Friday, August 22, 2014

Cake of Resignation

Colleen has been my co-worker, and then my manager, since April 2, 2001.  We know each other way too well, and we kick butt at charades.  I mean, seriously, you just can't compete in that kind of game against people who have spent 40+ hours together each week for more than 13 years!

So I knew that a letter of resignation would just not do.  Not for this situation.

Colleen has known for as long as I have that moving to Alaska was a strong possibility.  It's not a secret I kept from her.  I am a loyal person by nature.  Leaving Colleen high and dry without advanced warning just would not be my M.O.

So while she has known of my eventual last day since June, it was this week that I gave her a firm last day.

September 10.

Two and a half weeks.  

And this was how I told her:

my Cake of Resignation
The person at Hy-Vee looked at my with a question in her raised eyebrows, so I confirmed.  "I quit, with a smiley face."  

So while it's sad to give my notice, it's hard to be sad when eating cake.  It felt, to me anyway, like a happy occasion.

Moral of the story:  If you have this kind of relationship with your manager, you should seriously consider giving a Cake of Resignation if you decide to leave your company.  They taste infinitely better than a letter of resignation...

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My last visit to the Farmers' Market on the Square

Time is counting down until I'm outta here...  I knew that I was working a bit today, so I thought I would go to the Farmers' Market first.  The Farmers' Market is held on Saturday mornings on the Capital Square.  It's the largest producer-only farmer's market int he US.  All items are produced locally by the vendor behind the table.  It's nice to know that you aren't going to see a huge corporation with a table set up.

this is actually a photo.  a photo that was heavily edited, but a photo nonetheless.
Madison, Wisconsin capital building
I hadn't been to the Farmers' Market since before the whole Recall Scott Walker thing happened.  That whole situation really ruined the capital for me.  Why do you think you need to hang out up there and sing?  It's not doing any good, and you're just annoying people who would have a neutral opinion about it in the first place.


So it had been a really long time since I'd had hot 'n spicy cheese bread from Stella's.

So off I went.  Left the house around 7AM, which is a little late since I like to be there before the huge crowds, but I went nonetheless.

First stop:  hot 'n spicy cheese bread.  Straight from the oven.  So good...  so much cheesy goodness...

hot peppers.  I never would have known if there wasn't a sign on them.

Next stop:  cream cheese croissant from "the far corner".  I don't know what the bakery is, but I always park in the same parking ramp, and I get the same croissant from the same vendor, once I'm halfway around the square.

While I was sitting on the bench eating my croissant I heard "What are you doing here?"  I looked up and saw one of the girls that I went to high school with (2 hours south of Madison), and worked with one summer at the campground where Nate now works.  Holy cats, imagine seeing someone who lives that far away at a fairly well populated event!  Crazy.

Then:  Jam.  Jam from The Summer Kitchen.  I am not regularly a jam/jelly kind of girl.  But oh my gosh hand me a spoon because this stuff is amazing!  I bought Maiden Blush (ingredients:  Macintosh Apples, Strawberries, sugar, natural pectin, no additives, no preservatives).  I put it on my hot 'n spicy cheese bread for lunch and it was delicious!

After Jam was cheese curds.  Always good, but not as good as the curds at Cheesers.  I think buying cheese curds at the Farmers' Market is just me on auto-pilot.  I ate some while at work, then gave the guys who were on lunch when I left the rest of the bag.

My final purchase was plums from Door Creek.  These little bitty plums.  So small and cute.  About the size of a large cherry tomato.  And yummy too!

All in all, I was there for about 30 minutes.  It was good to go one last time.  Now I'm ready to see what the Wednesday Farmers' & Craft Market is like in Glennallen next summer...

And FYI - all those photos are from my phone.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Photos from Alaska

Jeff put some good photos on his Instagram today.

First, the mountains...

Jeff said that the mountains are not "out" much - usually behind clouds.  Looks like he got lucky this time.  Can you imagine - this is his view from near his office!!!!

just in case you were wondering the names of the mountains.

Did you read that?  If not, go back and read it.

Really, largest active volcano in Alaska?!?!?!  I did not read that sign before I agreed to this!  Luckily, Mt. Wrangell is fairly far away, which is why, although it's so tall, it looks small in the first photo.  Mt. Drum is the mountain that looks so big, because it's so much closer than the others.

What's more - I noticed those flowers in that picture.  Aren't they pretty?

