Thursday, September 16, 2021

What If You Died And Nobody Told Your Employer?

 What if you died and nobody told your employer?  

It's been a week since the maintenance man died.  A few days ago, some of us started questioning why they hadn't put a memorial for him up on the screens by the doors and in the break areas.  At first, we thought maybe they hadn't gotten around to it, but no, that wasn't right. 

They'd gotten other memorials up the same day as the person's death.  Not Mr. Gene.  A couple more days passed, and we were really wondering.  No picture on the screen.  No envelope.  Nothing.

One of my coworkers said it is disrespectful, not just to him and his family, but also to those of us who knew and worked with him.  I told another coworker, "It's like he died and nobody even noticed."  

As it happens...

One of the brazers is really good friends with a lady who works in HR.  Today, she had come out to the department to speak with Coworker, as she often does.  Somewhere in the course of the conversation, Coworker asked HR why they didn't put Gene's picture on the screen.  Quickly, Coworker called to me and said, "What was that man's name again?  Gene....?"  I told her his last name, and HR looked shocked and exclaimed, "He died???  Are you sure?"  

I replied that his obituary was in the local paper, and his funeral had been Monday.  One of the front office people had stopped by and told me he'd gone to the visitation.  HR replied that they hadn't known he'd even died.  

I'm not blaming HR.  It's not her fault nobody told them.  And I could see the person's face and tell that  she was very upset.  They hadn't sent flowers to his funeral, and the family probably thought they didn't care.  

What was mind boggling to me is that nobody thought to tell HR that one of their employees had died.   

Well, the situation is rectified now, and Gene will get his proper memorial, thanks to three irate employees who refused to let it go.  

*Gene and Mrs. Gene-  swiped from his FB page. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

We're Winners!

 Today was my annual health screening at work, for my insurance.  Now, I don't usually have any problems meeting the requirements to avoid the higher priced premiums, but my cholesterol has always been high.  Before going in for these screenings, they recommend you fast for at least 6 hours before hand, so your numbers will be more accurate.

Wouldn't you know it, today was the one day I wake up absolutely starving.  Normally, I'm not hungry first thing in the morning...not today.  I was ravenous.  I tried to hold out, but I said, "Forget this.  I'm eating some oatmeal." And eat some oatmeal I did.  I knew it would effect my test results, but oh well...

Thus, it was not without some trepidation I went into my screening. 

And let me tell you, I killed it in there!  ALL of my numbers improved so much, except for my triglycerides, but the nurse said that was probably because I wasn't fasting.  And get total cholesterol was down to 225!  It usually hangs out in the 300 range, and my LDL was 134.  She said they want it to be below 100, but that is when you've fasted.  For a non-fasting number, mine was OK.  

All that going in early and stomping up and down those stairs paid off!  And I'm sure losing 25 lbs didn't hurt, either.  I was so wanting to lower it naturally, without having to go on medications, and I did!  The trick is now to keep it that low.   I'm considering buying one of those machines you can test it at home, just so I can keep an eye on it. I don't know, though.  They can be pretty pricy.  

I felt so sorry for that poor nurse, because the test meter kept messing up.  It kept giving her an error message. She had to run my tests three times to get it to work right, which meant three finger sticks for me.  She kept apologizing, but I told her not to worry about it.  Things happen.  Heh, she had to get one of the other nurses to help her figure out how to clear the error, and I overheard her said, "I know she's about tired of me!"  Nah, it wasn't her fault.  

Once I was finished, and the nurse had explained the numbers to me, I was so stoked, I took my paper and accosted my coworkers with it, forcing them look at my outstanding cholesterol levels.  The three of us started dancing around, with me waving my paper in the air, singing, "We're winners!  We're winners!"  

And the rest of the brazers looked at us like we'd lost our minds...

Then I came home and saw that my spider lilies are starting to bloom. 

 Yay!  That means fall is almost here!

