Saturday, March 31, 2007

History Day and the day before the moving

Ugh, it's Saturday but I'm up early and getting ready to leave the house. Saturday is normally when I get my Mom and we hang out for a few hours. That's MUCH later than now, though, usually around noon.

I still have plenty to say (!) on the blog, but not much time or energy to do it. Thursday I worked a 14-hour day again. I've also been spending as much of my "free" time with my son as possible because he's moving away tomorrow.

I didn't mention it before, but it will be a double loss. He's also taking our little dog with him. Technically she's my dog, but when I first got her (six years ago) I was working two FT jobs and didn't really have much time for a puppy. So I would drop her off at my son's place and pick her up on my way home to crash and sleep for two hours. She didn't get a lot of attention from me, at first, and although she loves me dearly, of course, she's always considered herself my son's dog. And it would just break her little heart if he left her. So the last couple of days has been a flurry of taking her to the vet to get current on everything. We had to bring her twice because they could only give her three shots at a time, poor thing. We brought her back in last night for the kennel cough one. I'm not really sure how I'm going to cope with this double-loss. Guess I'll find out soon!

Today I'm judging Junior Exhibits for the once-a-year Northeast Regional History Day competition. I've done it for six years now. So I'll have to leave home in time to drive up there, find parking and where the competition is located. I wish it was for next weekend instead, when my son has already moved, my little dog is gone and I probably could use the distraction, but oh well. It's just once a year and is a fun event.

I love seeing the exhibits and talking to the kids. The kids are so knowledgeable and passionate about their subject--I always learn something. The topic for 2007 is "Triumph & Tragedy" and I bet there will be some interesting interpretations of that! Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Leaving again

My son came home on Sunday night and informed me that yes, he's moving to his girlfriend's city. He will be starting his new job there next Monday. It's his dream job, plus rents are cheap in that city, despite the fact there are lots of good-paying jobs. Not like here. I'm thrilled for him. But not for me. I'll really miss him. It was peaceful but pretty lonely the week he was gone. I know that he's well past the age where he should have been out on his own, and in fact has been out on his own, twice now. But I think this one will be a keeper. He's moving next Saturday, on my Dad's birthday. That is going to be a difficult day for me.

It's so odd that I was so ready for him to be out on his own after he graduated from high school, and then later when he first got an apartment. But not now. It's weird but I've formed sort of an emotional dependancy on him and living vicariously through him. I think that doesn't normally happen with two parents in the house, or a parent and his/her partner. The son/daughter is part of the family, while my son had become sort of like my best friend in the past year. Not that he would feel that way, but I do.

Oh, I know that he needs to go off (finally!) on his own, but I'm sad about it, really sad. I'll miss him terribly, that little whistle he does in the house, hearing about his work, friends, girlfriend, knowing that he's coming home. That will be the worst, to be in the house alone and know that he won't be coming in later from work, or ever except to visit. And I doubt that will be often, once he gets all of his things.

I think a parent (especially a single parent without a live-in partner) just keeps doing his/her job of watching over their (adult) child, focusing on him or her. So it really is better for the both of us and I will fill up the sudden hole in my life. Yep, I really really understand my Mom much better now!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Best friends

It seems like a month since I've blogged, but it's only been a week. What a looonnnggg week it has been! On Thursday I worked from 7:15 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and this with no lunch break. That's a lot of hours. I've been looking for a home church for the past several weeks. The past two weeks I've gone to a church in my Mom's neighborhood. The first time I went there, people were very friendly and I really enjoyed singing hymns and listening to the sermon, I'd missed those things more than I'd realized. The woman I'd sat next to invited me for coffee, so I went to the large hall and heard someone call out my name!

It was my best friend from high school, sitting at a table and inviting me to join them. I hadn't really spoken to her since high school, and don't need to mention exactly how long that has been! She looked the same, however, just older and gray-haired. I must have looked enough the same for her to recognize from across the room, too. I had always thought of her as my very best friend in high school. We were opposites, she was very outgoing, winning theater and speech contests while I barely opened my mouth in school. But I was very gratified when she introduced me to the rest of the table as her best friend from high school! She had had plenty of friends in high school, I had had only a few.

