Monthly Archives: January 2011

Five on Friday


In which I clear out the random pictures on my iPhone……

1.  Here’s what Mr. CPQ’s been doing since I posted a new best time on Solitaire.

Competitive much?

2.  I went to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit yesterday with my pal June.  We almost got kicked out because yours truly was whipping out her iPhone to take funny pictures of the two of us inside the exhibit and a lovely little security guard was RIGHT ON TOP OF THINGS and reminded us that photography was prohibited.

So I did the next best thing and photographed June outside the museum gift shop where she bought little bird earrings because little birds had absolutely nothing to do with the exhibit we saw.

3.  This made me laugh.

4.  For the most part I have done a fairly decent job of making better food choices this month with the exception of ordering the warm spinach dip at Carolina Ale House but I must admit it is extremely hard to pass these up.



5.  And to end on a very happy note, I am mere weeks away from this.


Let’s all sigh together.


Have a nice day.

Just the facts, ma’am

1.  I discovered the reason my work contract was inadvertently ended was because they kept sending renewal notices to my former boss.

I say “former” because she got laid off.

Last July.

And no one bothered to update the procurement people.

2.  I discovered that when your contract is terminated, all your program/data files are erased from the network.




And no, I didn’t save anything to my hard drive because I was concerned that my laptop would get stolen or the hard drive would crash, and the network servers are the safest place to store data, right?

3.   I discovered that IT likes to make life difficult because they don’t like to go hunting on backup servers for lost data.

4.  I discovered that stressing over losing three years worth of work can bring on a migraine.

5.  I discovered that migraines can make you hurl.


I’m an over-sharer.

That’s why I blog.

6.  I still want my mommy when I’m sick.

7.  Life looked a little brighter this morning when I remembered I had parked a copy of my program files on a shared drive last November so that other people could access it for analysis.  And yes, they were still there.


8.  I celebrated by getting my hair done.

Again with the over-sharing.

9.  My stylist said he wanted to be on the blog (Hi, Scott!)

10.  And I now have bangs.

And bags under my eyes.

Have a nice day.

Long Ago In A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Well, I went back to work today and I’ll have you know that I successfully managed to get into the supply closet without creating a SECURITY INCIDENT.

I did, however, end up on some security footage because I had to steal relocate a trashcan out of the upstairs lobby.

But more on that later.

The last time I was working physically in the office was late November.  If you’ll recall, at that time there was a big reorganization and my group ended up packing all our files and moving to another floor and when we arrived at our new location, I didn’t have a desk.  Not to be deterred, I borrowed space daily from whomever happened to be traveling or out sick and that was fine because  it was a short-term inconvenience since I was going to work from home in December while the boys were tracked out of school.

But the boys are back in school now and the office wants me to work more days so when I showed up and still didn’t have a space, I knew it just wasn’t going to fly.  I spied a cubicle that was filled with trash, old computer equipment and the entire floor’s recycling boxes that everyone was issued but no one wanted to keep and decided to claim it for myself.

I called Facilities and in my sweetest voice told them that my cubicle was full of equipment and junk and could they please send someone to clean it out and while they were at it could they please bring me an office chair and a file cabinet because mine seemed be missing.

They didn’t bat an eyelash.

So now I had a desk and a chair but I was missing a trashcan but I solved that problem by relieving the upstairs lobby of one of the NINE they had in an area no bigger than my living room (these are a tidy people I work with) and sat down to start in on the month’s worth of backlog I had waiting.

I was prepared for slogging through a lot of paperwork but I WASN’T prepared for what I found tucked between the pages when I opened the very first file.  It was certainly a warm welcome back to corporate America.

And no, it wasn’t mine.

Have a nice day, and may the fork be with you.

In which I hang out with the boss

The phone call came late Wednesday that my account manager had succeeded in landing a new work contract so I went to Mr. CPQ’s office Thursday morning to sign paperwork which, once again, gives me the privilege of playing musical desks at the cube farm.

In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m contracted through his professional services and consulting firm to another company where I wear binder clips as a wardrobe accessory and routinely lock myself out of the supply closet.

Mr. CPQ rejoiced at the news because it meant a) he’d legitimately be the boss of me for 15-20 hours a week; b) he’d have a few paycheck dollars rolling in to fund my hairapy sessions; and c) he’d see me in something other than blown out Clarks and yoga pants.

My very hard pilgrim shoes.

I hung out in his office while he held a staff meeting which sounds boring but it wasn’t because I had this to keep me occupied.

