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Beth Collins

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(no subject) [Sep. 14th, 2012|05:42 pm]
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[Current Location |Victoria]

What a crazy day.
What a crazy week.
What a crazy month.
What a crazy life.

Sometimes, I just need to stop and to reflect.

One year ago Tim and I decided we should travel somewhere. By Christmas we booked a return flight to Frankfurt and a flight from Paris to Nairobi and a flight from Zanzibar back to Frankfurt. Two days before Valentines Day, right when I found out I was getting a temporary promotion into a Manager job, we decided to get married. The next few months were a whirlwind of work-related stuff, brain-storming about a wedding, and planning our trip. By the time we left on our trip on April 15th we had a venue booked for the wedding, I was in a new role at work, and we were ready for our adventure. The trip was everything we wanted and more. Europe was amazing in it's own way and Africa was amazing in it's own (and very different) way. 7 weeks later we were home, barely over jet lag and deciding to move into a new apartment. Now we are in the new place and the world continues to spin faster than I can imagine.

Over the spring and summer we had 3 good couple friends break-up. Some seem to be back together (?), others are stumbling through it, and Tim and I are feeling the effects of that in our social circle. Some of our closest friends are thinking about moving away from Victoria. This is something we have experienced here time and time again. No one stays in Victoria, except us. The idea of making new friends and working hard to maintain more long-distance friendships makes me tired. And to make matters worse, some friends may be forced to move away because of negative situations that they cannot control. I hate goodbyes and I hate that with every new goodbye comes loneliness, comes the work of skype-dates and phone calls, and often comes the distance that is hard to mend.

At work this week things have been crazy - hiring freezes, managing friends, and trying to imagine the future of my organization. I want to yell at everyone to slow down. To go back to their offices and think. To give me time to think. But even when I have my office door closed there is so much more to occupy my mind than work. The house. The wedding. Friendships close and far. Tim's work. Tim's family. My family. Our family.

I need to make some space for myself. Some space to think and reflect. Some space to really enjoy some of the amazing things in my life, but maybe also some time to feel sad because everything changes.
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Tying the Knot [Apr. 15th, 2012|11:38 am]
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[Current Location |Victoria]

I feel inspired by Description: [info]crys79 (who never stopped writing) and Description: [info]shmeen (who recently came back) to write something on this journal.

I've been thinking a lot lately about life. In February, Tim and I decided to get married. It was a surprising decision, perhaps more for me than him. I wrote about weddings and marriage here a while ago. My thoughts are still pretty much the same. I have always enjoyed the idea of a wedding but never thought I really needed a wedding or the commitment of marriage. Tim and I have had many conversations about our future and many about kids but never really talked seriously about getting married. He never seemed that interested and while I told him that I liked the idea of having a wedding someday (for the party) it was fine for me if that was when we were 50 or 60. I was never in a rush. Apparently, Tim has started thinking about us getting married a few months earlier. Slowly his apprehension was evaporating. 

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon when Tim was spending some time thinking about his life goals. I was running errands and occasionally checking in with him to have a quick discussion about whether he would like to start his own firm, or whether he really saw himself supporting the Green Party long-term, he was just thinking about the future. He mentioned that he was thinking about relationship goals too and I noticed that he had written down:

Relationship goal: Marriage, summer 2013?

I started laughing and said, did you write “marriage, question mark, 2013?” is there something you want to tell me! He said that if we were going to get married that might be a good time to do it. Which got us talking about it, lightheartedly at first. I told him, and apparently he didn’t know this, that I didn’t like the idea of a surprise engagement and that I found it especially unnecessary because I didn’t want an engagement ring. Once he knew that, the conversation took on a more serious tone. He repeated to me all the reasons why he has been apprehensive about getting married before and then told me that in the last few months he has noticed that he was changing his mind. He told me he wanted to marry me. I told him that I would also like to marry him. Then we both laughed and I said, “does that mean we are engaged!?!” We were.

We kept the news to ourselves for a few days … to see if it stuck, and more importantly to have some of the difficult conversations. We spent a few evenings talking about what marriage means to each of us and discussing (sometimes in great detail) what that commitment would entail.  We talked about what the ‘for worse’ in the phrase ‘for better or for worse’ might look like. Of course, no couple knows what amazing and terrible surprises the future holds but we do know things about ourselves. We know that Tim could go blind and that mental illness runs in his family. We know that I will be the primary caregiver for my parents as they get older, and that they live two provinces away. We said things aloud that we never had. We reassured each other.

After a few days, we started telling people. First our parents and siblings, then some close friends. Then other relatives and friends and finally we changed our facebook statuses (what a crazy world where changing a facebook status is part of the engagement story!).

So far, being engaged is lovely, and planning a wedding is complicated. Some moments I don’t even want to think about the wedding, other moments I can’t stop listening to love songs and imagining our first dance. 

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(no subject) [Nov. 26th, 2010|05:51 pm]
Job competition is over. I didn't get the job. Feeling pretty bummed - not because the person who got it doesn't deserve it but because I just spent the last 3+ months doing that exact job without pay or recognition. The whole time I was thinking ... just do the best you can and show them that you have the skills to do this job ... but it was all for not. I'm tired and I am sure this weekend won't be long enough.
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Turkey Thighs [Nov. 14th, 2010|07:18 pm]
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My life is changed. Today I wanted to make something that said "Autumn". I also wanted to incorporate some frozen cranberries so when I got to the store and saw turkey thighs I thought "bingo! roasted turkey thighs, cranberries, squash! bingo!"

