Sunday, November 1
and after reading the flowchart, I must have the ivory shoes at the top of the page. How adorable are they???
Saturday, October 24
I am still sick. I don’t have Hamthrax any longer but I am dealing with one of the complications. Because I have asthma my lungs are taking a bit longer to come back from this. I am currently on Prednisone and I was on some pretty heavy duty antibiotics to try and avoid a bacterial infection but I got one anyway. So I have been out of work all week. Ugh. I should be able to get off the steroids by Thanksgiving. I know…really.
We got rain all day today so Michael is actively looking for the leak. He has been in the basement cutting into the walls. I know…really. On the plus side he is getting the mold out of the house. It seems like everything happened this week. We discovered not only the mold but the bees…er…I mean wasps as well.
So now, to recap…leak in the basement = removal of drywall. Ok, I can see that. There are holes in the walls down in the basement…the finished basement…the NICE finished basement. And the water is still trickling in since Michael hasn’t found the source of the leak yet.
Ok, lets ignore the basement and just head to the first floor. Things are fine here. Got a new computer for the desk in the kitchen (it was lonely) so I have been on that quite a bit lately. The kitchen is a mess though. I don’t have the energy to actually clean anything so Michael has been feeding me leftovers and we have been piling everything in the sink. The only problem I have with this process is that I can see the sink from the desk. I think I need to move the monitor juuuusssttt a little…yeah…that’s it. No more dirty dishes. Lol. Mum is coming over tomorrow to do some motherly fussing over me and she will probably do the dishes. I can live with that. I am sick of the first floor…heading up…
Ok, on the Bee floor. Lol. We had the Bee guy come out today in between storm cells. He found our problem and treated the nest. He is coming back Monday and Tuesday to follow up but he is confident that we are done with them. We were getting one or two in the master bathroom from the vent, but we were getting more in the guest bathroom. Today after he sprayed we actually had to close the door to the master bathroom because they just started falling out of the vent! Fortunately the vent is directly over the toilet so they just fell in. Easy clean up. We go in every couple of hours and just flush. Lol there were a couple that were still flying around in there so we just keep the door closed until they die too. I just wish there was a way to get rid of them without killing the poor things.
Lets see, the master shower still doesn’t work on this floor, we have bees in the bathrooms, and I need to paint my study and the guest bathroom. Sigh…this place is falling down around my ears. And the fact that it has all happened (with the exception of the master shower) in the past few weeks is really hysterical. I step back and try to look at it objectively and I just laugh. I think the only reason I don’t really freak out about anything is because other than the mold issue (which is now gone) and the bee issue (which is slowly dying in my toilet) there are no unsanitary or unhealthy issues. They are mostly cosmetic. Drywall is easy to fix after the leak is located. January the master bathroom is being fixed but really that is an inconvenience at this point…we are used to showering in the guest bathroom. After the leak is fixed the hardwood and the French doors are being replaced…again an inconvenience once the water is gone.
I am starting to wonder if I am becoming complacent…once upon a time my house was very important to me. While it is still very important, I am not as freaked about it as I used to be. I used to want it to be the envy of the neighborhood…now I will be happy when it doesn’t have holes in the walls. LOL!! And the holes in the walls don’t bother me that much because Michael can fix them in a day. I am more interested in living in my house than managing it or decorating it. Meh…it is just a matter of priorities.
Anyway, the buzz has worn off and now I can get back to doing some cross stitch. I seem to stitch and stitch and never finish anything…eh…gives me a goal to work towards…oh, and I am still in Disco Mode…since I have been writing I have listened to Donna Summer, Peaches and Herb, The Hues Corporation, the Bee Gees, and KC and the Sunshine Band…all courtesy of Pandora Disco Radio
…Rock on witcha bad self… shake your booty…She’s a Bad Mama Jama…
Monday, October 19
Bathroom still isn't fixed - it is going on 2 years. We originally paid 14K to have it done, to have it done RIGHT will take an additional 20K (I really hate general contractors)...good thing we have two other bathrooms in the house or I would really be bitching about it.
I got a kidney stone on my birthday. When I went to get it taken care of, I caught a virus that turned into an upper respiratory infection. I gave my virus to my mother, and it turned into pneumonia for her.
I was out of work for a week. I have only had this job since February and it is the BEST FREAKIN JOB I have ever had.
I dropped my Ipod and now the glass on the front is broken. I left the plastic cover on it and I think that is the only thing holding the glass in. It still works though so I am going to wait until the holidays so I have a reason to get another one. lol.
We have a leak in the basement now. It is coming in somewhere in the back. We thought it was one of the windows in the kitchen. Michael caulked everything...it still leaks. Now we have to call a handyman/contractor to come out and fix it.
The leak caused mold in the basement...now we have to call a mold company to come out and fix that.
The leak caused water damage to the hardwood floors in the small dining room...now we have to have the floor replaced.
Since we are having the floor replaced, we figured we will just go ahead and replace the back door with a couple of French Doors since I know that as soon as we pull up the floor in there we are going to find all kinds of damage to the door frame (which might actually be causing the leak in the basement).
As of today we have a bee infestation in the ONLY OTHER BATHROOM WITH A SHOWER!!! somewhere the bees are getting inside the bathroom. 2 days ago there were 3, yesterday there were 6 and today there were 9. Tomorrow I expect 12. They are getting in around the window somewhere. I think the top because that is the only place I cant see when I stand on the toilet. with my luck I am thinking that was a dangerous thing to do. I should have either fallen off the toilet and broke my nose, or I should have gotten stung and gone into anaphalactic shock. Luck must have been busy with a neighbor who visited once because it wasn't looking at me at that moment. Since I am sick, I just sighed and closed the bathroom door.
and now I have Hamthrax. and I am going to be out of work for another few days...and we are into the third quarter reporting time. and this is the time that we are required to work overtime to get the shit done. And my boss has pneumonia...and her daughter has the flu.
