Friday, July 30, 2010

Dreamy Friday

I'm at work, plunking along on sites, with half my brain stirring up dreams and my left leg jiggling from boredom. We're running low on work and I may try to bail early, if the opportunity presents itself. I'm a half hour over this week as it is, because I stayed late training in Photoshop on Tuesday.

I'm chatting online with my oldest pal. Her sig other is selling their house, or trying to; in this market, I comment, they've got their work cut out for them, even in the Hamptons. It stirs memory, so I look up whether our old house in CT is still on the market. I stalked it a couple of months back and saw that it was; the previous owner passed in '07. They bought it from us back in '85, the family developed some of the land and put another house on it, and they completely gutted and remodeled the original house. Its interior is gorgeous now; the kitchen a dream of mine. I need to grab those pictures and make notes before it goes off the market, because that house really became something after we left it - though I don't think you could pay me to move back to those winters, even if we won Lotto.

My mind shifts to the weekend. I'll knock off the laundry first thing, and hit the Y tomorrow; and then get cracking on reorganizing. We signed our new lease this week, and rather than be depressed by this turn of events, I choose to organize and purge. I'm thinking hard about all the furniture we have. I want to refinish Dad's cabinets, but I need to take a good, hard look at them, and determine if they're solid enough to keep or if I need to cut the cord (maybe just keep one?). I'm betting they're in good shape, and they certainly have utility - they're both full of kitchen stuff currently. But they're also huge and bulky, and it begs the question of how necessary they'd be in a larger home down the road. Then again, I won't look for a house that doesn't have at least a carport, so they could always find utility as they did the first 35 years, for storage. Just talked myself into keeping them, didn't I? :) But they're getting refinished, the top edges need shaving and sanding badly, and I'd like to paint them something soft and pretty, maybe stencil something on the tops of the doors.

But first, the dining area needs work, and we have to dig into the boxes in the opposite corner. We're both packrats, but I'm determined to cut the cord on more stuff...I mean, if something's been in a box for 10 years unused, why the hell are we keeping it? And some of the stuff I inherited when we sold Mom's house...I know I was grabbing some stuff because it was my only way to cope with what was happening, but now that enough time has past, I hope I can look at some things and release them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Taking Stock

Sunny. 95. And that's the weather. It's getting old, but I'm not ready for fall yet.

Inside: Sterile, boring office environment. I did amuse myself by making an origami swan today. Tried to make an origami crane too, but it came out looking like it had crash landed.

Wearing: Aqua blouse, cuffed jeans, flats.

Creating: Besides an origami swan, the MIL sock is turning into an easy knit, thank goodness, and I tuck into the cardi when I need something a pinch more rote.

Going: nowhere special in near future, begged off on SC trip and no dough for wandering...probably a good thing.

Reading: Sort of in a Poisonwood Bible mood, but can't tell yet if I'll read the whole thing or skip to the parts I like.

Hoping: I continue feeling better, so I can make the Y a habit...and that this coming weekend will be as productive or more productive than last weekend.

About every 3 months or so, my femaleness seriously kicks my arse. Read between the lines, folks, cuz I ain't going into details. This week has been one of those months. So while my body maintains a low throb, I've been keeping quiet in the evenings with knitting, a little TV, a little less computer time...had to blow off the Y two nights in a row, which is frustrating, but my body wasn't up to any public displays of activity. Hard to test the stability of your knees when you have zero energy in your legs. I'm starting to rally a little, finally. Focusing this blog has me thinking of outlets for my very selective creativity, like I'd like to have an Etsy store, but what in the world would I sell? I'm grateful for this focus and for the quiet I'm currently engaging in.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Still here

The urge to post is powerful, even though I don't have pictures, even though I don't have anything overly exciting to talk about. I'm still shaping in my head what I want this blog to do. I've created a private blog, so I can whine without necessarily subjecting y'all to my weird emotional issues. This blog, I want to be about creating, whether it's about knitting or photography or gardening or small people. But there's laundry to do tonight, and I've been roped into baking a coconut cake for my team (still not sure how that happened), so the hiatus of substantive entries continues a pinch longer. Thanks for your patience :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Digging myself out of rut...

