Thursday, July 20, 2017

Difficult Coworkers

On dealing with difficult coworkers:

I'd been thinking it for months, I just hadn't ever said it out loud.  But I had been thinking it.  I thought it was just me, because I can't ever seem to get along with anybody.  Then this morning, Other Coworker said, "One day [Difficult Coworker] is going to push somebody too far and they're going to snap.  I'm just praying it won't be me."    Other Coworker also said, "You'd think as much as [Difficult Coworker] gets beaten up, she'd figure out how to control her mouth.  She'd figure out she can't talk to people that way." 

Apparently, it's not just me.

Sad part is, people like that never recognize themselves as the problem.  They seriously think it's the 27 other people in the department that have attitudes.  

And now for some good news:  

I was pretty bummed when I discovered a chip in one of my favorite mugs.

Red Sharpie to the rescue.

Now you can hardly tell it's there. 

And lastly:

Something is eating my tomato plants, and it isn't me.  I was telling someone at work about it, and she said, "It's bugs.  Bugs are some sorry, lowdown creatures." 

I don't know.  I mean, I don't like that they are eating my tomatoes, but I wouldn't call them sorry and lowdown.  They're bugs.  It's what they do. 

That ain't going to stop me from spraying them to death, though. 

Die, you vile vermin!  DIE!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Don't Envy Me

My life has become an endless cycle of work, mowing, laundry, and scooping the cat pan.  Then I sleep for about 10 minutes, and get up and do it all over again.

Don't believe me?  This was my big excitement for the weekend.  Look closely and see if you can figure it out.  

Need a hint?  OK, here's a before picture:

Notice what's missing?

Yep, that giant box of junk is no longer in my snake/craft/computer room!  Oh, I've still got a few smaller boxes around the edges of the room, but they're no big deal. 

I can get them sorted, but the biggest eyesore is taken care of!  BTW, say hi to Snow up there.

Don't envy me my exciting life. 

Oh, here's something nifty.  I got a new little shelf to put some of my outside plants on. 

I was able to get my Christmas cacti up off the ground.  They were being overshadowed by the mint my neighbor gave me last year.  I need to pick some of that mint and make tea or something out of it.  I used to last summer, but I haven't this year. 

All this week on Facebook, I've been watching my friends receive their Prime Day deals.  I was pouting because mine wasn't supposed to get here until Wednesday.  But Saturday, I got a message saying it had shipped and would get here today!  Yippee! 

I left work early -- that is, at the end of my shift -- and rushed home to see if it was here yet, and it was!  What was said Prime Day deal?  A new Kindle Fire 8!

It's like my old Fire, but with more memory, and Alexa.  It's probably got other, better stuff, too, but I haven't had time to play with it much.  I had to mow, you know.  The most amazing thing is, it cost 1/3 of the price of my original Kindle, and that was just an e-reader.   I paid $80 for this one, and nearly $300 for my first Kindle.  You have capitalism and the free market to thank for that. 

I was smart this time, and ordered a case, too. 

New Kindle is also significantly bigger than my old Kindle. 

My old eyes can see it a whole lot better. 

I was a bit bummed, not by the Kindle, but by something else.  I had a big box of old Disney VHS  and other miscellaneous tapes out in my shed.  Yesterday, I discovered that they plastic bin I'd had them stored in was not nearly as watertight as I'd thought it was.  They were soaked.  I was going to try to sell them, but I guess now I'll just trash them. 

I googled what to do if a tape gets wet and got a wide variety of answers ranging from "just let them dry and they'll be OK" to "It's a disaster of apocalyptic proportions!!!!"  I've got them inside now and am letting them dry to see if they can be salvaged.

The only one that I really cared about was a tape my aunt made of Christmas of 1992, and she sent it to me when I was in Italy.  What touched me about it was that several of my shipmates wanted to watch it.  They all sat with me and watched a bunch of people they didn't even know celebrate Christmas. 

It was that little touch of home we all craved so much. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017


I woke up bright and early this morning, got dressed, and headed to work as is my custom.  I'm almost to the plant -- turning from Riverdale Rd onto Air Industrial Park for you local folks--  when there crossing the road, I see a huge white dog. 

