Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

It's become a faddish thing of late to thank veterans for their service, especially on holidays like today.

But this is not Veteran's Day.  My fellow vets and I will be the first to tell you, don't thank us today.  We have a day.  It's November 11.

Today is the day we remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  This is the day we remember those who never made it home. 


So, don't thank me today.  Save that for my day.  This one is theirs. 



And as General Patton once said, let us thank God that such men lived. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eye Candy Friday

Or not so much.

Our temperatures this morning:


 Keep in mind, this is Mississippi, and this is the last week of May.  So, where is that global warming Al Gore keeps squawking about?   As the guys keep saying, I'll believe it's a crisis when those who are claiming it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis. 

I knew what kind of day today was going to be when I was taking Rylea out for her morning tinkle.   There was no moon, and in the darkness of the 4:30 hour, I tripped over something in the yard and hit the gravel drive pretty hard.


Thanks to the aforementioned global warming, I'd put my flannel lounge pants on, so I did have a small measure of protection.  I hate to think what my knee would look like if I'd been wearing shorts.   Unfortunately, shorts aren't allowed at work, so I spent an entire 9 1/2 hour day with my jeans chafing it.  I couldn't wait to get him and get them off! 

After what seemed like an interminably long work day -- funny how the last day before a long weekend always seems to drag on, and on, and on, and on -- Cody and I went to the store, where I bought plants. 


Two marigolds, a zinnia, and a six pack of vincas.  I wanted to get them into the ground, so I went ahead and dug up the daffodil bulbs and laid them out to dry.  Then I put these in the part of the bed where the daffs used to be.  They only took up a small corner of the bed, but I don't really want to put in a lot if I'm going to be moving soon. 

Speaking of house hunting, apparently if you use the Zillow app, you have to be pre-approved for a mortgage before the realtor will even respond to your request to see a house.  Also, if you use the Zillow app, you have to get your mortgage through a bank that sponsors the Zillow app.  I want to get a VA loan through the Navy Federal Credit Union, so basically, we're back to square one.  That means I'll have to do it the old fashioned way -- pick up the phone and call someone.  Ugh...

And finally, 'Merica!!



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I was watching my son work yesterday, over there on his work station. 

"What's the matter, Becky?" my co-worker asked.

"I was just looking at my son over there.  He looks so grown up, I hardly recognize him."

He's a man now, but I still see this little guy. 


  



And I guess I always will.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Speaking Of Weaving

In all the excitement over the new wheel, I almost forgot to show you that I finally warped the loom again. 


I'm using some sock yarn that I've had for many years.  I had knit a pair of socks out of some of this yarn (in a different color), but they wore out within just a few weeks.  I decided a scarf would hold up better. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Wonderful Surprise

I was sitting in my chair, watching Emergency reruns on Netflix, when I heard the heavy rumble of the Brown Truck Of Happiness pull into my driveway. 

"Wow," I thought.  "The work boots I ordered are here already!" 

I stepped outside to wait for my box, only the box he pulled out of the truck was way too big to be work boots.   It was enormous. 

"What the heck is that?" I asked.

"This is you, isn't it?" the driver said, reading my address. 

"Yes, it's me.  But I didn't order anything that big.  Somebody sent me a present." 

I wrestled the gigantic box into the house, and read the shipping label to try to see from where it had come.


The return address was a UPS store, so that didn't help.  Well, there was nothing else to do but to open it.


It was full of bubble wrap and packing peanuts, but the first thing I spied were these two wooden spindles.  


Then I pulled out this funny looking thing here.  


Delving deeper, I found the note:


Here's a close up, so you can see what it says.


 After much digging through styrofoam and cutting tape around bubble wrapped parcels, I got all the parts laid out on my couch. 


 Somewhere in the deep recesses of the box, I found the instruction manual.  Somehow, Santa's elves knew the exact model of wheel I've been wanting. 


In no time at all, I had it put together and was treadling away -- still watching Emergency.  


And look, there is even a little bundle of fiber for me to spin!  


Now, I just have to figure out how to spin on it.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Right now, I'm finding myself a bit at a loss for words.  This is an amazing gift, and I can't think of any reason why I should deserve such generosity.  OK, I know that this wheel had a loving home before it came to me, but that doesn't diminish the gift in any way.  This is an expensive item, and someone out there thought enough of me that when the wheel was ready for a new home, she passed it along to me.  That's the important part.  

I have wanted one of these for so long, and thanks to someone's generosity, now I have it. 

