Wednesday, May 27, 2020

And Then There Were Three

That's right.  We have our third confirmed case of coronavirus in the plant.  This time, it's someone I actually know.  Sort of.  

I mean, I don't know his name, and don't to him or anything, but I know him.   I call him Teddy Bear Guy, because for a long time, he rode around with a giant white teddy bear in the front seat of his car.  Word is, he put it there so nobody would ask him for a ride.  Other word is, that bear is his best friend and he always wants it nearby.  Be that as it may, I know who he is.

He works on a Vitally Important Machine right across the aisle from my department.  Now, Teddy Bear Guy hadn't been at work since Thursday, but as far as I know, he got his test results today.  I'm sure they'll put out another paper with the details on it soon.   Anyway, as soon as the plant found out, they sent everyone who works on that Vitally Important Machine into quarantine for two weeks.  The bad thing is, they don't have any back ups for that machine.  

Today, they ended up sending some of the assembly lines home early.  I don't know what they're going to do for the next two weeks.  Some of us were talking, it'll be the same if one of the sub-brazers gets the virus.  What will they do if they have to quarantine all of us?  They don't have any back up sub-brazers.  They've got maybe 4 or 5 people who can sub braze, but ...let's just say, there's a reason they aren't in the sub-brazing department any more.  There's only one guy who I'd consider to be reliable, and he's still pretty inexperienced.  

Now that it's becoming so prominent in the plant, I've begun to get a bit paranoid.  Every cough, every sore throat -- is it the 'rona?  Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do now is to feel my face, to see if I have fever.  I know they take our temperatures before they let us into the plant, but what's to stop someone from just taking Tylenol before coming to work?  I once worked three days with full blown pneumonia before I broke down and went to the doctor.  Cody was little then, and I wasn't making but $11 something an hour.  I couldn't afford to take a week off work at the time.  At least with the COVID, if we get a positive test, we'll get two weeks straight time pay.  I didn't have that option back then.  

Well, in these uncertain times, I've come to loathe that phrase.  Loathing notwithstanding, in these uncertain times, I thought I'd show you something.  If you've followed me on Facebook, or even here on the blog, you'll know I've recently developed a strange fascination with survival gear.  I'm in the process of putting together a bug-out bag.  I'm going to show you my progress so far. 

*Note:  Keep in mind, this is a work in progress.  I'm sure you will want to suggest I add this, or I add that, or I need such and such.  Whatever you might want to suggest, it's probably already on the list.  Fishing gear and more snares spring immediately to mind.   OK?  Here we go:

1.  First up, a tent and sleeping bag.

2.  Fire starting material.  Also, I have a bag of dryer lint to use as tinder, but I don't have a photo of it.

3.  Mylar blankets, body warmers, and rain ponchos.  

4.  A pocket saw

5.  Battery operated lanterns, a weather radio, and a hand crank flashlight.  

6.  Lifestraw water filtering systems.  I still need to add some sort of canteen or water bag.  

7.  Paracord, a compass, and a snare.  I want to get some more snares, also.  

8.  What?  Doesn't everybody have a Giant Pacific Octopus in their bug out bag?  

9.  A hunter orange bandanna for visibility, with survival tips on it, a bush craft book, and a blank journal for making notes.  You know I've also got some pens in there, but you don't really need to see a picture of them. 

That's my progress so far.  As I said before, it's still a work in progress.  I've still got a lot more to add to it, bit by bit.

And finally, we've already got our second named storm, Bertha, and the season hasn't even started yet! They said it's be an active one.

They weren't kidding.   

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.  
Rather, we ought to thank God that such men lived.  
--General George S. Patton

Sunday, May 24, 2020

There Has Been Crafting

In the midst of all this chaos, there has been crafting.  Not a lot, but there has been crafting.  I finished another charity hat.

It's Red Heart, something or other.  I don't remember.  Green.  That's all I know.  I already put the yarn back into the closet, and don't want to go...wait a minute...Light Sage.  

I'll be casting on another hat soon, but here lately, I've been working on my Zoom Loom squares.  Since sock yarn varies greatly in thickness, I decided to separate the squares out.  I put the ones woven with thicker yarn in one stack, and the thinner ones in the other. 

Then, I thought, "Might as well go the whole nine yards."  I dumped out all my balls of sock yarn and separated it, too.  I'll be weaving two different blankets.  If I get one of them done in time, I might send it to my sister and her husband for Christmas.  Weaving is the fun part.  It's sewing them together that I'm struggling with.  Sigh...

Since Walmart doesn't carry deer corn this time of year, when I was there yesterday, I picked up some of this berry and nut blend.  

