May 13, 2022

Left to my own devices

 The Husband left yesterday around 10 am for a long weekend visit with his daughter.  And I could not be more delighted.  The only "voices" or noise that I have heard since then is the one podcast I listen to daily and the two work calls that I had this morning.

It has been heavenly.

I'm sure his feelings were a little hurt after I responded with a no when asked if I would miss him.  I'm sorry - but since 2019 I'm very used to sitting in a quiet house and getting things done without having someone underfoot 24/7.  I will be more than ready to have him home after a couple of days but for now?  I'm reveling in the peace and quiet.  

Yes, I now have my home office and I appreciate that I can go in there when I have meetings/Teams calls or need to concentrate on a particular issue/task but...I don't like being stuck in their for the majority of the day.

So yesterday and today found me back at the dining room table for most of the day.

Which was nice since I had a hankering for an oatmeal raisin cookie (original recipe here) and it was a slow morning so I set about baking.  And God only knows what I did wrong but these were the flattest and most sad looking cookies I have ever made - maybe those two unexpected calls in the middle of the process led me to forget baking powder?  


BUT they are still, hands down, the BEST oatmeal raisin cookie,
even if they aren't pretty this time around.

I also happened to notice that my "baby" peony (I don't think I ever mentioned it; but sometime around the beginning of the pandemic I planted a new peony) finally had one bloom with two other buds getting ready to blossom.  Don't tell my other peony - which I do love - but this one might be my favorite.  I had to bring at least one bloom in to enjoy while I can.

A photographer I am not. 
Ignore the broom hanging out in the corner. *sigh*


It's a shame these blooms are so short lived.  It would be heavenly if these blooms just kept coming all spring/summer long.  But I guess I wouldn't appreciate them as much then.

As the forecast for the weekend looks to be a rainy one, I expect that I shall spend tomorrow and Sunday on indoor tasks - of which there are many - and will get the most necessary ones done and, hopefully, a few extras that have been hanging out on my To Do list for far too long.

Other than that, I am expecting it to be a slow and quiet weekend.  What does the weekend have in store for you?  Are you like me and need a little solitude now and then?


May 7, 2022

What?! It's ONLY been four years.

No, I have not actually fallen off the face of the earth; although based on my lackluster posting habits I wouldn't blame you if you assumed I had.

Does anyone remember WAY back in 2018 when I painted the guest bath vanity me mentioning that I wanted to rip out the other, unnecessary vanity and put in built in shelving for some much needed storage?

There are a myriad of reasons as to why those built ins were not done at the time - far too onerous (and boring for you) to get into here.

To be fair, we weren't COMPLETE slackers.  Immediately after painting the one vanity we did have someone come to remove the un-needed vanity and cap the water pipe.  Then, and only then, did the project come to a full stop.

It just kind of fell off the radar - one because The Husband wasn't quite sure this project was completely in his skill set.  He also (at the time) didn't have the tools he would need.  A friend offered to help - but he has small children, an intense job and his own house/projects.  And, I kind of just put the project on the back burner and let it simmer.

And usually, I didn't really think about it, for the most part, until we had people over (which honestly, in the past couple of years that has been few and far between) and it would pop into my head (as I was opening the front door to let them in) that the bathroom - although clean - was undone.  Seeing as the only people over were dear friends or family, I just dealt with the initial angst and let it go.

You might be wondering HOW I kept forgetting about it.  Honestly, the only time I'm in that room is to clean it.  So it wasn't an "in my face" issue.

Fast forward to the last couple of weeks.  The Husband, in all his free time, had been pondering about this project (dear reader, this means he has been bored).  Plus, he is in that room far more than I am - so it was becoming an "in his face" issue.

He began talking through his "design" idea (plus, by now he had acquired the necessary tools & time) describing building a box, etc.  I told him he was over thinking the entire project.

In my estimation (you know, the person who has never actually built anything), this was a fairly simple project.  And I gave him my "design" idea - slap some shelves that fit between the two walls, attach some trim, slap some paint on it all and call it a day.

Shockingly enough, he agreed that my plan had merit.

So here we are, FOUR years later...

Is my house THAT crooked?
Or am I THAT bad at taking pictures?
You decide.

Now all he has to do is un-assemble it (at this point nothing is fixed in place except for the the shelf cleats) so I can slap some paint on it and we can call it done.

Based on past behavior (see the post you just read) it might take a while for that paint to get slapped on.  But, it actually looks like what I was envisioning all those years ago.

April 14, 2022

And the debate rages on...

