Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 was not "my year" in any astounding way like I had tried to claim it to be at the end of 2012, but all things considered, I can at least say it wasn't a bad or horrifying year.  Sometimes that's enough.

So what did happen this year of note?
- The couple I mentioned last year had set a date did in fact get married, and they're fabulous and fantastic together.
- I'm fully prepared to share Vixen's 15th birthday with her in two short months, she remains blessed to be pretty darn healthy for her age.
- Dani has been doing better with her medicine too, allowing her to not move like she's 120 years old.
- I had a date.  Yeah, one.  *laugh*
- I made it yet another year at work.  Somedays that just seems shocking.  I've seen quite a few more people leave of their own choice and otherwise this year too, while others have one foot down the highway... so I'm happy to have a continued income.
- I attended my 20 year high school class reunion, and while it was kind of lame, that happened, it's been that long, I think that's noteworthy.
- While my mortgage is not yet paid off I did make some major strides this year, enough that I'm HOPING to cross it off when I turn 39, not just "before I turn 40" as I had stated last year.  Now, of course, that is all on contingency, so as long as I continue to be blessed and able to do so I'll be keeping up a good pace.
- I have found new joy in my ancestry hunt by adding the quest to photograph local cemetaries and add listings to FindaGrave.
- I have renewed my faith and vigor.  I know these things ebb and wane, but I am hoping to keep my eyes focused upward more than in the past.  He's too good to me to not do so.
- It's funny that as I reflect, after stating it wasn't a horrific or catastrophic year I am reminded of the fire in May and how easily things could have been very different.  That's an example of how good to me he is if ever there was one.

Where have I missed the mark?
- I still need to find my motivation to get healthy again.  I wanted to start running and aim for a 5k before my 40th birthday and while that seems insurmountable with my lack of motivation, I do still have (some) time.  But I'm tired of being heavy, despite loving food and not wanting always on my mind while being forced to deny every desire.
- I have not taken actions to move towards my other goals, for example the whole one date thing mentioned above, but I'm not quite sure how to take action on some of these things, nor am I ready to assume certain destinies that would send me barreling after some other goals.

What else have I been up to since my last post?
- I caught the new Hunger Games movie, which was decent.
- I saw Miss Tonya before she leaves us for another state in a few days.
- I hit the hockey game this fine evening (yay for a set of free tickets).
- I also got to see the Law family, which never happens often enough.  I marvel at how completely their son is a young man now.  True to my thoughts as I generate this post in general and with respect to how grown he is I ask - where DOES the time go?

Now, it's time for me to crash.  Yes, it's only a little after 10pm on New Years Eve, but I just can't make it.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm ready for a nap.  I got my butt to the apartment this morning and spent until mid-afternoon there.  The windows are wiped down (quickly, it may have been pretty nice out today but it was still too cold to fully wash the windows), the curtains ironed and rehung, everything accounted for, and general cleaning accomplished.  I'll probably still go do a little more dusting (once everything I kicked up today settles) and scrub the floors, but I'd say it's pretty done.  I wish someone had done the cleaning over here for me in the mean time.

My washer and dryer has been running a good bit in the past 24 hours, 4 loads to cover the linens, towels, curtains, comforter, and blankets for the apartment, then a couple of loads for myself.  This just gets me thinking that I prb need to pull the dryer connection to clear lint at some point.

I did have a very lovely gal stop by while I was cleaning, you know how you just get a feel for some people, so I'm hopeful.  Well, actually I had a couple of other gals stop by too - Heidi and Miss Ella!  Which was a very welcome little break.

I ran to Altmeyers to get a new table cloth for the table since the old one was just too big and ended up buying myself a new shower caddy, so I can move the old one to the apartment to give a little more flexibility in the bathroom.  Then to Iggle so I could snag my pork to cook for New Years.

Maybe a fruity with Mithy tonight?  Maybe.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Well here I am, finally, washing linens for the apartment and preparing to spend some time there tomorrow to turn it over.  I don't really have time to, but I have to.  Gah.  So much for trying to catch a little extra sleep this weekend.

