Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Then who shall fall on bended knee?
ALL creatures of our God and King

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

That's Going To Leave A Mark

You know you work a lot of hours when your production superintendent walks by and asks, "Do you ever go home?"  Saturday, I was already staying late, finishing up a 12 hour shift, when the second shift supervisor asked me if I could stay a couple more hours.  I told her I would, as long as she got it approved by the higher ups.  She did, so I did.  So here I am, Tuesday evening and I already have 38 hours on my paycheck. 

By the way, I answered the above question with, "No, I have a little cot set up back in the warehouse.  I just take a nap every so often and keep on working."  He said, "I believe it!"

Some people like to cover their bodies in certain types of body art, like tattoos, for example.  I seem to want to go a different route. 

This, friends, is what happens when you drop a red hot piece of copper onto your arm.


Just in case you were wondering, yes we do wear protective sleeves which we call arm guards.  And yes, I was wearing my arm guards when this happened.  In fact, I had to move said arm guard in order to splash cool water on said burn.  And my first thought was, "Dang, that burned me through my arm guard!"

However it got there, it's definitely going to leave a mark.  I'll just add it to my collection.  Of burn scars, I mean. 

Let's move on to more pleasant topics, shall we?  

Do you remember me reviewing a movie I'd watched over Memorial Day weekend called Taking Chance?  That movie touched me so deeply that even though it's available through my Prime subscription, I handed over a few of my hard earned dollars to add the DVD to my collection.  

If you haven't watched this movie, I strongly encourage you to do so. 

Look!  My first little tomato is starting to ripen!  It won't be long until I put it onto a sandwich. 

Better news, I've got four more little tomatoes growing on that bad boy.  

Finally, I added a new wax stamp to my collection.

Here is what the stamp looks like. 

I've discovered that if you are very careful, you can peel the seal off the paper, remelt the wax, and reuse it.  I wouldn't do that on any real correspondence, but it's good for practicing with. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Just a quick point of opinion before we get to our hymn for today.  Personally, I think churches should get back to singing the good old hymns, and not this more modern stuff.  Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the modern stuff.   It's just that most of it is too complex for the average person to sing.  My church often sings things like In Christ Alone, and 10,000 Reasons.  Those are both great songs, and two of my favorites, but they are not really suited for congregational singing.

I've noticed that when those songs are sung, only about 1/3 of the congregation actually sings the whole thing.  Most people start, but quit singing long before the song is done.  However, when these great old hymns are sung, we raise the roof!  We need to get back to that.  We need to get back to singing as an act of worship -- not entertainment. 

Let the amen sound from his people again!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Dear Coworker

I hear you over there complaining. 

I hear you complaining that you don't get as many overtime hours as some of us.  Instead of whining about how unfair you think it is, have you tried being...ummm...not lazy

You see, in the four hours I stayed over on your shift you went to the bathroom three times -- staying about 20 minutes each time, to the break room twice, disappeared to who knows where about five times,  and spent over an hour (cumulative) either standing there talking or playing on your phone. 

They aren't going to pay you time and a half to play on your phone or alternating between running your mouth and stuffing junk into it.  So, here's a suggestion for you.  Pry your enormous rump off that cooler that you spend half the night sitting on, get over to your work area and work.  Prove to them that their overtime pay won't be wasted on you. 

Trust me, your supervisor knows who works, and who whines.  Do a little more of the former, and a lot less of the latter and you may finally get offered some of that overtime you seem to think you are entitled to. 

Thank you.

That is all.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Random Thoughts Of A Rainy Friday

1.  Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready for work, I saw a little spider busy weaving a web on my front porch.  I said to the little spider, "Spider, it's too dark to see any markings, but you have the shape and appearance of a Black Widow.  I'm afraid I'm going to have to kill you."  I grabbed a nearby can of wasp spray and did the dirty deed.

2. Yesterday afternoon, when I got home from work, I saw the little spider's little spider carcass still laying on my porch.  I looked, and sure enough, there was the tell tale red hourglass on the little spider's little stomach.  Good thing I assassinated the little bugger.

3.  I was going to take a picture of the little spider's little dead body, but didn't, out of consideration of my arachnophobic friends. 

4.  Some people are addicted to alcohol.  Some people are addicted to nicotine.  Some people are addicted to cocaine.  I seem to be addicted to Zinnias.

This is a Magellan Zinnia.  I'm going to put it into a pot and put it on my front porch.

5.  Speaking of pots, this is a plant James and Beverly gave to me when they moved back to Texas.  

It seems to have outgrown its pot, as it frequently falls over.  I've been looking for a larger pot, but haven't found one.  I think I'm going to swap pots with my garden mum.

6.  My garden mum is growing so much better since I moved it out into direct sunlight.  It might actually bloom this fall.

7.  Man, I need a nap.

8.  I don't have a picture of my garden mum, because it's been raining since I got off work.  I'll be glad when rainy season is almost over.  I had plans for this afternoon.  I'm just glad I went to the store yesterday, even though I forgot half of what I needed.  Yes, I have a list, but when you forget to put said items on said list, said list doesn't do you much good.

