Thursday, July 27, 2017

And Flop

Just like that, no more 3:00 AM mornings.  They flip flop on my overtime so much that I'm starting to feel like a ping pong ball.  The way it happened is as follows. 

There I was at work, just a working away, when Third Shift Supervisor came by and said, "All day shift people go back to coming in at 7:00, unless [Your Supervisor] has you coming in for him."  I wasn't surprised.  I said to myself when they first asked me to come in earlier, "Third Shift Production Superintendent is handing out overtime like beads at a Mardi Gras parade.  It won't be long before they try to cut it all out."  Line 4 alone had six extra people coming in at 3:00 in addition to normal third shift staffing -- and that was just the front of the line.  I don't know how many were coming in on the back of the line.  Having so many people coming in early kind of defeats the purpose of opening up a third shift in the first place.

Before I left for the day, I checked with My Supervisor and he said, "You are coming in for me."  He told me to go back to coming in at 5:00 and keep on doing what I was doing before.  I'm not mad.  Getting up at 2:00 AM was not fun.  Now, I get to sleep in until 3:30!!

Aaaand I realize how sad that sounds.

Third Shift Group Leader wasn't too happy that I'm not coming in any more, but what can I do?  I'm just a peon, and it isn't my call.  Second Shift Supervisor, on the other hand, will be ecstatic that I can stay over with him for a couple of hours.  I'm just over here like, as soon as I get this dental work and credit card paid off, I'm done with all this overtime.

On to more pleasant things...

I decided a while back I was going to take up letter writing again.  Not text.  Not e-mail.  Good old fashioned longhand on paper send it through the snail mail letter writing.

I got my fountain pens.

I got my sealing wax and stamps.

I got three different kinds of stationery.  

I even got some books to help improve my handwriting.

As of this date, I have written exactly zero letters.  That's right.  Not one. 

I wasn't going to say anything.  Some of you were just going to be surprised when you checked your mail.  I guess now you won't be.

On the other hand, by the time I get around to actually writing a letter or two, you will have forgotten -- or given up hope -- and it will be a surprise.

P.S. If you want a letter, message me with your address and eventually I'll get around to writing you one.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


It would seem I was right.  I got to work bright and early this morning, and the third shift sub brazer hadn't showed up.  I guess I'll be going in early for a while. 

You know, I have good intentions.  I stand there at work, just a working away, making all these plans to do this and that when I get home.  Today, I was going to see if I could split some wood with Mjolnir and my new splitting wedge, and maybe start clearing some of the plants and stuff away from my back fence. 

In the end, all I got done was to get the machete out of the package. 

That in itself was quite the task.  Nevertheless, I persevered and managed to get the machete free from the plastic...whereupon said machete promptly declared its name to be Sting

"You're not a sword," I said.

"This is America," the machete replied, "the land of opportunity.  With hard work and determination, I can become anything I want to be.  The American Dream, and all that.  Therefore, I am a sword." 

"But I don't need a sword," I replied.  "I need a machete." 

"Oh, very well, I'll be a machete, but I'm still calling myself Sting."

And that is how a humble machete came to be known as Sting. 

Clearly, I don't get enough sleep. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Just Like That

My life has become an endless cycle of work, mowing, laundry, and scooping the cat pan...

and apparently writing the same blog post over and over again. 

Blogging is about to become light again.  I got to work this morning and the third shift sub brazer had messed up another order.  He'd brazed the adapter tubes in the wrong place.  You can't really blame him, though.  They give new people just enough training to make them dangerous, then throw them into the deep end by themselves. 

Be that as it may, he'd messed up an order for the third day in a row.  This time, he got mad and walked out.  I told Third Shift Group Leader I'd be surprised if he came back, to which TSGL replied, "I don't want him back -- at least not as a sub-brazer."    We talked a few more minutes, and to make a long story slightly less long, I'll be going in at 3:00 AM starting tomorrow.  I made sure he cleared it with his Production Superintendent before I agreed to it. 

Man, I need a nap.

It doesn't help that this is SHARK WEEK!!! Sigh...