A big, old beautiful white dog.  It was walking slowly, with its head down, as if it were very tired.  I felt sorry for it.  My first thought was that it was a Borzoi,

however, given that I've never seen a Borzoi in real life, I couldn't be too sure.

OK, I confess, my first thought was, "I'm going to stop and get that dog and take him home with me."  But I didn't.  Thinking about, I realized it wasn't a Borzoi.  The head was the wrong shape, and its legs weren't quite long enough.

I drove on a few more moments when it hit me.  "DANG!  That was a wolf!!!!!"  A big, beautiful white wolf

 This is not my picture.  It's one I found by googling, but this is exactly what that animal looked like.  Mine was dirtier, skinnier, and a bit more scraggly, but it looked just like this.  In retrospect, I wish I had taken a picture of it, but at the time, I didn't want to stop. 

After I got to work, I called Supervisor Ronny over and told him what I'd seen.  He said it's possible because there are wolves in this area.  He'd never seen a white one, but that didn't mean they aren't around. 

Probably a good thing I didn't put him in my car, then, huh? 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My New Thing

I thought I'd come home this afternoon and finish the weedeating, but it's even hotter today than it was yesterday.  I decided the weedeating can wait.  It's so hot, I won't even let the dogs stay outside for more than five or so minutes. 

So, while we are huddling in the air conditioning, I thought I'd show you my new thing. 

Back in the spring, when I bought my gardenia, I noted that the tag said Morning Sun Only.  I picked the shadiest spot in my back yard, thinking it would be OK.  It wasn't.  The poor thing ended up getting much more afternoon sun than I thought it would.  It was beginning to look pretty sickly, and I began to think I was going to lose it.  

For a while, I put one of my bushier potted plants there to shade the gardenia, and it seemed to perk up quite a bit.  Unfortunately, the potted plant got scorched on the sunward side, so I had to bring it back inside.  Almost immediately, the poor little gardenia started looking sickly again.  Next idea, put up a trellis.

I looked some up online, and picked one out.  It's the big green thing, not the little white fence.

The little white fence is to keep the dogs out.  Yes, it works.  They recognize it as a border that they must not cross.  Of course, having it paired with a hot wire at my old house helped drive that point home...

I must have misread the description of the trellis, because I thought it said it was 6 feet tall.  It isn't.  It's only about 5 feet, but it'll do for now.  Also as a temporary measure, I taped a black garbage bag to the trellis to cast some shade on my gardenia. 

 I took this picture probably around 4:30 or 5:00 PM, when the afternoon sun is at its most intense. 

 I'm hoping this will provide some protection until the sun is behind the trees.

Since I don't want to have a garbage bag covered trellis right outside my back door for the next 30 years, I took some English Ivy cuttings to try to root them.  If they don't root, I have much more ivy from which to take cuttings. 

I'm still debating whether I'm really going to plant it there, though, because English Ivy is so very invasive and hard to eradicate.  But like I said, I've got plenty more.  It practically covers the back corner of my house. 

The eventual plan is to put up some sort of lattice that extends to the edge of my little back porch, and goes all the way up to the eave of my house, on both sides of the porch.  I'd like to put a lattice roof on it, too, then maybe train the English Ivy to grow up and across, creating myself a little leafy bower right out side my back door. 

It sounds good in my head.  Not sure how it's going to work in real life. 

BTW, I got picked to do a Nielson TV Viewing Diary.  I've done them before, and I don't know why they keep sending them to me.  I know they're going to be disappointed, because I don't watch much TV at all.  In fact, after Shark Week, I'm seriously considering cutting my cable back to the cheapest package.  I just can't see continuing to pay all that money when I only watch The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, and football. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's Hot

My dad was the original weather-holic, long before the Weather channel made geeks of us all.  Oh, he had all the stuff -- a barometer, rain guage, wind speed thing, and this cool little thermometer that recorded the high and low temps for the day.  Every day when he got home from work, the first thing he'd do was to grab his little notebook and go out and record the weather conditions for the day.  It should come as no surprise that I inherited some of his fondness for weather.

