June 16, 2018

Breathing a sigh of relief...

The past few months around here have been nothing but stressful for many reasons.  But there has been one issue that has been hanging over our (ok, really Man-Child's) head that left us him in a state of suspended animation.

As you know, earlier this year he found a position with an elementary school about an hour from here.  He loved it.  It wasn't his "dream" job but he loved the kids and the people he worked with - despite the drive.

About two months ago, his principal informed him that it had been discovered that a math teacher at another school in the county didn't have certification for teaching math.  And that since this particular teacher DID have certification for teaching physical education AND tenure that they were required to offer him any interim physical education position within the county.

As, Man-Child had joined the county system mid-year, his position was considered "interim."  The principal was not happy about the situation - as was Man-Child.  We weren't too thrilled either.  Man-Child was told that it was a "wait and see" situation as to whether this other teacher would accept the position.

I have to tell you that The Husband and I were appalled.  Here they had a great teacher - one that loves the kids.  One that had followed the rules and received the necessary certifications, etc.  But yet, they had to offer the position to one who couldn't even bother to follow the rules?  And he had to have known the rules since he'd been in the system long enough to gain tenure!

After being in "wait and see" mode for a few months, I tell you all of this only to share - he turned down the position and Man-Child has signed a contract for next year!  We are all so excited and happy.  Man-Child is happy to be looking forward to seeing "his" kids again next year.  He is happy to be looking forward to starting his "adult" life, i.e., finding his own place closer to the school.  While, we will miss having him here, we are excited for him.  I remember that time of my life.  Besides, I know the area he is thinking about...it's not that far AND there some of my favorite shops are not too far from there.  Perfect excuse to visit often...

June 11, 2018

Keeping in touch IS important...

I just received a call from the one cousin, you know - I'm sure you all have one; the one that you feel should have been your sibling.  This cousin (that should have been my sister - actually the only one that could have been my sister since all the others were boys) was "returning" a call from me.

I didn't call her to begin with.

But it was the nudge we both needed.

After her mom died (holy cow it was THAT long ago?! Seems like yesterday) we texted back and forth for quite a bit.  Mainly I instigated the conversation to be sure that she was getting along okay - I knew that her mother's death would rock her world.

And then, as is with life, things tapered off as we both focused on the daily minutiae of our lives...you know...the various chores that needed to be done, laundry (always with the laundry!), house maintenance, yard maintenance, work, spouses...the list goes on.

But as we've recently been reminded, The Husband and I, life is fleeting.  Take this time to remember those important in your life and contact them.  It doesn't need to be an every day thing - but reach out.  Let them know are thinking about them.

I think that gesture is probably more important than we realize.

June 8, 2018

Blogger woes and a new coffee maker

Over the last couple of days I noticed an odd thing...I wasn't receiving email on comment notifications.  Now granted, I don't get a LOT of them, but I do want to receive the ones I do get.

For as long as I can remember now, I NEVER get an email informing me of comments from ANY Yahoo email address.  Oh sure, the comment appears on the blog - but I'm never alerted to it.  But now, I'm not receiving ANY alerts....from any email address.

I, of course, took to Twitter to moan about this problem.  Some kind soul suggested that I go to my settings and remove the email, refresh and then add it back.  This did not work.

Then I visited DJan's blog only to discover that this problem is universal.  Another person commented that if you click the notify me box you will get notifications.  It's not ideal, but will do until Blogger fixes this issue...IF they fix it.  And if they do I hope they fix the Yahoo issue as well.  I'm crossing my fingers but not counting on it.  It seems to me that Blogger is the red-headed step-child of Google and doesn't get much attention.

In other news, my Keurig finally gave up the ghost for good last weekend.  I know that Maria loves her Nespresso machine and I did consider getting one because it sounds AMAZING - but I know myself.  I drink exactly ONE cup of black coffee at home every morning (I usually have another cup or two at work) during the week (on the weekend I usually make two, maybe three, cups).  So I couldn't justify the expense - particularly since I am the only person who drinks coffee in this house.  Yes, I live with weirdos.

But I didn't want to buy a regular, old-fashioned coffee maker because I knew either I would make a full pot that would go to waste (the math of figuring out how to just get two cups would make me crazy) or I'd end up drinking more coffee than I should and then have to live with the aftermath (the jitters).

So after a bit of online searching I discovered that Mr. Coffee has a single serve model that I thought would fit the bill.  My plan on Sunday, after determining for sure that the Keurig was well and truly dead - and sending The Husband out on an impromptu trip to McDonald's for a cup of coffee - was to head to Target to buy said Mr. Coffee.