I have some incredibly generous friends!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Neville

Saturday, before we left for the day, Group Leader Fernando told me to come in at 5 AM this morning.  Over time, junk starts to accumulate on the line.  Extra headers and adapter tubes, extra boxes, trash that should have been thrown out, and the like.  He and I (and one of the forklift drivers) were going to come in early and get it all cleaned up and stuff. 

I show up at 5, and guess who isn't there.  Yep.  Sigh...I start cleaning up and getting ready for the day.  Along about 6, Fernando drags his sorry behind into work.  He's very apologetic, explaining that he didn't have electricity at his house.  "Do you know how scary it is to take a shower in the dark?" he asks.

I just stood there, mouth open, dumbfounded for a moment, then I blurted out, "How did you make it in the Army for 20 years if you're afraid of the dark???" 

He just laughed and shook his head.  But he brought me juice


and doughnuts


"As an appeasement," he said. 

So, I called him Neville Chamberlain for the rest of the day. 

For those of you who went to public school, Neville Chamberlain was the prime minister of England during the 1930s whose policies of appeasement allowed Hitler to run roughshod over most of Europe. 

It's actually kind of nice to have someone around who gets my historical references.  An insult kind of loses its punch when you have to explain who "der fuhrer" is. But that's a different story for a different day. 

A few weeks ago, Group Leader Fernando decided he was going to try to trip me up. 

"You're kind of studious of history," he said.  "Let's see if you get this.  I'm Adolph Hitler." 

He indicated an area about a foot square inside my work area (which I have semi-jokingly dubbed a "Fernando Free Zone"), and said, "All I want is this little area here.  That's it.  Just this little area." 

I walked to the edge of my work station, stood toe to toe with him, looked him dead in the eye, and I said,

NO

"No?  I can't have this little bitty area here?" 

I crossed my arms and said again, "No.  If just one person had stood up to Hitler, he never would have been able to amass such power.  He would have never been able to conquer most of Europe." 

(As my awesome hunk of pure awesomeness that is my imaginary boyfriend Bill Whittle says, if a high school marching band had stood in the road blocking his way, Hitler would have turned around and gone home.  Bill also says that 15 Texans with rifles could take over California without firing a shot.) 

Group Leader Fernando nodded and walked away.  Later, as I added my name to the quality board, I wrote "NOT Neville Chamberlain."  Fernando just laughed and shook his finger at me. 

In other news, Cody is no longer in the floater pool.  Supervisor Ronnie is back from vacation, and has given him a permanent position.  Well, for the rest of the summer that is.  He is going to be working on Former Group Leader Rod's line building coils.  I asked Cody about it, and he said, "That's got to be the easiest job in the entire plant." 

So, yeah, things are working out for him. 

I told Supervisor Ronnie that Cody is a good worker, and Ronnie said, "Like his mama." 

Oh, that makes me so proud. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Flowers!!!


I have flowers!  Well, a flower.


But soon, I'll have two.


I didn't notice the spider on the bud when I took the picture. 

I may be sitting here calmly typing, but inside I'm doing a happy dance.

Cody has been working on my line the last couple of days.  This afternoon, Group Leader Fernando motioned me over and asked, "Is your son looking for a full time job?"  

"Nope," I said.  "He's going back to school in the fall, then on to grad school." 

Too bad.  Supervisor Rick, who has been filling in for Supervisor Ronnie this week, has been very impressed with Cody and his work ethic.  He was hoping he was looking to get hired on full time. 

Oh, that makes this old mama proud.  Maybe I raised him right after all. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Proud Mama

Cody is making quite the impression at work.  He's been in the floater pool, which means he goes wherever they're short handed and fills in.  Today they put him on one of the air handler lines assembling cabinets.  The group leader over there told him she was going to request to have him put there permanently.  That makes me one proud mama.

My friend Vanessa said, "I'm as proud of Cody as if he were my own son." 

I always knew he would be OK.  When he was 11, he started asking me for a cell phone.  I told him no, because I wanted to give him one for his 13th birthday.  Rite of passage.  Growing up kind of thing.  Well, that little stinker saved up his own money, did extra chores, and just after he turned 12, he brought me $150.  "This ought to be enough for a phone and some minutes," he said.  After that, how could I tell him no? 

Lots of things are going on in my bed.  My flower bed, that is. 


Nothing at all is going on in my other bed.  Even sleep is coming difficult. 


Stress, maybe.   I do have a lot going on right now. 


I can't wait for these guys to start blooming. 


Nothing relieves stress like being surrounded by nature's beauty.



