Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hi Honey!

I'm home!

Well, so to speak.  I'd said I didn't want my blog to become nothing but complaining about work, but when one works 7 days a week, there's not much else to talk about.  I did want to pop in and let you know I'm still breathing. 

Today, a coworker came up to me and said, "I saw you yesterday.  You were mowing your yard." He went on to explain that he'd bought a car from my next door neighbor, and he'd seen me mowing while he was there.  He said, "You were sweating!" 

I told him, "You could have stopped and offered to finish for me."  He replied, "Yeah, but it was hot." 

I countered with, "Yeah, but I would have paid you."  That changed his tune really quickly.  "Let me know next time." 

Speaking of honey, this little guy hitched a ride to work with me this morning.  

I thought sure that once I got out onto the highway, the wind would knock him off, but he hung on like a trooper.  I hope he managed to find his way home.  It's not that far from the plant to my house as the crow flies, so maybe he did. 

All this week, I've been feeling kind of puny.  I had the epizoodies, as we say in the South.  Nothing serious, just a little stomach bug.  But it was enough that I left work early... or on time, as most people would say.  I'm telling you, it has felt so good having those extra two hours in the evening at home.  I've been able to get stuff done -- like mowing, laundry, and dishes-- and I have so much extra energy, that I'm seriously considering not staying over any more.

Aaaaand then I get another bill. 

Yep, won't quit the overtime just yet.  Oh, they'll make me pretty soon, but for now, I'll keep working all the hours I can get. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Hymn

I will sing of my redeemer
And his wondrous love to me
On the cruel cross he suffered
From the curse to set me free.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Story Of My Life

It all started when I was 3 or so years old.  I don't remember exactly, but I was young enough my mother still had baby gates in the kitchen doors.

Back in those days, there was a banana commercial in which a lady dressed up as a banana did a little dance and sang a little song.

I'm Chiquita banana and I'm here to say,
Eat a banana every day!

At the end of the jingle she'd take a big bite out of the banana and hold the rest up triumphantly facing the viewer.

That day, when I was 3-ish years old, my mother had given me a banana for an afternoon snack.  I peeled my banana, sang the banana song and did the banana dance.  At the end of my song, I started to take the big bite of my banana, when the whole thing broke off and fell onto the floor.

That should have been my first clue.

Some 50 years later, I've pretty much figured out that this is just how my life is going to be.

Last week, I bought a new iPhone.  The next day, I drove eagerly to the store and bought a protective case -- American flag, of course--

and a really cool glass screen protector.

I rushed home and excitedly opened the package of my screen protector.  Carefully, I placed my phone into the phone shaped tray in the bottom of the tin.

Carefully, I unwrapped the included cleaning wipe and cleaned the phone screen.

Carefully, I dried the screen with the included lint-free cloth, and polished it until it gleamed.

Carefully, I peeled the included blue sticky tape from it's backing and stuck it to the screen several times to remove any remaining dust and fingerprints.

Carefully, I removed the backing from the glass screen protector using the included tab, and carefully placed the phone shaped alignment tray over my phone.

Carefully, I pressed the glass to the phone screen through the grove in the phone shaped alignment tray.

After waiting a few seconds for the glass screen protector to adhere to the phone's screen, I carefully removed the phone shaped alignment tray from my phone, and began pressing out the remaining air bubbles from behind the glass screen protector using the included lint-free cloth. 

And that's when I saw it. 

There at the lower right side, of the screen.  Just under the glass screen protector.  A single, tiny speck of dust.

This is the story of my life. 

The banana on the floor should have been my first clue.

My mother picked it up, washed it off, and made me eat it anyway. 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Just as I am without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidst me come to thee
Oh Lamb Of God I come.

Here is a modern twist on an old classic hymn.

And for those who prefer the more traditional sound:

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

New Phone

You'd think I'd be more excited about it, but I'm not. 

I didn't really want a new phone, especially since ATT has stopped selling phones for super cheap with a 2 year contract.  But the old iPhone 5s seemed to be on its last legs.  So to speak.

The selfie camera didn't work any more.  Not sure why I was worried about that, because I never took selfies.

The internal speaker didn't work any more.  That was annoying.  As much as it takes for me to make a phone call, I sure don't want to have to talk on the speaker phone every time.

Siri didn't work any more.  I hated Siri, and never used it but by golly, I wanted it to work! 

To be perfectly honest, I'd never really been pleased with my 5.  I'd have bought a new phone long time ago if they weren't do darned expensive.  I figured, heck, I'm working all these hours, might as well get something I need.

Funny thing, my new phone has 32G of memory.  My first computer had only 7G.  And that was considered "oodles of memory" at the time! 

Two things I do like about the new phone is the camera seems so much clearer, and that I was able to download all my photos and apps from my iCloud backup.  I didn't have that the last time I bought a new phone -- which would have been the old 5 -- and never could get that transfer app to work right. 

I think the main reason I wanted a new phone is that I'm planning a little weekend excursion later this month, and needed something reliable. 

But more about that later...

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sundays And Flowers

There I was at work, discussing a vitally important issue with my supervisor, when he suddenly stopped in the middle of our vitally important discussion, folded his hands and asked, "Would you want to work on Sunday?"

I laughed heartily, and we finished discussing our vitally important issue, whereupon I went back to my work area and began my preparations for the day.

Sometime later, I thought, "Wait a minute..."  I went and found Supervisor and asked him, "Were you serious about the Sunday thing?"  He said yep, he'd gotten the e-mail just this morning saying they're going to run one line on Sundays for the next 5 or 6 weeks.

I said, "OK, then, sign me up."  He said I must love punishment, and I replied that no, I love the idea of getting out of debt.  Therefore, I will be working Sundays for a while.

It's been so long since we've worked Sundays, I don't even remember the last time I worked a 7 day week.  I don't understand.  Opening up third shift was supposed to give us that extra boost to our productivity so we wouldn't need to work so much overtime, but we are further behind than ever.

Not sure how that happened, but there it is.

In gardening news, my Forget-Me-Nots have finally started to bloom.

This picture doesn't do the color justice.  They are really bright blue.

It was slightly less hot over the weekend, so I was about to get out and get some yard work done.  In addition too mowing and weedeating, I started pulling out some of the weeds and stuff that have grown up in my fence line.  Then, just for kicks, I took my sledgehammer and splitting wedge out and split a couple of logs.  Just to see if I could do it.

I decided to save the rest of the splitting until Fall.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Come Thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace

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


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