Reposting...lame I know

My life is nuts-o. I know I say that a lot, but this week has been particularly so. Therefore, I have no time to write. I am linking to a phenomenal post I read yesterday. Go read it....especially if you are like me and don't have TIME to read it. Ironic, I know.

This weekend I will be writing a last minute article about time management. The irony continues.

Side note: My calendar (I keep it in Outlook) is very neatly color-coded. Red for research, blue for teaching, green for advising, orange for OSU campus stuff, yada yada yada. Anyway, it is so hectic and so crammed full, this must be what it feels like to get thrown up on by a rainbow. :-) Hopefully life will return to normal soon.

Currently Feeling: Overscheduled...and underproductive
Currently Anticipating: 'The Conversation Skills' course with Paul Axtell that I am doing from 8-5 for the next two days. Should be good stuff.
Currently Dreading: The looming ALE submission deadline on Friday. Why do I procrastinate?!?

Wordless Wednesday 3-30-11

Signs like this are why I think it is complicated driving in Oregon!


Incomplete and Insecure

"i haven't finished a thing since i started my life
i don't feel much like starting now
walking down lonely has worked like a charm
i'm the only one i have to let down

but watching you makes me think that that is wrong

i can go on with my insecure nature
i can keep living on sympathy
i can tell all the people that all of the success
is a direct reflection on me

but watching you makes me think that that is wrong

what is important
what's really important
am i not to know by my name
will i ever know silence without mental violence
with a ringing it might go away"

The Avett Brothers are genius.Seriously. They are not defined by typical music genres...which means I can listen to something of theirs no matter what mood I am in. And, their lyrics speak to my soul.  Love it - the whole album!


Spring Break Part 2

I am mourning the end of my Spring break. It was amazing. It started with 4 days of State FFA Convention. (If you want to see photos, check out the amazing work by Hannah O'Leary.) Once I got back from State Convention, the real fun began. I made a list of the things I wanted to accomplish.

Tuesday - I stayed in bed until 8, then went to work for a while. I got that NAERC review done. I had lunch with Betsy and then got my haircut. I went to Bible study and managed to get the DVR down to around 79%. I finished the night reading to fall asleep. It was great.

Wednesday - I again went to work, but I slept until 8 first. I mailed a postcard to both my niece and nephew. I started my curtain project in the afternoon while watching "The Great Outdoors" and spent the evening having dinner with some of my Dox friends. It was a delicious way to end a great spring break day.

Thursday - my lazy day. I didn't get out of my PJ's until noon. I did work, but I didn't go to the office. I read. I worked out. I called and changed my cable plan (the trial offer I got when I moved here had expired so it was time to actually choose the channel package I use). I weighed in and was down again. :-) Joy! I got the DVR down to around 53% and attended my first Office Night in Oregon at Michaela's house. Michael proposed to Holly and it was great :-)

Friday - was my mini spring break. I started with getting an estimate on the damage I did to the front end of my car (read about my dumb moment here). I decided to do it on a day I had something fun planned....so as to not be depressed. I went to Portland and got a Voodoo Doughnuts. That was an experience. I waited in line for over an hour. Yup...for a doughnut. It rained the whole hour and a half I was driving to Portland but when I started standing in line, the clouds broke and it did not rain the entire time I stood in line. Perfect! It is not in the best part of town and transients were everywhere. In fact, when I got inside, this was the sign.

I survived the homeless gauntlet. I got inside (it is cash only, btw.. useful information!) and took in the culture. It is tiny. There are random things on the wall. The employees are, um, interesting. When I got to the counter to order my maple bacon bar (the whole reason I came!)... they had just sold the last one to the guy in front of me.Dag. Seriously. I had to make a quick choice. And there menu is not exactly clear.

I ordered a voodoo doll and an Old Dirty Bastard. The voodoo doll has a pretzel stick in it (the pin for the voodoo doll) and is filled with a raspberry jelly that makes it look like it is bleeding when you pull it apart. The Old Dirty Bastard is chocolate glazed, covered in crumbled Oreo's and drizzled in melted peanut butter. OMG! Delicious. I made good choices.

I took my super special doughnuts to Powell's - A bookstore that takes up an entire city block in Portland.

I picked up some books - 13 to be exact. Summer reading here I come.

I spent the afternoon shopping Bridgeport.I have wanted to shop this area since arriving but it is an open air shopping area... in the part of Oregon where it rains half the year. Since I was lucky enough to have a break in the weather, I shopped! (I am also counting this as my rain-free walk - check one more thing off the list!) At about 4:30, I realized the only thing I had eaten all day were doughnuts and coffee. Opps. So, I had a burger and fries from the Joe's Burger kiosk and kept shopping. I ended the night shopping Keizer Station. I got some new candlesticks (I needed them after my visit to the Reece's!) and a new jewelry tree and earring storage from 'The Container Store'. (Note. If you are a tad-bit OCD like me, going to The Container Store is like visiting Mecca.) This was a glorious day.

