Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dining Room - Before & After

This is my dining room before I had any furniture in it. It is really boring and not very interesting.

This is what my dining room looks like now. It is still a work in progress, but furniture is better than no furniture.

Notice the great chairs. They used to look like this. But I didn't like the color...

So, I convinced my Mom and Reuben to help me sand them all down (Dad helped too). Here they are in action. Don't you just love all of the dust particles in the air?

I had to leave for Georgia before they were finished so Mom and Andrea spent the next week finishing them for me. They look beautiful!!! Thanks Mom & Andrea!

Andrea and my Mom spent so much time on them and I love the chairs that much more. They help remind me daily of how much I am loved. I think everyone should have a physical reminder that they are loved in their home, especially when they are thousands of miles from home.

Now I just have to recover the seats and they will be perfect! Any suggestions on what color/design I should use for the seats?

Apartment - Before Furniture

My stuff finally arrived here in Columbus last weekend so I can now start to upload photos and blog about my awesome trip across the country. These are photos of my apartment before the furniture arrived. I will add pictures as I start go get rooms in order. It is going to be a long process, but hopefully once all is said and done my apartment will be well decorated and a great place to call home.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Amphibians & Reptiles

Tuesday morning I was strolling along the sidewalk out to my car and as I looked down I saw two frogs on the sidewalk. I am not a fan of frogs. Tree frogs are cute because they are tiny and behind thick glass at the zoo and or aquarium. These were not cute frogs. They were big (bodies approximately four inches) and they were definitely not behind glass! As I got closer I noticed that they were dead, and their insides were hanging out reminiscent of 8th grade biology (someone's dog got to them I think). NOT the way you want to start your day! I can't decided if it was better that they were dead or if I would have preferred them being alive. If they would have been alive and hopping toward me, I may have screamed and that is not the way you want to meet the neighbors screaming your head off because of some frogs. But if they would have been alive, I may not have every seen them and I would have no idea that frogs are lurking around my apartment. Unfortunately there are now spots on the concrete from their carcasses, and so every time I walk by I get a reminder of gross dead frogs.

Thursday (or maybe it was Friday) I was beginning to get over the trauma of the dead frogs when upon returning home from work I see a lizard, A LIZARD!! scurrying away from my front door and over to the stairs. Frogs are worse than the little lizard (about 5 inches long) but frogs, snakes and lizards are the worst! I do not like creepy crawly things or things that are slimy and hop. I am now afraid of what I will see when I leave/return to my house.

I will come completely unhinged if I see a snake on my walk between the apartment and my car. I may be on the next plane out of this place if that happens!

A much overdue update

This post is about a year over due, but I just couldn't bring myself to blog about my life for the last year. It was a difficult year with lots of challenges that I just didn't feel like sharing with the whole world. However things are MUCH better and I have started a new adventure and I am committing myself to more frequent updates to my blog. (Can't really get less frequent, now can I?)

First, after 15 months of looking for a job (some months more diligently than others) I was offered a two jobs in the matter of weeks. The first offer was with a company that I knew well and with people that I consider to be like family. It was close to family and friends and would have a nice big salary, good benefits and an impressive title. The other was with a large company (on the Fortune 150) in a lower level job, way less impressive title and FAR away from family and friends. I was ready to accept job #1, but felt really unsettled about it. So after some prayer, a trip to the temple, and a good cry (not the happy kind) I turned down job #1 and took job #2. After I turned down job #1, I felt peace and that I made the right decision.

There have been some definite bumps in the road and I have questioned my decision a few times. Relocating has been a bit of a hassle. There were some problems getting my background and employment verification completed but despite the two week delay getting that taken care (which had be finished before we could start the relocating proceedings) they wanted me to start only 1 week later than anticipated. It made for some crazy times, especially since we had a family reunion of sorts when Asa got home from his mission that took up one of the weeks. The day after everyone went home from the reunion, my mom and I hopped on an airplane and headed for Georgia.

Apartment hunting didn't start off very well. Nobody had any availability (not that you can blame them when I needed a place to live in just a week and a half) and those that had availability were not in my price range or in a location where I actually wanted to live. At the last minute a place opened up and was available in my time frame, so I didn't have to push my start date again (after 15 months of not working I was anxious to get back to work and earning some money!) Mom and I flew back to WA and got home early Friday morning (the 19th of August). I had 3 days to figure out what I needed to take with me, sort stuff for the movers and head out to drive across the country with Reubs to my new home. I will blog about our driving adventures soon.

