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This week has been a little mellow in my home, so I thought I’d share some of my pearl’s of wisdom.  Essentially this boils down to my favorite quotes, some are thought provoking and some are just plain silly.

1“There is something backwards about having to climb up six flights of stairs to get to a dungeon.” –  King Mendanbar – The Enchanted Forest Series Book 2: Searching For Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

2.  “What is the body?  Endurance.  What is love?  Gratitude.  What is hidden in our chests?  Laughter.  What else?  Compassion.” – Rumi

3.  “Well, I’m talking to Momo” – Sokka – Avatar: The Last Airbender – this is probably the most quoted quote in my house, it works as a rebuttal to everything.  You didn’t hear what someone was saying?  That’s because they were talking to Momo.  You disagree with whats being said?  That’s be you they were talking to Momo…. it has far reaching implications.

4.  “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

5.  “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” – Molly Weasley – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

6.  “Love all. Trust Few. Do Wrong To None.” – All’s Well That Ends Well – William Shakespeare

7.  A Tie – “We might experience some sudden turbulence… and then explode.”  and “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” Wash – Firefly

and as an extra treat this gem from the other night  (Noack is one of Ben’s best friends and a genius at board games):

Me: “I want the superpower to beat Noack at board games.”

Ben: “That’s not a superpower it just takes practice and hard work.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s why I want the superpower.”


Happy New Years!

This weeks Quick Takes is all about that horrible word associated with January 1st – Resolutions.

1. Health –

  • I need to get on the wagon about my soda intake and get the the Sugar/Caffeine Monster off my back.  I’ve done it before and fondly remember the 10 lbs I lost without trying once I did.
  • I need to also get back on the fruit/vegetable route – hopefully we’ll finally be signing up for a CSA share this year and that should help.
  • Add more meat-less recipes to my repertoire.

2. Mind –

  • Work steadily at the 2010 booklist – I read just under 20 books in 2009 and I would love to get that number over 25 in 2010 so about 2 books a month.
  • Look into taking a class or two to get my mind back into shape for returning to school

3. Work –

  • Don’t take on more than I’m originally assigned this year… period
  • Keep going with Library/ASPIRE programs.

4.  Finances –

  • Have currently paid off 6% of extraneous i.e. non-school loan debt (not too bad in 3 months, 2 of which we’ve been a single income family) since I started recording Oct. 2009, by Dec. 31 2010 I will have it up to 75% minimum.
  • Have 3k. minimum in savings account by Dec. 31.
  • Open either a retirement account or savings account for a house
  • Don’t be as stingy with money.  We’ve got big financial dreams this year, but we also have the ability to enjoy our new incomes.  Things like movies and date nights will be enjoyed more often.

5. Home –

  • Get a cleaning “schedule” down for both of us.  We know we can keep the house clean, we just have to find the best way to do it when I go back to work full time in February.
  • Get a few other real pieces of furniture – chest of drawers, dvd case, shelving for work room, another bookcase.
  • Get real silverware and dishes.

6. Family & Friends –

  • Call family more … period.
  • Call/Write to friends more … period.
  • Work on that “family” thing 😉
  • Go out more with people from work.
  • Continue to make more non-work related friends.

7.  Fun –

  • Vacation – I swear we will take some kind of vacation this year, just Ben and I.  Ideas are currently – trip to Portland, Camping along the Oregon Coast.
  • More Hiking and Adventures – Gold Beach Area, Lava Beds, Oregon Caves, etc.
  • Concerts at Britt Festival

Do you have any big plans for the next year?

1.  Okay, okay I said I wasn’t going to do it, but I started thinking about the future this week and it’s totally, 100% Ben’s fault.  He knows I like to plan, and make lists, and cross things off those list and change the plan and make a new lists into an unending horrible planning type cycle, yet he still asked me while we were at dinner a few nights ago if I had given more thought into the future.  And of course, I started rattling off all the decisions I had started to make without officially thinking about them our making them.  He should have known better, so for lack of really exciting things to post about today here’s a basic run down of “The Plan”.

2.  Time Frame – 2 – 3 years.  We hope to have completed or be on our way to completing most of the list in 2 to 3 years.

3.  Moving – Didn’t we just move?  Yes we did.  Then how can we possibly be thinking of moving again?  Easy, we love being out in the world and see new things and experiencing new places, but we don’t currently have jobs that allow us a lot of travel time or funds to do said traveling.  So for a while now we’ve known that moving back to Iowa would be in our future and it is.