Saturday - I woke up, cleaned house, and made curtains.The curtains aren't bad if you don't look closely. :-) I watched Sherlock Holmes and, by the end of the day, had my DVR down to about 41%.

Sunday - I went to church, dropped off the things I removed from my closet at Goodwill, had lunch with Melissa and Trina, and finally got my taxes done this afternoon. I ended my break with a long phone chat with my mom.... and, of course, some blogging.

I didn't finish my book (but it is a long one). I didn't get to Happy Hour. I only got the curtains done, not the pillows and I didn't find time to play Wii. All-in-all, I accomplished most of the things on my list.

Although I miss my family terribly, I will admit it was nice to spend this spring break checking things off my list rather than my typical car, airport, plane, airport, plane, car of a spring break routine. I am getting enough travel in the next 6 weeks to make my head spin.


Wordless Wednesdays 3-23-11

In celebration of the fact that my "little" brother had a birthday on Monday.... a photo of him with his newest daughter

and one of him with his whole family...


The Currents 3-22-11

Currently amused by: Jon Acuff's "Why did God Create Allergies"

Currently Reading; "Tess of the d'Urbervilles"

Currently ogling: Hannah O'Leary's State Convention photos. What a talented young lady!

Currently celebrating: My little brother turning 28. Whoa! That can't be right. My older sister is only 27 ;-) Seriously, just ask her.

Currently anticipating: Seeing the tulip fields in bloom.... Tulip festival begins this weekend.

Bruce Lee


Spring Break Part 1

This post is "All the things I will do with my 'Spring Break'"... Notice, I didn't say WANT to do....because it is a list of:
1- All the stuff I want to do, but haven't had time
2- All the stuff I need to do, but have procrastinated doing until now
3- All the stuff that I already have on my calendar for the week

Here goes:

  • Dinner with church friends
  • Weigh in at WeightWatchers (and lose!)
  • Have AG342 ready to roll for next week
  • go for a walk and not get rained on (I will need some cooperation from Mother Nature on this one)
  • Get a haircut (Appointment for tomorrow at 1:30 :-))
  • Do my Taxes
  • Mail Oregon postcards to my soon-to-be house guests
  • Clear some space on my DVR (90% full and I have lots of travel ahead - must watch or delete)
  • Change my cable plan
  • Sew my pillows and curtains
  • Clean out the closets
  • Read 'Tess of the d'Ubervilles'
  • Play some Wii
  • Complete my NAERC review (why do I volunteer for pain?)
  • Finish the ALE poster abstract
  • Take a friend out for her birthday dinner
  • Skype a friend
  • Go to Grad/Career Bible study
  • Enjoy a Happy Hour
  • Drive to Portland and spend some time at Powell's Books.

I think this is pretty ambitious since I have already donated the first four days of my spring break to being at the Oregon State FFA Convention. There is nothing like a few days spent with energized, top level FFA members to remember why you do the job.

Check back after spring break to see what got done.


Stopping the Email Avalanche

I feel I had some of the best training available in "How to be a faculty member" during my grad school experience at the University of Missouri. Seriously. I was prepared to teach. I was prepared to do research. I was prepared for meetings and collaborative projects. I was not prepared for the email. 

Don't get me wrong: I got email as a grad student. As a course instructor, you get students' emails. As a member of the Department, you get emails. However, the level of email that comes as a faculty member is a whole different matter than when I was a student.

I was referred by a friend to the video 'Inbox Zero'. Wanna Watch? (The actual talk here is only about 30 minutes, but the whole video including the Q&A session is 58 minutes. Time well spent if you ask me!) If you are in a time crunch, the heart of the presentation is from 10:00 to 30:00.

(I should acknowledge: This information actually paralleled pretty well some information I had received from Dr. Croom's Time Management course while working on my Master's at NCSU in 2003... but the context there was the paperwork you deal with as an Ag Teacher. It made all the difference in my teaching career.) 

Merlin Mann talks about his email system.When mail comes in, you process it. He makes a very clear point that "Processing is not responding". That is pretty freeing. That means I don't have 500 emails to respond to... I have 500 emails to process. Processing breaks down into five verbs: Delete (or archive), Delegate, Respond, Defer or Do. It seems easy enough. He calls this "advanced common sense" (a phrase borrowed from David Allen, the G.T.D. guy).

Merlin also makes the astonishing claim that the inbox should be for items not yet processed. My favorite part of the presentation is this quote "The default status of your inbox should not be 'keep sitting here until I start weeping'". Love it.

