September 9, 2022

Friday night ruminations...

 Y'all.  This so-called "short" work week has been one really long, drawn out and stressful week that even now, at *glances at the clock* 7:10 pm still hasn't ended.  And will, I'm afraid, be spilling over into this weekend and possibly Monday .  Gosh, I hope not.

Honestly - who needs this kind of stress?  Not me, that's for sure.  But after this is over I need to sit back and reflect on how I could have handled these stressors better.  I know that I am usually pretty quick and efficient with my work; but I also know that when I am stressed AND in a rush that turns into a total mess; which equals even more stress...and insomnia.  So I think the next time I have a week like this one, I need to slllllllooooowwwww way down and focus, somehow.

Anyhow, we are planning our first actual "vacation" since COVID began - which is just one more stressor for me, honestly.  We are going up to Connecticut to visit my mother-in-law; which is long past due.  But she turns 91 in a few weeks and we just can't wait for the rest of the country to fall in line with masking, vaccinations, boosters, etc.

Between you and me, I think we should have probably taken this trip back in the Spring but here we are in September and this is a trip we need to make.  So send all your good thoughts to the East Coast in the next couple of weeks that keeps us safe and healthy.

I know there are some who think I am being silly - but honestly, in the past couple of weeks, I have seen/heard about some of the most cautious people I know coming down with COVID.  And yes, for the most part (so far) they are fine.  One of my concerns is that you just don't know how it will affect you even despite being vaccinated and boosted.  And, of course, there is long COVID to consider...

But despite all my trepidations, I AM excited to see the family - that will be nice; especially if we somehow miraculously make it up there and back without actually coming face to face with COVID.

God, I hate COVID so very much.

Ah.  Well, it seems I have created a pretty sad post, haven't I?  Sorry about that.

In other news, I wandered out into the big bed out back this evening and relieved some of this weeks stress by yanking out some Morning Glories - which, guess where they like to pop up the most?  If you guessed under the roses, you would be correct.  Now I am covered in scratches.  But that's ok (I guess?) because (for now) they are gone and while I was yanking out the vines I had an eye out for any errant blackberry bits that might be trying to make a come back and didn't' see one shoot at all.  *Says in a whisper, so the blackberry bush can't hear* I think I might be winning that particular war; knock on wood. 

(We won't even talk about the grass that continually seems to invade every flower bed in this yard but stubbornly refuses to grow in the actual yard.  No, we won't - because we are focusing on a positive ending here to usher us into the weekend.)

So there, I found a way to round up this post with a modicum of (possible) good news (unless, of course, the blackberry bush hears about this and begins to spit forth a bunch of new shoots tomorrow to be yanked out).  

My plans for this weekend are to relax and do as little thinking about hard, stressful stuff as I can.  How about you?

August 22, 2022

The Pajama Drawer

 Ok, this is going to sound utterly ridiculous...but here it goes.

This weekend was a slow, quiet weekend.  The weather, while not rainy for the most part, just had that sense of a storm coming any minute now.  So, I spent a fair amount of time indoors, scrolling Instagram (no judgment; I had already completed all my "chores").

And then I fell down the rabbit hole that is The Folding Lady's Instagram feed.  If you haven't spent any time watching someone fold various items, you probably have no idea just how soothing - and instructive - it can be.  I'm ashamed (no, I'm not) at just how much time I spent on this pursuit.

Another rabbit hole that I sometimes frequent is the GoCleanCo's Instagram feed, in the event you need a rabbit hole or two to fall into.  Actually, there are a LOT of rabbit holes on Instagram - these two are my latest Insta-obsessions.

Some of you that have been around here for a while, may remember that after I read Marie Kondo's book, I completely re-vamped the way I had been folding (most) of the clothes in this house.  Shockingly enough, I still fold the majority of the clothes in this manner - it seems to work for us.

The only areas that this method didn't seem to work was my jeans drawer (yes, always and forever to my jeans living in a drawer rather than a hanger - The Husband's jeans do go on a hanger however) and my pajama drawer.

In the jeans drawer, they are folded in such a way so that I can quickly identify if that is a preferred pair, a work in the yard pair, or if they are a "I don't like them because they stretch out after an hour of wearing them" pair.  Upon reflection, it seems I need to clean out that drawer since there are several that are deemed unsatisfactory 99% of the time.

The pajama drawer though?  A nightmare.  I can't tell you how many times, I've pulled out all the pajamas, re-folded them and put them back in.  The pajamas for some reason (I guess it's the material) wouldn't "stand up" in the drawer (also probably because I need some kind of bin/organizer in there) but, it never failed that this drawer would end up in a jumbled mess.