9.  Some people get songs stuck in their heads.  I get the alphabet stuck in mine.  Not just any old alphabet, either.  The Spanish alphabet.   I've long since given up trying to find an explanation for such things.  I just roll with it.

10.  That's about it for today.

11.  Man, I need a nap.

12.  Did I already say that? 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Day Off

The plan for my day off was to get up and go to the zoo.  However, as soon as I saw the weather forecast for today, that plan was quickly scrapped.  I think I will wait and go in the fall, when it's cooled off some. 

I figured the reality would be that I sat in front of the TV all day. 

You will also be pleased to know that that did not happen, though there was plenty of TV watching done.  After sleeping in until 6:30 --now, I know some of you wouldn't consider that to be sleeping in, but when one normally gets up at 3:30, it most definitely is -- first thing I did was to get out and spread mulch in my flower bed.

I didn't do the whole bed, just this half.  

I started mulching the other half, but I'm still waiting for these little Chinese Forget-Me-Nots to do something, so I didn't do the whole thing. 

I said it would be too hot to go to the zoo, so what did I do instead?  I got out and cut firewood.  Yeah, like that's going to be so much less hot. 

It wasn't, by the way.  I was only out there about an hour, and by the time I came inside, I was soaking wet with sweat.  Every time I do something like this, I can't help but think how soft we've gotten.  Our ancestors did this all day, every day.  And they did it without chainsaws.  I have so much respect for their toughness and courage.

But then, they grew up that way.  We didn't.

I hate to go back to work tomorrow, but since I do, I guess I'd better get on to bed now.  3:30 AM comes mighty early these days.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What Was I Thinking?

Well, our little vacation at work is over.  Group Leader came back today.  I think she was trying to make up for lost time, because it seemed like she was doing her level best to cram two days worth of nagging and pestering into one.  Even Other Sub-Brazer sighed and said, "We had a nice vacation yesterday."  But all good things must come to an end.  Not sure why, but that's just the way it is. 

As happenstance would have it, way back in January, I looked at the calendar and said to myself, "Self, along about June 14, you'll be needing a day off."  And as happenstance would have it, I put in for that day, and got it.  I'll be having a day off tomorrow.

And what am I going to do on my day off?  The plan is to mulch my flower beds and work on cutting up that giant pile of firewood in my back yard.  The reality is, I'll probably sit in front of the TV all day.  I'd briefly thought about going to the zoo, but I've already ruled that out.  Too hot.  I might go to Lowe's.  Then again, I might not. 

The only thing I know for sure I'm not going to do is get up at 3:30 and go to work.

In other news, there has been knitting going on.  Not much, but there has been knitting.  You know how I've had these two sock yarn blankets I've been working on for ages and ages?  Yeah, I had to go and start a third one.

What was I thinking?

Not only did I start a third one, this time I'm making a smaller square.  My other two blankets have a 41 stitch cast on.  This time I decided to go with a 31 stitch cast on.

Again, what was I thinking? 

I don't know.  Maybe lack of sleep has my brain befuddled. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

All Done

I'm all done with my front flower bed for this year.  Well, done with planting, that is.  I still need to finish putting down mulch, then I'll be all done.

One of the first things I'd planted was some freesias.  Out of 16 bulbs, only 6 even came up.  Of those 6, all but two have died.  When I went to the store Friday evening, I decided I'd get something else to put in that spot.  There was already one zinnia and a vinca that seeded from last year.

I've had several vincas come back from last year's seed, but I've thinned them, except for a few strategically placed ones. Vincas are OK, but not one of my favorites. 

Aside from those, I had some bare spots where the freesias had died.  I filled those bare spots with these hot pink pentas.

And with that, my little flower bed is finished.  Except for the aforementioned mulch. 

It's been exactly one month since I got my new crowns, and let me tell you, it's been an adjustment.  I feel like I've had to learn to talk all over again.  I'd never really paid attention to how much of a role your teeth play in your speech, but trust me, they are more important than you think they are.

Still, I'm slowly getting used to them, and may one day see them as teeth instead of crowns.  I'm not there yet, though. 

I was going to write about what a hectic day we had at work.  Then I realized, it was actually pretty easy for me.  Group Leader wasn't there, so not only did I not have anyone nagging and pestering me to death all day, but Other Sub-Brazer was able to stay on her stand.  In addition to having help, a Vitally Important Machine kept breaking down, so the line wasn't really able to run that fast.  We only ran just over half of what we normally do, so I was able to really take it easy.  For a change. 

I'm telling you, it was so nice to be able to do my job -- and only my job. 

If only it would be that way every day...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Hymn

There Is A Fountain

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Well, Fancy That!

A few years ago, my company hired a new supervisor, named Kim.  The male Kim, not the female Kim.

Almost immediately, I felt a connection with him.  Not in a creepy, inappropriate type of way, but as a friend and coworker.  Usually, with new people, it takes me several months to feel comfortable around them, but this guy and I hit it off almost immediately.

After his training, he was sent to second shift, and I didn't see him for a long time.  Someone had even told me he'd quit, which bummed me out, because he's really cool.  He didn't quit, but I didn't find that out until I started staying late to pay for all my dental help out on second shift, that is.

