Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I took a second job. Worked 3.75 hours this evening. Wonder how long I can keep this up...

Monday, August 27, 2007

I am a glutton.

Wish I were not.

Need to work on this.

I had a gift card to Target, so I have been using it strictly for groceries. Since I was nearing the end of its value, I decided to treat myself to a few non-essential items: Parmesan Sour Dough Twists; White Chocolate Filled Lemon Crisp Wafers; Herb Cheese Filled Crackers, and Strawberry Fruit bites. All of these were items that I could have as an afternoon snack after my protein-bar-and-milk lunches. I also found a 34 cents box of Mac & Cheese.

Well, the Mac & Cheese is completely gone and I have tasted all the special items. One chance at otherwise than the monotonous food that I have been eating for over a year and I spend an entire evening grazing like a starving bovine.


I also used the last of the card to buy Kashi a new "baby": an over-sized stuffed bumble bee. He was beside himself all evening. Such joy this puppy dog brings to my life!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I am thankful for the four days of rain that we have had, but I am frustrated because of how very upset Kashi becomes during the storms. He trembles so violently and begs me to make it stop. For him, I wish that I could...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Well, there was this ferocious thunderstorm this evening. So, what did I do? Wash my car!

B's husband G is quite dismayed that I have not washed my car since I purchased it. It is not that I do not desire a clean car, but merely vacuuming the inside out leaves me trembling. I cannot fathom why I can slog through yard work but repetitive motion such as washing a car leaves me trembling and rather weak.

Anyhow, seeing the rain fall down in buckets, I got the bright idea of fetching a bucket of my own and washing the car when all the rinse work would be taken care for me. The whole process was much easier, though I was quite fatigued from just the washing part. I am also thinking that perhaps I should get a different sponge and repeat the process. I had these large sponge sheets that I used, because I could not find my big "auto" sponge (perhaps this is because it has been four years since its last use). Still, they were sufficient to the job since the car is much cleaner now.

[I am sure my neighbors think I am crazy by now!]

Friday, August 24, 2007

I have noticed recently that those green signs on the highway are not always accurate. For example, there is one that tells me that my exit for work is in 1.5 miles. However, the exit is actually in .75 miles.

I wonder...what else out there are we taking for truth that is not so?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In three and a half hours, I plowed through a whole day's worth of tasks in my yard. I was so inspired by finally having a sidewalk again!

  1. I mowed, weed-whacked, and edged.
  2. I weeded the flower beds.
  3. I climbed atop both my sheds and cut back the wisteria that was drifting over my neighbor's shed.
  4. I trimmed three trees.
  5. I pruned all the bushes.
  6. I dug up my four dead azaleas (too much work for dead plants).
  7. I cut back my six rose bushes (they are really struggling just now).
  8. I set the bricks back against the edge of the new sidewalk (for the first time in 3 years they are all in place).
  9. I stuffed all the yard waste into six over-sized clear recycling bags.
  10. I did NOT faint!
Impressive, eh?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I have a sidewalk. I actually have a sidewalk!

About five months ago, maybe four, someone marked the opposite sides of the missing section (from when the sewage pipe in the front yard had to be replaced). When I saw the markings, I sort of hoped it meant the county was going to repair the sidewalk. I sort of hoped. I mean, what would be the odds after I had had so many quotes and couldn't get it repaired?

I did notice other sections that were marked. I also thought that perhaps the county was paying attention to the neighborhood because of the bungle with the bridge construction and the ensuing flooding two summers ago.

But...as the weeks passed by...I figured that the markings had some other purpose. In my darker moments, I feared that they were documentation for those homeowners who were going to be fined for missing or damaged sidewalks. After all, when I was having the pipe replaced, I learned, much to my dismay, that if the street had to be dug up to reach the main connection, then I was responsible for that repair. I thought surely the contractor was mistaken, but a county official confirmed that awful burden. The contractor assured me that he would be able to feed the new pipe through the old one to connect back to the main junction. However, that whole day at work I was rather nauseous thinking of all the things that could go wrong as the contractor was working.

Of course, the contractor had assured me that he also would not have to break through the sidewalk.

Still, all's well that ends well, eh?

Well! I have a sidewalk! Egad! I can hardly believe it. I almost think that having a sidewalk makes up for having the county worker begin his labors this morning at 7:00 AM.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

When I arrived home this evening, I realized that for the first time in months and months and months, the air-conditioner was not running! The rain has cooled the air enough to give my beleaguered machine a break!

