Card Dilemma

Am I the only one who has an extremely difficult time picking out a card for someone? It doesn’t matter who it is or what the occasion is, but I can never quite find the one I want. So I just in up standing in the card aisle staring.

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Ah which one?

Yesterday, I went to the drug store and had to make the ever so joyful trip to the card aisle in order to find one for my dad’s birthday. As predicted I roamed up and down the aisle pulling out a card here and there and promptly placing them back in their holders. Part of the problem may be that I am not one of those mushy, sentimental, I would be lost without you, card people. I don’t like sending them and I don’t really like reading the long gooey ones that I sometimes get in the mail. (Not sure why, maybe they just seem a little too fake for me or something.) 

I’m more of a “Happy Birthday! I farted in this card just for you” type person. (This is part of the reason that my mom tends to think I’m dead inside, but that is a different story.)

Anyway, after about 20 minutes and reading through way to many cards I finally found the perfect one to send my dad. “Happy Birthday, cake killer!”

So, does anyone else have difficulties picking out cards or is this my own weird problem?

Break from Reality

As I predicted this Monday it was especially hard to get back into my normal work routine, made even more difficult because taking a vacation caused my work load to pile up. Needless to say my to do list was extra long this week and the deadlines were quickly approaching. Hello stress!

Another problem was waking up early (or what was my normal weekly wake up time) because I took full advantage of sleeping in while up in North Carolina. And what is this, no mid day nap?

Anyway, back to the point of my post. When I was on vacation I decided that no matter how busy I am I am going to make a point of taking some time for myself to step back and relax. While I wish I could go on vacation everyday few weeks, that simply isn’t possible so I have to rely on other ways to relax.

Here are some things I do to relax or things that just make me smile and forget about my hectic day, if only for a moment.

Soak in a nice bath with soothing scents and bath oils
Give myself a facial complete with a soothing face mask
Curl up in comfy sweats with a good book
Light a scented candle and just sit enjoying a cup of tea
Sit out on my back porch with some new magazines
Baking something delicious
Going to yoga
Talking a long walk with my dog Winston

These are just a few things that I enjoy that let me step back from my daily responsibilities and allowing me to enjoy some much needed alone time. Another thing I do is buy a bouquet of flowers every week and put it on the dresser in my room. Flowers are so pretty and smell so great that you can’t help but smile. By placing them in my bedroom this way I can wake up every morning and see fresh flowers. Now isn’t that a great start to a day.

What do you do to relax and take time for yourself?

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Fresh flowers

Fresh Air and Relaxation

I just got back from spending 5 days in Boone, North Carolina. While I am glad to be back in my own bed I am sure going to miss the fresh mountain air and the relaxation time. Here are a few pictures from my trip. Enjoy

 

Busting out of here

Busting out of here

He really is a good flyer he just hates his carrying case. Once he’s on the plane he just sleeps on my lap.

Flying buddy

Flying buddy

All comfy on the flight..

Are we finally here?

Are we finally here?

Yay, we have arrived! (Now let me out)

Hello North Carolina

Hello North Carolina

Just look at that sky..

My Backyard for the trip

My Backyard for the trip

Not a bad view for the long weekend.

Ah the view

Ah the view

Even though I was on vacation I took full advantage of the grill. Had jerk chicken one night and grilled beef kabobs another. I love grilling and unfortunately I don’t have one at my apartment. Obviously wine was needed.

Dinning al fresco

Dinning al fresco

Kababs

Kabobs

Fog over mountains

Fog over mountains

Although it rained, it was so relaxing and nothing can beat the smell of fresh rain.

Foggy

Foggy

All in all, even though I mostly lounged around, it was a great trip. I got to catch up on some much needed sleep and me time. However, tomorrow is Monday and then it’s back to my hectic schedule. What I took away from this weekend of solitude is that even though I may not be able to escape on a regular basis I can still set aside time to recharge and take time to myself more often.

Have a great start to the week. I’m off to curl up with a book.

A City Escape

For the past few days I have been hanging out in the mountains in Boone, North Carolina. I haven’t had a vacation in awhile so I thought I would take a long weekend to get away from the city and just relax. I love Chicago, but sometimes I just need a break from it all.

I packed up some books, mud masks, a bunch of comfy clothes, and Winston, then off we went. Other than the smelly teenager who sat next to me on the plane the trip went pretty smoothly. Winston slept the whole flight while I started my vacation off with a good book.

I’ve got to say that this trip was exactly what I needed. I have done practically nothing for the past few days and have not felt the least bit guilty. Usually if I lounge around for a day I feel bad because I think I should be doing something productive.

Not this week!

I have slept in late, taken a few naps, dined outside on the deck in my pj’s while looking at the stars, watched some old movies, and did some reading. Winston is just happy that there is lots of grass up here instead of his typical cement potty area. It has been raining the past two days, but I haven’t even cared. I have just been curling up on the deck on the love seat bundled in a blanket and listening to the rain. It’s so quiet up here. It’s been wonderful to doze in and out while breathing in the fresh air and listening to the rain fall. I have a feeling this Monday is going to be difficult.

