Friday, September 30, 2016

Pride Goeth

Yeah, I got cocky last night.

I went to bed and fell asleep almost right away.  I woke up around 11:30 to answer nature and thought, "Boy, I'm getting some good sleep tonight!  This is going to be great!"  I went back to sleep, only to wake up again at 1:30.  I answered nature one more time, and went back to bed thinking, "Oh, I'm sleeping so well.  I'm going to be so rested in the morning!"

You know what they say about pride going before a fall.   That's right, I didn't fall asleep again.  For the rest of the night.

I tossed.  I turned.  I got hot.  I got cold.  I momentarily freaked out because I couldn't remember if I'd paid the house note for this month, so I had to get out of bed and check.  The cat asked me what I was doing up in the middle of the night.  I told her, "I had to check and make sure I'd paid the house note, or I'll never get back to sleep for worrying about it."

I went back to bed and tossed some more.  Then turned some more.  I threw the covers off.  I pulled them back on.  I rolled over, then I rolled over again.

I remembered my friend posted on Facebook "Pooped today".  She meant she was really tired, but I totally read it another way.  I started giggling.  I giggled some more.  I calmed down, only to think about her post again.  I started giggling again.  I giggled some more again.  Finally, I stopped giggling.

I rolled over.  I turned.  I tossed...on through the night, until the alarm went off at 3:30.  I considered calling in and staying in bed, but I was too close to another attendance bonus, so I dragged my weary body out of bed and went to work.

Where I made a lot of people happy.  "I'm so happy to see you," said the girl who was supposed to take my place when I thought I was going to be off today.  "You have me smiling," said my supervisor.

*Sniff* It's so nice to be appreciated.

Made it through the work day, then came home to discover that the tree guy had cleaned up my yard, but hadn't hauled off my concrete.  "Huh, I guess he didn't want it after all," I thought.  When he came by to get his check, he told me he'd broke his Bobcat, so he's down until Tuesday when his parts get in.  I started to ask if he was going to come back and get that concrete, but didn't want to be a nag, so I didn't.

After he left, I went to the store, and bought egg nog and peppermint mocha creamer.


Since then, I've just been waiting on bedtime, which I think is finally here.  To echo what my friend said, "Pooped today."

Aaand now I'm giggling again....

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Well, Crap

So, you know how I'd taken vacation days for all the Fridays left in the year?  Here I was, looking forward to a long weekend off, since they're giving us Saturday off, too.  After work, I went up to get my paycheck, and the receptionist said, "I don't have yours in here.  They must have keyed it in late."
I thought, "That's odd, since I put in those requests in January.  I'd better check."  When I got home, I checked my computer printout of my approved vacation days, and sure enough, tomorrow isn't on it.  I found my request forms from where I had put in for my days, and it wasn't on those, either.

The more I thought about it, the more I seem to remember telling myself that I wasn't going to put in for the 30th, but I have no idea why.  Whatever.  I thought about calling in and staying home anyway, but I don't want to lose my attendance bonus, so it looks like I'm going to work tomorrow.

I got home this afternoon just in time to watch the tree guy and his crew finish cutting my tree down.


When the trunk fell, hit hit the ground so hard it shook my house.


That was a big tree, I'm telling ya.  After they left, I went out and looked at the stump.


I put my hand on it, just so you could get a bit of perspective how big it is.


I hated having to cut down that big old, beautiful tree, but you got to do what you got to do.  I mentioned to the tree guy that I didn't think it would have lasted through another rainy season, and he concurred.  He said it could have fallen at any time.   I feel much safer now that it is down.

They are going to come back tomorrow and finish cleaning up the back yard, and haul the trunk off.  He asked me if I wanted it for firewood, but I said I didn't think I could handle something so big.  They left me a good sized pile of firewood, though, even without the trunk.


Looks like my next investment will be a chainsaw.


The good news is, between this pile, and the wood left by the previous owner, I should have enough to last several years.

More good news, I was standing there chatting with the tree guy, and he gestured towards the crumbled remnants of my patio and asked, "Do you have any use for your concrete?"