And then I fell down The Folding Lady rabbit hole.  And noticed, that she folded her kids pajamas as a set.  Whereas I had been folding each item separately - a lightbulb went off in my head and I immediately went to the problematic drawer, pulled everything out, weeded out what could be donated or trashed and re-folded everything as a set.  They still won't "stand up" (I'll probably add some drawer dividers in the near future) but it's not the hot mess it was before.  And now, when I pull out a fresh pair of pajamas, I am not rummaging around for the whole ensemble.  Sometimes, it's only after the fact when you realize, um yeah - this IS a better way...despite doing it a different way for your entire life.

What about you - were you smart enough, to sigh and say "Of COURSE, you should always fold your pajamas as a set!" or are you like I was...clueless?

August 10, 2022

Day 5 Update (however many days later) and The Orphan Collector - a book review

 Raise your hand if you are surprised I actually remembered to come back and tell you how this story played out?  AND that I've got another book review?

I don't blame you, I'm kind of surprised too, if the truth be told.

Turns out the AC was not dead dead (yet).  The service technicians said they would be out between 8-11 am this past Monday (of course).  They showed up around 8:20 am and were in and out of here in less than five minutes.  Turns out the capacitor (look at me acting like I know what that is!) needed to be replaced.  They had the part on the truck, took the old one off, plugged the new one in and here we are - fully air conditioned.

Although, thanks to our sweet neighbor's willingness to share their fans/stand alone and window units; we were never in any actual discomfort.

But still, the demise of the AC is a cloud on the horizon - but we won't worry about it for now.  

Moving on...

The Orphan Collector: A Heroic Tale of Survival During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic by Ellen Marie Wiseman.

Stellar reading...if you are into reading about a previous pandemic all while living through an actual, current day pandemic (or two - if you count monkeypox; which honestly, just HOW much do we have to deal with at one time?).

I'm not even going to post the whole description (which you can find in that link up there).  Just remember how terrifying the beginning of our current day pandemic was.  We had no idea - should we be washing our groceries?  Should we touch the mail?  Every person we came across could be harboring disease.  That is exactly how this story unfolds - they are afraid and with good reason.

The story centers around a thirteen year old girl and a bitter, grief stricken woman and how their lives tragically intersect over and over through the years.

I found and read this book through Prime Reading (which, if you aren't familiar, if you have a Prime account there are books that you can read for free on a device with a Kindle or Kindle app - or you can actually buy a copy.  Or check with your local library) and read this on a device - which I normally don't prefer but it comes in handy every once in a while.  And I tore through this "book" (can I call it a book if I didn't physically hold it?) and was so invested in the story that I regaled The Husband with the plot over lunch one day - and the kicker?  He actually listened and found it fascinating.

August 7, 2022

The Chain - a book review (Days Three and Four)

 Well, it HAS been a minute since I've done one of these hasn't it?

The Chain by Adrian McKinty is a page turner that's for sure.

Stephen King's blurb alone would have been enough to make me buy the book.

When a mother is targeted by a dangerous group of masterminds, she must commit a crime to save her kidnapped daughter—or risk losing her forever—in this "propulsive and original" award-winning thriller (Stephen King).

"You are not the first. And you will certainly not be the last."  Imagine dropping your child off at the school bus stop and then these are among the first words you hear when you answer the phone.

As a parent, reading this book you realize very quickly that, yes, you WOULD do whatever it takes to bring your child home safely.

If you are looking for a story that pulls you in and keeps you reading way past your bedtime, this might be a book for you.

***

Days Three and Four update:  Nothing new, of course.  Crossing our fingers that tomorrow we get a definitive answer/resolution.


August 5, 2022

Day Two - and What's Up With Blogger Now?!

 Nothing new to report except the contracted company called and set up an appointment for Monday morning.

Frankly, I was shocked.  I had assumed we wouldn't be able to garner an appointment so soon; particularly since the whole issue arose so late in the afternoon yesterday.

With all the fans/borrowed AC units, the house isn't completely unbearable, so there's that.  We can't decide if we are hoping for the unit NOT to be dead dead or is officially dead and we are just waiting for the death certificate to be signed.  Either way, we know that the unit is either dead or at death's door and we'll have to deal with the hassle of laying it to rest sooner or later.  Currently, I'm leaning toward the diagnosis being dead dead and just getting it over with.

