Homegrown Texan

Born and raised in Texas, I've found the home of my heart and soul in the Pacific Northwest. I love trees, cool weather, and rain. I'm a back to basics kind of gal just trying to raise my family and find a bit of time to slow down in this hectic life.

This Saturday I went to a going away party for our friend, Karen (the one we went to Canada with). She's moving away to California to be closer to her parents. I'm really going to miss her, but I know she'll be back for visits, and she's not too far away to visit as well. The party was great fun...I got to catch up with a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time, eat great Mexican food (it was a pot luck, and I'm friends with a number of great cooks), and drink way too much. I haven't done the latter in a while and probably won't again for a very long while, but it was still a blast.

Sunday Jim and I broke down and tried the new DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online) game. We're both into all that geeky fantasy crap, and this game was awesome. We've been into Guild Wars lately, which I still love, but I think this game is better. I expect I'll be sinking some time into that for a while. Last night we even got to play with a couple of buddies from my work. Since many of my coworkers live and work in IL, I don't get that much personal interaction with them, so it was kind of nice. I hope we get to do more of that (if they can put up with my newbie mistakes).

Speaking of work, I found out today that I'm going to be the lead person for the software development of the next release of one of our products. It's a little overwhelming, but when I think about it, it's really a bunch of administrative stuff. Track problem areas so they don't get lost, attend status meetings and report status for myself and my team, and in general make sure nothing is slipping through the cracks. Shouldn't be too hard, right? I've been in this field for going on 9 years(!!!) now, so is should be able to handle this by now.

On a totally different note, I've been pondering my libertarian tendencies and if/how much I agree with the "formal" Libertarian policies(???...that's the wrong word, but I can't think of a better one at the moment). I've seen debate on more than one message board that talks about how a "true" Libertarian believes this or that. In my opinion, if we're going to try to characterize someone based on their beliefs on a whole array of issues, then we might as well forget ever having any sort of "party", because you're never going to get even 2 people to agree on everything, let alone any party large enough to do any kind of good. Another thing that I've seen that really bothers me...and this is probably my former religious background influencing me...is people asking things like, "If I'm a Libertarian, what should I believe about X?" My answer is you should believe whatever you think is right. If you want to ask the formal Libertarian position on something and the reasoning behind it because you're trying to form your opinion about something, that's one thing...I believe healthy growth requires talking things out with others and listening to other opinions. But to ask what you "should" believe really bothers me, because then you're giving up your own thoughts and ideas. This applies to any group; I'm just using Libertarians as an example because I was reading something in earlier today. Anyway, I'll probably write another post on some things I've been pondering in this regard in the near future.

I spent last week with my family and some close friends in Fairmont Hot Springs, B.C. It was my first time out of the country. Ok, that's not entirely true...I have walked over the border into Nogales a couple of times. But this was my first time to go through customs and actually spend time in another country. It was great fun, and I did learn that if/when I go somewhere again, to make sure I understand what items can be brought out of/back into the country. I didn't run into any problems, but had I decided to buy the Canadian beef jerky that I contemplated getting for my dad, I would have had to give it up. Things like that are good to know ahead of time.

Anyway, we flew into Calgary (which always makes me think of one of my favorite movies, The Cutting Edge), and then drove across the Rockies into Fairmont Hot Springs. I always love driving through the mountains, so this was a great treat for me. Something about the forest just calls to me. If I believed in reincarnation (which I might, I'm just not sure), I would be convinced that I was a forest dweller in another life. I feel so at peace in the forest, like I'm where I'm supposed to be. Someday I will live there.

I didn't get to ski, which I was kind of bummed about. Especially since I was the only person who actually brought skis with me. Go figure. Anyway, Michael could only get 1 hour ski lessons and someone had to watch him. I didn't see the point in buying a lift ticket for myself only to ski for an hour. I am glad that Michael got to take 3 ski lessons (on 3 different days). He's stopping and turning, and staying upright in general much better now. He gets tired easily; by the end of an hour he's wiped. His teacher says his legs just aren't that strong yet. But, progress is progress. Someday we'll be able to take him skiing with us. I tried to coach him a bit before his first lesson, but I'm just not a good teacher. I'm patient enough, but I don't know how to get the ideas across to him.

In any case, I did get to spend one night at the hot springs, which was fabulous. And just opening the curtain every morning to catch a view of the surrounding mountains was wonderful. And I wasn't hot *once*. Those who know me know how much I hate being hot. It was cold, but nothing that couldn't be solved by wearing a jacket and gloves. People often think I like being cold. Quite the contrary. I love to snuggle up all cuddly warm under a blanket or inside of a nice sweater. I just need cold weather to accomodate that.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our friends: Karen, her sons Joey and Jonny, and her other son Richard and his new wife, Debbie, and their daughters Lindsay and Stephanie. I had never met Debbie or the girls before. I felt like I clicked with Debbie right away and the girls are awesome. I hadn't spent so much time with Joey before, so that was nice...I loved having a tea buddy. :) And Jonny as usual was fun to be with.

Anyway, all this was difficult to come home from. I'm still in a bit of a daze. I'm sure I'm a bit tired, too. I'm getting back into the swing of work. I just started a new release of our PTT (Push To Talk, i.e., cell-phone walkie-talkies) product. Right now I'm reading requirements and translating them into what code needs to be modified. This isn't my favorite phase of the project. Lots of reading makes Lisa a sleepy girl. But, I'm getting through it.

Tomorrow I have lunch with the work gang at a Greek restaurant in Phoenix. The place is called Greekfest; I've never been there before, but it's supposed to be really good. That should be a treat.