Now for a bit of bad news, I found out yesterday another former coworker of my lost his battle with COVID.  I didn't know him that well, and he wasn't there very long, but his mother also worked out there for a few years.  She and I had been good friends, but lost touch after she quit.  Her husband also worked out there briefly, but I didn't know him but in passing.  They had three sons.  Jason was the youngest.  He was 46 years old.  Y'all please be in prayer for his family.  

And finally, that I even needed to explain this tells me society is doomed. 

Doomed, I tell you.  


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Dear Coworker

 Yes, I gave you a little thank you wave as you let me cut in front of you on the way out of the parking lot this evening.  

I was extending you a common courtesy.

I was not agreeing to be your wife. 

Simmer down, there pardner.

Thank you.

That is all. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Back To The Grindstone

 Way back years ago, when I first started working at ADP, even before the current facility had been built and we were in the back room of what we colloquially refer to as "the old plant", I had a coworker who would say every single day at the end of lunch break, "Well, back to the grindstone,''  as she slapped her hands down on the lunch table.  Every.  Single.  Day.  

That's what I felt like this morning when that alarm went off way too early.  Back to the grindstone.  The good news is, this is my last full week of work for the year!  Thanks to judicious use of my vacation days, I have a long weekend every single weekend from here until January.  Maybe I can catch up on some of the stuff I need to get finding an oral surgeon who can get me in before November.  I need to get on that, or it will be November, and I won't even have made the appointment.

All right, then, moving right along.

My long awaited new Kindle has arrived!  

OK, it wasn't actually that long awaited, as I ordered it Friday and got it Saturday.  That's capitalism for you.  But, since it was a different size than the old one, I also had to order a new case and screen protector.  Those didn't arrive until today.   In the meantime, I just left said Kindle in its protective plastic bag, and played my games through the cellophane.  

That's a word you don't hear much any more.  Does anyone still call it cellophane?  Or am I just an anachronism?  Wait, don't answer that...

Anyway, the case and screen protector arrived today, and the Kindle is safely cocooned in them, 

and game, I mean reading...  may commence. 

In knitting knews, I finished the second hat.

 I think this one will fit much better.  That bit to the left is the yarn I had left over.  I was tempted to make a pompom out of it, but I decided against it.  Mainly because I detest making pompoms. 

For the last several days, I've had a skein of yarn whispering my name.  I'd gotten it out a while ago, and just laid it on a book shelf in the craft room.  Every time I walked past, it seem to mock me.  "Wind me!" it said.  Yesterday, I finally gave in and wound it.  

While I was trying to figure out what to do with it next, I got out the old sock yarn blanket and added a square to it. .

Once I'd seen how it is going to knit up, I knew the yarn would be perfect for a beret or tam with a snowflake - like pattern.  I got onto Pinterest and almost immediately found the perfect one.  Unfortunately, I can't share with you right now, because this is going to be a Christmas present.  

This pattern is knit from the crown down instead of ribbing up.  You cast on 8 stitches to double pointed needles and increase as you go.  After nearly poking my eyes out more than once, I still didn't like the way it was looking.  I pulled it all out, and tried again.  Same result...then I remembered!

The belly button cast on!  

By that time, it was way past my bedtime, so I waited until today to try that method, and it worked like a charm.

That bit sticking up in the middle looking a bit like an umbilicus is the belly button cast on.  It'll be removed at a later date and the hole tightened up.  

And finally, more bad news.  I lost another friend to COVID yesterday morning.  

He will be missed.  

And I found out, Beverly and James both have it now.  This is Bev's second time through.  

Now, I think I'll go to bed early and hide under the covers for a while.  

Saturday, September 11, 2021

We Are

*This is the post I wrote on the tenth anniversary, but I think it deserves a re-run.  We no longer live in a safe world. And with the current administrations bungling in Afghanistan, it's more dangerous than ever.  We need to remember who we are.  In spite of that mashed potato in the White House, we need to remember that we are We The People.  We are America.  We will hold the line.


They thought they'd break us, that day back in 2001. 

