Okay. Many of you have expressed confusion about our situation. Here is:
Aleta: Living in temporary housing in Medford, OR
Andy: Living in Portland, OR
We (Me, Andy, the snake, and the two cats) are moving to a more permanent structure in Medford/Ashland, OR area. Andy has to get the apartment ready to move while I work. Everything happened with my new job so fast that we didn’t have time to get a new place. So for the time being we have to live apart. Obviously I’d like to have my husband, cats, and stuff with me. But this is our reality and we will be together soon.
Andy got involved in Portland State’s fencing club several years ago. Fencing was a brand new world to me. I had seen fencing while watching the Olympics but that was it. At the collegiate level women and men fence against each other which is really cool.
Photographing fencing is incredibly difficult. You can take hundreds of photos and miss the key shots. Or they come out blurry. Or just plain weird. But over the years, I’ve watched Andy fence enough that I know when to take the shot. Most of the time. The real key is timing. Don’t start taking the photo when the fencers first start. Wait about 30 seconds and then take the photo.
Andy versus Scrabby Doo
Andy versus Andrew
Andy versus ?
For every good photo I take, there are 15 that I delete. Practice is definitely key. Good luck!
The trip to Europe this summer opened my eyes to international travel. I couldn’t help but think of all the cool places we could visit. Germany was a bit difficult for a vegetarian eater like Andy. Please don’t get me wrong, we LOVED Germany. We LOVE Germany and want to go back. But there were times it would have been nice to relax and not have to worry about if there was bacon in the salad or if there was beef stock in the mushrooms and creme.
So I thought “Why don’t we go to India?” Granted for some people, going to a location primarily for food is ridiculous. But then again, Andy and I went to Germany, Austria, and Belgium for beer. And if you’ve ever had naan, you’ll know why I want to go to India. Plus it has an amazing history!
We paid for my airline ticket with United Miles. For years, we charged all our groceries, parking, dining, etc on our United credit card (and paid the balance off each month). I joined the Mileage Plus Dining program where if you go to certain restaurants and pay the bill with your credit card you get extra points. Many of the restaurants were places that Andy and I liked.
So after getting my miles balance less than 19k in June, I have managed to get the balance back up to 40k+. You need more than 120k miles for an international round trip ticket so we have a long way to go. Tentatively we’ve scheduled the India trip for 2013. We also have a long way to go to save up the needed funds as well. But slowly but surely we will eat our way to India.
There is a site called Athlinks that has the world’s largest database of race results. I looked up all of my races in one convenient place. It was easy for me because I’ve run/cycled/swam under one name. If you have a maiden name or hyphenated name, your search might be more difficult.
My pace is all over the board. From the fast 10k I ran to the uber slow 50K I ran. I all ready know that the longer the race, the more apt I am to fall apart at the end. My goal for the upcoming year(s) is to get to a point where I am more consistent. The inconsistency comes from not being as well trained as I should be.
Here it is:
I’m great at wishing people happy birthday or cheering people up when they are blue. But for hardcore events, I’m speechless. I want to say something nice, caring, and inspiring but don’t know what’s appropriate.
I went to school with a woman for several years (middle school and high school) whose young son died in a tragic accident. It was obvious that she and her family were in terrible emotional pain over this event. I looked at everyone’s responses on Facebook but still didn’t know how to express my feelings to her. I couldn’t say “God has a plan for us all” or “Trust in God and all will be well” because frankly if I were in her shoes, I’d pretty pissed off.
My good friend’s husband asked her for a divorce in an email. This happened right in the middle of the holidays. And to make worse, he left her for another woman. You can’t come back with “Better luck next time” or “I always thought he was a loser”. Oh no.
So I turned to Google. It turns out there are quite a few resources for these experiences. Search for “Condolence on a divorce” or “death in the family – what to say”. There are even resources on how to write a sympathy card. It may take you a few searches to find what you are looking for. I have saved some of the sites for future use. Don’t let not knowing what to say keep you from saying something heartfelt.
Our big news is that we’re moving to the Medford/Ashland, OR area. I have accepted a new job as an Email Manager with a local company. So after living in Portland for 12 years (for me) and over 15 years (for Andy), we are saying goodbye.
I have mixed feelings about Portland. On one hand, I love the city. I love the food carts, Powell’s, the numerous breweries, and the mass transit options. But (there is always a but) I do not love the traffic, the vast amounts of drugged out homeless kids who aggressively panhandle, the snow, high housing costs, and some of the other things that go with living in a liberal city.
So. What’s next? I will go to Medford/Ashland for a few weeks while we find a place to live. Andy has some work commitments that will keep him in Portland until mid December. After that, we will be together. Stay tuned for more news on our adventure.
First off I had to look in the dictionary to make sure I spelled peek right. I didn’t. Peak and peek are different. Anyways. There is some exciting news that Andy and I will be sharing very soon. No, we are NOT expecting any additions to our household: kittens, puppies, or babies. So. Don’t go there. This is a teaser post to get some of you thinking about what our news could possibly be.
Stay tuned because its pretty exciting in a I-kind-of-want-to-throw-up-but-I’m-really-excited kind of way.
In my head and heart I look like this when I run:
But in reality it’s more like this:
But its better than this:
I’ve moved to extreme couponing. This should come as no shock to anyone. It seems like its all the rage now. There is even a tv show about extreme couponing called “Extreme Couponing” Basically extreme couponing or ultra couponing is working the existing sales at retail stores in conjunction with double/triple coupons and manufacturer coupons. It’s a lot of work and requires a tremendous amount of organization but can really pay off. Look into my freezer and you’ll see.
But don’t get completely swept away by the offers and deals. Here are a few tips:
1. Don’t buy products you wouldn’t normally buy. Seems obvious but when you see a $4 off coupon along with a good sale at the store plus a potential triple coupon offer…put down the coupon and walk away.
2. Stay within your budget. Remember the reason you are couponing – to stay on a budget.
3. When in doubt, call a friend or spouse. I was in Fred Meyer facing a major sale on cheese ($2.50 a pound for good, local shredded cheese) and called Andy to confirm our need for cheese. We go through a lot of cheese and we can freeze it so…I bought. Actually I bought the coupon limit, dropped my bag in my car, and went back in for another coupon.
4. Look at prices online. I got caught in this one. I got a $4 off coupon for any size of a named brand acid reducer. A grocery store had a double coupon offer so I went in and made the purchase. Turns out, I way overpaid. If I would have used the Internet to comparison shop, I could have saved much more.
5. Stay organized. Develop a system and use it. Nothing worse than finding an expired coupon for something you really need.
Good luck and stay vigilant my friends.