Wednesday, October 20, 2010

a productive day

Okay so this post is in part just an excuse to post some lovely autumnal pictures and partly an opportunity to write a positive post.

I have a satisfyingly productive day today.

I got a decent start to my day. Allowed myself to sleep in just a bit, but was still up early enough to feel like I hadn't wasted my morning. First things first I finished decorating the house for Halloween, hopefully the rain/wind that started this evening doesn't wreck too much havoc. I particularly love the big spider that you can see climbing the tombstone. I got 3 of those total.

After putting the finishing touches on the decorations I spent a good chunk of my day studying. Pretty uneventful so I won't bore you with the details.

After reading for a few hours I got restless and decided to use some of the apples that I picked on Saturday to bake. I had planned to make pie, but I had to work at 6 today and I was worried that Pie would take too much time. For the heck of it I went online and just looked up "simple apple recipes" and found one that I decided would be worth trying. SUPER YUMMY! The recipe that I found online called them Apple Squares, but I'll have to think of something better to call them.

If you're looking for something to do with some extra apples here's the recipe, I highly recommend it, and I can be picky sometimes.


  • 3 large apples, peeled & diced
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups flour (1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 all purpose flour)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canola oil or natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF degrees.

Prep the apples and pecans, set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt together. Make a well, pour in eggs, oil, and vanilla. STIR BY HAND. The batter becomes very thick. Fold in the apples and pecans until well mixed. Pour into a well greased pan. There's enough batter to fill one 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake for 40 minutes.

*Also just a note I used two 8x8 pans because I wanted to take one to work, I also used 6 small apples instead of 3 large ones, I didn't have any whole wheat flour so I just used 2 cups all purpose, and I sprinkled just a little bit of brown sugar on the top when I was done. In spite of all my little alterations or perhaps because of them the result was delicious, crunchy on top warm and gooey on the inside. Some recipes, particularly for desserts, need to be fairly precise. This is definitely not one of them. It was quick easy and as for amount of apple the measurements seem to have some leeway.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Okay, New Day

Where I'd like to be right now

So my frustrations of the last few weeks haven't really lessened, but today is a new day and it happens to be a beautiful fall day.

For the next couple of months I know I'll swing back and forth between stressed out / frustrated and a more mellow controlled I can do this kind of feeling. I am still deeply concerned about the changes at work and the only that is making me reluctant to look for a new job immediately is that I've never liked my co-workers as much as I do right now.

Halloween is coming up and I think I might put up some decorations this afternoon after I get a little studying done. I know that to remain sane right now I need to be sure that I feel I am using my time productively for studying, but I also need to allow myself little breaks. Whether for decorating for Halloween, or baking or just watching a movie, spending time with friends or just spending some time with myself.

Getting time to myself when I can take a break from the studying or whatever else I have on my agenda is really important to me, it allows me to just be for a little bit and feel good about myself. It does make it hard though because I feel guilty about not spending time with friends that I haven't seen in a while, it's not personal I'm not avoiding them, but sometimes even something as simple as going to get a coffee with someone else feels more like work than a break. I find that right now when I have a free hour I'd much rather just take the dog to the park or a walk, or work on some little craft around the house that I've been meaning to get to than go get coffee with anyone. So if you are one of my friends that I haven't seen in a while, I'm sorry I am, but this is what I need to do right now, for my own sanity. I promise you will see me again, in a month or two.

Right so this has been a bit rambling, but I was feeling reflective and I just wanted to get my thoughts down. Thanks for reading, and I hope I didn't bore you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

more misery at the book store

In less than a week work has dropped so much s@%t on us as employees that I'm starting to wonder if we're part of a psychological experiment to see just how far retail employees can be pushed before the snap.

I came into work last Thursday and there is a memo in the break room that starting later this month all of our janitorial staff will be let go and employees will be responsible for cleaning the store. Which means they will need someone to come in mornings and clean the bathrooms vacuum etc. I'm sorry, but actual cleaning staff gets paid very well there is no way I'm going to do their job for my pay. Starting on Sunday the entire back section of the store is being rearranged, not because the current arrangement doesn't work, but because someone at corporate needed to prove that they should keep their job. In fact the new set up is incredibly awkward and inconvenient.

And the final straw, today all of the lovely new chairs that we got in the break room (to replace the perfectly good couch we had) have been moved out onto the floor because customers "need MORE seating." I'm sorry but the people who sit in those chairs all day and don't ever buy anything should not be encouraged! Mean while there is absolutely nowhere comfortable to sit now in the break room. I honestly find the entire thing incredibly disrespectful to the employees. A good business has happy employees, they don't screw them and short change them at every chance they get.