On to Blogger.  All of a sudden, for no apparent reason, ALL of the comments you are so kindly leaving are being put into quarantine - despite the fact that I do NOT have the "Moderate Comments" option on. Fellow Blogger users, is this something you are also experiencing?  Curious minds would like to know.

It's a puzzle, that's for sure.  And although, it wasn't an obvious fix, I finally figured out how to release the comments from quarantine.  So, that's TWO good things for today - we have an appointment to diagnose the AC and your comments are no longer quarantined (for now, anyway - who knows if this is going to be a regular thing or just a glitch).

So, I will end on that note - despite everything else, good things are there...sometimes we just have to actively look for them.  

August 4, 2022

Day One

Friends.  We knew it was coming.  Especially as we watched the same scenario play out two doors down (on both sides) in the past couple of months.

Our AC died this afternoon...in August, no less.  Of COURSE this couldn't haven't had happened in, I don't know, June! (let's bow our heads and pray that the warranty company comes through...since this is the only damn reason we have that warranty anyway).

But honestly, after the whole hot water saga of 2020 and the no stove for Christmas (also 2020); I am not hopeful.

Especially after discovering our neighbor has the exact SAME home warranty company and was told that it would be WEEKS after their AC died a few weeks ago before it could be replaced.  They ended up buying a new unit and are now fighting with the company for some kind of reimbursement.

Therefore, since my memory is like a sieve, I figure I better document every single detail - especially since I've recently learned that this company has come under fire lately.  I want to be ready to unleash all the gory details, if necessary.

Actually what I am hoping happens is that since they ARE under fire this will be a smooth and not a long drawn out process.

Luckily, we have good friends two doors down (on either side of us now!).  One brought over a heavy duty fan and the other (the one with the same home warranty people) brought over a free standing air conditioner AND a window unit (they bought both when they figured out that the warranty people were weasels).  Plus, we have ceiling fans, a standing fan and a box fan.  

As the evening goes on, it's not terrible in the house; but we shall see what the heat of the day feels like tomorrow.  According to my weather app, it's not supposed to get above 90 degrees for the next four days - that itself is a blessing, I suppose.

So, I guess I'll wrap this up with - let's see how this plays out.

July 31, 2022

A Satisfying Little Project

 After bringing home a new tinted sunscreen to try, I realized it was WAY past time to jump into cleaning out my make up drawer.

Well, that makes it sound like I have a regular sized drawer chock full of make up products, doesn't it?  That is the farthest thing from the truth.  The drawers in our vanity are ridiculously narrow - almost to the point of being practically useless; but I digress - back to cleaning out said drawer.

This afternoon, while I had a few blissfully quiet hours (i.e., I was home ALONE!  A feat which is rare these days.  At most, I usually get about 30 minutes), I went in and pulled out everything that was crammed into that woefully narrow drawer.  I discovered cracked, un-used cream eye shadows (gone), old mascaras (three - gone), shimmery eye shadows that were so old I don't even remember buying them (gone - besides the days for shimmery eye shadows for me is long gone), "long wear" lipsticks/stains that I bought on a whim to see if they could outlast my CoverGirl Outlast (they didn't - gone), powder (gone), and a BB cream that I swear once you put it on it would stay there till the end of time (nothing could get it off - not even cold cream - gone).

Most of the above wasn't really a huge surprise.  Not in the least.  What DID surprise me is that I have, apparently, somehow been inadvertently acquiring a ridiculously HUGE number of make up brushes.  

Twenty-one, to be exact.

Now, do I actually use ANY of these brushes on a regular basis?

Two on a daily basis - maybe four for a "dress up" event.  So the question remains, where and how did all these brushes come to be stuffed into my make up drawer?  Who knows; it's a mystery for the ages.

At any rate, I cleaned them all and the extra brushes are all set for the next Goodwill drop off - hopefully, they will go to someone who will actually use them.

The only things that went back into that drawer were one eye shadow (used on a daily basis as "eye liner" - much less harsh than actual eye liner, FYI.), two eye shadow palettes that I would use for a "dress up" event (but who are we kidding here?  What dress up events are anywhere on my calendar these days?).  Two mascaras (I'm trying to decide which I like the best).  Blush.  Foundation (also only used for the non-existent "dress up" events).  Concealer.  My two favorite shades of CoverGirl Outlast lipstick (Brazen Raisin and Unique Burgundy), the four brushes that I decided to keep, my eyebrow pencil, cold cream and, of course, the new tinted sunscreen all made the cut.

