Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Thoughts

So whenever I write to you I try to make sure I'm in a positive frame of mind.  Unfortunately, most of the time, I'm not very happy or positive.  It's nice to get these moments of happiness to forget the sadness that I feel sometimes.

Anyway, my sister Kate came over last night.  We had dinner and watched movies and today we went to a pumpkin farm.  We saw a lot of animals, went through a corn maze, had some good food & got a couple of pumpkins.  There wasn't a very good selection this year but I guess that's what you get for going 1 week before Halloween... 

I'm planning on making dinner for my family next weekend..  What's a good family meal that's not pasta?  I'm kind of leaning towards a roasted chicken with veggies and my red potatoes.  What do you think?

I hope you all had a good weekend.  I'll write again soon!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Need to Clean

Hello!  It's been a few days.  How are you doing?

I'm actually feeling pretty good.  The dogs are doing much better and we're all able to sleep at night.  Mike & I have been having good conversations and are working together on things...  It's so nice to be communicating so well and being able to share the daily responsibilities.  It's helping me feel better about things.

We're going to try to head to the pumpkin farm this weekend with my sisters.  They're pretty busy on the weekends though so I'm not sure when we'll be going.  Probably Sunday afternoon?  That will give Mike time on Saturday to help his mother with her television (she needs a new one & blew him off last weekend) and get the car cleaned out.  Maybe we'll head over to my mom's and they'll let us use their Shop-Vac so we don't have to pay someone to vaccum the car out really good.

I need to be more organized at home.  It's driving me nuts!  When we first moved in, we didn't have anything & it was great!  No clutter..  No mess..  Now, we've got things everywhere.  I'd love to take an entire week to literally go through everything and throw out the things we don't want & need.  I mean..  Our storage unit is packed (with what?  I don't even remember) and our "den" is packed...  There are some memorabilia things that we should display, lots of photos, lots of things for scrapbooking...  I need it organized and I need to throw things out.  If anyone is interested in helping, let me know!  You can keep anything I'm going to toss.

On the other hand, there are still some things that we need.  We need a kitchen table & sturdy chairs, a sturdy patio set (chairs & a table would be a nice touch), a coffee maker (according to Mike - not Mr. Coffee??), a salad spinner, another sheet set, plastic hangers (I like to have all the same kind - sorry, I'm picky) & a tv stand (strong enough to hold what we've got & hopefully a new one in the next 2 years).  Oh yeah..  A king size headboard would be nice too.  We're going garage sale shopping next spring.  Mom, let me know when that neighborhood one comes up!

We've also talked briefly about painting.  Especially since we're planning on spending a few years here, it would be nice to add a splash of color.  If you have any opinions, let me know!

I've been wanting to go to church & enjoy it when I do go but I'm so lazy about it...  I don't want to get up when my alarm goes off or sleep too long or I get up & shower then don't want to do anything or go anywhere.  I'm sure it's a bit of depression slipping in so I've got to try to break free.  My mom invited me to a women's bible study group and I think it would be interesting to go (if for no other reason than getting to see my mom)...  It's Thursday nights, which mostly works out..  Why am I so indecisive?!?!

Well, I'm going to go now.  Hope you all enjoy your day!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Noisy Neighbors

So the people upstairs were loud - again - last night.  I don't understand it.  How can you be so loud?  Mike was out walking the dogs & someone came over & buzzed them.  They let the person in and as soon as the person got up to their apartment there was a loud thud!  WTF  Did they just drop their free-weights on the floor?

We're trying to live better lives...  We're trying to be good tenants, pay our bills and live a happy, quiet life.  They're just set on being assholes.

This morning, we notice a ticket on our car for no village sticker.  I didn't realize that we needed one although I guess I should have considering how nice of a city we live in - plus I could have asked mom and she would have told me.  But yeah..  Are any of the other cars without village stickers sitting with tickets on them?  Nah.  Just us.  There was a car parked in the space next to us - no sticker, no ticket.  Plus the envelope that had been sealed was already torn open.  Now that's interesting.  Oh, and the neighbors upstairs?  They were already gone for the day.

So yeah..  I called my mom.  She said she'll contact the officer and get more information.  This may be interesting.  I'm glad I have a connection so that I can at least figure out if it was called in.

So not that we need anything else to pay for right now.  Another $40 for the ticket & a village sticker which probably only costs about $20 (I'm hoping).  This is going to be a tight month.  We need to watch our budget and we'll be fine - especially with the OT coming up due to the holidays.

