Monday, January 31, 2011

Bucket List

 Omro, WI October 2006
  Do you have a bucket list?  This weekend I watched the DVD of the time I went skydiving several years ago and it reminded me of a list I had made over 5 years ago.  I called it my goal list, but many call it a bucket list.  A list of things you want to do in your lifetime.  I haven't thought about this list in a long time and watching my skydiving dvd reminded me of the things I wanted to do that I haven't done and the things I have accomplished.

Geelong, Australia February 2005
 One of my goals very early on was to study abroad in Australia.  This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I stayed for 5 months and living on my own thousands of miles away from family and friends really helped me "find myself".  I didn't know anybody when I went, but came home with some of the best friends that I still keep in contact with today.  It was also an experience to be in a foreign country with no cell phone, no vehicle and it really tested me emotionally.  I came out a stronger person and I wouldn't change the experience I had and would strongly recommend it to every one.

Rome, Italy April 2008

Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and it was always a dream of mine to visit one of the most historic places in the world, Italy.  I traveled with 3 other companions and walking downtown Rome just took my breath away.  Every turn has a different statue, cathedral, or historic site that leaves you in complete awe.  The cultural differences also have such a neat way of making you feel like you are in a different world.  Spending an afternoon sitting across from the Colosseum, riding in a gondola in Venice and viewing the Sistine Chapel were probably the most memorable moments.

Alaska May 2010

I got another check mark on my list on my honeymoon to Alaska.  My goal was to go deep sea fishing.  Even though I didn't actually catch that fish, the experience was amazing.  I grew up hearing stories about my Dad's experiences while he lived up in Alaska working on the pipeline.  Ever since then I have always wanted to go up and go deep sea fishing.  We also got to go whale watching and see glaciers.  Something I will never forget.

I still have goals I want to accomplish, but it is also fun to review the ones you have made reality!  I also think it is important to re-evalute your goals and see which ones need to be changed, added or removed. 

Do you have a bucket list?  What types of things are on your list?  How do you make sure that you achieve those goals?


Friday, January 28, 2011

Keeping in contact

That girl from high school, your best friend from first grade, the person you met at summer camp, an old co-worker, or old teammates.  People from your past are a huge part of the person you are today.  How do you decide who you stay in touch with and who you decide to let go?  This picture I stole from facebook from an old teammate from high school.  Can you find me?  Every day you run into new people that either become a part of your life, an acquaintence or just someone who passes through.  Social media has changed the way we view many of our relationships. 

For example, the girls in this picture I played high school volleyball with almost 10 years ago.  Many of them I have lost touch with, but in recent times have reconnected on facebook.  Now I can see a picture of their husband, children and that they got up and worked out at 8:55 AM this morning.  Creepy??  Maybe I can see a little too much about this person!  That is the interesting thing about social media, we can share things about our life that for the most part nobody really needs to know, but for some reason we become extremely interested in what people from our past are doing on a day to day basis.  The question is, what makes it so interesting? 

 I am a self proclaimed facestalker.  When I get bored, I like to see what other people are doing.  Maybe it is human nature to compare our lives to people we know?  Is it an addiction?  What do you think?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

To what Degree...

A conversation with my sister-in-law sparked the topic for today's post.  How many people actually end up working in the field in which they received their college degree? 

College was a great experience for me.  I was a very shy high schooler and college really brought me out of my shell (maybe a little too much).  The problem, however, was that up until my junior year I had the mind set that I was going to college to play volleyball and not get an education.  My first couple years I treated college like I did high school.  I got very good grades, but I was not thinking ...I am here to get an education so that I can get a good job. 

I don't really remember the actual day it hit me, but I finally got to a point when I realized after college volleyball is not going to pay the bills.  I have always liked everything history, science, art, I guess you can already figure out from this blog I don't have a real focus on just one thing.  Getting back to the focus of this blog though and the point I am making with this story is that it just amazes me that I ended up actually working in the field of work that I went to school for.  I got my degree in communications/journalism with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in marketing.  I currently work as an advertising sales representative for b2b magazines.  For the record, I also play rec volleyball on Thursday nights.  Growing up I always wanted to be a Vet because I am pretty sure I thought they just got to play with animals all day long, but once I realized that wasn't true I really never had a real idea of what I wanted to be when I grow up.  Advertising Sales Rep never really crossed my mind.

