February 23, 2009

Turn Up the Hearing Aid

Lately, I feel like much of what I say has fallen on deaf ears.

Are my emails circling around in cyberspace, unable to reach their destination inbox?

Did my voicemail messages get recorded over by subsequent callers?

I'd yell louder but I'm already hoarse from all of the verbal and written requests. Sometimes the squeaky wheel doesn't get the grease.

February 21, 2009

The Annual Insanity

In December I typically start checking in on federal grant opportunities that could fit our funding needs. I diligently watch for their anticipated openings and requests for applications (RFA), preparing project ideas in the hope that something will come along that is applicable to us.

Why do I watch them so closely? Why do I willingly subject myself to the insanity that ensues when we reach an agreement to submit an application?

The month it takes to write/submit a grant application is truly hell. The few days before deadlines being the worst. I forgo family activities on the weekends and survive on copious amounts of caffeine, with an occasional jolt of exasperation-fueled energy. I complain the entire time that I'm working my tail off to get it done. Shaking my head, cursing everyone involved and wondering why I continue to put forth so much work. Wondering why I work so hard to make up for the delays of others.

After everything is said and done, I think my mind and body block out the month of hell that I endure. Each year I agree to do it all over gain; I continue to work all hours of the day and night to overcompensate for colleagues that are slow to respond to my requests. I work 70+ hour weeks to make sure all of the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed. Because honestly government grant applications are the worst to submit.

This year, the ante has been raised. With the change in numerous government facets came a delay in the disbursement of funds for various programs (the USDA included). This was exacerbated by the turnover of political parties. Many announcements were under the threat of not opening at all due to appropriation of funds. Fortunately some are opening, albeit much later than normal.

Unfortunately, these later announcements are coupled with a shorter time span between the opening and closing date. Meaning the insanity that typically goes along with writing these applications is intensified. My deadlines are tighter than ever. Couple that with an increased need for this grant to be funded (the project I'm on is done in a couple of months and there is no more funding for my position unless I secure more) and it's easy to see why the insanity is frenetic.

You'd think that I'd learn my lesson, but it appears as if I don't. Maybe this explains a great deal in my life...

February 19, 2009

One Step Closer to Diamond

Next year is the first of the "big" anniversaries -- 10 years. I'm saying the same thing today that I've said every February 9th for the last 8 calendar years.

I truly wonder how 9 years has gone by so quickly. It seems as though just yesterday we were a couple of bright-eyed, energetic kids walking down the aisle.

At 21 I thought I had all the answers. I was scared to death and incredibly excited to get married. I looked forward to spending the rest of my days with C, hoping that we'd stand the test of time and grow old together.

Now at 30, I know I don't even come close to having all the answers. The bright eyes that shed tears of joy 9 years ago shine a little less brightly now out of exhaustion and are softened by wrinkles. But I still look forward to spending the rest of my days with my husband by my side.

With 9 years of discussions, arguments and laughter on our matrimonial resume I have a stronger faith that we'll stand the test of time and grow old together. We have undoubtedly conquered the growing old together aspect, as both of us are beginning to show some wear and I have certainly learned for us, wedded bliss doesn't always come easy. Some days it takes much more work than others. Without a doubt though, there is no one else I'd rather work so hard for.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

February 17, 2009

The Perks

Over the last few days, I've come to realize that the perks of DH's job do help to outweigh some of the negatives. There are still things I'd change -- things that I don't understand at all -- but I think I'd begun focusing too much on the bad and not at all on the benefits.

One of the big perks is our product allotment. The employees of the company are given a specified amount to use on products monthly. Considering his company encompasses nutritional supplements, personal care products, home cleaners and OTC medicines this equates to a huge savings for us.

The more I got to think about it, the more I realized how much of an impact it does has on our life. And my grocery bill!

Just briefly, here's a list of the company's products that we DO use:

Health Products
  • vitamins
  • calcium supplements
  • fiber supplements
  • protein bars/shakes
  • performance bars/shakes
  • weight management bars/shakes
Personal Care Products
  • body wash
  • handsoap
  • lotion
  • lip balm
  • facial cleanser, scrub, masks, acne treatment, moisturizer
  • makeup remover
  • cosmetics
  • shave gel
Home Cleaners
  • laundry detergent
  • fabric softener
  • stain remover
  • color safe laundry brightener
  • dishsoap
  • dishwasher detergent
  • glass cleaner
  • multi-purpose surface cleaner (both liquid and in wipes)
  • disinfectant
  • daily shower cleaner
  • soap scum and hard water remover, aka bathroom cleaner
  • 3in1 cleaner for "tough" projects
OTC Medicines
  • antifungal cream
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • cold medicine, both daytime and nighttime formulas
  • cough medicine
  • cough drops
  • allergy medicine
  • antibiotic cream
  • pain relieving cream for sore muscles
  • antacid
  • acetaminophen
  • acetaminophen with sleep aid
  • ibuprofen
  • first aid topical gel
  • tea tree oil
  • candles
  • home & linen sprays

The only products we do buy instead of using the company's:
  • hair care
  • toothpaste & mouthwash
  • deodorant
  • after shave

Yikes! Typing it all out definitely makes more of an impact than just seeing it in the cupboards.

February 13, 2009

A Day Late and More than a Dollar Short

Yesterday marks 3 years that I've been blogging. In that 1095 days (yes, I accounted for leap year last year) I've published 274 pots.

That's just under 1 post every 4 days. Not the greatest odds, I'll admit.

My frequency waxes and wanes in correlation to the craziness of life. Sometimes when I'm the most stressed I blog more; sometimes when I'm the most stressed I don't even think about blogging for days.

This blog has evolved over the last 3 years. It started as a place to just talk about the day to day happenings of life. The who, what, when, where, why and how. Now it's mainly just a place for me to express myself. To have an outlet when I need to vent and a place to laugh when my 12 year old humor kicks in. I can't guarantee a record number of posts or even great posts at that. But I can promise that I'll continue to plod along and periodically churn out something that hopefully clues you in a little more on the quirkiness that defines me.

So here's to another year, new posts and a journey that's yet to unfold.

February 10, 2009

Grossly Fascinating

They feel like some ancient form of chinese torture. The pain is enough to make my eyes water as I slowly separate their adhesive layer from my skin. It leaves the affected area sore and sometimes red for a good hour, post-removal. But I find myself fascinated with looking at what others would surely deem as gross -- what this torture device has actually removed from my face.

To someone who cannot leave their skin alone (fellow "pickers" know what I mean) Biore's pore cleansing strips are a fantastic invention.

And yes, I know this is more than you want to know about me.