Since I have to go in early, excuse me, earlier...I didn't stay over on second shift today.  Instead, I went by the store and bought that sledge hammer after all. 

And I blatantly ripped off my friend Amy's husband and sons and christened said sledge hammer Mjolnir.

Then I bought a splitting wedge. 

 and a machete. 

Mjolnir has already been baptized in concrete.  A couple of years ago, when the plumber replaced all my sewer line, he used pieces of my broken up patio to fill in the old septic tank that was right behind the house.  The top piece was sticking out a bit, and for the last two summers, I've had to mow around it.

As soon as I got home, I took Mjolnir out and knocked the top edge off of that chunk of concrete.  

Then I said to myself, "Self, now that I know this will work, I'll finish when it's less hot out." 

And after Shark Week is over...

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Too many of us would much rather sing Some to Jesus I surrender.  How much more richly he would bless us if we would truly sing

All to Jesus I surrender
All to him I freely give.

Friday, July 21, 2017


It was so dadgum hot in the plant today.  It was so hot, I stayed nauseated nearly the whole day. 

Note that I didn't stay nauseous, or I would have been making everyone around me sick.  Seriously one of my pet peeves.  You don't feel nauseous unless you feel like you're making everyone else feel nauseated. 

But I digress...

When it's that hot, when you're sweating that badly, it's impossible to drink enough to stay hydrated.  I was so glad when it was time to go....only second shift supervisor asked me if I could stay a few more minutes to help a new sub brazer get set up.  It was only 30 minutes, but dang it, that was 30 minutes I could have been sitting in air conditioning! 

After work, I went to Wal-mart and bought some Sevin Dust to put on my tomatoes. 

OK, I bought a few other things, too, like oh, groceries and stuff.  I almost bought a sledge hammer, but I put it back.  Now that I'm home, I'm wishing I hadn't. 

I may go back tomorrow and get it. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Difficult Coworkers

On dealing with difficult coworkers:

I'd been thinking it for months, I just hadn't ever said it out loud.  But I had been thinking it.  I thought it was just me, because I can't ever seem to get along with anybody.  Then this morning, Other Coworker said, "One day [Difficult Coworker] is going to push somebody too far and they're going to snap.  I'm just praying it won't be me."    Other Coworker also said, "You'd think as much as [Difficult Coworker] gets beaten up, she'd figure out how to control her mouth.  She'd figure out she can't talk to people that way." 

Apparently, it's not just me.

Sad part is, people like that never recognize themselves as the problem.  They seriously think it's the 27 other people in the department that have attitudes.  

And now for some good news:  

I was pretty bummed when I discovered a chip in one of my favorite mugs.

Red Sharpie to the rescue.

Now you can hardly tell it's there. 

And lastly:

Something is eating my tomato plants, and it isn't me.  I was telling someone at work about it, and she said, "It's bugs.  Bugs are some sorry, lowdown creatures." 

I don't know.  I mean, I don't like that they are eating my tomatoes, but I wouldn't call them sorry and lowdown.  They're bugs.  It's what they do. 

That ain't going to stop me from spraying them to death, though. 

Die, you vile vermin!  DIE!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Don't Envy Me

My life has become an endless cycle of work, mowing, laundry, and scooping the cat pan.  Then I sleep for about 10 minutes, and get up and do it all over again.

Don't believe me?  This was my big excitement for the weekend.  Look closely and see if you can figure it out.  

Need a hint?  OK, here's a before picture:

Notice what's missing?

Yep, that giant box of junk is no longer in my snake/craft/computer room!  Oh, I've still got a few smaller boxes around the edges of the room, but they're no big deal. 

I can get them sorted, but the biggest eyesore is taken care of!  BTW, say hi to Snow up there.

Don't envy me my exciting life. 

Oh, here's something nifty.  I got a new little shelf to put some of my outside plants on. 

I was able to get my Christmas cacti up off the ground.  They were being overshadowed by the mint my neighbor gave me last year.  I need to pick some of that mint and make tea or something out of it.  I used to last summer, but I haven't this year. 

