Wednesday, August 08, 2018

It feels like another season of running is upon me.  I had an all clear at the dentist last week, another trim on Monday evening, and a trip to the eye doctor yesterday.  At the eye doctor I went ahead and had them do the 'extra tests' that are never covered on insurance to get a baseline since, let's be honest, I'm not getting any younger.

Of course, they see a mole/freckle on the back of my left eye, which means I need to go back again in six months to redo the tests to make sure it isn't growing/changing.  He also broached the subject of progressives, which I am SO not ready for any time soon.  I did order new frames from the Paws and Claws collection for my new prescription.  I'm glad trends are moving back towards slightly larger glasses as to not highlight that my brows are uneven.  At one point my one eye (left I believe) had returned to not needing correction, but we're moving back in the other direction again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A few years back all of our reviews (and raises) were moved to the end of July/August time frame at work.    So here we are at that time.  Maybe that's why I had a dream last night, or maybe my subconscious knew that there was an email in my inbox waiting for me to find it this morning.

The dream wasn't a great one, instead of getting a raise, I was let go.  It was one of those lucid and vivid dreams that, while I knew I was dreaming while I was dreaming, when I woke up it still felt very real.  I was physically in the office and seeing/saying goodbye to people, many of whom haven't worked for the company in a number of years.  I was upset to be going, but had noted that I already sold the house so it would be 'easy for me to move back to NC'.

Fortunately, the email waiting for me this morning was not telling me to turn in my machines.  The increases remain modest, but I am grateful for any increase - and a check every two weeks.  When I did the math as to how much it might effect my check I had a moment.  When I had my first job (you know, a teenager with a couple of hours here and there at the mall) I would have killed for a single check at that amount.  Often by the time I filled my gas tank (and back then it was only 99 cents a gallon) I had eaten into 1/3 if not 1/2 of my check.  Today I drop what would have been 2 or 3x that old check at the grocery store without blinking an eye.

A lot has changed.  I have a ton to be grateful for.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

I'm another year older.  How time is flying, I blame kiddo for that. We're a few days away from 11 months already, after all.  I took my birthday off to enjoy the day with the wee one and we met her Nonna at the Phipps Conservatory.  What a lovely place.  I could have easily been there 2x as long wandering about.

Today after her gym class, she, my Favorite Egg, and I went back into the city to check out Picklesburgh.  Oh my was it packed.  We went out for dinner Friday night, but I didn't get the fried pickles because of our plan to attend this event.  I wish I had - as I left there not getting anywhere near a fried pickle as the lines that were interesting were a bit obscene.  We did however try a peanut butter pickle cupcake and a sauerkraut brownie.  It was still a nice day out.

I've gotten a few more tomatoes from the plants, and it seems like I will have a small supply for a while moving forward.  The basil leaves that remain are pretty tiny.  I guess it really is done, sadly.

Friday, July 13, 2018

I pulled the first four red tomatoes off of the super sweet 100s plants last night.  There doesn't seem to be as many tomatoes growing on them as I would have expected/desired.  My sweet 100s from a few years ago were abundant and that was a single plant.  The skins are a bit thick, but the flavor is there - they are delightful.

I fought my basil, which kept trying to bloom, for a while.  I'd pinch off the buds and they'd be back the next day.  I finally gave it and let it bloom, which it did on one stalk and then stopped.  There still plenty of leaves, but they're smaller.

Not a spectacular "garden" by any means, but it's nice to have a couple of fresh items out back.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Avery, my Favorite Egg and I made the drive to Altoona on Saturday for a family reunion.  Not everyone was there, but I'm glad to have gotten to see as many people as we did, including one Aunt who we made a special stop to visit at home as she's been ailing after leaving the hospital in the past month.  It makes me sad to see how thin and frail many of them have become.

We were blessed with perfect weather.  The extreme heat dropped off and we had a lovely cool morning with bright blue, clear skies.  Even Pittsburgh cooperated and we didn't slow down much at all - making it to Altoona in 2 hours and 15 minutes!

After we arrived I took a loop around Mom's house.  One of these days the new owners will see someone creeping by taking photos of their house.  Sorry, I just want to see how it evolves.  Then we headed to the cemetery to visit Avery's Meme and Grandpop before heading to my cousin's where the get together was taking place.

