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⌂  December is here!  We are going to a farm today to pick out our Christmas tree.

⌂  I have an work party this weekend with the CV team, and I still need to pick up a couple of White Elephant gifts under $15.  Ideas?

⌂  We are planning a road trip to Colorado after Christmas.  Anything we shouldn’t miss?

⌂  I’d like to finish up all my gift shopping this weekend.  That way I can spend the rest of that time completing knitty gifts and baking cookies.  :)

⌂  I’ve been bingeing on The Good Wife episodes during my last few mornings off.

⌂  I’m taking a beekeeping class this weekend.  I plan to start a hive or two on our land.

⌂  I’m meeting with my work mentor to learn more about productivity and how that is calculated for each department.  I’m also coming to her with a list of habits that I want to break that would be obstacles in my professional success.

⌂  The first load of rock has been delivered to our land at the lake to begin the groundwork for starting our cabin.

⌂  My 14-year-old stepson hugs me on the regular.  We’ve always gotten along, but what was an occasional occurrence before happens every day now.   :)

⌂  My husband and I have started lifting weights together at the gym.  It’s surprisingly fun, and I’m also learning how to be a good spotter.

⌂  The plane tickets to Florida have been bought.  All my college roommates are going to be able to make the same weekend.  It has been too long since a proper reunion, and this one will be a couple of August days on a beach.

⌂ I’ve finally created a photo book of my wedding photos.  I’ve had so much fun browsing and remembering.

⌂  July is the birthday month for the kids, and we’ve had some great time with family.  Husband took care of son’s gift – a wake board-, and I bought daughter’s.  I found a photo she had pinned a few months ago with the caption “literally what I want my dorm room to look like.”  So I put together the highlights of that room.  I can’t wait to see her reaction.

⌂  I’ve been a little obsessed with Brandi Carlile.  Check out any of her songs from Live from Red Rock.

⌂  My final weigh-in put me at a 21.5 lb weight loss for the corporate-sponsored program.  I’m waiting to hear if that was good enough to place in the top 3 for a nice cash award.

⌂   I’ll be spending this 4th of July weekend on rotating call Thursday night through Monday morning.  Not looking forward to the weekend, but I am looking forward to the following paycheck.

⌂  I’ve been reading up on serpent-handling for a little background research on a story idea.  The videos and interviews are amazing.

⌂  Red wine and dark chocolate are divine.

⌂ I have a few knitting projects on the horizon for the new babes.

⌂ Stepson and I ran a 5K earlier this month.  It was  hotter and muggier than we expected after a lot of rain that morning.  We still did well. I ran it in 27:38 and came in 9th in my age group.  He ran a 27:49 and came in 7th in his age group.  He took off in the beginning in excitement and wore himself out early or I’m sure he would have beat me.  He’s excited to run more with me this year.  Love my running buddy.  My mom also ran, and he was such a sweetheart to go find her after he was done and run with her.  All his idea.

⌂   We’ll be staying at a beach cabin for a few days at the end of July with several friends.  I’m so looking forward to this.

⌂  I bought a PDF package off of Etsy to make a collection of our favorite family recipes.  For now I’m just printing the pages and putting them in a binder.  When that gets full, I’ll get a proper book made.  I figure this will make a great gift later to family and friends.

⌂  I’m trying to choose paint colors for our little cabin at the lake.  It is a 20×20 metal building.  Half of it was converted to a living space and the other half is a garage.  The living space is small and cozy.  I want a warm neutral beige.  No red undertones.  I’m leaning towards something with a yellow base and need to decide how dark I want to go.  I’ll probably take paint samples up the next time I go.  We plan to build, but that will not be happening for a few years so I want to make our little home away from home feel more inviting.  We’ve got an awning up now so that we can extend that living space outside and have some nice shade from the sun.

⌂  Husband and I have been having fun coming up with a story idea that we will soon start putting down on paper.  I love when we have a project we share.

⌂  Stepdaughter wrote me a sweet letter that ended with this heart-melting paragraph:  “I am so glad that Dad chose to marry you. You are such a good influence and example to all of us. I look up to you, and I love you dearly. I am proud to call you my mother.  I really hope you like your present, Mom.”  Cue the tears.

⌂  I survived my first weekend CV call with one CABG on Sunday. Eight hours time and a half plus the rest of the weekend call time should make for a nice bump on my paycheck.

⌂   I thoroughly enjoyed my last meeting with my mentor as part of my hospital’s mentorship program.  She’s asked me to come up with some habits to break as well as professional goals I want to meet over the next few months.

⌂  Summer break is here. I’m looking forward to the two days a week that my stepson and I get to share together.  We’re starting by making  a list of all the fun things we want to do.

⌂  I’m looking for an easy, nice-looking way to organize recipes for my family. I want to put together a recipe book of all the winners.  The latest ones are a lemony spicy kale salad, dewberry oregano pie, and cedar grilled salmon with a brown sugar and cayenne pepper glaze.  That last one was so good that Husband and I both looked at each other in amazement  after the first bite.

⌂  I’m looking forward to a beach weekend in July with my family and some friends. I hope to work out a trip to Florida see my college friends in August.

⌂  The outpatient, cushy hour surgery job didn’t work out, but I interviewed and  accepted a position with the main OR.  I’m ready for the change.  I’m also very ready for the year-long orientation.  That means a year of no overtime or taking call on nights or weekends!  (My little side job will make up for any losses.)  I was told I could do four 10-hour shifts a week, which is what I was looking to do with the other position.