Back soon. Feel free to have a glass of sweet tea and a snickerdoodle while you wait.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Taking stock

Think this may need to be a new Wednesday thing, looking at life midweek...cribbed the concept (aka stole the idea) from Simple Woman's Daybook, but it's personalized to where my scatty brain roams...

Outside: hey clouds, please give us rain! I've been neglecting the plants, and it's hotter n' hell out there...

Inside: too bright, too chilly

Wearing: jeans, Docs, dark blue top...ankles needed real shoes today.

Thinking: lunch, crafting, making to-do lists to get outta this latest rut

Bedroom: Need to start in one corner and just work my way outward

Kitchen: making banana bread tonight to use old bananas

Dining Area: needs bookshelves

Living Room: hope we can paint it when it's decluttered

Creating: MIL's socks and quite glad I ripped them out the other night, as the new ribbing is coming along faster

Reading: Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle over again, and neglecting library books (but most are tomes I'll note the titles/authors of for eventual ownership)

Hoping: I can get stuff accomplished this coming weekend, as we're likely traveling to SC next weekend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Broadway buddhism

"There's only now,
There's only this.

Forget regret,
Or life is yours to miss."

—from Rent

Monday, July 19, 2010

Kind of blank...

brain feels kind of blank these days, that is...but heaven forbid I not post and subject you 5¾ people to my semi-unique brand of verbal diarrhea...

Actually I Write Like...thinks my style is somewhere between H.P. Lovecraft and David Foster Wallace. While I do consider Foster Wallace a tortured genius (as his suicide last year kind of illustrates, poor guy), I also think Infinite Jest is one of the most soporific tomes I've ever laid eyes on...hence, the next couple of posts may be quick fixes for me, as I attempt to examine my editorial blogging capabilities. Pretty sure it won't last long tho' :)

Carrying my camera with me again...but when your excursions don't expand beyond work, it's hard to come up with fresh material. Keeping an eye out for neat pic ideas this week...

Ripped out my MIL's Christmas socks AGAIN...not sure how many times that makes. The ribbing was sending me 'round the bend, so I switched to 1x1 rib but am sticking with Interweave's Embossed Leaves pattern (Winter 2005). Working my cardi too, slow and steady...dang thing's on size 3s, so it ain't getting done any time soon.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Good ole Friday

Sets my mind to dreamin', yes it does...I'm knitting on my cardi in my head and poking along on socks too. I'm tenderly nursing my plants and digging in hard on the dining area. I'm reading library books and dedicating time to just think...

But first, the laundry...and that's not a euphemism for those of you who read Karen Maezen Miller. Actually I am in the middle of her 2nd book, Hand Wash Cold, and it's got me thinking it's about time to get serious about zazen, because my mind's been in hummingbird mode of late and could really use a daily timeout.

But the stuff I'm talking about, I'm dragging over to Mom's first thing tomorrow to get it over with...gotta love when you can't afford to do laundry. I mean, it certainly makes sense to do it at Mom''s free there, and that whopping 1-mile commute ain't exactly a hardship. The differences are a the laundry facility at my complex, you can usually get away with using more than 1 washer/dryer at a time, thus it takes a shorter amount of time to plow through the pile...the downside is they're really the epitome of community washers; we have quite a few laborers living in our complex, and you never know quite what you're going to find in a machine. So it's kind of a push.

I hope to dig into a box or three this weekend. I hope to play on NetVibes in the hopes of consolidating the daily crap I peruse, so that ultimately, I'll spend less damn time on the computer. I hope to take some pictures. I hope to knit some and read a bunch. I hope...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shot in the arm

Having a boss who's positive and encouraging makes a huge difference. Lil Sis would probably agree...she's recently gone from truly shitty leadership to fair, if a little scattered leadership, and the difference in her emails alone attests to her relaxed state at work. I've been with my company so long, I can get really apathetic and cynical sometimes when it comes to the sphincters running the joint (case in point), but the manager they hired for my team last year has brought some much-needed intelligence and organization to our corner. Someone who actually encourages you to grow in your's a bit of a rarity in cubicle world.