 And the knowledge that nature's God has me in his hands, and nothing can snatch me out of them. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesdays Are For Knitting

But first, Cody seems to be settling well into his new job.  Today was his first real day of work.  Real work, not training.  I almost had to laugh at him.  Monday he asked me, "When does it get hot?"  Today, he told me he felt like he was going to have a heat stroke.  I was so tempted to say, "I informed you thusly," but I didn't. 

Everyone seems very impressed with him.  All the ladies think he is so cute.  Group Leader Fernando said, "You never told me your son was so big.  I'm going to have to stop picking on you, or that boy might whip your group leader's booty."    Only he didn't say booty.  He said something else, but as this is a G rated blog, I did some light editing. 

I am starting to see my son with new eyes.  He's not my little boy any more.  He's a man, now, and a good one.  I can't wait until Supervisor Ronnie gets back from vacation to meet him. 

On to the knitting...

Some bad news:  I messed up on my lace shawl, and I'm just too tired to worry about it right now.  I'm only going to have to tink back a row or two (and a lifeline is firmly in place this time), but I just don't feel like fooling with it.  Thus, another charity hat.


I keep saying I'm going to warp the loom again, but the mojo has fled.  Well, Beverly gave me this huge honking roll of yarn that just might summon the weaving mojo back home.


There wasn't a label with it, so I have no idea what brand it is.  It's a light fingering weight with a gold thread woven throughout.  Look how much is on the tube: 


That is a lot of yarn.  I should be able to get a lot of scarves out of that. 

I'm thinking a hat, scarf, and gloves set.  Hmmm....

I'm off to peruse patterns.  Laters.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Barking Dogs, Blue Shirts, and Buds

'Long about 2:00 last night, I heard a hellacious ruckus outside my back door.  I kept hoping it would die down, but it only intensified.  It got so bad, my own dogs got all wound up and started barking.  I finally got out of bed, opened the door, and told the neighbor's dogs to shut up and go home.  Which they promptly did.

I never saw what it is that they had trapped behind my a/c unit, but my guess is that it was my possum friend that likes to hang around my back door.  Needless to say, I was not pleased, and told those dogs so when I got home from work. 

"If you wake me up in the middle of the night again, next time I won't be so lenient with you," I told them. 

As a result, I'm even more tired than usual.  You know, I'm proud of my son.  I'm glad he's got this summer job.  The downside is, I've been so set in my morning routine for so long, it's going to be quite an adjustment having him riding with me. I'm trying to keep a positive attitude, thinking of it as a practice run for in case I ever get married again. 

A guy at work was selling t-shirts to raise money for his daughter's dance school.  He showed me a picture of what it would look like:


I like that scripture, so I bought one.  Thinking that I would give it to Cody, I ordered an XL. I didn't know it would say Annie across the front.    


I don't think Cody will wear that.  Looks like I've got a new shirt.

More new stuff: buds on some of my wildflowers.



I think these are cosmos, but since it was a mixed bag of wildflower seeds, I won't know for sure until they bloom. 

Lots of stuff is happening in my bed, but these are the first buds I see.  Is it a testament to how sad my life is that I get inordinately excited about flowers blooming? 

Or am I just considering the lilies?*

*Matthew 6: 28

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Mother's Day.

I have every intention of going to church.  I got up at 6:00 and let the dogs out.  I lay back down, thinking they would wake me up in a few minutes wanting their breakfast.  Nope.

I woke up at 9:45, looked at the clock, and said, "Whoa".  I must have needed that sleep.  The downside of that is that I slept through church. 

I pretty much sat in front of the TV all day, which is exactly how I wanted to spend the day.  Cody and I ran into town to get him some new shoes, and while we were there, he picked me up a bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day.



Then he bought me dinner.  He gave me the choice of where I wanted to eat, and you know me.  I said, "Let's go through the drive through, then go home and watch a movie."  So, that's what we did. 

Like I said, that's exactly how I wanted to spend my day.  

This morning, Cody started work at the plant with me.  He was really excited about it.  Can't you tell?


It's his first regular job, and his first taste of the real world.  The evil mother in me is chuckling with glee.   He'll have two days of orientation and training before he really starts working. 

I showed him where I worked, then took him back to the break room for orientation.  My friend said, "Who was that guy walking with you?  Was that someone you know?"

I should hope so.  I gave birth to him.


