Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bill Gates Speech: 11 Rules Your Kids Will Not Learn At School...

I love this! Enough with the spoon feeding attitude that some schools and adults have. The truth is that Life is tough, so best be prepared...

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


Friday, November 26, 2010

A Lovely Little Thanksgiving...

In a year of many firsts, Eric and I celebrated our first Thanksgiving together yesterday. It was small, just the two of us, but very nice. Even if I had been in CA, our family is kind of scattered to the 4 winds this year at Thanksgiving...Jonathan with his in-laws and my mom at a family reunion in Mexico, and several cousins out of town.

I'm adjusting to a quieter life now in WA, free of the drama of being a schoolteacher and away from a faster pace of living that has been all I've known. For the most part, I like it, but I am aware that it is requiring adjustment. Still, I'm extremely thankful for the direction my life has taken this year.

Eric had to work from 5am-5pm yesterday, so I planned our dinner to be at 6:30. Enough time for him to come home, shower, and unwind a little. We got to use our wedding china for the first time. And, although Eric teases me about having 10 place settings and others these days are even foregoing having a set of wedding china altogether, to me, it is one of the little perks of getting married. By golly, I was going to have wedding china! Eric, who has great taste, is actually the one who found this pattern, Padova, by Waterford. We went to Portland a few weeks ago and ordered the balance of our set. I make no apologies, I love our wedding china!

I made out the menu for our dinner a few days ago, bought the groceries on Wednesday, and set the table early yesterday morning. Even though it was just the 2 of us, I wanted it to be memorable, so I dressed nice. And, although he usually changes into sweats after working 12 hours, Eric followed my lead when he got home, and was very good about steering clear of the kitchen and dining room until 6:30.

The result was a quiet, intimate, candlelight dinner of chicken thighs (no turkey for just the 2 of us,) stuffing, gravy, salad, asparagus, yams, rolls, cranberry sauce, sparking cider, and pumpkin pie. We said a blessing and dug in, thankful to have food on the table, a great house in which to live, our health, our families, Eric's income, and each other. It was lovely.

Tonight when he gets off work, we are heading over to his parents' house in Kelso, about 2.5 miles away (everything is VERY local here, unless you want to do some serious shopping, then you've got about a 40 mile drive ahead of you.) They are having their Thanksgiving today to accommodate his dad's work schedule. I may even meet his sister for the first time, who lives about 2 hours away, if she joins us.

Next is Christmas! I need to address my Christmas card envelopes, buy stamps, and send those babies off. We also have 3 Christmas trees this year, a large one for the front window, a white one with red decorations for the downstairs family room, and a small one for some extra flair in the dining room somewhere. For me, the music and lights and decorations of Christmas are my favorite part, much more than presents, which will be lean after this incredibly expensive year of wedding, honeymoon, and almost 15 round trip flights back and forth between CA and WA between the 2 of us.

Of course, the real reason for this time of year is to be thankful for all we have, to be extra mindful of others and to remember the blessed event of our Lord's birth. May you and yours have a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Just livin' life...

Wow, time sure passes quickly. Just a quick update.

The house is done. All furnished. The boxes that were inside the house are all unpacked. Interestingly, the last pile of boxes were in the living in and dining room.

This area gets tons, and I mean TONS of trick or treaters, so I knew that I had until Halloween night to get through those boxes. I literally finished going through them and decorating the fron rooms at about 3pm on Halloween. The last 2 boxes were clothes, so I cheated and hid them in a different room out of sight.

On Halloween we were invited to go to a brief little get together with a few neighbors across the street. There was homemade soup, and they had a pool to see who could guess how many trick or treaters would come to the hosting house. We could only stay for about half an hour because Eric and I would look out the window and see kids go up to our door when we weren't there. So, home we went.

Very quickly, the trick or treating traffic began to pick up. We realized that we couldn't even leave the dining room before the doorbell would ring again. So, we set up our laptops at the dining room table and just camped out for about 3 1/2 hours. We kept a tally of how many kids came to the door and, at 8:30pm, we noticed that the whole neighborhood turned off their lights and stopped answering their doors. We decided to follow. Final tally....526 kids!!!!

That was one big excitement. The other is that my mom came for her first visit last week. She was here from a Monday to a Saturday. We had the guest room all ready, although the shower in the guest bathroom isn't quite ready for use. She loved having her own room and bathroom. She loved our house and, surprisingly, she loved this little city and the dreary weather. I knew that she would like the weather, she has always liked rain and overcast skies.

It was unfortunate that Eric had to work the day shifts when my mom was here, but we made the best of it and I showed her around myself. We stayed local. She loved, loved the lake that is within walking distance of our house.

The day after my mom left I got hit with a cold. My normal autumn cold that lasts about a week. Today is day 5. It is almost gone. I'm looking forward to it being ALL gone!

In the meantime, Eric and I are living a quiet life together as newlyweds. We love our house, we love being together and going on walks and going shopping and eating dinners that we make. We'll be hosting Christmas Eve for his family this year. It will be a small affair, maybe 6 of us all together. I'm used to a big to-do, so I'm still going to decorate the house to the nines. I love Christmastime and all that goes with it.

And that's what we're up to. Just livin' (and lovin') life.