Where I work has a fairly generous vacation policy, by and large, but at no time is it better than at THIS time of year, because the whole darned business is shut down from 24 Dec, through this week, with regular business opening back up on the 3rd of January.
Yes, it's sweet.
Made even sweeter because (and at first I thought this kind of sucked), the company decided last year that keeping track of who was carrying over vacation was too much work and made a 'use it or lose it' policy regarding vacation time. So, given that I'd carried 5 days (the max) over from last year, and had 17 days to take on top of that, and by the beginning of November still had to take something like 12 days or lose them, my work schedule in December went like this: Work a half day every Friday, then take Dec 22-06 Jan off, inclusive.
Almost 2 continuous weeks off work. DANG!
I've not had this much time off, all in a row, as vacation (maternity leave doesn't count), in I think ever. A girl could get used to lolling about, READING, getting bored of the internet, taking actual baths, indulging in some high-grade personal care, and napping. She really really could, but, semi-unfortunately this girl won't have a chance to fully realize the lolling potential as she's engaged in that fabulous game: "Let's Remodel the Kitchen!" with her loving and capable spouse.
Yes, vacation includes a full-scale re-do of our dumpy little kitchen. Biff had had enough, thank you, of the wavy floors, the crappy cabinets, the horrible low ceilings, etc etc and decided the time was NOW to gut and reclothe the most-used room in the house. He does this for a living, so I decided to just go with the flow and see where the current takes us. Plus which, it's mostly funded by him, so who am I to say he can't spend his own money on gorgeous new cabinets, fantastic ceiling fans, real wood floors, and the like? Exactly - I have no say in it, and so must ride out hte wave of new purchases like the adoring spouse I am. Never mind that I'm mentally clapping with glee when he says' I bought a new stove today' or 'let's get the one we REALLY want,' even though that one costs a bit more. Yes, I'm kind and patient where spending his money is concerned, and as it turns out, it's something I'm really quite good at!
Spending money is the fun part. It must be noted: I've never lived through a kitchen remodel before. It is quite the learning experience, not all of which is as fun as spending money!
Thus far, since (um) last Thursday (I think) the upper cabinets have been ripped out, the older ceiling deconstructed, the beams holding up the older ceiling torn out, many new electrical boxes and circuits and mysterious things installed, NEW framing put up over the oldest ceiling, and yesterday we sheetrocked the newest ceiling and started installing beadboard to finish the ceiling. Today, the plan is to finish the beadboard install and paint the ceiling. Oh, and some dudes are supposed to be here to install a SolaTube so that we don't have to be putting on the lights at 2 in the afternoon in the kitchen. Hooray!!
The part of the kitchen remodel I didn't expect but find rather lovely (because Biff insists on it) is that, every night after flinging dirt and sawdust and coal dust and cellulose insulation and nails and other associated gunk all over the kitchen, we take a half an hour to thoroughly clean up. It's a pain in the ass, quite honestly, and i might not do such a good job of it so consistently because I have a problem with being breathtakingly lazy most of the time, but being able to walk through the kitchen without shimmying around a panel lift or the drywall cart or a pile of pink insulation or a table full to overflowing with tools is, honestly, very nice and lends a far more sanitary air once the cooking starts, because in addition to working all day in the dang kitchen we're determined to cook as long as there's a stove in the dang kitchen. (Ed note: Now that, friends, is how to build a run-on sentence!) Come early January, there won't be a stove for a period of a week or so, so we need to keep the Tiny House smelling like someone loves it as long as possible.
We might be a little crazy, but we're crazy together, so there.
Therefore, my extra-long vacation is a combination of the lolling about, bursts of work (I call it work but I'm really just a tool wrangler), and cheffing. It's time off I can live with, and time I intend to fully exploit before heading back into the world of work (I call it work but I'm really just a word-wrangler with an incredible capacity for sitting) and all the crazy that awaits in the cube farm. Word is there's a move afoot to move us across the building (because, clearly, someone in facilities doesn't have enough to do), something that fills me with hate and rage, so I'm simply not going to think about it and instead fully vest myself in the Laurie Notaro marathon/recipe search/intensive hair care regimen/excessive coffee drinking/omphaloskepsis.
Oh, and the construction too. There is that, after all.
(pic by Bob Biess)