Then I attended a supper at the church at which a missionary spoke. It was very interesting and I had a good time. But for tomorrow I have found another church that I want to visit. So I will go to the early service and if it gets done soon enough, go to my friend's church. Next Saturday is the History Day judging, which will take the entire day. Sunday will be spent with my Mom. Saturday will also be my Dad's birthday. He's been gone for over six years now.

Speaking of gone, my son has been out of town all this week. He had an interview in his girlfriend's city on Monday. Friday I received a call from the company for him to come to another interview, so I called him and told him. I haven't heard since then and am wondering about his job here. Did he quit it? Or just take time off? Is he coming back anytime soon? Hard to tell but I guess I will find out eventually. It's been peaceful living alone, although I did get out of the habit of blogging or even turning on the computer or TV. Hope all has been going well in your world!

Friday, March 16, 2007


I like to think of myself as a pretty peaceful and calm person, and I am--at home. At work I'm constantly irritated and (internally) crabby. How do I combat being so irritable? Earlier I made a semi-vow to be less crabby, and if you've read yesterday's post you know how well that has worked out for me! I start out the day as my cheerful, regular self and it's not long before I'm crabby and complaining (to myself) about this that or the other thing.

I also got yelled at by the boss, chided by my Favorite Co-Worker, who's also sort of my boss over something she had told me to do for a client, and run ragged by clients--all in a typical day. Can you spell "stressed out"?

Now that I have an office of my own I can occasionally shut the door, but only for a little bit about once a week, they do not like shut doors much here. And I can play soothing music, which is nice, too, and helps. I really need more of a plan to cope with all of this.

Last night I thought it over, like I have so many times before, and vowed to try to remain as calm and cool about it all on the inside as I am on the outside. But I've done that before, and once a typical day begins, it's the same problems and stresses over and over again. I've joked with co-workers about bringing a flask to work! I think that would be frowned upon and a dangerous habit, to medicate those murderous feelings.

Every time I've asked for advice and suggestions you fellow bloggers have come up with wonderful ideas. Any suggestions on how to keep my cool at work?

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The writing on the wall

My little widget didn't work so well on the blog page. I was aware of that and trying to fix it for so long that I nearly was late to work. Oh well. I like to read the descriptions of those anyway, and not just the titles.

The Boss called me to come with her a few days ago--marched me off like a little kid-- to point out something that (someone else did) that the Boss didn't like. Did the Boss realize that that particular job was clearly on someone else's (written and distributed to all staff) list of tasks? I hope so.

The Boss had asked me to make a list of everything I did and distribute it at a staff meeting. Apparently nobody, not even The Boss has actually READ the list! Other staff come to me for the other people's stuff yet too and I re-direct them. Yikes! Do I need to enlarge the lists and put them on the wall?

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Visual DNA

As you probably all know, I love meme and quizzes. Here's a super one from The Peanut Queen

I love my little widget! It's pretty accurate, too.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ferret playground

Oh, I'm still tired. Guess I didn't get caught up on my sleep with son asking to borrow the car after I was in bed and had finally (barely) gotten to sleep. Then I lay awake for a long time but finally got back to sleep but am still groggy now. I've already made the bed, started coffee and got the bathroom ready for the ferrets.

I ferret-proof the bathroom every day before I shower, go and grab them from their cage in the basement. It's easier to let them have some unconfined time every day in the bathroom with me (with the door shut!) while I shower than to let them roam the house. Nebby, in particular, is very difficult to catch and return to the cage when I have to go to work--if he's loose in the house.

I have two sets of "ferret playgrounds" which are a mixture of various sized boxes into boxes for them to play in. They love boxes and blankets the best, just like little kids. I don't use a blanket in the bathroom for them, but two "dog" towels draped over the boxes. I have the drain plugged when I shower, so after I'm done with my shower and out of the tub/shower, the ferrets go into the bathtub for a swim. They're sweet but stinky little animals and much of their daily care consists of trying to tame the smell!