Today was pretty average - Starbucks, church, some cleaning while Avery took a nice long nap (thank goodness), a walk under the clear blue skies that continued today, playing with Avery, watering lawns, continuing to eat leftovers from the family reunion.  I brought back a good bit of pasta salad which turned out really well, but I'm telling you after eating it for 5 meals straight it is loosing it's luster, and a big back of chicken courtesy of my cousin (also loosing it's luster).
I usually buy myself something that I consider to be a bit of a splurge for Christmas and my birthday.  What I decided to order "for me" for my upcoming not happening/I'm no longer aging birthday is actually for the kiddo.  I admire a lot of work on Etsy, but what really caught my eye were engraved wood growth charts.  I hope it is as pretty as it is in my mind.  I guess I don't see myself being in this house as long as I was the last one, so I want to be able to take those height markings with me.  But who knows, time does fly.  Hopefully I won't be retiring here though, as I've got a lot of stairs.

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Well the robins are definitely reusing the nest.  I had spotted one sitting in the nest a couple of times, so I figured he/she was on eggs, but last night I saw THREE little heads pop up and saw one of the parents with a mouthful a couple of times.  It warms my heart to know that my deck helped shield 5 little lives so far this summer.  I'm glad that they find my place accommodating.  I try to keep some food out there (not constant as I might in the winter) and some water in the bird bath.

I have also found that if I move the new bed into the 'zero-g' position and move the head up a little more I am not sore and moving as much at night.

Yesterday Avery and I took advantage of our day off, despite the heat and headed north to do some shopping.  I was hoping to find a comforter or bedspread that I liked at At Home.  No luck on that front, but I was excited to see the halloween stuff already starting to fill the shelves!  I also couldn't say no to a big Zero the dog to hang on my front porch!  We walked around the Robinson mall as well.

I gotta admit, I was missing my Mom on the drive up there.  I realized that a few years ago I would have been making the drive down the mountain for us to cook out together.  It wasn't some big family get together that so many people have to celebrate, but I miss it; and while I wasn't alone, I was with my little one, I still felt a bit alone for the holiday.

We eventually caught up w/ my Favorite Egg at a friend's place for a little while - they played games, I entertained kiddo.

Monday, July 02, 2018

I've gotten a few nights in on the new bed, and alas, I am still not comfortable.  I miss my old bed and how it would hug me.  I tried reducing my typical number of pillows for the first few nights and I just couldn't get comfortable, even with the top angled up a little.  I'm still waking to shift as my hips get a little sore from staying in one position too.  *sigh*

I ordered sheets my sister recommended because they had a double-row of elastic.  I was concerned as they are only 400 thread count, but she recommended them and I figure they'll work for now, lowering my overall initial expenditures and heaven knows I'll eventually buy a second set of sheets.  Well, they're scratchy.  I guess I'm spoiled with my higher thread counts.

As to space - it is wider, but it works.  Without a headboard it can push back a bit further which compensates to allow you around the bed on both sides.  Of course, at some point I want to get another headboard, but I'll adjust to that when the time comes.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Know what's crap?  The $5000 yearly limit for pre-tax dollars for daycare.  As I prepare the paperwork I need my daycare provider to sign for our July care I realized this will put us above that $5000 threshold.  I guess the good news is both I and the provider get a few months off from paperwork.  On the other hand I won't get that full $5000 back until the end of the year anyhow as they split things across the whole year.  I certainly hope the balance we have to pay out for August-December can be written off in some other way.

On other news, I have continued to struggle with back pain.  Thinking I'd never get anywhere I tried calling the furniture company I purchased from.  Guess what - they won't send anyone out to recheck the bed for 6 months after a previous check.  If you recall, back in February they came and checked my new bed and found the box springs defective, so they replaced them.  I guess if you still have something defective that's just too bad for 6 months.  With a sigh I called the guy who I turn to for my purchases out here and he worked up his chain to get me some assistance.

I'm lucky to say that they were able to get me covered under the comfort guarantee, even though I was about 10 days past the 120 day window on the replacement box springs, but obviously way out of that window for the initial purchase.  What that means is for a $100 fee to dispose of the old stuff they'll give me credit towards purchase of another.  With prodding from my sister I caved and ordered a king sized bed last night - worse still, one that has a base that moves.  How old does that make me sound?  The new bed will be here on Wednesday, which has me scrambling to get some sheets here in time - never mind all of the other things that will need to be purchased (dust ruffle, comforter, mattress protector (which I already bought there in the store as it ups their warranty on the bed) etc).