I roasted two huge turkey thighs (boneless, skinless) in my beloved Le Creuset with onions, garlic, a bit of mustard, lemons and lemon juice, savory and sage. The lemon is important, it gives the gravy the best tangy flavour! I roasted squash and cranberries in a separate baking dish and threw potatoes into the roaster after about 40 minutes (total cooking time for the thighs about 1 hour and 45 minutes) .

The thighs were delicious and moist. They were everything I love about turkey (dark meat) without the fuss of cooking an entire turkey. The two thighs were also way way too much for Tim and I so we are left with lots for leftovers.

So pleased.
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(no subject) [Nov. 7th, 2010|03:50 pm]
I've been working without a manager since mid-August and participating in a job competition since the end of September. I am beat and the stress is making me sick.

My manager left to work for the census in mid-August. She had only made the decision to go near the end of July. To complicate matters she wasn't permanent in her position as manager of my team (I'm the only other permanent employee on the team). So for a few months I worked without a manager and my director and the other managers in my section (like a department) began slowly getting their acts together to run a competition for the permanent manager position. I assume that my manager who had been working in that role for most of the time that I have worked at my job (3 years) will win the competition and they will back-fill her until she is done her gig with the census. I feel like I am the right person to back-fill the manager position because I am already fulling the role (without recognition or compensation) and because I believe that I am really good at my job. So far the competition has included the usual application process (resume and cover letter that I spent at least 3 evenings working on), a 6 page assignment (that I spent 6 evenings working on), and an interview (that I stressed about). I am so very very tired of this slow and painful process, and the worst thing is that I have no idea if they are even considering me for the position (either permanent or the back-fill that I am assuming will happen).

The interview was on Friday so now I am just waiting. After work on Friday I was a big ball of stress and was exhausted and already feeling sick. Today I have a full blown cold with stuffed up nose and soar throat. The worst thing is my plate is totally full at work and I know that missing a day this week will set me back and probably result in more stress. Argh. I 'm just so god-damn tired of this shit.
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A little less talk a little more action [Oct. 25th, 2010|09:28 pm]
After much talk Tim and I have finally started (and just barely started) talking about and planning a trip. It is so fresh and undecided that we don't even know what continent we are going to choose but ... we are starting to set things in motion and that excites me more than I can handle.
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(no subject) [Aug. 22nd, 2010|01:28 pm]
The birthday came and went as they do. I always feel torn between wanting to invite everyone I know and host a HUGE event for my birthday and wanting to ensure a quality event by only inviting those who I am sure will come and provide good company. I also find myself really badly missing my old friends on my birthday. A quiet birthday with Vicki, Fiona and Tracy sounds soooo lovely. Or a nice get together at Amigos in Saskatoon - awesome. But, for now, I will continue to slowly nurture relationships here in Victoria. Slowly slowly.
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sliced [Aug. 20th, 2010|09:48 am]
Tim bought me a mandolin vegetable slicer for my birthday. The intent is homemade baked potato chips but I can also see a lot of gratin in our future!

Traditional (ie. Scalloped-ish potatoes): http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/onion_potato_gratin/
Summer squash: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/summer-squash-gratin-recipe.html
Tomato! : http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/spiced-tomato-gratin-recipe.html
Potato, Squash & Goat Cheese!: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/main-dish/recipe-potato-squash-and-goat-cheese-gratin-090647
Potato and Mushroom via my favourite food blog Smitten Kitchen: http://smittenkitchen.com/2009/04/simple-potato-gratin/



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(no subject) [Aug. 15th, 2010|07:16 pm]
This is our first weekend back after our long-awaited summer road trip. The trip was great - so nice to get away from it all - but as always it seemed over too soon. So this weekend we are back in Victoria - still not completely unpacked and baking in this heat.

The heat was obvious when we awoke Saturday morning. Our apartment heats up quickly because of the large East facing windows. We barely had any groceries in the house so we made a half batch of popovers with jam for breakfast. I went out in the afternoon to peruse the mall and fetch groceries. I came home with all the fixings for a tortilla soup (that could be eaten hot or as (cold) gazpacho). The inspiration for the soup came from one we had tasted in Canmore Alberta of all places. We wanted to be sure the flavour would have depth so we used 3 types of chilli powder - regular 'mexican' chilli powder that I had bought from Planet Organic, Ancho chilli powder, Chipolte chilli powder (plus a small amount of cumin). I also had bought 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 local mild hungarian pepper and one small hot pepper (can't remember the variety). The base of the soup consisted of onion, garlic, vegetable broth, canned tomatoes and frozen tomatoes (cherries that I had previously frozen). Once cooked and blended the soup was served to order over 1/2 an avocado (per serving), goat feta garnished with tortilla chips and cilantro. Perfect! We enjoyed this soup a second time (this time cold) today for lunch.
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(no subject) [May. 11th, 2010|07:37 pm]
I haven't finished my San Francisco post! Blaargh.
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