Yesterday, as I was scrolling Twitter and came across this Tweet from @BrightonMum. To which I replied... This whole Twitter exchange reminded me of this old post - back in the good old days. (I wandered over to see if I could find the post that started it all - it's here.  As I scrolled, I laughed and cried from the memories that were stirred up sifting through those old posts.)

Since many of you weren't here back then, I thought I'd revive the question.  What is the correct way in your house?  Over or under?  

Psst...over IS the correct answer. 

And if you answer under, know that I am not above switching it if I were to come for a visit. ;-)

April 9, 2022

"COVID Connection" coming soon to a building near me

 Well, so much for the "choose your own days" for our hybrid work model.

Last week we received a missive from the "communications department" - which basically means "the powers that be" dictated the communication and directed that department to spread the word.

Basically, it boiled down to the fact that a scheduled in-person day is being introduced to encourage "connectivity and collaboration" (and possibly COVID - of course, this bit was added by me).  So the two-day in office now mandates one of those days for EVERYONE to be in the office on a certain day.  And that we should plan to utilize in-person meetings and discussions. Masks optional, of course.

(Seems to me, someone has been counting noses and noticed that some people haven't been following the rules.  So, in the time honored tradition of corporations everywhere - rather than punishing the rule breakers they punish the entire company.)

Oh, that sound you hear?  That's just me screaming into the void.

As you might assume, I have MANY thoughts on this issue (especially as I am keeping a VERY careful eye on the latest data for our county) but I will keep them to myself as I continue to remind myself that all in all I am very lucky.  Very lucky.  They could have just said, "You know what?  Plan to come in five days a week from now on."  But that doesn't mean I have to like it - no matter how lucky I am.

Never mind the fact that my job doesn't usually involve collaboration or the fact that I would much rather walk across burning coals than "connect" with some of these people.

Then, to add insult to injury, it was announced that a "team building" exercise is coming next month.  The leadership team has already participated in this exercise and thinks it is "wonderful" and will do much to foster "connectivity and collaboration" among us peons.  Someone shoot me now.

I think in my next life, I am going to have a career as a consultant.  God knows these corporations spend boatloads of money on hiring people to tell them how to foster "connectivity and collaboration" with their employees.  Then I can sit back and laugh while I count my millions of dollars while the peons at the corporation waste valuable time on the ridiculous "team building" exercise that I have recommended

Yes.  That's my solid plan for my next life.

March 20, 2022

Latest loves

 I don't know about you but I do love a good post about someone's favorite (insert product here) or why that product didn't appeal to them; along with all the comments that results in possibly finding another product to love.

And I'm not talking about sponsored "product."  No, I want ALL the deets from someone who has no reason to lie; not that all sponsored posts are based on lie, but a normal, everyday person who doesn't have an agenda, either way.

Anyway...recently, a few new products have found their way into my home that I thought I'd share along with my thoughts about each.



The Girlfriend curated a sweet basket of luxuries for me at Christmas that I've been savoring these past few months.  I recently pulled this scrub out and I am in love!  

I AM a sucker for a good scrub - sugar or salt.  But, I'm VERY particular about scented products and generally veer away from most which I find to be over-powering, cloying, sickly sweet or medicinal - I KNOW, I'm a trial to live with...  

A coconut scent - when done right - is generally pleasing to me.  This one is perfect.  Not only that, the scrub works really well.  And this really amps up the "spa vibe" in the shower.  Once this jar is done, I will definitely buy another one; maybe in a different scent (the pineapple one sounds blissful)?  Based on a quick internet search, it appears to be available at all the usual places (Target, etc.).

Also, in the past few months I have taken to deep conditioning my hair once a week.  This product is one that I can find consistently at my local CVS and I love it.


The smell is divine and, I think, it is really helping my hair live its best life.  Between this and the sugar scrub, the shower definitely has that "spa" vibe going on.  Have I tried any other deep conditioners?  No.  But, knowing me, I will eventually - but for now, this is my go to.  Are any of you deep conditioning your hair?  What's your current favorite?

The last love affair with a product that I am having is pretty specific.



I love CeraVe products in general.  But this one really seems to get the jump on new outbreaks.  I'm not so sure how well it would work in the event of a major outbreak - but it seems to work very well for small areas.  And is unscented.  The only negative I've found is that many stores claim to have it on the shelves...but they don't.  My local CVS website consistently tells me it is in stock - but it never is.  So, my only option seems to be Amazon.

My latest and most prized love?  Drum roll please....


