Saturday, February 06, 2016

Got my Vitamin D

If I win the lotto...
Today was a lovely Saturday, at least thus far.  It might still be ruined by a chunk of airplane ice crashing through the roof and blasting me on the head, but so far I have few complaints.

Started out by going down to the main Lifepointe Church site and slinging (OK, pitchforking) a bunch of heavy wet mulch around to start the effort of covering the whole allotted acre of the new Community Garden with organic material.  I know, right?  Me and pitchforks - the jokes write themselves!  


Anyhowdle, the work needed to be done and because I think this is a fantastic idea and a very positive thing to do, I volunteered to be part of the garden team.  Hey,  I can sling some mulch.  For 90 minutes.  Then  I quit.  I can't slave my whole LIFE for other people, for goodness sake.  Whatever effort I put into it, I know the Good Lord Above knows my heart was in it for at least 3 hours.  Plus which, I wasn't the first one to quit, so HA.


The pitchforking had failed to work up a sweat, so I did the next best thing and convinced Mason to come with me to wash the stank-ass living room rug at the local car washateria.  I bought him lunch at Smithfield's first - ooo, remind me that I need to write a sternly-worded letter about the counter 'help' and how it really wasn't (eg - my half-and-half tea wasn't and the Sprite Mason ordered [loud and clear] didn't make it to the first order so like a dunce I went ahead and PAID for it when really it should have been comped.  C'mon, soda's cheap!) - so there was a nice carrot for him to chew on.  Literally.


The carwash blaster hose was working great on the 'add bubbles!' setting but not so great on 'now, RINSE!' so we had to haul the soapy wet rug home (all 150 pounds of it, at this point) and hang it over the deck rail to rinse it, and EW.  EW EW EW.  Such filth and yuck was embedded in that thing.  Gaggitty.  This thing was in our HOUSE two days ago, until some cat peed on it (that's what it smelled like, anyhow) and the whole house stunk and we chucked it outside until the sun decided to come out (today) so we could wash it then let it dry outdoors after washing.  But wow - the rinse water was opaque to start, and a shade of brown that Mason described as 'burnt ochre' which I think is about right.  Gross, no?  Yes.  But it's over now, and once the sun bakes it tomorrow it should be a-OK to put back in the house.  Fingers crossed!


So, yeah, the Man and I then decided to go visit the airplane and look for some missing documents (any excuse!), which was great because it's been a sunny day and I need my vitamin D plus which there were skydivers galore and a glider/tow plane were doing lots of ups and downs and various were aircraft zipping about (WARBIRD SIGHTING!).  It was a good time, even IF we didn't find what we were looking for, because Gerritt was able to make some fixes to the plane in glorious weather and I was amused by all the shiny things (SUN!) at a place I really like (an airport?  Yup - that one's a pretty good place to hang out on a good day to fly).


Then, once home, I took a long hot shower.  'Twas marvelous, but I'm pretty sure we need to look into getting a tankless water heater, because I could have used another 20 minutes just hanging out in scalding water.  That, or we need a hot tub.  Either / or.  But at least one.


And look - it's only just 6 p.m.  So much more can happen, but you won't read about it here, in this post.  Because I'm just about done, and the future can't tell itself.


Tiff happily out.


FOR NOW.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A swing and three misses.

Just a little more Time, God?  No, Alan.  Well, how 'bout we get get the Cos up here instead?  Alan, he's not coming here; it has to be you.  Dammit!  Quite the opposite, really.
Someone else won the $1.5 BILLION dollar Powerball last night, it appears.

Strike one.

Spent the night in bad dreams, like the following:


  • New job
  • at FOX NEWS
  • have sleep at the office even though home is 30 minutes away
  • Skirt and heels, me
  • Elevator that doesn't work, to the point where pressure gauges and pulleys push out from the walls as the cab descends, and those aboard know what to do with them
  • Finding out there's a Home Depot in 'the returns department' that's staffed by hundreds of people
  • Being asked out by a (female) high school classmate
  • Thinking I needed to update my banking info so FOX can deposit my check in MY bank, not theirs
  • Too many bananas on vacation
  • And one attic scene I won't go into except that it involves a stationary bike.
  • Oh, and LOTS of stair in the building, to the point that if you THINK you are on level 1.7 you might actually be on Level 6, and finding the right set of stair or elevator to take you to the correct level 2 involves former colleagues, French doctors, a Boy Scout Leader, a terrible rainstorm, and the ability to, as previously mentioned, run in heels and a skirt.


Strike two.

And then, as the acidic black topping on the nightmare pie, frigging Alan Rickman dies.

Yes, my boyfriend Alan Rickman.

That smooth-talking Brit, that strutter of stage, that actor of films, that wig-wearing Snape.  Oh, Alan.

Say 'hey' to Bowie, Lemmy, and (if she's in the same neighborhood) Natalie for us, would you?  They all must be about as confused as you are, though you all had to know you were leaving.

Strike three.

Tiff out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Dog ate my glasses

That's an Aston Martin.  His dog ate it.
One of life's lessons about having a dog is that THEY EAT THINGS.

Precious things, garbage, clothing, paper, sticks, anything.  Some dogs eat furniture too, but so far with Wern we've not had that problem.  He stops at 'precious things' and calls it a day.

What is a precious thing, might you ask?

Anything that is on the kitchen table or other 'off limits' (in our minds) area to which he does not have express access.  I know, I know, he's a DOG and as such if a cat happens to knock a precious thing off the table (or other off limits area) the thing then becomes perfectly acceptable to chew on, and, usually, to destroy.