Keeping with the busy theme, last night I was able to catch up with Casey and Vanessa, Phil and Christine, Beff, and Rex for some Lube.  I haven't seen C&V in quite a while, so that was a nice catch up.

I also finally remembered to peek at my Verizon bill for the past month.  Remember how my phone line (and thus internet) was out for a full week over Thanksgiving?  Remember how they said I would get credited for the time I did not have service?

So I had to make a call.  That's $11 back in my pocket, thank you very much.  Yes, I'm cheap, but it's for a greater cause!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas cyber-friends!  The weather has been cold, but clear, so that was a blessing for today.  We did get a dusting of snow yesterday as to give us a slightly white Christmas.  I crossed off a significant amount of my wish list, which is just ridiculous.  I put TOO much on there on purpose folks!  Mom was also very pleased that I didn't squabble about the jacket or sweater she bought me.  Hopefully I can keep myself from sullying the antique white of the sweater in the first couple wearings.  One thing that disappeared from the stores before it could be snagged was a delightful smelling hand soap from Bath and Body Works.  Since it is out of the store already I treated myself by placing an order on ebay.

I slept in yesterday trying to squash what is left of the mess going on from my neck up.  I think at this point I've knocked out the heft of the cough and I may have escaped it from settling in my chest.  In the mean time my sinuses and eyes continue to burn like crazy.  I don't think there is infection involved as all is clear so to speak, but this is not pleasant.  If I'm in lights the burn in my eyes intensifies and it drives me to sneezing.

The girls unwrapped their gifts on Christmas eve before I headed to our 11pm church service.  They absolutely loved their presents from Aunt Jackie.  Santa and I have taken to only bringing treats to get us through a significant part of the upcoming year.  Yes, I also give the fuzzy equivalent of socks and underwear:  a new collar for Saffy and heartworm preventative for all

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Another very full day today.  I headed to the 8:30 service this morning as to avoid the Messiah cantata at the 11am.  From there I did a little shopping, more k-cups from Bed Bath and Beyond, a cute shirt from TJ Maxx, a couple other little things for mom to unwrap here and there.  Then I was back at Rey's to catch up with folks from my recent bible study.

On my way to church I made a point to note if the rain would just clear the rest of the way the weather would be simply perfect to go take more photos in a local cemetery.  So, by this point, when I realized it looked all clear for the afternoon my time home with the girls was short and I was back out the door.  500+ photos later I was home again to catch Beff.  She gave the girls a Christmas gift and we headed out to meet Slips at Off the Rak for our yearly celebration.  I didn't get back until after 9, so yea, one heck of a busy day.

I guess I should fold the laundry in the basket on my bed before I allow myself to crash out.  Work tomorrow?  *sigh*

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I can't believe we're only a couple of days from Christmas.  Again I repeat, where did this year go?  The past 24 hours are a good blur too.  I had a headache start to set in after lunch on Friday.  With the weather so nice, despite the pain I pulled myself off of the couch to make sure I made it to SS's annual holiday shindig last evening, but only after I caught up with my Aunt and Uncle for Rey's.  Note that Rey's was not a cure for the headache, nor was the tylenol sinus/allergy I took around 2pm, or the excedrin tension I took around 7, or the axert (way to freaking expensive prescription migraine medicine) that I took before attempting sleep around 1:30 in the morning.

I already wasn't going to get much sleep, but when I did wipe out I didn't rest well thanks to the pain, it was definitely one of the worst ones of the year, those that you simply cannot find a comfortable position and the only thing you can do to sooth yourself is to moan and whine while rubbing your skull.

This morning I did it, I took the very last excedrin sinus that I had, which to my knowledge is STILL not back out on shelves.  This to me spells doom for the next huge shift in weather.  Yes, I'll take the pain to give us a jump into the 50 degree temps (but I'll pass on all of this rain), but in the midst of said pain should this product not be back on shelves when I need it again, expect me to be really whiny about it for a couple of days until it passes.