All this week on Facebook, I've been watching my friends receive their Prime Day deals.  I was pouting because mine wasn't supposed to get here until Wednesday.  But Saturday, I got a message saying it had shipped and would get here today!  Yippee! 

I left work early -- that is, at the end of my shift -- and rushed home to see if it was here yet, and it was!  What was said Prime Day deal?  A new Kindle Fire 8!

It's like my old Fire, but with more memory, and Alexa.  It's probably got other, better stuff, too, but I haven't had time to play with it much.  I had to mow, you know.  The most amazing thing is, it cost 1/3 of the price of my original Kindle, and that was just an e-reader.   I paid $80 for this one, and nearly $300 for my first Kindle.  You have capitalism and the free market to thank for that. 

I was smart this time, and ordered a case, too. 

New Kindle is also significantly bigger than my old Kindle. 

My old eyes can see it a whole lot better. 

I was a bit bummed, not by the Kindle, but by something else.  I had a big box of old Disney VHS  and other miscellaneous tapes out in my shed.  Yesterday, I discovered that they plastic bin I'd had them stored in was not nearly as watertight as I'd thought it was.  They were soaked.  I was going to try to sell them, but I guess now I'll just trash them. 

I googled what to do if a tape gets wet and got a wide variety of answers ranging from "just let them dry and they'll be OK" to "It's a disaster of apocalyptic proportions!!!!"  I've got them inside now and am letting them dry to see if they can be salvaged.

The only one that I really cared about was a tape my aunt made of Christmas of 1992, and she sent it to me when I was in Italy.  What touched me about it was that several of my shipmates wanted to watch it.  They all sat with me and watched a bunch of people they didn't even know celebrate Christmas. 

It was that little touch of home we all craved so much. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017


I woke up bright and early this morning, got dressed, and headed to work as is my custom.  I'm almost to the plant -- turning from Riverdale Rd onto Air Industrial Park for you local folks--  when there crossing the road, I see a huge white dog. 

A big, old beautiful white dog.  It was walking slowly, with its head down, as if it were very tired.  I felt sorry for it.  My first thought was that it was a Borzoi,

however, given that I've never seen a Borzoi in real life, I couldn't be too sure.

OK, I confess, my first thought was, "I'm going to stop and get that dog and take him home with me."  But I didn't.  Thinking about, I realized it wasn't a Borzoi.  The head was the wrong shape, and its legs weren't quite long enough.

I drove on a few more moments when it hit me.  "DANG!  That was a wolf!!!!!"  A big, beautiful white wolf

 This is not my picture.  It's one I found by googling, but this is exactly what that animal looked like.  Mine was dirtier, skinnier, and a bit more scraggly, but it looked just like this.  In retrospect, I wish I had taken a picture of it, but at the time, I didn't want to stop. 

After I got to work, I called Supervisor Ronny over and told him what I'd seen.  He said it's possible because there are wolves in this area.  He'd never seen a white one, but that didn't mean they aren't around. 

Probably a good thing I didn't put him in my car, then, huh? 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My New Thing

I thought I'd come home this afternoon and finish the weedeating, but it's even hotter today than it was yesterday.  I decided the weedeating can wait.  It's so hot, I won't even let the dogs stay outside for more than five or so minutes. 

So, while we are huddling in the air conditioning, I thought I'd show you my new thing. 

Back in the spring, when I bought my gardenia, I noted that the tag said Morning Sun Only.  I picked the shadiest spot in my back yard, thinking it would be OK.  It wasn't.  The poor thing ended up getting much more afternoon sun than I thought it would.  It was beginning to look pretty sickly, and I began to think I was going to lose it.  

For a while, I put one of my bushier potted plants there to shade the gardenia, and it seemed to perk up quite a bit.  Unfortunately, the potted plant got scorched on the sunward side, so I had to bring it back inside.  Almost immediately, the poor little gardenia started looking sickly again.  Next idea, put up a trellis.

I looked some up online, and picked one out.  It's the big green thing, not the little white fence.