Of ALL the orchids in residence (six currently), this ONE has actually bloomed again!  I KNOW!  I'm ridiculously happy about it.  In all the years that these plants have been in my home only ONE attempted to re-bloom prior to this...only to, literally, wither on the vine before blooming and then?  To add insult to injury succumbed to an ant invasion and had to be put out of its misery.  I am seriously contemplating moving this particular lovely to my office where I can enjoy her - but am afraid of messing up whatever "magic" is making her bloom.

Now to figure out how to make the others bloom again...the angst of an orchid owner.

So what about you?  Any new products you love or hate?  Other than Suz (who has the "orchid touch"), have any of you successfully had your orchids re-bloom and were as over the moon as I am about it?  Dish in the comments.





March 12, 2022

Saturday Chit-Chat

I'm sure a good majority of you are sometimes honestly as surprised as I am when I pop up here.  I mean, at times, I actually post on a pretty regular basis...and then I fade away for a time (some times are shorter than others).  And then I pop back up.

I know.  I wonder about that too.  At any rate, here I am again today.  Let's just go with that.

While things have been relatively quiet around the Gigi household - many behind the scenes things are taking place.  Nothing new (really) or exciting.  Just things.

The back to work order commenced on Monday with BIG fanfare (aka...Super Spreader Events - welcome back reception in the lobby (masks optional), complimentary food from popular local food trucks in the courtyard for lunch (again, masks optional), etc.

Thankfully, those events were mainly restricted to the first three days of last week - at least they were thinking of us that aren't quite ready to jump back into "normal" life...I guess?

In reality, I DO appreciate the effort that went in to welcoming (most) of us back to the office.  AND I appreciate they also recognized that some of us would prefer coming in without so much fanfare.  Which meant that I showed up on Thursday and Friday.

On Thursday, I encountered a sweet co-worker I haven't seen since we walked out nearly three years ago...unmasked; naturally.  I pleasantly declined riding up in the elevator.  When I eventually arrived on the fourth floor, I found that only seven of us were in attendance...and I was the only one who masked in the common areas *sigh*

Friday was even better - there were only three of us on the whole floor (again, with me being the lone masked individual).

***

We shan't go into the very worrying things I keep reading about the latest strain; as I don't want to bring anyone angst.  Just...keep your masks at the ready and stay home as much as you can, okay?  I care for you too much for anything to happen to you.  Just sayin'... (and yes, I realize several friends, co-workers, etc. think I'm overreacting...but, I'd rather be safe than sorry, ya know?)

***

As usual, in the Gigi household something weird is ALWAYS happening.  I can't decide if it's just our luck, the natural order of things or if a poltergeist might somehow be involved.

About two weeks (ish) ago, The Husband was outraged when he claimed our relatively new (ish) television just died.  He informed me of this as I was reaching into the fridge; where I noted the light was out.  When I gave him this particular bit of data; the hunt was on.  The television and the fridge are not on the same circuit breaker - so that was our initial riddle.  Eventually, we discovered that the master bath electricity wasn't working, the fridge in the garage wasn't working and a few other areas.  None of which were connected to each other in any way, shape or form.

The Husband checked the breaker box while I texted a couple of neighbors to see if this was only happening here.  It was.  And the breakers were fine; despite the random outages.  The Husband then called his electrician while I consulted with Google.  Both the electrician and Google agreed that we had a bad "leg."  (What does that even mean?!).  The electrician advised that we call the power company because if this was the issue it would be something they would have to fix.

The Husband called the power company and we prepared for bed figuring nothing would happen before morning when all of a sudden - everything was working again!  We decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth and considered it a fluke.

Until the next morning, when The Husband wandered outside and noticed a weird contraption that looked like something out of a Sci-Fi sixties movie connected to our house.  Eventually, we decided that the power company must have snuck out in the middle of the night to deliver this contraption that was surely gathering data as to what might be wrong with our house.  We were curious as to why we hadn't heard from them...but since it was coming up on the weekend, we figured we'd hear something on Monday.  We didn't.

The next week, I happened to be in the garage when I heard several truck doors slamming and I went to the windows to investigate (Gladys Kravitz, I surely am).  The Husband was out; so it looked like no one was home since my car resides in the garage.  When I saw that TWO power company trucks were parked in front of the house, I opened the front door...so they would know that someone was home.

Eventually, they did - and they sent one of the guys to speak to me.  Apparently, a "leg" WAS out and the contraption attached to our house was giving us supplemental power until they could come out and fix it.  Which, I guess, was that day.  Would they have even bothered to try the bell to see if anyone was home before attempting to fix the problem?  That is anyone's guess.