Please, I beg of you...do not come visit me...you might not survive. I think the only reason Michael and I do is because we are now conditioned to tolerate the Anderson Luck. The only reason we don't move everything out and strike a match is because the Insurance will probably figure out what happened.
Saturday, October 10
The first night I had Autumn it was just her and I in my parents room. My parents like it really dark so once the lights are out it is very disorienting. Well, I had been reading and Autumn was laying up against me purring. Shortly after I turned out the light she started hissing and growling. I turned the light on to see what she was doing and she instantly started purring. I turned the light back off and the growling and hissing started again. We went through this about 4 times before I finally just gave up, turned the light on low and we both went to sleep.
Fast forward 3 years later and suddenly, in the middle of the night, Autumn starts attacking the other cats sleeping on the bed. Well, cats screaming, growling, and hissing all through the house is not a pleasant way to wake up. In fact, there is no pleasant way to wake up at 3 in the morning. This happens for about a week…every single night. We start taking notes and trying to figure this out. It seemed like when a cat jumped on the bed to sleep with us it would startle Autumn. She would then go into Fight or Flight Mode and she is definitely a Fight kitty. So whatever kitty startled her would get the crap beat out of it. As soon as the beating was over Autumn would stroll back into the room – tail up and purring. By this time Michael and I would be up trying to restore peace to the house and the lights would be on.
After about 4 straight nights of this I called the vet. She said to bring her in to have her vision and hearing checked. If those were fine, then we might want to look into kitty Prozac to get her through this episode. As soon as she started talking about medicating her I started thinking about Feliway. Feliway is herbal and is supposed to calm the cats. It works great. There are 2 ways to administer it: 1) as a spray around the area the pet spends most time in, or 2) as a plug in (like Glade). I immediately went to Petsmart and got both. I put 2 plug ins in the room and sprayed it around like it was Poverty Repellant. LOL. That night we went to bed and waited for the midnight screaming marathon around the house.
Around 3 in the morning the screaming and growling and hissing and spitting started up again. Again we got up and tried to restore peace in the house. Again Autumn comes strolling in purring and with her tail up. Michael commented on the immediate change in her and then I realized that she doesn’t beat the other cats during the day. In fact, during the day everyone is friendly and nice…it was only happening at night with all the lights out. Holy Shit! My cat was afraid of the dark. I immediately plugged in a digital clock that shines blue and all was fine. We haven’t had any screaming or midnight beatings since.
We also figured that it started last week because we finally put away the rolling air conditioner. I like to sleep in the cold and during the summer it costs a mint to do that. So Michael and I compromised and keep the house at 72 degrees day and night. But we also have a portable air conditioner that we run at night to get the bedroom down to 65 degrees. We close the door most of the way so the cats can still get in and out, and when we get up in the morning we turn off the portable AC. Why is the portable AC important? Because it has a bright blue power light that illuminates the room when it is on. Not too bright but enough that a kitty could see everything. With the blue clock plugged in it too illuminates the room enough for a kitty to see.
It has been a week now and there has been no getting up in the middle of the night to restore peace or rescue a kitty. The other kitties are starting to come back to the bedroom to sleep. So far Bumpers is the first, but when I woke up this morning Cheese was laying next to me and purring so hard he was squeaking. Things are getting back to normal…though with us we don’t know how long that is going to last.
Monday, September 28
Before you go there, be warned, it requires rational thought and intelligence. Enjoy.
Monday, September 21
When I first started doing this commute, I was going to college. I was taking the back roads from my house to the college every day. This back way takes me through farm land on 2 lane roads. It isn’t uncommon to encounter a tractor or big hay truck along the way and people on these roads are generally unhurried and friendly. Since I loved going to college and was in a great mood this commute was literally a drive in the country for me.
Now that I am working, I am doing the commute through the farmlands on the back roads again. The job I do is incredibly suited to my strengths and likes. The people are friendly and nice. The company is strong and ethical. I have been here 6 months and while the honeymoon is definitely over I am still happier here than I have ever been anywhere else. I have a sense of accomplishment and productivity when I leave at night. And when I leave I get to drive home through some of the most beautiful roads in Maryland.
Because I have been doing this commute for a while I have a sense of ownership for it. I notice when the roads are getting worn, I notice when the house for sale needs its lawn cut, I notice when one of the houses along the way gets a new deck. I track the seasons by my commute as well – in spring the hay gets tall, gets cut, and gets baled, the calves and lambs show up and the corn fields get tilled. Summer brings the shoulder high corn, fall is like driving inside an intricate stained glass window, and winter brings the silvers and grays that seem bleak and never ending. I grieved for the house that lost a mature tree after a particularly fierce storm, and was relieved when someone bought and refurbished the old Victorian on the hill.
We are on this earth for such a short time that it seems silly to do something that makes you so unhappy. But at the same time I can see how the commute can seem like a necessary evil - Ya gotta work and ya gotta get there somehow. But maybe taking a back road will make a difference. It may increase your drive time by a couple of minutes but if it alleviates some road rage, or the sights make you appreciate your life a little more, isn't it worth the extra time?
Just stay off my back roads. I have my commute timed to the minute and the addition of your car to my commute will just piss me off. Just sayin...
