Wednesday, December 10, 2008

2009 "To do" list

2008 has been pretty good to us... I took a new job that not only treats me better but has allowed us to save and be more 'grown-up' about our finances. We feel *slightly* more secure about the current economic situation, despite the daily uncertainties of the architectural profession and a lot of the work that is tied to the market. We're not truly worried but we're not out of the woods yet, either. Projects get put on hold, no one (municipalities, especially) wants to spend the money they've saved and planned for projects and engineers are beating down our door to hook them up with work. Be all that as it may, I am hopeful for this next year and all I can do is keep working smarter and a little harder. I'm nowhere near done with choosing Christmas gifts or addressing cards, but I'm already thinking ahead to goals for next year.

1. See more of our great land... specifics TBD.

create your own personalized map of the USA

2. Build and maintain an emergency fund... enough to cover at least non-savings income (roughly 80%) for one of us for 6 months or both for 3. I'm probably... halfway there... and I opened a high-interest savings account to help us get there faster.

3. Finish designing our house renovation. Er, finish building our sunken patio!

4. Finish the ARE exams and become a registered architect! This should really be #1 and will take all my time, but it is really time I finished the rest (one down, eight to go).

5. Make or at least modify my own clothing using my new sewing machine and some creative flair. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hurts to laugh

For a minute, or five anyway... Boy Dog was loose. DH and I take turns walking them at lunch and today was my usual day. The leash slipped off my wrist as I was trying to untangle Girl Dog. He realized, or was clued in by my frantic screaming of his name, and took off with the wind in his ears. Not going anywhere... just running for the pure joy of it. I took off running, too, knowing I'd never actually catch him but having faith that dumb luck would reunite us. We've been charmed so far in such things and I just have to go on that. I did a poor job of the running part and I'm sure it was a ridiculous site, especially with me screaming his name. I think a neighbor was in his yard laughing at us.

I almost caught him twice before I decided to climb up the steep slope to the railroad tracks, hoping to catch a glimpse of him and *really* hoping he hadn't gone that far. He had not, but instead cut up the low side of the hill to the back of a nearby house. The occupant had come out to see what was going on and found Girl Dog, who had not followed me up the hill, and then magically had Boy Dog too. I was standing up above, trying not to cry and wondering where he'd gone and how I'd find him... or break it to DH that he'd disappeared. Then I saw the neighbor through the trees. I assumed he had Girl but then saw the distinctive tail of the Boy and my heart sang. He had them both and all I had to do was not break anything getting back down the steep hill! I thanked the neighbor profusely and also the lady neighbor who had earlier tried to help by offering to hold on to girl dog.

Girl dog was AWESOME and not only kept with me but looked to me for instructions. She's proven this ability the last time he was loose, but I was reminded that she is the 'bestest' and I love her for it. I feel awful that boy dog is the squeaky wheel and gets the wrong kind of attention too often and we take for granted how great she is. The good news is everyone is none the worse for wear and they've had their exercise for the day. It still hurts to laugh but that just means we need to run them more often. Thank goodness for kind neighbors.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

About the name...

Even before I was born, my dad picked my name. He liked the mystery (androgyny?) of it and then decided to make me unique by spelling it with a 'C' instead of 'Syd' like the city or 'Sid' like the man's name. I still got free copies of Boys' Life as a kid and even had an Italian woman ask me, "Why do Americans give their girl children men's names?"

Anyway, a subsequent problem was people seeing the 'C' and thinking my name was 'Cindy.' A friend came up with the simple explanation that the 'd' is before the 'n'... not after.

So here we are. Bear with me, we'll see where this goes.