They thought they'd break us. 

They thought we'd roll over, give up, submit as so much of Europe has done. 

They thought they'd break us, that day back in 2001. 

But they forgot one thing. We are not Europe. We are America. 

We are the land of Don't Tread On Me. Of Come And Take It. 

Of Patrick Henry. Of John Paul Jones. Of Remember The Alamo.  Of the Minutemen. Of the Tuskegee Airmen. Of Jesse Owens and the US. Track & Field team. 

Of gun totin' rednecks. Country boys and Swamp People. Of "Give me liberty or give me death" and "Choot em!" 

We are America. The land where rights come from God, all men are created equal, and governments that can be altered or abolished. 

America was not always there, like Europe has been. America came screaming into the world in a violent and bloody birth, under the light of the rockets' red glare, to the lullaby of bombs bursting in air. They will not break us. 

For we are strong. 

We will pause this day. We will remember. We will bow our heads and mourn those who were lost. We will pray for the ones who lost them. We will give thanks for those who rushed into burning buildings when everyone else was rushing out. And for those who stepped forward and answered freedom's call.

But we will not break. We will not bow down. We will not submit. 

Then, in one great Nationwide act of defiance, we will go on living our lives. We will go to church. We will go to work. We will barbecue. We will tailgate. We will watch football. 

And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave 

and we will be free.  Because we are 


Friday, September 10, 2021

I Did Some Tweaking

It's a good thing I had a vacation day today.  I did not sleep at all last night.  I was so upset about the maintenance man...and then dealing with the stupidity on FB...  

If I had received better news about him -- like that he hadn't died -- I would have showed you my new yarn from my friend Leann's store.  These are from her new 2021 Fall collection, and are just two of the stunningly gorgeous colorways she makes.  The one on the left is Toasted Marshmallow, and the one on the right is Foliage. 

She really needs to stop coming up with such beautiful yarn, because I want it all!

This morning, after tossing and turning most of the night, I slept in until 7:00, and it felt wonderful.  It was actually a bit chilly, and that made the coffee taste even better.  The best part is, it was cool enough to leave the back door open for a while, and the animals could come and go as they pleased without me having to get up from the chair every five minutes to open the door for them.  It didn't last long, though, as by noon, it was warm enough for the air conditioner to come on and I needed to shut the door. 

While I was enjoying my seasonal weather, it inspired me to do some tweaking with my Fall Decorations.  If you'll recall, I'd bought some mini pumpkins and squash, and was going to put them my ceramic pumpkin bowl.  However, once I'd tossed the potpourri and put the gourds in there, I realized I didn't really like the way it looked. 

It was too orange, if there is such a thing.  Not enough contrast, as it were.  What to do?  What to do?  I'd already tossed the potpourri, and wasn't about to dig it back out of the garbage just to fill a decorative bowl.  Suddenly, I had a flash of inspiration.  The vase!  I'd put potpourri into the vase!  

I got the aforementioned vase down and moved the potpourri that was in it into the bowl, then put the fake gourds into the vase.  That gives me a little pop of color on top of that shelf. 

Unfortunately, also this morning, my Kindle finally gave up the ghost.  Or, rather, the charging port gave up the ghost.  The Kindle works just fine.  It just won't charge.  I tried and tried and the USB wouldn't make contact, and therefore,  no charge.  I got onto Amazon and did the trade-in thing, then ordered me a new one.  It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, but since I did the trade in, I had pack up the old one, abd to go into town to ship it off.  

By the way, we have a UPS store in town now.  I didn't have to drive all the way to Batesville.  I debated on going up to Batesville anyway, to go to Lowe's, but in the end, I decided I was too tired, and just went to the Walmart here in town.  The first thing I saw when I walked in was

a new wreath for my front door!  It's big and bright enough you can see it from the street, and adds that just right touch.  Now, my scarecrows are back on my car port door where they belong 

and all is right in the world.  Well, the world of my Fall decorations, that is. 

That was my excitement for the day, unless you count my new mail box door arriving.  