The plan was to put it into my squirrel feeder, but when I saw the price, I said, "Nope."  I guess I'll have to go into Tractor Supply Tuesday after work, and see if they have deer corn.  I'll mix this in with that, and that ought to give them a treat.  

By the way, when I opened it up to fill my feeders this morning, it smelled so good, I could almost eat it myself.  

I gotta go now.  The National Memorial Day Concert is on, and I must watch it.  Laters...

Saturday, May 23, 2020


There I was at work, just a working away, when I turned to my coworker and said, "Is it too much to hope they let us go at lunch?" Turns out, it was too much to hope.  We worked the whole day long.  At least it was only an 8  hour day instead of a 9 hour day.  Normally, I want every bit of overtime I can get, but I was hoping to have this Saturday off, since it's a long weekend.  

I was sleeping good, too, when that alarm went off.  I seriously considered calling in and going back to bed, but I knew better.  I would have lost my holiday pay for Monday, and I can't afford that.  So, it was out of bed and off to work for me.   I found out why we're getting this overtime.  Seems another A-coil plant has closed due to COVID, and we got their customers.  I'm not sure if it's for good, or just for quarantine.  I hate it for those employees, but glad for me.  

At least I felt better today than I did yesterday, when I had a massive, splitting headache all day long.  I actually had a post I was mentally composing for you, but when I got home and tried to write it, it just wasn't happening.  This is what you would have gotten:

So there I was, sitting in the parking lot after work debating how badly I needed a new coffee maker.  Seriously, though...

Walmart, on a Friday afternoon...before a holiday weekend...during a global pandemic...ummm

Simon Cowell... It's a no from me | Winky face, Nurse humor

It didn't help that I had a splitting headache all day long.  Or it did, rather.  It helped me to decide to go on home instead of to the store.  It's starting to get pretty warm in the plant.  It was up to 90' in my work area.  Having to wear that stupid mask made me feel like I was about to suffocate.  

I got to thinking, though.  What happens if one of the sub-brazers comes down with the virus?  Is he going to quarantine the entire department?  That isn't going to work, because he doesn't have any back up brazers.  `

File:RainbowBridge (Texas).jpg - Wikipedia

It was disjointed and incomprehensible, and I couldn't remember what I wanted to tell you, and I have no idea how that picture of the Rainbow Bridge got in there.  Hopefully, I can make a bit more sense tonight. 

Look at what I woke up to this this morning:

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So, if you see me over there coughing up a lung, or driving alone in the car with a mask on, mind ya business, mmmkay, and don't be all judgy and stuff.   

The older I get, the more I hate to go to Walmart.  When I was in my 20s, I loved going there.  Sometimes, I'd even go when I didn't need anything and just walk around.  Nowadays, even when I need to go, I put it off as long as possible.  Take for instance, Wednesday night, my coffee maker crapped out.

I'd had some pretty serious insomnia that night, and along about midnight, I got up to get something to drink.  When I got into the kitchen, there was water all over my cabinet.  It only took a small amount of sleuthing to figure out it had come from my coffee maker.  Apparently, the reservoir had cracked, and leaked the water all out.  

I know that's not correct grammar.  I'm speaking in vernacular.

I wasn't too happy about that.  The coffee maker was my 20th anniversary gift from work, and was only 5 years old.  I'd looked it up online, and it's a $100 coffee maker.  My first thought was, "Boy, I'm glad I didn't pay money for that thing.  If I'd paid $100 for a coffee maker and it only lasted 5 years, I'd be mad."  

Free or not, the reservoir was cracked, and I figured it'd be cheaper just to buy a new one than try to get it fixed.  

Thus it was I needed a new coffee maker.  Thus it was I needed to go to Walmart.  For two days, I put off going, but finally went this afternoon.  How I convinced myself to go is by promising myself I could get some ice cream for the holiday weekend.  

Now,  I have a new coffee maker, my ice cream, and my missing man place set at the table.  I'm all set for the weekend.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020


And just like that, we're back on 9 hour shifts, starting tomorrow. 

I've got this one coworker.  We're sure she's got some kind of un-diagnosed learning disability, because she can't remember anything.  She can do something 50 days in a row, and on the 51st, she'll act like she has no idea what to do.  Then, on the 52nd, she's right back to doing whatever it was without missing a beat.    

Long time readers may be familiar with my Dear Coworker series.  Well, this girl is the dear coworker who started it all.  Ten years ago today, as a matter of fact, I posted on my Facebook the following:  

Dear Coworker, 

Normally I am able to restrain myself. However, that statement you just made was so extremely Duh worthy that my Duh escaped my lips quite before I could contain it. For that, I may I offer you my abject apologies.

