Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Technology Old School

I had an interesting experience this morning.  For a presentation to some of my colleagues, we needed to borrow a projector and screen from the Tech center on campus.  My colleague went over to collect the equipment.  The screen would not fit in her car.  So she called another colleague with an SUV.  The students working in the Center watched her make two trips to carry the rolling suitcase and then the unwieldy screen down from the third floor to her car.

When we got the screen to our second floor location (no elevator) in another building, and mind you this is quite heavy and about 7 feet long, it was difficult to figure out how to open the tripod legs.  Then the screen itself, which retracts into the housing, was stuck.  It was evident from the dirt in the end of it, that it had been dropped out of doors and damaged.  We asked a co-worker in a neighboring department if we could borrow his brute strength and significant height (read leverage) advantage to help us open the screen.  Through that strength and improvising with a scissor blade since we had no screwdriver, he was able to open the screen after a bit of prying. 

Then we had to find an extension cord for the projector since it is three prong and not all the outlets in this building are three prong.  We actually had to unplug a computer and printer to do this (luckily this office is not currently in use).  The projector quality was dubious - it significantly changed the colors of the images we were projecting from our computer. 

I asked the Tech center to please come pick up the equipment (they wanted us to bring it back to them).  Apparently this was too much to ask - they don't have access to a van or a van driver or something!  Clearly we need to look into getting our own equipment!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Husbands

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I read a good article recently from a woman named Kitti Murray, a self described voracious reader, slow runner, decent writer, and killer cappucino maker. In it she talks about how spouses grow, change and mature over time.  The article resonates with many, and the author encourages us to celebrate what is good, what God is doing, in the lives of our spouses.

"The growth journey is more arduous and the destination more glorious than we can imagine at the outset. It is long enough to include some pretty discouraging lulls and even a pit or two. But if God is a God who sits on his throne and says, 'Behold I am making all things new,' (Revelation 21:3, ESV), then growth is more like a continual birth than the result of a seminar. That it happens at all is that kind of miracle."
 
Thankful to be married to a wonderful man all these years.  Encouraged to stand back and see what God is doing in and through him.  



The growth journey is more arduous and the destination more glorious than we can imagine at the outset. It is long enough to include some pretty discouraging lulls and even a pit or two. But if God is a God who sits on his throne and says, “Behold I am making all things new,” (Revelation 21:3, ESV), then growth is more like a continual birth than the result of a seminar. That it happens at all is that kind of miracle. - See more at: http://www.startmarriageright.com/2013/10/you-probably-didnt-marry-a-grown-up-husband/#sthash.1rZfcYlT.dpuf
The growth journey is more arduous and the destination more glorious than we can imagine at the outset. It is long enough to include some pretty discouraging lulls and even a pit or two. But if God is a God who sits on his throne and says, “Behold I am making all things new,” (Revelation 21:3, ESV), then growth is more like a continual birth than the result of a seminar. That it happens at all is that kind of miracle. - See more at: http://www.startmarriageright.com/2013/10/you-probably-didnt-marry-a-grown-up-husband/#sthash.1rZfcYlT.dpuf
The growth journey is more arduous and the destination more glorious than we can imagine at the outset. It is long enough to include some pretty discouraging lulls and even a pit or two. But if God is a God who sits on his throne and says, “Behold I am making all things new,” (Revelation 21:3, ESV), then growth is more like a continual birth than the result of a seminar. That it happens at all is that kind of miracle. - See more at: http://www.startmarriageright.com/2013/10/you-probably-didnt-marry-a-grown-up-husband/#sthash.1rZfcYlT.dpuf
The growth journey is more arduous and the destination more glorious than we can imagine at the outset. It is long enough to include some pretty discouraging lulls and even a pit or two. But if God is a God who sits on his throne and says, “Behold I am making all things new,” (Revelation 21:3, ESV), then growth is more like a continual birth than the result of a seminar. That it happens at all is that kind of miracle. - See more at: http://www.startmarriageright.com/2013/10/you-probably-didnt-marry-a-grown-up-husband/#sthash.1rZfcYlT.dpuf
The growth journey is more arduous and the destination more glorious than we can imagine at the outset. It is long enough to include some pretty discouraging lulls and even a pit or two. But if God is a God who sits on his throne and says, “Behold I am making all things new,” (Revelation 21:3, ESV), then growth is more like a continual birth than the result of a seminar. That it happens at all is that kind of miracle. - See more at: http://www.startmarriageright.com/2013/10/you-probably-didnt-marry-a-grown-up-husband/#sthash.1rZfcYlT.dpuf