Driving from Washington to Georgia (2, 775 miles) took 5 days, driving between 8 and 9 hours in each day (except the last day and it was only 5 hours!). Reuben was a trooper for hanging out in the car for so long and for keeping me company for my first weekend in Columbus. It wasn't very exciting for him I am sure, especially since I didn't get internet until yesterday afternoon and I only have two camping chairs, a couple of air mattresses, some clothes and my kitchen stuff for the next 1 to 3 weeks.

I started work on Monday and it has been really great so far. Working for a large company is different the working in smaller firms but experiencing both will help me to know which I like better, plus having a big name on my resume will help my future career. My coworkers are fantastic and everyone is SO nice. Friday morning my coworker, who had been out traveling for most of the week, sent me an email that included a list of things to do in Columbus for the weekend. It was SO thoughtful! Another coworker invited me to go with her and her friends to watch football games on Saturday. They are trying to help me feel welcome and a part of the community and it is wonderful. There is a lot to be said for southern hospitality! Of course living in the south has lots of different things to get used to, but change is good.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cooking Adventures

This past weekend, I took a much needed vacation from my family. I have been living at home for the past 5 and 1/2 months and while I love my family, I needed a break. So off I went for a short visit with friends. On the last day of my trip, I decided that it would be nice to make dinner for me and Kara, my dear friend with whom I was staying. I decided to cook chicken, wild rice and sauteed veggies - old standbys that are fast, easy and delicious. So off to the store I went.

I was making dinner while Kara was upstairs packing for a trip. I got out the pans and went looking for the things I would need to cook the veggies and chicken- salt, pepper and olive oil. I found the olive oil sitting on the counter and the salt and pepper near the stove. I cooked the chicken – browning it to perfection, making sure that it was fully cooked on the inside but remained juicy. I cut the veggies up, red peppers cut in circular patterns that looked like 4-leaf clovers, julienned zucchini and yellow squash sliced into half circles. I firmly believe that presentation is at least half of what makes food taste good, so I made sure the veggies were a combination of colors and patterns. I then sautéed the veggies in the olive oil and the rice finally finished cooking. I dished it all up on plates and it looked beautiful – honestly it could have been a picture in a magazine. I was pretty proud of myself.

We blessed the food and then dug in. I took a bite and it didn’t taste very good at all. I wondered if the chicken was bad, even though it was fresh at the store. Maybe the oil had gone rancid or something. I turned to Kara and said, “This chicken tastes weird. It is not very good.” I didn’t want her to fake politeness if she thought it was disgusting. By saying it myself, I hoped she would be honest if she thought it taste gross. Kara is so well bred that she would totally eat everything on her plate, even if it the worst dinner ever and be totally gracious, thanking you the entire time. She is just that type of person.

I then tried the veggies. They too weren’t that great either. Something just wasn't right. Kara took a bite and while trying to be polite agreed that it was not the best cooking. I took another bite, trying to identify what went wrong. I am typically a pretty decent cook and I didn’t think I was THAT out of practice. Plus it is really hard to screw up chicken and rice and sautéed veggies.

I took one more bite and proclaimed, “it kind of tastes like dish soap.” Kara raised her eyebrows and then asked what I had used to cook the veggies and chicken. I said “ the olive oil that was on the counter.” She looked panicked and said, “That was the dish soap.”

Apparently in Kara’s family they decided that it looks nicer to keep your dish soap in an olive oil decanter instead of the Dawn bottle. I agree that it looks prettier, but can I recommend that should you chose to do this, use a type of dish soap that is a color other than the one that looks JUST like olive oil – use green, blue, purple, even clear, but steer clear of the gold.

The good news is that dish soap flavored dinner makes water taste like candy! Water never tasted so good! I drank a lot of it too – close to a gallon of it (as that is the recommended treatment for accidental ingestion.) Needless to say, we threw away our dinner and scrounged up some leftovers out of Kara’s fridge. It is a good thing we both have a sense of humor.

Monday, April 26, 2010


My cute sister Tedi decided to surprise me and came to town for my graduation. Tedi has been one of my best friends and I have missed her and her hubby Doug. Last year I spent as much of my free time as I could with them. Then they abandoned me in P-town when they moved to Minneapolis last summer for grad school. It was a wonderful to have Tedi and her little girl in town for my big event. Thanks for sharing them Doug & the rest of the Tree Family!

The Latest Addition to the Clements Clan

Congrats to Abe & Ann on their newest arrival. My 6th niece (#13 when combing nieces & nephews) was born on Wednesday April 21st. Isn't she adorable?