I said no, and he said he'd load them up onto his trailer and haul them off for me.  He didn't say so, but from the glint in his eye, he wasn't just going to dump them in a hole. I don't care what he does with them, just so long as they are out of my yard.

Next step, deciding if I want to replace my patio, and if so, with what?  I won't likely get it done before spring, so I have plenty of time to think and plan.

In the meantime, back to working on the bathroom and mantle.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fall, Maybe

I woke up to this blessed relief from the heat this morning.  I was really tempted to stay in my nice, warm bed, but I didn't.  There are still too many things I want to buy, so off to work I went.



It looks like Fall might finally be here.  It won't last long, though.  It's supposed to be back up into the 90s by the middle of next week.

I finally broke down and called the tree guy back.  I'd called him a couple of weeks ago, and he said he'd come cut my tree down last week.  He never showed.  I called him when I got home this afternoon, and he was like, "Who are you again?".  He has a real good reputation, but frankly, I'm beginning to wonder how he got it.  Anyway, he's going to come tomorrow.  I think maybe just to get me to quit nagging him, but hey, if that's what it takes.

In all my aggravation, I forgot to tell him to leave me the limbs for firewood.




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

F.O. And W.I.P

We have a finished object!


Yes, I finished the cowl I was working on.  I had to leave off the top border, because I ran out of yarn.  I was even sweating the bind off, thinking I might have to tink another round to end up with enough yarn to finish it, but I didn't.  I had 10 inches left when it was all said and done.

Quite frankly, I wasn't that thrilled with the yarn.  I won't buy it again, and am glad to have it out of my stash.  I did like the pattern, though.  So much so that I cast on another one.


This yarn is Caron Simply Soft in Grey Heather.  This is worsted weight, so it's going to end up being a bit bigger, since the pattern calls for fingering.  It might even be big enough to pull up and wear as a wimple.

My new comforter set is here!


I haven't dragged it all out of the bag yet, but I will, maybe tomorrow.









Monday, September 26, 2016

Arnold & Arnie

Back in our college days, my friends Jennifer and Patti were inseparable.  From time to time, they let little ol' me tag along with them.  I was like the annoying little sister trying to follow the cool kids around.

One of our favorite activities was playing miniature golf at this pink and green golf course.  It was one of the really cool ones, with the windmills and castles and stuff.  I loved that golf course.

For some reason, we started calling ourselves by the names of professional golfers.  Patti pretended to be Arnold Palmer.  I pretended to be Jack Nicklaus.  Jennifer pretended to be Lee Trevino (I think, I don't really remember.)  We called ourselves Arnie (short for Arnold), Nick (short for Nicklaus), and Lee (short for um...Lee).  I'm not sure why.  We were young and spontaneous and full of wonder and imagination.

Time went by, we graduated, and went our separate ways.


Jennifer got married and had a daughter.  We eventually lost touch with each other, which I attributed to her trying to keep up with a husband and toddler.

Patti and I stayed friends for a long time.


We snail mailed.  We e-mailed.  We sent each other presents.  She commented on my blog.  In late 2012, we had a bit of a disagreement over politics, and she severed all contact with me.  I missed her.  She was my friend.

About a year ago, I got an e-mail from another college friend.  He'd gotten his copy of our alumni magazine.  There in the Memorial section was my dear friend Patti's name.  She had passed away in 2013, and I never knew.  Soon after that, I got a Facebook friend request from Jennifer.  She sent me a message reminding me who she was -- as if I could forget one of my best friends!  I'm so happy to have her back in my life.

Sunday, I received some sad news.  I immediately messaged Jennifer to see if she had heard.  The great golfer Arnold Palmer had passed away at the age of 87.


We reminisced a bit about our college days, and then Jennifer said, "I wonder if Patti will tell him about our golf."   I wonder, too, if our Arnie will tell Arnold about our golf.  I kind of hope so.

I think he'd like that.