You know, when I had to replace the A/C unit that was only three-years-old, I was miffed. I could understand that replacing the grossly over-sized heater would finally reduce those outlandish bills for a house that was set at 68 degrees and bring warmth to my winter-chilled body. However, I truly resented having to fork over the money for the new A/C.

I was wrong. The new unit works far better than I could have imagined. My home is plenty cool for my heat-sensitive body, and yet my monthly bill for the stinking hot month of July was a mere $125. That is nearly $75 less than with the old/new unit. Between the savings in the winter (some months more than $150), the new HVAC system is probably half-paid for already.

For that, I am truly thankful. Savings and cool air. What more could you ask for?

Well, I am glad you made the query! The answer is also winning the last four Scrabble games with B! She had been thrashing me for months, but I have done well the past few games. I know the trend with be short lived. I do. I can accept that. My only regret is that to win, I have to beat B. We have wondered if there was a way for us both to win, but neither of our rather fine minds have come up with a method yet.

Monday, August 20, 2007

While most everyone here is thankful for the rain that began falling yesterday evening because we are in an official drought, I am not. I am thankful for the rain, but I am most thankful for it because it kept my car from being towed.

Some time between when I arrived home on Friday and when I left this morning, someone put out emergency no parking signs prohibiting parking for the entire work week...weather permitting.

When I came home this evening, I had to park two blocks away. I was frustrated, walking through the rain to get to my house. However, I kept in mind that at least I had not spent the morning tracking down my car and paying some sure-to-be-enormous fine.

I have no clue as to the work and wonder if the rain yesterday and today means that I will have to park eons away all next week as well since the rain is supposed to hang around until some time Wednesday morning.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I am tired. Big surprise. However, it is because I am not sleeping.

Instead of sleeping, I am fretting about work and dreaming the wildest, weirdest dreams of my entire life. They are a mixture of my worries about finances and the concerns I have about my job. I am somehow battling all night long and end up even more exhausted than I thought possible.

And yet...and yet...I am considering trying to take a second job, or at least some regular consulting work if I can do so on nights and weekends. Does that even make sense? Will trying to mitigate the mountain of debt I have with a second job actually help me sleep?

I wonder.

However, the major concern I have with my new job is that the person who was there for four years before me did not document a single thing. Nothing. No files. No calendar of events. No contacts. No planning. How can I do this job while trying to also reinvent their foster care parent recruiting wheel. After all, there is no real money, so I also have to fund raise. That is, I have to fund raise after I finish designing all the new collateral they need and convincing someone to print it.

I am getting tired just thinking about it.

Will running myself ragged on a second job that could help provide for those medical bills and mortgage payments sitting on my credit cards help or hurt?

I wonder.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm sure you've seen those articles, those TV stories, about how dog owners and their pets start to look alike, right? Well, while I cannot say that Kashi and I have this issue, I am loathe to admit that Kashi has become rather identical to me in one particular way...getting him up in the morning is becoming as difficult as awaking myself!

When I get ready in the morning, he lazily lifts his head and watches for a bit before tucking his nose back between his paws and sleeps some more. He has to go outside before I leave in the morning, but getting him to do so is surprisingly difficult. I have to coax and cajole him into getting off his bed and then through his morning stretching just to get him to allow me to pick him up to carry him downstairs (he has been frightened of falling on the stairs for over a year now).

Sometimes I find myself growing quite frustrated at him because sometimes I just don't have the time it takes for him to be ready to go outside. Of course, at those times I do not have the time because I have hit my alarm snooze button one too many times and am late myself.

Sometimes, I cannot help but laugh at him. He has a point. I would much rather join him back in bed for a few hours than go off to work.

He is too much like me.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Can you believe that now, in the year 2007, in this century, there are still people using nooses to threaten, intimidate, and oppress African-Americans? What is even worse is that they were high school students doing so!

My heart is heavy. I am praying for the people of Jena, Louisiana. And I am wondering about the future of our country if we have high school students engaging in such hateful behavior as was done there and in Newark where a high school student allegedly took part in the execution style murder of three graduates headed off to college.

Children are attacking each other, sexually assaulting each other, murdering each other...all across America...all without impunity... and oh, so terribly easily...

Friday, August 10, 2007

I was oh, so right about Tiger!

You know those mysteries of life? I have been missing a pink sock for quite a while. I just don't see how washers or dryers eat them up. Really, how do those socks vanish in thin air? Well, a pink mystery has arisen again.