The little white fence is to keep the dogs out.  Yes, it works.  They recognize it as a border that they must not cross.  Of course, having it paired with a hot wire at my old house helped drive that point home...

I must have misread the description of the trellis, because I thought it said it was 6 feet tall.  It isn't.  It's only about 5 feet, but it'll do for now.  Also as a temporary measure, I taped a black garbage bag to the trellis to cast some shade on my gardenia. 

 I took this picture probably around 4:30 or 5:00 PM, when the afternoon sun is at its most intense. 

 I'm hoping this will provide some protection until the sun is behind the trees.

Since I don't want to have a garbage bag covered trellis right outside my back door for the next 30 years, I took some English Ivy cuttings to try to root them.  If they don't root, I have much more ivy from which to take cuttings. 

I'm still debating whether I'm really going to plant it there, though, because English Ivy is so very invasive and hard to eradicate.  But like I said, I've got plenty more.  It practically covers the back corner of my house. 

The eventual plan is to put up some sort of lattice that extends to the edge of my little back porch, and goes all the way up to the eave of my house, on both sides of the porch.  I'd like to put a lattice roof on it, too, then maybe train the English Ivy to grow up and across, creating myself a little leafy bower right out side my back door. 

It sounds good in my head.  Not sure how it's going to work in real life. 

BTW, I got picked to do a Nielson TV Viewing Diary.  I've done them before, and I don't know why they keep sending them to me.  I know they're going to be disappointed, because I don't watch much TV at all.  In fact, after Shark Week, I'm seriously considering cutting my cable back to the cheapest package.  I just can't see continuing to pay all that money when I only watch The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and football. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's Hot

My dad was the original weather-holic, long before the Weather channel made geeks of us all.  Oh, he had all the stuff -- a barometer, rain guage, wind speed thing, and this cool little thermometer that recorded the high and low temps for the day.  Every day when he got home from work, the first thing he'd do was to grab his little notebook and go out and record the weather conditions for the day.  It should come as no surprise that I inherited some of his fondness for weather.

I'm not a total weather geek, but I do keep up with what's going on in the meteorological world.  

Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends clued me in to this cute little weather app called What The Forecast?.   It gives you, rather interesting takes on the weather.  Like today's conditions, for instance.

The really sad part is how accurate that description was -- Dagobah misspelling aside.  Let me tell you, it's hot.   This morning at work, I tried to check the weather, but couldn't get a signal.  I got this little message on my app.

Then it showed the weather in Hell

Or as we say in the South, outside

Case in point, I got home from work and was going to mow and weedeat.  I checked my weather app and the heat index was 101'. 

Yeah, that's not going to happen.

Along about 7:00 PM, it had cooled down to a heat index of only 96', so said mowing finally happened.  I got the front and side yards done.  It's amazing how much better it goes with a nice, sharp blade.  Then I got the old weedeater out and trimmed until I ran into that universally recognized signal that it's time to quit:  I ran out of gas.

Hey, it works for me.

You know how they say there is always, always, always something to be thankful for?  I think we can all agree that we are thankful for one man named Willis Carrier.  Why?  He invented the modern air conditioner. 

You can keep your Superman, X-Men, and sports stars.  Willis Carrier is my hero. 

Can I get an AMEN?????

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I'm Allowed

Despite what people at my work seem to believe, I am allowed to take vacation days every once in a while.  And I did so yesterday. 

Beverly and James  went to Tennessee to see great grandson Cory get baptized and great granddaughter Brooklyn get dedicated.  They go to a cowboy church, and Cory was baptized in a horse trough.  How cool.  I was baptized in a plain old baptistry.  On a Wednesday night.  But this isn't about that.

Cory was so cute.  They'd warned him that the water would be cold, because their heater didn't reach it.  I don't know why.  Anyway, he got into the trough and started to sit down.  He stood right back up and said, "Maybe we can wait until it warms up some."  They told him no, and promised to do it really quickly.  And they did. 

On their way back home, they stopped here for a day.  They came in Sunday night and left out this morning.  Friday, I asked Supervisor for a vacation day for Monday, so I could hang out with them.  It was kind of short notice, so I told him, "Either way, I'm not going to be here.  I just need to know whether I need to call in or not."  As luck would have it, there was one space available, and I was able to preserve my perfect attendance.