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Habits

I follow a blog that recently had these suggestions about creating new habits successfully:

"In practice, doing habits one month at a time is fast. In one year you could:
  • Wake up earlier
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat properly
  • Set up a productivity system
  • Establish deliberate practice time for your craft
  • Become more organized
  • Read a book per month
  • Cut out wasteful Internet surfing
  • Keep your e-mail inbox empty
  • Cut down on television
  • Learn a new skill
  • Maintain a journal or diary"
I've highlighted the ones in blue that resonated with me.  Early to Rise inspired me to get going in the mornings and use my time to do what is important to me.  So far I've succeeded at 2 of these (running and rising early) and made progress in 3 more (journaling, reading, watercolor/drawing).  Where will I be this time next year?  I feel fully alive now and am excited about living intentionally.

You can read the whole blog about developing habits here.

What resonates with you?

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Thanksgiving List

  • friendships old and new - especially Sarah W and Lisa N
  • a weekend getaway to beautiful Gig Harbor
  • eagles and seals
  • the beauty of nature
  • photography
  • the ocean
  • my extended family
  • my hubby
  • my girls
  • my home
  • my job
  • J'town
  • my Kindle
  • challenges
  • health
  • the purple pen that I wrote this list with

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Outdoor Art


This outdoor artwork turned our front entryway from drab and dull to absolutely stunning. We love it. The 'water' just shimmers. The piece has movement and light and gorgeous color. It was everything we hoped and more. As the artist recommended, we are planning to put up a light for nighttime viewing.   I've been considering outdoor art for quite some time and finally took the plunge after lots of looking around. So glad I did!

What I'm Reading










Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bat Phones


We call them the bat phones. 

It's that time of year again ... Phonathon at our university Alumni Office. 


The bank of red phones is about to be set up in our Alumni office.  Crammed into a small room on the third floor of this old tudor style house will be 14 red push button phones on long tables.  Crammed into that same room will be 14 student callers making nightly calls.

This year we are going high tech by adding headsets.  We are low tech in most respects – we print all the information on individual sheets that are color coded. 

The callers have a practice night where they make calls to some of our staff and friends – each  staff member is given a persona and a scenario that they must act out on the telephone call.  The student callers are then given feedback on how they handled the calls prior to beginning the actual phonathon.  


I’m curious if you, my reader, receive calls from your alma mater?  Do you dread these calls or look forward to them?  Do you pick up the phone and chat or do you let it go to voicemail?  What would make you want to pick up the phone?



Monday, August 26, 2013

Reflections


O God of creation, may we use the times of quiet reflection to hear your still, small voice in our hearts.






O God of creation, replenish us with Living Water, fill us, that we may overflow and pour out your love to those around us.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Running

At age 52 I took up running.  I feel fully alive.  So great to get outside in the early morning and get the blood flowing.  I am energized and ready to face the day.

I was a runner.  I am a runner.  Okay, I am a jogger.  I used to be a runner - briefly, in my twenties.  I like running.  I don't like running.  When I set out, I feel like, "there is no way I can do this."  At the end I say, "wow, I did it" and that feels great.  So, I recently took up running again.  I am feeling pretty good about the exercise, though I am very slow and find it hard.  I am doing intervals of running and walking with the amount of running/jogging increasing each week.

Who knew running was such an expensive sport.  I have gradually acquired more clothes, shoes, and stuff as I have become committed to doing it.  I started with what I had, but then I bought some better shoes and a few sleeveless tops.  And some socks - did you know you can pay $14.95 for ONE PAIR of socks?  But they are good - super cushioned - and make my feet much happier.  Then I got some shorts.  Then more socks.  A towel that is supposed to keep me cool.  My latest purchase, a strap that holds both my water bottle and my iPhone - and my hand doesn't get tired.  Since I have the exercise program on my phone that tells me when to run, when to walk and increases the time gradually, I need my phone but my hand is too sweaty to hold it.  And in this heat, I need the water bottle.   I'm sure I don't really NEED any of these things, but I enjoy them and they help me.