4.  Family – One of the reasons for moving is family, and that itself is two-fold.  We want to be closer to our families and most of them are in the Midwest.  He comes from a large family and misses being around them and I come from a very small family, which not to toot my own horn, but makes me rather important to my folks and grandparents as either the only or one of two children/grandchildren around.  We also would like our own family to expand within the time frame and want to make sure that our families will get to be a part of that.

5.  Work – As I said before, if we lived where we do but had jobs with more vacation time and better salaries we might not be so keen to move again, but alas we don’t.  We have good, nice jobs that are doing just fine for us, but we want a little bit better.  We’ve also come to realize that better work will allow us to achieve more of what we want than in our current fields.  We’re not extravagant people but we want just a little bit better than what our current situation can allow.  We also aren’t seeking “careers” but rather good work that will support us and our family and give us the opportunities to experience what we want in life.  Moving back will give us these opportunities.

6.  Education – Yep it’s decided that for both of us, in order to give us these opportunities we need to expand our educations a little bit more.  Ben is still deciding what he wants to do, so we’ve decided that the next couple years will be for me to finish what I see the last step in my education.  Being back in Iowa will make this more affordable and will give us the ready support of our families.

7.  So yes, the list might be a little vague, but I’m still adamant about not working on any of the details before the new year.  This is going to take a lot of planning and preparation to make sure everything goes smoothly.  But for now we will continue to enjoy our life as it is, which isn’t half bad.

And so I leave you with the reveal of this years Christmas Card Picture.“They always knew how to get in to the Christmas Spirit down at the Ol’ Walter place”

If I don’t get to say it before next week –

Merry Christmas From The Walter’s

See more Quick Takes at Conversion

Sorry, but this week has been rather tame so this weeks Quick Takes are a little random!

1. There is at least a 30% chance of precipitation for the next 10 days. Friday and Saturday are still standing at 60% and 70% respectively. Though my insanity in this has already been pointed out, I want snow! I grew up too long in the Midwest and my sense of the holidays is just incomplete without snow.

2. I still have a stack of 30+ Christmas Cards to send out… I’ve already sent around 25 at least. I need to get this done soon so I can share our Christmas Card photo. Apparently people have been awaiting our Christmas Card eagerly this year after last years (seen below). This years is even better!

This picture was snapped while we were preparing for the mini-photo shoot.

*Flour on it’s own, tastes disgusting*
*I know because most of the flour he threw at me got in my mouth*

3. We’ve decided that we foresee the future of the Walter Christmas Card requiring more and more work as the years go on, as we’ll have to trump each year. We foresee months of planning and production meetings.

4. Accessable Counters + Curious Cat + The Last Brownie =

7. I’m giving my self until January 1st not to think about “the future”. There are a lot of things up in the air as to what we want to do with the next couple years of our lives and I’m determined not to think about them until the new year. Wish me luck!

5. I had a wonderful conversation with the bestest girl-friend in the world about how I’m getting a little too into this whole homemaker podperson thing. It’s suiting me more than I would have guessed. I admitted that one of my proudest moments of the last couple years was my Thanksgiving dinner and wondered if that might mean something. She told me this was a little scary. I agreed.

I also a wonderful conversation with the bestest girl-friend in the world about how she’s enjoying her first foray into homemaker podperson-ness. It’s suiting her more than she would have guessed. She told me this was a little scary. I agreed.

Then we decided that it was okay.

It’s nice having someone on the same page as you in so many respects; even if they are stealing your life.

6. “Bestest Girl-friend in the World” has been stealing my life for about the last two years or so. In general we’re quite different. She thinks things through; I’m prone to rushing in head first. She’s calm and collected; I’m a little fireball of energy. But then she meet The Actor, which was funny because Ben is also an actor. That’s when things started to get weird.
They met, had an instant attraction. He’s got a wicked sense of humor, drinks only “good beer”, acts and is a big nerd. Only one problem, he was in a long term relationship with a girl named Elizabeth. He ended relationship and immediately the two started dating. It only took about 6 months for the M word to officially enter into their vocabulary. They move a big city which doesn’t suit them and within/a little over 2 years from the beginning of it all they were married.
Now she is married, playing homemaker and trying to figure out what to do with her life.
Sound familiar?
I love you dearly A. but you’re still stealing my life.