About a month ago, he came in one morning and told me, "I'm on day shift now."   Awesome!  Every day, he'd come by my stand to speak, even though he didn't work in my area.  It's almost as if he felt as drawn to me as I was to him.  Again, not in a creepy, inappropriate way.  But there was definitely a connection there.

Skip ahead to today.  There I was at work, just a working away, wearing my Navy Veteran tag that I got from Shields Of Strength, as I often do on Red Shirt Fridays. 

He saw it, and gestured towards it with a questioning look on his face.  I handed it to him, he looked at it, and said, "You were in the Navy?"  Yep, from 89 - 94. He asked me where I'd been stationed, what my rate was, why I got out, etc.  All the standard questions.

Then he said, "I knew there was a reason I liked you."  That's when he told me he was in the Navy, too.  He retired as an E-7, which is a Chief, for all you non- Navy types.  We chatted a little more, and Supervisor Ronny walked by, looked at the two of us, and said, "Are you two talking about military stuff?"

That's exactly what we're talking about.

We talked a few more minutes, and just before he walked on, he said, "I always knew there was something about you, and now I know."

We veterans know each other.  As Supervisor Kim said, "It's like we can sniff each other out."

His parting words to me were, "Have a great day, Shipmate!"

Unless you've been there, you have no idea how incredibly excited this makes me.  Oh, I knew there were other veterans out there in the plant.  But, up until now, I was the only Navy veteran -- that I knew of.

Not any more.

I've finally found my people!  

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Here We Go Again

I know I talk about work a lot on this blog, because it takes up so much of my life.  For those of you who don't already know, let me show you what I do.  This picture is not one of our coils.  It's just a random picture I got off the internet.  However, what we make is similar to this.  Not exactly like it, but the same general idea.

I am a sub - brazer.  I make the copper tube assembly that is attached to the front of the unit.  

That big tube with all the little tubes sticking out of it, I put those together, then pass them on to someone else who attaches them to the unit.  What I make is called a header or manifold assembly.  The thing it is attached to is called a coil.  The coil consists of two slabs.  Those are the things on the side with all the little skinny bits of metal, called fins -- the thing that looks like the radiator in your car.  Slabs are made on a machine we call the Fin Press.  I don't have anything to do with those.  I'm just mentioning it in passing, for no reason whatsoever... just so you know what it is.  There are other parts to the coil, but they aren't important right now.

I get to work bright and early this morning.  I walk across the still dark parking lot, fill my cooler with ice, and clock in.  I head to my work area, and before I even get my bag off my shoulder, one of the people working third shift turns around and barks, "Becky!  These headers are wrong!!!"

Hey, I just got here.  Don't be blaming me for it.

Nevertheless, they're all looking at me, like it is somehow my fault.  The third shift sub-brazer has by that time, wandered off, like she usually does as soon as I get there.  I later told the third shift group leader, "I don't mind coming in to help, but I'm not coming in to do her job for her.  If she's going to stop working as soon as I get here, I'm going to stop coming in early. "

I don't think he will get the chance, though.  Two third shift people were over there trying to fix those wrong headers, when one of them got fed up.  She called the sub-brazer and told her to come fix them, since she's the one that messed them up.  The brazer walked over to her stand, grabbed her bag, and walked out the door.  I told third shift group leader, "I don't think she's coming back.  She left all her tools behind.  I think she quit."

I gave him my phone number and told him if she doesn't show up tonight, and you need me to come in at three, clear it with your supervisor and call me at home.  I cautioned him to call me from the company phone, or I won't answer.

Aaaand my day just went downhill from there.  Group Leader was in an especially naggy mood today.  She was really driving me up the wall, so much so that I told her she needed professional help, because she had an unhealthy obsession with calling my name.  She said, "I have to, or you'll think there is something wrong with me."  I replied, "I already think there is something wrong with you!"

The highlight of the day was about 1:00 PM, when she walked over and asked me -- ME--,"Were you two slabs short on that last order?" 

Now, if you'll remember from my casual observance above, I have nothing whatsoever to do with the slabs.  Why was she asking me?  I just stood there, dumbfounded, with my mouth hanging open, until the words burst forth unbidden,

Do I look like a Fin Press to you?  

Sigh, is it any wonder my nerves are shot? 

I thought briefly about requesting to go to third shift if that brazer really did quit, but it wouldn't do any good.  It's been this way on every line I've worked on.  I'm sure it'll be the same on third shift, too.  I always seem to end up being a sort of default group leader, even though I don't want to be.  People always tend to look to me for answers.  They look to me for leadership.  It got so bad on line 2 that I hung a sign on my stand that said, "I am not your group leader.  Ask Fernando!" 

All those Facebook quizzes that say I'm a natural leader, I'd always scoffed at the idea.  I'm beginning to think there might be something to that after all. 

Monday, June 05, 2017

Small Enough To Spank

I am an introvert, and like most introverts, I have some pretty serious telephone issues.  It takes a lot for me to answer the phone, and even more for me to call someone. 

Like most small children, Cody took the opportunity of mommy being on the phone to pester her to death.  Given my difficulties with phones in general, I quickly put a stop to this by telling him, "If you interrupt me while I'm on the phone, there had better be blood coming out of you somewhere, because if there isn't, there will be." 