There is this toy storage closet at work, where they keep the items donated to the foster kinds. Oh, was it a mess. You could barely walk down the tiny aisle between cabinets crammed with stuff and boxes with stuff spilling over.

Yes, you know where I am going. The chaos was just too much for me to bear. Longing from a break from the pressures of my desk (that will come later if I can find the words), I decided to pop into the closet and work my magic.

Three hours later, organization reigned! I had all the toys separated by categories and all the shelves labeled (it was my first experience with a P-Touch label machine and I am long for one new even though nothing at my home is labeled or really needs them...I am sure I can think of a use for one). I also was able to throw away a half a dozen large boxes and clear a pathway that is now twice as wide as was previous.

Of course, I worked up a sweat with all that organizing, especially since there were no air-conditioning vents in the storage closet. Since I was in there alone, I removed my jacket and worked in my tank top. However, when I did so, I found this pink stain spreading across the back of my collar and just below it.

Where did it come from? Was my sweat pink? My hair was hanging down over the collar and back of the jacket when I first started working, so I could not have rubbed up against anything. Other than the plastic toys, there was no pink ribbons or liquids or any such item that could have stained my jacket.

Alas, it was a mystery.

It is a white cotton jacket with small brown flowers embroidered all over it. Those flowers perfectly match the brown of some Chico's slacks and tank top I have, so I very much was concerned about those pink stains.

I thought about calling B since she is the most skilled stain remover I have ever known, but I decided that I would first try my trusty, stand-by Spray N' Wash. Three applications and three washings later, the pink stains were gone!

I only hope they never return...

I won Scrabble today. Of course, when B plays, she concentrates more on playing great words than protecting those triple word spots from my greedy hands.

Still, I won!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tiger had a bit of a rough start today. The front nine was much, much kinder to him than the back nine, falling victim to fickle, swirling winds.

Speaking of fickle, those same folks who sang his praise last night practically have him circling the drain in this tournament...and it is only the first day. I bet a million golfers out there would be grateful to hold his position in the tournament five off the lead.

Bah humbug! They will be proven wrong. Such a sweet swing as evidenced last week has not gone anywhere. Tiger will prevail!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Kashi has not been eating much for a week and a half now. He normally gobbles up the soft food I had to switch to in order to get him to take his medicine (the powdered form is all I have been able to get down him). He normally gobbles it up, wipes the plate clean enough to be placed back in the cupboard, and looks pitifully up at me in an attempt to get more.

I have put the same plate out three nights in a row; it is taking him at least two days to eat only one-third a can of his food, when he normally consumes half a can.

I am worried...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

When I arrived home for work, I spent nearly two hours reading through my blog. I imagine that you are tired of reading that I am tired...

Reading through the entries was a bit disturbing for me. I realize, given my diminished cognitive capacity, this blog will serve as a great archive of my life, a place where I can read what I have so easily forgotten. However, I did not enjoy reading through the grief and hurt I allowed those folks at my previous job to inflict upon me. It was a job. It was professional, not personal. I feel weak in that I essentially put myself in that position and am ashamed at how long it took me to set aside that hurt.

Reading through the entries, I find myself to be rather boring, most often reflecting upon how ill I felt. I did not like the reminder of how rarely I actually feel good. I found myself dismayed at how often I reflect on the fact that I just don't fit in well with the human race. I was disappointed because I find little uplifting in my words.

I set about reading through those entries because I am trying to remember something.

I've written before how I would find myself sleeping with the laundry because I had yet to fold loads that had been washed sometimes weeks before. Lately I have been better about that, putting clothing away the same day it is washed.

Most often it is books that share my bed. I sleep with two or three tucked beneath my pillows. These are in addition to the books piled on the nightstand next to the bed and stacked on the floor beside it. My bible is there, the book I reach for most when I have bad dreams, when I am restless, when I want to savor the wonder of God's word. I also usually have one non-fiction book and a book of poetry beneath the pillows. The book I read before I fall asleep is sometimes placed back on the nightstand and sometimes held in my hand as the dark claims me.

Sometimes I wonder if I managed to land a husband where he would fit in the bed besides the eight pillows, the three or four books, and the one puppy dog (I have not yet figured out how the birds could sleep with me).

Anyhow, I was digging socks (I wear them to bed, but kick them off during the night) and books and eye blinders out of the bed when I found this bookmark. It is a lovely, delicate silver bookmark that has a turquoise feather hanging from the end that curves over the spine of the book. Some time in the past it must have fallen out of a book. and I forgot that it had been there.