I'm not a total weather geek, but I do keep up with what's going on in the meteorological world.  

Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends clued me in to this cute little weather app called What The Forecast?.   It gives you, rather interesting takes on the weather.  Like today's conditions, for instance.

The really sad part is how accurate that description was -- Dagobah misspelling aside.  Let me tell you, it's hot.   This morning at work, I tried to check the weather, but couldn't get a signal.  I got this little message on my app.

Then it showed the weather in Hell

Or as we say in the South, outside

Case in point, I got home from work and was going to mow and weedeat.  I checked my weather app and the heat index was 101'. 

Yeah, that's not going to happen.

Along about 7:00 PM, it had cooled down to a heat index of only 96', so said mowing finally happened.  I got the front and side yards done.  It's amazing how much better it goes with a nice, sharp blade.  Then I got the old weedeater out and trimmed until I ran into that universally recognized signal that it's time to quit:  I ran out of gas.

Hey, it works for me.

You know how they say there is always, always, always something to be thankful for?  I think we can all agree that we are thankful for one man named Willis Carrier.  Why?  He invented the modern air conditioner. 

You can keep your Superman, X-Men, and sports stars.  Willis Carrier is my hero. 

Can I get an AMEN?????

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

I'm Allowed

Despite what people at my work seem to believe, I am allowed to take vacation days every once in a while.  And I did so yesterday. 

Beverly and James  went to Tennessee to see great grandson Cory get baptized and great granddaughter Brooklyn get dedicated.  They go to a cowboy church, and Cory was baptized in a horse trough.  How cool.  I was baptized in a plain old baptistry.  On a Wednesday night.  But this isn't about that.

Cory was so cute.  They'd warned him that the water would be cold, because their heater didn't reach it.  I don't know why.  Anyway, he got into the trough and started to sit down.  He stood right back up and said, "Maybe we can wait until it warms up some."  They told him no, and promised to do it really quickly.  And they did. 

On their way back home, they stopped here for a day.  They came in Sunday night and left out this morning.  Friday, I asked Supervisor for a vacation day for Monday, so I could hang out with them.  It was kind of short notice, so I told him, "Either way, I'm not going to be here.  I just need to know whether I need to call in or not."  As luck would have it, there was one space available, and I was able to preserve my perfect attendance.

Yesterday morning, they came and picked me up and we all went to the local closeout store.  Bev had heard there was going to be some Pioneer Woman dishes there, and there were.  Three plates and two bowls.  That was it.  She was very disappointed.  They did have a huge section of yarn, fabrics, and craft stuff...but it was blocked off so they could have a big sale the day AFTER they left town.  She was still disappointed.

I made out like a bandit.  I got a new tool set, plus some new clippers and a weeder.

Maybe I can get all those annoying grass roots out of my flower bed with that.  I also got some less exciting stuff, like shampoo and hand soap, but you don't want to hear about that because it's boring.   
After that, Bev and I came back to my house and hung out while James went to visit a very sick friend.  She mentioned that in her haste to pack, she hadn't brought any yarn.  She had a crochet hook in her purse, but didn't have any yarn to crochet.  I let her dive in my stash so she'd have happy hands. 

I moved everything out from in front of the closet so she could see what was in there.  Now that it's in the middle of the room, it doesn't seem like that much.  I want to sort and organize it instead of just shoving it back against the wall.

Now that I can reach this closet, I can get it straightened up.  That ought to be fun, right?

The last thing they did before heading back to the campground (they stayed at the lake in their camper), James got out and changed my lawnmower blade and weedeater head for me.  I'd bought some new lawnmower blades last fall on clearance, but I'd never been able to get the bolt loose.  I felt a little better because he had to use a cheater on it himself. 

Nevertheless, my lawnmower has a new blade, and I can mow like a whiz.  Unfortunately, it rained today, and I wasn't able to get out and mow, or weedeat. 

Maybe tomorrow. 

