Extreme scoping

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I've had a love-affair with Europe my entire adult life and want to live there one day. It's definitely a "one day" thing. Kevin isn't that excited about it. Because I'm not an EU citizen I'd have to work for a company that has clients or offices in Europe. I'm not ready at this point in my life to focus on career or travel. I've got a little one to consider. Either I win the lottery (Kevin plays even if I don't) or this gets relegated to the back burner. Out of scope.

I read an article yesterday that triggered a memory of a very magical area of the Delaware river. It involves two towns in two states, a bridge, lightly falling snow and little white lights. I got to thinking how you could get so much more house, enjoy public transportation and be able to spend weekends exploring so much more of the world if I lived there instead of here.

Initially I spent two seconds on work, dismissing it because healthcare is everywhere. I've never had a problem getting a job. Only later, after looking into so many other aspects did I really consider that back East I think they take education pretty seriously and by the way, I don't have the connections and references that I enjoy here. Not to say that it's impossible, but maybe moving and buying a first home at the same time might be difficult. I have almost 12 years at my current job. It's my understanding that that comes in handy.

Plus there are the parents who are enjoying being grandparents. Out of scope.

I am already beginning to work on things to get me closer to buying my first home. There's nothing I can research or dream about today.

What should I be researching?

How about wtf am I wearing to a wedding today?!?! How about that? It's not as fun as searching Zillo along the Delaware or deciphering public transport across the East Coast and definitely not nearly as exciting as planning future weekend get-aways such as Philadephia, Niagra, revolutionary war sites, Boston, DC, Toronto, Outer Banks, Cape Cod, Maine, Hamptons and NYC.

Guess I better do laundry.

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Testing this iPhone app

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Today I am so grateful for:

• livejournal and trying to get it back in my life.

• my wonderful husband who has never ever mentioned the fact that I haven't changed my name yet (still have the ex's) and it's almost been two years since we got married.

• my two awesome college student sons. I'm super proud of both of them.

• the act of strategic planning. Provides clarity and makes the what you think about you bring about come true.

• the fact that I will be working from home more often soon.

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To Do: #1. Throw away To Do List

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I had a "to do" list that was tediously long this morning. I pushed it aside to write my morning pages. It would be good. It's been a long time. It won't take that long to write three pages long-hand.

I woke up at 10:30 today. I can do that on my day off. The night before I researched (again) coffee houses in the area and had decided to check out Coffee and Chrome but it didn't look inviting and there was only one car in the lot so I drove on. Passed Kimmie's because it looked too diner-kitschy and resolved myself to Jamba Juice because it was hot outside. I was disappointed. I don't know why I make such a big deal about where I go to write. I'm not asking for much! Just someplace that has Panera's food (but better) with the atmosphere of Cafe Veronese and the casual comfort of Mc Clain's. And air-conditioning of course.

Jamba Juice's patio is outside but I sat in the shade and almost made due until PEOPLE came and had the nerve to speak. Plus there were kalamata olives in the only veggie wrap they had. My morning pages were quickly becoming mourning pages. And it was no longer morning.

And then it occurred to me that the library is both quiet and air-conditioned with the added benefit of books! No food but I was already done with that part. So after a brief stop by the closed on Fridays Brea Library I am now a card-holder at the Yorba Linda Public Library.

When I was little I used to get dropped off at the downtown Anaheim public library and when I got my bike at 12 I would take myself. I remember spending a summer there participating in their kid's book club. I loved that gorgeous building filled to the brim with magic. My favorite librarian still works there. When I was on maternity leave with Sam and again when I took a year off of work I always returned to the library. Libraries give me all kinds of good energy and make me extremely happy. You'd think I'd spend more time there.

After I got my shiny new library card I quickly checked my email on one of their computers and then made my way to the uber quiet study section and wrote and wrote and brain dumped and made lists and designed the main living area of my dream house. That done, I went looking for a pressure cooker cookbook so I can begin using the one I got for my birthday. It must have been the new tickle me Elmo because all the books were checked out. hmpf. I did however find a book by Michael Ruhlman called "The Making of a Chef" which is all about going to culinary school. By the way, if I ever do go to culinary school it will be the end of my vegetarian days. One of the first things you do evidently is learn to butcher animals.

I needed to go to the grocery store but didn't know the ingredients that I needed by heart and thought I'd have to go home first. I knew the Better Homes and Gardens recipe was in my email but I needed my mom's lasagna recipe. Then I remembered that last week Blurb piloted new functionality where you could preview an entire book online. Some of you may remember that I took the three books that my mom put together of her recipes and combined them along with her recipe cards into a book that I gave my sister for Christmas. Of course my mom's lasagna recipe is in there and I could preview it online!!! It's a good thing too because I remembered later that Michele still has my copy!

On the way out of the library I decided to take a look at the movies and music. We don't have a VHS player so the movies were pretty much out. Plus that's what Netflix is for. But I realized that checking out cd's is free. It's a cheap and legal way to fill up my ipod and expand my musical horizons. I started with the A's. Today I got Paula Abdul since I loved "Straight Up" in high school. I know it's nothing I would want to actually BUY though. I also got Erika Badu because my sister Mary liked her, Joan Baez since I'm supposed to know about her but don't and Harry Belafonte because I love him and no longer have my cassette! If I keep this up I will know so much more about classical, opera and show tunes than I already do since that's mostly what the library has.