They love their playtime in the bathroom while I'm showering and then getting ready for work. Yesterday I had to re-do the polish on my toenails. They would come over close and then sneeze and leave. Yet they would come back again, because they're so friendly and curious of everything I'm doing. In fact, when I'm getting out of the shower, I have to dry off and apply "ferret-proofing" before putting my foot out of the tub! People always ask if they bite, and no, they're the most gentle animals, so much so that if our dog attacked them, they wouldn't fight back (it's never happened because we're careful to not leave them alone, unchaperoned) but they, for some reason, love to nip at freshly showered warm and puffy feet. They pretty much just touch their teeth to my foot, yet it is unpleasant, so I put lotion on each foot before stepping out of the shower/bathtub. It's the only time they nip or bite. I think freshly showered feet are more spongy and soft/slippery and the texture intrigues them. Some Bath and Body Works lotion on each foot deters them to a safe distance, though. They will rush up and pretend that they're going to bite me, just to get me to react. The ferrets whole life is all about play and playing.

Someday I'd like to make a video of the ferrets playing in the bathroom. But the room would look a mess with a stack of soda boxes stuffed into a beer box and a round oatmeal container sticking out of that, partially covered by two clean but stained "dog" towels. Not a pretty sight to anyone but the ferrets! Have a good day!

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday is here

We had a very warm weekend, up into the 40's and the snow piles are melting. I can hear the water dripping in the "pit" in the basement and the sump pump has been running. So far so good and it's worked well.

I had quite a restless night. The time just doesn't feel right. I woke up a lot, the last being at 3:00 AM--and I didn't get back to sleep. Now, Monday is here, the coffee is on and I'm going to collect the two ferrets to bring them into the bathroom while I shower. Have a good Monday and start to your week!

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Friday, March 09, 2007

My new dream pet

My last post was pretty cranky. Oh well, it's Friday. I had a series of three cool dreams too. Here are just the highlights:

The first dream was the coolest. We were putting on a show called "Snow Dance" with a group of dancers in white fuffy parkas--well, dressed all in white on one side, and that blue like a shadow in the snow on the other side. Their forearms (on the parka) each had a strip of red, so they could make beautiful moving patterns by using those colors. They all were on short skis to get around. The IT guy from work was the director, and the dancers each had a password that he had to put in, sort of like an animation, but they were real people (well, real dream people!) and the Training Manager was in the dream too. Somehow people were all getting stuck in their cars and I had to break out of the windshield to get out!

In the second dream I was telling the two real co-workers about the first dream! The Training Manager and I were getting dressed in bathroom stalls for a meeting with Headquarters. When we went to the meeting, the CEO was a different guy, I even saw his name in the dream and wish I could remember it. Probably it has some sort of significance. Anyway, he was scolding our department for using up too many of the agency resources, and then all the equipment started breaking down.

In the third dream, just before I woke up we had an aquarium with fish in it. A visiting kid took the largest fish out to play with it and left it on the floor. We adults were upstairs talking and drinking coffee. Soon the fish sort of grew legs and was walking around harassing our other pets. I did scoop it up and put it back into the aquarium where it ate all the other fish and then climbed out again. The fish ate the dog's food and grew bigger and bigger, its teeth got razor sharp and I had to put on these huge fishing boots to go after it before it started eating our pets! I woke up when the fish started snarling and attacking my boots in the dream.

I think maybe I saw a commercial or something that prompted the first "Snow Dance" dream, but have no idea where the last dream came from! Happy Friday to you, have a great weekend!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just tell me the truth

No call from the retail place yet. Maybe I won't get one. I'd be disappointed but somewhat relieved to not have to negociate getting March 31 off to judge the annual History Day competition. It will be the 6th time I've judged for it, junior exhibits each time but the last time, when I judged senior exhibits. Juniors were a lot more fun and competitive. There were only a few senior exhibits--in fact I judged them all and selected who would go to state last year. I'm glad to be back in juniors again.

My friend SLA judged for it once, VMan judged for it once, and a few other friends have tried it. They were low on judges this year so I tried to recruit the above people, and more. Everyone who has judged has raved about how fun it was, but they all are "too busy" to do it again. In my world, if I really want to do something, I will find a way. Maybe I'm just not as busy as some people? But sometimes I think it's an excuse for "don't want to." If someone tells me that they don't want to do something, I won't bother them with it again. Seems like a quicker and easier thing just to be honest about it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ready for spring

No fat(ter) lip today! The vaseline worked. It must have made them too slippery to chew on. I didn't chew the inside of my cheeks either. Yay, hope this will last! That was really good advice.