And here's one for all you Deadliest Catch and Captain Phil fans...
Jeff took Rhyanne to Valdez a couple weeks ago, and saw the Cornelia Marie at the dock.  I'm looking forward to more "close encounters" with Alaskan TV celebrities up here...

Until next time...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Getting lost near home

I was headed home today when I saw that there was a major backup on the interstate.  I am NOT the kind of person who sits patiently in traffic, so I took a quick right to the exit ramp to go home the long way.

Once on the long way, I saw a sign for the park that is just North of town, so I thought maybe it would be a good short-cut.

That was the first step in what ended up being an extra 20 minutes on the road.

First of all, I had forgotten that there were such hills and twisty-turns in Dane County.  I really don't get outside of my commute route or Madison that much.

Second of all, sometimes you think, "I won't get lost because I'll hit a road that I know soon enough" is not necessarily true, what with all of the aforementioned twisty-turns.  When I thought "I've seen that already" I knew it was time to turn the other way and try again...

Third of all, had I been the passenger, I would have been taking photos.  It really what very pretty.  You forget that "the country" really is very close when you only ever see if from the interstate.  Of course, had I been the passenger, I probably would have had my phone out looking for the way home.  I think driving around trying to find the way home was better.

All in all, what could have been a very exasperating experience (like I said, not patient in traffic), ended up being a nice one.

Monday, August 4, 2014

pretty pictures

Over the years the landscaping around the condo has been worked on and has really been maturing.  After the rain on Friday night, everything seemed vibrant on Saturday morning.

I just loved those water droplets on the leaves!

And boy, did these flowers look super vibrant!  The color does not always pop like that.

The lily photo was from a dark evening, where the flash ended up making the photo really nice, in my opinion:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

motivational phrases

As we all know (if you've read any of my blog posts, that is), I'm on Pinterest.  A lot.  So it's probably not a surprise that I have an Alaska board over there.  Of course I put some of my pictures from when I blogged our Alaskan Honeymoon, I've also pinned some great pictures of Alaska, some different things to do there, some houses up there once Jeff started having interviews, stuff about repelling mosquitoes, and motivational phrases.

I'm in that board today, cleaning some stuff up, moving some stuff to my new Gardening board (really?  I can't even believe that I want to garden), and thought I would share with you.


Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure everything out. Turn to God. He has a plan.
(side note - we went to church the Sunday before Jeff's interviews back in June, a nice WELS church in Eagle River.  Silent prayer I asked God to help me to trust Him and to trust Jeff.  It's not always easy, but I can't help but believe that God's hand has been in this entire process.  We are just being guided by Him.)


And my personal favorite:
Why the hell not.

I've not taken too many risks in my life.  I never snuck out of the house.  I never tried drugs.  I've not done too many things that one might call "outside the box."  In fact, I can only count 4 instances:

  • Leaving home to go to college (Mom was super surprised, and I never planned to go to Millikin, but it was the best thing I ever did...  within the first 20 years of life, that is).
  • Moving 2 hours away to a new state where I didn't know anyone, to take a job.
  • Joining a dating website, which is something that I said I would never do.  Within a week, I had been messaged by my future husband.
  • Moving to Alaska.  That's 3200 miles outside the box.  How will it turn out?  Well, in my experience, taking that first step out of the box has always been worth it.  So why the hell not.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Vilas Zoo

Back in June (sorry, I've been kinda too busy to be prompt at blog posts), Tina & the boys came up for a weekend.  The three shortest of us went to the zoo!

Tina is a big fan of the Vilas Zoo because not only is it free, it's a 3-hour zoo!  Meaning you can totally get through the zoo in 3 hours, even with looking at all the exhibits.

Trekker has many pictures with this tortoise over the years.

When we walked back past those (alligator or crocodile?  I don't know) later, they were still in the same positions...

Sad to say, I think this buffalo was sniffing his own number one...

We really liked these guys, so cute standing up!

and babies too!

Trekker played at the playground for a bit

And then we saw the giraffes.  Last time I took a picture of Tina in front of giraffes, she was pregnant with Trekker!

The aviary was very hot, humid, and smelly.  We did not stay around for very long.

This summer the zoo is hosting a special dinosaur exhibit.  I can't remember which of the boys it was who said, many moons ago, that they would like to go and see real dinosaurs.  I asked "Like in a zoo?"  "Yes." Fun times with naive little kids...

This lion statue is near the entrance of the park.  Just like the tortoise, there have been many pictures taken with this guy over the years.

We were done with the zoo in less than 3 hours.  Just in time for lunch!