Yesterday morning, they came and picked me up and we all went to the local closeout store.  Bev had heard there was going to be some Pioneer Woman dishes there, and there were.  Three plates and two bowls.  That was it.  She was very disappointed.  They did have a huge section of yarn, fabrics, and craft stuff...but it was blocked off so they could have a big sale the day AFTER they left town.  She was still disappointed.

I made out like a bandit.  I got a new tool set, plus some new clippers and a weeder.

Maybe I can get all those annoying grass roots out of my flower bed with that.  I also got some less exciting stuff, like shampoo and hand soap, but you don't want to hear about that because it's boring.   
After that, Bev and I came back to my house and hung out while James went to visit a very sick friend.  She mentioned that in her haste to pack, she hadn't brought any yarn.  She had a crochet hook in her purse, but didn't have any yarn to crochet.  I let her dive in my stash so she'd have happy hands. 

I moved everything out from in front of the closet so she could see what was in there.  Now that it's in the middle of the room, it doesn't seem like that much.  I want to sort and organize it instead of just shoving it back against the wall.

Now that I can reach this closet, I can get it straightened up.  That ought to be fun, right?

The last thing they did before heading back to the campground (they stayed at the lake in their camper), James got out and changed my lawnmower blade and weedeater head for me.  I'd bought some new lawnmower blades last fall on clearance, but I'd never been able to get the bolt loose.  I felt a little better because he had to use a cheater on it himself. 

Nevertheless, my lawnmower has a new blade, and I can mow like a whiz.  Unfortunately, it rained today, and I wasn't able to get out and mow, or weedeat. 

Maybe tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Eye Candy Friday

Today is another one of those days.  I sat down to blog and....nope, I got nothing.  So you get nothing....except this lovely marigold. 

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Now That I'm Back.

Now that I'm back to blogging, you're probably wondering what I've been doing with myself these last two weeks -- during the long, dark teatime of my soul.  The answer is, not much.  My life has become an endless cycle of work, mowing, laundry, and scooping the cat pan.  Then I sleep about 10 minutes, and get up to do it all over again.

In the brief, few moments I actually have to myself, I've managed to knit a lot more blanket squares, and have started joining them together. 

I've been knitting my new yarn into my two big blankets, but I don't have current pictures of them.  I know some of you are wondering, if I've already got two sock yarn blankets in the works, why on Earth did I start a third?  Well, I'll tell you.  I don't know.  All I can say is that when the knitting grabs a hold of you, all you can do is to give in to it. 

Let's see, I picked the first tomato off of my little plant and ate it on a sandwich.  Then I picked another one, and ate it on another sandwich.  I thought I'd taken a picture of my first little tomato, but I didn't.   Oh well.  Just google it.  Once you've seen one tomato, you've pretty much seen them all.

Hmmm, OK I cleaned out all six snake tanks and put fresh bedding into them.  Then I tidied up the snake/craft/computer room. 

It may not look that clean to you, but you can see floor now.  It's progress.  All my snakes are either 12 or 13 years old now.  Lifespan in captivity is 10-15 years, so they're getting on up there.  When they start going to that great herpetarium in the sky, I'm going to put shelves and cabinets and things in that room, and make a real craft room.  I may even drag my old sewing machine out and start sewing again.  

I bought a Bluejacket's Manual from a used book seller. 

Then I bought another one.

Why?  I don't know.   I've long since given up trying to find an explanation for such things.  I still wish I had MY Bluejacket's Manual -- the one that went through boot camp with me.  I'd given it to Cody when he joined NJROTC in 9th grade, and haven't seen it since. 

What with everything else that has been going on that's got me feeling low, I'm faced with the awareness that my Squeekums won't be with us much longer.

The old girl is pushing 17, which is pretty old for a cat.  This last year, her age has really started to show. I know I'm going to have to let her go soon, but I'm just not ready for it. 

But then, are you ever ready? 


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