Cody is grown now.  You know, things just aren't the same as they were back when I was his age.  Like last year.  He'd just graduated from college, and had found a job pretty quickly.  He and his college roommate soon found a place to rent.  The problem was, he'd never carried any debt (other than his student loans, which he hadn't begun to repay at that time), so he didn't have a credit score.  He'd never financed anything, nor did he have any credit cards.  Even when he bought his car, he saved up and paid cash for it.  No debt means no credit score.

Anyway, since Cody didn't have a credit score, I had to cosign on his lease for him.  Because I do have a credit score.  Because I have a lot of debt.  Which is why I'm working so much overtime. 

But I digress...

Late last night, he sent me a text

which I didn't answer, because I wasn't.  So he called me.  At 9:30 PM.  Yes, that is Post Meridian.  Um, you do know I get up at 3:30 ANTE Meridian, don't you, son of mine?

He and Dejuan have found a new place to rent, and wanted to know if I'd cosign on the lease again.  Sure, I would.  He needed all my information -- monthly income, place of employment, etc. etc.  I gave him all that, wished him luck, and went back to sleep.

He called back at 10:30.  Ten thirty!  This is one of those times I wish he were still small enough to spank. 

What had happened was that he had timed out on the application, and had to fill it all out again, so he needed my information again.  I gave it again, wished him luck, reminded him what time I get up in the morning, and concluded our conversation with the immortal words:

If you call me this late again, there had better be blood coming out of you somewhere.

Cody replied with his classic Cody wit, "That can be arranged." 

All that to say, I've been running on very little sleep today, so you don't get a post. 

Oh, just one more thing.  When I got off work, there was another text from Cody.  He didn't get to turn in his lease application because the server went down or something.  He needed all my information again, and he was going to go fill out the stuff in person. 

Let's hope it gets done this time.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

A hymn set to the music of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Fourth Movement, which is quite possibly the single most perfect piece of music ever written.  This has always been one of my favorites.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

One More Thing

I told you Thursday that the last thing I'd ordered had arrived, but I forgot one more thing.  I forgot I had also ordered replacement grates for my grill.

See, a year or so ago, I'd traded Cody's old bed, which he'd long outgrown but for some reason was still hanging around, for a tabletop charcoal grill.  It's a nice grill, but the previous owners hadn't taken very good care of the grills.  They were badly rusted.  I've tried several times to scrub the rust off of them, but in the end, I took the better part of valor, and just bought new ones.   

I looked on one website, and they wanted $24 apiece for them.  I searched around to see if I could find them cheaper than that, but couldn't even find the size I needed at all.   Then I got the bright idea to look on the Char-griller website itself.  They had them for $8 each!  Even with shipping, I got two for less than that other website wanted for one. 

They arrived yesterday, but um, let's just say that when I got to work yesterday morning, the first thing Third Shift Group Leader said to me was, "Boy, am I glad to see you!"  That right there ought to tell you how my day went.  That, combined with not having slept well the night before, meant you didn't get a post at all.

After work, I had to go to the store, mainly because I didn't want to go today.  Of course, I can't go into Wal-mart without going to the garden center.  Remember how I was debating on whether to try to plant more wildflower seeds in that one patch in my garden?  As soon as I saw these Sizzle Zinnias, that debate was settled. 

They had several six packs of them, but of all of them, this was the only one with an orange flower.  All the rest were just pink.

I also picked up one more plan Zinnia, because I liked the hot pink flower.

After work today, I got out there and pulled up the rest of that grass and planted them.  In the next day or two, I'll put the mulch down around them, and my front flower beds will be done for this year.

Speaking of work, during the week, the supervisors are expected to dress a bit nicer than us peons.  Not suits or anything, but khaki pants and polo shirts, or similar attire.  I guess it's what you'd call business casual.  However, on weekends, things are a little more relaxed. 

This morning, Supervisor Calvin wore jeans and a Captain America t-shirt.  A couple of hours into my work day, I needed him for something.  I don't know which numbers to dial on the phones to page someone over the PA system, so I asked my coworker, "Can you do me a favor and page Captain America to the front of line three?"

She said, "I'll page him, but I'm not saying Captain America over the thing." 

"Well, that takes all the fun out of it," I replied.

When Supervisor Calvin came over and we'd discussed my little problem, I told him, "I asked her to page Captain America, but she wouldn't do it." 

He said, "That's just wrong of her." 

He walked down to where she was, and asked her why she wouldn't page Captain America.  She said, "I was afraid you'd be mad.  I'll go do it now."  At this point, Supervisor threw up his hands in mock frustration and said, "But I'm already here now!"

It seems like I only write about work when I'm aggravated or frustrated, so I posted that story to let you know we do have our lighter moments out there, too.   I'm going to try to share more of those, instead of just griping all the time.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

That's The Last

The last of what I ordered in my weekend spending spree arrived a bit earlier than I expected. It's a Quikrete Walkmaker mold. 

Now, if it ever stops raining, I can start rebuilding my patio.  I'm so excited! 