Saturday, September 24, 2016

I Didn't Have To

When my alarm went off this morning at 2:45, I lay there for a moment, telling myself that I didn't have to go to work today.  I seriously thought about turning the alarm off and going back to sleep.  Then I started thinking about all the things I want to buy, so I dragged my weary bones out of bed and went to work.  By 8:00 AM, I was asking myself, "What was I thinking?"

But, my supervisor said, "I'm glad you came in", and my coworker said, "When I saw your car in the parking lot, I said, 'Thank you, Jesus!'"  It's nice to feel appreciated.

After work, I was going to run by the store and get...something, I don't remember what...but I didn't.  I was hot and tired and just wanted to come home.  The day wasn't a total waste, as I did get my pot of drywall mud out and neatened up that edge by my new bathroom door frame.


Won't be long now, and the door frame will be ready to paint. I think while I have the mud and ladder out, I'll patch some of the holes in the ceiling and start getting it ready to paint.  Once that's done, I'll just have to add crown moulding, and the bathroom will be finished, except for decorating and stuff.

I found this recipe on Facebook this morning.  If I ever get married again, it will be the main dish at my wedding feast.


It will be served after the ceremony which will be conducted in the Black Speech Of Mordor, but before we release the kraken.

Now, I just have to find me a feller.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Best Laid Plans

My friend and I had planned on getting up this morning and going to the Memphis Zoo.  As often happens, those plans went the way of the dodo.  She sent me a text last night saying that she had a personal issue come up that she really needed to take care of today, so she wouldn't be able to come with me.

Since she wasn't going to get to go, and since it was still supposed to get up into the mid 90s, I decided not to go either.  Instead, I worked on my mantle some more.  I finally got brave and just pulled the whole thing off.


I felt a few moments of what have I done panic, but took a few deep breaths and told myself, "Self, you can do this."    It was just held in place with a few nails.  I'm thinking I might run into town tomorrow after work and get some long screws to put it back up with.  Before I do that, I need to run some drywall mud along that wall.

Oh, guess what I found behind the bricks when I pulled the mantle off?  Go on, guess.  Can't?  I'll tell you.  Paneling.  Seriously.  They just stacked the bricks up in front of the wood paneling.  Maybe one day, I'll have the funds to pull it all down and get it done right, but for now, it's just going to have to stay that way.

Once I got the pieces off, I laid them down on the floor and was finally able to get that last bit of paint off the underside.


That done, I got out my wood putty and patched the nail holes and a few gouges.  Now, it's ready to stain.  Well, except for letting the putty dry 24 hours and sanding it smooth.  Then it'll be ready to stain.  I might get to that Sunday afternoon.

In the midst of all that, I finished running the caulk around my bathroom door.  I just need to let it cure and sand it smooth, and it'll be ready to paint.  I'm just chugging right along on this here house.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throwback Thursday

So, there I was at work, just a working away, when a lady walked down the aisle.  Now, that is not unusual.  Lots of people walk down the aisles, but this lady had on a t-shirt that said something about flip flops on it.  I don't remember what; it isn't important.  What is important is that it triggered a memory, and thus, you get today's throwback Thursday post topic.  Flip flops.

I have never been able to wear flip flops.  I can't keep them on my feet.  When I was 15ish, my family took our vacation on the beach.  We rented a cabin on the Bolivar Peninsula, as was our custom.   That year, my best friend Cathy Duhon went with us.  One afternoon, my dad, Cathy, my siblings and I decided to walk down to the little store there and get some ice cream.  Off we went, Cathy and I wearing our flip flops.  I kept falling out of mine.  Every few steps, I'd walk out of them, so I'd take them off and walk barefoot until the black topped road grew unbearably hot.

South Texas in August.  I'll let you figure that one out.

Then I'd put the flip flops back on until I fell out of them again. Off they'd come, until the black top grew unbearably hot...and so it went, all the way to that little store and back.

I eventually gave up trying to wear them.  Until Navy boot camp, that is.  Running barefoot was not an option, not even in the shower.  Want to know what we wore on our feet when taking a shower? You guessed it, flip flops.  We called them shower shoes, but they were flip flops.