The boys headed out for a "Boy's Breakfast" and I proceeded to get dressed.  And got waylaid by a phone call.  My friend two doors down wanted me to stop by and catch up; which of course I did.  Once I left her house I headed into town - luckily, something made me check my phone at a red light.  I had a text from The Husband - he bought me a coffee maker; the exact same one that I was headed out to buy.

Ahh, the joy of having a husband that occasionally actually listens to my ramblings!

Now that I've had this coffee maker for about a week or so here are my thoughts...the good and the bad.

The bad?  When it says it's a "single serve" model - they mean it.  You need to refill the reservoir EVERY time you want a fresh cup...this is only a minor inconvenience.

The good?  It works!  AND it utilizes the K-Cups that I have already stocked up on.  And even better...

Yes, an off-center picture.  After all this
time, what do you expect from me?  I am
NOT a photographer!

...the access to the top needle.  That was the problem with the Keurig...I couldn't access the top needle to clean it.  I am convinced that is why my Keurig died.  According to their website, there is a "tool" that you can use to clean it - but it's not offered for sale anywhere and they never responded to my (THREE) emails about where I could obtain one.  So for this reason, and this reason alone, I much prefer my Mr. Coffee.  Not to mention that this machine was only about $50 - to my mind, that means if it lives for over a year it has paid for itself.

May 27, 2018

Let's see what's blooming....

Today I did minimal yard work - this means I had three small goals and I completed them.  Then took a trip around the yard to see how things are looking.

First up...

Front porch - alas, the door has not been replaced yet...still debating whether or
not to remove the storm door.

My neighbor alerted me to the fact that these lovely planters were going for $5.00 each at the local Food Lion.  I was lucky enough to snag two of the last four.  Ignore that random planter of (cilantro? And my finger - whoever said I was a photographer was a liar.) whatever to the right. 

The front porch is actually brimming with activity right now, as off camera, there are pots that contain a few tomato plants, basil, oregano and peppermint (I've heard it wards off wasps...I'm beginning to have my doubts).  The back porch is also busy as it is hosting most of my container plants (sorry, no photos) that have been languishing in the house over winter.  They are beginning to make a come back from the lack of sunlight this house sorely does not provide.

My plan for these planters on the front porch was to raise them - so I went in search of planters today.  I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for but I did find these...they are actually inverted bathroom trashcans and they seem to fit the bill.  I think if I painted them to match the pots they'd work even better.

Next up was to plant a hydrangea.  We have this one weird, unfinished bed on the side of the house.  My plan was to plant something in memory of my friend and then finish off the bed with some hostas or something.  Today I bought a beautiful hydrangea - carted it around in my hot car for several hours before planting it.

Poor, sad, wilted hydrangea.  Also, I still need to finish the bed and add mulch. 
To no one's great surprise, my finger makes it's way into the shot again. *sigh*
The heart-shaped stone next to it has a phrase about remembering those
we've lost.

My last goal today, was to remove an invasive vine near the mailbox - no pictures of this event.  I was able to loosen the GINORMOUS root ball but was unable to remove it by myself.  This required brute strength.  So The Husband stepped in, flexed his muscles and pulled it out for me.

Then I took a stroll around the yard.  Last fall, in the big bed, we laid cardboard down and covered it with mulch.  Then earlier this year I learned about Preen and used that in the bed.  Between the cardboard and Preen the big bed has been pretty much weed (AND blackberry!) free!!  I will put out some more Preen next month and continue to monitor the situation.  Although, the lamb's ear seems to be peeking out and I thought, I'd removed it all.  It's not a plant that I care for - especially since I've discovered how invasive it can be.

Of course, by now, my peony has spent all of it's blooms but I did grab a picture during it's blooming glory.

I also managed to snag a photo when the roses and irises were in bloom...

SO happy about those irises - they were transplanted from the shady side of the yard.
I've heard I should be deadheading those roses - but the enormity of the task is

The transplanted hostas are also very happy in their new locations....

Earlier this spring - and yes, we need to mulch
This one is REALLY happy!
The hydrangea that we cut to the ground earlier this year is thriving...

Although, it seems this one is more of a "lace cap"
than a mop head, sadly.  It is also too close to the
camellia and we should probably move it - where,
I don't know.
The daylilies are also happy - and while I don't love them, I'm not sure what I could use to replace them.

I do know that they do need to be divided though.  Again, something I'm not
willing to do in this heat and humidity.
This yard has come a LONG way since we moved in.  There is still much to do (I'm looking at you, front yard!) but I am so pleased with the results we've seen so far.