That is all.

Thank you.

Back to today... Group Leader Shark came around and said, "6-3 starting tomorrow!  6-3 starting tomorrow!"

The echo of her voice hadn't even died away, when this coworker came down the way and said, "What time do we work tomorrow?"  We all kind of look out for her, even though she can be a bit frustrating at times.  

Several years ago, this same coworker split up with her husband, or boyfriend, or whatever he was.  Good thing, too, because everyone in the plant thought he was beating the crap out of her.  I don't know how many times she'd come to work with a black eye, or split lip, and she claimed she'd fallen.  

So, she eventually split up with him.  Now, to be clear, I didn't see happen the incident I am about to relate to you, but one of my friends did.  She's described this to me so many times, I can see it in my imagination clear as day.  And what had happened is as follows.  Sue had split up with her husband, or boyfriend, or whatever, but he wasn't quite ready to give up on her.  He came to the plant to try to win her back.  She wasn't having any of it.  She got into her car and started driving away.  

The man jumped up onto the hood of her car, shouting, "I love you, Sue Ellen!" and she drove off down the road, with him on the hood.  Of her car.  Shouting, "I love you, Sue Ellen!"  And Sue Ellen just kept on driving...

Nobody quite knows when she stopped and let him off, or if she drove all the way home with him on the hood of her car.  They do know he was still there as she passed out of sight of those in the plant parking lot.  

That's one of those stories we still giggle over years later.

Well, I for one, am glad to be getting a little overtime.  I'm still pinching my pennies --  I even cut off my Hulu Live, my Britbox, and my Acorn.  Maybe I'll pick them back up after a bit.  Maybe not.  I've still got the cheap Hulu plan, and if I can find a cheaper way to watch football this fall, I may not pick it back up.  Or I may.  I don't know yet.  Most things can be found streaming, and a lot of it for free.  You just have to look around a bit.  

However, I did splurge and bought myself two new piano books.  

Oh, I can hear the outcry from here!  Christmas already????  It isn't even June yet!  Yes, Christmas already. It's going to take me a minute to learn them, and I don't want to wait too late.  I flipped through the pages and it looks really hard stuff.  It might take me this whole time to learn these songs.  By the way, I still owe you another recital.  I'm aiming for my one year anniversary, which is just less than a month from now.  

One last thing before I go, I've been remiss in marking Miss Rylea's 13th birthday.  It was May 5(ish), but what with all that's going on and stuff, it got overlooked.  

"I can't believe you forgot me again!", she says.  

I kept thinking I needed to bake a cake, but couldn't remember why.  I guess now I know. 

There was something else I was going to tell you, but now I can't remember what it was, so I guess I'll just go practice my piano, and bid you good night.  

Even though it's only 5:30.  

But good night, anyway.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Much Better

I'm sure you will all be very pleased to know my wrist feels much better today.  I iced it down really well yesterday, then slept in my wrist brace last night.  It still feels a little tight, so to speak, but doesn't hurt nearly as much.  

With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, on to today's post.  

This morning at work, they handed out a paper about the coworker who was diagnosed with COVID Saturday.  According to the handout, she'd been sick for a week with what she thought was a sinus infection.  She'd gone to her doctor, but when she hadn't gotten better after a few days, she went back.  Her doctor then sent her for a COVID test.  That was Friday.  

And yes, she did come back to work Saturday.  Now, why on earth would they let her come back to work if the doctor suspected she had the coronavirus?  That just doesn't make any sense to me.  As soon as she got the message that she'd tested positive, she told her supervisor, like she was supposed to.  The health and safety people did their assessment, and decided who to quarantine -- which was about half an assembly line.  And two supervisors.  

We've got so many people in quarantine, they've had to call back some of the temps to fill in.  Of course, with more and more of the country opening back up, maybe they'll get to stay.  Maybe work will pick back up and the temps will all come back.  As will the overtime.  

Here's another thing.  One of the people who'd come into contact with the sick person got sent into quarantine Saturday with the rest of them.  I'll call her 1st Contact.  Her daughter also works at the plant.  Her daughter also lives with her.  Her daughter also came back to work for two days -- after 1st Contact got sent into quarantine. Somebody found out and sent daughter home, too, for two weeks of quarantine. Now why would you even do that?  Why would you come to work, knowing someone you lived with had been exposed?  