I guess that's about it.  I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Better Person

So I've been thinking that there are a lot of things that I'd like to do to make myself a better, happier person.  I want to feel like I'm a good, responsible, loving dog (pet) owner...

For example:
  • I'd love to wake up early in the morning, take the dogs for a walk, enjoy the peace of the morning before most people are up & out.
  • I'd love to be a "neat freak".  Everything in it's place..  Everything clean..  No clutter!  Wow.  Wouldn't that be great?!
  • I want to be healthy.  Eat healthy.  Be active (walking the dogs every morning has a double-bonus sort of thing...  Tackling two desires at once!).
  • I want to spend time training my dogs every day.  Chewy has so much that he needs to work on and I've failed to be on top of his training..
  • I want to do something special with Anna.  She's such a great dog and I would love to have her receive an honor.  I'm thinking about getting an AKC Canine Good Citizen certification.
I know that all of this sounds pretty easy...  I have just been so down that I don't feel like doing anything other than sleeping and doing nothing.

Have a great week!  I'll write more soon.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

See you on the flip side!

So last night, Mike & I are getting ready for bed when I take a moment to see how Anna's paw is doing.  It's pretty swollen and bruised (due to the poking & probing that the stupid vet did on Saturday) and I'm about to get up when I notice her ear...  It's covered in blood!  Apparently, she scratched the skin tag/whatever it is off and it started bleeding profusely.  The blood was everywhere and took about 45 minutes to clean & attempt to bandage.  Even with the bandage on, it was still bleeding.  We tried pressure, cleaning, band-aids, bandages...  It didn't stop until about 5am.  We had it covered for most of the time but she was able to get the bandaging off so we put the cone of shame on her for the night.  Needless to say, I didn't sleep well.  Our walls are splattered with blood & it looks like someone was murdered.  She shakes her head so violently.

Anyway...  Before we left for work, we noticed that it had coagulated and put the cone of shame on her.  She'll spend the day out of the cage but be spending a lot of time with the cone.  Hopefully, the swelling & bruising on her foot will subside soon.  I have it wrapped just in case.

I had a McDonald's breakfast this morning.  The sandwich (Egg McMuffin) was pretty good but I'm starting to taste the aftertaste of the hasbrown...  Ugh..  I hate the feeling & aftertaste of them.  They taste so good when you're eating them but when you're finished it's sooooo gross.  I can feel my insides screaming because of all the grease and processed food.  Ew.  I'll be having some left-over mexican food (tortillas, black beans, rice, ground beef & guac) for lunch so hopefully I won't continue to feel the greasiness.  Plus I have an apple & peanut butter...  Yum!  I've been liking that snack.  Mom, did you ever cut up apples with peanut butter for me when I was little?  I remember the celery...

Anyway, I'm listening to my playlist right now. Jason Mraz "I'm Yours" song just came on.  I like this song so much!  :)  I think it's his acoustic version.  I love acoustic versions of songs.

Well, I guess that's about all I have for today.  I have one of my massive headaches so I'm going to go rest my eyes for a little while.  See you on the flip side!

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's that time of year!

Well, October now seems to be in full swing!  It's the beginning of the first full week and the weather is definately fall weather!  Every time someone asks me what my favorite season is, I jump to say spring but then fall comes around and I feel conflicted.  I love the crisp, cool air, the changing colors, wearing jeans and sweaters...  The sun is usually shining which helps with my emotions.  I love gathering together with family for the holidays - especially Thanksgiving!  This time of year makes me think of the next and I get excited that there are new opportunities out there.  Of course, eveyone makes their "New Year Resolutions" but really, you can make a resolution any time of the year.  I think it's the feeling of starting fresh that gets everyone pumped up for new goals at the beginning of the year.  It's like you haven't failed yet.

With me..  I feel that fall is pretty fresh.  I took a short walk from the Target to work this morning and started thinking about how much I like taking photos and how cool it could be to have a year in photos.  I think I'd like to do that...  Take at least one photo every day and post it her maybe...  I could write a little blurb about the photo, why I took it, what it made me think about...  What do you think?

