office expressions.

musings from my experience at the home/office.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Prompt

Because I werk from home and don't have to run from the first floor south tower to the fourth floor north tower in between meetings (squeezing in a bathroom break if I'm lucky)...I am VERY on time for meetings. Which is something a lot of people strive for,  but two times in the last day I have been waiting on conference line, for a least ten minutes, before hanging up. I literally cannot stand the 'hold music' our conference line uses, and ten minutes of that would probably drive anyone crazy.

I just wonder:
1-Are people forgetting that I am waiting on the line, because everyone else is in the room?
2-Are people starting meetings and dialing in to their end of the conference line once everyone is in the room? If that's the case, should I start dialing in 5-10 minutes late to avoid that horrible music?
3-Why can't I just sit on the line in silence? Who ever said I wanted to listen to music anyway?

I am slightly annoyed, and wondering how to discuss this with my co.werkers in the office. Lately, if I'm the only one dialing into a meeting, I have been asking the meeting organizer to just call my office line directly whenever they are ready to actually start the meeting. That has helped immensely, but obviously not completely since there are often others joining via conference line.

On another note...what makes a webinar a webinar? I sat in on a webinar yesterday, and there were literally two slides shown on the screen the entire time, an intro slide and a closing slide with more details about the webinar. Why not just have it be a conference call or podcast, if no one is interacting with the chat feature or slides?

Getting my annoyances out of the way for the week, as I look into a light week of werk and celebrating the holidays with family in the coming days!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas is Coming

I know that Christmas is coming, aside from the commercials, decorations, and extra holiday parties...I know it is coming because my werk has that Christmas break 'buzz' around it. Mantra: Get it done now, or wait til the New Year.

So, in this week before the week before Christmas, we cram a lot of werk into 5 days and hope it sticks until 2012. After all, who wants to get LOTS done when no one else is in the office? It's not super motivating when you know your emails won't get answered, you meetings won't be attended, and in general, people are just passing time and glad that the company lightened the dress code to 'casual' for a few extra days around the holiday.

From my experience in the.land.of.cubicles, next week is a GREAT time to:
  • clean up your desk (start 2012 with a clean werk space!)
  • chat with co.werkers who are also stuck in the office, see what they're up to. 
  • polish off those vendor treats that have been accumulating on your assistant's desk. 
  • clean out your email account...seriously, if you haven't touched it in 4-5 weeks, are you ever going to?
  • come in a little late and leave a little early. make up for all of those 10-12 hour days you put in through out the year.
Oh, and one more way I know Christmas is coming...my calendar says it's December 14. :)
Add to the decorations in your cube by making this your screen saver for the next week!

Monday, December 12, 2011

baby baby

Jake and I headed to the hospital this morning for one of the best Mondays yet. We got to meet our baby on the ultrasound, and so far, everything is going great! We have lots to be thankful for with this pregnancy, healthy baby, healthy mom, supportive dad, medical insurance, a great hospital close to our house...the list goes on. It was quite a fun chunk of time to spend imagining all that will happen between now and May when we get to meet each other face to face.

Thankfully, I had some meetings scheduled for this afternoon, otherwise I fear the day might have been completely shot by me watching the DVD of the ultrasound over and over and over again. I can't wait to count all the little fingers and toes, know if baby's a a boy or a girl (we're waiting!), and get to stare into that sweet little face.

In the mean time, Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shut the door!

I talk loud on the phone, mostly when the people on the other end are quiet...so I feel like I need to speak up so that they can hear me. Not sure how logical that is, but it makes sense to me sometimes.

Unfortunately, when Jake is home studying during the day, he often shuts my office door, and his office door, because for some reason he doesn't want to hear my loud mouth yapping during my meetings. Go figure! :)

I'm thankful I've GOT an office door to close, and a husband who is brave enough to close it when I forget. I just hope I'm not too loud on the other end of the phone...but they've got volume buttons to adjust for that, right?
Some cheesy 'shut the door' humor for you. Hehe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

inspired

a constant struggle and debate that i have with myself is to remember that i bring all of who i am into all that i do. while i have a professional life, a personal life, a spiritual life, a family life, etc...all of these things impact and play off of one another constantly, no matter how hard I strive to keep them in their neat little compartments. I am who I am who I am...no matter the circumstance. My thoughts and beliefs about art, God, politics, love, and everything else, come with me into every situation, regardless of whether I'm in a business meeting or in a worship service...or just walking the dog.

I fight with myself on this, because sometimes it seems so much easier to have neat little compartments for everything. Between the hours of 8-5, I am the.home.werker, all other hours, I can be everything else I am. However, werking for a christian non-profit often reminds me that I bring my spiritual life to werk (good or bad!), my family life, and pretty much everything else. It's not always good to share everything of 'who I am' with everyone, I know that...boundaries are great. But to allow the inspirational parts of my day to to impact not just werk, but everything else I do, is a great privilege.

Yesterday, I listened to a chapel message from our President about a new book he's releasing, and it's a book about life changing moments. Whether good or bad, most of us have a moment in our lives that changed everything for us. The question he posed to us was, what can we do to create good moments in the lives of others? To change the trajectory of someone else's life? I was inspired. And I am thankful that werk isn't just tasks, a lot of times, it includes inspiration along with the perspiration!



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Calorie Counter

You know how it goes, the holidays roll around and usually leading the way with them are all of the sweet treats you could ever want (starting with the halloween candy!). Right at your finger tips. Right as you are about the explode from the stress of getting all of your werk done before the holidays. And, BAM! You've gotten a gift of 5 more pounds to carry around as you swagger around the.land.of.cubicles.

Oh, this doesn't happen to you? Those chocolate covered treats, homemade caramels, and random assortment of christmas cookies never call your name in the middle of a particularly stressful meeting? Then you get to stop reading. :)

For the rest of us, we all have different nicknames for it in our respective offices. For me, at my last job, it was the calorie counter. The waist high counter which served as a half-wall for our naturally slender assistant's cubicle. All of the sugar, butter, and goodness usually landed on her desk, and slowly migrated to mine...and by mine, I mean my behind. Of course, the years I had given up sugar were just glorious, the calorie counter held no sway over me and I continued on past those delicious seasonal treats, imagining they were rat poison.

As I gradually got back on the sugar wagon, I realized how often the opportunity to indulge in mindless treats at the.land.of.cubicles presented itself. Whether it's having punch at a baby shower, cake from a birthday left in the breakroom, or vendor gifts that suddenly appear in the form of caramel corn and truffles...it was everywhere.