Monday, August 31
Ok, so I was at the gym on the elliptical machine enjoying the endorphins. Since there are 8 tvs to choose from I tend to watch a bit of everything. Well, a show came on one of the TVs that I at first just dismissed - it was a long jump competition for dogs. Well, considering I am not a dog person, I never knew these existed. But I am totally an animal person so I got sucked into the show.
It is pretty simple. There is a dog, an owner, a handler, a favorite toy and a pool. The dog waits at the end of a long runway while the handler keeps him/her from starting early. The owner waits at the edge of the pool with the favorite toy. The handler lets go, the dog starts to run and the owner throws the favorite toy into the pool. The idea is to get the dog to leap as far into the pool as possible. Well, let me just say, “Holy Shit!”
First of all, these dogs are in excellent shape. They were well trained, well behaved, and there wasn’t an ounce of fat on them. They were mostly Labs, but there were a few shepherds and other dogs as well. They were mostly mid sized dogs but they all were in their prime. They all wanted that toy, and they all wanted it NOW!
Secondly, the camera would focus in on the dogs faces before they started to run and these dogs were focused. As a cat person, I tend to think of dogs as great, loyal, loving creatures, but not as smart as cats. Ummmm…wow, was I wrong. I know some of it was bred into them – labs are water dogs, retrievers want to retrieve – but there is still a bit of training and conditioning that went into this. To get a dog to jump into a strange pool of water in front of strange people in a strange place takes a bit of getting used to.
Finally, after the dogs had their toy and got out of the pool they were greeted by their owners. Without exception, the owners greeted their dogs with love and pride. They didn’t seem to be in it for the prize as much as they found it a fun thing to do with their dog – their pal. And the dogs were pleased that they had pleased their owner, and got some head scratches out of it.
Typically, when there is a show on TV about animals I tend to tense up. Most of the shows are about abuse and neglect, or some horrific event and it always upsets me. But yesterdays show was about a bunch of people and their goofy dogs and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t see who won since my time on the elliptical was up and I was tired, but when I left, the longest jump was 20 feet 7 inches.
Wednesday, August 26
It all started with a kidney stone. I certainly wasn’t going to work out with that thing knocking around inside me. That took about a week’s worth of doctor appointments to get rid of. No working out for a week. Yippee.
While I was taking care of the kidney stone problem I picked up a bug at a hospital center or doctors office. So then I completely lost my voice and had a bit of a cough. So no working out with that either. Yippee.
I was supposed to start working out again yesterday, but all hell broke loose over the weekend so I am not starting back again until later tonight. Here is the funny thing…when I couldn’t work out, I wanted to. Now that I can…I am looking for reasons not to.
What? Ummmm…fickle much?
But I am not looking too hard for reasons. With the way things have been lately, I am really looking forward to having some time just for me. 30 uninterrupted minutes on an elliptical, 15 in a sauna, and 15 in a steam room; that sounds like heaven to me. And if I could go right now, it would happen. The problem is that it won’t happen until I commute to get home, have supper, and sit down. Then I hate the gym again because by now I am tired.
So, yea…I guess I am fickle after all.
Thursday, August 20
But that isn’t the point. The point is that lately I have been doing more thinking than doing. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I have been home more often because of the kidney infection and now the upper respiratory infection (that I got from going to the dr for the kidney infection). I think it has more to do with the fact that I quit watching TV.
We cancelled our Direct TV because there is no way we can moderate our TV watching. I would sit in front of it to eat lunch or supper and then an hour later I would still be there looking for something else to watch. Plus I had so many shows saved that in order to clear out the queue I would have to spend all weekend watching stuff. I finally decided I didn’t like the shows that much. I decided that if I really wanted to see a show I would have to go to the gym to see it. And a gym membership is cheaper each month than satellite TV so it just made sense.
A benefit to not having TV is that we were able to get rid of the big TV in the front room. It was HUGE!!! Before we got rid of the tv it always looked too crowded in the living room. We had the couch, 2 recliners, end tables, a big kitty condo, a coffee table and a sideboard. We moved the tv and stand out, re-arranged the furniture, and moved the kitty condo and the sideboard to the small dining room. It is so big in there now it echoes. LOL. I also cleaned out the little hallway and window seat that connects the small dining room with the living room so that helped too. This weekend I am tackling the formal dining room and the sewing room in addition to just puttering around.
While I am doing all this moving, cleaning and straightening I am also getting rid of a lot of stuff - stuff that should have gone to Goodwill or Salvation Army a long time ago. It needs to just leave my house now. I don’t need it, I don’t use it, and it’s gotta go. That is, everything with the exception of the various collections I have. The teacups, fine china and crystal stay. As do my grandmothers glass and porcelain items. Anything that has personal value…oh, and I have to keep that little wreath that I got from a friend of a friend of a friend…lol. Ok, now I know why my house is full.
BUT…doing all of this gives me lots of time to think (see I came back to the original thought). I normally get this way during spring and fall when I do most of my gardening. It is relaxing and my hands know what to do so it allows my mind to wander. Plus it is a beginning and an end as far as seasons go and that makes me reflective as well. But for the past few weekends I have been doing all this organizing and cleaning and straightening and because of that, a lot of thinking.
At the end of the weekends I sit in my room (used to be the guest bedroom) with the kitties and think about the week ahead. I plan out the lunches, the outfits, the gym time, and the general schedule. And it is at this time that I start feeling the most content.