I've joined a book club!  I'm so excited to be attending my first meeting on Friday...  Of course, since it's October, we're reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  The way that this book club works is that we read the book then meet to discuss it.  I got the book a couple of weeks ago and am having a hard time reading it.  I'm only on page 38 and it's sooooooo boring.  I feel like such a jerk!  I'm hoping that if I struggle through a little more, it will get interesting and I'll be able to finish it by Friday.  Of course, I'm using my extra time at work today writing this blog so I guess that's not helping!  LOL

Anywho...  There's a lot coming up this weekend.  Book Club on Friday, Dentist on Saturday & the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  My sister-in-law's husband is running in it again & there's a party afterwards.  We missed the party last year for whatever reason I cannot remember and are set to go this time.

This week is Customer Service week at work.  We've been in business for 22 years and pride ourselves in providing that extra special customer experience.  Here's a little tidbit from our CEO!

We are also celebrating the 22nd Anniversary of ConferencePlus this month.  It is a significant accomplishment that ConferencePlus has been able to thrive through many changes in the past 22 years.  It is through the commitment of our dedicated employees that we are able to adapt and change as our Customers and the competitive environment in which we operate change.  Continuing to focus on exceptional Customer Service has been a hallmark of ConferencePlus in the past and will be something we focus on continually.

A high quality customer experience is the foundation of all that we do at ConferencePlus.  In order to provide this type of service, it is important that we enjoy our work and have fun in our jobs.  When we succeed in this critical effort, it is readily apparent in our voices, and customers and co-workers alike will take notice.  They may even say "you sound like you're in a great mood!" or thank you for your upbeat attitude.  Your mood translates into everything you do; if you find ways to enjoy what you do every day, it will show.  Ultimately, this makes our customers experience even better!

Customer Service is not just about providing a high-quality service that works.  Customer Service is also about responding to customer inquiries with accurate information, addressing any problems that occur in a timely fashion and constantly striving to improve.  Spend some time this week thinking about your interactions with customers as well as what Customer Service means to you.  Each of us has a role to play in servicing our customers, and the experiences you have as a consumer can serve as powerful examples of what exceptional customer service and not-so-exceptional customer service looks like.

Since we cease to exist as a company without our customers, it is imperative that we focus on providing value in everything we do.  We need to remember that customers have a choice, and we need to take every opportunity available to make customers believe they have made the right choice with ConferencePlus.

I am so proud to be a part of a company that recognizes and prides itself in customer service excellence and excellent employee relations.  I thank God for this opportunity and hope that I will be able to continue to learn and grow with such a great company.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Da Bears

So the Chicago Bears are playing again tonight..  The game started around 7:30pm (CST) against the New York Giants.  Since it's October, it's Breast Cancer Awareness month and the guys are all wearing pink gloves, pink on their shoes, a pink sash (I even asked my husband if they were playing "flag football" tonight) and there are special hats with pink on them.  Now, as you know, I am not an avid sports fan..  I began watching the game with my husband because that's what he wanted to do.  Unfortunately, there were a few plays that even I could recognize as being terrible by the Bears and I decided to take a long, hot shower and give you guys a head's up as to what's going on in my mind this weekend.  As an update, Cutler got a pretty bad concussion and is out for the rest of the game..  The score is currently 10-3 (Giants) so my husband isn't very happy.


We took Anna to the vet yesterday...  The vet attempted to take a sample of the cells in Anna's growth on her foot and didn't really seem successful.  I'm not sure I like this vet..  She's pretty condescending..  Mike didn't like her either.  However, assuming the samples are good, we should have some results by the end of the week.

I'm pretty down..  I know that's not too abnormal for me but it's still something to note.

I guess that's about all for tonight.  I hope you're all doing well.  Talk to you again soon.

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Strange Dreams

I have strange dreams.  They're usually very vivid and I can usually remember them when I wake up.  Over the past few years, they've been kind of violent.  There's a lot of running and fighting..  I'm usually the main character of my dreams, running and fighting to protect someone.  However, last night was a nice change of tempo.  I was shopping! :)  I know, every girl's dream!  Anyway, I'm supposedly shopping at Costco but it's like a variation of Costco, Target and IKEA.  I went in with a very short list and got only what was on the list.  These items were small, not in bulk so I guess I was shopping in the Target-y area of the store.  When I was getting ready to check out, I realized that I had left my coupon somewhere so I got an associate to help me find it & when I did, I realized that there was an envelope from my father.  It had a short note on a colored, striped piece of paper (not rainbow but brown and green) that was the top page of a new pad of paper (the rest of the pages were white with rainbow colored lines) & hundreds of dollars asking if I would grab him some of his favorite cookies.  Then I saw a note on a piece of paper with an XBox 360 controller on it from my brother asking me to get some snack things.  It said something about wanting healthy snacks but then asked for those square chewy caramels and Christmas cookies.  So I continued my shopping with my now personal shopper guy and he brought me to the bulk snack area.  It was HUGE.  I found the caramels and had to crawl into my father's crawlspace to find all the cookies.  I also found Christmas cards and was looking for Christmas postcards but couldn't find any.  So I got out of the crawlspace and into a basement-type area where there was a lady there with a blanket and a friend & she was asking if someone could write nicely with iodine.  Apparently she wanted someone to write a name on the blanket she was carrying with iodine.  Yeah...  Then I woke up.

