Monday, January 25, 2010

Boring but a post nonetheless...

I feels like I have not spoken to anyone about what has been going on for the Sweets since the beginning of the year. So I am interjecting with a boring old regular blog post.

Things are going well. We stayed in on New Year's, it was nice. We popped a bottle of champagne & watched a movie. We also toasted at midnight with 12 green grapes for each of us. The 12 grapes represent the year to come and you make a wish every time you eat one. We also wrote on little pieces of paper the things in 2009 that sucked and we didn't want to dwell upon and burned them in our fireplace. All in all, it was a good night. Waking up the next morning to go on a 30 mile bike ride (1 mountain climb) with a 10 mile trail run at the end...well, it didn't happen. Instead we did a trail run off our back porch for about 5 miles and came home to a warm fire. Ahhh. I love that fire place.

Other than that, we have been trying to stay busy. Work is going well for me. I picked up some shifts at Hennen's Restaurant for a couple months. Work for Andy is starting to ramp up. He is finding odd jobs and we are doing well. Not to worry. We are really looking forward to our tax return this year :)

We are in the process of painting the kitchen/dining room. We moved our brown leather couch up to the great room. (Whoa that was a task and a half). So now we have a dining room with a fireplace in it. I love it. I painted the spare bedroom as well. Next task is trying to get the ugly wallpaper border down from the 3 bathrooms and repaint those too. I think in the next couple months we are going to repaint the master bedroom. I forgot how easy it is to paint and how much a HUGE difference it makes. All the projects we did on the house in Bloomington have made us pretty confident to remodel/refurbish our house in TN. We have a lot of plans, but as most of you are in the same boat, the $ needs to come first. We were saying to each other yesterday how totally Bad A*# our house will be once we have the money to do all the things we want. Mountain stone on the front of the house. New stone fireplace hearth, with a new fireplace insert. Hardwood floors in the kitchen, dining room, hallway, and both bedrooms. Tongue and groove on the ceiling to match the great room. New counter tops and tile back splash in the kitchen. New black fridge to match the stove and dishwasher. ...And I think that is it for now. ;-) We know we can't get all that done in the same time frame we gave ourselves for the house in Bloomington, but I think it is totally feasible in the near future.

Andy is doing some training. I think he wishes the weather would cooperate. We get warmer temps and no to little snow down here, but there is an ocean of rain that dumps on us every other day. We don't utilize our puffy coats as much as we did in IL, but the rain jackets are out in full force.

We just got a Skype account, so please sign up and we can talk for free. Here is a link for PC/windows users.

Our Skype name is andy.heather.sweet

So far, that is all that has been going on for us.Talk to you all later (on Skype ;-)) and take care, Heather

Stepping up and Punking out

It has taken me almost 2 weeks to come up with something "profound." This profound thing is getting really hard. Just kidding. Not really. It has taken me 2 weeks to get the time to actually sit down and write something. ;-)

Here goes...Don’t mean to go all Wilford Brimley on your ass, but seriously people. Where the H did people’s manners go?

It seems everyone is so worried about numero uno. Compassion for others only comes out when the Red Cross makes it ‘easy’ for us. We can’t be bothered to let the older person go ahead of us at the Walmart check out. God forbid we sacrifice 5 minutes of our time for someone that might have less time than we do. I would like to know where the words please and thank you went. Why don’t people open doors for each other? Why do we feel it is our inalienable right to be the first one to get anything every where?

I think we excused manners from the preverbal table when technology came a calling. I am all for progress and change. I embrace edgy and provocative, but seriously dude… Technology has given us many things, but has technology made us boorish?

Have we been given the tools to propagate selfishness, rudeness, and sloth? Wasn’t life simpler before we had answering machines? I remember, not too long ago, if you called someone and they didn’t answer, you didn’t talk to them. Wow, what a concept. The idea you can’t talk to the person YOU want to talk to when YOU want to talk to them. YOU. YOU. YOU. Hmmm.

We have a responsibility to ourselves, sure. I agree. But I think we have a larger responsibility to make this world we live in better. Recycling. Organic food. Paper vs. plastic. Energy efficient cars. Carpooling. Sure those are all great, but they are all things we can buy or do. What about who we are? Compassionate, empathetic, honest, and respectful.