With this little project out of the way, I was inspired to clean out two of the other drawers and found even more stuff to get tossed or donated.  So now, all of the drawers in the bathroom (minus that last one - it holds my curling irons/flat irons, etc. that I'm not quite ready to give up despite the fact I cannot remember the last time I used any of them and don't expect to use any of them in the near - or far - future) are clean and tidy.

A satisfying little project that will make me smile when I open those drawers tomorrow to get ready for the day.

July 22, 2022

The library

 Well.  I have to say it IS soothing to know that I am not the only one actually pulling weeds.  Who the heck knows what my neighbors are doing since I never see any of them out there doing the hard work.

At any rate, we are here to talk about the library and my, by now, very obvious aversion of talking on the phone.

For however long this damn pandemic has been going on, I have been trying to access our local library to place books on hold online.  And let me tell you - that website needs some serious work because navigating it (particularly when you can't get access) is a nightmare.

So for the past 100 years (or so), my reading options have been pretty slim.  I've pretty much re-read everything in this house at least once.  And have met any new books that have come in via gifts or from an online order with rapturous delight; as you might imagine.

Recently, I had had enough, so I used the "contact us" feature on the website.  I was absolutely DELIGHTED to receive an immediate response (I can honestly say that while the website was lacking; the customer service was exceptional).

After a few emails back and forth, the person on the other end simply could not find me anywhere in their system - although I've had a library card since we moved here in 1997 (I think.  Who knows anymore?  Time has always seemed to slip through my fingers quickly - the pandemic has exacerbated this to an alarming degree).  This person suggested that I call the library.  Oh, the pain and agony!

As it seems for most of us, I despise making phone calls.  What good is the internet if we can't handle all of our business online, I ask you?  But, as I mentioned, I was fed up, so I placed the call.  The person on the other end was perfectly competent and sweet - but she couldn't find me either.  Then she asked if it had been a while since I used my card.

Well, yeah.  Haven't used it in the past 100 years (or so), plus some prior to the pandemic when I had a plethora of fresh, new books at my fingertips on a daily basis.  She then informed me that most likely my card had expired.  (WHAT?!  Since WHEN do library cards expire?!)  She went on to tell me that I would have to come in to get a new one (see above re: the internet) as they couldn't give me a card without verifying my identity.  

Ok.  I GET why SOME places (banks, DMV, etc.) need to verify my identity - but who in the Sam Hill is stealing people's identity to get a library card? *sigh*

(I KNOW they want to ensure that you are a resident of that particular county; but honestly - just who is driving from one county to another to "scam" libraries out of lending books?)

I thanked the woman and told her I'd see her soon.

This was a lie.

I sat with this information for a few days (ok.  Maybe a few weeks - you know how I can be) before I masked up and walked into a local branch.

The woman I spoke to also couldn't find me in the system and she agreed that it looked like my card had expired and quickly set me up with another one and told me to keep my old one as "keepsake."  Which I promptly tucked back into my wallet - where it will be totally forgotten about in no time and reside for eons.

So. To re-cap it's only taken me 100 years - give or take a few years - but now I can place holds online for books I'd like to read.  And I'm over the moon about it.  Until today, when I went to pick up one of  the "books" that was ready for me - and just in time too, because I'd just finished the last "new" book.  Upon arrival, I discovered I'd put the audio version on hold.  *sigh*  So, despite all that progress, I don't have anything new to read this evening.

Do any of you put off annoying, "little" things for eons?  And then once the ordeal is done think, "that wasn't so bad after all."  Or is that just me?

July 15, 2022

Bathroom Talk

 Hi!  Yes, I'm still here; you can quit wondering if I've fallen off the face of the earth...for now anyway.

Life - both work and personal -has quieted down quite a bit since my last couple of posts; thank goodness!  And this week has been extra quiet as I gifted myself a week off as a birthday present.  Although, this week has been pretty quiet it HAS been a busy one.  There was weeding to be done on Monday - and you know what I was thinking as I was out there cursing every single weed as I yanked them out?  Am I the only person in this whole wide world that actually weeds?  I never see anyone else out in their flower beds yanking weeds.  What is their secret to keeping the flower beds weed-free?  Anyone have any idea?  If so, spill it in the comments please.

On Tuesday, The Husband decided he was done with my procrastinating ways (I mean come ON.  It took four years to get the damned thing built so what if it's been two months and it's still not painted?) and informed me that we would be painting the built in shelves for the guest bath.  And, apparently, he meant business as he prepped everything and even (despite his loathing for painting) actually helped paint.  So that is done, I'm just giving it a few days to cure before I actually place anything on said shelves.