I've been not-really enjoying one of those weeks where one day runs into the next. I loathe when that happens, makes me feel like life is slipping past me and I'm not taking nearly enough time to accomplish excrement, smell roses, etc. Thanks, Dad...appreciate the life lesson.

Anyway, had a one-on-one with my manager about my performance and we get to talking about what else I'd like to be doing. We're currently in a dry spell, sales-wise, so it's a perfect time for extra training, polishing skills, etc. I get to talking about SEO, how search engines measure sites and how we can improve customer retention if all areas of Operations are kept up to date on the ever-changing methods of the browsers (i.e. Google, Yahoo, etc...I've already lost people, haven't I? This thing on?.....). She gives me free rein to run with the idea, researching what we are doing vs. what we should be doing and how we can cohesively maintain heightened education on the subject from a QC standpoint and hopefully across the floor in Operations, as well as the industry standards as a whole. No timeline, real work comes first, of course; but she's helping me educate myself to make myself more marketable down the road, in addition to attempting to increase company client retention. I'm a lucky gal, and suddenly, work ain't so dry.

In other news, I've been neglecting the plants a bit due to disappointment over my first failures, but I'm getting back on them this weekend. Luckily, it's been a Florida summer week here, with rain almost everyday, so what's out there has been holding on. I've been reading more than knitting again, but the latest batch of library books contained some real gems, so I'm not begrudging the time. Ashley English's books are goldmines! Can't wait to own 'em myself.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mental wanderings

Crime tape all over the ER across from my building this morning...some poor bastard tried to leave AMA from the ER at 4 a.m. and got belligerent when security stopped him. Security called the cops, and they ended up tazing the guy in the parking lot. Nice. I'm sure the guy deserved it, sounds like he needed additional help ... but this is also the city that ruled it justified to empty 45 bullets into a bank robber and the car he was trying to jack, even though there was a family with kids in the car. The mother got shot too, and a 2 year old died. I really hope the pending civil suit screws the city to the wall. What's sad is it won't stop them from cutting budgets that can't afford to be cut, and combining officers' duties until they're all hopelessly overworked and underpaid. Understand that this is a rant...I don't have any answers, I just know the current system ain't cutting it.

While I'm ranting, I find it interesting that when this incident occurred, it was responded to by cold case cops, because they're called out to officer-involved incidents in addition to their cold case duties. How exactly do they expect cold cases to ever get solved if the cold case officers are always working current cases? Cuz lemme tellya, there's plenty of crime to go around here in Jax. I guess I'm just wildly naive to the needs of the city's security. Lord, I can't wait to move outta this area. I totally get that Charlotte ain't pristine; hell, its crime stats some years rival ours, but the environment is just so different...

Crap, gotta meeting, more later...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Taking Stock (just cuz)

Outside: sunny, hot, humid, pretty clouds

Inside: hum of AC, eyesight a little splotchy from too much natural and fluorescent lighting

Wearing: jeans, navy top, black chuck taylor wannabes – tomboy style rises once again!

Thinking: lunch, chickens, getting back to knitting in the evenings

Bedroom: needs to be decluttered and vacuumed

Kitchen: making something with pork tonight

Dining area: disaster

Living room: Les's project, also needs vacuuming

Favorite thing to look at: Les's gentle face

Hope is: a house, children, dogs, a garden

Now is: something to be grateful for


I'm restless this week (yeah, yeah, I know, I'm always restless), but this time it has me pondering things I wish were different in my life and how I can go about turning them from wishes into realities. Things as simple as making more food from scratch or turning the dining room area into a workstation I can actually use without it cluttering to high heaven every week. Stuff like that would settle my addled brain, just requires a little thought and elbow grease.

Found Ashley English's Homemade Living books at our local library, digging into Keeping Chickens this week. I'm already excited, and I'm probably what, a good 2½ to 3 years from having my own birds. Heh, probably more like 4 to 5 years, if we are able to have a child...I have to remind myself that until things improve a bit with Les, I'll always be working with a bit of a handicap where the big dreams are concerned, that of only making X amount of money to fuel said dreams. It's hard, being patient, reading about what you want when you've paid the bills and will now be ignoring the account for the next 2 weeks because there ain't anything there for frivolity, much less extravagances, like new belts for the car or a frappuccino. But so what, I say...doesn't mean those dreams can't happen. Gonna keep butting my head against that dream ceiling until I break through...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Average Monday

Blogs are supposed to be exciting. Or at least interesting. I've said before how this is more of a journal than a blog, as an apology to my whopping 6½ readers. Alas, my urge to post dictates the occasional mundane.

