The message from successful women over the years: Ask for what you want.

I love this little feature from the Atlantic on advice to women in the workforce. It gives the cliff notes version of well known books, including Sheyl Sandberg’s Lean In.

Each author takes a different approach to achieving at work, and the Altantic picks out certain oddities, like bad-mother anecdotes, and boldtest multitaking moves. The one thing they all have in common? To get a raise, you must ask for one.





Daffadowndillies, Narcissus, Daffodils


photo: Lee Edwin Coursey

The blooming of daffodils means that spring is on its way. As a lover of warmer weather and summer this is good news. Although the last few days have felt like winter.

Daffodils are my favorite flower for several reason, but the main one is their smell. It is the perfect combination of fresh, sweet, nature, sun, and happiness. Growing up we had a flowerbed at the far side of the house that had tons of daffodils. Since the bed was where no one could see it my mom would let me cut as many daffodils as I wanted. I would cut arm full’s of flowers, and put them in vases all over the house. My room always got several vases full. So for a few weeks our house would have the wonderful smell of daffodils. Now if you’ll excuse me. I’m off to find some daffodils for my room.


Bunk…? Bundt, Bundt!


I made my first bundt cake. And I don’t mean to brag, but it was delicious. I started baking in middle school and I have loved it since then. So it is surprising that I have never attempted to make a bundt until now. The recipe I made was really easy. So I am sharing so you all can make and enjoy it yourself.


  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix

Grease and flour a bundt or angel food cake pan. (Use coca instead of flour to avoid white coating on cake) Mix everything together except eggs and chips. Add eggs one at a time mixing well. Fold in chips. Put in greased bundt. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Let it cool in pan for 10 minutes. Carefully insert a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cake. Remove from pan and cool completely, Serve drizzled with melted dark chocolate or covered with powdered sugar. Enjoy!


It’s 2013 and the NFL still sends faxes

When is the last time you sent a fax? My office doesn’t even have a fax machine anymore – just an e-mail based fax service. A whole generation of current college students may have never seen a fax. And yet…multi-million dollar deals are still brokered via facsimile.

Grantland tells the story here. Elvis Dumervil and his agent either paying the price for a risky negotiating strategy, or they are the victim of bad fax luck.

It’s 2013. Google Glass exists. And yet agents can still miss deadlines when players aren’t near a fax machine.


Please pass the Animal Crackers

Have you ever wondered why, in a society that is so concerned with not eating meat e.g. vegetarian or vegan, we have so many snack foods and candies made in animal shapes. There are teddy grahams, animals crackers, bunny crackers, swedish fish, gummy bears and gummy worms. In a few weeks children’s Easter baskets will be filled with chocolate bunnies and peeps. Then an all time favorite of many, Gold Fish with the slogan “The snack the smiles back…until you bit their heads off.”

This is in no way a bash for being vegetarian or of these delicious snacks. I was just wondering.


Snow Angel

The federal government is closed today, and my employer follows OPM’s schedule. That means…I have a snow day! Where I grew up in the Midwest, adults do not get snow days from work. Like ever. Even schools have strict guidelines for closing. 

When I began student teaching, it was January, so I got plenty of experience with this. One night there was a snowstorm accompanied by wind that resulted in monstrous snow drifts all across the college campus and parking lots and made cars disappear into lumps under a thick white blanket. I knew I would have to dig out my car in the morning, so I set my alarm for 4:00a.m., and headed out with a shovel. When I thought I had dug away enough snow to get out of my parking space, I went back inside to shower. Alas, when I returned an hour later, I couldn’t get my car out of the drift. Snow was packed under my car, and the more I tried to move it, the slipperier it became beneath my tires. I tried desperately to shovel away more snow and tried to back up and then go forward at different angles but nothing was worked. Time was ticking – school was hadn’t been canceled, and I needed to get on the road.

Out of the blue, a guy showed up. We’re talking six in the morning on a college campus, so not many people were out and about. Without saying a word, this dude proceeded to hack away at the drifts with his own shovel. Then he hopped on the hood of my car and told me to put it in reverse. The car still wouldn’t budge. It took some back and forth, with more jumping on my trunk and hood, but eventually my car was freed, and I got to school.

The guy was so bundled up I didn’t recognize him, and I was in such a selfish hurry, I didn’t stop to chat. But I wish I would have verified his name and thanked him properly, because that day, he was my hero.


Isn’t that ring around the moon enchanting?

Anne Shirley’s voice often pops in to my head because I love the Anne of Green Gables book and movies series. But this quote from the movie Anne of Avonlea was brought to my mind a little while ago when I saw my first ring around the moon. Through may years of watching this movie what I pictured in my head looked something like this

Well imagine my surprise when I realized that a ring around the moon looks like this
The night was cold and clear. The moon was so bright it almost felt like it should be morning and the sun was coming up. It had already been a wonderful night but the beauty of the moon and the reminder of Anne just made it more unforgettable.


The joys of a Sunday afternoon

A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, Georges Seurat

There is nothing like relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. In high school and college, Sunday ceased to be a day of rest because I regularly procrastinated on my homework so Sunday was spent frantically finishing school assignments. I have come to enjoy that time even more now that I work a lot on Saturday.

This Sunday afternoon was particularly wonderful because it was restful and productive. Birthday presents were bought, thank you notes written, books read, nap taken, and I had time for a run. It was a cold and blustery day but sunny. I found myself smiling while I ran (something I normally never do because getting in shape after winter hibernation is hard) because I could smell someone’s dryer going and I love that smell. It made me happy to be outside even though it was cold and my legs were tired and my breath wasn’t coming as easily as it was at the beginning of the run. Yes it is the little things that add up to a lovely Sunday afternoon. Happy Sunday….