We had some snow yesterday and a note from the newspaper carrier, "Please shovel between the street and the sidewalk." At first I was indignant, there was a path shoveled not ten feet away, why couldn't he just take that? Until I went out to look and the snow plow has covered it with three feet of hard, thick snow! I found my ice chopper in the basement and brought it up to do battle, if I have time before work. I'm ready for spring, how about you?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fat lip

I did it! I went and applied at the retail store. While I was answering questions on the kiosk, the automotive department was putting in a new right headlight and new wiper blades on the jeep. It came to $21, probably the lowest car repair bill ever. Those are both things that a person really could do themselves. I'd like to learn how to do stuff like that. But the only thing was, I was going to get picked up for driving with only one headlight. Then they would probably find something else too, like I didn't stop completely at the last stop sign or something. So there wasn't time to mess around, it just needed to be fixed right away.

The store may not call me, I don't have retail experience except a long time ago in the college bookstore. And maybe they don't have openings, but I doubt that. The last time I was there they were very short on cashiers. I'm hoping that they will need some more people. I signed up for weekends and three nights per week. We'll see what happens.

I've had a fat lip for the past two days. It's a new, really bad and painful habit of biting my lips while I'm sleeping. I've also been chewing the insides of my cheeks. Don't know what the heck is causing that but I want it to stop! It really hurts and this lip thing is noticable to others. Maybe a mouth guard would help, I'm going to check into that. I'm on a diet again and maybe I'm so hungry that I'm chewing in my sleep?! Well, what's new in your world?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Working twice

Well no one did. Have mercy on me, that is. They were too busy and tired from digging out their own messes. I don't blame them. So I did some more shoveling and connected a trail from our back door to where I dug the jeep out. I kind of needed to do that because today is garbage pick up day and I needed to get the garbage out there. Once again, I hope the jeep starts, as I have it parked in the front and it was cold and windy last night. Guess I'll have to clear the in-back spot out better so I can park it there and plug it in.

I've decided to try for a new job. This will be a second job, not one to replace the more-than-full-time one I'm working now. I bought my living room furniture on my credit card. Have paid $500, $500, $200 and $200 and still owe very little less than the original prices. Yikes! Credit cards are dangerous, I knew that, and had only gotten this one for emergencies and travel. But then I got tired of looking at a bare living room. Working two jobs got me out of poverty, so working two again will get me out of this little problem, too. I hate owing money, but have yet to find someone who enjoys owing money! I need to knock that card down to the occasional used book that I buy on Amazon.

I'm figuring that I could work weekends (sniff....) and a couple of nights during the week. After a while I'll have some extra to pay the card off, or down enough to quit socking me so good. I sure wish the Postal Service jobs were still available. That was a sweet job, paid well and was fun, too. The retail job I'm trying for will pay barely over half what the P.O. job paid. But it will really help, just more slowly.

Have you ever double-deckered a job? Worked 40-50 hours at a regular job and took on another job too? I'm thinking lots of people do....

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Have mercy on me

There were photos of the storm in the online version of the newspaper. I tried to save and unload many of them and not a one worked out. Oh well. My son is coming home today. They had bad weather down there too, so I hope he makes it back OK. He has to work today, which is why he's coming back home.

Guess I'm in better shape than I'd thought, because I spent two hours just digging out the jeep yesterday. I went out at 9:30 to clean the front porch, stairs and walkway, and didn't get back in until 12:30--for a total of three hours of shoveling! And what shoveling it was: the snow was from waist to shoulder height, to get to the bottom of a little-little spot took about ten shovelfuls. Then, because the banks were so high, each shovelful had to be lifted and thrown over the banks. I thought I'd not be able to get out of bed this morning after three hours of that!

