January 9, 2017

NC DOT - you can expect a call from me tomorrow and it's your own fault.

As I mentioned in my last post, we've been snowed in.  Today was the third day of the incarceration.

The Husband was able to make it out to work but told me to stay home as the roads in our neighborhood weren't safe.  So being the good, little wife that I am, I stayed home.  So having eyes in my head that could see the street in front of the house but little else, I stayed home.  And slowly went insane.

When he came home this evening, I insisted that he get me out of this house, even for just a few minutes.  He obliged and took me to the grocery store two minutes up the street - it took at least ten.  I almost wish he hadn't.  I knew that the bit in front of our house was bad but I had no idea just HOW bad the rest of the roads were.  Once we made it to the main road it was fine but the roads in our neighborhood and one of them getting out were solid sheets of ice.  I had my eyes closed the whole time - it was terrifying.

The return trip was even worse as we had to turn around because of an accident and go another way which involved several steep hills covered in ice while maneuvering around several large Duke Energy trucks parked in the street.

I can already tell that I won't be going to work tomorrow either.

And this was after the NC DOT came through yesterday and "plowed."

Well, whomever they sent in should be ashamed of themselves - these roads were NOT plowed in any way shape or form.

At first, I thought since they didn't get to us until late yesterday that they'd be back today.  They have not.

Which brings us to the WHY of me having to give them a call.

Our little town does not have the resources to remove snow and ice and so it is the responsibility of the NC DOT according to our town website.

So upon returning home (safely, thank God!) I went to the NC DOT webpage.  I clicked on the Contact Us button as I couldn't find a complaint form or a service request form.  And started typing.  I wasn't being long-winded but wanted to explain where we were and what the problems we were having.  And then...I couldn't type anymore.  I physically couldn't type anymore.  Apparently, I'd hit the character limit, which was ridiculously short.

So I looked up the phone number and as it's well after 5:00 pm, tomorrow I will have to actually pick up the phone, navigate an infuriating phone tree to get to a human to explain the problem, once I've done all that navigating, I will be frustrated and bad tempered.

And to be honest?  That irritates me more than the shoddy "plowing."

January 7, 2017

Snowed in...

Last night we got anywhere between 6 to 8 inches of snow.  That's quite a lot for this area.  While I hear that the main roads are clear, I wouldn't actually know since I've been stuck in the house all day as the DOT has yet to venture into our subdivision.

You would have thought I'd done something productive with all this down time.  But no, I haven't even bothered to get out of my pajamas today!  The laundry remains undone.  The plants remain unwatered.  I didn't even bother to set my little minion to work.  Heck, I didn't even bother to venture outside to take a picture of the very pretty landscape for this post.

Lazy.  That's what today has been.

I spent a portion of it goofing off on the computer.  A little bit more time wiping the floor with Man-Child during a fierce game of Rummy - today instead of playing it safe and biding my time, I played a more daring game and it paid off; much to his dismay.  But the majority of the day was spent quietly reading, something I actually haven't being doing much of lately.  Oh sure, I read a bit each night - usually a chapter or two before turning in, but I haven't sat down and spent a long stretch just reading.

It was delightful.

Our newest neighbor came by and invited us to come over - but I was ensconced in my pj's with my book and the boys were watching football so we stayed in.  Maybe tomorrow.

For now, I'm content to sit here and compose this post while my guys discuss whatever it is they are discussing in the other room.

Tomorrow there will be plenty of time for chores while we wait for the snow plows to come dig us out.  And, most likely, more time to snuggle down with another good book.  And maybe, if I'm lucky, another successful game of Rummy.

Now?  Now, I think it's time to watch some Netflix; any suggestions?

January 3, 2017

So this is what 2017 looks like AND I now have my very own minion!

Rainy and clean.

It has been raining for what seems like an eon.  And there's no end in sight.  Well, the weather people claim that it will only rain for a couple more days; but at this point I don't believe them.

At any rate, I splurged on something a few days ago.  I have been coveting one for the past couple of years now.  The Husband thought I was crazy.  He also assumed that it didn't work as advertised and lamented how lazy we are becoming as a people.

This year, I thought, was THE year.  I pooh-poohed The Husband's doubt and did it.