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Friday, July 07, 2017

Eye Candy Friday

Today is another one of those days.  I sat down to blog and....nope, I got nothing.  So you get nothing....except this lovely marigold. 

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Now That I'm Back.

Now that I'm back to blogging, you're probably wondering what I've been doing with myself these last two weeks -- during the long, dark teatime of my soul.  The answer is, not much.  My life has become an endless cycle of work, mowing, laundry, and scooping the cat pan.  Then I sleep about 10 minutes, and get up to do it all over again.

In the brief, few moments I actually have to myself, I've managed to knit a lot more blanket squares, and have started joining them together. 

I've been knitting my new yarn into my two big blankets, but I don't have current pictures of them.  I know some of you are wondering, if I've already got two sock yarn blankets in the works, why on Earth did I start a third?  Well, I'll tell you.  I don't know.  All I can say is that when the knitting grabs a hold of you, all you can do is to give in to it. 

Let's see, I picked the first tomato off of my little plant and ate it on a sandwich.  Then I picked another one, and ate it on another sandwich.  I thought I'd taken a picture of my first little tomato, but I didn't.   Oh well.  Just google it.  Once you've seen one tomato, you've pretty much seen them all.

Hmmm, OK I cleaned out all six snake tanks and put fresh bedding into them.  Then I tidied up the snake/craft/computer room. 

It may not look that clean to you, but you can see floor now.  It's progress.  All my snakes are either 12 or 13 years old now.  Lifespan in captivity is 10-15 years, so they're getting on up there.  When they start going to that great herpetarium in the sky, I'm going to put shelves and cabinets and things in that room, and make a real craft room.  I may even drag my old sewing machine out and start sewing again.  

I bought a Bluejacket's Manual from a used book seller. 

Then I bought another one.

Why?  I don't know.   I've long since given up trying to find an explanation for such things.  I still wish I had MY Bluejacket's Manual -- the one that went through boot camp with me.  I'd given it to Cody when he joined NJROTC in 9th grade, and haven't seen it since. 

What with everything else that has been going on that's got me feeling low, I'm faced with the awareness that my Squeekums won't be with us much longer.

The old girl is pushing 17, which is pretty old for a cat.  This last year, her age has really started to show. I know I'm going to have to let her go soon, but I'm just not ready for it. 

But then, are you ever ready? 

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

I'm Back!

Yes, I know it's been a while since I've posted.  The reason being, I've been in a very low place these last couple of weeks.  It all started when I was assaulted by a psycho coworker.  I won't go into all the gory details, but I got into a disagreement with a coworker, and she in turn, hit me with a florator.

Now, for those of you who don't know what a florator is, on our example unit -- which isn't one of ours, but is similar-- the florator is that thing underneath the header assembly with all the skinny copper tubes and the brass bit at the end.  

That's what Psycho hit me with, on the side of my left arm.

Those who were there say I cussed her good after she hit me, but I don't remember any of that.  I was too stunned that she'd actually hit me.  All I remember is her shrieking something unintelligible at me and hitting me again, this time on top of the shoulder, hard enough that there are still tender spots there two weeks later from where the brass met bone. 

The really discouraging part was how far the HR department twisted everything to make this my fault.  They said when I pulled the units back up the line -- she'd pushed them past my work station before I could braze them, so I pulled them back about 10 inches so I could reach them to do my job -- they "brushed up against her", and that's what made her mad enough to hit me, therefore I was the instigator.  They wrote me up for -- get this -- destruction of company property, and gave me a one day suspension.  

I told my friend that, and she said, "Wow, they were really reaching, weren't they?"  Yeah. 

I spent that one day seriously debating whether I really wanted to work for a company that would treat its employees that way.  In the end, I decided I am still too much in debt to quit a steady job.  Notice, I didn't say a good job, but a steady job.  So, back to work I went, even though I hated doing it. 