I got a new lunch box with this logo on it on Saturday. I'm seriously in love with this purchase. It's adorable.

Saturday morning, I was up at a decent rid of the recycling, hit the library, and shopped for produce at Native Sun. Craft fair on Saturday was a snore, but Mom and I salvaged the afternoon with a trek through St. Johns and dinner at Carrabba's. Sunday was spent relaxing and shopping; Les and I hit Costco for a look-around and finally cashed in on the free membership. Then I hit Publix for the regular shopping. The porch didn't get touched...I spent the weekend reading Kathy Reichs.

My arthritis is acting up again, right ankle. Weather here went from high 90s and dry to low 90s and humid, so I'd like to blame it on the barometer changes, but I'm pretty sure my big butt and sedentary lifestyle play the much larger role. It's driving me to eat healthier and keep exercising. Shopping yesterday was interesting...I read labels now and am trying to steer clear of heavily processed foods or stuff that has the potential to include GMOs. Lord, it's tricky and frustrating, but I'm determined, and I'm pretty sure I saved money in the long run by not buying so much crap. The real test will be using the new lunch box every day instead of caving to fast food. Feels like I'm turning another corner where taking care of myself is concerned...time will tell.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Toasty Friday

Willpower sucks...not the concept, but the act of it. How the frick am I supposed to eat healthy when there's recipes and pictures out there like this sucker?! Not fair at all :(

No point in bitching about the weather...everyone else in the nation is standing around too, sweating, going dear lord, where's the sweet tea? We Floridians should be just ho-hum about it. I actually am...was walking from building to car to building yesterday just enjoying how the warmth felt on my head, on my skin. I don't feel the humidity lately. Gotta be the lighter clothes and lighter spirit.

Something really weird happened this morning. Fridays for me mean jeans and sneaks. We can wear 'em any old day at my work, but I try to save 'em for Fridays and usually I look forward to wearing them. But this morning, couldn't bring myself to wear them...they were too heavy, too bell-bottomed, couldn't get them to work with my coordinating footwear. Realized I would be much more comfortable wearing one of my new pairs of highwaters with a blouse. Tomboy style takes another hit.

Busy weekend ahead, lots of cleaning, craft fair with Mom, Native Sun run for fresh veggies, hopefully Costco on Sunday to finally take advantage of the free membership I won a while back. Meara hooked me on Vitamin Water Zero and I'm anxious to see if I can buy it in bulk. Since I can't eat/drink Aspartame (Equal...I'm allergic), I'm always on the lookout for "diet" stuff that uses Splenda or Stevia. Hilarious that with all the crap that they offer at one of those warehouse places, that I'm hoping for Vitamin Water. Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Still in a funny little fog

My brain is somewhere between Charlotte and Jax, between where I am, where I'm wanting to be, and what I need to accomplish to get there. I'm reading Being Upright and trying my hand at taking all that and living in the present. It's an interesting juggling act.

We drove home Sunday, went straight through from Charlotte to Jax. We called his sis in Columbia to see if we could meet up, but she couldn't figure out where to meet us that wasn't out of the way for the both of us, and she was still half-asleep, so we acknowledged that we were blowing each other off and kept going. We avoided Aiken (his folks) altogether, because we wanted to get home to the if I didn't get back to a place that involved my sneakers, I was going to go 'round the bend. I was tired of walking funny from the pain. No, make that shredded. Absolutely loved being there; so, so hope I helped, but dear god, do I need to get in shape and retard the progression of this arthritis!

Just dawned on me...wonder if the change in sea level was a factor. I haven't had pain like that since Nanie's funeral in CT, when I blamed it on the snow. Hmm...

Weather here is definitely July in Florida...Weather Channel is threatening 100F tomorrow, and that's without taking the heat index into account. Yeesh!

Meara starts her new job today. I'm so flippin' happy for her :)

Glee, Mr. Schue, Sue Sylvester, Rachel, and Kurt all got Emmy noms. Sweet!