So look for me at the park in the early morning or at the gym.  And give me a smile or a nod of encouragement.

Shadows

Stairs at Longwood Gardens at night

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Colors


Taken at Longwood Gardens.

Beginner Drawings

I'm going to go out on a limb here and post some of my early drawings.  These were both made after about a month of drawing and shading simple shapes and practicing basic exercises.  I still have a long way to go, but in the spirit of "ship something" (a la Seth Godin) and the inspiration of the Early to Rise challenge, I'm going to share these two drawings with the world.  They are by no means 'good' or perfect, but I am pleased with how they came out, and more importantly, how much I am learning.

 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Conversations among Introverts

I am not a very good conversationalist. (Shh, don't tell my friends - they might disagree!)  I grew up in a family that loves small talk and social gatherings. I am an introvert so I am not very talkative. Let me give you an example. At a recent cocktail party, I met another woman was also an introvert. Let's call her Lizzy.  Lizzy runs a nonprofit so I asked her if the organization was a 501(c)(3). That is a yes or no question. It didn't get very far. Since Lizzy seems to be an introvert she said something to the effect of 'yes it is'. So then I asked what was their primary source of fundraising. And Lizzy replied that it was an annual gala dinner.

And from there the conversation fizzled.  Not that I didn't try.  But it is hard to find ways of connecting with a total stranger. Unlike one of my children who never seems to meet a stranger, I do not instantly connect with very many people.  I am not adept at thinking of good conversation starters or open ended questions.  I don't think on my feet like some people.  I am better at listening.  I process things internally and not verbally.  My best mode of expression is probably writing, but even there I lean toward brevity. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fully Alive

I work with a wonderful group of colleagues.  Our newest team member regularly accomplishes the impossible, usually before lunch, and always with a positive attitude.  She is full of enthusiasm and ideas.  Another colleague made a remark to me recently about how she was doing things to grow personally - and she had taken up running and another hobby.  She had just run a 5k and felt great.

I was impressed and inspired by her desire to grow and stretch herself.  And it challenged me to get serious, to be intentional about some of the things I have been meaning to do.  So, I've taken up drawing.  I try to practice for 10-15 minutes per day most days.  I don't get to it every day, but I have consistently been working at it for about 5 weeks now and am pleased to see that I am learning and improving.  I also decided to get serious about exercise.  I found that I already had an app on my phone which had a program for beginning runners which alternates walking and running, gradually increasing the amount of time spent running.  It takes about 30-35 minutes and I have been doing it 3 times per week for the last four weeks.  It's still hard, and I'm not great at it - I'm pretty slow.  But I am going to keep at it.

My next challenge is a book I just ordered called The Early to Rise Experience.  It has 30 days of readings and inspirational messages.  The promo for the book states "Mornings are pregnant with ideas, wisdom and peace. They are an untapped source for a more productive, balanced and joyful life." Now I obviously know that I can get up earlier without reading a book!  And I am naturally a morning person, but we all need a little kick sometimes to remind us to do what we really want and not sleep in when we could be living life to the full!

It's exciting to see how all these proactive strategies are feeding my creative juices and making me more intentional, more thoughtful.  I am full of expectation and fully alive.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Heritage Academy

Heritage Academy ... home to my girls for their middle and high school years.  a solid Christian education. Heritage encouraged them to think, to study, to articulate, to combine faith and learning.  Heritage is unique: it is one of just a few "university model schools" in the country.  Students have classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; then are responsible for a heavy load of work at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

My girls were well prepared for college since they had learned how to work independently and diligently; they learned to take ownership of their assignments and their workload.  The staff and faculty at the school are fabulous and all work very hard to provide an exceptional experience for the students.  Electives, sports, mission trips, honor society, praise and worship, theatre ... you name it, you can find it at Heritage.