May 20, 2018

I procrastinated again...

This weekend I have put off most of my "weekend chores" much to my current dismay.

Instead of lounging around watching Netflix as I normally would about this time on a Sunday evening, I am sitting here waiting.  Waiting for the clothes to dry, for my fingernails to dry, my toenails to dry and my hair to dry.  The only thing that I'm not waiting to dry is that load in the washing machine - but eventually, I'll be waiting for that to dry too.  *sigh*

I wish I could say I put off all my chores to do something fun and exciting.  No, instead I faffed around on the internet, mainly doing jigsaw puzzles online - which, much to my detriment, I've just learned was a thing.  In my defense, these types of puzzles are good for your brain - so technically, it wasn't a COMPLETE waste of time yes it was.

In other news, yesterday we finally ordered a new front door.  I've been putting off that decision because I couldn't figure out what color I wanted to paint it.  Initially, I wanted to paint it black to match the shutters.  But then it dawned on me, I have been slowly replacing all the door hardware to oil rubbed bronze.  Oil rubbed bronze would be lost on a black door.  Man-Child also opined that a bit of color would be nice.

Currently, we DO have color - but I hate it.

For some reason, ALL the exterior doors are painted this ugly burgundy color.  So I began searching for the perfect color for the front door (all other exterior doors will be painted black).  That was the major holdup as I already knew exactly what door I wanted.  I was in love with this Craftsman-inspired door.

The windows will bring some much needed light to our very dark living room.

The problem with finding the right color?  Our siding has a green undertone - yuck.  I'm not overly fond of green.  But I have finally hit upon THE perfect color - this lovely bluish green color.

Blue Lava
So I didn't completely waste this weekend - I found the color and ordered the door.  Now we wait (more waiting!!).  According to Lowe's we need to "allow" 21 days for the door to be ready (and they aren't even painting it!).  Then after they install we need to wait for the painter.  *sigh* So much for instant gratification.

And there went the dryer alarm...finally, we are getting something done around here.

May 11, 2018

A Surprise for an Early Mother's Day

Today the Mailroom dropped off these beauties...

Another crappy photo full of random desk stuff....
I never claimed to be a photographer.

Man-Child had sent me flowers as an early Mother's Day gift.  He knew that I have been struggling lately - between my late friend (we are still trying to work through this; it's harder than I would have imagined) and a few issues at work (the "attorney" that I want to throttle on a daily basis) - and wanted to brighten my day.  It worked.

AND The Husband actually took the initiative and made reservations for Sunday.  This is a HUGE departure from badgering me about where I want to go (along with the whole "we need to go early because Mother's Day is SO busy" spiel) that I usually get around now.

So there you have it - my Mother's Day is complete and...it's not even here yet!

Happy (early) Mother's Day!

April 18, 2018

Lineman Appreciation Day

First and foremost thank you for your kind comments on the last post.  My heart still aches and I am dreading the memorial service this weekend, more than you will ever know. 

Just last night I was telling The Husband that it seems like I am receiving an email from Duke Power just about every single day.  And that this is what is wrong with doing business online (I had switched our service to this house when we moved online in order to keep from talking to someone on the phone)...because once they have your email address they send you copious amounts of ridiculous email.  And then follow it up with a paper copy - if you haven't elected for paperless statements; which we haven't because The Husband wants to see actual bills for some random reason.

Yesterday's email was to praise us for how "energy efficient" we are compared to our neighbors...followed up with a paper copy in the mail.  Which is insane because our windows are old and I am looking at condensation on one right now - so I KNOW this house isn't "energy efficient."  And, for the record, just how "energy efficient" is it to send an email to that effect AND a paper copy, Duke Power?

Today's email sent me over the edge because...really?!  Here's the subject line...

Apparently, today is Lineman Appreciation Day.  And while I do appreciate them that doesn't mean I'm about to go out and accost one.

I get that they work hard to provide us with power; particularly after natural disasters - we just had a couple tornadoes touch down not far from here so I KNOW they are working hard to restore power to the affected areas.  And I appreciate all they do.

But honestly, Duke Power?  I really wanted to hit Reply and tell them that if I went out and found a lineman to hug 1) my husband would really NOT be happy for me to to do that and 2) I'd be disrupting their work.

Now, I'm off to hit "unsubscribe" and cross my fingers that it works because for all I know tomorrow is "Operator Appreciation Day and for the life of me, I would even know WHERE to begin to find one of those to hug.
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