My first pepper is a bust (blossom rot from feast-or-famine watering, I think), and my first tomatoes are a lost cause. I've planted a second tomato that by some miracle is shooting, and I have herbs started in the biggest pot, in spite of the fact that the ducks tried to lay their last nest right in the soil, causing me to chase them away and try to reshape the soil by hand...figured those seeds were sunk, but nature took over while we were away last weekend. I righted my duck deterrent (had the screen door in a fallen position over my porch and by some miracle, they got the message), and this weekend, I'll reorganize. I'm thinking the table has to go and the stuff that isn't getting used needs to be stored inside, because Lil Sis and I found some porch chairs for her porch at the evil big box store last weekend that fit my highly critical criteria (they're cheap and fit my big butt) I'm hoping to turn my porch into a place where we can actually hang out this weekend. I'd love to take my coffee there in the mornings.

I need to clean the kitchen tonight and stay the hell off the computer. Started my latest round of to-do lists. Can't wait for the weekend.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


I can't believe I was there from Friday night to Sunday morning and got basically one picture...wonderful local produce market :)

So lush and green there...birds singing, traffic noises minimal...REALLY AMAZING neighborhood where my Lil Sis has planted herself...can't believe how much of this move was accomplished sight-unseen online...she got super lucky...lots of shopping available, really aesthetically pleasing and clean area...I looked around with big eyes and took it all in.

Weather was entirely pleasant the entire time we were there. Extraordinarily mild in the evenings for July. Fireflies come out at night and peep among the couples walking in the plazas. Meara and I were in heaven. Les was a trooper, drove the truck the whole way with basically no brake fluid.

Unfortunately the work of the move, however minimal because we were lucky enough to have movers load and unload the truck, caused a significant arthritis flare-up in my right ankle and both knees. I ended up taking the extra PTO day I gave myself today, and I'm glad I did. My head may still be in Charlotte, but my body's back in the pink, swelling down, aches diminished, hydration re-established.

The motivation is kind of overwhelming me. It'll be good to get back to work, I think. I need to make some lists, and my head is still spinning with how "home" Charlotte felt. And we only scratched the surface of the city, never made it past the south end/Ballantyne area. I can't wait to visit again. But first, get exercising and tackle this apartment!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

So. Excited!

It's been suggested to me that it's not exactly normal to be excited about the prospect of spending 8 hours on the interstate...

What DH doesn't get is that it's not the journey, it's the destination.

We're headed to Orlando this evening to accompany my Lil Sis on her move to Charlotte. The second she got the news that the job was hers up there, I volunteered Les and I to help. Thankfully, my Lil Sis has some financial means, and recognizes when a job requires more hands. Holy-crap-thankfully, as I don't think things through before I volunteer myself for physical labor and my knees aren't crazy about the prospect of walking empty-handed up the three flights of stairs to her apartment, never mind while lugging boxes. I did OK helping Cyril move, but realistically, until I lose the damn weight, tasks like that kick my ass hard. So when she realized she really couldn't afford movers, she enlisted a brilliant concept that I can't wait to use myself...movers that only load and unload the truck. They'll show up tomorrow morning, she's picking up the UHaul tonight, and before lunchtime Friday, we'll be on our way. eeee!

I look at Charlotte as the potential city for our future. Where I can commute to a job everyday and still find a little patch of land to call our own. Where Les can go back to school, and me after him. Where we can raise a family. It's a lot to put on a city, I know; but I have big dreams that require a nice city. Sure, they have their share of crime and badness like any other place, but something about Charlotte just feels right...

So the little stinker's getting there before kid, got her Master's straight after her Bachelor's, and she's in an industry that rewards hard work and personality. Mom's hoping to move up there next April; I pray we have the savings and ability to move up in October 2011. This trip will provide some much-needed motivation toward that goal. We're staying over Friday and Saturday nights, helping her get settled and hopefully get just a taste of what the area's like, and then we'll head back Sunday....and sign our new lease and get the hell organized ourselves, for living here another year and a half. I positively ache with the thought, so my attention will be focused on making the present livable, learning to just be. Nobody said Zen/life was easy.
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