Today was rough all around.  It started when I didn't sleep well last night.  It took me forever to fall asleep, then I kept waking up.  Shortly after midnight, I woke up to use the bathroom.  The first thing that popped into my head was, "Well, it's June now.  I am officially menopausal." 

Don't ask.  I've long since given up trying to find an explanation for such things.

Follow that with a difficult day at work.  Tubing had gotten behind, and I kept running out of work.   It wasn't just me, either.  All the lines were dealing with parts shortages.  Days like that are exhausting.  I was going to leave at the end of my shift, but the second shift supervisor told me she'd lost a sub- brazer and really needed me to stay.  She said that she and the other supervisor knew they could always depend on me.  I started to tell her that I wouldn't be so dependable if I weren't so broke, but I didn't. 

I went and asked the other second shift sub- brazer, and she said the other girl just walked out and didn't come back.  So, I stayed over a couple of hours to help.  I ended up line brazing, though, instead of sub-brazing.  Y'all would have been proud of me.  One of the second shift workers -- who's seen me over there line brazing dozens of times -- asked me if I knew how to braze.  I kept my mouth shut.  I smiled and said yes, instead of saying, "I hope so, since I've been doing it for 17 years." 

Second shift had the same problem we did.  They'd braze up an order, then go down waiting for the next order to be ready.  It was that way until I left.  I was glad when I walked out of the plant and found it was raining.  An excuse not to work in the yard, since I was too tired to want to anyway.

Now, a quick paragraph for Edna.  If you aren't Edna, you can still read it, but it might not make much sense to you.  Yes, there is a history behind this. 

You know, Bren wasn't there today, so Olivia was pulling parts.  Well, there was this 12 piece order that wasn't ready when I got there this morning.  It still needed two more legs.  I pulled everything that came before that 12 piece over to the line.  When we finished brazing it all, I went back and checked, and the 12 piece still wasn't ready.  The stuff that came after it was, so I got that.  Finally, the line was about to start running the 12, so I went back and checked one more time.  It still wasn't ready.  I said, "I'm going to print out a pick ticket just to see what else this order needs."  I'm thinking maybe here is something I can substitute and the line won't go down.  Lo and behold, all it needed was two semi legs.  SEMI legs!  She couldn't even pull two semi legs out of the rack. 

I pulled the last two legs and kitted the order out myself.  As I walked past Olivia, I mused somewhat loudly, "It's a shame sub brazers have to pull their own parts.  It's almost like we don't have a parts stager at all."

You're welcome. 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I Couldn't Wait

You see, I've been working all this here overtime, and making all this here money -- to pay bills and such, you know.

Sometimes, I get just a little rebellious, though.  So it was that while I was sitting here over the weekend, I said to myself, "Self, by golly, I'm going to spend some of this here money I've been working all this here overtime to make."  And, by golly, I did.

I was going to wait until everything I'd ordered arrived and post it all at once, but when I saw what had arrived today, I couldn't wait.  And what was said arrival that got me so excited, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you.  It was a new wax stamp!

This one is a compass rose.

Naturally, the first thing I did was to try it out.  It's a bit larger than my Yggdrasil stamp, so it's going to take a minute to get the hang of it.  I didn't quite get enough wax melted this try. 

I would have played with it more, but after thinking about it, I decided I needed to mow my back yard before it got to the point I had to apply for a safari permit to go outside. 

But I digress...

And of course, what good is a fancy schmancy wax stamp without some fancy schmancy parchment looking paper upon which to write things to put into those envelopes I will then seal with said fancy schmancy wax stamp?

And just for the heck of it, I threw this movie into my shopping cart, too.

I haven't seen it yet, but everyone who has said it's really, really good. 

Maybe I'll watch it this weekend, while writing letters with with my fountain pen, on my parchment, and sealing them up with my wax. 

Yeah, I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Then I Cried

I couple of days ago, I was reading through some old blog posts.  See, at the bottom of each blog post is a widget that provides three links to older posts that are supposed to be related to that particular post.  I often click on those and just reminisce about old times.  

On this particular day, I ran across a post from October 22, 2013.  In that post was the following passage:

Work was exhausting today. Group Leader Fernando wasn't there, and the person they sent over there to ...well, lead the my co-worker likes to say, she'll worry the horns off a billy goat.  And she did exactly that.

The irony is, she worried us so much about doing our work, that we couldn't get our work done because of her worrying us, and ended up having to stay late to get the work done that we didn't get done while she was worrying us to death.  Then she came over and started worrying us about staying late.

I guess my co-worker got a little fed up because she told her, "We will get the work done, and then we will leave."

First I laughed, until I realized that the worrisome group leader is now my permanent group leader and this is my life every. single. day.

Then I cried.

Then I really didn't want to go back to work this morning, but alas, the bills must be paid, so off to work I went.  And so, my Memorial Day weekend came to an end.

Over said weekend, though, I was able to get out and work in my flower beds a little.  I got mulch spread over about 1/3 of the bed. 

 I was going to get out this evening and mulch around those four zinnias, but I didn't.  I didn't do the rest of the bed because in that space between the salvias and the moss rose, I've got some seeds planted.  I think it is Chinese Forget-Me-Not.  I'd bought them last year and never did plant them.  A week or so ago, I threw them into that space, just to see if they'd come up.  Lo and behold, they are.