Now that I am in my second trimester of pregnancy and absolutely ravenous most of the time, I sometimes wish I had a calorie counter to swing by, you know, to get in the Christmas spirit? ;) I am honestly and rationally very thankful I don't have that temptation in front of me this year as my baby bump continues to grow, we don't need the rest of me to balloon up as well!My life as the.home.werker has hopefully removed some mindless-werkplace-snacking-temptations from my life. :)

Now I just have to work on keeping healthy snacks in the home office, but the occasional batch of Christmas cookies a week or two before Christmas couldn't hurt too much...it's all about self control, right? In that case, chocolate covered peanut butter balls might be in my near future...I'm not sure I can wait until our time in Minnesota before enjoying one of my favorite Christmas cookies!
That's what I'm talkin' about!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wrap it Up

It's Friday afternoon, and pay day Friday at that! Back in my time at the.land.of.cubicles, I usually would grab a girlfriend or two and head down the road for a nice lunch. No leftovers for me on pay day Friday! Heck, I might even order more than just ice water with my meal. Splurge.

Now, in the land of the.home.werker, it's Friday at 12:30, I'm ravenous, and I've got a fridge of leftovers to forage through like a hungry bear.

I'd rather be at Panera, Biaggi's or P.F. Chang's if I'm really honest. I love cooking, but sometimes I really miss living at home where my mom cooked for us all of the time. I never had to worry about getting groceries, meal planning, or what was for dinner, ever. And now that we try to do most of our own cooking and rarely go out to eat, I thoroughly enjoy any meal that I did NOT have to hunt, gather, or cook for myself. Even if it costs a little extra in a restaurant, or means I am on clean up duty...that's ok. Every once in a while, it's just a treat.

Now, to feed the hungry bear...


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jesus and Birthday Cake

You know you werk at a christian organization when... the departmental email for folks with birthdays in December includes Jesus on December 25th. Funny, it didn't say what department he werked in.
You know you're a pastor's kid when...every Christmas you have a red velvet cake, light candles, and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. We could definitely have an office birthday party for Jesus and eat this cake...if only his birthday wasn't a corporate holiday!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saran Wrap

Our house is *almost* ready for the holidays. We have trimmed the tree, put up lights, and started playing the classic christmas music. Another tradition we had adopted in the past three years is one that doesn't really have anything to do with the birth of Jesus...but the temperature of our drafty rental home.

We wrap our windows in saran wrap.

By 'we', I mean Jake. By saran wrap, I mean...those special plastic window kits you buy at the hardware store...and I'm pretty sure it's saran wrap. I resist this tradition every year, partly because it is so humbling and makes me feel like we don't live in a very nice place. I know that's not true, I love the house we have rented, it's just older and the windows are about 50 years old...so drafty cold air tends to find it's way into our home a little easier.

I just hate the way it looks when I pull up to the house at night and my car headlights bounce off the saran wrap in the window. I know it's vain, but in reality, I do appreciate the added warmth it brings to our house during the cold winter months.

Especially since I am home all day, and sit right next to a window. No need to freeze my buns off in the home office.

Jake is one of the most handy, smart, diligent, disciplined, thoughtful people I know. (Good thing I married him!). It takes hours of taping and blow drying the saran wrap to the windows each year, and I know he's doing it for us, to keep us just a little warmer. And I am so thankful that his practical side more often than not, wins out over my vain side.

Now for some hot cocoa....
Some day, maybe we'll have nice new windows like this...wherever we live!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Motivation

After a four day holiday for Thanksgiving, and recovering from a nasty 24 hour stomach flu on Sunday, I'm dragging a bit this week. I even counted the number of possible werk days remaining until we *might* start the drive home to MN for Christmas break. I'm feeling stuck in that werk slump between Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, where there is so much to do, but I just want to be curled up in flannel pj's, gathered around the Christmas tree with my family, my pup, and some hot cocoa.

I'm looking for some motivation, some concentration, an urgency to push through this holiday season slump and get a lot accomplished in the next three weeks. I've got quite a few projects, I just need to dive in and get them kicked off. I also need to get over my doubt that anyone wants to start new projects at werk right now...

Before the thermostat drops from 60 to 20 degrees tomorrow, I might just need to get my buns outside for some fresh rocky mountain air and some vitamin D. Maybe that will push me through this slump-bump. Bleh.



Monday, November 28, 2011

I am not a gym person.

A few months ago I posted about needing to be more active, joining the gym, going during the middle of the day 'because I could', blah blah blah. Well, the.home.werker has not been to the gym since April, and it was high time to put a stop to that madness. After waiting on hold for ten minutes, I was able to speak to someone about cancelling my gym membership...at which time she went on a 5 minute rant about putting my membership 'on hold' for up to 12 months for only $9.99/month, saving me my activation fees for whenever I wanted to rejoin...seriously? I know their job is to keep their customers and it's all in the upsell, but why would I pay $9.99 for a service I didn't use when I was paying $34.99 a month for it?? Come on people.

My afternoon power walks with Lexi are much more enjoyable than logging hours at the gym, and with Colorado weather being consistently gorgeous most of the year, it just felt like a waste to spend time exercising indoors...when I could be outside exercising both myself and my dog.

Why did I go from April until November with no visits to the gym, while paying my $34.99/month? Well, on the off chance my all-or-nothing personality decided one day to become a gym rat, I hated to remove the option from my exercise choices. This is the second gym membership I have done this with, so I think it's safe to say, I am not a gym person. Maybe if we ever move back to MN some day I could be, during those long winter months.

But then again, I'd rather get an elliptical or treadmill and throw it in an inconspicuous place and get my werk.out in at home. Go figure;).
You don't get views like this at the gym!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful

"It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy."

I love the meaning of this quote, simply because it is so true. There is a song from from my childhood that includes the lines "Count your blessings, count them one by one. Count your blessings see what God has done!". This year, I have many blessings to count, and here's a small list of them I thought I'd share!

1. A stable and well paying job, that is also fulfilling. I pinch myself sometimes when I think about where I'm at in my career and how fun it has been to get here!
2. A job that gives me the flexibility to werk from home. I have a much clearer focus in my home office environment, and make powerful use of my time at the.land.of.cubicles when I get there a few times each month.
3. My office companion, Lexi. I am thankful she's braved her fear of my office and keeps me company most days. It would be pretty lonely without her.
4. Paid time off! Tomorrow and Friday will be a blast with family, friends, and yummy food. Lots to look forward to, especially as we get the house ready for Christmas.
5. Skype dates with my MN family...I love sneaking them into my days, it makes the distance between seem so much shorter! I can't wait to snuggle and play with my nephews this Christmas!




Monday, November 21, 2011

Short Week!

That's right, three short days and we've got the start of the holiday season! Really, it's only two and a half days to go...considering it's already lunch time here at the home office.

Short weeks are typically long, because you are squeezing five days of werk into three...but so far, my week is looking very manageable...something for which I am thankful!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back to IT!