After his meeting was over, we went to our attorney’s office to enjoy a delightful two hours talking about power of attorney, living wills, trust funds, pulling the plug, and farming out our children if we both got hit by a bus.

Fun times, my friends.  Fun times.

Feeling confident in our newly executed wills, we then tempted fate by eating strip mall sushi.


I’m sure it was a little more authentic than what we usually have but in this instance, I think I preferred the Americanized version.

There were a few things that were just a little too mysterious for me.

And then my idyllic morning of uncomfortable shoes, morbid conversations, and questionable sanitation was over and my mean boss cracked the whip and told me to get back to work.

If you insist.

Have a nice day.




Adios, compadre

We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun…..

Gone but not forgotten.

Tuesday Tidbits

1.  My children practiced the art of hospitality yesterday.  A friend of mine was driving by the house and decided to pop in for a quick visit.  The boys saw her car and ran out to greet her and told her to go on inside and that she would find me in the back of the house.

So she did.

And she found me.

In my bedroom.

Taking a nap.

Scared the living bejeebers out of me.

2.  I’m back on the meal planning wagon.  I took inventory of the freezer and pantry supplies and I’ve easily got a month’s worth of meals stashed away.  Other than milk, eggs, bread, and produce, I’m going to try to avoid a major grocery run for the next four weeks.

Another plus?  Less to pack and move when we sell this house.

Which we haven’t yet.

Because it takes us a sweet forever to get around to doing things.

Hello, unfinished quilt.

3.  Today’s purple smoothie was brought to you by green grapes, frozen strawberries, and red cabbage.  It was delicious.

4.  If you’ve tried calling to discuss my current smoothie fixation, you might have gotten a constant ring when you dialed our number.  Our house phone went out three days ago and we’re considering not getting it fixed and just switching to cell phones.

If you are an IRL friend, please call my cell phone if you need to chat (and email me if you need the number).

5.  After four failed attempts at crocheting rows that contain an equal number of stitches, I ditched the hook and picked up my faithful knitting needles and started a new project last night.

They’re wrist warmers which will keep my hands toasty and accessorized and hopefully the cheerful orange and yellow will lift my spirits while I wait for this interminable winter to end.

Plus I don’t have to worry about fiddling with knitting fingers.

And they’ll still allow me to text.

Priorities, people.

Have a nice day.

Monday Musings

It was sort of a dreary weekend around the house.  Mr. CPQ came back into town on Friday from a business trip and brought a nasty upper respiratory infection with him that pretty much knocked him flat on his back for the better part of three days.

Which means that for the better part of three days there’s been a lot of sighing, aimless wandering, and bemoaning the crackheads who have rendered modern decongestants ineffective.

But enough about me.

The boys had Saturday school to make up for the ice day earlier in the week so I convinced my husband that a date with me, orange juice and blueberry muffins from Mimi’s Cafe would make him feel better.  He perked up enough to go with me to wander Costco and while we were there, he was lured by the siren song of the Vita-Mix demonstration lady.

He’s been wanting a mack-daddy blender for a long time and since we had to return his karaoke machine because it didn’t work right, he had some store credit to work with and all it took was a well-timed “I think you should get this for yourself” and it came home with us.

Along with $834,387,267 worth of produce to blend in the thing.

We’ve been making non-stop smoothies and milkshakes in the house and last night I made AND HEATED black bean soup in the blender jar in 4 minutes flat.


2 cans black beans, drained

1 can Rotel

2-3 cups of chicken stock

chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic powder to taste

Blend for 4 minutes.

At 240 m.p.h.

Then today for lunch, I made my first green smoothie with kale, an apple, and some frozen raspberries.

Please ignore the processed, canned soup in the background.


It was delicious and apple-y and tart and you would never know there were 8 grams of fiber and 1000% of my daily allowance of Vitamin K lurking in the glass.

Though clearly it looks like something is lurking in there.

Have a nice day.

A Mixed Bag of Five on Friday

1.  I conveniently scheduled a meeting at lunchtime yesterday so that I could eat at Suwasdee.

Don’t let the friendly little rice bear fool you.

The red curry chicken was four-glasses-of-tea spicy.

2.  I’m still without a work contract and you would think that my house would be spotless with all this extra time on my hands.

You would think wrongly.

3.  I’ve been practicing releasing things over which I have no control to God.  That’s been difficult this week with news of fellow blogger Joanne Heim and a diagnosis of multiple aggressive malignant tumors found in a college friend’s young daughter, but it has kept me on my knees in prayer and led to some good conversations with the people I love.