I wasn't sure if they'd germinate, what with the seeds being old and all, so this is a nice surprise.

Speaking of my salvias, I thought this one had died, but look, it's putting out new leaves.

The other two also look pretty sad, but not as bad as this one.  Maybe they'll recover and grow, too.  Oh, and one of my dahlias is blooming red.

I have three.  One has yellow blooms, and this one has red.  The third one hasn't bloomed yet, so I'm anxious to see what color those will be.

I'd planted some wildflower seeds in this spot, but very little has come up here.  I've got a couple of zinnias and a couple of vincas.  Other than that, nothing.  I guess the grass has choked everything else out.

So, after taking my pictures, I spent a few minutes and started pulling the grass out.  I haven't decided if I'm going to try again with seeds, or just plant something already started.  I'll let you know. 

Finally, I spent most of Monday -- as is my custom -- watching war movies.  I try to watch one about each major war the U.S. has been involved in, except the Revolution.  I save those for Independence Day. 

Anyway, for my Iraq/Afghanistan era movie, I watched a new one:  Taking Chance.   

I'd seen it pop up in my Amazon Prime recommended movies, but it wasn't until someone in one of the Veteran pages I follow on FB recommended it that I decided I need to watch it.  Oh my goodness, you need to see this movie! 

The movie is set in 2004, and in it Kevin Bacon plays a man named Lt. Col Michael Strobl, who -- as he puts it -- crunches numbers in a cubicle in Quantico.  Every night, he reads the casualty reports from the combat zones, and one night he spots a young man from his hometown on that report.  Immediately, Col Strobl volunteers to escort the body.  He is told that it's very unusual for such a high ranking officer to escort a PFC, but he says he wants to do it anyway. 

All along the journey, the kindness and respect he is shown touches him, and teaches him a little about himself.

I won't go into any more details, but let me just say, even old stone hearted Becky cried a little at this movie.  OK, I cried a lot.  I started tearing up about 5 minutes in, and didn't stop until the movie was over. 

Seriously, if you don't see another movie this year, watch this one.  You'll be glad you did.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. 

Abraham Lincoln 
November 19, 1863

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Greater love than this hath no man, 
when any man bestoweth his life for his friends.  
John 15:13

*Geneva Bible

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Still Breathing

I'm still breathing, just not blogging.  I had a cute little throwback Thursday post all thought out for you, too.  After working a 12 hour day, I came home and decided I really needed to mow before the next round of rain.  By the time I finished that, I was too tired to post it.  Maybe next week. 

I'm so tuckered that yesterday I went to second shift supervisor and said I didn't want to stay late any more.  "But you're my top floater," she said.  Sigh..

Two things.

1) How the heck did I get to be the top floater, and more importantly, how to I become NOT the top floater?  In other words, how do I go back to being a bottom feeder?

2)  If they need me so badly, why is there never anything for me to do?  Why is the supervisor saying, "Oh, just go find something"? 

To make matters worse, this morning the third shift group leader said he was going to ask if I can start coming in at 3 AM.  Sigh, again. I would still be limited to 12 hours, so no more staying late, but I don't know about going in that early. 

I'm getting too old for this.

Monday, May 22, 2017

All Is Right

I woke up this morning in the wee smalls, and went to work before the sun was up.  I walked across the parking lot in the dark, got some ice from the nearly full ice machine, and went over to my work area.  I set up the front of my line, figured out what and where everything was, and began working on partial orders.  I was able to get myself sorted before a bazillion people began accosting me with a bazillion questions.  And all was right in my world...

Until I saw the second shift production superintendent walk around the corner.  It created a sort of cognitive disconnect in my mind, and I just stood there and stared at him, wondering where I was and what I was doing there, and why he was in my world that had just seemed so right a moment ago, and had now descended into total chaos.  He laughed at the look on my face, and that snapped me back to reality.  Our own production superintendent will be out all week, so he will be filling in.

Anyway, I worked an 11 hour day, and am not nearly as tired as I was when I was working 7 - 7. Group Leader tried to get me to start coming in at 4, but I said no.  I told her I don't want to push my luck too much.  I overheard one of the other supervisors saying they were starting grumble about the over time again.  Only my plant would pay an entire shift of workers to avoid paying a few people a couple of hours over time. 

I realize I have been remiss in showing you my new smile.  But first, for comparison, my old smile (and my dear friend Christi)

And my new smile.

Kindly disregard the disheveled state of my hair.  I'd just gotten home from work when I took this photo.   Big difference, isn't it?  I might not be so shamed to smile now. 

Finally, lookit!  I have a little bitty tomato on my little bitty tomato plant!

I can't wait to turn that bad boy into a sandwich!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Hymn

There is a country song that has been going around recently, sung by a guy who claims he wants to live "on the outskirts of Heaven."  Dude, you have no idea what Heaven really is. Heaven isn't green fields, or rolling hills, or streams to fish in. 

Heaven is where Jesus is.  And wherever Jesus is, that's where I want to be. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Typical Day

This is how my day at work typically goes.  I arrive, find a parking spot, fill my lunchbox with ice, clock in, and begin making my way to my work area.  Before I even get there, someone from tubing runs over with a bin of adapter tubes, "Becky, somebody on a previous shift ordered these legs.  Do you know what they are?"