I didn't even take it inside.  I opened the package right there on the street and put it onto my mailbox.  Hopefully, this one will survive, unless we have another hurricane.  Or somebody runs into it and knocks it off.  At least now I know where I can order a replacement if I need another one. 

Once I got back home from town, I pretty much spent the rest of the day watching TV, practicing the piano, and knitting.  

The hat is making progress.  The cat sawing logs.  OK, then, moving right along...

One of these days, I'm going to do a whole post about my piano progress, but for now, let me just say, I've gotten Suzette back out to help me practice.  

Since I got the cat, I've been having to keep her put away, because Cutie thinks she's a toy.  The intent was to get her out when I sat down to practice, but I keep forgetting.  Today, I finally remembered.  She was glad to listen to my practice, too.  Just as the real Suzie would have been.  

And finally, when you by dog food, but forgot you bought dog food, so you buy more dog food, you end up with a lot of dog food. 

At least Jesse won't go hungry.   

Thursday, September 09, 2021

The Maintenance Man

 The maintenance man died.

People are stupid.

Stop the nonsense and get the damn vaccine!  

P.S.  I'm still anti mandate.  But I really wish you'd get the vaccine before I have to bury more of my friends! 

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

September 8, 1900

 The blog will be observing a day of silence in remembrance of the 8000 souls claimed by the sea on this day in 1900.  

Galveston Storm Memorial, Galveston Island, Texas

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Well, Poop! ...Again

 Those of you with memories better than mine may recall I'd been knitting a hat, and it turned out way too big.  You may also recall, I cast on a smller one yesterday, and began knitting the ribbing.  Normally, I knit the ribbing on a smaller needle so it will fit more snugly.  Sometime yesterday evening, I finished the ribbing and reached for my larger needles to begin the body.  That's when I noticed the larger needle looked a bit small.  It looked smaller than the  small needle.  I grabbed my handy dandy needle gauge and...well poop! 
I'd grabbed the wrong needle.  I'd done the ribbing on my size 4, instead of the size 3 I'd intended to use.  Sigh...

My first inclination was to rip it all back and start over, but I managed to talk myself down off that ledge.  The fabric looked fine, and it seems pretty snug, so I decided to keep it, and just do the body on size 5s.   I think it'll be OK like that. 

After a holiday weekend that was still way too short, when that alarm went off at 3:30 this morning...let me tell you, after being able to sleep in until 5:30 for three days, it was quite a shock.  I did not want to get out of bed, but someone has to feed all these animals, so out of bed I got and off to work I went. 

After a work day that seemed to last forever, I ran into town to pay some bills and do my little bit of shopping.  I stopped off by the Little Free Library, and good news!  It was stuffed full, mostly of children's books.  There wasn't even any room for the books I'd planned on putting into it, and I think that's fantastic.  I'll just ride my books around in the back seat for another month.  They won't mind.  

My last stop for the day was Walmart to get a new wreath for my front door.  Alas, they didn't have any that I really liked, so I left empty handed.  As far as wreaths go, I mean.  I didn't find any picks for my lamp things, either, so that was a bust, too.  I didn't even find any fresh potpourri.  OK, I forgot to look for the potpourri until I was on the way out the door, but still...

What I did find was these:

Each pack wasn't but .97 cents, so I got three of them.  The plan is to put the pumpkins and gourd looking things into this bowl, 

and dump the old potpourri out.   In the meantime, I moved this to the front door just to give it some color. 

I'm debating on going up to Joann's in Southaven and seeing what they have up there.  Or maybe I'll go to Walmart or Lowe's in Batesville.  They might have something I like there.  

And finally, a couple of bits of good news.  First up, more of my spider lilies are showing their heads.

And I've had word the maintenance man seems to be doing better.  Remember the one who has COVID and has been on a ventilator for the last week?  They said they tried a different antibiotic and he seems to have turned a corner.  

Let's hope it continues...

Monday, September 06, 2021

Well Poop!