I bought an iRobot Roomba.  The Husband was stunned.  And convinced that I would be returning my new minion after it didn't do what it should.  He also moaned about laziness again.  Yet, here's the deal - we aren't necessarily lazy but we ARE busy people.

We both work full time and despite the best intentions, vacuuming does not get done as often as it should.  With this thing, I can turn it on in the morning and come home to clean floors.  What could be better than that?

The Husband finally saw the Roomba in action the other day and I think he was duly impressed as he kept asking me how it knew to return to it's dock when it was done and other random questions.  I am head over heels in love with this thing.

It is so cool to watch it head out to do it's job.  It's cool to be in another room and have it come around the corner whirring away.  And it is extremely cool to have my floors clean EVERY DAY!  So far this thing has been worth every penny.  And when you do the cost per (daily) use; it's actually worth it.

We have discovered that we DO need to close a few doors.  I turned it on the other day before we left the house and when we came home we couldn't find it anywhere.  Eventually, it was discovered in The Husband's closet where it had somehow become trapped.  After that incident, it was determined that the closet and Man-Child's pigsty room need to be closed off since for whatever reason (laziness?) there is stuff all over the floors in those two areas - ah well, at least the mess is confined to those two areas that I don't have to look at every day.

Today I came home and found it tangled up in a extra long tablecloth that I have put off hemming.  I guess I need to go ahead and hem that sucker?  See?  This thing isn't making me lazier - it's making me more productive.

I have my very own minion - it makes me unbelievably happy.

I understand they have a different one that will also mop the floors for you...I may have to look into that.  Now if only they had a robot that could clean the bathroom and do the laundry...

Happy New Year to you all - let's make 2017 a great year filled with kindness and love.


December 29, 2016

Why I've been ignoring you and the laundry...

Sorry about that but I have an excuse - really.  I bought a jigsaw puzzle.  Yes, I have been derailed from life by A PUZZLE.  How's that, you ask?

Well, not only have I been neglecting my online life, I've been neglecting my real life as well.  Case in point?  Today alone, I estimate that I've spent at least 6-7 hours working on the damn thing.  I finally had to quit because I'd given myself a headache from staring at it.

I should have known better.  I know how I am - I can easily get derailed by a challenge.  And this particular puzzle is a challenge.

At any rate, I'm about halfway done and have almost decided that this will be the puzzle that never gets finished.  There is too much sky and too many greens.  But, I know myself, and I will do whatever it takes to finish that damn thing.  I'm just hoping that will be sooner rather than later.  Because between you and me?  The laundry needs doing, errands need to be run, the house needs to be cleaned...you know, the list goes on....besides, I only have four more days of vacation that I'd like to spend doing something besides a puzzle.

December 14, 2016

That first real step into being an adult is on the doorstep...

Well, would you look at that?  SIX posts for the month of December so far...looks like I'm on a roll - let's see if we can keep the momentum up.

I have NEWS!

Man-Child had his first real, grown up interview last week (I think - this time of year really screws up my sense of time).  He said that it went very well and that they seemed shocked when he told them that it was his first interview.  The position he applied for was a high school Physical Education Teacher/Coach.  Basically, exactly what he wants to do.

Two days (I guess) after that, he finished up his student teaching with the elementary school kids.  During that last week, he brought home stacks upon stacks of notes from all the kids.  They told him how much they would miss him, some reminisced on their favorite moments with him, some wished him good luck and "congratuions".

It was all very touching and sweet.  I asked him if this was making him re-think his desire to teach mean, old high schoolers.  He replied, "A little."

In fact, The Husband's boss has children that go to that school and they told their dad that Mr. X had left and they were sad because Mr. X spent so much time with each kid and that Ms. M (their regular teacher) wasn't as nice (which I'm sure is not true because Man-Child loved working with her).

Fun fact - the elementary school that Man-Child was student teaching in is approximately two minutes from the house and we live in a very small community.  Being seen around town on the weekends by the elementary set with a "teacher" is entertaining.  It's like he is a rock star.  Some of them giggle and point.  Others are shy; peeking out around their parents legs.  And then there are those bold enough to run up and say hi and then remind him (so he tells me) in front of their friends at school that they saw him at such and such; in case he forgot.

