Monday, November 29, 2010

Antique stores and driving on ice

Christi was in the area this weekend for Thanksgiving! She made the trek over the hill from Sherwood to share a cup of coffee and do some shopping in the bustling metropolis of downtown Forest Grove. (If you have trouble keeping my friends straight, Christi is a former roommate turned hospital dietitian who lives in Southern Oregon). I had plans to revive my day-after-black-friday tradition of attending the Verboort Christmas Bazaar, but they don't do it anymore, so...other sorts of shopping had to suffice. Christi was in the market for a tea pot and I can almost always be persuaded to buy a tea cup (but I haven't in years!), so we considered every tea pot, saucer and cup in the big antique store downtown. Christi bought a classy white coffee pot and sugar bowl, made in Poland, which will double for tea duty until she acquires a full china set. I bought this Royal Albert tea cup:

It's now living on an international shelf with my other blue and green tea cups, next to my Swiss fondue pot, and with the South Africa wildlife.

I can't divulge the other fabulous things I picked up on Saturday, but I can tell you about the beautiful snow we had this week:

I love snow, but icy roads are the down side of it. The boys decided at 9:30 on Wednesday night that we should drive to town in the mustang for snacks and drinks. The mustang doesn't have traction tires or anything! Gregg hadn't even made it all the way into mom and dad's driveway that evening. Brian called him a pansy and went out to show him how driving on ice is done, but he too got stuck at the end of the drive. I offered my car with studded tires, but no--"where's the adventure in that, Stephanie!?" I said nooo way was I going to town with them! My idea of an enjoyable drive on snow and ice is not the same as theirs. But, profuse promises against sliding and one guilt trip later ("You lived far away for how long, and now you won't even go to the store with us!?"), I agreed. We drove super slow. There was no intentional sliding. I picked the music (hey-negotiated terms of the deal!). And I had fun. Yesterday with the boys: long talks while de-molding a bathroom, followed by dinner at an Italian restaurant. I'm liking all this time with my brothers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

They wouldn't listen to the fact that I was genius!!

Happy Tuesday evening!
I'm sitting here applying for jobs (how predictable), when what should come up on itunes but Jim Croce, with thoughts on work. :) Enjoy.

Jim Croce - Workin' At The Car Wash Blues
Uploaded by asjacks75. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

I had a couple interviews yesterday. I felt like they went ok, but a positive interview doesn't always a paying job equal, in my experience. I liked both teams and would be happy to hear from them, so that's good at least. One position is retail. Beats rubbing fenders, doesn't it!?

I've been working on Christmas presents in the form of embroidered pillowcases, based on patterns out of Doodle Stitching: the Motif Collection. Don't worry, if you read this blog, you're unlikely to be in danger of receiving any pillowcases from me. I know some of you will be as relieved by that news as Gregg was that these cute, artsy birds weren't for him:

Monday, November 15, 2010


This very long German word is brought to you today by my latest translating project. It means Organizational Development Initiatives, and it's a good word for what I've been doing lately. You've probably been wondering what's been keeping me too busy to write, huh? I mean, how much can one under-employed girl have to do in a day?

Well. It's been one part busy, and two parts "I don't want to talk to anyone." Next time I graduate, particularly if it's with an obscure skill set, remind me to not do so during a recession.

If you've talked to me lately (but I know most of you haven't), you're probably tired of hearing about my job hunt. Sorry if it's getting dull. I know it's been over a year. It's the biggest project I have going right now and I spend a lot of time every day working on it. The latest news is: I applied today for holiday retail work. I got a very kind and personal rejection letter from Omya in Reinach (same problem as usual; it's too hard to hire an American). I'll be speaking soon with the Chair of Humanities at PCC about teaching African History at the college. I've re-applied at Google on encouragement from a recruiter there. And, I have an interview Monday for a pretty cool internship developing Mercy Corps' recruiting relationships with global universities (it's strangely like the Google position, now that I think about it...)

I'm tired of applying for jobs. And moving--even moving home--has its lonely points, and requires a lot of starting over. I appreciate the old friends from here who have been inclusive and sought me out to spend time together (and I really do have some faithful, persistent, steady friends here!!), and the few from Basel who have been in touch. I anticipated before I left that about a month, or month and a half of post-move directionlessness would be how long I'd be "pretty content" and that after that, it would get harder. I was right, so add that to your "useful knowledge about Steph list." When she moves, she's T - 5.5 weeks to Grumpyville.

But...a wise person I know says when you feel sad and discouraged and disappointed, it's a good time to focus on other people's needs and feelings. It's also a good time to be thankful for the good things we have.

In Pfeffingen, we used to sing grace before lunch:

Jedes Tierli hed siis ässä
jedes Blüemli trinkt vo dir
häsch au euis no nie vergässe
liebe Gott mir danked dir

I think I'd get it wrong if I tried to give you a straight translation of it, but the idea anyway is that God provides food for the animals, and water for the flowers, and he never forgets us. We remember his goodness, and give thanks.

(Feel free to correct me, you Swiss German readers, if I have it wrong)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sherman County

The great thing about waiting until election day to vote is the gratification of finding out the very same day what (and who) passed and what didn't! I don't think I'll ever come around to sending my ballot in early.

I think elections are wonderfully entertaining! What's more fun than a nose to nose gubernatorial race, an interactive map and a stream of live tweeted comments like the one at the top of the list? :)