Weekend of April 21st (yes, it's been that long...)
My grandma Wilma, recipient of the Waverly Municipal Hospital's Volunteer of the Year Award, came to WI to visit me. She and I took B bowling, along with the little Bothers, Dad and the Step-Monster. We had a blast, and Grandma kicked our collective butts. Won $10 from the elder Bother, which is a big deal, because he's notoriously tight. So I got to rub his nose in the fact that not only did I beat him bowling, but I took his money. It was glorious.
Saturday night was the main reason for Grandma's big trip to the Northwoods. She and I made the trip to Medina, MN to see The Del McCoury Band live in concert. Never heard of the DMB? Well you should have! Shame on you! They are the best bluegrass band in the US, and as I told one friend, "If it were possible for a bluegrass band to rock my face off, they would have definitely done it!" If you have MusicMatch, they have songs on the Bluegrass channel, and their stuff is total worth hearing. They are virtuosos. Plain and simple.
The next weekend (after the week whipped through) was April 28th. I found myself in Ladysmith, WI doing a live radio broadcast with regional radio personality (and, to the little Bothers, wisest man on earth) Jay Moore, host of Jay Moore in the Morning on Moose Country 106.7 FM. Trust me, it was a big deal. I even had Jay, who was a really nice guy, sign a couple of Moose bumper stickers for me, which I in turn gave to the Bothers. They were speechless, and the talk is these priceless artifacts are headed for frames hung on their respective walls. Again, you have know idea how big of a deal this is... :)
After spending my morning with Jay, the Step-Monster and I headed for the Green Bay area to help out my cousin Mandabelle (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved), who, along with her husband, Physicsman, is hurtling along the path to parenthood. Bundle Of Joy is expected within the next month, so Mandabelle asked Step-Monster and I to come paint the nursery area, since we had already proved our painterly skills on the Bothers' house. Here are the results (not bad if I say so myself!):
View of the doorway before paint
The stairway before paint
The window before paint
The door, after paint. The theme is Noah's Ark, so the walls are two-tone blue, with little wind-whipped waves halfway up the wall, forming a sort of a border. Mandabelle had a wall hanging and curtains already picked out, and we pulled these colors right from that.
The hallway, after paint (it's hard to tell, but it's a carmelly brown color - VERY nice)
The window after, with the inspirational curtain.All in all, it was super fun, and Physicsman, and his brother-in-law Engineerman are spectacular cooks. Thanks for the hospitality, y'all!
After the quick trip to Mandabelle's was the beginning of an eventful week for me. After three + years of working at said regional telecommunications company, I gave my notice on May 3rd. I have taken a job at CHR Solutions, working in their telcom consulting arm with their market strategy and organizational management personnel. It was a big step for me, but a very exciting one. The new job offers lots of flexibility with scheduling, the opportunity to travel more, and unprecedented relationship building opportunities with some of the best and brightest telecommunications companies in the country. But more on that to come...The night of May 3rd, I participated in a bowling challenge with a few colleagues, in support of our local Kinship chapter. And here's the kicker - not only did we beat our opposing team, but we WON THE TOURNAMENT!! Check out the pic below (NOT my most flattering, but I'm posting it anyway...)
The best part about this win (aside from scoring some awesome pledges for the kiddies) was that NONE of us are good bowlers. The bowling gods were smiling down on us, however, and we rocked with a combined total score of 3047. Say it with me, everybody, "Kick***."That next weekend, May 5th, was spent with the Step-Monster again (if I didn't like her so much, I'd be REALLY sick of her by now...). Except now the focus of our attention was my house. Because of the new job, I have the ability to work part of the time from home. Which is great, except for the fact that my home previously lacked an office area. But with a lot of organization, a little elbow grease, and a couple gallons of paint, the Step-Monster and I started whipping the basement into shape as a makeshift office.
The storage room under the stairs. Notice all the bins labelled and nicely stacked in the back, plus the new Sterilite shelving unit awaiting its load. Organization is bliss!
A before shot of what will be my office area. You'll have to stay tuned for the "after" shots, since I'm still in process.
This is the are right where my worktable and desk area will be (actually, that IS my worktable under all the stuff...). Notice the dingy, grimy walls; nasty metal track shelving and general disarray. This is what my basement used to look like.
A little explanation about the basement is warranted at this point, I believe. The house we live in used to belong to B's grandparents. They were lovely people, but the maintenance on the house had gotten way beyond their capabilities (due to age), and when we moved in, there was a lot of remodeling to be done. The house didn't even have a shower. So we concentrated a lot of our efforts on the upstairs living areas, and kind of let the basement slip. It became a place to stack wood (for the wood-burning stove) and do laundry, and that was about it. We also don't have a garage, so the basement stores all of our bikes, skis, snowshoes, boots, golf clubs and other miscellaneous sporting equipment, which tends to take up quite a bit of room in an already small area. So when this job opportunity came along, the first thing was to shape up the downstairs into something livable.
That pretty much ate up the weekend before last, and last week was spent frantically trying to tie up loose ends at work before I left, which is no small task. Last weekend I was again on the road (poor car - 3000 miles in less than a month), this time heading to my sister's District track meet in Decorah, Iowa. She is a middle distance runner, and she had a great meet. A couple of personal bests helped propel her to the State meet in two events. I'll be heading to Des Moines tomorrow to see her run at the Drake track.
However, the track meet was not the only highlight of the weekend. Little sister also is a junior, which means senior pictures are on the to-do list. So we did part of her sitting on Saturday. I have a couple pictures, which I'll post once I get them ready. She did great, and her pictures really show it!
Yesterday brought my last day at the old job. It was, and still is, very hard to leave the people there. Everyone was wonderful - there was not a single person I didn't get along with. They are truly a great group of people, who are committed to their products and services and dedicated to their customers, and it was great to be a part of that positive environment. Changing jobs has really been a unique decision for me, since the jobs are so similar in focus, but so completely different in functionality. I find that it reminds me of college - something you're a little anxious to leave, but with a future lying ahead of you that begs to be discovered. You'll probably miss the old, but you'll constantly be challenged by the new, and I truly believe that is what I'll find in this situation.
Tomorrow, as I said, I'll be heading to the State Track meet in Des Moines. I'm going to try and hook up with some friends down there at least one night, so I'll have plenty to post about this weekend. Again, my apologies for not posting sooner, but I think it was worth the wait! If you've made it this far through the post, you are to be congratulated, and you'll be happy to know that this is the end. :)