And in true, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" fashion, things kind of snowballed from there.  While at The Home Depot to look at options for around the mailbox to help keep the damned grass from encroaching into the flower bed that surrounds the mailbox (a project that will be held off until fall due to the fact that neither of us want to work outside in stifling heat); The Husband suggested that we look at bathroom light fixtures for the guest bath.  He has hated that light fixture since the day we moved in.

This is pretty much what we had in there...



Except ours had clear bulbs and a little bit of rust.  Explain to me WHY light manufacturers would create a light; designed for a bathroom, I might add; that would rust? 

At any rate, we found a light that we both didn't hate and today The Husband pulled the offending fixture down, spackled the wall and plans to sand, paint, and possibly hang the light tomorrow.

As an aside - have you looked that the bathroom light fixtures at your local big box store lately?  Holy cow - yes, I get that taste is subjective - but next time you are in the store take a walk over to that section and have a gander.  I was fascinated - in a I'd give anything to personally see some of the options on offer in someone's bathroom way.  

While we were discussing the whole fixture situation; I mentioned that I really hated the builder grade, standard gigantic mirror in there and wondered if we should remove it; along with random, ugly curtain rod (this house was built in the 90's - so you just KNOW there was some kind of balloon valance in there at some point).  He balked at the idea (of course, because that will require more spackling and painting - plus getting someone to remove it).

My argument was that if we do those two things, in addition to my painting the vanity many moons ago, finally getting the shelving done and the fixture - we would pretty much have a complete makeover in that room on the cheap.  He agreed but is still hesitant.  But I am pretty firmly in the mirror must go camp.  So we shall see how this turns out (the mirror will go...eventually)

So basically, this stay-cation, to date, has been a week of household projects/chores that I've been putting off.   

June 16, 2022

I posted about burnout...and then, ironically enough, things got even crazier...because of course it did; that's how life works.

 Thank you all for the sweet comments on the last post.  I have really tried hard to cut back - particularly on the weekends and after-hours.

And then, ironically enough, I got far too busy to even respond to any of your comments (or visit many blogs - so sorry).  And then this week hit.

I don't know that I've mentioned it here - I don't think I have.  Or maybe I did.  Who the hell knows at this point and I'm too tired to look into the archives.  

Some of us were in "mandatory" workshops this week and I was one of those "lucky, lucky" people (it is my understanding that ALL employees will undergo this torture exercise eventually - those that haven't had it yet have my deepest sympathy).  These workshops were from 1-5 Monday through Thursday.  Yes, friends.  That is twenty hours of my work week - spread out over four VERY long days.  Who knew that sitting on a Teams call for that long was SO exhausting?  For your information, it IS exhausting.  So much so, that I found myself in bed and fast asleep at 8:30 last night.  And after this, the final day of the workshop, I have a feeling that will happen again tonight.

Now, have I received some good information so far from said workshops?  To a degree - but not enough to warrant this much time out of my work week.  The majority of information does not apply to my job AT ALL.  But upper management seems to think that it does.  Pffft, whatever.  I will say this, some pieces of the workshop made me stop and ponder a few things.  So I guess that means it worked?  At any rate, the very best part was interacting with people across the company.  Some that I knew kind of; others that I never even knew existed and one or two that I actually know and work with.  And as today's session wound down, it seems that for the majority of us, that was the best part.  Now, will we take those new relationships forward as we move on?  We shall see.

And then, as I am desperately trying to keep my head above water on the actual JOB piece of the equation, I notice what is coming next week (major meeting - all hands on deck...whether you need to actually be in the office or not) and I want to cry - BUT bonus, I also get to meet one of my co-workers that I didn't know existed before in person - so that will be nice.

And while ALL of this is going on, there are some other shenanigans going on that I have been battling it out with in another department.

Finally, I had to call on my boss to apprise him of the situation.  I hated to do it - particularly since he is on a much needed vacation - but needs must.  Luckily, right before I came here, he agreed with me and told me to tell them to back off on his orders.  Which I will do, happily...but it will be done tomorrow.

Because right now?  Right now, I *need* a glass of wine (or four) and to take a breath before putting my exhausted self to bed. 

May 30, 2022

Rest or Burnout

Y'all.  Life has been dragging me down lately, coupled with a particularly bad work week last week.  So I REALLY needed this long weekend.  And even though there were things that I "needed" (i.e. wanted) to accomplish, I did nothing.