I think it has a lot to do with the feeling that, finally, I am in control of my life. I know I’m not, but I do have control over the little things. I think most of it is because my job and commute are reasonable now. Sure we have our busy times, but my job allows for a life. And because I have the time now to take care of things I don’t feel so frazzled or out of control.
So, in addition to my commute, my bosses, and my actual job, that is another benefit of working at a good company – time to think. And when my brain quits hurting from all the thinking, I may write again.
Sunday, August 9
Go here (Warning – offensive language and sexual and drug references): http://www.textsfromlastnight.com/recent/
The site is called Texts From Last Night and people send in the texts they have either sent or received. Until you are able to get there, here are some samplings…enjoy.
(865): Dibs on passing out in front of the toilet.
(209): do you want me to make hamburgers?
(541): i'm vegan
(209): i'll put lettuce on them
(414): You threw up. And every time you flushed you would wave and go "Bye Bye!" and then when the new water came you would greet it with "Helloooo!"
970): Found a waterbottle filled with a bloody mary in my purse this morning. Blacked-out me is always trying to help hungover me, it's so cute.
(828): There's a dead frog in my kitchen?
(402): Yeah, you found him outside and decided to give him a bath with your roommates electric toothbrush.
(402): The worst part is that you sang Air Supply songs to him as you did it. Poor guy died in the middle of "Making love out of nothing at all"
(331): You were so drunk last night you thought you force pushed the automatic door open.
(905): Just found a glow stick inside of my vagina..
(1-905): With the amount of traffic your vagina gets, it was only a matter of time before someone threw a rave there.
(215): I was so drunk I accidentally put in two tampons.
(267): I tried to talk you out of it. You were worried about alcohol being a blood thinner.
(416): I think we should involve a squid next time we fuck.
(1-416): u kno there is a reason i dont tell mi friends about u
(858): I've eaten ice cream, mentos, an extreme gulp and swedish fish today. i feel like diabetes. the actual disease not a person with it.
(303): these two guys are about to go shot for shot with syrup
(303): now he is talking to a potato
(702): Why did I wake up with "How to masturbate" on my youtube search bar?
(1-702): You told us you forgot how, and started to cry.
(925): My gyno told me the birth control she prescribed reduces sex drive
(510): wats the point then?
Monday, June 8
Drove a lot, checked into hotel, went to bed
Drove a lot, checked into hotel, went to bed
Drove a lot, checked into hotel, went to bed
Drove a lot, checked into hotel, went to bed
Drove a lot, checked into hotel, went to bed
Drove a lot, checked into hotel, went to bed
Drove a lot, got home, went to bed
Monday, May 25
We pulled into San Diego Airport at 10:30 California time (1:30 our time) and we were all so excited to see each other that we didn’t get to lay our head down on the air mattress until midnight CA time. At 8 the next morning my eyes popped open and I was ready to get going. The Girls went to breakfast and by the time we got back the guys had already picked up the U-haul and the trailers. With the help of 6 burly guys the entire apartment was loaded into the truck in 2 hours.
We went out to an early supper and then hit the road. We didn’t get too far, only to El Centro - which is 2 hours east of San Diego - but it was enough to make us feel like we were on our way. Now I am sitting in a nice quiet hotel room, Michael has Sports Center (duh nuh nuh – duh nuh nuh) on the tv and the air conditioner is cranked.
I am pretty beat so I am just going to upload some pix and call it a day.
That stripe on the mountain is a road carved out of it.
Layers of Mountains.
The UHaul towing my Mum's car.
Thats it for now. I will write next time about Roswell NM...it was like coming home. LOL
Wednesday, May 20
Thursday, May 14
Apparently, when I drink the filter between my brain and mouth shuts down. And apparently I am Spanish when I am drunk. LOL. Though I am proud to say that the wait staff and the owners all understood what I was saying so that makes me happy. But, I think a couple times I got Spanish and Italian mixed up. Either way, they understood. LOL. While I was conversing in Spanish with the waiter my friends were like, “Who the hell is that?” They were asking Michael if he knew I could speak another language. He mentioned that as soon as this semester is over for him he is going to start learning Spanish so he can keep up with me.
HMMMMMmmmmm…maybe if I start ballroom dancing he will learn so he can keep up with me. Ha Ha.
Tuesday, April 21
Actually, things have calmed down considerably now that the inspection is over. We haven’t really had to do anything with the house for about a week. As soon as the appraiser was finished everything else was done except for the waiting. We even have a renter. It is an older couple and I think they will be renting for a while so they seem like a safe bet. The couple will be moving into the house around the first of June so the house will only sit empty for about 3 weeks. Yippee!
Michael’s mum was just out here looking for houses about an hour away from us. It would be nice to have her here. That way we can visit more often and she can come see us, but at the same time we are still far enough away that we have to make plans to see each other. She left this morning to go back to Missouri after staying for about 3 days. I think she may be out here by the end of the summer. With everything going on, the holidays are going to be great this year.
Tuesday, March 31
Why am I focused on the elevator shaft? Well, the other day I found this whole secret set of tunnels that meander through the elevator shaft area. I know…'huh? It is an elevator shaft…it goes 2 directions – up and very-fast down.’ Well there is an area that goes around the elevator shaft that is kinda closed off. And if you go through the door on the west side of the building you can quickly go through the center of the building to the east side…or the north side…or the south side. It is like a little hallway that encircles the elevator shaft. There are doors that open to the mechanics of the elevator on one side of the hallway, and the other side of the hallway has doors that open to various other places of office space. Now, instead of walking all the way around the perimeter of the building to get to one of the lunchrooms, I can just go through the center.