I hope this doesn't make my bedroom look tiny.  Ultimately the deciding factor on the size upgrade was that before I know it, I will have someone else trying to sneak into my bed.  I may as well make room for her now.

Monday, June 18, 2018

I've been quite sore since last week.  My neck and upper back first on Friday.  Then the next day both of my calves kicked in, also sore - almost like after some of the middle of the night charlie horses I got while prego.  My calves feel still a light pull, but it moved down into my right foot yesterday and then my arms were hurting - today it's my left wrist that barely wants to bend without pain.  What on EARTH did I do to my body?  This all started after my most recent chiro appointment, which would explain the neck/back, but my calves?  Arms?  Wrist?

I've spent the past two nights partially on the couch sleeping as my side of the bed disagrees with my left hip and lower back, and frankly that's the only part of me that hasn't been in notable pain for the past few days.

Another momentous occasion of great sadness... last night I finally (long overdue) threw away my Pampered Chef Generation 2 cookware pan that was my go to for meatloaf.  How I wish they still made that set (without the rivets on the inside of the pans).

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The little one and I played (pre-planned) hookie today and headed to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh where we caught up w/ my Favorite Egg's Mom.  It's a nice little place.  I'm sure it will feel like there is more to do once they're finished remodeling the one larger/original area.

I loved the penguin area.  You could pop your head up into the middle of the area and get up close to them and an area where the water is against the glass and you can watch them swim and play.  There was one in particular that kept frolicking against the glass near the kids, and then I noticed his name tag - Slippy!  My dear friend, imho, giving us a sweet little hello from beyond.  You see, she also loved hockey, but always claimed her favorite (Pittsburgh) Penguin was Iceburgh.

The bats were pretty cool to see as well as some of the other larger birds like the owls and eagles. I have to say seeing the eagles is great, but I know it won't compare to the day I finally get to see them out near the lake in the wild.  I also always enjoy watching flamingos.

From there we went for lunch - at the Cheesecake Factory.  It's been many years, since I was in NC as a matter of fact since I've been there.  It surprises me how good the non-dessert food is, but yea, you know I brought home a slice too.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

I'm sitting here holding Avery as she takes her late afternoon nap.  Boy I wish I could wipe out with her as I did for her earlier nap today.  My friend Tanya was in very briefly once again so we spent the night up talking before she headed back to the airport. It's been a long time since I went to bed at 5 a.m., but even worse with a storm rolls that in at  5:20 a.m., upsetting Safyre. I'm not doing too bad for only having 2 hours of sleep (yes we still made it to church - it isn't like Avery was going to sleep in too long).

We had to look closely at our schedule for the next few weeks. It seems like everything is planned for June or July. I hated to tell several friends we wouldn't make it to their events, it just wouldn't be very fair to be on the road for long hours every weekend (and in one case, on both weekend days) - for Avery or the dogs.

Here it is Sunday night once again. At least got through all of the laundry and scrubbed the shower. I made a feeble attempt to trim back the shrubs behind the fence but it was simply too hot earlier today and I didn't get as much done as I probably should have. The deck is back in functional order and the ceiling fan is working as well. I guess some progress was made, but I'm still not wanting to get up and work tomorrow - or to take the wee one (cranky or not) to daycare.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Here it is June already.  I had hoped to get Avery down to visit at my sister's this month, but that's not happening.  It seems like every weekend is booked, if not double- or triple-booked.  It's okay, I'll wait it out and try to get the best flight price/deal, even if it means we go to Texas when it's way to friggin hot to go to Texas.

The underside of the deck roof now has two layers of urethane on it, we're not sure if he will go for the third.  I'm ready to have my deck back.  It cooled off a bit today, it would have been nice to go sit out there for a little while.  The electrician I found finished up he work I had on his docket, meaning there is now a ceiling fan connected out back too.  I also have another plug in the computer room, spare bedroom, and basement - and the two lights in the basement are now on a switch instead of a pull string.

I left work a bit early today for a hair appointment.  From there I ran quickly to another local farm's market area where I picked up some fresh veggies before coming back to get Avery.  Since it was so nice, we went for a walk after getting home and as she seems to do often, she fell asleep while we walked.  I guess learning how to crawl is pretty tiring, as she still managed to wipe out for the night on time.

As to the baby robins, I think they're gone (as of today) already!  I know they only stay in the nest for like two weeks, but it seems so fast.  Good luck little birdies!  I'm thinking about hanging a vacancy sign.