I admit, I am really distracted these days. My apologies for the irratic blog posting I have been doing. Between my newest addiction: Pinterest, the upcoming holidays, having good friends in town, and trips to and from the.land.of.cubicles...life has been full!

Today I am overly indulging in Pandora and a lovely little station of Christmas carols I have crafted for myself. I am sucker for the traditional Christmas hymns sung by Perry Como, Bing Crosby, and a bunch of new artists I am discovering thanks to Pandora. Grandma got run over by a reindeer and any sort of boy band Christmas album simply is NOT on my list of favorites.

I love the songs that have that rock solid, classic, traditional warmth and glow to them. O Holy Night, Silent Night, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and the like are what remind me of the Christmas story and the awesome memories I am blessed to have from growing up on 421 Merion Drive.

Every Friday after Thanksgiving we would pick out a tree, and the decorating could NOT begin until Perry Como and Amy Grant's Christmas CD's were loaded into the sound system. Or until each kid had their bag of ornaments that mom and dad had given to us over the years...or we had made in Sunday school...or in my case, in the basement with my hot glue gun, sequins, and used foil from the cheese steak dinner we just consumed. (It's a BEAUT, I'll tell ya! :) )

Ok, enough distractions for one day, but don't get all scroogy on me and tell me it's too early to be listening to Christmas music. Thanksgiving is next week and we all know Thanksgiving is basically the gateway to Christmas...so, Merry Tuesday, friends!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Missed Connection

So I'm a little sad about being the.home.werker today, just a little.

I opened an email from the Front Desk at the.land.of.cubicles, and they were letting me know I had a visitor in the front lobby...

Unfortunately, today is one of many days I am not at the.land.of.cubicles, and I didn't realize I would have a visitor...especially a visitor from my home town in PA! I haven't been back to my home town since August of 2008, so it's a rare treat when my path crosses with people from my growing up years. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that my friend is flying in and out of Denver, and perhaps I'll get to grab a cup of coffee with him on his way to the airport.
State Street in my home town.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things I like

As I enter into Month 11 of being the.home.werker, I am reminded not to take certain things for granted.

For instance, Jake had his clinicals delayed a week, so I get to have some extra time with him this week. Not that we actually sit around and hang out together all day, but occasionally passing in the kitchen, on the way to the bathroom, or taking random breaks during the day to visit him in his office...these are all little things I know I love, and I know I miss him when he's not around. Even if we're both in our respective offices with the doors closed, it's just nice to know he's there.

Another item to continue to appreciate, one that I'm not always proud of but I continue to enjoy: I'm still in my PJ's. Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon I change into my sweats to take Lexi for a walk, and then it's back into the PJ's for bedtime later at night.

I haven't used tupperware or packed a lunch in ten months! That's.just.awesome.

We are heading into cold/flu season, and I don't have to cringe every time I hear a co.werker sneeze or sniffle. Germs? No thank you.

The mute button on my phone. It still werks, as far as I know, and between letting Lexi in and out mutliple times during one conference call, my own sneezes and sniffles, and driving around...this mute button is a modern miracle not to be taken for granted.


Let's not forget the ability to keep laundry moving, too!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Daylight Savings Time

We fell back an hour yesterday, and now I am sitting here at three in the afternoon watching the shadows grow long on the backyard. Usually, at the end of my day, I drive to a local park and take Lexi for a nice 2 mile power walk. I can typically get back in time to get dinner on the table before the sun sets. That was before we 'fell back an hour'.

Now I am thinking if I want to soak up any vitamin D, I might need to rearrange my walk schedule a bit. I've got MAYBE two hours of sunlight to go in my Monday afternoon and no meetings left...so perhaps it's high time I tie up those sneakers and hit the pavement with Lexi girl. Email will always be waiting for me when I get back!

At least I am not trapped in a cubicle or conference room during the sunny hours of the day anymore, I don't have to live like a vampire this winter and I'll do my best not to!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I confess...

During my meetings at the land.of.cubicles this week, I may or may not have been found flipping through pictures of Lexi and Jake on my phone. I miss them. Who wouldn't??



2 hour Delay

It's 5:34 am, do you know where your children are?
Just kidding, it's 5:34 AM, and you just got a super loud text letting you know that due to snow, you don't have to roll out of your hotel room until 10am today....due to the 'blizzard' that just blew into Colorado Springs. (i.e., in Colorado Springs, this means 2-3 inches of snow + wind + REFUSAL to REMOVE SNOW FROM THE ROADS).

Having lived in the Springs for 2 and half years before moving to Denver, I can honestly say, Colorado Springs has absolutely no plan/skill/resources for plowing/snow removal...ever. It snowed? Oh, you should all stay home. Because all major roadways (forget neighborhood streets) will be impassible until the snow melts.

I don't mind the extra two hours of sleep, and I was especially thankful I was able to grab a hotel room last night and avoided a dicey drive down from Denver this morning. But seriously, Colorado Springs?
Don't worry, I grabbed this picture from someone else...I was definitely not snapping pictures while driving!

Monday, October 31, 2011

unexpected

As I was reviewing my upcoming week, I began to realize I had one, two, three ALL DAY meetings at the.land.of.cubicles this week, along with a snow storm prediction for Tuesday into Wednesday. REALLY?! Now there's a way to start your Monday off with a bang, home.werker.

Hotel room grudgingly booked, laundry finally moving, and dinners dates being set. At least I can get a 'dinner and Parenthood' date in with one of my great friends who lives in the Springs and shares the same deep love I have for the Braverman family at 9pm every Tuesday evening.

Now I just need to focus on packing in the midst of trick-or-treater this evening. Let's hope we actually get some cute kiddos knocking on the door this year. Last year, Jake and I had to eat all the candy ourselves since not one single kid showed up...I'd really rather give all of our candy away this year (at least what's left of it!).

Happy Halloween!
What Lexi would be if I could get her to agree.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pinterest

I have succumbed to new addiction, and I'm seriously going to have to limit the time I spend on it. I always had a hunch that Pinterest would be just my kind of thing, especially since I spend so much time on the internet already. Especially because I literally go through magazines and create 'style folders' for my future house, christmas decorations, etc. Well, Pinterest let's you make a virtual collage/pin-board/what-have-you of all of your favorite things in one spot. And for the artist-crafty-trendy-goofy side of me, Pinterest has sucked me in.

The only down side? There are few people in my life who I know WOULD LOVE Pinterest, although they are busy with their little ones, and this is the beginning of my campaign to recruit my sister to Pinterest. If for no other reason than to laugh at my 'slightly inappropriate' pin-board.