I am so frustrated and unhappy right now. This job may not have been the best job in the world, but I didn't hate it. I didn't dread going to work everyday in fact sometimes I looked forward to it. I love books and I really like all of the people I work with, but now I don't know.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am so stressed out and unhappy right now.

I feel like I'm under so much pressure right now, and I really don't know how to fix it. The wedding is over, it could not have gone better and the bride and groom both had a wonderful time, but I'm more stressed out than ever. The wedding was a distraction it helped to divert my attention and thus my stress.

Two part time jobs, constant studying, and working on applications/picking the schools I'm applying to. I haven't even picked all of the schools I'm applying to. My mother keeps pressuring me to quit one of my jobs, I'd love to quit one of my jobs, but I fear that while doing so would elevate some of my stress over not having enough time it would create new stress financially.

For almost a year I worked one part time job because I couldn't find either a) a full time job or b) another part time job with a schedule that would work around the job I already had. I finally found a second job last spring and it has been a huge relief financially because it has actually allowed me to put a little bit of money from each paycheck into savings. This is huge for me. See I'm living at home right now and working jobs that I have absolutely no passion for, and before I had my second job it was impossible to save any money, I was so frustrated. At least right now I may be unhappy, but I'm able to save money and that allows me to do things that I want to do every once in a while.

I'll be able to get more hours at my bookstore job over the holidays, but if this year is anything like last year those hours will significantly dry up in late January and then I'll be in the same position I was in last year at that time. One job making less than $100 a week. I would give anything to be able to quite my job at the wine store right now, but I know if I do the chances of me finding another job that will work with my book store schedule are slim to non so I'd be stuck yet again with only one job.

I just hate this I feel so trapped, just thinking about it makes me feel panicky and stressed.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

who needs sleep?

I've been having the worst time getting to sleep lately. To start with I put off going to bed much later than I should because I know that as soon as the lights are off and my head hits the pillow it will fill up with the million and one things that are pressing in on me and stressing me out right now.

Some of these things I have a certain degree of control over, others, and these are the worst, I feel I have no control over what so ever. Or that no matter how hard I try it won't be enough. So I lay awake in bed trying to hold down all of the thoughts running through my head and just allow everything to empty out so that I can sleep. Eventually it usually works, but it's a struggle each night as my thoughts fight to push their way up, popping suddenly and without warning back into my field of vision.

I'm feeling frustrated and stressed out right now. Time seems to be slipping through my fingers like so many grains of sand and I just can't seem to hold on to it, or use it as I'd like to, as I need to.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

can you hear me now?

So it's about that time again, time for a new cell phone. I don't know if anyone actually reads this, but if you're here reading this blog entry I am looking for suggestions and advice on what kind of phone I should get. I am currently a Verizon customer and I am on a family plan. I pay my portion of the bill, but because it is part of the family plan it is a fairly small amount.

I currently have a very low tech phone, it's just your basic flip phone it has a camera and all the jazz. It doesn't have internet and it doesn't flip open, have a touch screen, or have a keypad or anything like that. It has served me well, but there are very few phones that basic still available on the market and in any case I believe I'm ready for something a bit more high tech. I have only just begun to consider my options and so far I've looked at the Palm Pre, the Palm Pre Pixie, and a couple of Android capable phones. So I'm hoping that people who have these phones might be able to offer me their take on them. Also if you have other kinds of phones that you really like I'd be interested to hear about them too. Though I'm not really interested in a Blackberry phone.

Additionally, while it is less likely that I will actually change my service provider I am intrigued by plans such as Virgin's Beyond Talk plan which offers unlimited texting and internet usage plus 300 talk minutes for $25 a month. So I am open to the idea of switching plans if there is one out that that I see as particularly advantageous. And by that I mean cost effective. I don't have tons of money to throw around on cell phone plans, so I need something cheap that will allow me to send at least 500 of text messages a month. I don't actually talk on my phone that much, but I image I need at least 300 minutes of talk time.

This concern over cost goes for phones as well I get free and or significantly discounted rates on phones with my upgrade, so I'd like to get a either a one of the free ones or not spend more than about $50 on one. For example with my plan I can get the Palm Pre Pixie for free and the Pal Pre for $49.99.

So what do I do? Any suggestions?