Monday, January 31, 2011

I have a mission statement?

I know. My sister, Crystal, has had one for years and quite frankly I thought it was more than a little funny. Not the actual statement, that was totally appropriate for her, but the fact that she had one. Which is also totally appropriate for her. She's all about self actualization, but I still thought it was pretty humorous. (Sorry Crystal, I love you.)

I mean, really. Who has a personal mission statement?

And here's the really funny part.


I realized this after reading several times that Sam Calagione, the founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, made their mission statement this quote from Emerson.

Why so would be a man
must be a nonconformist.
He who would gather immortal palms
must not be hindered
by the name of goodness,
but must explore if it be goodness.
Nothing is atlast sacred
but the integrity of your own mind.

I had never thought about a piece of someone else's prose as a way to have a mission statement, but mine has been for years. Like I had it hanging on my locker door in high school. I just didn't know it was my mission statement then.

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

You may have noted that this quote is also generally attributed to Emerson. I like the version written by Bessie Stanley of Lincoln Kansas in 1905 quite a bit too.

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.

The Emerson version is ingrained in my memory, but I kind of like the Stanley one a lot too, especially since it's by a woman from Kansas. I think my official mission statement is somewhere in between. The exact words aren't the important part of a mission statement so that's okay for me. I wouldn't work for some other people, who were probably horrified by that last sentence, but they also rewrite their mission statement once a year.

I'm thinking maybe I'll come up with some way to bring my mission statement into my life in an easily visible location.. I just need to come up with a non-cheesy wall art idea. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'm sticky.

Word to the wise. The day you have your water shut off because your water softener is gushing is perhaps not the best day to eat something with syrup for breakfast.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm on someones favorite links!!

Michelle knows me, but I'm still honored that she thinks enough of my blog to include it in Prairie Images Photography's blog's favorite links. I feel super cool. And now I know how my mom's next door neighbor found out about my blog without my mom telling her about it.

Layla continues to find the best stuff for me.

I'm a little obsessed with The Lettered Cottage.

It is the one thing on the internet I read as religiously as I check my email. Like, I read it before I check Facebook.


I love almost everything she and her husband do with their home.

There's this one lamp I'm just not in love with, but that's it.

Nitpicky? Yes.

True? Also yes.

She finds the most amazing blogs for me to see. Like half of my illustrated discovery journal is pictures from blogs she has discovered for me.

I know what you're thinking.

Discovered for you?

Yes, discovered for me.

We have a personal relationship based entirely on the fact that I feel like she writes everything just for me. You can think I'm crazy, but Sam Calagione talks about something in Brewing Up a Business called the Ideal Customer (or reader in this case) which I'm pretty sure I am for her blog. Everything she writes and finds is for someone just like me and I love that. It makes me feel really inspired about my ability to connect with people even if I don't know them personally.

The inspiration for this rant is one of the nurseries she posted about a couple of days ago from Under the Sycamore. It's amazing. Everything in it has meaning and it's the girly-est room I'm ever seen. It's what I'm going for in my room. I'll post about it someday, I swear.

And the blog has the most unbelievably fabulous background.




If I could burn it onto my retinas I would. I'm in love with that pattern and must find a way to recreate it on something I will see every day. I'm thinking maybe the curtains in my room.

And the DIY Projects are amazing. At least the ones I've checked out are super easy and totally my style.

The words Shadow Box Vintage Kitchen Display set my heart on fire. And then there's the glorious photos she takes.

I'm in love. Again.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Note to self.

Do not get a computer virus the day Wiley sends you the email with the final proofs of your article.

It makes the day you get it fixed and can use the internet again a lot more stressful.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Greatest Moments of My Career as a Bioarchaeologist.

It's January 19th. I haven't heard from the search committee for "the job" since December 1. In my experience that means you didn't make the short list.

They almost never say no until they've actually hired for the position just in case things don't work out with their first, and second, and third or whatever choice.

I get it. I would hate to tell someone they were out of the running and then have to ask if they were still interested later because none of the candidates I wanted ended up actually wanting the job.

And that's okay.

Last week, I was writing in my coaching notebook about the whole situation and guess what came out.

Just because you have a Ph.D. in something doesn't mean you have to do it. You can do so much more.

Hell yes I can.

I was thinking about that career and how it had contributed to my life while walking the dogs last night. Funny thing was finishing my dissertation, publications, and getting a Ph.D. weren't the parts that I consider to be the crowning achievements.

There are two and I would love to think that the first is actually more meaningful, but being a bad ass is pretty damn important to me so I can't honestly say that.

1. Being able to explain to the lovely extended family of a young boy in surgery for his broken arms (yes, that is supposed to be plural) what the x-rays they were given meant. In case you're curious, I met them in the surgery waiting room at Wesley Medical while waiting for my dad. The grandfather stopped me in the hall a couple hours into our sitting next to each other and asked if Crystal and I were twins.

2. Setting my own broken finger. Austin thought I was hardcore for like three days. Then he realized that I'm a total whiner about little stuff. It's only excruciating pain that I deal with well.  I set it within minutes of the break and I'm happy to report that you can't even tell from looking at the outside that it was ever broken. It bends just like it should and everything. Good thing too because it gets a lot of attention with my sweet ass wedding ring on it.

And now I need to make an appointment to meet the Kansas Small Business Development Center so I can get on that so much more.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Always use a measuring spoon.

Or at least a spoon. If not, the delicious apple cinnamon oatmeal you planned on having for breakfast may become apple oatmeal flavored cinnamon as the result of a avalanche of cinnamon from the tub.

Das ist nicht gut.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two words.

Must have.

Okay, maybe a few more than two to clarify for those of you who don't know how much I love both gin and porters. I love them and Alameda put them together. Why didn't they do this before I was in Portland?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I make yogurt too.

I made yogurt out of milk for the first time a week or two ago.

I know what you're thinking. All those domestic ideas Austin has are spot on.

You're right. They are.

I would rather make yogurt myself than buy it. It is the best yogurt ever and it only costs me about a dollar a quart this way.

I used the awesome yogotherm he got me for Christmas 2009, but you could use anything that will keep a liquid at a constant temperature for 10-12 hours. The Backyard Homestead (one of my favorite books ever right after the Laura Ingalls Wilder series for home food making instruction) gives several options, my favorite being wide-mouth glass jars in a Styrofoam thermos.

I used a combo of the recipe from Backyard Homestead and Ricki the Cheese Queen's recipe.

I heated 2 quarts of milk to 186 degrees, turned off the heat and stirred in 1/2 cup of dried milk (both make the yogurt thicker and creamier). Then I let it cool to 110 and added 1/2 cup of yogurt I bought at the store (it was Dannon All Natural Nonfat Plain which is tangier than some and I like that, but I think any kind of plain would work), poured the whole thing in the yogotherm, sat it on the counter to work undisturbed and came back 10 hours later to 2 quarts of yogurt. Awesome.

Austin really prefers Greek yogurt which is thicker than most and tangier in my opinion. I already had the tangy part down (you can leave it to set longer to get tangier yogurt). I strained it (in a coffee filter in a sieve over a measuring cup in the fridge letting 1/2 cup of whey drain out of each 2 cups of yogurt) and the result is unfreakingbelievably good.

I saved 1/2 cup to use as the starter for the next batch and it looks like I need to get on that because there is only about a serving left. I'll try to take pictures next time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I have a real job now.

I know. It's hard to believe, but I have a real, leave the house for at least eight hours a day job as of this morning. I'm thinking posting will dip for a couple of days or weeks until I adjust.


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