 I finished the hat I'd been working on, and I could tell -- well, I could tell even before I'd finished -- that it was going to be too big --even if I tried to pass it off as a slouchy hat, the ribbing wasn't snug enough.  I tried it on, and it was way too loose even for my head, but really way too loose for someone with no hair.  

I thought briefly about ripping it all out and starting over, but I decided I was too close to being done for that.  I went ahead and finished it, then stuffed it into the gift drawer.  Surely, someone with a gigantic head or a lot of hair will need a hat sooner or later.  Or I might wash and dry it and see if it draws up any.  It's superwash, so I don't have much hope of that happening. 

This morning, I got up and cast on a new one with the second ball of Felici I still had, 

going back down to a 120 stitch cast on.  It should fit, but if it ends up being too small, I'll just give it to one of the kids.  In the meantime, I also cast on a normal sized beanie with some of my Knit Picks Brava worsted.

It's pretty soft for acrylic, and hopefully will soften up even more when I wash it.  

Other than that my Labor Day holiday passed pretty quietly.  I debated briefly on getting dressed and going shopping, but decided against it.  I have to go into town tomorrow anyway to pay some bills, so I'll just go pick up my few little things then.  

What I did do while I was knitting was to discover a couple of new to me shows, one called America's Hidden Stories, and the other one called Mystic Britain.  Both are historical documentary type series, and are pretty interesting.  I found them both on Hulu.  I said I was going to spend the weekend watching TV and knitting, and that's pretty much what I've done. 

I took a bit of a break to finish weeding what used to be my wildflower bed.  Well, almost finish.  There's still a little grass right by the edge that I didn't get to yet. 

I'm probably going to cover it with some leftover landscape fabric to keep grass and weeds out of it until next spring.  Unless I find some fall plants to put there, that is.  Maybe some pansies or something.  I've got time to decide, though, as it's still a little too warm yet for pansies.  

In the meantime, my Lantanas are really taking off, 

and my Zinnias are spreading so fast, they're falling over. 

But lookit here!  The first harbinger of Fall:

Yes, Gentle Reader, my spider lilies are peeping their sleepy heads above ground! And even though it's still warm, the wind is out of the north today, and it has that fall feel.  

Or maybe it's just wishful thinking...

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Busy Day

The plan was to relax in front of the TV all day,

but you know what they say about the best laid plans.  Things didn't quite go that way.  

Normally I put out my fall decorations over Labor Day weekend, and this year isn't any different in that regard.  After starting a load of laundry, I went out to the shed and got my boxes of stuff to bring into the house. While I was out there there, I got my shed-broom -- by which I mean the broom I keep out in the shed -- and swept the dirt and mud from the hurricane out.  

As I was sweeping, I thought to myself, "Self, you ought to go sweep out that section of the chicken coop where you want to put your firewood this fall." And that's exactly what I did.  I swept all the old chicken poop out, and got some 4 X 4s there to stack the wood onto.  

I'd been intending to do that for a while, but it's just been too hot.  It was cool enough this morning I could finally get outside and do a little of the work I've been putting off all summer. 

Now I just need to find someone with firewood for sale and I'll be all set.  I'd asked around in one of the FB groups, and one guy said he could get me some.  I asked how much he wanted for it, and how soon he could deliver it, but he never got back to me.  Typical for around here.  Another guy said he had some, but he was a little too proud of his wood for my budget.  I've still got some left over from last year, and people will start advertising it soon.  I'll be OK on wood, I think. 

Once that was done, and I'd taken my boxes of decorations into the house, I walked out and checked my mail.  The day the hurricane came through, I guess it was the winds that blew the door off.  It must have gotten run over or something, because the little handle was broken off. 

I brought it into the house and tried to somehow put it back on, but it just wouldn't work.  I tried first to pound the little pegs back into the holes, but they wouldn't go.  Then I tried to glue it, but that didn't work, either. 