At any rate, after a couple hours of work they informed us that the cable company (not ours) had placed their equipment right on top of theirs and they would have to come back.  So they hooked up the contraption again and left.

Two days later, we lost power again.  Except this time it was an all out power outage.  The guy came back (same day - shocker, I KNOW!)  Showed The Husband how to reset the contraption but stressed that we should call it in - even if we successfully reset the contraption.

And on Thursday, the power went out AGAIN - this time without anyone being home at the time.  The Husband discovered it upon returning home.  And once again, he reset the contraption and called.

Sometime, late Thursday evening, the power guys showed up again and this time (I guess because they'd figured out a way to work around the cable company's stuff) and supposedly fixed it.  Fingers crossed.  Unless a poltergeist IS involved, then who knows what kind of ride we are in for.

***

I've probably got about three or four more things to chit-chat about - but I am tired and I'm sure you are bored.  But I posted...so there's that.  xo


February 26, 2022

Saturday bits of random

 Rather than respond with multiple repeats to your comments on the last post, I figured I would respond here.  

I think part of the reasoning behind the return order is partially because we own our building.  I can see the thought of "Well, we are paying to keep the lights on, the HVAC running, etc...we might as well be IN the building a little."

I have been informed that the building is currently on the market - which may mean that the in office policy "could" (theoretically) change in the future.  We shall see.

And yes, I am grateful beyond measure that they have recognized that working from home has been a success (as they should.  I know for a fact that most of us have worked longer hours working from home than we ever did in the office - where we all just stopped working and went home at the end of the day usually) and will allow us to work from home for the majority of the week.

As I stated, my whole issue with returning to the office is the "mask optional" bit.  My plan is to continue to mask, avoid as many people as I can and continue to refuse when asked to go for lunch.  

Despite the nonsense the CDC has recently put out (most Americans can forego masking, etc. - which honestly, CDC - WHAT in the actual hell?); it just seems to me that it is too early to rush to judgment (IT'S OVER!).

No, it is not.  Even the American Medical Association stated that it's not over.  There are still those with compromised immune systems to think about and children under the age of five - or do they not matter?

Ok - enough.  The title of this post refers to random...so let's move on, shall we?

***

Thanks to Nicole's (HI NICOLE!) last two posts, this morning when I was getting dressed to head to the (thankfully) empty office, I actually stopped to take the time to spritz on my favorite perfume, add my jewelry and pick out a cute pair of red driving shoes.  While I have continued to wear actual clothes, apply makeup and fix my hair throughout the pandemic - I haven't had "fun" getting dressed.  Today, I had fun and actually looked forward to figuring out my outfit for the day.  Thank you, Nicole!  

Also, did you know that if you let your silver jewelry sit unused for two years it will tarnish?  Huh.  Guess I'll be cleaning jewelry tomorrow; not as much fun - but it will be ready when I want to wear them.

***

The home office.  It is sort of kind of together.  My initial plan had been to move the bed upstairs - but for now it's still in the home office.  And that's fine.  The desk could be a *smidge* longer but works.  The chair is nowhere near as comfortable as I'd like - but it works.  Having a dedicated space?  TOTALLY WORKS!

To the point that The Husband actually said, "I guess I'll never see you now..." as I walked in and shut the door to start the testing/training that was the impetus of the home office in the first place.

I love it - when I'm in the home office - it is quiet.  Imagine that!  I should have had one of these eons ago.  I have also turned to the home office during off hours just to experience the quiet...or compose a blog post (guess where I am right now?). ;-)

Speaking of the testing/training...OH MY GOD - the system seems fine - as long as everyone is properly trained (and they will need to be after spending decades doing something a certain way) - but the remote testing/training could be better managed.  So far, we've had five sessions.  Of those five sessions, only ONE was informative to me.  One particular session, we spent over an hour trying to get all of us logged in on our "mobiles" (said in a British accent).  And one session went nearly an hour over (which ok, if it is informative and NOT impeding lunch hour - which it did.  Lunch at 2:00 pm?  Not fun.)  Extremely frustrating.  Most of the other sessions were spent on a module that 90% of us in the meeting would never use.  As far as I can determine, we've got at least three more sessions; I'm hoping those will actually be useful and not a waste of my time.

***

I thought there was one other topic that I wanted to visit - but for the moment can't remember what that might have been.  



February 25, 2022

The memo I've been dreading has arrived...

As I've watched all the local restrictions and mask mandates drop away, I knew this day was was fast approaching and I have been DREADING it.

We have been summoned back to the office in two weeks - masks optional.