Me, I wish they'd make antibody testing available for employees.  As big as that place is, and as many people as they employ, it's unrealistic to think that -- well, that they can keep it out in the first place -- but that it hasn't already swept through the place.  Back in February, there were lots of people with flu-like illness with a dry, hacking cough.   Antibody studies in New York, California, and even Ohio have shown that the virus has been here a lot longer than we first realized -- maybe even as far back as November and December.  I'd be very interested to find out if that flu -like illness with the dry, hacking cough I had around the first of February was something more than just a flu-like illness with a dry, hacking cough.  

By the way, they've started handing out plastic face shields to some employees in lieu of masks.  Brazers can't wear them, because of our brazing glasses, but some people are.  Personally, I don't think people are going to like them any better than the other masks.  Most of the ones who were wearing the shields  yesterday were back to the cloth masks today.  And they don't make it any easier to understand people.  I was talking to someone today who was wearing one, and it still sounded muffled, as if he was talking through a closed door.  

Heh, you know how when you get older, and you're driving, you turn down the radio to see better?  I find myself pulling down my mask to hear better.  

OK, moving right along.  I found this growing up the back of my house last year.  

I'd killed it then, because I thought it was poison ivy.  However, upon closer inspection, I saw that it didn't have the correct number of leaves.  

After appealing to my internet friends, I have discovered it is a Virginia Creeper.  Now, I'm debating on whether to rip it out or leave it.  They have beautiful fall foliage, but what I'm wondering is if they will get out of hand like the English Ivy I just got rid of.  I'll keep an eye on it for a year or so, then decide what to do with it. 

Look!  My Gardenia has a bud!

This poor thing has struggled since I planted it.  I'm just going to give up on it.  If it lives, great.  If it doesn't, oh well.  

Finally, one last little thing before I go.  Just because a post doesn't show up in your Facebook feed doesn't mean one wasn't written.  I hate having to depend on their algorithm for people to find my blog.  Please, please, please, if you enjoy my posts, book mark the site and come here directly.  

Not trying to fault anyone here, besides Facebook, that is.  It just gets really discouraging sometimes...

Monday, May 18, 2020


I'm such a klutz.  I have been all my life.  It gets frustrating sometimes, and I can be pretty hard on myself about it.  Even in my dreams...

Last night, for example.  My white headed shanty men and I were making some of our Suzie's favorite foods.  We were going to sneak them into the rehab place for her, because the food they served there wasn't very good.  I'd put the food into a couple of those plastic trays -- kind of like the rotisserie chickens come in, but not exactly --and was carrying it to the car when one of the shanty men (Billy, if you know who any of them are) said something to me.  I'm not sure what he said, but I carried all the food back into the house, 

where I promptly dropped both containers onto the floor, spilling the food all over the place.  

"Why am I always dropping everything???? Drop!  Drop! Drop!  All the time!" I screamed in my dream, and went into a full on melt down. It wasn't pretty.   If I acted like that in real life, I'd be ashamed of myself.  

Sometime later, my alarm went off and I began getting ready for work.  I washed my face, and dropped the towel onto the floor.  I brushed my teeth, and knocked my toothbrush container onto the floor.  I feed the dogs their breakfast, and spill about half the dog food onto the floor.  I crack out some ice for my water cup, and three ice cubes hit the floor...and all this before I even get to work.  

I make it through the work day, and when I get home, I go outside, dispatch another chipmunk to his eternal reward, and decide to spray the weed killer I'd bought on the creeping charlie in my front yard --and spray myself from head to toe...


Speaking of my white headed shanty men, I realize it's been a while since I shared a video.  I didn't want to bombard you.  However, I did recently find one I just had to share.  See, since the quarantine, they've had to cancel all their gigs, so they've been putting up things they call Mares Tales & Mackerel Scales.  They're posting them about once a week.  Some are videos from past concerts, but others are videos each one has recorded and posted.  You can watch them on their YouTube Channel.  

This is the most recent one, and one line in it has made me giggle ever since.  If you know me at all, you'll be able to pick it out right away.  Let me know if you do. 

*In the interest of full disclosure, I had to listen to it a couple of times to get my ear tuned to his accent.  I can understand the Swamp People no problem, but Cornish...not so much.  Heh, when I watched their movie, I had to put the subtitles on the first few times.  

Finally, I seem to have hurt my wrist somehow.  I'm not sure what I did, but it is very sore.  Those of you to whom I owe letters, it's going to be a minute, but I'll get to them eventually.  

Sunday, May 17, 2020


I'm so pathetic.

How pathetic am I?  I'll tell you.  I needed to mow.  For about a week, I've needed to mow, but I was out of gas for my lawnmower.  