I keep expecting to find a counter culture of people in the elevator shaft hallways. I mean, we already get deliveries through there, and if any office furniture has to be moved it typically goes through there so as not to disturb the people working on the floor. Also, the recycling is stored there until the shredder people come to pick it up. But I fully expect to go through the hallway one day, open the door to what used to be the lunchroom and completely end up in Office Narnia. Or to open the door to the hallway and encounter a group of Hobos sitting around a campfire cooking beans over it in a can.
Friday, March 13
If I try to work it out, then this is what I come up with:
Got Barry out of my house
Went to Vegas
Went to Boston
Went to Rhode Island
Went to the Midwest
Went on cruise
Got a job
Fostered and placed 5 kittens over the summer
Blew out my knee
Found out job was shit
My sister became even more of a rotten bitch than she already was and proceeded to make everyone around her unhappy.
Lost about 20% of portfolio
Got laid off from shitty job.
Got an incredible job after being unemployed for 2 weeks
Said incredible job came with a pay raise and a whole bunch of professionalism
Severed a toxic friendship
Started going back to the gym (YAY)
Contracted work to be done to the house starting next week (check with me in a week to see if this is still a good thing)
Had a fender bender on Friday the 13th (honest)
Huh. Well, if I had to guess which year my good ones are I don’t think I can decide. It is still early in the year so things could go down hill pretty quick and overall last year felt pretty good. I guess if my bad years feel pretty good, then I am not even going to complain.
Well, I still will, just not too loudly.
Even the hubby loves the coffee pot. I ordered a pack of assorted teas and a pack of hot chocolate so he can use it too. And this is going to be great in the summertime for iced tea and coffee. All I have to do is make the tea/coffee extra strong and dump it into a glass of ice and I have fresh iced tea/coffee. yum!
We are getting ready to have the shower redone. We are planning on doing the demo ourselves and when that is done, having a contractor come in and put it all back together. I will be so happy to use the master bathroom again. The guest bathroom is nice and everything, but the master bathroom is huge and we are not using it because our new shower, that was supposed to operational a year ago, leaks! Since it is just the hubby and I in the house it has been no big deal, we suffer through – lol. The only good thing is that I get to go tile shopping again.
Next week the roofing guys are going to rip my house apart. The house has the original roof so it is time. Michael saw some shingles sticking up and checked things out. He had an idea that we were going to need it replaced, and the roofing guy confirmed it (of course he did). But he has his own contracting business and his company has done work for us before so we trust him. He says it can be done in one day and we don’t even need to be there. Yay!
After that the shower is getting finished, we are putting French doors on the back that open to the sunroom, adding a big deck, and replacing the front porch (I hate what we have, I want a different design and material). For both the porch and the back deck we are going to use the Trex material so we don’t have to do anything else to it. The less work the better.
After that is just little stuff – we are moving the laundry room from the basement to the smallest bedroom upstairs. That still leaves us 3 bedrooms up there and we have the extra guest room in the basement so that is fine…but it will be nice to have the laundry upstairs. We are expanding the pantry area and expanding Michael’s workroom. Then summer will be here. Lol. I just wish we could go away for 2 weeks on vacation and when we get back it would be all finished. I am not looking forward to having all that work going on while we are living there…I know…bitch and moan. Lol.
Tuesday, March 3
I knew it was going to snow and I knew we were going to get a couple of inches, but when I got up that morning everything was covered and the hubby was already out there shoveling. While I was in the shower I decided I didn’t feel like braving the elements and the traffic and decided that I was going to take a snow day. After my shower I changed into fresh pajamas and went and let Michael know he could take the Trooper if he wanted. He ended up taking the escort anyway. An hour after he got to the office the owner came in and said that the office was closed for the day. LOL. Well Michael was already there! He got back home around 10 and did homework for the rest of the day.
I mostly cross stitched, listened to a book on CD and snuggled the poodins in the Magic Chair next to the window. There were brief episodes of getting up and walking around, but most of the day was spent under a cozy blanket with a couple of kitties. That coffee pot would have come in handy yesterday.
When I was forced to dig my way out of the kitties, blankets and overstuffed furniture I puttered. It was really a great day. I had all the blinds/curtains open and had the big front door open as well. I love the quality of light that we get when it snows. It wasn’t overcast and the light was bright…it was just snowing out. The house was already pretty clean, I just did a few dishes, straightened up the living room and organized stuff. I am always amazed at how much bigger the house looks when everything is where it belongs. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if I got that coffee pot yesterday.
Thursday, February 26
I have been living large the past week. I vacillate between being super cheap and being stupid with my money. Lol. It all started a week ago Wednesday. I was working at home and getting frustrated with my computer screen. I have a hard time working on spreadsheets at home because our desk is so big. LOL. I know…I am getting there. The desk isn’t just big, it is monstrous. In fact, our computer guy came out to the house and when he got to the study he stopped in his tracks and said that it was the biggest desk he has ever seen. Lol. The computer only takes up a quarter of the desk, and I keep the monitor pushed back near the wall because…well, because that doesn’t leave unusable space behind it. But with the monitor pushed all the way back I cant easily see the spreadsheets I am working on. If I expand the view to the size I need, then I cant get the whole spreadsheet on the screen. Therefore, I needed a new monitor. I went online and got this baby.
We got the e-mail saying that we would be receiving the monitor the week of March 1st. We got it the following Saturday. Let me just say….OH MY GOODNESS!! It is incredible. It took us all of 5 minutes to get used to the widescreen but I can zip through my work at home now.