He also suggests you  "Do email less". Close your email and let it accumulate and then, when you open it, process to zero, close it and go back to work. Many items will seem less important when they aren't coming at you with notifications. He also makes the point that if you have your email set to check for new emails every minute, you are enduring 2400 interruptions a week. Whoa! No wonder I feel like email owns my life.

Starting project Inbox Zero today.

New goal: I want to be an email ninja!

Wordless Wednesday 3-16-11

Spring has sprung in Corvallis... just ask my allergies. But the flowers are worth it. Enjoy these shots of Camellia, Pieris, Magnolia and, of course, Daffodils.


Religion vs Gospel

A few weeks ago at Doxology (my Sunday morning church home), Pastor Pete preached about the difference in believing Religion versus Gospel.  Let's just say I was challenged by the message! I was raised in a Southern Baptist church and looking back, it seems to have created more of a "religious" person. I need more than one hand to count the areas here where I am struggling hard to see myself as a "gospel believer" and less of a "religious person". I guess that is why we are always a work in progress.

I obey; therefore, I am
I’m accepted therefore, I obey

Motivation is based on fear and insecurity
Motivation is based on grateful joy

I obey God in order to get things from God
I obey God to get God – to delight in and resemble him

When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself since I believe that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life
When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle, but I know all my punishment fell on Jesus and that while God may allow this for my training, he will exercise his fatherly love within my trial.

When I am criticized, I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a ‘good person.’ Threats to that self image must be destroyed at all costs.
When I am criticized, I struggle but it is not essential for me to think of myself as a ‘good person.’ My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ.

My prayer life consists largely on petition, and it only heats up when I am in a time of need. My main purpose in prayer is to control my environment
My prayer life consists of generous stretches of praise and adoration. My main purpose is fellowship with God.

My self view swings between two poles. If and when I am living up to my standards, I feel confident but then I am prone and unsympathetic to failing people. If and when I am not living up to standards, I feel humble but not confident – I feel like a failure.
My self view is not based on my moral achievements. In Christ I am simultaneously sinful and lost yet accepted in Christ. I am so bad that he had to die for me and I am so loved that he was glad to die for me. This leads me to deep humility and confidence at the same time.

My identity and self worth are based mainly on how hard I work or how moral I am – and so I must look down on those I perceive as lazy or immoral.
My identity and self worth are centered on the one who died for me. I am saved by sheer grace so I cant look down on those who believe or practice something different from me. Only by grace am I what I am.

Note: This chart is adapted from Gospel in Life by Timothy Keller.

The Currents

Currently listening to:

Currently reading: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Currently Watching: Gilmore Girls reruns on abcfamily....they say the best things.

Currently Laughing at: Really Really Bad Day Picture Song

Current Product Obsession: Buxom Lips by Bare Escentuals (picked it up on my first trip to Sephora.... how have I not been to this place before). Buxom tastes great and tingles while it plumps. :-)


Wanna Watch Roller Derby? Yes, Please!

If you ever have a friend ask you to spend a Saturday night watching Roller Derby... Don't think. Just say yes.

My friend Betsy and I decided to take in some Roller Derby at the fairgrounds in Albany last night. It is a cultural experience and a feast for the eyes. "It is better people watching than the airport."

They did a nice job explaining the rules for those of us in the crowd whose only prior knowledge came from Whip It! And reading the program was almost as exciting as watching the matches. Our team consisted of girls named: Jala-Pain-Yo, CosMoPain, Hot Boxx, Smack Dapus, and Ophelia MuffKrush...among others.

I am glad Betsy went with me...because she brought her camera and took some great pictures. Mine all turned out like this:

Enjoy some shots by the fabulous Betsy.... because a post about Roller Derby would be nothing without images. Seriously! 

Both teams line up 4 girls on the line to start a "jam"... the Roller Derby term for match.

If you are over 18, you can sit in the "Crash Zone" which is the corners of the flat track. If you are super cool, you can do it while wearing white crocs!

The girls skating during warmups.

Getting pumped after introductions.

Seriously, the outfits are half the charm of Roller Derby.

The jammers (one for each team) are the only ones who can score points. They have a star on their helmet and try to score point by passing the "pack". Our hometown team is the Sick Town Derby Dames. We were playing the Flat Track Furies. If you could read the scoreboard in the back, you would know we were losing.

This is the track.. .inside of a building at the fairgrounds. It was snap together tile squares with plastic roping to make lanes. I thought roller derby rinks were sloped and made of wood. But apparently, not all.

This is the captain of the STDD.. Brick Wallace. She was one tough cookie. (Those bricks are painted on...no tights here like the rest of the girls).

This was my favorite. One of the refs was named "Bambi on ice" and he had a tail. He is also the one who skated the American flag around the rink during the National Anthem. It was hard for me to keep a straight face. I have never held my hand over my heart in salute of a flag being carried by a man with a tail.... until now.