So here are my questions...

1. Do you work in the field of work you went to school for? 
2. Are you happy?
3. Does anyone actually become what they wanted to be when they grow up?


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Things We do for LOVE!

November 2010

 I am definitely not an expert in love, but I do know a thing or two about communication and compromise.  My husband and I met 6 years ago at a bar where I was working during college in my hometown.  I thought he was cute, but wasn't interested because I was going to be leaving in two weeks to study abroad in Australia for 5 months.  He managed to woo me in those two weeks and the day before I left we agreed we were "together".  After many late nights in a phone booth thousands of miles apart and one very expensive phone bill for him I believe I learned more about him than I would have being in the same city.  Needless to say everything worked out and we got married on April 25th, 2009.

This past year after much discussion we decided we needed to take more of an interest in each others hobbies because we found ourselves spending very little time together between work and everything else going on.  I agreed I would go hunting with him and he agreed to make a quilt with me.  I went out and took hunter's safety, bought my own bow, arrows, camo, blaze orange, tags and was ready for the big hunt.

November 2010
He agreed to come along with me to JoAnn Fabrics and we picked out 3 different fabrics, thread and all the necessary quilting materials.  He had learned to sew at young age and was actually the one who taught me the basic things about sewing.  Needless to say between all the shopping trips, target shooting practice, hunts and working on the quilt we got to spend more time together and learn more about each others hobbies.  I found out I actually enjoyed the peace and quiet you get while sitting out in a deer stand and listening to the leaves crackle and watching the squirrels chase each other.  He learned that if we ever go hunting together again, he is not going to sit in the same stand as me because I have a hard time sitting still and being quiet.

I still believe it is good to have things you like to do together, but also things you like to do apart.  He will never run a 1/2 marathon with me and I will never plan a vacation solely around duck hunting.  What things do you like to do as a couple?  What things would your rather do alone?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Winter Blues

 The snow is turning that gross brown color, one day just runs into the next, yes it is still dark at 5:00 PM, the roads are still slippery, the holidays are over and YES it is the time when many of us get the Winter Blues

I got home from work today (job #1) and had exactly 45 minutes before I needed to be at the gym (job #2).  I had to eat, walk the dog and change from my business apparel to my gym apparel.  I walked through the door, grabbed some food, got the dog's leash from the garage and walked in to find the minnow bucket (which of course was sitting in the middle of the kitchen...where else?!) had dumped all over the floor because the dog was so spastic that I was actually going to walk him had been jumping up and down and knocked it over.  With only 20 minutes to get him around the block and make it to work there was no time for cleaning up the small flood that had taken over the kitchen so I was out the door as time was ticking away.  I made it home with about 7 minutes to spare and notice the neighbor's (who lives a block away) puppy had followed us home.

I ran inside with 5 minutes to go and let both dogs in, made it through the flood in the kitchen, grabbed the puppy and threw him in my vehicle and zoomed over to the neighbors to drop him off.  I no sooner got there and they were also pulling into the driveway unaware that their puppy had been missing.  I got a funny look from the neighbor as I let the puppy out of the vehicle and the youngest daughter looks at me and says, "Ummm...excuse me!  Why did you steal my puppy?!?"

Ahhh yes, the winter blues are in full effect.  Thank goodness for things like the Packer's going to the Superbowl, $18,000 sales days, dark chocolate, Glee and Artificial Light Gardens!

Are you experiencing the winter blues?  How do you deal with it?


Monday, January 24, 2011

Artificial Light-Gardening

Now don't get any funny ideas.  This is my new project and I can already just imagine what you are thinking.  To get your mind on the right track start thinking: indoor seedlings not illegal substances!  Last year I wanted to start my tomato and pepper seedlings indoors and this worked for the most part.  The light source I used was very cost effective (the sun) but the problem was that the plants got too big, became crowded and began growing towards the window. 