Even the grocery store was good today. I've always known the produce section at my Albertson's is good. Today in my leisurely mood I actually LOOKED. I was surprised to find Broccoli Rabe (or rapini), which I've never seen in a store but see all over European recipes. I usually just put those recipes aside since I never knew where to find the stuff. They also have an aisle of foreign foods that include foods from Germany and Great Britain along with the normal grocery store Asian and Hispanic sections along with a healthy/organic aisle. I usually bypass those aisles because they are not on my To Do list.

I was worried that after being gone today for five hours that I would crash from the high that was today and feel sad that my kitchen is still dirty and my To Do list still long. Kinda like you'd feel if you had a big hot fudge sundae even though you were on a diet. Instead I am sustained and nourished by my divagation. My list does not seem all that overwhelming or important anymore. It is more important to feed my spirit.

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That was overly dramatic. I left a piece of my heart.

And it is good and normal and we even tried to make it fun.
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"EWW!" and "Seriously?"

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So a guy had French onion soup at Claim Jumper restaurant and chewed on a used condom.  Ew.  He's suing but he's also stating that his life has become a living hell.  He lives in fear of fatal disease (even though he's tested negative for Hepatitis and HIV).  His wife won't go near him.

Seriously?  He didn't even swallow!

Sometimes I think people borrow more trouble than they need.  I won't even get into the debate about whether it's a valid claim versus a plant.

And what is it with condoms in soup?  In 2004 there was a claim against McCormick & Schmick's.  I think soup is an easy vehicle for just about anything.  Come to think of it I found something in soup at Hometown Buffett.  It was an eaten chicken leg (in a vegetable soup!).  I think I even finished my (other) food and left.  Haven't been back but I didn't freak out and I didn't sue either.  Granted it's not a scary condom but I think sometimes we create more trouble in our lives than is really necessary. 

Here's the article that prompted my thoughts.  

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FYI FWIW

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  •  I still exist.
  • Work is extra special crazy at the end of a fiscal year.  I have no less than 20 projects in addition to regular day to day work.
  • Max is graduating in less than a week.  O.M.G.
  • I have a party to plan and if I don't get busy there will be about 60 people not eating.
  • Financial aid sucks and gives me the heebee geebies.  I've got to sign the papers soon.  It would be nice to understand what the hell I'm signing.
  • We have to make sure Max is ready to move mid August.  At least I get another trip to San Francisco out of it.
  • It is my goal to finish posting my honeymoon pictures before my first anniversary.
  • It is also my goal to have my name changed so that if I ever do get pregnant and deliver the baby will not say Forbes because how incredibly wrong is that?!?!  It's my ex's name!  
  • And speaking of trying to get pregnant...you should see the data I'm capturing about myself on the white board in my bedroom.  I love white boards.  There's like six or so columns for each day of the month.  I've never paid this much attention to bodily functions.  It's fun when it becomes DATA!
  • Data is cool because you can tell by looking at my (low!) basal body temperature the days that Kevin stole all the covers.
  • I get to go buy fresh strawberries from the stand around the corner so I can fill Sabrina's birthday cake!  Leftovers go to me as long as I eat them before Sam gets home.  He's a strawberry fiend.  I will save some for him.
  • Today Max takes his behind the wheel driving test.  After much stress and carrying on and on and on...he is actually a very good driver and finally looks comfortable behind the wheel.  I hope he passes and that nothing weird happens.
  • Even though I hardly every post here anymore and have been commenting less I still read every day.
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We woke up too early but we had to if we wanted to see Sherwood Forest. Before we boarded our train to Nottingham, we walked through Trafalgar Square and back to Piccadilly so that I could look through the window at Fortnum and Mason.
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We woke up in the countryside which was a nice change of pace after London. The bed and breakfast we stayed at had a beautiful garden and they served us a nice English breakfast. They also let us leave our backpacks there for the day.

We did not have plans. Shocking I know. We walked onto the small road and headed for center of town which was a very small walk.

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It was idyllic countryside. I loved Amesbury.
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Honeymoon Day 5 - London

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We woke up and ate at the local Pret a Manger which is a cross between a restaurant and a 7-eleven with the quality and freshness of something you put together yourself. I say 7-eleven only because sandwiches are pre-made (that day). I believe I had a tomato mozzarella croissant for breakfast. I'm telling you their fast food is incredible in England.

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Honeymoon Day 4 - London

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I feel like I should have been done chronicling our honeymoon a very long time ago. At this rate we'll have been married for years before I'm done. Oh Well. Keep on Keeping On.

So at the end of Day 3 we turned in our rental car and boarded a train in Bristol and arrived in London quite late at night. We stayed in a budget/hostel type of place though we had our own room and connected bathroom. It was very clean, but very noisy and the bed was uncomfortable. Oh well. We weren't there to sleep.

Bright and early the next morning we figured out how to ride the underground and went to Piccadilly to get our London Pass. With pass in hand we went straight to the Tower of London.

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Currently...

Reading:
Inkheart

Last Movie:
Vantage Point (A)

Watching:
American Idol; Sarah Conner Chronicles

Excited about:
Barack Obama

Knitting:
SOCKS!
And an afghan 4/62 squares complete
A secret project X 1

Cooking:
Many many inexpensive dinners

Doing:
Planning my new ideas.
Learning about cameras
Fixin' to get married

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