As is what happened to my computer glasses several weeks ago.

Yes, I have glasses to wear when I'm using the computer.  How very middle-aged of me, I know.

See (heh), I don't need glasses to read, because my left eye is nearsighted.   I don't need glasses to drive, because my right eye is farsighted.  I DO need glasses to clearly see my computer, because it sits in the perfect middle-distance at which neither of my eyes sees very well at all.   Left eye is still winning, but Rightie is making a valiant effort to superimpose a fuzzy double-image of the screen, which isn't as helpful as one might imagine, but who am I to tell Rightie to lay off and quit working?

It doesn't help that my eyes see things in slightly different colors, either.  The left one transmits more in the ruddy range, while Rightie is cool blue, in general.

Do you not wish you were me right now, with the wonkiness?  3D movies are out of the question, if you must know.

I've been working at the computer (it's what I do) for the past few weeks without my glasses, and I can't say it's been a terrific experience.  Lots of squinting and embiggening going on, some of which is of course because I am old, but the remainder is because I simply can't see as well as I ought to at that distance.  Curiously, my eyesight is not getting any better from the daily workouts, and the fact must be faced - it's time to get the peepers peeped at and things brought to rights.

I should probably thank Wern for eating the last pair, his ingestion of my fancy polycarbonate no-frame titanium-templed specs was done from a place of LOVE to save me from continued use of the scratched-up lenses.  I know.  Dogs are good like that.  They take care of us.  Even if it means I get to shell out another 400 clams for the exam and glasses.

That money's coming out of his 'treats and toys' budget, but don't tell him that.  It'll be a long and lonely two weeks until that deficit is made up.

Tiff out. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The little black book

In the time I've spent as a professional person working a responsible job, I have mostly had to rely on lists and whiteboard and things of that nature to ensure I'm covering all the bases to which I've been assigned.  Keeping stuff like that solely in my head simply doesn't work, and the embarrassment of saying 'Oh dear I forgot to do that' when someone's tapping the ol' manila folder on the edge of my desk just isn't a place I want to be or a shame I want to experience any more.

Thus, lists.

Now that I'm not in cublicleland, there's no whiteboard for me to layout my timelines upon, no flexible repository for my progress against goals.  No, there's none of that.  Instead, I am becoming reliant on the little black book, a real page-turner that all too often says the same thing on Page B as it did on Page A, with some small tweak to indicate that progress had been made against goals.

Every day I write down what I understand my daily goals to be, and every NEXT day I review them, rewrite the ones I didn't get to, check my calendar to be doubly sure I'm not missing anything (I usually am), and start all over again.

For the past 3 days I've had the same top 2 tasks to do, so I assigned them a DUE DATE today, and thus they will get done.  Due dates are my self-imposed hell, but they motivate me to perform when I would allow many a thing to languish until somebody hollered for it (my past work-life balanced depended on this).  However, the new job has a much more insidious master: THE DATABASE.

If you are late initiating a task, the DB will let you know. When a date is approaching for action, the DB will tell you, then tell you again if you didn't respond appropriately the first time.  The DB will tell you when a task is coming up and when it's gone screaming past you, only to be viewable in the rear-view mirror of regret.

In other words - the DB rules the calendar.

Thus, my notebook is refreshed every day with things I need to do to keep ahead of the DB, to keep that ol' head above water while learning to swim in the deep end.  The DB is like a terrible coach, pulling a student under to teach them how to float.

But I shall win this, and the DB will not drown me.

My little black notebook says so.

Do you have an organizational system that works for you?  Our household chores are updated daily on a whiteboard, which works for the family as a whole, but these individual work goals must travel with me...and I don't have a smartphone.

OK then, with this dull entry over, it's

Tiff out (to go do items A and B, then C, and possibly D before it's time to pack it all in for the day).

Monday, January 11, 2016

Back to school time!

The younger kiddo had to go back to UNC at Chapel Hill yesterday afternoon, because classes started today and what better time to get back to campus than before classes actually start?

I thought so too.

It's not a bad drive at about 40 miles door to door, which makes it a nice afternoon's jaunt there and back with hardly any stress.  Colin accompanied us, which was great, for there were many things to tote up to the fourth floor and it would have been many multiples of trips with just Mason and me.  Shoot, just the 75 bucks worth of dorm food we'd purchased yesterday afternoon would have been at least 2 trips by itself!

'Twas a gorgeous afternoon to boot, with temps in the mid-50's and a beautiful sunny sky, so after we unloaded we ambled across campus to have a late lunch/early dinner at Spanky's.  On our way there we'd stopped at the school store (massive), and I purchased a car magnet that's a simple representation of The Old Well, 'THE' campus landmark.  I'd toyed with 'Carolina Mom' magnet, but that's just too shouty for me, and I dig simplicity.  It's pretty, and I like it.  

While we were at lunch, I snapped what turns out to be a very very fuzzy pic of the kids, but I'm putting it here because I LOVE their smiles, and it's kind of a celebration to see Mason's teeth after 2+ years in braces.  They've grown up so nicely, and I'm proud of them to absolute bits.


Colin has pretty much adopted the campus as his own too, and visits whenever he can.  I do think he misses not having had the 4-year experience, but his brother is happy to share and Colin will have adventure of his own, perhaps sooner rather than later.  

Even thought they're strapping young men now, I am still amazed at how they grow and develop and change almost daily - it's a miracle to watch them mature and a blessing to be able to do so.  Plus which, they're both seriously funny, so even if they weren't QUITE so awesome, they'd still have that going for them.

One proud mama Tiff, out.