It was bent too badly out of shape.  Naturally, I did what any red blooded American would do.  I got online and found a place where I could order a replacement door.  You can find pretty much anything online these days.  

All that done, I settled in to watch football and put out my fall d├ęcor. 

I'm going to have to buy a new wreath for my front door, though.  I also want to get some picks or something to put into those lamps on the top of the shelves.  Just a little something to add color to them.

I don't know if you can see it, but on the top of the unit on the right, that vase in the middle came from my mother's memorial.  Someone, and I think it was her church, had sent a bunch of flower arrangements up there, and they let us take them all home. We left the flowers at Beverly and James' house, because we didn't think they'd survive the trip back to MS, but I wanted to keep one of the vases.  

I put some old potpourri into it, but I think I'm going to toss it all at the end of the season.  The potpourri, I mean.  Not the vase.  It's pretty old, and has lost its scent and most of its color.  I'll have to find something new for next year.  Or even this year,  if I can find some. 

I might get up and go to the store Monday.  I didn't go yesterday, because I was trying to psych myself up to call the washing machine repair man -- which didn't happen, by the way.  Calling the repair man.   Sigh, I don't know what's wrong with me I can't make a simple phone call.  My issues run deep.  And I've still got to try to find an oral surgeon to get this other broken tooth removed.  

Let's finish up by talking about something more pleasant:  knitting. I'm this far on the latest hat.  

It's going slower because it's fingering weight, but it is moving right along.  My friend Leann has her fall collection up in her shop, and I'm trying to resist buying more.  That raise we all got kicked in this paycheck, and I feel suddenly rich.  

Now for some bad news...Navy got thrashed in their season opener, and LSU is struggling against UCLA.  It looks like it's going to be a long season.  At least Texas won.  

So, there's that. 

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Quick Post

This'll be a quickie, because I'm really tired.  The good news is, we came through the hurricane unscathed.  Just a few small limbs and twigs down, and about 4" inches of rain at my house.   They were predicting 6" - 10", so they weren't too far off.  The bad news is, Larry has formed out in the South Atlantic.  The bad news is, now we have Larry out there, and he is expected to strengthen into a hurricane during the overnight hours. 

I'm telling you right now, if he brings Darrell and Darrell with him, I'm outta here!

In the unbelievable news, while we were all watching Ida, Julian and Kate both formed and dissipated, and nobody even noticed...except us certified weather geeks.  Or certifiable...whichever...

In more bad news, there has been three new COVID cases in the department out at work, but on second shift.  One of the brazers and two TXV builders were diagnosed Monday.  Oh, and the maintenance man is still down in Jackson on a ventilator with his lungs full of blood clots.  It doesn't look good for him, but here's hoping he can fight through it.  

But the good news is, they're giving us this weekend off!  Hallelujer!  Praise da Lort!

What I plan on doing --other than knitting and a whole lot of sitting -- is to finish organizing my pantry area.  I cleaned off a third shelf for canned goods, 

and some three days later, I realized I should have organized them by expiration dates, so that the older ones are towards the front, and I can use them up first.  Maybe that will be one of my weekend projects.  That, and putting out my fall decorations.  Because, oh yeah!  It's the first day of meteorological fall!  

Anyway, I think I'm going to clean off that bottom shelf and store my bread machine and some emergency bottles of water on it, and my little pantry area will be complete.  Except for finding places to put all the stuff I dragged off those shelves to begin with, that is.  

And lastly, the charging port on my Kindle 10 is messing up.  The charger isn't making good contact or something, so even though it looks like it's plugged in, it might not be actually charging. I mean, it is 4-ish years old after all.  Until I decide whether I want to spring for a replacement, or hold out for a new model, I got out my old 8 and charged it up.  I'm still using my 10 for the less battery intensive things, but for the games with complex graphics, I've moved them to my 8.  

On a whim, I also got out my very first Fire.  It's so teensy compared to the other two, but it's cute as can be.  

I remember when I first got it, using my Christmas money back in 2014.  I was so proud to have it, and it still has a special place in my heart. 