I think we owe it to ourselves. Seriously man. The more uptight everyone is about themselves and what they deserve; it only makes it harder to be happy. Try to take a step back and look at yesterday, how many times in your day were you thinking, “God, if that person doesn’t…” or “I wish this idiot would…” or better yet “I am gonna go ballistic if…” I can guarantee you the idiot didn’t do what you wanted him to do. Also, I bet your sense of urgency heighten every time you looked at your phone. Life was not passing you by because the other guy didn’t do what you wanted them to do when you wanted them to do it.

Not to blurr the lines even further by making a movie reference, but maybe Dirty Harry was onto something when he challenged… “Do you feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?” I am going to challenge myself to practice what I preach. I am going to start stepping up and stop punking out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day Dreaming: Your Tool for Survival

After a week, what I have come up with is not profound or spellbound, but could be interesting to read. In my previous post, I mentioned I wanted to have purpose to this blog of mine, well I think that is what I will do. Instead of writing to fill space or inform people of what is happening on top of our little mountain; I will additionally write with purpose.

My first thoughts of how to add to the sustenance of our blog was to write about what makes me happy. Simple but sometimes very hard. I will speak for myself, and not the "masses" but sometimes I have a hard time staying motivated, happy, chin-up, and all that jazz. When I find myself in those dark moments, I try to think of what makes me happy and focus on that. Simple, but it works. I put all the crap that is weighing me down to the side, it will be there later--no need to keep dwelling on that stuff, right? Once I am able to mentally visualize the good things in my life, I am in a better place to tackle the bulls*&%t that I wish would go away.

I like to start out with simple things for instance (this list is primarly going to be more for me than for you-so be patient)
  1. Washing my hair
  2. Nutregena bath oil
  3. Good friends
  4. Sunny days
  5. 1st cup of hot tea in the morning
  6. Good butt jeans
  7. Betsy Johnson perfume
  8. Dansco shoes
  9. Chaco sandals
  10. Living in TN
  11. New hair highlights
  12. Funky scarves
  13. Stove top popcorn
  14. Glass of nice wine
  15. Lip balm
After I think of those things (there are more, but you get the picture) I start thinking of how blessed I am to have Andy, a job, a home, family...the thing that seemed so monumental and cataclysmic pales in comparison.

It is a true wonder the lives we lead. We go day to day driving from home to work to the gym back to home then cramming some food in us in the meantime. Sometimes we have meetings after work and can't workout, then in the morning we do it all over again. Why? Why do we let our schedules dictate our lives? True, if we weren't slaves to the routine, we wouldn't have the ability to enjoy the small pleasures in our lives. But in the meantime isn't it worth it to make our daily lives worth more?

In the summer it is so much easier to take the time to appreciate our lives. Primarily because we actually get to live them. In the winter the days are shorter. There are more gloomy days. The elements don't allow us to enjoy the world we live in. We do WAY too much driving in the winter. I think road rage contributes to the winter blas more than we know. So I usually go through my list while driving. I disconnect. I turn off the radio and force myself to LOOK around me. It is my small way of perseving my dreaming. Simple but necessary.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

To add to the multitude of "gone is 2009 and the birth of 2010" blog entries out there...

I am not going to reiterate all that has happened in 2009, if you want that; you can go and read the multitude of previous posts in our blog. One might ask then, "What are you going to do Heather?" Well, my friends, I am planning to introduce a new concept to our blog. So far, I have written about our lives and the details of our days between posts. Nice, but not the only way I want to connect with the people who read The Sweetest Adventures. I am sure literary critics are not scrolling through my posts. (I certainly hope not, my grammar is horrific.) I want to entertain those of you who are here.

I watched a movie the other night, Julia and Julie. The preface of the movie is a downtrodden 30-something gal is looking for inspiration. She finds her comfort and happiness in food. Don't we all, right? She challenges herself to cook all of Julia Child's recipes (over 500) in 365 days--and she blogs about it. Don't worry all. Andy is safe. I am not going to try and cook him French food for the next 365 days. I think either he would divorce me from all the butter consumption or I would become the world's worst French cook. I think, better to leave cooking to people that know what they are doing. I can bake a mean pie, but I think pies and cakes are as far as I want to go right now.

I want to challenge myself with this blog. I want to write with a goal -- a purpose. I am not sure how or with what--but something. So no more weather updates and rambling about woulda coulda shoulda stuff. I foresee more substance about life, love, and the things that really mean the most to us. For Andy and I, we are so happy we went through all that we did in 2009. We learned so much and are so much stronger because of it, and not in-spite of it. I hope the same is true for all of you. So cheers to 2010! I hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous New Year and all your wishes and dreams come true.