⌂   I visited Arizona for the first time. Highlights of the trip were seeing the Grand Canyon, hiking down into the rim, renting an ATV in Sedona and taking on the trails, the amazing view in Sedona, climbing Cameback Mountain, and seeing Slide Rock and sliding down the natural water slide.  This trip also marked my first purchase of  Camelbak and hiking boots.

⌂ My boyfriend and I bought a little land up by the lake.  Lots of plans that include adding to our acre before beginning to build.

⌂  I spent my first 4th of July at the lake.  I had no idea what I was missing.

⌂  I’ve been meeting with different local running groups and making new friends.  I plan to knock out my first 10K this year.

⌂  The interview went very well, but the nurse manager told me that they are going to offer the full-time position first to a part-timer who has been with them a while.  Understandable, but now I have to wait to hear if that person has accepted the offer.  If not, she said I would be one of the top candidates.  If yes, then I need to decide if I’d be willing to accept a part-time position.

⌂   I’m so very ready to leave my current job.  I’m doing family assessments on the side for CPS fostering and adopting.  I think this side job can make up what I’d be losing by taking a part-time position.

⌂ One of my college friends is doing a residency in North Carolina.  She messaged me to tell me that she’ll be doing a rotation in Texas this September.  I’m excited to see her again.  It will be two years since we’ve been together.

⌂  Trying out a new recipe tonight…. cooked seared sirloin with red-wine mushrooms.

⌂  Just bought my tickets to Arizona this June!

⌂  My foot surgery is in four days.  My last day of work for at least 3 months is tomorrow.

⌂   I’ve signed up for a MOOC (massive open on-line course)  in financial planning, songwriting, immigration law, and relationships in fiction.  There are many to choose from, but I’m using

⌂  I paid off my car in November. Since then I replaced the transmission and master brake cylinder (thankfully mostly covered by warranty) and now it’s back in the shop after I hydroplaned on a highway entrance ramp.  I’m still waiting for final estimate damages.

⌂  I went to pre-register for my outpatient surgery and spoke with a nurse about working there.  Four 10-hour shifts a  week and no weekends or holidays.  I would have the same employer, so my benefits and such wouldn’t be lost.  I’ll see what kind of openings there are in 3 months.

⌂  I’m in the final prep stage of cleaning and stocking my house with food.

⌂ Thanksgiving is at my house.  I haven’t even begun to plan dinner.

⌂   My sink decided to start leaking.

⌂  A friend gave me some copies of Rosetta Stone to try.  I’m going to brush up on my Spanish (particularly grammar) and take a language proficiency test.  First step to being able to take an English-Spanish health translator course.

⌂ I turned in paperwork to HR for my medical leave next January.  Not nervous about the surgery…yet.

⌂  My boyfriend is coming over for Thanksgiving.  Kinda nervous about that.

My Happiness Project

1. Set a bedtime.
2. Make my bed every morning.
3. Always be reading something.
4. Move more.
5. Toss and organize.
6. Give proofs of love.
7. Leave the past.
8. Fight right.
9. Don't expect praise or appreciation.
10. Kiss more, hug more, touch more.
11. Aim higher.
12. Find some fun.
13. Ask for help.
14. Smile.
15. Realize it's possible.
16. Don't compare;be inspired.
17. Focus on what I have.
18. Beware of drift.
19. Take a chance.
20. Listen.
21. Be mindful.
22. Cultivate gratitude.
23. Spend out.
24. Do good, feel good.
25. Show up.
26. Have the courage to be imperfect.
27. Find joy in the ordinary.
28. Work smart.
29. Enjoy now.
30. Talk to strangers.
31. Go outside.
32. Start where I am.
33. Show up on time.
34. See art everyday.
35. Love with abandon.
36. Be colorful.
37. Dress the part.
38. Revel in accomplishments.
39. Learn something new.
40. Fear less.
41. Take pictures.
42. Speak with integrity.
43. Don't be critical about small things.
44. Manage my pain.
45. Surround myself with creative people.
46. Practice, practice, practice.
47. Don't force it.
48. Deal with something once.
49. Trust my instincts.
50. Avoid gossip.
51. Choose to see the best in people.
52. Take time to be silly.
53. Throw my own party.
54. Be a mentor.
55. Lean into my fears.
56. Find the others.
57. Do the unexpected.
58. Don't break the chain.
59. Do things others aren't.
60. Slow down.
61. Be cool with not being cool.
62. Be kinder than necessary and more generous than reasonable.
63. Pretend I'm good at it.
64. Keep in touch.
65. Row my own canoe.
66. Do what only you can do.
67. If it doesn't work out, find something that does.
68. Dream bigger.
69. Notice what's right.
70. Stop talking. Start doing.
71. When in doubt, choose laughter.
72. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
73. Respect everyone.
74. Be early.
75. Delete the unnecessary.

Three Simple Rules

1. If you do not GO after what you want, you will never have it.
2. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be no.
3. If you do not MOVE forward, you will always be in the same place.

All I Need

1. Someone to love.
2. Something to do.
3. Something to hope for.

What I’m Reading

Blood Meridian
by Cormac McCarthy
Their Eyes Were Watching God
by Zora Neale Hurston

U.S. States I’ve Visited

New Mexico
North Carolina

Countries I’ve Visited

Bermuda (British territory)

I write about…