I sent this to my sister in an email already, but I'll share it here too...It's just so great.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

8 inches

Between Tuesday night and Wednesday evening, 8 inches of snow fell in our neighborhood. Having just returned from a trip to the land.of.cubicles on Tuesday afternoon, I was feeling pretty good about my uncanny ability to plan meetings around poor driving conditions...ok, I had no way of knowing it would be 80 degrees on Monday and then the first snow storm of the season would arrive on Tuesday after I pulled off the freeway...but still, I'm really thankful I didn't have to be out driving 100 miles round trip in the stuff.

I woke on Wednesday morning and did something I have done ever since I was little, while still perched on the edge of my bed, I pulled back the curtain just enough to see that the forecasters had been right! Everything was blanketed in fresh white snow, and it was still falling. There's nothing quite like waking up to freshly fallen snow...especially when school is cancelled, or, ahem, you are the.home.werker and you can bask in the glory of new fallen snow from the comfort of your cozy home office.

I cracked open a tube of cinnamon rolls and got comfortable on the couch with my laptop and a fleece blanket...only to discover that our internet was not connecting. As many of you know from previous posts, I rely HEAVILY on the internet to do my job, and having to spend 20 minutes on the line with the Qwest>>CenturyLink girl who pronounced 'filters' as 'flitters'... and only after we had exhausted all possible options of it being a user error did she then check to see if there was a regional outage. Of COURSE there was, the rain from the night before, combined with the heavy snow knocked out the power line supplying our internet connection....speaking of which...

About an hour after consuming our cinnamon rolls and twiddling our thumbs because we were not connected to the internet, a deafening silence came over the house. The lights flickered, the heater turned off, and the crockpot stopped cooking. The electricity had gone out too!

Jake was home yesterday, so I took my werk with me on my trusty iphone, and we headed out to run some errands and hope that the electricity and heat would soon kick on, oh, and the internet too.

A few hours later, we came home to a cool house and still no electricity or internet connection, and a guy who showed up to blow out our sprinkler system on the coldest and snowiest day in 7 months. Little did I know, he left our backyard gate wide open, and Lexi decided to give herself a tour of the neighborhood. Thankfully, I poked my head out the door to get our mail just as she was crossing the street. After minutes of extreme panic, running through the snow in my flats and ankle socks, and cornering her in the neighbor's backyard, we got her corralled back into the yard. I think she was pretty ticked at me for catching her, you could tell she had gotten the taste of freedom and was not happy about being back in her more than adequate yard.

I, on the other hand, cannot stop checking the gate or for her whereabouts whenever she goes outside now. At about 5 pm, the heat, electricity, and internet all kicked back on. The crock pot started cooking, the house started warming, and I desperately needed to charge my iphone after werking from it all day.

The snow, however, was beautiful. The cinnamon rolls were delicious. Jake still ate an Italian beef sandwich from the crockpot at 10pm. Lexi, might still be a little bummed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday, Home.werker style

Life has been quite busy lately! We've had a few visitors and a lot going on, but it's all been a blast. We just spent the weekend in Steamboat Springs, CO with Jake's parents. I've never been to Steamboat before, but now I find myself wishing it wasn't so stinkin' far away. It's an awesome town in a gorgeous place, and I know Jake and I both caught ourselves wondering if we could live there someday. I bet we'd still get lots of visitors if we lived in Steamboat:).

One thing my mother-in-law asked me was,"Are Mondays the same when you werk from home?". Honestly, they are not 'the same' in many ways. There is no bleary eyed picking out of the outfit (that does not include jeans!), no desperate attempt to prop my eyes open with a run through the Starbucks drive thru, or a desire to remain invisible to all of my co-werkers for at least the first two hours of the wretched day... Wow, I guess I didn't really like Mondays in the.land.of.cubicles!

There is still a teeny bit of mourning that occurs as you realize you've got five more days until the weekend and that your quality time with the spouse is decreasing for the next five days as he gets back into his routine. But werking from home, Mondays are little easier to monitor and you can pace yourself and you really ARE invisible to your co.werkers, at least physically!


Here's to Mondays, and that fact that we've almost made it through this one, no matter where you are werking!

I think I need this t-shirt.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

when it rains

Do you ever feel like the saying 'when it rains, it pours' is just completely dead-on? I find that happens a lot with werk related stuff, and I'm probably particularly sensitive to it now that I have enjoyed almost two full months of not having to travel for werk. I have gotten into the home.werker groove and anything that rips me out of that can feel slightly traumatic at first! I'll go kicking-and-screaming, but usually I am happy I went.

That happened to me earlier this week, and that is why Jake and I are headed out soon to help host a movie premier that is sponsored by my organization. There's nothing like being asked/told you have a public speaking gig with less than two days to prepare for an audience you know very little about...and oh yeah, it's on a week night.

I don't mind doing stuff outside of traditional hours, but would I rather be watching Grey's Anatomy than this film for the umpteenth time, I hate to admit it, but yes, yes I would. (That's some of my kicking and screaming I referred to earlier).

So backing to the 'it pours' part, I'm also heading down to the Air Force Academy for a team offsite tomorrow, which will likely take up most of my day. I'm realizing I still need to gas up the car and buy salad for our dinner party we're going to tomorrow night. Lots to do here tonight! Thank goodness for 24 hour grocery stores (who also give you rewards points for gas! score!).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Laughter

Do you ever come across something that just makes you giggle? Every time you look at it, the laughter starts all over again because it's still just as hilarious? I came across this post on Facebook from an old co-werker today, and I seriously cannot stop laughing at it. Here's some humor for your Tuesday. :)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Nap Time

So Jake is winding down his first half of the semester, and the next two weeks he'll have more free time than he could have ever dreamed of over the last month. After spending 55 hours a week in the hospital and classroom for the past four weeks, he has earned a break!

However, after coming home from his Simulation Exam this morning and catching up with me for a bit, I asked him to help me with the laundry by stripping the sheets off of the bed in our guest room. My dear friend from high school spent the weekend with us, and Jake's parent are coming to visit next week! Time to get fresh sheets on the guest bed. Well, the bed has been stripped of its sheets, but my home office now has a new occupant...


I am digging out of my Monday morning emails and trying establish priorities for the week, but I'm still kind of sleepy...it's Monday! I love my husband dearly, and I know he needs the rest, but the sound of his breathing while sleeping is making me more tired than productive...it's time for the.home.werker to relocate to the living room so he can continue his nap and I can resist the urge to also take a mid-monday-morning nap!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Background Noise

Today is a very windy day along the front range, so much so that Lexi is actually huddled at my feet, seeking some sort of security from the banging and howling outside. Today is not a good day to try and be on a conference call, on your cell phone, outside...like one of my co.werkers just tried to do.

It is also NEVER a good day to be on a conference call while sitting in a busy starbucks...or any coffee shop for that matter. My co.werker stepped inside a starbucks to get out of the wind, and I still have sounds of the steamer, a high pitched beep, and 'pumpkin spiced latte for Jenna!!!' ringing in my ears. All of that, and I'm sitting here without any coffee to call my own, just a sore right ear from the crazy background noise of my last conference call.