As much as a piece of electronics can, I mean.    

Monday, August 30, 2021

Only At ADP

 Only at ADP do they schedule a tornado drill right in the middle of a hurricane.  

But that's exactly what they did.  They scheduled a tornado drill right in the middle of a hurricane.  Oh, and let's not forget the whole global pandemic thing going on, too.  

So, there I was at work, just a working away, in the middle of a hurricane, mind you, when suddenly the tornado sirens started going off, and the supervisors started yelling, "Go to the shelters!"  Then came the screaming and the running...

And the safety guy gets on the intercom and told us it was just a drill.  Could have mentioned that a bit sooner, doncha think????   

Anyway, we go to the shelters, and due to COVID protocols, they won't let us in, because there's no way we could stay 6 feet apart and all.  Good thing it wasn't a real tornado, then, huh?  Funny, if they were that concerned about us social distancing, they wouldn't be funneling 150 employees into the cage* at the end of the shift.  But I digress...

We milled around in the middle of the plant for a few moments, unable to actually go into the tornado shelters, wondering what was the point of even having a drill if we couldn't do the drill, then they gave the all clear and we went back to work.  And the day just went down hill from there. 

Actually, the day started off pretty low, and I have the cat to thank for that. Normally, she sleeps outside...or roams all night, I don't know which, but last night, due to the storm, I made her stay in the house.  She did not like that one little bit, and let me know in no uncertain terms that she did not like it.  All...night....long...So, I was tired to begin my day.  Tonight is going to be just as bad, because that storm seems to have stalled.  It doesn't look like it's moved but about 20 miles in the last 4 hours.  

Fortunately, the track shifted East again, and we're missing the worst of it.  

We've got a bit of upper level winds and some heavy rain, but not nearly as bad as it could have been. 

Then after work, I had a dentist appointment to get one of these broken teeth extracted.  What was left of it, that is.  He also looked at the other one, and said right away that it was something I'd have to go to an oral surgeon for.   That means I'll have to find an oral surgeon who can get me in before November, and won't require IV sedation.  

And that was my day...

But there are some positive happenings.  I'd meant to share this yesterday, but after finding the baby squirrel and taking him to the rescue place, the post just got a bit away from me, so I'm sharing it today.  

I have a new toy!  

One of the YouTube channels I follow, Learn Piano with Jazer Lee, did a video recently on metronomes.  This is one thing I have trouble with, staying in rhythm.  I've always played more by feel, than by counting, which I know I shouldn't do.  It may be OK with folk music, or improvisations, but there's no way I'm going to improve a piece by Beethoven or Bach.  Or even Mozart.    

I've tried to play with the metronome built into my keyboard, but am finding it very difficult to stay with the beat.  I'm not sure what it is, but I can't seem to pay attention to the ticking of the metronome and the music I'm trying to play at the same time.  If I turn the sound on the metronome up, it's distracting, but if I turn it down enough so that it's not a distraction, I can't hear it over the music.  The only way I've been able to play is to turn the metronome on, count with it a few moments, then turn it off and keep counting.  However, this doesn't stop me from speeding up as I'm playing.  

What to do?  What to do?

Well, Mr. Lee told a story about a student he was teaching who could not stay on beat, no matter what he tried.  They tried the metronome, and it didn't work for him, either.  In a flash of inspiration, Mr. Lee started tapping the student on the shoulder in time with the beat, and suddenly, he got it!  He was playing at tempo!

The whole point of that story was to introduce a metronome that you can wear.  It's the Soundbrenner Pulse, and that's what it does.  Instead of a ticking sound, it produces a vibration similar to your phone vibration.  I knew I needed to have one, and if you clicked on the link in the description, you'd get a 20% discount.  

It arrived Saturday, and to kind of get the feel of using it, I went all the way back to the beginning of my Michael Aaron course, and played through the primer. 

I still have to pay attention, but I think it's going to be a great help.  The cat, however, was unimpressed.  How do I know?  She turned the keyboard off while I was playing. 