Of course, after I have dreams that are exceptionally strange and seem to flow, I want to search for answers.  What does it mean?  Why did I dream about that?  I find myself (with this dream anyway) able to place why I was dreaming about certain things or people..  I dreampt about the Christmas cards & postcards because I read something on Wednesday about buying Christmas postcards to save money because they're cheaper to mail than cards.  I dreampt about the Christmas selection of goodies and decorations because I was in Target last weekend & saw them plus I talked to my mom about the fact that Christmas decorations are already showing up in stores.  I dreampt about my father writing me a letter because I've been thinking a lot about the fact that he doesn't write me.  I dreampt about my brother and his XBox 360 controller because I think he was playing games with Mike right when I was going to bed.  I guess my dad's crawlspace was there because I miss being a part of the family.  Also, the crawlspace is where the Christmas decorations are stored.  That's about all I can figure.  I don't know why I dreampt (sp?) about my father giving me hundreds of dollars or why the colors on the paper that he wrote on were so vivid...

Other than my strange dreams, there's been more that I've been thinking about.  Yesterday, I got to meet up with a friend that I haven't seen since we graduated high school.  As someone so kindly pointed out, "Wow, you graduated in 2001?  That was a loooooong time ago!"  Yeah.  It's been 9 years.  So she's in town for a friend's wedding and we got together for lunch yesterday.  We went to Golden Corral since it was cheap, has good food and her 3 year old would be ok there and talked a lot.  She looked beautiful like always and was easy to talk to.  She also brought a girl named Katie who was going to watch her son while she & Hallie (the bride) went to get mani/pedi after lunch.  It was really great to catch up with her and learn a little more about her life.  I miss having friends.

That reminds me of something that my husband said the other day.  We were talking about the Bears/Packers game and he said, "Well, I would have liked to have a party but you have to have friends first."  I don't know why but it made us both start laughing so hard!  It's sad but true.  We don't really have any friends and we're mostly too depressed to keep in touch with anyone.  I know that Mike used to be really good friends with a couple of people but he always did the "work".  Whenever they did anything, Mike had to go to them.  Whenever anything was planned, Mike did the calling to bring everyone together.  I know, it doesn't seem like him but it was.  So we moved away and Mike became more depressed and wasn't able to keep in touch.  When we came back we met up with them and it's like they've become different people.  Then something happened and they haven't spoken since.  As far as I go, I find myself stuck between sharing too much information about myself too early or not wanting to share anything.  It's like I don't understand the bounds of a friendship and it's almost like I don't want to waste my time with a friendship that's just going to be a superficial friendship.  I want to be able to talk to someone, have them listen, give advice or thoughts and I want to be the someone that my friend can come to to talk, have someone (me) listen & I want to be able to give thoughts/advice if the friend desires it.  I've had a few friends like that in my life but something happens..  With Julie, Mike & I moved back to the Chicagoland area and we're falling away from each other.  We don't see each other almost every day and so we don't share anything any more - not really anyway.  I have a couple girls here at work that I think I could be really good friends with and I'm just trying to take it slow..  I mean, I'm not really here to make friends but it's nice to have a couple people I can talk to a little & who are willing to share things with me too.

Anyway..  Sorry about that tangent..

I did want to say that there are some days that I really want to write for all of you and let you know how I'm feeling - especially when I'm feeling really down - but I know that there are some things that you just don't want to know - and probably shouldn't.  I guess this goes back to my "bounds" comment earlier.  What are the bounds of this blogging relationship?  I know I post this to Facebook and I e-mail it to a couple of people..  But I guess there are just things that should be left unsaid.

I hope all is well for you, my reader(s), and I hope you have a great weekend.

~ S

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I Just Want to Be Ok by Sarah A. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.