When in doubt, werk from home, a locked office, or even your car.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Monday/Wednesday to ME!

I'm back, after a nice trip to Minnesota for a multitude of excellent reasons, it's Wednesday...my first day back at werk and it feels like a Monday. The kind of Monday where your co.werkers werk ALL weekend and flood your inbox...but you refuse to check-in.

I signed into Outlook this morning to discover that my mailbox was completely full, so not only did I have 200 new messages to go through, but I had to go through a year's worth of old emails before I could start responding to any new emails. BLEH.

It's noon, I've had two meetings about websites for different projects I'm working on, and my brain is spinning! I guess that's better than wading through emails endlessly and trying to push the rusty switch in my brain back into home.werker mode!

But to be totally honest, I'd rather still be hanging out with my two adorable nephews and my family in Minnesota. There's just nothing better...but Lexi is doing a great job keeping me company this morning and I have to say, I missed her A LOT!



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Snooze

This morning a former co-werker and her adorable daughter were passing through Denver, so we got to meet up for breakfast at Snooze. Funny, I did NOT get to hit the snooze this morning like I normally would, but it was totally worth it. Snooze is a trendy breakfast joint in Denver that usually has lines out the front door on the weekend, so why not try it on a Tuesday before my phone meetings roll into action?

It was a great place to catch up and grab a delicious bite to eat, no complaints here! I think we'll have to take my mother-in-law back when she visits since hollandaise sauce, along with ketchup, are separate food groups for her...and Snooze definitely has an entire section of the menu dedicated to Eggs Benedict.

Not a bad start to a tuesday!



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Time Warp

Werking from home makes me a victim of a time warp. So many times this week I have found myself still in my pj's at 3pm wondering, how in the world did THIS happen and more importantly, did I brush my teeth this morning?

I have not had a ton of meetings lately, so I've been sucked into the cyber world of emails and research for different projects I have going on. I'm sitting here now wondering how in the world it's already 11:30, almost time for lunch! 

One of the hardest parts about being the.home.werker is having pretty important meetings via phone, and then hanging up, and having no one to debrief with. Just me and my bad self (oh, and Lexi!), wondering how the meeting really went and if I did an ok job representing what I'm working on to my boss, his boss, and their peers. Talk about anti-climactic. I probably need to go walk this off and tune out for a bit. I'm sure Lexi won't mind, most of her day consists of this anyway:


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

7 Days!

The official countdown has begun: 7 more days until I get to see my TWO nephews in Minnesota! I have sometimes been made fun of for the way that I count down to a big event, because I choose not to count the day that it is (today) or the day that the much anticipated event is happening. Some people might say I'm shortening my count by two whole days, but I don't really care. I get to meet my 3 week old nephew, and hang out with my 3 year old nephew, and spend quality time with family and friends in the land of 10,000 Lakes. What could be better?! (Perhaps a trip to Choo Choo Bob's with the 3 year old, topped off with a visit to Izzy's for ice cream). I'm looking forward to some time off of werk next week, that's for sure!



Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Leaves

It's Fall in Colorado. I've got the Slatkin & Co. 'leaves' scented candle burning, I'm bundled in an old quilt and watching the first crisp yellow leaves fall from a grey sky. Of course, it will be back in the 70's and 80's by tomorrow, but today I am sitting alone in the house wondering if it's too soon to crank up the heat!

How ironic, considering that one month ago I was literally baking in my office as our thermostat INSIDE the house climbed to an average of 86-87 degrees each day.

Having grown up in the 'northeast', or 'back east' as people say, I actually LOVE fall. I love the energy of kids going back to school, church programs starting back up, watching falls sports again. There is a rhythm to autumn that is just as crisp and punctuated as the cold clean air that blows the colorful leaves off the trees. The sound of rakes dragging across a yard; the rusty orange, vibrant red, and mustard yellow hues that decorate everything from trees to napkins!

Autumn is cozy and chilly at the same time, with just enough of both to delight the senses. It's that balance of spicy warmth with the first cool breeze that is so very enjoyable. The season in the northeast was incredible, and seemed to last from September to Christmas day sometimes. I long for that solid season of time where everyone was slipping back into their routines, with little celebrations like Halloween and Thanksgiving along the way.

I love the weather in Colorado, but I miss the four even seasons of my childhood home in Newtown, PA. You had just enough time to enjoy and experience everything the season had to offer, and by the time it passed, you were ready for what was next...but you weren't exhausted by what just was. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this fall, Denver will offer some more color than Colorado Springs did, and perhaps the cool autumn atmosphere will linger just a little longer, since I no longer have to worry about staring at the snow on Pike's Peak everyday to tell me that winter is on his way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

10 years

It is almost impossible for me to comprehend that 9/11 happened 10 years ago. I still remember that day like it was yesterday, the clear blue September sky, the terrified silence as we sat in the dark and watched the towers crumble on a TV set in my English class. Finding one of my Muslim friends crying in the hallway as she waited to get picked up early from school. My nervous classmates who had parents commuting into New York and D.C. for work that day. It was the beginning of my senior year of high school.

For days later, I was glued to the horrific images on the TV, and would wake up screaming in the middle of the night. It took me a good year before I could handle explosions on TV. A few weeks after 9/11/01, I went out to MN to visit my sister and I was totally shaken by all of the new rules and regulations surrounding air travel. It felt odd to have to meet my family outside of the security gates, instead of at the gate where my plane came in. And the terrorist drills at school didn't exactly calm me down. Instead of filing into lines in front of the school, we were all now 'safely away' from the school and perched in the football stadium. Really?

The world has changed a lot in the past ten years because of the events on 9/11, but as I was watching the special programs on TV last night I realized one thing has not changed. The first responders and those working recovery said it best: Even though 9/11 changed our lives in horrible ways and we lost a lot, we would still be the first ones to the scene if something like this happened again tomorrow.

The basic instinct to help, to rescue, and to stand with one another in the face of tragedy has only been strengthened through this adversity. 

I know I will never forget 9/11, I don't think I could if I tried.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Water Water Everywhere

Well, yesterday I went to hop in the shower around 3:30 in the afternoon...(home.werker style), and I noticed the water wasn't on in our house. I called our water company to see if there were any outages in the area, and the operator asked me to look outside and see if there were any trucks on our street. As I looked out the front door, I heard a pleasant trickling sound, like a mountain stream.

The kicker? The stream was pouring out the front of my house!! The operator sent an emergency maintenance crew to our house just as Jake was getting home from class. I also called our landlord, and they dispatched a plumber to come and take a look at the situation. Boy was I glad Jake was home to talk to those guys, I don't know much about plumbing or the small creek pouring out of our crawl space!