Um, no, I just got here.

I take the bin of parts, saying I will figure it out, then continue on to my brazing stand.  I get there, but before I even get my tool bag off my shoulder, the dispatcher runs over asking, "Do you know anything about these 30 headers someone on a previous shift ordered?  Do you know where the legs (adapter tubes, for those of you not up on ADP vernacular) are?" 

Um, no, I haven't even gotten my bag off my shoulder yet.  Just set them down and I'll figure it out.

I set my tool bag down, and go get a schedule.  (For those of you not up on ADP vernacular, the schedule is the list of customer orders we are going to make that day.)  I get back to my stand to find Third Shift Sub-Brazer and Third Shift Group Leader having...let's say, an enthusiastic discussion.  Right in the middle of my work area.  They finally clear out, when my Supervisor comes over and asks me what they were arguing about. 

I don't know.  Maybe he was fussing because she didn't leave us any headers on the line.

Now, for those of you not up on ADP procedural policy, each shift is supposed to leave approximately an hours worth of parts set up for the next shift.  In terms of header assemblies, this is 50 or so.  This morning, there weren't but about 15, which put us behind from the get-go. 

Before Supervisor and I even finish our conversation, someone is tapping me on the shoulder, "Do you know what these unlabeled parts are?  Do you know what this unmarked order is?  Do you have two extra headers for this order third shift ran two hours before we even got here?  Do you know what happened to the headers for this partial order that's been sitting in the floor for two weeks?"

And all this happens before my shift even begins.

At this point, I threw up my hands and told Group Leader, "This is why I need to be coming in early!"  Whereupon she replied, "I would never have stopped."  Yeah, no...

When Production Superintendent tells you to stop coming in early, you stop coming in early. 

Sometime later, I talked to Supervisor about starting to come in early again, recounting the tale of my typical morning.  He said, "I don't have a problem with it, at least not until I get fussed at again."  So, starting Monday, I'll be going in at 5 again.  At least, I'll have a little bit of an evening, until Production Superintendent tells me to stop coming in early.  Second Shift Supervisor will be disappointed, but he'll get over it.

Good news is, I have a little bloom on my little tomato plant!

Tomato sandwiches coming soon!  Unless I kill it. 

Which wouldn't surprise me a bit.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dear Coworker

Yeah, I know you think you've got the whole world figured out, but trust me, you're still young.  You don't know nearly as much as you think you do.  So, let me offer you a bit of advice from someone who has made a few more trips around the sun than you have.

You will not make yourself look good by trying to make me look bad.  What you will actually do is to make yourself look petty and churlish.  Furthermore, you will not impress that man you are trying so hard to impress with this kind of behavior. 

So, just get over yourself already, ok?

Thank you.

That is all

Monday, May 15, 2017

New Things

Still working long, long hours, so don't expect too much from me in the way of blogging.  It was rough in the plant today.  It was so bad, my supervisor threw up his hands and said, "I give up.  I just give up!"

I did want to show you the new things I've gotten.  Mary Maxim had a sale on sock yarn, so I picked up a few skeins to add to the blanket.

 I bought these, too, not realizing when I ordered them that they are single ply. 

I don't really like single ply yarns for something such as a blanket.  I'm not sure it would hold up to hard wear.  Maybe I can make a few scarves out of it.  My favorite scarf is knit out of single ply, and it's held up for several years now.

Finally, I've finished my front little flower bed.  I've added two marigolds.

And this celosia.  I think that's what it is.  I don't remember right off hand.  

And I finally found some zinnias.  

The one on the lower right has white blooms.  Now, I've just got to weed and put down mulch and it'll be done for this go around. 

Now, do you want to hear something freaky?  We really don't have privacy any more.  Seriously, we don't.   While I was in the Wal-mart garden center, I ran into a coworker.  We chatted a minute, and he said his wife had sent him down to buy a grill.  She wanted a grill, but he just wasn't that into grilling...blah, blah, blah...what we said is not important.  We were talking about grills, that's all.

As I was checking out, some few minutes later, I opened my Facebook app on my phone to make a snarky comment about long lines and only three registers open.  Do you know what I saw?

Ads for grills

I kid you not.  Ads for grills.  I have not searched for grills anywhere, nor priced them on, or  I have not recently bought a grill.  I haven't really even thought about grills -- until my friend and I had that conversation. Fifteen minutes before I started getting ads for grills.

Maybe that Snowdon fellow was on to something. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday Hymn

Children of the Living God, come and sing, sing out loud
Children of the Living God, sing to the Living God

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Coronation Day!

Today was my coronation day.  I am now a queen.

I went back to the dentist and got my crowns.  Tomorrow, I will show you a before and after picture.  Right now, my top lip is still numb, and I can't quite smile.  The dentist said it would take a couple of days to get used to my new teeth, and I haven't quite figured out how to chew yet.  This will be interesting. 

Note to self:  When someone says I have a nice smile, the correct response is, "Thank you", not, "It ought to be, as much as it cost."