The next day I went shopping and picked up 8 pairs of shoes. Well, to be fair, some of them were on sale and I needed another pair of black heels for work.
Then I ordered my new coffee pot (the B70). I had been waiting to see if the feeling of ‘oh my goodness…I MUST have that’ would pass. After waiting a month, I still needed (yes NEEDED) that coffee pot so I decided to go ahead and get one…after I saved up enough – by not going to lunch, not getting Duncan Donuts coffee, etc – to pay for it. The problem with this is that I don’t bring lunch to the office so I tend to go out all the time. I brought my lunch for almost a week and was pretty tired of the extra work involved either in the morning or the night before so I quit. After 4 more weeks of dreaming of my coffee pot, I was able to get it.
I am pretty cheap about some things. Like, I already have a perfectly fine coffee pot so I don’t need to spend the money on a new one just because it looks like a spaceship replicator. What decided me was that it is all pretty self contained. Fill the reservoir, pop the little cup in, put your mug under the spout and push the button. No more messing with filters, grounds, water, etc. After the cup is brewed the little coffee pod pops out and you just toss it. No pot to wash, no leftover coffee to burn on the bottom of the forgotten pot. And if you want another cup, you don’t have to brew another pot! I ordered it yesterday so it should get here in 5 to 7 days. I am hoping it arrives by Saturday like the monitor did. Lol.
I finally decided that I needed a Mani/Pedi to recuperate from all the stress and work of shopping like a fiend so I had that last night after work.
But before you think I am being a typical woman and spending all my husbands’ money, he has been doing a little spending of his own. In fact when I got home from my nail/feet appt, he made me sit in the recliner and he proceeded to show me what he got. Surprise, surprise, he went clothes shopping! Now that he was working in an office he felt he needed some winter professional clothes. In the summer he can wear polo shirts with his slacks, but he only had a few sweaters. Not anymore. LOL.
At this point we are seriously considering turning one of our upstairs bedrooms into a big closet. But that would involve spending more money.
Wednesday, February 25
Wow, I cant believe how I lucked out!
About a month ago I was downsized from my job at a small, financially struggling company. I hated that job, but I don’t give up easily so I stuck it out. I stuck it out even after I realized that the Controller had something personal against me, even after his actions proved to be chauvinistic, even after the entire office knew that he had something personal against me, and even after he called me an ‘airhead’. I dont quit unless it is a lost cause (though I was planning on looking for another position after I had been there for 6 months).
The layoff wasn’t surprising. They were talking about their cashflow problems all the time. My friend in Collections was getting huge amounts of pressure to have people pay their debts because the company was having problems paying the bills. They pretty much got rid of the people they didn’t like. There was me, a girl who was actually using her health insurance because she had breast cancer, a girl who had been there for 6 years but was suddenly ‘making mistakes’ and the receptionist who played solitaire all day.
When the first person got the pink slip that Thursday, I was surprised. She had been with the company for a very long time. Then, my dick of a boss said he needed to see me at 1 that day for a meeting. Well, this was at 11 and I didn’t want to wait. I was already looking forward to a nice long weekend, and I wanted to get it started. But, on the off chance that it was just a meeting and not a layoff, I didn’t start packing my stuff. I did, however, call my friend at Accountants Inc. and told her what was going on. She was shocked but believing. She told me to give her a call and let her know what was going on and she would start looking for another job for me right away.
At 1 I went into the snake pit that was the Controllers office and he had HR on the phone. I was getting shit-canned and couldn’t have been happier. I know the jerk was surprised to see a look of pure happiness come over my face. They said it was downsizing so that meant I could apply for unemployment, and according to my contract, I would also get a severance package. I was so happy! Being downsized looks much better on a resume than ‘the boss was a jerk so I quit’. LOL. And my friend at Accountants Inc was already setting up interviews for me.
In all, I was out of work a whole 2 weeks. So I got my last paycheck and my severance package and then went back to work. There was no lapse in pay and I didn’t even get to apply for unemployment!
What is best though is where I ended up. My job is awesome. I have only been here 3 weeks, and I still have moments of ‘Holy shit! I LOVE this job’. By this time at my last company I was wondering if I had made a huge mistake.
Things are really good. So good in fact that I feel like if I keep talking about how good they are I will screw it up! I will stop talking about it after I say this last little bit.
Reasons for the Job Awesomeness:
I am actually doing accounting work – Balance sheets, income statements, taxes.
I work 37.5 hours a week at the office. I get there at 8:30 and leave at 5 with an hour lunch. Right now we are in our busy season and I bring a file home every night, but I log how long it took me to do the file, and that info will be used for the next year when they hire the temps for the busy season. It takes me about an hour to do a file. I tend to do it when I am waiting for supper to be ready, or at night, on the bed while Michael is watching golf. Lol.
I completely do not have to deal with traffic. I take the back roads all the way to my house. It takes me about 30 minutes and is a really pretty drive. I used to have to deal with traffic AND it would take me 30 minutes.
Big raise – Yippee
10% Bonus – also Yippee
14 Personal days up front and 2 weeks accrued vacation a year to start – Mega Yippee. And I don’t have to beg and plead to use any of it. They don’t care if I am not here as long as my work doesn’t suffer.
Very private workspace. The only way you pass my doorway is if you come to see me by mistake. I am completely out of the way.
Really, really nice boss. She is smart, funny, and incredibly competent.
Incredible director. She is a work hard/play hard kind of person. When it is busy she expects you to work as hard as she does. When it isn’t busy, she doesn’t care what happens as long as the work gets done.
