Saturday, June 27, 2009

Band camp

Thursday my husband and I were driving to Phoenix so he could catch a flight to Virginia. I chuckled to myself about how long it has been since I took a boy to camp! Yes, the Guitar Guy is off to blues camp again this summer. He had such an amazing time last summer and made such lasting friends, he couldn't wait to get back.

We did look at the expense long and hard given the economy and our budget this year, but ultimately decided we could make it work. There are few things he would rather do than sit around and talk gear and riffs with a bunch of guitar geeks. It also means I won't understand a thing he says for the first two hours back home. What they learn is so far beyond my musical knowledge it boggles my mind.

Thursday we got to spend the evening with our daughter and her friends. I had debated about taking the drive with the Guitar Guy, because it means I have to drive back to pick him up next week. When I found out Briana (who some may remember me writing about) was back from India and coming to dinner, I had to make the drive. We met at Byblos, a Middle Eastern restaurant we've been eating at for 20 years and all love. We laughed, reminisced and learned about some of the challenges of living in India that didn't make it in to the blog. Briana made sure we knew how rich we really are here in the US! We too often forget how fortunate we are.

Yesterday, daughter Nicole and I hung out, went to lunch and did some shopping. We ate a very healthy lunch and then splurged on a chocolate chip cookie, ice cream, fudge, whipped cream dessert (to share of course). It was a lovely day and went by too fast.

The cats welcomed me back home last night after a thorough sniffing. Nicole has four cats at her house right now and I obviously had been unfaithful to my feline companions by petting some of those purring lovelies. Fortunately, hunger won out over disdain and I am now forgiven.

Today is quiet and I plan to work on some small projects, knit and generally enjoy myself. Have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's done!

I finished sewing the buttons on my February Lady today and took a few pictures before I send it off to my daughter-in-law in Iowa. I'm pretty happy with how it came out. I just hope it fits!

Em asked for me to explain a little more about group interviews, for those who have never been through them. My first experience was when I applied for my previous position as Executive Director. There were 18 board members in attendance. More than a little intimidating! During my years as ED, we used group interviews a lot. A manager from each department was part of the interview committee. We each had standard questions for the candidate, different than their original personal interview. More scenarios, role plays etc.

After the interview we discussed answers, but also talked a lot about fit with the position and organization. As a candidate, group interviews are challenging. As an employer, they can give you a lot of valuable information about how people interact with a group and how they handle stress. As a group works together through a series of interviews they get more confident in each other and the process. In a one hour personal interview, a candidate who interviews well can fool you. That is much harder to do with the various perspectives of a group. Hopefully it prevents a bad fit for both parties.

Now I think I need to dig out a nice pair of socks to finish. I love socks - they are quick and not hot to hold on your lap in the summer!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A better week

This week I feel much more "on track" than last week. I appreciated the listening ears and supportive comments. Roxie's observation about taking one project at a time has helped with the feeling of being overwhelmed. I tend to pressure myself to be superwoman and then am disappointed when I'm not :-)

The first three days of the week were mostly spent sitting on an principal interview committee for the school district. It was a lengthy process involving paper screening and extended interviews with the candidates. I've done lots of group interviews over the years and the process always amazes me. The longer the group works together toward their common goal, the clearer the choices become. I think everyone left feeling good about the recommendations.

On the knitting side - I finished the February Lady yesterday! I'm going to wash and block her today and then I'll be ready for buttons. It looks really small, even for my daughter in law. I have faith though, that all the reports I read on Ravelry about superwash growing are true. Should have pictures tomorrow!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I've been remiss

I apologize for my lack of post lately. I've once again been immersed in the world of website optimization and marketing. Our geriatric care business has slowed to a crawl and we've discovered a painful truth - none of us really like the marketing side of the business. It was exciting when the business was new and we couldn't wait to tell everyone about it. We then made the rooky mistake of assuming that our reputation and contacts in the community would bring in business. That doesn't work beyond a couple of referrals.

This week we focused on creating our marketing plan for the next 6 months. We've got some good ideas to work on through July, and then ramp up again in August for another go at it. The problem I always have in the summer is lack of motivation. It is hot in Arizona. Really hot! It is the time we hibernate and watch movies (unless you own a boat or have a pool, which we don't). The days tend to slide by one after the other and before I know it we are at Labor Day. All my good intentions of cleaning out drawers, planning for the coming months, getting my computer cleaned out - all gone.

Thank you for listening to me complain. It always helps to have an ear to bend for a while. On the bright side, Nicole is coming to visit for 2 days starting Sunday. Then in two weeks I go visit her for a couple of days. We have to take advantage of these opportunities before her crazy, breakneck schedule starts again in August.

Enjoy your summer day (unless you are in Australia keeping warm by the fire) and have a great weekend.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The AHA moment

I commented on Twitter yesterday about a conversation I had with my daughter. We were discussing her plans for the future and I asked her some questions. What does she want her future to be? What would it take to get there? How do you begin taking baby steps toward that future?

Being a thoughtful young woman, she already had some of the answers worked out for herself. I admire her tremendously. She has always been goal oriented (except for a relatively brief period of wandering) and keeps her eye on the prize!

The AHA moment came when I hung up the phone. Do I need to ask MYSELF more of those questions? The answer, of course, is "YES". To give myself a little credit, I have been working toward my career and life focus (volunteering) goals for the last year or so. I'm proud to say I've made some progress. What I need to work on more are things like health (diet and exercise) and the environment I live in (as Amy would say - my craptastic house). I'm giving that some thought again - but no answers yet.

I'm having company tomorrow night for dinner and looking at the disgusting hall bathroom. I have a cat that believes the bathtub is the overflow cat box. If someone else is in the box, or it isn't quite up to the standards of his highness, he uses the handy dandy shiny box. Sometimes to show his disdain, he goes on the floor. Other than the evidence, I can't prove exactly which miscreant it is since I never catch him in the act! This makes for decision like "Should I wait to clean the bathroom until tomorrow afternoon for the best chance at keeping it clean through dinner?" Thankfully, you, my blogging friends, have shown me that I am not the only making these kinds of weird decisions :-)

I have very little knitting progress as I've been reading and playing on the computer. I've been working my way through Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It is about the political genius of Abraham Lincoln and the cabinet of rivals he put together. It is not a light read but fascinating nonetheless.

Have a wonderful weekend!