As for today, my nerves are absolutely shot.   I've said for a while now that my group leader depends on me too much, and it's the truth.  Every so often, she pushes me just a little too far, and let's just say it's not pretty.  Today was one such day.  And it was not pretty.

After work, my supervisor and I discussed things.  I told him it's the little things.  I'm not an assistant group leader.  If I'd wanted to be a group leader, I'd have applied for the position when it came open.  I'm not her fetch and carry do-girl, or her personal servant.  I'm not her special helper, but that's what she treats me as.  I'm a sub-brazer, and that's all I want to be.  There is so much she could be doing herself that she's passing on to me.

Take this morning.  I told my supervisor that I knew we had a lot of partial orders to complete, and I was prepared to deal with that.  What set me off, though, was this.  Group Leader and [Other Coworker] were about halfway down the line.  Now, for those of you who work there, they were by the blower.  For those of you who don't, they were about halfway down the line.

Let me step out of my story for a moment to tell you that when need parts for something, we put in a request to the dispatcher.  He's the one who puts the work into the system, and assigns it to whatever machine/department/process is the one who makes those parts.  The dispatcher's desk is across the aisle from my line, about half way down.

Group Leader and Other Coworker were standing about halfway down the line, just a few steps away from the dispatcher's desk.  Group Leader gave Other Coworker a paper, and told her to bring it to me and tell me to request those parts from the dispatcher.  Other Coworker then walked right past the dispatcher's desk -- with the dispatcher sitting right there in his chair -- and brought the paper to me, saying, "[Group Leader] said for you to order these parts."

As I said to my supervisor, there was no reason that either one of them couldn't give that paper to the dispatcher.  Yet, they are so helpless and dependent on me that they had to interrupt my work and get me to do something they could have easily done.  It's almost like they forget I have work of my own to do.

What I didn't tell my supervisor is that even if one of them had given the paper to the dispatcher, he wouldn't have put it into the system without checking with me first.  "Do I really need to put this in, or are these parts laying around on the line somewhere?"  Which means, I still would have had interrupt my work, and walk all over the line hunting for those parts before he put them into the system.

I didn't sign up for this.

My supervisor said he's working on her not being so dependent on me.  I told him in the morning, I'm putting in for a vacation day.  He asked which day I wanted, and I said, "The first one that is open."  And this time, I'm not going to spend the day at the dentist!

My friend Ann posted a picture of her sock yarn blanket on Facebook.  She's sent me yarn for my blanket, too.  I thought it was time to post a new picture of mine.  This is the one I'm supposedly making for my sister.

I say supposedly, because at this point, I'm not sure it's ever going to be finished.  Well, maybe when she is old, she can cover her lap with it as she sits in her wheelchair.

I'll post a picture of mine another time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In Flanders Fields

Normally, I post this on Memorial Day, but what with recent events in France, I couldn't wait that long.

This is a photo of the American Cemetery in Normandy.

Each cross -- plus many, many more not in this photo, and those in other cemeteries across France -- represents an American who died so that the French could live free.  They tossed the torch, and the French people dropped it.  No, they threw it down, and in so doing, spit on the grave of every one of these brave men. 

If you listen closely, you can hear their voices whispering, "If ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep" 

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Hitting The Fan

Friday morning, there I was at work, just a working away, when Third Shift Supervisor Josh stopped my stand to let me know everything was going to be alright.  He had [another day shift coworker] from [another line way across on the other side of the plant] to start coming in at 3:00 AM and help braze. 

"Oh, that's nice," I said through gritted teeth.  I wasn't going to say anything, because I'd already had my little arrangement with the second shift group leader, but it did make me mad.  If my production superintendent said he didn't need for me to come in early, why is it OK for someone that doesn't even work on that line to come in and do the exact same thing I'd been doing?  It's my line.  If anyone should be coming in early, it should be me -- or at least someone who works on that line.

Still, I kept my mouth shut and went on about my work, inwardly seething.  Sometime after lunch, My own supervisor stopped by to talk to me. He said, "There's something I'm a bit puzzled by..."  He said he'd gotten chewed out by the production superintendent for me coming in early, so he's a bit confused why it's OK for someone from another line to come in and do what I'd been doing.  Basically, the same argument I'd had.  He said he was going to ask about that.  I don't know if he did, because when I went in this morning, she was still coming in early, and I'm still not.  Group Leader Theresa gets back from vacation on Wednesday.  That's when it's really going to hit the fan. 

I'd pay money to see those fireworks. 

I only worked a 10 hour day today.  I told Second Shift Supervisor Rod that I was going home at 5:00.  He asked me, "Do you want to go?"  I said, "If you really need me to, I'll stay, but I'm just tired."  For some reason, working 7:00 to 7:00 exhausts me even more than 3:00 to 3:00 did.  It didn't help that I spent most of last night trying to avoid getting eaten by King Kong. 

Some of say you have nightmares about being naked in public.  If you think that's a nightmare, you have NO idea what nightmares really are.  You have NO idea. 

I long for something so tame as just being naked in public.  

Trust me, you do not want to be in my head while I'm asleep.  I don't even want to be in my head while I'm asleep. 

If I could live without sleep, I'd never close my eyes.

Naked in public...



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