Every day at work, I'd tell myself when I got home, I'd get my gas can out of the shed and go fill it up, so I could mow.  But every day when I got home, I'd tell myself let me just sit down for a minute.  I'll go after I eat.  After I watch such and such show.  After this...after that...and before I knew it, it would be time to start getting ready for bed, and I still hadn't gone and gotten gas.  

Friday is when I usually go into town for errands and my weekly resupply run.  This week was no different.  The plan was to go get groceries, and after I got home, I'd my gas can and go back out to get gas.  Yeah, deep down inside, I knew that wasn't going to happen.  So, I went to the store -- and this is where the patheticness comes in -- I actually put a brand new gas can into my buggy, thinking I could stop and get gas on the way home, and wouldn't have to go back out for it.  Seriously, I was going to spend $15 on a second gas can that I didn't even need, just so I wouldn't have to leave the house again.  

Now, tell me that's not the most pathetic thing you've ever heard. 

Anyway, there I was, walking all over Walmart with a gas can in my buggy, so I wouldn't have to leave the house again when I got home... just before I went to check out, I came to my senses and put the gas can back.  After getting home and unloading my groceries, I put the gas can in the back of my car, and got gas Saturday on the way home from work.    

Back to Friday, while I was in the local Walmart, I hit the jackpot.

I still haven't found deer corn, though.  I guess I'll have to go to Tractor Supply.  They usually have it.  

Speaking of my deer, I saw my mama doe and her twins a few days ago.  Neither of the twins have nubbins, so I'm assuming they're both girls.  I should have a new crop of fawns here before too much longer.  

In other news, we have a second confirmed case of coronavirus in the plant.  I'm sure they'll have a meeting tomorrow to tell us what's going on.  Right now, all I'm hearing is rumors.  Some are saying the girl felt sick, and went and got tested, then came to work until her test results came back.  Others are saying she started feeling sick after she got to work, then left and got tested, then called and said her results were positive.  That second scenario makes much more sense, but you know how people talk.  

Of course, that means we'll have to be wearing those awful masks a few more weeks.  I was so hoping The Big Man Up Front would get over that before summer gets here for real.  If not, he'll have people falling out left and right.  More so than usual, I mean. 

And now, for a bit of good news,  I finally saw a hummingbird at my feeder!  It was a ruby throated male.  I know they've been feeding, because I've had to refill it several times, but this is the first time I've actually managed to see one. 

And finally, we have our first named storm of the year.  Meet Arthur:  

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, water, outdoor and nature

We just can't catch a break, can we?  

Thursday, May 14, 2020


It's day three of having to wear masks at work.  I sure hope The Big Man Up Front gets over this before it really gets hot in the plant.  Today was miserable, and it's only mid-May.  One of my coworkers keeps pointing out how small the virus is, and that those masks won't block it.  I pointed to my face and said, "This thing doesn't even block grass pollen -- ask me how I know --, it's sure not going to block something that you need an electron microscope to see!"  

Grass pollen has been high lately, too.  

Speaking of, did you see what Elon Musk pulled?  It was brilliant!  If you haven't, the guys sum it up nicely here:  

It works for someone like him.  If I were to challenge the mask rule at work, I'd just end up losing my job.  Sigh...

This schedule change at work has me totally discombobulated.  I do not like going to work with it already light outside.  I haven't done that in years!  Not consistently, at least.  I have no idea what day it is, or what time it is.   I get home, eat a little late lunch, peruse Facebook a bit.  Suddenly, I fly into a panic, thinking, "Oh my, I need to get into the shower and get ready for bed!"  It feels so late in the day, but when I look at the clock, it's 4:30.    It has me totally thrown off.  

On the bright side, I have a few little things happening in my wildflower bed.

I just hope they can get established before the grass and weeds take over.  

You know, I'm not sure who is doing more damage to my yard, the chipmunks

or the dogs trying to dig up the chipmunks.  

I set my live trap back out, and in the last two days, I've caught two of the little buggers.  I carried them way out into the woods behind the house and sent them on their merry way.  

To chipmunk heaven.

I know this is kind of short, but insomnia hit hard last night.  I'm going to wrap it up for now and head to bed a bit early...wait, it's only 5:30...sigh...

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Random Thoughts Of A Tuesday Evening

1.  Today was the day.  The Big Man Up Front (BMOF) finally got approval from the home office in Dallas to require masks at work.  Sigh....  

2.  I'm debating on whether to make one out of my Navy material, or just keep wearing the disposable masks they're handing out.  If I make one of the ones that you can put a filter inside it, I can still wear it when I'm cutting the grass, even after all this is over. 