This is my friend Lucia.  I called her Perm, because that was a shortened version of her last name.  I met her in Electronics Technician "A" school, in Orlando, Florida.   She was quite a character, and wore mismatched socks long before it became a thing.


And apparently carried around cans of shaving cream, though I have no idea why.

Perm loved wearing shower shoes.  In fact, that's all she wore when not in uniform.  I can remember her going out on the weekends wearing a nice dress and shower shoes.  The above picture was taken at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, in Great Lakes, Illinois, in winter.  That's the only reason she's not wearing shower shoes.  Because it was like, minus 900 degrees or something like that.

But I'm getting ahead of my story.   Let's go back to Florida.

One Friday evening, a friend and I decided we'd walk down to the mall that was a half mile or so outside the gate of that base there.  When she found out we were going, Perm gave me some money and asked me to buy her some new shower shoes.   I said I would, but by the time the other friend (I don't even remember who he was) got to the mall, all the stores were closed.  We ate at Ruby Tuesday and walked back to the base.

The next morning, I had barracks duty.  I went down to the room where we mustered -- that is where we met, for all you non Navy types -- to wait for my duty assignment for the day.  Perm came in asked me what color shower shoes I'd bought her.  I told her we didn't get to the mall in time and all the stores were closed, so I didn't get her any.

She said, "But you said last night that you did."

"No, I didn't," was my reply.

"Yes, you did." she said.

"I must have been talking in my sleep, because I don't remember any of that."  I said.

She told me that when she had gotten in from wherever she was, she said to herself, "I know Gunstream's going to kill me, but I have to find out if she got me some shower shoes."  She came to my quad.

Now, let me explain for a moment.  In that school, at Naval Training Center Orlando Florida, we lived in open bay barracks -- that's one big room, for all you civilian types.  The bay was partitioned off into sections, which we called quads, because each section housed four people.  The quads had side walls, but the whole front was open.  They weren't very big, smaller than the average living room.  Each quad had four racks (beds), four lockers, and four secretaries.  That's a writing desk for all you non literary types.

Hah, you thought I was going to say non--Navy types, didn't you?  

Back to my story.  Perm came into my quad and woke me up.  She asked me if I'd gotten her any shower shoes, and I told her I had.  Then, get this, I started to get up and get them for her.  She stopped me and said, "You don't have to get them now.  In the morning will be fine."

Now, remember, I hadn't made it to the mall in time, so hadn't gotten her any shower shoes.  I said to her, "I wish you had let me get up.  I want to see what I would have given you."

I think about Perm from time to time, and the Shower Shoe incident.  Nearly 30 years later, I still wonder,  what would I have given her?

It sure wouldn't have been shower shoes.  That's all I know.





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

So, That Happened Again

I got to work bright and early this morning, and my coworker came running up to me and asked, "Who was the whiny obnoxious kid you wrote about?"  I told her, and she said, "I knew it!  I knew it was him!"

I walked on, after we had chatted a bit. I didn't just walk off.  That'd be rude.  A few minutes later, another coworker called me and said she'd read yesterday's post.  She said, "I didn't even have to ask to know who that was!"  She said she was going to send me a friend request.  Seems I'm getting quite popular.  And now I'm back to feeling pressured to be witty and clever.

I hate to break it to you, but it ain't happening tonight.  I stayed up late, for me, at least, last night watching Michael Weatherly's new show Bull.  On the whole, I wasn't really impressed with it, though it did have a nice twist at the end.  I'll give it a few more episodes, but I don't know if I'm going to stick with it.  It's going to be weird watching NCIS without Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.  On the other hand, I think I'm going to like Nick Torres.  He has that "kill me I dare you" attitude.  I'm not so sure about the other one, but we'll see.

Finally, thanks to all your input.  I've decided to go with the lighthouse comforter set.


It was the one I was leaning towards anyway.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday Miscellany

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you may remember me posting about someone's child being an obnoxious little twit.  If you aren't, here is a screen shot of the status in question.