That's some pretty harsh criticism, that is!

*The cage being the colloquial term we use for the turnstiles in front of the employee entrance/exit, because it really does look like a cage. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Change Of Plans

I'd had a post all planned out for you today.  It was about the hurricane and all.  I'd even started typing out my rough draft -- which I've left below.  But as happens so many times, life had other ideas. 

I'd gotten up early this morning, let the dog out, and tried to get the cat in.  She was acting strangely, and kept running over to sniff at something beside the house.  I walked out there to look, but as it was still dark, I didn't see anything.  The cat was still very interested in that spot, so I got a flashlight and went back out, and there it was.  She'd killed another critter.  I'd thought it was a possum at first, but after the sun came up, I saw it was a baby squirrel.  

Darn cat!  I was going to throw it over the back fence, then I heard it squeaking.  It was still alive!  My first thought was to put it out of its misery, as it was so young its eyes weren't even open, and the cat had chewed it up pretty badly.  But then, I though, "No!  I've got to at least try!"

I got onto FB, and posted in one of the local groups asking if there was a rehabber in the area.  One person responded, and directed me to a website called Central Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation.  I called them, and the person who answered told me there was someone closer to my area.  She gave me the number of Wild Again In Mississippi, Inc.  I called her, and made arrangements to bring the squirrel to her.  She told me to keep the baby warm, and instructed me to heat a bottle of water in the microwave and wrap it in a towel.  I was in the middle of doing that when I suddenly remembered, I had some of those chemical body warmers in my bug out bag!

See? I knew my obsession with collecting survival gear would come in handy some day. 

I activated one, wrapped it well, then put it into the box with the baby squirrel, and headed out to the rehab place.  

When I got there, I met a very nice lady named Estelle, who is a retired nurse turned wildlife rehabilitator, and is licensed by the state.  She let me name the squirrel, so naturally, being something of a bookworm myself, I chose the name Pattertwig -- even though he was a red squirrel, not a grey one...and lived in Narnia, not Mississippi...and could talk...

Anyway, I asked if I could take some photos, and Estelle gladly gave me permission, so here you go:

Giving Pattertwig a drink. 

He was very thirsty. 

She said straight up that given how many cat bites he had, it would be a miracle if he survived, but she would do everything she could for him.  I hope the little guy makes it. 

Batten down the hatches, she's gonna blow!

While we were all sleeping last night, Hurricane Ida strengthened into a category 4, and as of this writing, sits just 5 mph shy of being a cat 5.   By the way, I learned something new yesterday.  One of the many meteorologists I follow had posted that the more symmetrical a hurricane is, the more powerful it becomes.  That's why the big ones are all so picturesque.  

I'm in the cone this time, but by the time it gets here, she should have lost quite a bit of steam:

They're saying we could still have some rough winds and heavy rains, and to expect some power outages as well.  In the light of that, I got out and did a little hurricane prep yesterday evening, which  mostly consisted of bringing in the plants from the back porch,  

and taking my flags down -- just in case.   

Since my back porch was cleaned off anyway, I also drug out the old pressure washer and cleaned the moss off of my bricks.  It grew back, even though I sprayed those bricks down well with bleach water.

It's just so cool and damp in that spot, it's hard to keep them moss free. Then I turned the cat's outside shelter right side up, so she's not laying directly on the bricks, and made the lid the lid again.  I've got a couple of bricks on top of it, but I'm wondering if I should add a couple more, it being lightweight Styrofoam and all.  

And the final step in my storm prep was to light my Jim Cantore Candle

It smells pretty good, too. 

By the time I'd gotten back from the wildlife rehabber, I discovered -- well, I heard it on the radio in the car -- Ida had made landfall in Lousiane as a high end Category 4.  But on the way there and back, I saw truck after truck after truck headed South -- Linesmen, heavy equipment operators, even some army trucks.  

All going to help those affected by the storm.  Because this is America.

It's what we do.