 3.  I'll be glad when it is all over.  

4.  I'll tell you what, I've been watching what's been going on around the country, and I'm really thankful for my governor, Tate Reeves.  I haven't agreed with everything he's done, but he's done what he feels is best for our state.  His decisions are driven by the data, and he doesn't even roll out a one size fits all policy for the state.  He breaks it down by the counties which are affected the worst. 

5.  One of my friends posted this photo on his Facebook.  I asked him if I could download a copy.  Can you find me?

6.  My brother is two years older than I am.  When he was 5, my mother sent him off to kindergarten at Cove Baptist Church, because there wasn't a kindergarten in the public school system back then.  He'd come home and teach me everything he'd learned that day.  I enjoyed it so much, my mother sent me to kindergarten the next year, when I was only 4.  Because I was so young, I didn't graduate at the end of the year.  Those of us who were going to go through another year of kindergarten are the ones in front wearing the bows in stead of the caps.  

7.  I was at work today, and shortly before lunch, I suddenly got a chill.  There I was, feeling my face, trying to see if I was running a fever, when I saw my coworker next to me turn her fan off and put her jacket on.  "Are you cold?" I asked her, relieved that it wasn't just me.

8.  What with all this going on, I've gotten somewhat paranoid.   Every time I'm feeling blah, I have to wonder...have I got the zoodies, or is it the 'rona?  Or is someone just mowing somewhere?  

9.  Hypothetically speaking, if I were an entity, say a government or a billionaire, and I wanted to "reduce overpopulation," I wouldn't be doing it by mandating vaccines or funding vaccination programs in poverty stricken areas.  Smallpox, polio, measles, diptheria -- they killed way more people than vaccines ever have.  What I'd do, hypothetically speaking, would be to BAN vaccines, not mandate them.  Set them diseases free and let them work their evil.  That's what I'd do.

10.  Just to be clear, I do not think the world is overpopulated and the global population needs to be reduced.  I'm just trying to illustrated how ridiculous these antivaxxers are when they claim vaccines are mandated to kill people off.  Why go to all the expense of developing vaccines to deliberately kill people when smallpox did a much better job, and it was already here?  

 11.  I guess that's it for now.  

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday Hymn And Some Other Stuff

First of all, your Sunday Hymn in Cajun. 

And now, on to the other stuff.  The last piano book I ordered arrived yesterday. 

It was recommended by my Online Piano Teacher Tim, but very little of it makes sense to me.  Question for my experienced musicians:  how important is it to know the scales and arpeggios?  The names of them, I mean.  Do I really have to know that this is the key of whatever?  Or is it enough just to know that it has an F#, for instance?  While we're on the subject, how important is theory anyway?  I know I need to know basic theory, but do I really need to know sevenths, and roots, and inversions and all?  

Hopefully, when this stuff is all over, and work picks up a bit, I can afford real lessons from a real teacher.  Then, maybe I can actually learn to play.  

Well, this weekend's big project was to finish getting the snake room cleaned out.  The first thing I did was to drag everything out into the living room.  This was what was left:

I sifted and sorted, and threw stuff away, but I'm afraid most of it just got stuffed into a plastic box and shoved into my shed.  To be sorted later, I tell myself.  At least it's out of the house, and my snake room can be walked into again. 

I still have a bookshelf and my computer desk to get organized, and my tool shelf as well.  Seriously, I'm considering selling my computer desk, since I'll probably never get another desk top computer.  I can replace it with a writing desk, which will suit me much better.  

Speaking of snakes, Sunny has refused his last three feedings.  This worries me, as usually he never misses a meal.  On the other hand, he is 16 years old, after all, and a pet shop snake at that.  He may just be getting close to his time.  

I wish I had something more exciting to tell you about, but I'm afraid this is it.  Oh, I did find some buried treasure amidst all that cleaning.  

These days, those are worth their weight in gold. 

And finally, I got my Mother's Day phone call from Cody.  I asked him how work is going.  He said sales are low, but they're paying them what they were averaging per month before all this started.  Tennessee is opening, but the mayor of Memphis still has them under a stricter lock down order, so they aren't getting much business.  

He also said he's been seeing a girl, and he wants me to meet her.  I told him to give me fair warning, so I can figure out how to act like a normal human being.  Or try to, at least.

But hey, if I don't scare her off, I might just get some grandkids after all!  