A few days later, my Production Superintendent came out to talk to me.  He'd been out of town when it happened, and wanted to see if I was OK.  He thanked me profusely for keeping my cool (I know, right?  I'm shocked, too!) and not hitting her back, and asked if I needed anything.   I felt a little better after that.   A few days after that, second shift Production Superintendent told me that he'd laughed when he heard that.  He said, "She picked the wrong person to start something with.  She's lucky you didn't beat her"  um, let's say "booty", this being a family blog after all. 

Oh, and yes, Psycho got fired for it. 

That evening, which was a Saturday, Cody stopped by the house and announced that he has decided to move to Texas.  He still wants to go to seminary, but isn't able to put any money back where he is working now.  He is barely able to pay his bills as it is, so he's going to move in with Beverly and James, and get a job down there for a year or so.  I tried to put on a brave face.  It's not like we really saw each other that much, but just knowing he's no longer a hop, skip, and a jump down the road any more...well, it's harder than I though it would be.

I mean, I'm glad he still wants to go to seminary, and is taking those steps to make that happen, but dang, he's going to be so far away.  But still, mama birds have to let the fledglings fly.

It has taken me a long time to process all this -- it's an INTJ thing, you know -- but now that I have finally gotten to the point I can talk about it, maybe I can get back to regular blogging.  

Speaking of birds, I had another one get into my wood stove. I managed to get a picture of this one before I let it go. 

Poor thing was so exhausted that when I opened my hand and it tried to fly, it just fluttered on down to the ground.  Whereupon the dogs promptly pounced on it.  I hollered at them to leave the bird alone, and it eventually made its way up a tree. 

I hope it's OK.  I need to get one of those things to put on the top of my chimney so birds can't get inside. 

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

The Declaration Of Independence

*This post was originally published July 4, 2009.  I felt it was time for a rerun.  

The Declaration Of Independence 

WHEN in the Course blah blah blah

WE hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal blah blah

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah (lots of blahs)

pledge our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

John Hancock. 

So what the heck is that? I'll tell you. That is the version of The Declaration Of Independence that most Americans know. Those are just about the only parts they remember. That's too bad, because there amongst all those blahs are some true gems--our real National Treasure.

Let me share with you some of my favorite parts of The Declaration that most people don't know are there, hidden among the blahs.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another, and to assume among the powers of the Earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, 

The laws of Nature, and of Nature's God. From the very beginning, America seems to have been ordained by God. Even before the founding fathers appealed to him, even before the pilgrims came seeking the freedom to worship as they saw fit. All the way back to Cristobol Colombus, who took the name Christopher, which means Christ Bearer, later in life--when he decided to sail West instead of East, because he believed that is the direction God wanted him to go, God has had his hand on this country. Our forefathers believed it. Benjamin Franklin said, "I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an entire empire can rise without His aid?"

A decent respect to the opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impell them to the separation. 

I like this line. I just do. Our forefathers believed in the utmost courtesy. That is something that has been lost in the whiny, selfish, perpetual teenage American citizen of today. It's something we need to get back to. Courtesy. If it was good enough for Thomas Jefferson, it ought to be good enough for the rest of us.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.

Rights don't come from government. They come from God. Governments are there to secure them, not grant them and certainly not to take them away.

That when any government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness. 

It is a God given right for a people to set up the government that best keeps their safety and happiness secure. If it isn't working, it is their right to change it.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, persuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government, and provide new guards for their future security. 

 It is the duty of the citizen to be involved. It is the duty of the citizen to keep the government in check. It is the duty of every American to be responsible for himself and his family, and not allow the government control over every aspect of his life--even if it means he has to work to rpovide for his family, and buy his own health insurance.

A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people. 

 Now, this doesn't limit itself to royalty. There are certain people in this country who may think themselves American Royalty, and want to rule with an iron hand. These people are unfit to lead a free people.

 And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. 

See, this is the thing. Fifty six men signed the Declaration of Independence, but it was nothing more than a piece of paper until they backed it up with their blood. And it wasn't just them. Every man who fought. Every woman who watched her husband, her son, go off to fight, knowing that they might not come home again. Patrick Henry summed up their feelings best when he said, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Our forefathers believed in liberty enough to die for it. Do we?

Do we?

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Sunday Hymn

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood


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