They managed to get our water main turned off, but the bigger problem is...our water main is broken!This morning I have already had two plumbers come to survey the mess and get estimates to our land lord. So far, it's either a quick fix that happens today (including jackhammering up our front porch 'slab') or a big fix that happens on Monday (which includes digging up the entire line in our yard and replacing the whole thing). No water until Monday?! Hm....could be interesting.

I am very thankful for our land lord and how responsive they have been to the entire situation. I am also very thankful that I am not the home owner who has to pay for this mess right now.
My water supply for the day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Auntie Beans

I am Auntie Beans, and it's one of the great privileges of my life so far! Ethan Jerome Manders was born on May 29, 2008, and ever since I have been perfecting my Auntie Beans skills.

Well, today is a new day, and I get to help the Manders family welcome one more peanut into the world! My sister is in labor with our second nephew and I am pretty much beside myself with excitement. Which is kind of hard because I am 1,000 miles away from the hospital waiting room this time.

And, I am finding it very hard to concentrate on pretty much anything today at the home.office, knowing how much is going on in the land of ten thousand lakes. I've got my Auntie Beans hat on, and all I want to do is snuggle BOTH of my nephews!
Uncle Jake with Ethan, day 2!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gray

Today is the first day with a gray sky in a long time here in Denver. It just doesn't happen very often where the gray just sits over the city. So, in honor of my more overcast childhood in Pennsylvania, I have donned not only a sweatshirt and slippers, but I have also turned on the Beethoven Pandora station this morning. It's hard to believe it's September 6 already, and I know I need these gray days to remind me that cooler weather is on it's way to Colorado.

We boast over 300 days of sunshine a year here, and the 'colorado blue sky' is a real novelty...there's actual science behind it...something along the lines of "at higher altitude there are fewer particles blocking the sun and so everything seems more vibrant".

It's beautiful, but like I said, gray days tend to make me a little nostalgic and remind me of my childhood in the northeast where the seasons seemed to share four equal parts of the year. They fit perfectly into the dictionary definitions of winter, spring, summer, and fall. Arriving when you expect them to, and leaving when you are ready.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Fence Jumper

video

This happens at least a dozen times a day, so I just had to capture it on video and post it. This is the view from my home office...and this is our neighbor's extremely ambitious little dog. I'm not sure how she does it, but she always manages to make her way home!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

SOLD!

Yep, that's Mom and Dad's house in Blaine, MN...and it was sold yesterday!!
I have mixed feelings about this for a few reasons. 
#1: It's the nicest house my parents have ever lived in, and the fact that they built it means it was pretty much their dream house. Especially that open living area with the gorgeous view from the screened in porch. I hope the next owners enjoy that as much as we did!
#2. While I never lived here, it's the first house that helped me understand the meaning of 'home'. "Home is where your mom is" has become fairly true over the last three years. It was so wonderful to have my parents included in the reasons to travel to and from MN more often than we should. I will miss having them there when I visit!
#3. I'm happy that this house sold, so that my parents don't need to live apart for much longer. They can move on and start putting down deep roots in their life and ministry in New Jersey, and I know they are very thankful to begin looking beyond this period of transition. 
#4. As someone raised in Bucks County, PA, I'm not sure I will ever call New Jersey 'home', just because my mom is there...but I will try! Besides, visiting parents who live close to the beach can't be all bad, right?! (hurricane Irene, I am not talking about YOU). 
#5. As the.home.werker, I'm pretty confident I will be able to werk from New Jersey as easily as I could from Minnesota...so that helps a bit, too!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Fall Fashion

I hate to admit, but it's the end of August and autumn is nearly upon us. It doesn't make me cringe quite as much, now that I live in Colorado and the winters are not nine long months of below freezing temps, frozen parking lots, and arm workouts involving an ice scraper and my windshield.

Another sign that the seasons are changing is what's happening in the overly eager world of retail. I have been seeing sneaky signs of halloween decor and back to school sales since late July...but the store that stopped me in my tracks was Hobby Lobby, and it's 5 complete rows of Christmas decor in mid-August. Really?! Shopping for the people on your list is one thing, but shopping for items to decorate your house...come on now.

I am also coming to the realization that the werk clothes hanging in my closet are collecting dust, and the thick colored tights and fun tall boots that help me welcome the change of seasons each year...well, they might not see the light of day this year. At least not M-F during the hours of 9-5. Maybe on the weekends, but in a slightly less professional ensemble that is more suited to happy hour than a 9am status meeting in a conference room.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Face to Face

I just got an email that could switch things up for me a bit. Like, I might have to change out of my pj's and brush on some makeup about once a week. My supervisor has requested that we start skyping for our 1-1's when possible.

This will be interesting! I am definitely looking forward to more 'face time' with my boss, but will have to plan a little more for those skype calls. Not everyone needs to know what I look like without a spec of makeup on. Especially not werk people.

As a very visual learner, this will help me hold my attention and be more present in our conversations. I'm adapting to the 'audio' lifestyle of conference calls, but a little video conference couldn't hurt every once in a while.

I wonder what etiquette I'll have to brush up on now...most of my skyping to date has been with my 3 year old nephew, and we pretty much make silly faces and noises at each other the whole time. Or my sister and I will eat lunch together while skyping and catching up. I'm guessing funny noises and talking while chewing don't make the skype video call list for werk meetings...



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Etiquette on the line

As the.home.werker, I sit on many conference calls in a single day.

Here are some things I have learned:
1. The 'hold' music for conference lines is atrocious. If you are hosting a conference call, please try to beat your Guests to the line and spare them some misery.
2. Introductions are helpful. I can't see who is in the room, so please start the meeting or call by letting everyone introduce themselves and their roles. It helps to know a person's voice in the beginning of the call, so you don't need ask who was speaking in the middle of the call. Or better yet, as you speak up, say "This is the.home.werker, and I think.....".
3. Speak up. If you are in a conference room with 5 other people, and I am on a speakerphone...please don't rustle your papers, set your keyboard next to the phone, have your cell phone near the landline, and for pete's sake...no mumbling.
4. Giggling is optional, and rarely communicates professionalism. If you aren't speaking, please don't nervously giggle through an entire meeting. It makes me nervous for you, since I have no idea what you are laughing at and that's all I can hear.
5.  Use the mute button whenever possible, but don't do anything during a call that shouldn't be overheard...should you forget to use the mute button or should it be broken. We don't need to accidentally hear you using the bathroom or chewing your food.

The end.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Anxiety

Part of the vice of werking from home is that those little brain breaks I would normally get at the.land.of.cubicles by chatting with co.werkers, walking to and from the bathroom, or just getting my car to go out for lunch...those little breaks are absent from my life.