The forgetting part is par for the course. You should know that by now. However, this bookmark was a lovely, thoughtful gift from someone. Someone who knows how much I love to read. Someone who knows how much I value the Native Americans left in this country and would welcome a product of their hands. Someone who cares about me sent this bookmark and I have not a clue who that was.

So, I set to reading through my blog to see if I could find out who gave it to me. Such a gift surely would have been recorded, if only to honor the giving and savor the receiving. However, I was too distracted by what I was reading to stick with my plan. As much as I would like to know the answer to my question, there is too much of my recent past I have no desire to revisit just now.

I suppose it will have to remain a mystery for now. I just wish there were less mysteries in my life...less mysteries and more memories.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I have always liked children. In fact, the greatest sorrow in my life is that I do not have any. From the time I was a young child, I looked forward to having children of my own. While I am loathe to admit it, that dream has most likely passed.

However, I do not like the children who live next to me and a few doors down.

They leave trash in my yard. They turn over my recylcing bin. And they knock over the bricks that edge my yard.

Most days, it is one or two or three bricks. Today it was all of them, from one end of my property to the other.

I've seen them do it. I am not a target of malice. I am just a recipient of their absolute disregard for anyone else but themselves.

I am not the only one who finds trash. I am not the only one who chases their bottles and cans all over the street. However, unfortunately, I am the only one with bricks edging their yard.

I have tried to talk with them. I have asked them kindly to desist. I have tried to talk to their parents. Neither cares. No rules. No boundaries. No consequences.

Even knowing this, I cannot help but feel utterly disheartened at the sight of the mess in front of my house. Two hours later, I had collected them all and re-set them in the ground. Right now, this moment, I am refusing to consider just how short-lived this repair may very well be.

It has been a two Dr. Pepper evening...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It still hurts to wash my hair, brush my hair, or lay on my left side. I guess my whack job was a good one.

I napped for four hours today, even after sleeping 13 hours last night. I wish I were not so tired.

Tiger Woods won by an impressive margin on a terrifically challenging course today. I hope he rolls right on through next weekend and trounces everyone else at the PGA championship. I sure do enjoy watching him.

My laundry is done, as are the dishes. The floor is vacuumed. Kashi and the birds both know they are loved and are taking naps since I tired them out with all my play. I am ignoring the call of the lawn.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My handicapped placard arrived in the mail today. I have been staring at it for hours. I wish I could put into words how it makes me feel...

Friday, August 03, 2007

W and I watched a Sugarland concert on TV tonight, singing along together, connected by the grace in my life that is Sprint. Jamming with W was such fun! Alas, it only lasted an hour.

Afterwards, I worked on filing. Last Friday, when I had mistakenly thought the concert was on and had her race home to watch with me, I ended up talking with my friend as I did my filing and cleaned up my office. Since we had some time before each of us needed to get to bed, I talked the paperwork that had piled up in the ensuing week.

What I like about W is that I can ask her stupid questions, and she will answer as if they were not. Should I throw this away? I don't need to keep this, right? Things I should know, but just didn't want to ferret out for myself. It is easier for her to do so. It is easier, and I am spared the frustration of knowing I should be able to get to the answer when I struggle to do so.

My two-drawer filing cabinet was quite full, making it rather difficult to stuff new paperwork into the files. Now, thanks to W, there is much more space in both drawers. As always, organizing is so soothing to me and seeing such a great result is so satisfying. SIGH

I did fail to find the one piece of paperwork for which I was looking. I need to place a call to B, finder of all things, to see if she can help!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I whacked myself in the side of my head with the metal part of a bungee strap this morning. I had thought it was secured when I bent over to tilt the cart so that I could begin wheeling it inside. I was wrong.

After sitting on the ground for about 15 minutes, quite dazed and quite worried, I managed to get up and reattach the strap. Getting inside was a bit of an endurance walk because of the pain radiating in my left temple. Of course, my co-workers were all for calling an ambulance. I was not.

I sat there, queasy and dizzy, coldly calculating the cost of the trip for treatment and running through my symptoms. I knew that if I had a serious head wound, like an internal bleed or a bad concussion, my vision would blur and I would grow more ill. So I waited.

Around 3:00, the dizziness had faded enough for me to drive home. I tumbled into bed and just arose. I think that after getting something to eat, going back to sleep is a good idea. I am more tired than I usually am and there is a substantial bruise on the side of my head.

Darn that strap...