Anyway...Fast forward to this week.  He got a call from the school he applied to - they wanted his references and needed his signature for a background check.  A teacher from the elementary school informed him that they only run background checks if they are serious.  The thought that this might really be a possibility amped him up - but he kept trying to temper it because, as we all know, the odds of getting a job - your dream job - on the first interview, at that; are slim to none.

This morning, bright and early, he received THE phone call.  He has the job!

When he called to tell me I could hear the utter shock and amazement in his voice.  He couldn't believe it.

Honestly, I could.  I've seen how hard this kid has worked.  I've seen the reports from some of his professors.  I've seen this kid in action around adults since he was tiny - that kid has known how to carry on an adult conversation practically since he learned to talk.  I've seen him interact with children young and older, and seen the patience and kindness that he has.  I know that this kid knows his stuff - he has made it a point to because he had a dream.

One that he has now achieved - all due to his hard work and dedication.

He starts in January.  Unfortunately, as he is one online credit shy of his diploma (which, let me tell you, came as a nasty surprise to us as we assumed he was done), they can't hire him on as a full time teacher just yet - but they are going to hire him as a long-term substitute until he gets the degree, which should happen in the spring (if it doesn't, then I'll have to kill him).  Then they told him they would bring him on full time with benefits.

This school is out of our county, which means he'll have a bit of a drive, and is a smaller school but I think it will be the perfect place for him to start out.  And I am so over the moon excited for him and so very proud.

This is it guys - he's taking his first, real step into adulthood.  *sniff*  That completely empty nest is suddenly looming.  Somebody hold me.

December 11, 2016

If he'd read the directions first - it would have never happened

Do you know what this is?

No, contrary to what you may think, it is NOT an ordinary bathroom vent.  It is actually a symbol of my husband's undying love for me.

I know what you are thinking - "Well,what do you know - she's finally lost her marbles.  I knew it was only a matter of time."

I'll have you know that all my marbles are still intact, thank you very much.

It all started a few days ago when the temperatures here dropped drastically.  For some reason, the master bedroom/bathroom - but particularly the bathroom - are at least ten degrees colder/hotter than the rest of the house; depending on the season.

So when the temperatures plummeted, I asked The Husband how difficult would it be to install a vent/heater combo in the bathroom.  We had one at the last house, which is the only reason I knew this was an actual thing and not a daydream.  He responded that he didn't think it would be a difficult thing to do.  Which then prompted me to ask him to install one as I was getting tired of the unbecoming blue shade that I acquired after spending the time in there getting ready for work in the mornings.  He never really responded.

This morning he informed me he was headed out for a walk.  I thought it was his way of getting out of the house as I wrestled with the cookie press; after all these years he knows when it's time to make himself scarce.  The next thing I knew he was walking in the door a couple hours later with a big box containing the vent/heater combo.  Apparently, he'd hit Lowe's Home Improvement after his walk.

He then proceeded to unbox the item and went and looked at the old vent.  About this time, I decided it would be prudent for me to take all the goodies to the office in order not to have to worry about getting them there in the morning.  You see, after all these years, I've also learned when it's time to make myself scarce.

When I came home about an hour or two later, I walked into the bathroom to discover a pile of insulation on the floor, a gaping hole in the ceiling and The Husband beyond aggravated.  He informed me that we needed a bigger breaker for this contraption - something he doesn't feel comfortable doing himself - but figured he'd attempt it after getting the vent/heater in - yes, at this point it still was sitting on the floor.

I suggested that he take a break and that we grab a bite of lunch.  He agreed.

After lunch he headed back to the bathroom and I headed toward my closet/room/studio/whatever to finish wrapping a couple of gifts.  This is when we learned that no matter how loud my husband can be - and believe me, he CAN be loud - when we are on opposite ends of the house I can't hear him.  As I was finishing up the last gift I heard a faint noise and thought I'd better go check on him.

When I arrived he said, "About time!  I've been calling you for at least ten minutes!!"  as he was standing on the ladder holding the new contraption trying to keep it from falling.