Incredible learning and promotional opportunities.
Ok, I have raved about my job enough for one day…I don’t want to jinx it…But…Holy Shit! I LOVE my job.
Tuesday, February 24
When Michael picked us up at the airport he couldn’t load the luggage in the car until he was no longer doubled over with laughter at our discomfort. He was very caring and sweet once he got it out of his system. Once home, I stepped into the nice cool shower, slathered on rich lotion and slipped between the cool sheets of my own bed. I had my hubby, my kitties, and my stuff. Things were good.
Shortly after we got back I got my job at GoIndustry-DoveBid and said good bye to any kind of social life or time off. Good thing I had memories of the cruise, because things were going to get shitty in a hurry.
Friday, February 20
We slept until we just woke up, no planned time for the alarm. After a nice leisurely breakfast we went and changed into our beach wear and headed down to the boat that was there to take us to the island.
This ship actually went all the way up to the beach, dropped a gangplank and we walked off the boat into the warm powdery sand. We immediately staked out a few lounge chairs and started exploring the island. There were rope hammocks strung between every tree and the bar, the band, and the buffet was conveniently placed in the center of everything. Mum signed up for parasailing and I rented the biggest raft I have ever seen! It was definitely big enough for the three of us! After checking everything out, we headed back to the lounge chairs.
Jackie dragged her lounge chair into the water and proceeded to become a noodle and mum and I hopped onto the ginormous raft. It was heaven. The water was splashing up on us and we were floating around just soaking up the sun. After a while we decided we were hungry and we scooped Jackie out of the water and we went to check out the buffet. Not bad – beach fare really. There were burgers, dogs, chicken, salads, rice…wait, what? I know, rice at the beach. But it was good.
We sat and ate. I swear food tastes better when it is eaten outside! It was very warm. My sarong was sticking to me and there was sand everywhere. I had it in my hair, between my toes, on the backs of my arms. But I didn’t really care. By the time we were ready to go back to the raft I had already downed a Miami Vice and was working on my second one. I took it back with me and drank it while sitting on the raft in the middle of the Caribbean sea. After a while of drifting I started to feel less than well. It was probably the combination of the food, the alcohol and the water. I dragged the raft back to the shore and put one length of rope around the lounge chair that Jackie was using and just laid on the raft in the shallow water.
After Mum got back from parasailing, we noticed the island was starting to empty out. I grabbed a hammock and immediately realized I was going to need a towel to lay on. Between the scratchy-ness of the rope and my poor sunburned skin, it was not comfortable. Fast forward 10 minutes and I am napping in the hammock with a couple of towels under me and another drink in my hand (for the sunburn pain, honest). I was laying there thinking that nothing could be better and it was then that Mother Nature decided to prove me wrong…it started to rain. Just barely more than a sprinkle, very gentle and very warm. This was heaven. I was still in my swimsuit and the rain felt wonderful on my poor skin! I didn’t even care that I was tempting cancer by being in the sun…it was absolutely glorious to bask and relax. It has been almost 6 months since the cruise and I can still remember that feeling of bliss. Of just doing what I wanted when I wanted to do it, no responsibilities, no worries...sigh.
I think I need another cruise.
Wednesday, January 28
Feeding the rays was incredible. It wasn’t as squishy as I had expected and it was really funny. We lined up in 2 rows across from each other. One line was parallel to the shore and the other line was parallel to the first line. The guide then went through the line with a couple of coolers and handed out frozen little squids. The rays knew exactly what to do. They swam in between the lines and grabbed the food.
Rays have their mouth and eyes on the underside of their body. To eat, they just vacuum up the food. So the rays were swimming up and down the line sucking up the food as they went past. Sometimes they would get confused and end up behind us and try to vacuum our legs or feet. There were rays flapping all over the place as they tried to get all the food. It was really a feeding frenzy and we were in the middle of it. Add that excitement to the fact that there were about 3 teenage girls in the group and it was a screaming good time! Sorry, had to say it. Then the guide singled out a huge ray and we all got pictures holding it. I am still looking for my pix. It was pretty cool since they got the pix while the ray was in mid flap.
The last hour of the excursion we spent on the other side of the island. There were lounge chairs lined up on the beach and the bar was there. We all pulled the lounge chairs into the water far enough where we were laying in the water but it wasn’t lapping over us constantly. Though there was a rogue wave or two…in fact, the only complaint I had about it was that a wave came up and splashed salt water into my fruity, girly drink. I drank it any way, it wasn’t that much salt water and the damn thing cost $7!!
I could tell I was getting a bit pink. I had been applying sunblock all day, but I was also in the water and the life vest was rubbing on my shoulders. Laying there in the water I draped my t-shirt over my head so my face would be protected and just basked. I had forgotten how good it felt to just lay in the sun.
I wore my sarong over my swimsuit back to the ship and after my shower I put on a sundress so there wouldnt be too many clothes rubbing on my increasingly sensitive skin. After a quick look in the mirror (no stroke today!)I knew that I was going to be uncomfortable later on…it was 1 in the afternoon and I was already sunburned, and it was only going to be worse as the day wore on. That in mind, we stayed in the air conditioned ship and just wandered around. They didn’t serve alcohol since they were in port, so I grabbed ice coffees from the bars we passed.
The ship was nice and empty during this time since everyone was either in port or on a shore excursion. We found the library and puttered around on the lower decks for a while. It was pretty relaxing to just wander around the nearly empty ship and explore.