Back to napping on the deck, tomorrow I go back to reality. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

The Sky is Falling

A week or so ago I started noticing a somewhat large amount of bird poo on my deck (I think I sense a theme in my life), which is odd because the back part of my whole apartment deck is covered. This basically means that in order to get droppings on this area of my deck birds would have to practically dive bomb under the cover and unload before quickly flying out the other side…. (I picture a line of small birds with helmets on flying under the roof air bomb style)

Or, what I soon discovered, the more logical explanation be sitting up under the support beams above my head. The later turned out to be true as I glanced up to find a momma bird sitting on her nest. Since it’s summer I’ve been using my deck quite a bit lately and so begin the daily routine:

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The bird doo

Step outside see bird shit. Walk back inside, get items to clean bird shit. Clean bird shit…. Step outside see bird shit. Walk back inside, get items to clean bird shit. Clean bird shit. And so on..

This went on for a while until the other day I came out and found something much more disturbing than bird shit. I found a baby bird laying on the deck and I’m say to say that he did not make it. Sadly I cleaned up the little body and went on with my day.

Yesterday, I came out on my deck after work and was horrified at what a saw, another baby bird laying on my deck!! Once again I sadly went inside to get things to clean it up with, but this time when I came back to pick it up I saw that he was alive! Excited I ran to get a pair of gloves scooped up the young bird and looked him over. He was completely unharmed from what I could tell. The next task was find out what to do with him. I knew I needed to get him back in his nest, but the problem is that this beam is about 12 feet in the air an their was no way I was reaching that.

After some distress that I wasn’t going to be able to help this little guy I found a ladder in the maintenance guys closet in my building and drug it up three flights of stairs. Thankfully, when I stood on the top step, I could reach the nest. I gentle shooed the mom away (I picture her attacking my face and that did not seem fun) and placed him gentle in his nest with his siblings. Finally after a small amount of time momma returned and all were happy.

Every morning and evening I go out to make sure that another little birdie hasn’t fallen out of the nest. Today when I looked from the stairs I could see the three of them all snuggled up with their eyes now open. I’m just pleased that I didn’t have to have another birdie funeral.

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The Nest

Where Did Relaxation Time Go?

I don’t know about anyone else, but sometimes I feel like I need a weekend from my weekend. Lately my weekends have been packed with numerous social engagements and errands that I haven’t had time to get to during the week. I shove a ton into two work free days (unless I’m lucky enough to have a lazy Sunday). Then without fail every Monday I wake up exhausted and spend the rest of the day running on empty. Sometimes I feel like the weekends wear me out more than a whole week a work..

You would think that spending time away from the office with friends, sleeping in, and not having to actually do any work would let my mind relax and allow me to wake up refreshed on Monday ready to take on a new week.

NOPE.

Just like every other Monday I woke up late and completely unmotivated. I love my job, but I was just not ready to get out of bed. I could have used another day or two to recuperate. Sunday is simply not enough of a buffer. (Thankfully I have a vacation coming up next week!)

I hope that everyone had a good fourth of July! I know it’s only Monday, but I know exactly what I am doing next weekend:

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

 

Palco What?

My co-worker and I (messy hair and cigarettes) recently wrote a press release for our ob about this new product that is trying to get approval for distribution. I found this topic and product to be interesting, especially since it is creating such a stir so I thought I would share what we wrote:

Concerns Surrounding New Powdered Alcohol Product

Valdosta, GA: “Palcohol,” is a powered alcohol being produced by an Arizona based company Lipsmack LLC that has hopes of hitting the shelves in the near future. Recently this new product has been getting a lot of media attention; while it was initially approved, federal regulators have now rescinded that decision. Mark Phillips, the creator, designed this powdered substance for use in situations such as camping or traveling when carrying around large bottles would be difficult. With Palcohol all you need to do is mix the powder with a little water and you have a drink. However, with the development of this new substance many are worried about the consequences surrounding the misuse of powdered alcohol.

“As is true with the introduction of any new substance, there is always the risk of unanticipated negative consequences. People may look at powdered alcohol as being safer than drinking regular alcohol because it is being diluted in water. That fact, along with the ease in which the product allows people to take alcohol with them wherever they go, increases the likelihood that the substance will begin to become overly abused. Similarly, it is not unreasonable to hypothesize that the likelihood that the rate of alcohol addiction will be on the rise as well.”

Most of the current media buzz has been focused on the abuse potential of Palcohol. Since it is in powdered form many are concerned with the fact that it can be snorted. The reason behind this concern is that snorting this substance could possibly get you drunk instantly and potentially cause damage to the nasal passage. However, the company has stated that they have added volume to their product so that it would take more than half a cup of powder to get the equivalent of one drink up your nose. This however has not lessened the fear that some individuals will choose to abuse Palcohol in this manner.

Another concern is about the convenience of having alcohol in a powdered form. One packet of Palcohol only weighs an ounce making it more portable than a flask of liquor. Alcohol is already a problem at many sporting events or concerts, and Palcohol would make it that much easier to sneak alcohol into events. Additionally, the packets contain anywhere from 30% to 60% ethanol, which is almost twice the amount in a can of beer. This leads many to fear the outcome that would result from consuming more than one packet at a time.

“Using a substance like Palcohol can cause major health risks for individuals within our community. The results from alcohol poisoning are already well-known, so by adding in the fact that people may not be aware of just how much of the substance they are ingesting, people may actually be putting their lives in even greater danger. If this product becomes widespread, it would not be surprising to see an increase in the amount of alcohol poisoning incidents that result.”

Many parent groups and addiction experts are strongly opposed to the approval of powdered alcohol because they believe that the product can be easily obtained and abused by underage drinkers. Many hold the view that this is just one more thing for adolescents to get excited about and try because it is the newest trend on the market.