Ooops.  Lesson learned, when The Husband is involved in a project, it's best to stay within earshot.

Another lesson learned - when The Husband is involved in a project that's in the ceiling - it would be prudent to have a taller person than me on hand.  I ended up standing on the toilet, on my tiptoes, trying to hold the contraption while he finished connecting whatever it was that he needed two hands to connect.  Eventually, he was able to connect it and shove it up into the hole in the ceiling.

At this point, I figured I'd best stay in the area.  He finally succeeded in getting everything situated just right and was able to finish the project - minus replacing the breaker.  At this point, he'd spent approximately four hours on this project and was done.

I helped clean up the mess and told him how much I appreciated this "easy" project.  And he informed me that had he read the directions before he started (he didn't, he never does.  His preferred method of madness is to jump right in and only when he gets stumped does he stop to look at the directions) this project would have never been done.

Apparently, one of the first things the instructions said was "you will need access to the attic above the space" - which we do not have; if we had, this project probably would have been as easy as he thought.

And that, my friends, is why that humble vent is a symbol of his undying love.  Because he did it for me and suffered untold aggravation to get it done.

December 10, 2016

Finally! It's about time we started getting our act together for the holiday....

And by "we", I mainly mean "me."  Although The Husband has been pulling his weight and doing the things I demand ask nicely of him.

I took yesterday off in an attempt to get some things done - hopefully bypassing the shopping crowd that I expected today.  I failed; at least in bypassing the crowds.  Apparently, everyone else in town took the day off for the same purpose.  But, I persevered and got a lot accomplished.  And by "got a lot accomplished" I mean, "I spent a boat load of money."

But, in my defense, I will give the same argument I gave The Husband, it was all necessary and you should have seen how much money I actually saved.  As a defensive argument, I will admit it's weak but it's all I have at the moment.

This morning found me running a few errands and then headed home to hide from the crowds.  Since I hadn't followed my own advice of wrapping gifts as they were bought, I found myself in a marathon wrapping session.  One which brought to a screeching halt as I realized there were two wrapped gifts without half the gift packed inside.  Surprisingly, I was actually able to unwrap and re-wrap the gifts without too much effort.

Speaking of paper, this year, I feel victim to Pinterest and all the neutral decor and decided to wrap all my gifts with white kraft paper and let the ribbons add the color.  After wrapping a sea of white gifts, I decided that I needed a little more color under the tree and wrapped a few using Christmas paper.  Then The Husband wandered in and declared, to my surprise, that he liked the white gifts. Huh.  Who would have thought that he, of all people, would be on board with something new?

The wrapping was again brought to a halt because I ran out of boxes - but the majority was done.

On to the next project...making goodies for the office "thing" on Monday.  Generally, our floor is pretty sedate about Christmas.  A few will decorate tastefully.  And some will bring in a few treats.  There may be a departmental lunch here and there.  But for the most part, Christmas is ignored on our floor.

Until this year.  A co-worker decided that we needed to have a floor-wide Christmas thing.  And she dragged me into it.  So we decided to have a Christmas/Holiday Goody Day - similar to what other floors do every year.  Although, I have recently been aggravated with some of my co-workers, I begrudgingly agreed.  Which is why after the marathon wrapping session, I found myself in another marathon - of the kitchen kind.

I made a cheese spread, fudge (which I just realized I banished last year - let's see if it fails me this year, if it doesn't it stays in rotation), peanut butter fudge (which is divine - recipe here), and almond bark.  I fully meant to do the spritz cookies tonight but was completely worn out; so they may get done tomorrow - but hopefully early.

My plan is to take all the goodies to work tomorrow to store in the fridge so I don't have to carry everything in on Monday.

And then there's this - a post done.  Yes, it's been a very productive day.

Although I am no where near ready for Christmas, I'm that much closer to being done.  And?  We have a tree!  The Husband found the perfect one today.  Currently, it's sitting in half in our front hall and half in our living room.  It has lights and the angel and is otherwise bare but it's beautiful.

In addition to cookies, I've just added decorating the tree to tomorrow's ever growing To-Do List - it appears tomorrow may also prove just as productive.

How about you?  Are you ahead of the game or are you like me - just getting by?