By this time all of the sun and lack of sleep had caught up with me. We had supper at the italian restaurant and I was dead to the world by 10. No partying for me that night!
The water was incredible. I have heard people say you can see right down to the bottom and that the water was so blue and warm but I never really paid much attention. I grew up near a beach and know first hand how filthy that water is. This was different. The water was the most beautiful turquoise I had ever seen. It was clear and clean and the perfect temp. Just cool enough to be relief from the sun without being cold and numbing. I could have stayed there all day.
I was interested in seeing how they were able to offer this shore excursion. I was thinking it would be a sting ray in a pen and we would each get our turn and a pix with it. Boy was I wrong! It was incredible! On one side of the pier they has a huge area penned off. It was pretty square, but it was HUGE. The pier made up one boundary, the shore made up another. The boundary to the ocean was way past the pier and too far out to swim to. The last boundary was down the beach too far to see.
Plus the sting rays were happy to see us…well, excited at least. They have learned that people in the water means food…and not in the Steve Irwin way either. Part of the excursion was feeding the sting rays (I will get to that) so the sting rays knew that they were getting fed soon. There were about 20 people on the trip and there were about 50 rays in all sizes. They were unhindered in any way (other than the boundaries) and were swimming freely. I was having the best time and was very happy for the life vest. LOL.
The life vest was canvas and only had the tiniest amount of air in it. Just enough to allow you to float without having to think about it and it certainly was not big and bulky. Combined with the snorkeling gear, it was perfect. I was floating around looking at all the fish and just basking in the sun and water and I realized I was getting a bit too relaxed. I was starting to fall asleep!!! I was all floaty and warm and comfy, doing the Dead Mans Float and I was really starting to drift off when the air horn blasted. Good thing too. I can just see myself falling asleep, snorting and inhaling a gallon of seawater into my lungs.
The air horn was to let us know it was time to feed the stingrays. I was looking forward to this part and I wasn’t. I wasn’t looking forward to it simply because it meant that I probably had to hold something squishy. I was kinda right. They passed around frozen little squids. Ick…but they were frozen so the squishy was taken out of the equation until you put it in the warm Caribbean water. After feeding the sting rays they all left (presumably to go take a nap after a large meal) and everyone else went to the other side of the pier. That is where all the lounge chairs were lined up and where the bar was.
Mum and I got fruity drinks with little umbrellas, dragged the lounge chairs into the water and basked in the hot sun and cool water until it was time to go back to the ship.
Saturday, January 24
Back in the room my mum started grilling me: do you have a headache, is your vision blurry, are you seeing spots, are your ears ringing, can I have your grandfather clock when you die? Then she asked me something that I had completely forgotten about…What side of your head is your seasick patch on? I just looked at her dumbfounded and pulled the seasick patch off from behind my right ear. Could it really be that simple?
Turns out it was…we went to supper and then to a couple of shows. By the time we were dressed and ready to go to Carnival my eye was back to normal…so I started drinking. Lol.
Carnival was kind of a let down…it was supposed to be held on the pool deck but it was raining so they moved it all down to the Disco. Still, not too bad because they had drinks there too! And really, the more I drank, the better Carnival was. Booze Goggles…what cant they do?
Around 2 we went back to the room to get some sleep. The shore excursion for the next day was at 8 and I was really looking forward to it…swimming with the sting rays. Steve Irwin, here I come.
A quick walk across the pier brought us to the taxi stand and some small booths that were selling Bahama crap: reed fans, shell necklaces, etc. What they were also selling were dresses - Very pretty, very colorful, very light and flow-y dresses. I found one I liked, paid for it and immediately pulled it over my head. It was a strapless so I was able to ditch the t-shirt, the bra, and the shorts since the dress was below the knee. Yeah, and I did this in the middle of the booth area. I was not waiting a second longer to ditch the clothes. I put what I was wearing in the bag that the dress originally came in and we were off to do more shopping.
Before we hit the Taxi stand I had picked up 3 more dresses and a sarong for the next day. We waited for the cab and before a minute had gone by, one pulled up. It was a mini van and my first thought was “Great. I wont have to sit too close to anyone. 3 in a minivan is plenty”. Well, we chatted with the driver and it turns out they were going to cram 10 of us in the van to take us to Freeport...at $5 each. Oh, and we shouldn’t worry, there were 2 more seats that folded down so they could get even more people in the minivan. At this point, Mum and I declined citing health and safety issues (it was unhealthy and unsafe for anyone to be that close to us when we are hot, sweaty and bitchy), but Jackie climbed right in. Mum and I headed back to the ship. By the time we got halfway there gravity had increased 20 fold and our dresses were soaked. We got up the gangplank and stepped through the hatch and were instantly enveloped by air so cold and refreshing that for a minute I forgot how to breathe. Ahhhhh…heaven.
Back in the room we each took showers and planned to lie down for a while and recover from the heat. As I was standing in front of the mirror combing my fingers through my mop of hair I stopped dead in my tracks. WTH??? I went to the mirror in the room thinking that the light was funny in the bathroom. Nope, it was the same here…my right pupil was dilated so much that you could barely see my iris. The other eye was fine - pupil small, iris big and green. I asked my mom if she could understand what I was saying and had her look at my pupils. She said she could understand me just fine and it was no big deal that one pupil was huge and the other wasn’t.
NO BIG DEAL? I was probably having a stroke…or maybe the intense heat gave me a brain tumor…maybe I was having an aneurysm...or maybe the heat had just boiled my brain…did I mention the stroke? I decided to go with the stroke option since that was quicker and headed down to the ships doctor.