Ashley’s Flower Garden

We took a short break from our travels in the middle of my sabbatical. During that time, Ashley dug up the garden and planted flower seeds.

Now that Ashley’s gone on her mission trip, we have something beautiful to remind us of her.

Thanks, Ashley! Every time I see your garden, I think of you!

Back to Work; Sabbatical is Over

Having cast off for sabbatical eight weeks ago, today was time to plug back into the docking station.

Alpha mail. Thankfully, only 500 e-mails were waiting in my inbox and most could be discarded without reading more than the subject line. After accepting a few meeting requests and placing a few phone calls to ensure the other e-mails had been handled in my absence, I was able to get my inbox down to less than ten e-mails by end of day. That’s the result of having great coverage. Thanks, guys!

Breaking rules. Waiting on my desk was a bookstore gift certificate in recognition of some work I did immediately before sabbatical. During lunch, I bought First, Break all the Rules. After all, work bought me the book; I thought I’d return the favor by getting something that just might improve my on-the-job performance. Coincidentally, this morning I completed an organizational health survey. Upon starting the book, I recognized the twelve core questions. Maybe I’m not the first to have read this book.

Wireless mouse. Going through my drawers, I discovered mouse droppings. Wait — that didn’t come out right. My top desk drawer contained shredded paper napkins and mouse poop. That’s not good; I didn’t even have food there. Not that I suspect my coworkers, but I locked my drawers before sabbatical. Fortunately, the drawer held nothing of value and now the trash can does. Welcome back! I’m tempted to try a trap.

Beat by the Street. I looked up my employer’s stock. Great — there’s a definite improvement that coincided with my departure. Don’t tell upper management…

Staying on sabbatical. As part of my sabbatical, I took a political fast. Normally a political junky, I abstained from talk radio, political blogs, and political commentary. Amazingly enough, the world continued to spin without me. I’m considering continuing the fast or at least maintaining a slim political diet. My heart will thank me, I’m sure. I’ll have more time to do the other things I enjoy. Speaking of which…

Going nowhere not so fast. After a full, fun day at work I exercised today. Just the treadmill tonight, but my board short tan’s going to look pretty funny when I swim laps again.

Yup, I’m back. Good to see you all again. :-)

Aerial Views

Sometimes when I travel, I keep my camera close at hand. Here’s a couple of shots (though dirty, fogged up Q400 windows).

I took the picture of Crater Lake yesterday on my flight down to Sacramento and the picture of Portland on the way back.

Afternoon Walk

Sabbath afternoon walk We were going to go to the beach after church, but decided to stay in town. I had driven by this trail many times, but never stopped. Today seemed like the right day.

It turned out to be a beautiful walk. The trail was paved or boardwalk and quite flat. There were wild roses (who knew they smelled so good?) and grasses. I took a couple of pictures and walked with my sweetheart. Jamison and Heather pestered each other.

Good times. :-)

Swallows in the House

This is our third year having swallows above our entryway — and our third year having a swallow come in the open front door. (Search for “swallow” to find my other posts.)

Once inside, a swallow seems to get confused and has a hard time finding the exit. Rather than chase it though the house, we decided to shut all the upstairs doors, leave the front door open, and go into another part of the house.

After all, it’s a barn swallow. It should be able to find its way out of a building.

Uh oh. I want back to check on our interloper. Things are not improving…

Update: I heard the swallows chirp so I went to investigate. They’re back outside (and the front door is now closed).

Swallows Move In

Swallow on Nest The swallows have returned and are reclaiming their home. I wonder if they’ll have two clutches again this year.

It’s time to pressure wash the front porch and put the mat underneath the nest.