The story is, I go in to work early in order to clean up and set up the front of my line for the day's chaos.  I have several specific things that I do, which I won't go into here, since most of you don't work there and it would all be Greek to you anyway.

Last Wednesday, this kid -- and I use that term loosely because he's the same age as my son-- walks in and plunks his skinny little butt down in my work area and starts doing my job without so much as a by your leave.  I went and asked my group leader what he was doing.  She said he was supposed to be helping on the line, and made him move.

The next day, the same thing.  He walked in at 5:00 AM, and started doing my job again.  This time, I asked him who told him to come in and start doing my job.  He said our supervisor did.  I said, "No, I think he meant for you to be working on the line."  But the kid insisted that he was supposed to be doing my job, so I said, "Well, I'll ask [our supervisor] when he gets here" and went on about my business.

This kid runs crying -- literally crying-- to his mommy, who also works there about the mean old white lady who wouldn't let him do whatever he wanted.  She comes and gets in my face, telling me that if I had a problem with her son, I could take it up with [our supervisor].  I told her that's exactly what I intended to do, and that's exactly what I did do when he got there.  The supervisor told me that the kid was supposed to be helping where he was needed, and I responded that I didn't need him doing my job.  I could handle it fine myself, thankyouverymuch.

When the regular shift started, the kid went to line braze.  Now, I know many of you don't know what that is, but it isn't necessary to the story to know the specifics.  Just roll with it.  The lines have two brazers each.  Each of them brazes specific joints.  Again, just roll with it.  This kid was supposed to be brazing the header joints, while the other line brazer was brazing the florator joints.  He decided he didn't want to braze the header joints, so he started brazing the florator joints, without so much as a by your leave to the other brazer.  They got into a huge argument over that and again, he runs crying to his mommy again.

Truth is, I'd never liked the kid.  All this time, I thought it was just me -- a personality clash, if you will.  After this incident, I talked to a few of my coworkers, and they all agreed that the kid is annoying and obnoxious.  Monday when I got to work, the other sub brazer told me "[Our coworker's] little snowflake quit."  She said he'd quit and gone to work at another local plant -- working for his daddy.  I wonder how that's going to work out.

On to more pleasant news.  When Cody took his bed to his new apartment, I gave him a set of sheets to take with him, as he only had one.  I told him that he could have the matching comforter, too, because I'd planned on getting a new one.    After looking locally, and searching online, I've narrowed it down to these two.  

Lighthouses and Sailboats


And seashells.


One moment, I'm leaning towards the first one, the next, I'm leaning towards the second.  The third moment, I'm leaning towards getting both, and swapping them out periodically.

In between putting up doors and stripping mantles, there has been knitting.


And I started putting out my fall decorations.


My garland is getting a bit bedraggled, but then, it is nearly 10 years old.

I'm trying to watch Michael Weatherly's new show Bull, but so far, it's not gripping me.  I'm thinking about turning it off and watching the rest of it tomorrow afternoon.  After all, 3:30 still comes mighty early, series premiers or not.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Doors And Mantles

I have a new bathroom door!

James and Beverly came over Saturday afternoon.  She did laundry, and he put up my new bathroom door and frame.


 I'm telling ya, it ended up being a much bigger job than either of us anticipated, but he got it done.  It looks so much better now than it did.


He did have a little oops where the frame didn't quite line up right -- old house and all-- and it left a little gap.


I got up yesterday morning and filled it in with caulk.


And I caulked around the rest of the frame, until I ran out of caulk, that is.  After my health screening for work this afternoon, I ran by the store and picked up another tube.  I made sure it was paintable caulk.  I figure once I get it even and smooth, I can paint it the same color as the door frame and no one will ever know.

I've also got to fix this.  It isn't an oops.  It's where the old frame covered up the drywall.


It kind of tore a little when he pulled the old frame off.  I'll just trim that edge and run some joint compound around it.  Once that dries, I can sand it smooth and touch up the paint.  Except that I forgot to buy a utility knife, so that'll have to wait until later in the week.