Current Proudest Achievement: Purging my Facebook friend list of 100 people
Currently Wanting: a text conversation
Currently Thankful for: My Friends
Currently Looking Forward to: Oregon State FFA Convention March 18-21


When will the grass be green?

When will the grass be green where I am?

This is not a horticultural question. I am not talking about the literal grass. I am talking about the tendency to judge what you have against what you could have. You know, the whole "Grass is greener on the other side of the fence" mentality.

I enjoy Oregon. When I am here, I get into a routine. I have new friends I spend time with and a book club I enjoy. I have meetings and events. I have a church and a Bible study that I enjoy. I have found places I like to eat and shop.I like my apartment (although I miss having a place to garden). Most of the time I like the climate. There is always something new to see or do. It's comfortable. I am in no way unhappy.

Until I go home.

When I am home I get to see all that I am missing. The nieces and nephew are bigger. My parents are older. My siblings are moving on and doing great things. I am missing the Sunday dinners and birthday celebrations. I am missing the joy of holidays together. I don't see Aunts and cousins and old friends. I fly in and then I fly out.

This trip, in particular, it hit me. My niece Kinsley was 3 weeks old when I left this time. When I see her again, she will be almost 5 months old. In that time span, Emily will turn 3. My little brother will turn 28. My mom and sister will share a birthday. Curtis will become a tween. Easter will come and go. Mother's Day and Father's Day will pass. With all that in mind, I had trouble saying goodbye this time. I hugged my parents without words because, well, with words would come tears.

The solution cannot be: Don't go home.
The solution cannot be: Give up the job you have worked years to have.

What is the solution to finding the green grass where I am?


Wordless Wednesday- 3-9-11

Aunt Misty's Cup Runneth Over....


There's a Blog in my Heart

I haven't blogged in a while. There is a very good reason. Well, it's more like a list of reasons. I am going to cover the happenings since I last blogged so this post might be a little lengthy.

Last Sunday (Feb 27th) I hit the road to Hermiston and Heppner for student teacher visits. It turns out this is where Oregon has been keeping the sun since about October. I caught a very nice sunset.

I saw my first tumbleweed (You have to look hard, it was also a bit of a dust storm :-))

I spent some time in the sprawling metropolis that is Heppner, OR.

I drove through some crappy weather  Monday night in the Columbia River Gorge to get back to Portland. It was nice that, when I finished with this white-knuckled, 32 degree snow-filled drive and arrived at the Hampton Inn, I was the "Guest of the Day". It involved goodies and my name in glitter!

The next morning (Tuesday Mar 1) I took a shuttle to PDX and caught a plane through Phoenix, arriving in Orlando around 7:30pm. It was warm, we had a tropical pool and a view of some nice palm trees. But, alas, I have no pictures. I was there for a conference. I didn't see much except meeting rooms, buffets, and the Red Lobster (twice). In between sessions, I would run outside and attempt to defrost, but that was about the end of it. Then, Friday 4th, it was another shuttle ride and more airplanes to spend 4 days in NC.

What a whirlwind - well, once it got started. My sister and nephew picked me up from the airport around 9pm and my back was not happy with all the travel and hotel rooms and meetings. So I took some Advil, soaked in the hot tub and went to bed.

The next morning (5th) involved Bojangles, followed by coffee and catching up with the parents. I spent the afternoon playing with the nieces. Then, my sister put together a gathering of friends at her house so I could see the gang all at one time. I stayed there until 1 in the morning. It is nice to have people who know you.

The 6th was the baptism of little Kinsley. She is a doll.

Followed by some time at the mall. I decided since my niece was turning 14 - we needed to embarrass her a little. She did a fashion show of the ugliest vest I could find, then we put her in a Bob the Builder coin operated ride and, finally, had her wear 14 scarves at one time in Rue 21.  Good times. I cannot believe she is 14. I cannot believe I get to be her aunt.

I also got to see Curtis at work. He volunteers at a military museum. I love this kid.

Lastly, there was a family dinner. I miss these. A lot. Mom made chicken Alfredo for Desiree (when it's your birthday you get to pick) and hot chili and fries and bread. There was also chocolate pie, chocolate oatmeal cookies and birthday cake. I am full just thinking about it. Weight watchers meeting for me Thursday when I get back to Oregon!

There was also a little time set aside to see the boy. I like him. I like him a lot. When we are together, things are effortless. We aren't together enough and that makes it not effortless....Catch 22. Doing what is right for the other person, without regard for your own pain is the grown-up thing to do. And sometimes being a grown up sucks. That is all I have to say about that.

Tonight is a birthday dinner for Desiree. I will smile through it. Tomorrow I will get on a plane. I am hoping to make it back to Oregon before I fall apart.