More Quick Takes @ Conversion Diary


1. Thanksgiving Dinner – I am especially surprised at how long we’ve managed to stretch our leftovers. We should get one more complete meal out of them tomorrow and I think I’m going to have to give in and send Ben to work with that other pumpkin pie that we haven’t even started on yet. This is especially great because I’m trying too be even more frugal until February and I don’t have a shopping trip scheduled until next Friday. Yes, I schedule grocery shopping; twice a month on Fridays, with small trips for milk and other small necessities. Doing this has greatly cut down on grocery related expenses this year!

2. I’m getting way to comfortable staying at home for long stretches at a time. I don’t have the desire to have the car any more. Any urges to go out thrifting or doing anything related to money gets second guessed… multiple times when you’re a good 20 minute walk away from anything worth going to.

3. That being said, I do have to do that 20 minute walk tomorrow to drop of the electric and internet bill tomorrow (why use a stamp when they’re that close of a walk) and I will enjoy going to my downtown and walking through some of the stores, maybe getting something for the holidays. I also have a gift certificate for the locally owned bookstore that needs to be used! It feels like a treat.

4. This week marked my first time volunteering at my library. It was great, I spent three hours finding books and working on little projects and helping one little girl figure out which Laura Ingalls Wilder book she was looking for. At this I have to say I was shocked that her “Ashland-yuppy-hippy mother” not much old that myself didn’t know that “Little House in the Big Wood” was the first of the series. Come on it’s a classic of children’s literature! I also helped a wonderful “Ashland-yuppy-hippy mother” who was encouraging her artistically minded son (home schooled of course) by assigning him a research project on a famous artist… the boy was no more than 7 and totally engrossed by this day in the library. Sadly we figured out that the children’s section probably wouldn’t have too many books on Salvidor Dali, as his life was a little… lets say strange and that her son seemed okay with learning about his other favorites for the time being. She was relieved to find out that the limit for her sons’ library cards was 60 books each and went home with two bags of books; she must have had around 30.

5. I’m getting too good at my cleaning schedule. As Ben put it the other day, “the house is becoming nicer, cleaner; in a permanent sort of way”. Since I’ve been on “holiday”, let’s call it, I’ve organized most of the house and have had less and less to do each day. It’s wonderful and I really feel like I’m starting to appreciate the virtue of clean house. Hopefully I can find away to keep up like this when I return to work.

6. These things are my new saving graces. Netflix on-demand movies on my computer giving me distractions like Masterpiece Theatre’s “Wuthering Heights” and “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”. And a long list of podcasts on Itunes including, This American Life, A Prairie Home Companion, The Irish & Celtic Music Podcast and even (as I continue learning more about this new side of my life/family) American Catholic Radio.

7. I still need to find more time to sit down and read, but I’m making a lot of handmade stuff for Christmas and that’s keeping me from it. However my reading list still dwindling and I’d love any suggestions. Fiction, non-fiction, it doesn’t matter. I’ve also started to keep track of my reading over at Just Simply Reads as a way to share my love of books.

From Conversion Diary.

The host of this blog-thing isn’t doing one this Friday, but I still wanted too. So here we go …

7 Thankful Quick Takes

1. I am thankful for… Thanksgiving Dinner
~For the first time since Ben and I have been a couple we had our first official Thanksgiving Dinner together, just us and with real, proper Thanksgiving Day food. I cooked for about 3 days, but it was all there in the end and it was lovely.

2. I am thankful for … Oregon
~I live in a beautiful place surrounded by lovely people and lovely scenery. If I can’t have Iowa, I’ll take Oregon any day.

3. I am thankful for … Home.
~One of the things the move to Oregon gave us was a more proper place to live. Sure it’s still an apartment and you can’t open the stove and the refrigerator at the same time, but there are no broke window panes, you can’t race toy cars down the incline of the bathroom floor, not one bird has gotten into any room and we haven’t had anyone try to steal our car in over a year. It’s a nice change.

4. I am thankful for … Family.
~ The more I’m away from our families the more I come to realize how important it is for me to have them in my life. I can’t wait until we are closer to each other again

5. I am thankful for … Work.
~ We both have work; good work. This year and during these times no matter the crazy schedules or crazy people we may have to deal with, this is a blessing.