Even though it still isn't finished, it already looks so much better than what was there.  All day yesterday, I kept going back to admire it, and run my hands along the smooth wood.  I'm going to paint the frame the darker blue accent color, but I'm thinking about staining the door itself a medium oak to match my mirrored cabinet above my sink.  And of course, I'll be taking pictures the whole way and sharing this journey with you.

While James was working on my door, I borrowed his pry bar and pulled the rest of that edging off of my mantle.


And guess what.  It looks like these walls were once pink.  Go figure.


Anyway, I have a little patching to do on the drywall behind the mantle, but that shouldn't be too hard.


The weird thing is, there is a huge gap between the mantle and the wall on one end.


The other end is flush, and the board is the same width the whole length of it.  The only thing I can figure is that when they mitered the corner, they didn't get it exactly 45 degrees.  Or else my walls aren't square.  With an old house like this, that is a possibility.


I guess that's why they put the trim on there.  I still haven't figured out how the mantle is attached, but it isn't going anywhere.

Hey!  I bought me a triangle thingy!  Hang on a minute...


OK, so I ran in there and used my triangle thingy, and as best as I can tell, my miters are a bit off. Still, I'm just going to leave it.  Taking the whole thing down may just be a bit too big of a job for me.  I'll just replace the edge trim, and that'll hide the gap.  

Oh, did you see my mini hacksaw?  Isn't it cute?

Now, I need to go find some stuff to hack.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Downtown Jubilee

Every year, my town holds the annual Downtown Jubilee on the square.  I've always enjoyed going, but this year, I was especially excited.  They were going to open the History Museum for free during this year's event.  That's something that combines three of my favorite things:  history, museums, and free admission.

I got there early and hung around the museum doors until the cops came and wanted to know what I was doing.  I pointed to the sign and said, "History, dude!" as if it should be self explanatory. "History, dude!"

OK, that last paragraph didn't really happen, but I could easily imagine how it could -- me being a total history nerd, and all.  Still, once it did open, I bull rushed past every body in line, knocking a few little old ladies to the ground in my eagerness to get inside.  OK, that didn't really happen either...

What did happen was, I walked sedately inside and was instantly taken back in time.  Even the building the museum is in is historical.   It had that old architecture and the feel of a simpler time. The museum itself is a collection of antique things, old stories, and newspaper clippings from this area.  I must say, I was a bit dismayed to find my childhood telephone in an antique phones case. (Ours was the off white color, and hung on the wall, but it was still a rotary dial phone.  This one looks just like the one my grandparents had.)


The pump organ made me think of my brother.  He could play this, I thought.


That lady in the far left of the picture wearing the red shirt (you can barely see her) found a picture of the old Monte Christo hotel.


She got so excited to find it.  "Now I can prove to my kids it really was here!" she said, eagerly snapping a photo on her phone.  They tore it down several years ago.  It was once one of the finest hotels in Mississippi, but it had gotten so run down, and mostly housed prostitutes and drug users, although Denzel Washington filmed a movie there in the early 90s.  The lady told her kids that, too, and they said, "You need to go on, Mama."  Well, now she has evidence.

I was especially taken with this writing desk.  I want one just like it.


The entire upstairs was filled with Coca~Cola stuff.


I'm not particularly into Coke memorabilia myself, but it was pretty cool to see it all.


It made me think of my former supervisor, the late Virgil Mann.  He collected Coke stuff.


Farther up the road was the car show.  Some of you will be interested in this one.


It's the car that was in the movie The Help, which was filmed in this area.


Cool, but my very favorite thing I think I've ever seen in my entire life was this motorcycle.


I'll just be quiet and let you look.







As for the rest of the jubilee, it was nice as always.  They had craft booths, food, music, rides for the kids.  They also had a remembrance for the local police officer killed in the line of duty earlier this year.  The Chamber of Commerce presented his widow with the Hometown Hero award, and the mayor presented her with the Key to the City.  It was a real nice ceremony.

The Jubilee continued, but I left as soon as that was done.  James and Beverly are in town and they are coming over to put up my new bathroom door, and use my washer and dryer.  















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