This morning, I woke at 7am, started working at 7:30, and didn't move for four hours straight. Come on you office people, when was the last time you did that? It's true that werking from home makes one more productive and focussed, but I fear that at the same time, it might be causing me more anxiety!

This fear was confirmed when Jake stopped by my desk to suggest it might be good for me to get out a little more during my werk day. To plan actual times where I remove myself from the house/laptop/iphone combo, and just go for a walk. Or drive. Or anything.

He's right, and I know it. Now I just have to actually do something about it!

Big Fat Cupcake

Yesterday was a good friend's birthday, so Jake and I took her out for some gourmet cupcakes.

One of the joys of being the.homewerker, having a husband who is a full time student (currently on a break from class), and a friend who is waiting to start a new job...is that we can all get together at 2:30pm on a Monday afternoon and indulge in some Big Fat Cupcakes...of the salty caramel, nutty nanna, and red velvet assortment.

With my werk day clear of meetings and mostly under control until I could get back to my desk, we were on a birthday celebration adventure of the sweet tooth kind. Believe it or not, even though we split the cupcakes among us, I couldn't even finish the third slice of cupcake because of overwhelming sweetness of the previous two. Pigs might have flown at that moment.



Friday, August 19, 2011

Day on the Green

When I first started werking for my organization three years ago, it was clear to me that this employer and corporate culture was going to be extremely different from my time at the newspaper.

Day 1&2: In August of 2008 were spent at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.
Day 3&4:HR orientation. (At the newspaper, it was, here's your desk and your computer, hope you like it here).
Day 5: Decorating the.land.of.cubicles with Christmas decor and fake snow, and rehearsing a group recitation of 'the Grinch' with my new co.werkers who were as excited about it as elementary school kids are about Halloween. This was a pleasant surprise and also kind of freaked me out.
Day 6: Day on the Green. A day that is dedicated to organization wide competitions: which department has the best theme/decorations/costumes?, which department will dominate in the afternoon volleyball tournament?, which department will raise the most money for our chosen local charity of the year?

Day on the Green is a fundraiser for a local Colorado Springs charity, and all of my co.werkers spend an entire year raising money for them. Day on the Green has traditionally been a day long fundraiser hosted by the IT department, and since 2008, it has been significantly down graded. For example, instead of choosing a theme to execute for an entire day (including costumes and being 'in character' for an entire day)...last year the decor was limited to a pre-assigned conference room with scheduled performance times for judging.

This year, the decor is limited to the baton being used in relay races.

I cringe at most versions of 'forced family fun', especially in the werk.place. I will always remember that I first met my co.werker Goeff as 'Fox in Sox', and that the VP of Finance was dressed like a very convincing pirate when I first saw him.

I'm not quite sure what my problem is with Day on the Green, it is a fun day to play a little and get to know co.werkers in a completely different light. Maybe that's it, maybe it's just a little too much exposure for me of my co.werker's inner-thespians, the extreme delight they take in playing 4 hours of volleyball dressed like a cartoon character, or the awkward forced conversations when we are 'on the clock' but not actually werking.

Call me a party pooper, but I'd much rather be given an entire werk day to just volunteer in my community once a year, instead of paying to get an old western picture taken with my co.werkers, toting a shotgun and wearing western dress up clothes.

On this Day on the Green, I am a very happy home.werker. I am very enthusiastic about still being in my pj's at 11:30 and the only 'Green' I'll be seeing this day is my backyard.




Thursday, August 18, 2011

On the Road Again

I have ten minutes before I hit the road for an impromptu meeting at the Land.of.Cubicles. It's a four hour meeting to discuss our organization's Youth and College Strategy. Too bad I can't show up dressed like a 'youth/college' student, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and flip-flops...heels and conservative-professional clothing it is!

Having been on the road a lot lately, I'm not especially excited about the drive ahead of me. 100+ miles round trip while hopping on conference calls through the drive time...don't worry, Mom, I've got a hands free headset for my phone.

One thing waiting for me at the end of the commute to the Land.of.Cubicles today is a free lunch in the new cafe...the new vendor there makes it nearly impossible to have an unhealthy lunch...so that's good I guess. Not that the 100 mile round trip is something I would do just for the health food options in the cafe...here.I.go!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What just happened?

My apologies for the long blogging hiatus. It was completely unintentional, but a symptom of what happens when the.home.werker. is not, in fact, werking from home. The past month has flown by as I made too many trips to the land.of.cubicles to count, and journeyed to Minnesota to werk at a conference while sneaking in some quality time with family and friends. All in all, I think Lexi is glad to be back in her normal routine of laying around the house while I hop on conference calls, manage emails, and put in the 'thought hours' needed to keep my werk moving along. And in a way, I am too:).

However, sometimes time flies by so fast I find myself thinking,"What just happened?". How did I go an entire month with the same thing on my to-do list, or forget to send 5 wedding gifts and 2 baby gifts?

A little advice for you, send the gifts as you send your regrets that you cannot attend the wedding/baby shower...it will make your trips to Target to buy gift cards much less painful. The cashier I bought 7 giftcards from the other day looked at me with some judgey-you're-a-bad-friend-eyes as I sheepishly confessed to her I really needed to stop procrastinating! (Shoot, I just remembered I've still got my mom's birthday card waiting to be sent...and two more anniversary cards to get in the mail! Add it to the to-do's I guess!)

So, time rolls on, and my to-do list continues to evolve and refuse to get shorter no matter how much I check off. It's kind of like an experience I had while living in Italy one summer. I was eating dinner in a family's home and was served a huge bowl of spaghetti. And no matter how much spaghetti I managed to eat (I think I consumed at least a pound and a half of pasta), the amount of delicious homemade Italian pasta in my bowl seemed to stay the same. The food was delicious, a meal I will never forget...but I will also never forget the guilt I felt at not being able to make a dent in the incredible task before me no matter how hard I tried.

This never ending bowl of spaghetti served by my gracious hosts perhaps is a truthful metaphor for life sometimes. What a gift we have to werk, to relate to others, and share in the blessings laid before us. Perhaps instead of trying to eagerly consume the blessing before us and make it disappear, we ought to look up from our plate, and enjoy each bite a little more. Savor the company and the atmosphere around us. There is so much more to life and werk than accomplishment and being a member of the 'clean plate club'.

What about those of us, like my husband, who linger over their food for such an amount of time that the meal and conversation lasts for hours, and perhaps even the taste of the food is enriched by the company we share?

With that said:
Buon appetito (have a good meal): (boo-on app-├Ęt-it-oh) before a dinner with friends say this to the whole company and expect the same answer in return. it is a blessing for the meal to come.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer Reading List


Second cup of coffee, in progress. It's pay day Friday, and the last day of Jake's summer semester. I have one meeting this afternoon from 3-4...so while it's nice I have one meeting, it's too bad it's from 3-4 on a Friday afternoon. I am also secretly dreading next week already, since it's Jake first week of break and I will be in Colorado Springs Monday-Friday. Bummer.