4.  The people I love are ready for me to stop wearing my hair in a ponytail so I’ve finally scheduled an appointment to go in and cut it shorter after a year of growing it out. 

Still not sure if the bangs are coming back.

5.  A new Dunkin Donuts conveniently opened a mile from school and I have rediscovered my love for the old-fashioned.

I may also rediscover those four pounds I lost.



Hope you guys have a great weekend. 

Have a nice day.

In which I explain my absence

People, this little quilting project is taking over my life.

It started innocently enough when I brought the fabric home last week.  Mr. CPQ had to be gone over the weekend so I thought it would be a good time to work on it.  I cut out my squares Thursday night, then Friday night I started laying them out on the floor.

And I didn’t like the look.

So I rearranged them.

And still didn’t like it.

So I rearranged them a third time.

And a fourth.

And the reason I kept rearranging was because I didn’t have enough fabric to do what I wanted to because I CUT THE SQUARES OUT WRONG and basically had to ditch the pattern I had picked out within ten minutes of starting.

Why, yes, it would have been helpful to at least read a book about quilting before starting a project like this.

Did I do that?

Have we met?

I finally settled on layout #7 that was generally pleasing.

And then proceeded to ignore the plaintive calls for food from my children for the entire day on Saturday while I stitched together the top.

But I wasn’t happy with how plain it looked, so I decided to add a border.

And then I thought the border needed a border, so I added on some more.

And then, you guess it, some more after that.

And then higher math eluded me and I bought too much batting so I decided to add two layers of batting because one seemed a little skimpy, and I now have this ginormously thick, heavy, unwieldy quilt sandwich that I’m trying to finish sewing up and it’s taking me a sweet forever plus a new sewing needle every three hours or so because I’m trying to rush doing something wrong and sending needle shards flying across the kitchen with alarming regularity.

On the bright side, I can now change a needle in a matter of seconds without having to consult the owner’s manual.

I was hoping to show you the finished product today but I had to make a little detour to the massage therapist because I got a crick in my neck from sitting at the machine too long I think it’s going to take another week or so to complete and it may be a while before I tackle the next project.

But I do already have the fabric for it.

In sufficient yardage.

Have a nice day.





Lunch with Laura Beth

If you look in the dictionary under the word “confidence” most likely you’ll find a  picture of my junior year roommate, Laura Beth.  She was goal-oriented, hard charging, commanding, focused, and ran our hallway with the skill of a drill sergeant.

She was ROTC.

Those girls were hard-core.

I was not ROTC.

That would have required me to exercise.

I was just starting to come into my own about my junior year.  I was fresh off a breakup of a two-year relationship, I had just started making a few close friends here and there, but I was still pretty reserved and wallflowery at the time.  One night as we were sitting around the dorm room, LB, in her inimitable fashion said, “Sus, I need to tell you something.  You have GOT to hold your head up, girl.”

I looked at her like she was crazy because I had no idea what she was talking about.  When I asked her to explain what she meant, she told me that she had observed me in the cafeteria that day.

“Susan, do you realize that when you walk across the cafeteria, you never look up?  Your head is down, you don’t look around at other people, you avoid eye contact, and you act like you’re afraid to be in there.”

I have to admit, I was a teeny bit afraid of the meatloaf.

Parts of it were unrecognizable and scary.

Food issues aside, you know what?

She was 100% right.

I wasn’t confident.  I didn’t want to be in that cafeteria.  I didn’t have the nerve to just sit down next to anybody. I didn’t think people liked me. I didn’t know how to approach people, and after two years of being there, I didn’t know that many people because my life had revolved around my now non-existent boyfriend.



Laura Beth continued. “Head up, shoulders back from now on.  You have nothing to  hide from and nothing to be afraid of.  If I catch you slouching in the cafeteria again, I’m going to call you out on it in front of everybody.”

With that one little conversation, she put the fear of God in me changed my outlook .

I started walking taller, looking people in the eye, engaging others around me, and my world opened up, all because of my bossy roommate who loved me enough to express confidence in me and speak truth to my life.

I meant to tell her this story when we had lunch together in Cary last week, but after eighteen years of not seeing each other, we had a lot of catching up to do about everything else and I didn’t get around to mentioning how significant that thirty-second dorm room conversation was in my life. I’m remedying that now.

Thanks, Laura Beth. You set me on a new path and gave me the boost I needed to go forth and conquer.

Or at least walk across a room.

You can hold your own head high knowing you’re the best bossy roommate I ever had.

Have a nice day.