After some online researching and scoring that awesome 1960's book (pictured above) about artifical light gardening from Good Will I have decided to take on the project of an indoor light garden in my basement.  Thankfully having a Dad that does carpentry for a living he will be constructing a portable box and fixture for the light and I will attempt to grow the seedlings in my basement.  Once I get the set-up I will share the materials, dimensions and costs involved.  I am still in the research phase on the timing and with an unpredictable Wisconsin winter the last frost of the year is always a major guessing game.   Timing is very critical with seedlings because you don't want them to get too big before you are able to transplant them outdoors.  I learned that the hard way last year, but still was able to successfully transplant and ended up with a great garden.  This year I am up for the new challenge so wish me luck and check back often!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Time Management

How do you manage your time?  Some people are said to have good time management skills, but what does that really mean?  To me it means that I can get everything done that needs to get done whether it is at work, home or with the project I am working on and still have time to spend with family and friends.  To Dick it means a totally different thing!  If he has managed his time well, he will have enough time to get his work done, get home and still have time to make it out fishing for a few hours.

One thing that really strikes me as odd though is that when you have all the time in the world I have a much harder time getting anything accomplished then when I have about 100 things to do in one day.  Yesterday for example I had nothing planned, but I have really been wanting to clean the basement and I had to get in my 4 mile run for training.  I did get the basement cleaned, but it took until 4:30 PM to drag myself out to the gym.  During the week I can work a full 8 hour day, get in a workout, cook dinner, clean, take the dog for a walk and somehow still make it to my volleyball game by 7:30.  Amazing!

In my experience, keeping a schedule, list or calendar is the best way to keep track of everything.  How do you do it?  Time management is very important in gardening as well and will be very important in my upcoming project!  Knowing the seasons, zones and planting vegetables and flowers at the right time is critical to having a successful garden.  In the next few weeks I will be sharing my early spring gardening plan and my indoor plant growing project.  Stay tuned...


PS The time stamp on my blog is 2 hours behind the actual time. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Buying Power!

I knew I could drag you into today's post with a cute picture of my dog Bosko!  Anyways, along with the topic of projects whether it is a renovation, gardening project, ect; a major consideration to think about is going to be bought.  So what I would like to know is, as a couple, how do you make your buying decisions??

Everyone has their own method to "the purchasing process".  For instance, Dick will do a ton of research and spend months looking things up online, going and looking at different products and then boring me to death with the details until I finally crack and say okay you can buy it.  On the other hand, I will do a little amount of research, ask for some referrals and then go and make a purchase.

Of course larger priced items require more discussion, so who is the one who makes the final decision?  I think this is different for every couple.  We dicuss every major decision, but ultimately I give the go ahead.  How does it work for you?

It is funny to me (you have probably heard this story before) that often times it is assumed that the husband is the one making the final decision.  When we began looking at our second apartment a few years back we had gone on a bunch of tours and they were all horrible.  Finally we found a decent place, clean, big, ect, but as we were taking the tour the manager was asking Dick all the questions and showing him around as if I was just along for the ride.  We had made it clear that we were both going to be living there.  Finally we were finishing up and he shook Dick's hand and walked away.  I bet you can guess whether we took that apartment or not.

Every couple has a different method to their buying process.  Can you just buy whatever you want without discussion?  Do you have a certain dollar limit that requires approval from both parties?  Do you make all the decisions? 

I'd be interested to know how other couples make their buying decisions.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Beginning...

Welcome to my blog!  (Ha yes that is me.)  I started this blog because I have a lot of different hobbies and I like to share them with others (and my husband Dick is sick of hearing about them.)  The reason this blog is called Julie's Junk Drawer is because when I try to summerize everything I am interested in the only that comes to mind is a messy junk drawer.  For those of you who have seen my "In My Spare Time" album on facebook, this is just a version of that on steroids.

I will give you a brief list and at this point you can decide whether checking back is worth your time.  Well here goes:
  • Sewing/Quilting
  • Gardening
  • House Renovations
  • Jewelry Making
  • Volleyball
  • Running/Training for races (5K/Triathlon/1/2 Marathon)
  • Hunting - yes that is because of Dick
  • Fishing
  • Hiking/Camping
  • Cooking/Baking
  • Canning food
  • Traveling
  • Keeping a Jounal
  • Themed parties
  • Learning new things
If there isn't something in this list...I'm sure I have thought about doing it or have and just forgot to add it to the list so feel free to post comments and ideas and I will probably give it a whirl.  What you can expect are a lot of before and after projects, seasonal projects, random things I plan to give a try and lots of pictures.  Thanks again for checking in every now and again and I hope to keep you entertained.