Here's a shout out to all the wonderful families at Heritage ... thank you for the privilege of being part of this great community seeking to raise up the next generation to love and serve God faithfully!

Friday, June 14, 2013

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, USA


This is for anyone who lives in Atlanta, who has ever lived in Atlanta, has visited Atlanta, ever plans to visit Atlanta, knows anyone who lives in Atlanta, knows anyone who has ever visited Atlanta or anyone who has ever heard of Atlanta, Georgia.

All directions start with, "Go down Peachtree" and include the phrase, "When you see the Waffle House." 

Peachtree Street has no beginning and no end and is not to be confused with Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Place, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Run, Peachtree Trace, Peachtree Ave, Peachtree Commons, Peachtree Battle, Peachtree Corners, New Peachtree, Old Peachtree, West Peachtree, Peachtree-Dunwoody, or Peachtree Industrial Boulevard.

Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions they will always send you down Peachtree.

Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola. That's all we drink here, so don't ask for any other soft drink unless Coca-Cola makes it. And even then it's still "Coke."

Gate One at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport is 32 miles away from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch.

It's impossible to go around a block and wind up on the street you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls it a "scenic drive" and has posted signs to that effect, so that out-of-towners don't feel lost...they're just on a "scenic drive."

The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30 to 10:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:00 to 7:30pm. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday afternoon, and lasts through 2:00am Saturday.

"Sir" and "Ma'am" are used by the person speaking to you if there's a remote possibility that you're at least 30 minutes older than they are.

A native can only pronounce Ponce De Leon Avenue; so do not attempt the Spanish pronunciation. People will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. (The Atlanta pronunciation is "pahnss duh LEE-on").

The falling of one rain drop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules; so will daylight saving time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days, and it's on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a month. All the grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer. If there is a remote chance of snow, and if it does snow, people will be on the corner selling "I survived the blizzard" t-shirts, not to mention the fact that all schools will close at the slightest possible chance of snow.

If you are standing on a corner and a MARTA Bus stops, you're expected to get on and go somewhere.

Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta's version of Old Faithful erupts.

Construction crews are not doing their jobs properly unless they close down all major streets during rush hour.

Atlantans are very proud of our racetrack, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city on the Interstates - hence it's name.

Actually, I-285, the loop that encircles Atlanta and has a posted speed limit of 55mph (but you have to maintain 80 mph just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as "The Watermelon 500."

Georgia 400 is our equivalent of the Autobahn. You will rarely see a semi-truck on GA 400, because even the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized SUV-wielding housewives racing home after a grueling day at the salon or the tennis match to meet their children at the school bus coming home from the college prep preschool.

The last thing you want to do is give another driver the finger, unless your car is armored, your trigger finger is itchy and your AK-47 has a full clip.

The pollen count is off the national scale for unhealthy, which starts at 120! . Atlanta is usually in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. All roads, vehicles, houses, etc. are yellow from March 28th to July 15th. If you have any allergies you will die.

But other than that, it's a great place to live!

[Source unknown - found it on Facebook!]

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Conversations with Siri

Around our house we talk to Siri just because she says such funny things.  Gennie wished her a 'Happy New Year' on the first day of 2013.  I tried to do the same only on the 2nd.  Her response?  "I don't understand.  New Year's Day was yesterday, the 1st of January."  So, I said, 'Okay, so I'm a little late'.  Siri predictable said, 'would you like me to search the web for Okay, so I'm a little late?'

Gennie has been trying to get Siri to tell her a bedtime story.  We all like to say thank you to Siri, just to see how she will respond.

Siri is a very useful friend and personal assistant [most of the time] - though like all of us, she has her moods!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Word of God Speak

I'm finding myself at a loss for words
and the funny thing is it's okay
the last thing i need is to be heard
but to hear what you would say

MercyMe

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

From Where I Stand

The Tea House

This photo was, I believe taken in early spring [judging by the shade of green in the picture] and we have yet to see it in spring.  We are having fun imagining all the use we will get out of it come warmer weather.

Meanwhile, it makes for excellent storage for the patio furniture.  And for a few laughs whenever one of us suggests that we could use the tea house ... much too cold to even think of going out there now - high of 23 today!