Friday, May 08, 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Juicer

I've been thinking about buying a juicer.  I want to drink fewer cokes -- and by "coke" I mean the Texas definition, as in "Wanna coke?"  "Yeah" "What kind?"  "Dr Pepper"


I will occasionally drink a Coca~Cola, but my drink of choice is Dr Pepper, or Sprite. Every so often, I tell myself that I'm going to cut back, and drink more water or tea, but I never do.  I like V-8, but have to add brown sugar to it.  If I don't, I get the most painful heartburn.

I'm thinking, if I buy my own juicer, then I can come up with a tasty blend of vegetables that won't make me feel like I've swallowed a hornet's nest.  I know there are lots of recipes available online, but I'll probably end up just winging it.   Like I usually do.

I've looked on Amazon and Wal-mart websites, just to kind of get an idea of what is out there.  I'll look at some tomorrow when I go do my grocery shopping after work.  I'll keep you posted.


Speaking of work, today we had our typical Thor's Day mayhem.  It's become a thing, you know.



This time, it was bad.  It was really bad.  So many machines had broken down we almost couldn't run.  But we persevered and made it through.  The good news is, Cody has gotten on as a temp for the summer.  He starts work Monday. 

He'll make pretty good money out there for a summer job. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Busy Times

Yes, it's been very busy at work lately, and it's starting to show. 

Group Leader Fernando brought me a header, and told me to hang on to it.  A few hours later, someone from tubing brought me two more of the same header, and the adapter tubes that go with them.  I asked Group Leader Fernando how many of those header assemblies he needed. 

He said, "Just one.  She should have brought you two, but I only need one."

"What about the other header you brought me?" I asked.

"I didn't bring you a header," he said.

I showed him the header, and he said, "I brought you that?" 

"Yes," I said.  "Right before lunch, you brought me that header and said not to lose it or there would be consequences and I said, 'oh, I'm shaking,' and you said, 'you should be.'" 

Group Leader Fernando said, "I thought that was yesterday." 

Nope, that was this morning, right before lunch.  

So, yeah, weariness is setting in, already.  The bad news is, peak season has just started.  It'll be this way until August -- at least.  

In spite of it all, there has been some knitting going on.


I've gotten a few more rows done on the shawl, but I mostly knit on it over the weekends.  By the time I get home from work, I just don't have the mental facilities to concentrate on complicated lace. 


My poor loom also sits neglected.  I haven't warped it since December.  I just haven't had the weaving mojo lately.  I want to weave.  I just don't want to warp. 

My mind may be warped, but the loom isn't... 

Ugh. 

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Restless

I was dreaming again last night.  I don't remember what it was about, I just know that I woke up afraid.  Very afraid.

This is one of those rare few times I wish I had a man in the house with me.  Someone strong, capable, who would roll over, put his arms around me and say, "Go back to sleep.  I'll take care of you."  And then I could sleep, knowing I was safe.  Alas, there is no man.  There is only me, a squishy teddy bear, and a dog who is afraid of his own farts. 



Jesse says, "Who?  Me?"  

That reminds me.  Some 22 years ago, I was on my honeymoon with the ex.  We had rented a cabin on the beach down in Texas, and that night, a fearful storm blew through.  We were on Galveston Island when it hit.  I told the ex, "We'd better head back before it gets too bad", so we went back to the mainland where our cabin was.  Good thing, too.  Ours was the last ferry they let cross the bay, because the water had gotten too rough.  Honestly, I've ridden those ferries hundreds of times, and I'd never seen one pitch and roll like that one did. 

Later that night, it got really, really bad, that storm did.  I woke up sometime in the darkness, scared.  I snuggled up to the ex, wanting -- needing-- to feel safe, and he yelled at me.

"Get back on your own side of the bed!  I can't sleep with you all over me like that!"

I scooted back to my side, and lay there with the wind howling and the cabin shaking, feeling as alone as I ever had.   I knew then that I'd be on my own, still, even with a husband.  A few months later, along came Angie and took my husband away from me, and I thank God for her every day.  I've told her that, too.  She got me out of what could have ended up being a very, very bad situation. 

But I didn't mean to get into all that.

If you remember a few weeks ago, I told you I was going to have to buy myself a new house.  I'm thinking this might be contributing to my nightmares, and my restless feeling during the day.  Just the uncertainty of the future.

In preparation for the move, I got out after work and dug up some of my daffodil bulbs.



