Monday, March 28, 2011

The Difference a Day Can Make

I feel refreshed smiles feel natural; I look forward to tasks that need accomplishing; I'm relaxed and optimistic. It's almost as if...I just got back from vacation.

But NO. I haven't left Cinci.

Here is what has happened though. My sister K came into town for her spring break, so I took a staycation day. Last week I got to experience three of my favorite things in high doses : time off, exploring, and sisters. But I didn't travel more than 15 miles!
Lovely photo of the Purple People Bridge by Sister K
I admit to a history of skepticism toward "staycations". If I plan to take a day off, I'm going to travel! Make it worth every second. But turns out, as usual, I have much to learn. Apparently a staycation, done right, can be as rejuvenating, and potentially less stressful, as a travelling vacation. That is, if you really try to do it right.
No, this was not the coolest thing we saw. Duh. But look how small they are and how many windows they have to wash!
By "do it right" I mean;
  1. No email checking...working in any form is not an option.
  2. No cooking - not a single meal.
  3. Stay out for the whole going back home for naps, snacks, etc. You on a quest for an experience!
  4. Plan, but not to the minute and allow for flexibility.
  5. Go with someone who has the same outlook as you
K and I explored Cincinnati for 14 hours straight! Even though it was cold, cloudy, and accessible, it felt like a real day of vacay. 14 hours of fine dining, entertainment, and culture.
This is in the middle of a musical I was singing about Cincinnati; i was so inspired.
Anyway, if you've had doubts, like me, about staycations, I say give them a shot!
Has anyone else had a great staycation experience?


For any interested Cincinnatians, this is what was included in our staycation. I recommend...ALL of it. Well, except the movie depending on who you are :)
- Breakfast at Mammoth Cafe in Newport
- A stroll across the purple people bridge
- Education at the Freedom Center (best museum i've seen in a long time)
- Lunch at Senate in Over-the-Rhine (Gourmet hot dogs!)
- Grapefruit margaritas at Nada near Fountain Square
- Wine tasting at The Wine Merchant in Hyde Park. The people here were great!
- Boost of caffine at Awakenings on Hyde Park Square
- Carb filled dinner at Indigo, also on the square
- Appropriately chosen movie for time with a sister (Beasly!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Shout Out to Small Businesses

I just returned from a LONG, HARD tradeshow Orlando. Business trips are okay. I love to travel, but the work is hard. One thing I enjoy about trips by myself is the time I get to think. What did I think about this time? My awesome friends and their awesome small businesses. 

It's just what's happening these days. Small businesses. Here, there. Everywhere. The funniest part is, most of them fall into two categories...Photography, and Rings. As in jewelry rings. 

I'm terribly impressed with these ladies that for their talent, but also their efforts to use their talent in a small business. I'm so impressed, I think I'll give them each a little shout out, by category.


Danielle shares her work on her blog : my life as danielle

Some of Kirsten's work is going to be on our dinning room wall, to be posted soon..ish


Erin works in traditional letterpress format

So check out these awesome girls. They do great work.

I'm excited about small businesses because of something I've been dying to share for awhile...something I've been working on for months. However, well, it's still about 3 months away from a state of "announce-ability". But if you want to has to do with the theme of this post. Ah. I am bursting. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I've Still Got It

When a tornado siren sounds in Kansas, there is a tornado in your county. It may be descending, it may be on the ground, it may be in your backyard, but a siren in Kansas means you hit the basement. I remember spending several nights groggy and in pajamas in our cement basement, my dad fiddling with the 24” box TV for the weather report; my little sisters already asleep again in my mom’s arms, the sirens barely muted by our shelter.

Kansas Sirens = Impending Tornado Danger = Basement Now

Alright. Let’s transition from my childhood to my current adult life in Cincinnati. The land of Cincinnati is not in tornado alley, nor is it plagued (blessed) with dramatic and violent thunderstorms. After two years here, I have discovered that Cincinnati sounds the tornado siren ANY TIME THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR A STORM TO CREATE ROTATION. They sound the sirens as soon as a tornado WATCH is issued.

You can imagine my process of discovery here. (Picture the sirens sounding while I’m a work; I jump up scattering the papers I am organizing, scan the sky, and immediately hustle to the back room where there are no windows. I sit Indian style facing the wall and cover my neck with my hands. And there I await my doom. In the meantime, my coworkers stare, more startled by my rehearsed and rapid movements than by the sirens themselves.) A few instances like this made the situation clear.

New Equation:
Ohio Sirens = Storm with Qualities that May or May Not Be Able to Produce Tornadic Activity = Maybe Check the Weather on the Web But Mostly Just Carry On

Now that I am aware of this change, I have pretty much adjusted. Though sirens still cause my my blood to pound and my senses to go into high gear, I can talk myself out of flight or fight mode. My subconscious however, is still programmed to Kansas settings.

At 4:00am last night, the sirens sounded. My brain picked up on the sound and, before I was even conscious, started shooting my blood full of adrenaline. Without my conscious logic to explain the non-danger, my subconscious brain prepared me for action. By the time my eyes popped open and my body shot out of bed, I was on a trajectory. Grab phone, computer, toothbrush, contacts, warm clothes, husband. Basement.

I was halfway into the bathroom, gripping my cell phone and rehearsing efficient instructions for my tornadic-ly inexperienced husband, before my knowledge caught up with my reflexes. 

There was no current danger. As I stood and listened to the thunder in our dark, peaceful, quiet home, I found myself torn between annoyance and pleasure at my reaction.

Annoyance because clearly it was unnecessary, but pleasure because it reminded me of my Kansas homeland. Also pleasure because I probably would have made it out alive if there actually was a tornado. Pleasure because, in theory, I’ve still got it.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get back to sleep after the adrenaline rush, so I laid in bed as the storm passed through and thought of a million emergency contingency plans. O and I wrote most of this post.
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