So digging out the front and the jeep were good accomplishments yesterday. And now I can drive to get my Mom for our Saturday jaunt. But today I still have a half a block to shovel! Remember the post about buying houses on corner lots? Yep, I have a whole lot of shoveling left to do. Son will be at work, working long hours both today and tomorrow. I'm hoping one of the neighbors with a snow blower will have mercy on me today and at least run a track through the half block long sidewalk.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh what a night

Well, the house is still standing. In fact, all is peaceful and quiet and unplowed. Last night I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz--that the house was going to blow away! The TV weathermen were saying it's the worst storm they've seen, and it was bad. But I'd still vote for the one back in the mid-80's where we couldn't get out of the apartment, I had a 4' drift of snow inside of the apartment that had been driven through the window sides (the window was covered with plastic for the winter, too) that I had to shovel into the bathtub. The snow stayed in the bathtub for 3-4 days because we had no heat. People with cars (I didn't have one at that time) were out looking for their car by poking a broom handle down into the snow. We didn't get plowed out for those 3 or 4 days and I had to heat things up by candle for us to eat. Now that was a bad storm.

This storm wasn't as bad is that, but bad enough, and it's being called a blizzard. I was listening to the police radio last night and heard all about cops getting stuck, UPS and semi-trucks and a charter bus and lines of cars all stuck. For one episode they brought the people to stay in some assisted living place that was nearby and had room. The snow plows were pulled off the road at 6 PM and the TV crawer-thing on the bottom said that emergency rescue teams: fire, ambulance and police, might not be able to reach you in on emergency. They did have some snowmobiles out for rescue work, I heard over the police radio.

I had a minor emergency with my downstairs door. I had opened it to let the dog out, which she quickly did and turned to come back in before getting blown away. Then the door wouldn't shut! I was standing down there barefoot with strong wind and snow pouring into the basement. I tried to brush the door frame with a broom, slam slam slam--the door still wouldn't shut. Then I rushed to find a screwdriver and had to kneel and pick the ice away from the hinges before the door would finally close. I was getting scared that I wasn't going to be able to get it shut! My hands and feet were red and tingly, the carpet in the basement by the door, very very wet, and the basement was cold. So I cranked up the heat down there for the poor little animals and cleaned up. Yikes, what if I hadn't been able to get the door shut?

I actually drove to work over the interstate bridge yesterday morning, which was also pretty scary--windy and icy. Only two of us made it in to work (we were required by a new policy to show up, the old policy said that if the city buses stopped running, we'd be closed, too) but got sent home after an hour. So I worked from home yesterday, a rare treat! Today will be the same, so I'd better get to work now! Have a good day and a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, March 01, 2007


Well, here I am on the new blogger. It's an hour and a half before I have to get up and get ready for work, and I've been awake for hours. Not a good time to deal with the changing of the blog. Since I was lacking sleep from the night before, I had decided to go to bed relatively early last night. But that didn't last for long. Son came home from work before I fell asleep. He was getting ready to drive to his girlfriend's place, a two and a half hour drive under winter advisory conditions. He was rummaging around to get ready, plus I really did want to talk to him before he left, since he'd be gone for a couple of days. The weather was concerning me, but he thought he'd beat it, and then wait it out down there until the weather turned better again.

I did manage to fall asleep after he left, but was awakened by a 1:00 A.M. telephone call. He had gone into the ditch only about an hour's drive out. Guess the weather beat him, instead. So after all of that, I just couldn't get back to sleep, so got up and then the new blogger thingy struck!

So I've had like two hours of sleep, tops, and now am going to try for the remaining hour and a half!

LATER: OK, I actually got another hour of sleep. I don't know how, as I was waiting for son to call me back. He finally did, ten minutes after he arrived at his girlfriend's apartment. And I got to hear the story. He was traveling at 70 MPH (on the freeway), lost control and went into the ditch, blowing out a huge area of snow that even came back on to the freeway. He was lucky that he was not hurt, and me that it was him calling and not a State Trooper.

The roads had received a freezing drizzle in that area right before he passed through. After flying into the ditch, he had to get out of the car and walk back to an exit. Then walk to a gas station, which luckily was open at that hour. The local firechief, who is also the towing guy, pulled him out. Son was wanting to just stay but it was too cold to sit in the car and there weren't any hotels or motels nearby in the area. So he pressed on, at half the speed, and after several hours, finally made it there. Whew! And yes, I'm so tired and exhausted that I wish I could just wait this day out, and go back to bed.

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