The ones in my flower beds are still there, but these were out in the yard, and James was anxious to mow.   Since they were pretty well wilted, I went ahead and got them up.  I'd googled how to store bulbs, and came up with several different things.  Some sites said to knock the dirt off, others said leave the dirt.  Some said store them in a mesh bag, other said in a box of peat or sand.  Some said put them into the refrigerator....but one thing all of them said was to spread the bulbs out and let them dry thoroughly.  That is what I did, using some of my seedling trays to spread them in.


Yes, that is in my kitchen, and yes, I'm aware that if a husband had done that, I'd chew him out.  But there is no husband, and it was me that did it, so there it is.  I later moved them into the snake room so they wouldn't be disturbed.  And I cleaned up the mess I'd made, which a husband wouldn't have done.  That is why they get yelled at.

Speaking of house hunting, I'm finding some that I do like.  They are all in town, though.  Come to think about it, that may be for the best, if I'm going to be on my own.  I'll need good neighbors, instead of being out in the middle of nowhere by myself.  There is one house I really, really like.  I'm just not sure I can afford it. 

There are others that I like, just not as well, but don't cost as much.  It's a matter of deciding what I like, versus what I can afford.  One of these days, I'm going to screen shot some of them for you.  But not tonight. 

There is also the fact that I'm going to have to buy a new vehicle sometime very soon, too.  Sigh, is it any wonder I'm not sleeping? 

Monday, May 04, 2015

Night And Day

I've been having some really strange dreams lately.  I don't remember what I dreamed last night, but when I woke up this morning, the sheets were all torn off the bed and Jesse was hiding.  That's the second time in as many weeks that such has occurred.

Saturday night, I dreamed that someone was trying to shoot me.   I was running and running, trying to get away from him.  In the distance, I could see some woods.  I kept thinking that if I could just get to those woods, I would be safe.  I could hide there, disappear, and the one tracking me wouldn't find me.  Not in the woods.  I ran and ran...somehow I ended up in a swamp, under water.  I could see the gunman standing on the bank, the woods behind him.  He was between me and my safe place.  Next thing I know, I'm running out of an office building.  I could see the woods across the road, but there was a large pond on the front lawn of the building.  It was filled with alligators.  Every time I tried to run around the pond, an alligator would charge, and I was forced to retreat.  I woke up, sweating and exhausted, never having reached my safe place. 


Things are starting to happen in my flower bed.  Nothing is blooming yet, so I don't know which is a weed and which are real flowers.  That's part of the adventure. 


Speaking of weeds, we still have plenty of these all over the yard. 


After all, they're flowers, too, once you get to know them. 

I was out giving the plants a good watering, because rainy season is definitely over, when I found the guardian of the bed.


I hope the little guy sticks around and eats the stuff that's eating my plants.

Finally, I finished the hat I was working on. 



It's an infant/toddler size, but would fit a child if he wanted to wear it as a beanie. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Tattoos

 I like the idea of body art, but I don't want a real tattoo.  I don't have a problem with needles.  It's this whole lifetime commitment thing I have an aversion to.  Come to think of it, that's probably why I'm not married.  A while back, I bought a henna kit, thinking I could have the art, but not the permanence of a real tattoo.  I got it out the other day and was reading the instructions.  It just seemed too complicated -- read "messy" -- for me to get into it, especially with the hours I've been working.

A few days ago, I was on Amazon looking for vitamins because Wal-mart can't seem to keep them in stock.  That's pitiful.   Anyway, I thought I'd get some temporary tattoos, because they'd be a lot easier to fool with than the henna.


I really wanted to find some Viking themed temporary tattoos, to celebrate my Norse heritage, but all I found were football related.  As in Minnesota Vikings.  Uh, no.

Broadening my search to include Celtic themes, I found several options.  I chose these, and they arrived today.


Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I may or may not have Celtic ancestry.  My daddy's side of the family tree has been thoroughly researched, but my mother's hasn't.  I asked her once when I was a teenager what her ancestry was, and she told me Scots-Irish.  That is what I'm basing my admittedly tenuous claim to Celtic heritage upon. 

Back to the tats...they are pretty small, which I like.  The biggest ones are just at 2", which suits me just fine.  One of the kits came with a little booklet that explains what the symbols mean. 


And this necklace.


It got poor reviews on Amazon.  A lot of people thought it was too small, but really, what did you expect for $6?

I've already put one on my neck, just behind my ear.  I tried to take a picture to show you, but it's surprisingly hard to take a photo of your own neck-back.  You'll just have to take my word for it. 

When I get home from work tomorrow, I'm going to put one on my arm.  I'd do it tonight, but I'm afraid my brazing sleeves might rub it off. 

Is it weird that I'm way more excited about these than I should be? 

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