunt, dry characters she always plays -- I would love to have dinner with her. She's probably my favorite actress.

8. What’s your favorite Disney movie?
It is a tight race between The Little Mermaid and Aladin. I was obsessed with Aladin as a kid. I even changed my name to Jasmine. And I really have a liking for it's music. But I also loved The Little Mermaid.
9. If you had to listen to the same song over and over for 24 hours, what song would you choose?
The Beauty of her Soul - Sade. It's on an album I love to listen to/study to called "Songs Without Words". It's jus ta very simple piano song, and just beautiful! I hightly recommend it.
10. How do you order your steak?
The only thing keeping it from mooing is the fact that it has been seared on the grill! Okay, not really -- especially if it's at a restaurant. I would've trust a restaraunt to give it to me that rare. But at home, I like it pretty bloody!

Monday, March 1, 2010

February!

It's a new month!! I'm pleased, because I always like new weeks, new days, new months, etc..... But -- February seems to be one of my favorite months. Especially now that we live in AZ. The weather is in the 50-60's, lots of rain, I get to wear sweaters, grapefruit is in season, Valentine's Days, my birthday, only 28 days; good things!

But, I am ready for a fresh, new month! Especially since it's beginning with a week of vacation! So here is my month recap -- which I have un-creatively stolen from my dear sister, Lisa.

Current Book(s):

Ahh! This is soooo exciting, my friends! It is NOT a text book right now. (In about 5 days my book will be some "Psychiatric Nursing Text"). But for NOW.....

"The Sunflower" - Richard Paul Evans. I am currently at a coffee shop reading this, and had to force myself to put it down -- or I fear the book will be finished by the end of the day! This is the same author that wrote "The Christmas Box".

I got this book as part of my birthday present from Lisa, and it is probably best read I can recall in a long time! I may even consider doing a book review post upon finishing it?!
Current Music:
Reminiscing music, is what I would call it. I have been going through old cd's of Ryan's and mine. But mostly Ryan's. I found al these cd books of his from his high school and early college years. It's kind of fun listening to music of his from a "Pre-Abby" time period.

Plus, I love the good music of the 90's -- Matchbox Twenty, early Third-Eye Blind, etc. He even listened to Chicago! Which I never knew about him! The guy just keeps getting better! :)

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Well, right now I am feeling quite shameful and guilty. I am not doing anything productive. I am sitting in a coffee shop, reading a book, blogging, and being an absolute waste to society.

Nice.

Current Colors:
Yellow. It's springy. And my kitchen is currently decorated with lemons. I've taken these big, square, glass vases and filled them with lemons and limes. I'm not sure how long this will last, for I eat a lemon a day!
Current Obsessions:
My new heart rate monitor! It doesn't require a chest band to for readings. I got it from my husband for a birthday present -- which was amazing!

I used it this morning while I was spinning, and I had a great workout because I got to see where I was training! I always try to be 60-80% of my max heart-rate!

[Plus, I feel really "cool" and "techy" during my work-out periodically using the finger-pad on my watch to test my heart rate, and hearing it go *beep beep beep*. Wow, I'm a nerd]

Current Drink:
Crystal Light Immunity and Energy packets, with fresh squeezed lemon in it to give a nice ZIP (and some vitamin C). The Immunity is Pomegranate flavored, and Energy is Strawberry. Mmmm

Also, Riesling. Which is interesting. I always have hated white wine -- but am started to grow appreciation for it!
Current Song:
Hmmm...Probably "Real World" by Matchbox 20. Weird; but, as stated eariler, I'm on a kick with them lately! It brings back strong childhood memories.

Current Movie:
Hmmm....the most current movie I have seen is "The Informant" with Matt Damon. It was very interesting. I wish I had paid better attention. But of course, I was rummaging around the house, doing dishes, cleaning random things, and what-not. So at the end of the movie at the part where people start discussing it, I was thinking to myself "I have no idea what it was about!"

But, apparently it's interesting! So I think I'd recommend it?
Couple's Retreat was cute too!! :)

Current TV Shows:
Ahhh! The Bachelor!!! Finally is tonight. I am the most pathetic girl alive. I get sucked in. *cue in the critcism from the rest of the world* -- I know: it's shallow, fake, staged, and a huge waste of time. The girls are fake, cheap, and don't understand marraige. I still find it entertaining!
I've also enjoyed watching the Olympics. To be honest, this is the first time I've actually watched the winter ones!

Current Wish-List:
My child to come back to life. My child, being my basil plant. Ingrid, I have named her. I always say that if I had a daughter, I'd name her Ingrid. If I could have any name in the world, it'd be Ingrid. But I know that would never fly with my husband. So, my basil plant has taken that name.

And she is dead as a door-nail. I gave her too much water. Tap water. I have failed horrifically.
Current Needs:
Spring/Summer clothing. Okay, those are probably wants. But, my spring and summer clothing is quite out-dated. So I would like new ones!

Current Triumph:
I finished off my semester with A's! I smoked my final exams. So that makes me pleased.
I am also triumphant that I made a brand new chili recipe last night; using some interesting ingredients that I have never incorporated in chili before (sirloin beef roast, grilled/roasted anaheim peppers, serrano peppers, habeneros, unsweetend cocoa). I am going to be bold to say it was the best chili we have had!

Current Bane of my Existence:
Trying to be nice. So far...it's going okay. It's part of my lenten-resolution.

Sounds easy for most, not for me. It's not family, friends, patient's that this is a challenge. It's strangers. I will be doing a post mid-Lent to talk about this -- so I won't go into details.

Current Goal:
-Get an A in Psychiatric Nursing.
-Get my 6 mile time down to 48 minutes (8 min/mile)...I've currently at 8:07 for my fastest. Sounds easy -- but I'm having a tough time!
-Get an herb to grow and not die!!!!!! :( Poor Ingrid.
Current Indulgence:
This vacataion from school. It's full of fresh coffee (made with my new coffee bean-grinder thanks to my mom and dad!), cleaning house, cooking fun meals, excellent work outs, and reading! I could get used to this!

Current Blessings:
All the wonderful get-togethers, cards, phone-calls, birthday gifts, and love I received on my birthday weekend!

Current Slang or Saying:
"BSN, MSN, PhD.": Bull Shit Nursing degree, Made of Silly Nonsense, Piled high and deep. Heard that one last week in the midst of a very large paper that was the largest waste of time ever. So very accurate! BSN, MSN, PhD is a goal in my career life I would like to work towards. But sometimes I wonder if it's worth it........... ;)
Current (Fav) Outfit:
Jeans and sweaters, especially cardigans. I am desperately holding onto the last days of sweaters -- for I know soon the weather will be in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and beyond. I will miss sweaters. I like to be able to hide in warmth.

But soon, I will have to pull out the shorts, the capris, sundresses, tank-tops.......
I will make myself mentally ready for it when the day comes.

Current Excitement:
May 15! My husband graduates. I'm more excited for him to graduate than I am for me to graduate. He is quite stressed out lately..to the point where he is experience the physical effects of stress. Working 30+ hours weekly at Raytheon, doing his final semester of electrical engineering, tons of design projects, etc -- I can't wait for him to just have work!!!!!

And it kills me that there is nothing I can do to make it "relieved". My home-cooked meals, breakfasts, packed lunches, back rubs, coffee's mugs mixed with love, joining him on stress-relieving work outs, and clean houses -- does not make stress disappear.
Current Mood:
Calm and content! I am enjoying my break from nursing school!!!!!!