Not completely true, as the infernal laundry always needs to be done, it seems.  And those houseplants won't keep themselves alive if they aren't watered.  And I made a dessert for last Friday's night dinner - as Man-Child and The Girlfriend came over.  We haven't seen them since right after Christmas as after Man-Child's minor back surgery (as if any surgery involving your back is "minor") he couldn't drive or sit in the car comfortably for a while.  Then they both got COVID (thankfully mild) over Easter and then both got the flu (over Mother's Day weekend).  

But other than that - I only did what I wanted to do.  And I even ignored the work email completely (almost...I did check in a couple of times but only to delete the unnecessary and ignored everything else until tomorrow).

Since this whole pandemic nightmare began I have been "working" pretty much non-stop.  After hours? Yup, still working. Vacation? Yup, still working.  Weekends?  Yup, still working...it's easy to do because the work computer is sitting RIGHT THERE next to my personal computer.  But after the horrendous last week, I knew I NEEDED a break.  So I took a well deserved one.  And recognize the urgent need to prioritize my down time going forward.

I know that I (and probably a lot of you) feel the need to be "productive" all the time - whether at work tasks or household tasks.  And productivity is great and leads to many accomplishments.  But rest and relaxation is important as well; for your body, spirit and mind.

So yes, I still need to paint those built ins and should probably look at weeding the beds and it would probably be a good idea to set the garage back to rights before it becomes a lost cause...again; plus whatever work tasks that await me; and...and...and.. (the list is endless really).

Funnily enough, Nicole's (HI NICOLE!) post today mentioned a certain book; one that it seems I need to read, like tomorrow.

Currently, I am rested, content and ready to face what next week throws at me (I hope.  Fingers crossed that this week isn't nearly as fraught as last week!).

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?

January 1, 2022

Christmas 2021 and the aftermath

 Hello!  We made it to the other side; to that weird, quiet period between Christmas and New Year's.

I hope you (if you celebrate) had a wonderful Christmas.  Ours was wonderful.  We had Man-Child and his girlfriend for Christmas Eve AND Christmas morning.  Our friends, two doors down, joined us for a full on seafood feast that The Husband presented us - and it was perfect and delightful.  

The littlest of our guests was delighted when he discovered the exact Transformer he wanted was under our tree - watching the delight on a child's faces as they open a gift that they had their little heart set on is the best gift ever, don't you think?

Since Christmas Eve was a late one; we got off to a slow start on Christmas morning.  But, in the end, we were all ridiculously spoiled and felt very blessed.  I did feel a bit bereft after the kids hurried out the door to the girlfriend's parents but I also understood - I know how stressful it can be for them to balance the "important events" between her parents and his - it's just life.  And I am grateful for every minute we had with them.

After Christmas, my mind then turned to the issue I had been avoiding thinking about...Man-Child had surgery scheduled for the 27th.  Back surgery.

Yes, it was an out-patient surgery but still...a mother worries.  

It was scheduled to begin at 5:45 pm on Monday.  All of Monday had me in a snit due to my nervousness.  His pre-op was scheduled for 3:45 pm - that's when the anxiety really began to ratchet up.  We were not able to be at the hospital, as they only allowed one guest in and he chose, you guessed it, his girlfriend.  Luckily, she agreed to keep us updated and let us know when he was discharged so that we could meet them at the apartment to see him for ourselves and, more importantly, help get him up the steep stairs that leads to his apartment.  The surgery was then pushed back to around 7:15 pm due to a prior surgery going longer than expected.  Which made me wonder...when is it too late for a surgeon to operate after a full day?!  They finally arrived at the apartment around 11 pm, we got him up the stairs somehow (we were all in a row, clutching the stair rails hoping he didn't fall - he didn't).

The surgeon said that everything went really well and our fingers are crossed that this surgery will give him some much needed relief.  In the meantime, I'm happy to report, he is recuperating well.

New Year's Eve was a quiet one here.  The Husband created a beautiful, tasty (although too large for just the two of us) charcuterie board to give us some nibbles.


That will be (one) of his challenges as we move into the new year; learning how to scale DOWN in regards to food.  As I expected, we still have more nibbles for the next few days.

I went back into the archives to see what I had to say at this time last year - and I'd have to say it pretty much still rings true.  Yes, this was another hard year.  But, we have each other to lean on as needed; and that is a true blessing. 

Happy New Year, my friends.  Let's face it together. xo