Friday, May 08, 2020

Well, Poop

Yesterday, I was at work, just a working away, when the dispatcher came into the brazing department and gestured me over.  He tossed a piece of paper in my general direction and took off the other way as fast as he could.  Once I saw what was on that paper, I understood.  It said Tubing department is scheduled to work Saturday.  

Immediate outcry ensued.  "What??? We gotta work Saturday???  I can't believe they're making us work Saturday!!!"  And I'm just over here thinking, "Why are you acting like you've never worked here before?"  Buuuut.....Just before we got off today, Group Leader Shark came and said brazers would be off.  

They're putting in a new system, and it's going to take a bit to get it all up and running and organized.  However, until they do, we've had precious few orders to braze up.  I can't recall a time when I've been so bored at work.  Wait, yes I can.  Back when I was on second shift, I spent a bit of time as a quality auditor -- which involved mostly standing and looking all night.  I'd get so bored, I'd put my auditing tools down and work on the lines.  I hated that job.  

Anyway, today, I only brazed 90 parts.  Normal is 250-300.  I'll be glad when they get this all figured out.  I know some of those people can stand around all day talking, but me, I've got to have me some work to do.  

Well, we've had our first positive COVID diagnosis in the plant.  It's a girl on second shift.  He called her name in the meeting, but I'd never heard of her, and didn't know who she is.  They sent her home, and everyone in her department has been quarantined.  I'm wondering how she made it into the plant to begin with, since they're taking everyone's temperature at the door.  Obviously, that doesn't work, so they can stop anytime.  But they won't.  It makes them feel better.  Unearned Moral Superiority, is why Bill Whittle calls it. 

The Big Man Up Front -- and New Boss will heretofore be known on this blog -- has decided to make wearing masks mandatory.  He's just waiting on corporate headquarters to approve it.  He's been trying to do it for weeks, but hasn't gotten approval.  But now, he probably will.  Sigh...It won't stop the virus from spreading, but it will make him feel better.  And only him...

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate my job?  

Let's talk about something more pleasant, shall we?  Small businesses are hurting right now.  Lots of them have gone under.  I said I was going to use my stimulus to help some of them out, since I'm still working.  I can't help much, but I can place an order every now and again.  This time, it was my friend Leann.  You've met her before. Several times.  

This is her newest yarn set, dyed strictly for the pandemic.  It's called We The People.  

Here's a better picture of the mini skeins.  Aren't they pretty?  I love the red, white and blue ones.   

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this yarn yet, but I wanted to help her out.  I can't afford to buy all of her stuff that I want, but I couldn't pass this one up.  Here is a link to her shop:  Forbidden Fiber.  Do go and check her out.  She's got some truly gorgeous stuff there. 

Oh, and here's how the Zoom Loom squares are going.  

My, Becky, you certainly wove a lot in the last two days!  No, I didn't.  I cheated.  I found the strip I'd already started sewing together weeks ago, and simply joined it to the new squares.  I'm not sure how big I'm going to make this thing.  I'll figure it out as I go.  

Finally, I received this beautiful card from Cyndye.  

Her cousin is painting them to earn a little extra cash.  I might just have to put in an order, mighten I?  

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

And Just Like That...Again

Guess what happened at work today?  Go on guess!  Betcha can't guess...

If you said they told us to go back to 8 hour shifts, give yourself a chocolate!  Yep, just like that, I'm back to going in from 6:00 - 2:00.  

Sometimes I feel like one of those paddle ball things, you know, where you keep slapping the ball back and forth.  I told my coworker the set button on my alarm clock is going to get worn out before this is all over.  

To make matters worse, Blogger is still screwing up their site.  Sheesh, haven't you ever heard of the keep it simple, stupid premise?  Just to resize a picture now takes three clicks, instead of just the one.  It's almost enough to make me migrate to Wordpress.  

OK, enough of that.  As promised, here are the Zoom Loom squares I promised to show you yesterday.

But, you may ask, why would I start weaving a bunch of new squares when I already have a bag full?  

Simple, because weaving them is much more fun than sewing them together!  But this time, I'm going to try something different.  I'm going to sew them together as I go.  My rule is, I have to join the square I just finished before I can weave another one.  I may even get a few out of the bag and add them.  I'm also deliberately leaving my tails a little long, so I can use them for sewing.   I'll keep you updated on how that goes. 

There has also been knitting.  

There is good news on the horizon.  Another state has announced it's loosening its lock down restrictions.   I was going to give you a big, long spiel about what the purpose of the shelter in place orders were, and blah, blah, blah, but then I found this gem by that explains it so much better than I could.

In which Bill provides the voice of reason, and gets a bit wound up in the end.