6. I am thankful for … Time.
~ This year I’ve finally had the time to do a lot of thinking and reflecting on myself and life in general. I feel more like myself than I have in years and it’s mostly due to having just a little more time.

7. I am thankful for … My kitchen table.
~ Right now it has everything I need for a nice weekend. Dr. Pepper, knitting needles, yarn, a mountain of craft stuff, my list of handmade Christmas gifts, my computer and close proximity to the left overs in the fridge.

And because I’m a nerd I’m also thankful at the prospect of watching these on the big screen with a tub of nachos, in no particular order…
1. A Christmas Carol – my favorite Christmas Story
2. The Princess and the Frog – you’re never too old to love Disney and Ben’s excited for the Witch Doctor
3. Avatar – Just looks awesome
4. The Young Victoria – Will be a beautiful costume drama if nothing else
5. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus – Who hasn’t been waiting to see this?
6. Nine – Will be stunning even if it has Nicole Kidman

and most importantly!!

7. Sherlock Holmes – Every time I see a preview for this I get really freaking giddy… I don’t care if they turned Holmes into a action hero…. It’s Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes…. Pardon me will I swoon….

I got this idea from Elizabeth over at That Married Couple. I’m going to write about things I’ve learned during my first week of “Housewife-ness”.

1. House-Wife-ness. This is my first week of “housewife-ness” and so far it’s been great. I know not a lot of people would consider spending copious amounts of time at home with no car and no company fun, but I have! Of course I think it’s just fueling my anti-social tendancies.

2. Do I really need to do that? – I find myself seconding guess a lot of my normal impulses. If I want the car I have to be willing to spend about an hour and a half in it, not including any time to use it for what I want to do. If I take the car it takes 20 mins to take Ben to work and then is a 20 minute drive home, then another 40 minutes to pick him up again and get back home at night. Not only does that take a good chunk of time, but also gas, so some days it’s just not worth it so that I can drive around if the urge hits me.

3. Planning – So that I’m not wasting precious resources and time I’m planning a little bit more. “Well I could do traveling chore X, Y and Z on different days or I could just get it all done on one day … ooh that gives me more time to do A, B, and C when I get to stay home!” At this point I think I might be becoming one of those homemaker-pod-people, but then I remind myself there’s nothing wrong with using our resources (time, gas, money) wisely, especially since my staying at home this winter means a small income for a few months.

4. Planning Part 2 or “Oh my gosh this place never gets clean!” – So that I don’t feel like a homemaking-pod-person I’ve divided up my “housework” back into chore lists like I used to get when I was a kid. All the days of the week have specific chores to be done. It might seem a little lazy but I think it’s good. I’m not spending days on end just trying to deep-clean everything after I’ve let it go too long (a tendency of mine) and I know that if we were to have company the house is closer to being ready to be seen by other people. For a selfish reasons it’s also so I don’t feel chained to the house all the time; now I can look at my list and “Today’s Monday, there’s a lot to be done and I just don’t want to do it all right now, but as long as I do X, Y, and Z the house will be in good shape.”

5. Acceptance – Yep, not everyday is going to be perfect, sometimes I won’t get everything done, sometime your entire make up case will fall into the toilet, sometimes I’ll just feel like spending the morning playing Civ and sometimes dinner will be freezer pizza and that’s okay.

6. Appearance – It only took one day for me to realize that even if only one person saw me that day I didn’t want to look like I had spent my whole day at home. So I delved a little further into the homemaker-pod-person mentality and have started trying to look a little nicer when Ben gets home. Most days he’s gone a solid 12 hours and we only get about 3 hours together, so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why I’d like to make that time count a little more.

7. A little more “me” and a little more “you”– Okay, I’m not going to lie, my self imposed housewife-ness is also to give myself a nice break and it’s been great to spend a little more time for me. There’s a stack of books to be read and projects to be done and the best thing is that I have time during my 12 hours at home by myself to do these things. It’s nice to feel that when Ben gets home for those few hours that I don’t have the need to take some if not most of that time for myself. This happens when I’m working as I work full 12 hours long days too and during that time I often just wanted to come home and go right to a hot bath and book and by the time I had relax a little we were both ready to go to sleep. Now when Ben comes home it’s easy to make that time about us and put down the computer or the knitting or the book. I know, I know I’m becoming a pod-person, but it’s kind of nice.

Read more Quick Takes @ Conversion Diary


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