Granted, we have been told that the status quo from now on will be that we only have to be in the office two days a week and can work from home (or where ever) the other three days.  This particular bit of news was pleasant and also came as a shock because I never saw THAT coming.  And they aren't even mandating which days - we get to pick and choose.

But...it still feels to early to go back - particularly sans masks - and based on several conversations, I feel fairly confident that there will be a lot of people who will choose not to mask.  I hope I am wrong on that score...

I was talking to my boss the other day on another matter when he asked how I felt about the news.  I was honest and told him I wasn't thrilled - especially the mask bit.  I also told him how I have been told point blank by a few co-workers that they REFUSE to get vaccinated and that I really wasn't comfortable about being in the building with this information.

I know if he had a say in the matter, our little team could continue to work from home.  Sadly, he does not.

I also know - based on several conversations with various co-workers that they are "done" with the whole thing and think it's nuts that we are still being so very vigilant.  But here's the deal - we've avoided it so far and I'd like to continue that trend for the time being.  And the more I read about possible long term effects - and knowing our risk factors - the more I know that I REALLY don't want either of us to get it.

What baffles me is the insistence that we NEED to be in the office.  I mean, I can see having the building open and available for people to come and go as necessary; but what is the point of mandating that we NEED to be there two days a week; particularly since most of use have adapted and don't need to be there very much?  My usual method of madness, during the past two years, has been to head in on a Saturday/Sunday or random holiday (basically when I knew it would be just me and the security guy in the building) to check the mail and do a few tasks that I can't do from home.  This practice opened my eyes to just how much I CAN do from home (basically, 99% percent of my job can be done from home).  Usually, those once a week visits were wrapped up in less than an hour.  I can understand that there might be times where it's an "all hands on deck" kind of situation but that seems like that would be the rare occurrence.

I know things will have to go "back" to normal (no, we will never go back to the way it was, I don't think - some of us have been changed by this shared experience in so many big and small ways) eventually...but it just feels too soon to try to force it right now.

February 6, 2022

Waffling...it is what I do best


I've been pretty MIA around the blog-o-verse lately.  Sorry about that.

Life has been pretty quiet around here - well, not "quiet" exactly, since The Husband is now home a good majority of the days.  My quiet hours have drastically dwindled to next to never and I miss them.

Last week, I was informed that I am to be a "lab rat" to test a new system our company is hoping to roll out soon.  I haven't started this training/testing yet, but I can already hear the howls from many of the old-timers (of which, I am one now shockingly - just a few years ago, I was still considered a "newbie" even after being with the company for 15 years) at the thought of drastically changing the way things are done.  Maybe it will be a good thing; I've got my fingers crossed.

At any rate, this news finally lit a fire under me and I have ordered a desk and a chair to put in the current guest room - this training/testing will take place over several hours for several weeks; and it just isn't feasible for me to continue to work from the dining room table any more and expect The Husband to disappear or tiptoe around while I am engaged in this extensive training/testing.  

As is my wont, I looked at EVERY.SINGLE.DESK on the internet; narrowed it down to ten or so.  Then left the tabs open in my browser while I waffled about which one would best meet my needs.  Once I finally figured out which one I wanted (this was a DAYS long process, by the way); I then realized I needed a chair to accompany said desk and the whole process started all over again.

At any rate, they have been ordered and, hopefully, I will have transitioned into my new "home office" by the end of the week.

I must admit, I WILL be pleased to have all the office detritus cleared out of the main living area. 

Now I am off to waffle over what I will waffle over next.


January 11, 2022

Ding-dang it! I did it AGAIN

 Last year, I happily ordered a 2021 planner (knowing that the odds were good it would see little use after a month or two, given my history).  But I love the "idea" of a planner and acquiring one that suits my planning desires and is cute appeals to me every year.  

My working theory is that if the aesthetic of the planner is "pleasing" I might actually use it (friends, this theory has yet to pan out past three months.  Usually, I pick it up again several months later; only to find it at the end of the year - mostly unused).

The "new" 2021 planner I had ordered was, indeed "new", but was a 2020 version. *sigh*

You can probably guess where this going...

A few days ago, I happily ordered a new (eventually to be ignored) planner.  Guess what arrived yesterday?

A very cute, 2021 planner. *smacks head to desk*

Honestly, how is this EVEN possible?  I open the website, I type the words "2022 5 x 8 planner," skim the results, looking for something that appeals, find one and click "buy".  

WHY on earth are 2021 planners EVEN showing up in the results??

Can I blame this brain fog on COVID?  Even though we haven't had it (thank God; knock wood)? I think I can and will.

Because what else could account for me doing this TWO years in a row?