I know, I know, some of you are out there thinking, "I'm not coming out until it's 100% safe."  In that case, you'll be holed up forever, because "Until it's safe" means never

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

And Just Like That

Just like that, I'm back on 10 hour shifts.

The way it happens is as follows.

Way back in January, when I was scheduling my vacation for the year, I'd put in for today.  I figured it'd be a good day to plant my flower beds.  However, what with all that's been going on lately, I just haven't felt like fooling with flowers.  I've barely even gone into the garden center.

Yesterday after work, I had to run in for some milk and bananas -- and a few other things.  Since birdseed was one of the few other things I needed, while I was in the garden center, I picked up a few packets of wildflower seeds.  I'm not sure why.  I've never had much luck with them.  They just never grow.

Last night, I got an idea.  Maybe they weren't not growing.  Maybe the birds are eating the seeds before they can sprout.  So this morning, after laying in bed for nearly an hour after the alarm went off -- because I had the day off and I could -- I got out there and clawed up the little section of my garden I was planning on planting them in, removed as many weed roots as I could, and scattered the seeds across the bed.  I used my dirt rake to stir them into the soil, then I went and cut my grass.

I'd been reading my friend Marcy's blog, and she had mentioned they'd planted some grass and covered it with hay to keep the birds from finding the seeds.  I thought, "What is hay but dried grass?"   Thus, I covered my newly planted seeds with grass clippings.

In a day or two, the grass will dry out, and voila': hay!  Maybe this year, I'll get some wildflowers.  Since I had some leftover grass clippings, I put a few around my little bluebonnets.

By the way, if anyone knows how to kill Creeping Charlie without killing my grass, please, please, please let me know.  It's taking over my yard.  But look here!  I have a white bluebonnet!

These are the seeds my friend Cyndye sent me last spring.  She has some pale pink bluebonnets, and was hoping some of their seeds made it into the ones she sent me.  I'm hoping they seed and fill the bed up next year.

Also, look!  My roses are blooming!

I'd cut them back pretty hard last year, and was afraid I'd killed them, but no.  I need to get out there and clean out some of the dead bits, but other than that, I'm only going to cut the parts that stick straight out into the yard from now on.

Also also, the garden mum I'd thought was dead has taken off and is growing.  It should be gorgeous by fall.

Now, I know you're all wondering by now how all this got me back onto ten hour shifts.  Well, I'll tell you.  Once I'd finished mowing, I was so drenched with sweat, I decided I was done for the day.  It wasn't that hot, but the humidity was so high, and it couldn't seem to decide if it was going to storm or not.

I came inside, took a shower, and sat down to watch some TV and weave more Zoom Loom squares.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.  As I was sitting there watching TV and weaving more Zoom Loom squares, I got a text from my coworker.

Yeah, we knew that wouldn't last.  At least this time, those extra two hours count towards overtime. 

And finally, Blogger has changed their dashboard layout.  I hate it.  Seriously, I hate it.  It took me forever just to figure out how to start a new post.  And I can't open just one post any more.  Or I can't figure out how to open a single post any more, rather.  Not from the dashboard, at least.  The old way was much simpler, and much better. 

They need to change it back. 

Monday, May 04, 2020

First Day

It was our first day back on 8 hour shifts, and it was wonderful!  I left work, went to the store -- because I didn't dare go on First Friday Of The Month -- and still made it home before 4:00.  I put my groceries away, filled my bird feeders, watched an episode of Call The Midwife, and started Beecham House, practiced my piano for a good long while, and still have time to blog.  Can you believe it? 

Despite it being a short shift, compared to what I had been working, the work day still seemed to last forever.  Mainly because we didn't have any work.  I'm not sure what's going on out there.  They just don't have any parts ready for us to braze.  I only brazed 68 headers all day long.  Normal is between 250 and 300.  I was soooo bored.  When the parts stager handed me an 8 piece order to do, I squealed like a kid on Christmas morning, and bounced back to my stand singing, "I have a work!  I have a work!" 

It almost brought a tear to my eye...

I was thinking, with these shorter shifts, getting off at 2:00 instead of 4:00, I can take piano lessons from a real teacher!  I'll have to wait until the economy picks back up, though, so I can afford to pay for them.  Things are a bit tight right now.  But still, I've been doing my Alfred's courses, but I think I could benefit from an actual teacher.  Speaking of, I'm finally almost done with book one, and have been cheating a little, and playing ahead in book two.   

Finally, as if 2020 wasn't Jumanji-ish enough, now we have a new threat to worry about...

Hmmm, I'm getting an idea...if ever I get married again, instead of releasing the kraken...