Let's focus on the positive, it's Friday, our bank account is a little fuller today, and we've got less than 7 hours until I can check out of werk for two whole days. I have recently started keeping a 'book list' in my phone, so I can keep track of all of the good book suggestions I get from others, and ones I have been wanting to read for a while. Here's what my summer reading 'Wish List' is looking like so far:

1. Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer)...read it, loved it!
2. Under the Banner of Heaven (Jon Krakauer)...reading it, loving it!
3. Unbroken (Laura Hillenbrand)...read it, loved it, highly recommend it!
4. Heaven is for Real (Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent)...recommended by family members, looking forward to this one.
5. The Help (Kathryn Stockett)...recommended by my family. Kind of bummed it was turned into a movie before I could get my hands on it.
6. Last Child in the Woods(Richard Louv) and The Nature Principle (Richard Louv)...both Jake and I want to read books by this author.
7. Tribes (Seth Godin)....recommended and raved about by co-werkers. I don't always look forward to reading a book related to werk, but it seems interesting none-the-less.
8. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Donald Miller)...recommended by a seminar speaker. I usually avoid Christian Authors because I tend to tune out after the first three chapters, but we'll give this one a shot!
9. In Defense of Food (Michael Pollan)...heard about this guy on Oprah and I'm intrigued.
10. Start Something that Matters (Blake Mycoskie)...I pre-ordered this book by the founder of Tom's Shoes and it should get here in September.

What's on your reading list? Or better yet...what books have you read lately that you would recommend?  Where's your favorite place to read during the summer?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Social Media & Freel Will

I attended a 'social media summit' with some of my colleagues this morning, and one of the quotes referenced was something like, "Engaging with social media is not a choice, it's something you must do. It's your choice what you do with it".

Really?! Even for a 'millenial' like me who spends daily time on Facebook and blogs, perhaps it's my rebellious-anti-establishment-streak that makes me say, I don't NEED a facebook account! I choose it. No one is making me do this but myself.

Do you know anyone under the age of 60 who doesn't have facebook? I originally typed under the age of 80 because one of the easiest ways for me to keep in touch with my Grandma is on Facebook. She's pretty savvy with things like email and social networking, and I know she reads this blog (hi, Grandma!)...but I don't expect everyone's Grandma's to be as on top of it as mine is!

So, back to my question: Do you know anyone under the age of 60 who doesn't have facebook? Including my in-laws, and a friend I recently re-connected with from college, I know three people. Maybe four, who are outspoken about their choice not to have Facebook accounts. All of them have valid reasons for not joining, like: If you want to know what's going on in my life, you'll just call me. Or, I'm in a job that already exposes me to a lot to the community, why do I need to share more of my life with people online? Or better yet, who has time for that?!

Like I said, all valid reasons, but guess what: I do still call you when I want to know what's going on in your life (and hopefully it works both ways!), You can set up your Facebook account (and now, Google+) to control how much people know about you, and it's true...it does kind of take up a little time. For some of us, a lot of time.

So while some brave souls may be living life in a facebook free world, the rest of us have found all sorts of practical uses for it, whether it's just to find out about discounts to restaurants/new music albums/media, or to stay connected with your loved ones far away...or even just to advertise your business. Facebook is a social norm, but as one person in a meeting yesterday said, "One day, Facebook will no longer exist...so I wonder what the next big thing will be?".


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All Alone?

Another question people often ask me about werking from home is this: Don't you get lonely? I think some might have an image of me curled up on the couch in my empty house, waiting for the ticker on my inbox to show me I have an email to take care of. Werking from home, for me, is not that!

Here's my typical day lately (if I happen to be at home, and not travelling for werk):
  • Wake up, grab coffee, take care of emails that came in since I last signed on yesterday. 
  • Prep for morning meetings. I typically have anywhere from 3-5 meetings a day, so I am interacting with at least 10-20 people a day over conference calls.
  • Respond to action items gathered in those meetings through...wait for it...more meetings, or emails, or one-on-one phone calls. Or instant messages, or text messages, or even posts on our company's social network site. 
  • Grab lunch while prepping for afternoon meetings/tasks.
  • Write blog post if there is something to write about. 
  • Engage in afternoon meetings/emails/tasks/etc. My work involves a lot of time connecting with ad agencies or consultants who are executing projects for me, and providing them with feedback or more direction. It also involves a lot of time connecting with co-werkers who know more than I do about lots of things, and taking what I learn from them and putting it into my projects. Werk is often a constant feedback loop. 
  • Shut down and walk away from the computer...get dinner started in that magical time before I get a hunger headaches and right after I am sure I won't get caught on an impromptu conference call while chopping onions. 
A lot goes on during the day, and I have probably left a lot out without even realizing it. But the.homewerker is rarely lonely, and it's nice to have existing relationships with colleagues who don't mind random phone calls from me instead of random 'drive-by-meetings' in their cube. It's also wonderful to live close enough to the.land.of.cubicles that I can drive down for face to face time on a regular basis and maintain an actual, person to person relationship with folks.

I am all about werking from home and think more people should do it if they can, but I also know that spending time physically present with people can werk wonders! It's a balance, but just because I'm werking from home, doesn't mean I'm lonely. I probably just need to get out of the house more than most people!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

hot-hot-hot

Welcome to our home, it's the middle of July, and every day has hit some temperature in the 90's. We don't have AC, and I haven't had AC for the last four years. I'm getting used to it, but I also never had to werk from home in the heat of the day before. I could leave for the land.of.cubicles, shut the shades and come home to 1-2 hours of intense heat as the sun was setting. Thankfully, we don't know the meaning of the word 'humidity' in Colorado, otherwise, this post would be written in a completely different tone!

We sleep with a box fan in the window at night, and that usually brings our internal house temp down from the mid-80's to the mid-70's. A pleasant and welcome change. I don't even mind drinking hot coffee during these cool mornings! As the sun rises over our home, which faces east, the thermostat will gradually rise to a balmy 83-86 degrees, depending on how many household appliances are used during the day and how quickly we decide to shut all windows, curtains, and doors every morning.

Lexi has been camping out on the linoleum floor in our bathroom for the last two months, barely moving except to get up an drink water during the day. She has even lost some of her appetite, and refused to eat during the heat of the day yesterday. Last night, she got up and ate her breakfast from the day before...at midnight. Survival instincts? I think so!

My office is on the west side of the house, so the majority of the day is fairly pleasant, until about 2:30-3, when my arms start sticking to the desk and I start getting cranky. I like summer as a season, but as the home.werker, I'm ready for things to cool off a wee bit. I guess that's why we've got coffee shops and libraries!