I needed to get moving today to head to mom's.  She made me a quick breakfast and she was ready for a nap, so while I still had a little bit of residual pain dancing behind my eyes I too closed my lids for a few minutes.  Then it was time to head to my Aunt on my father's side as my cousin is in from CT.  We had a great visit, for which I am very thankful.  So, that brings me here.  I'm trying to get some laundry done as I know the next few days will be busier than I realize and I need to get a jump start to stay barely behind.

Friday, December 20, 2013

No matter what, Christmas does make an attempt at being depressing.  The weather should be decent and safe to drive, so I'm happy about that, but it's the little things that make it less than awesome.  Some tidbits:
- People who take the whole week off to spend it with family, I know you don't mean to, but when you're all shocked that I wouldn't also take the whole week off because, well, it's Christmas, think about it.  I go ON Christmas and celebrate, and then, that's done.  There aren't kids home from school at my house or tons of family coming and going, and frankly, not even alot of plans to catch up with people.  So, blah.
- In the same vein, I know you're busy and I'm not, but it still sucks when you try to make plans to see me around Christmas and they are presented with "this day/time, but maybe this one if the first one ends up not working out for us due to this laundry list of reasons".  What I mind ends up with is "Judy, reserve two time slots for me, and if something better comes up I'll bump you from the first one at a moment's notice leaving you sitting at home at that point in time bummed because you were mentally geared up to go out and have a little fun."  Yes, yes, I know the weather is a legitimate factor.  If your caveat is only "unless the weather is really bad" I'm with you all the way and I am totally not talking about you here.
- Sure seems like every OTHER group at work is having little parties, get togethers, and luncheons.  Yeah.  In the mean time, the ppl I typically eat lunch with are unavailable because they're invited to those... and I get to eat alone.  For some reason, that does not make me festive at all.
I really don't want to be grumpy, but it's hard.  Those moments when I feel alone or "second best" as detailed above, yes my mind does go to Christmases past and the losses I've felt then.  I had claimed 2013 for me, it was going to be a good year.  Here it is a week and a half from being over and all it did was pass (quickly).  What of it?  So, how do I go about making the change that is so desperately needed to not feel this way again next year?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Autumn (the Durango) headed to Wagner's today.  Turns out it is a wheel bearing, which they had and were able to replace, however the bolts they had to remove as part of that assembly (my phrasing, might not be a good way to say it) were quite rusted and not going to go back in.  That would be the part that no one in town had, yep, the closest ones are in Cleveland, go figure.  They are ordered and if the weather cooperates they should be here tomorrow.  This means I had to rely on the kindness of Beff to bring me home from work and to take me there tomorrow.

They are also going to do whatever they said (resealing?) the tires as I've been having a hard time keeping air in 3 out of 4.  Probably another victim of corrosion exacerbated by the evil stuff they spray on the roads in the winter.  I know I should just appreciate that it clears the roads, but the fact is, around here, they don't really clean the roads, so really, why throw crap on them if you're not going to remove the snow and slop first?

Wait, they do clean one road rather well... the one in front of my house.  Richland seems to be excited that my vehicle isn't here, so they don't even need to slow down as they turn the corner throwing the slop up onto my property.  There were huge ice masses chucked into my parking area.  Thanks.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Any desires to head to Altoona this weekend were dashed by a displeased Durango long before the weather became a factor.  There are some noises and vibrations happening, couple that with an issue keeping air in the front driver's side tire and I have an appointment Monday morning to see what's up.

When I woke at 7ish the snow had not started yet, even though it was suppose to start around 1 or 2am, but by 9am it was coming down at a pretty good clip.  So, I made sure to make my grocery run quickly after I got moving, as I knew I wouldn't want to leave the house again.  At this point, waking from my afternoon nap *grin*, I'd say I have a solid 5" of new snow.  This is way too much for December already, I hope the pace doesn't amplify in January and February.  I would just go pretend and gawk at houses by my sister, but even they had ice and couldn't go anywhere last weekend or so.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

So, tomorrow is that time of year, again.  First time it landed on a Friday since way back when too.  Meh.  You best believe I want to stop and buy a lottery ticket tomorrow.  Cosmically I am "owed".

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Move over Betty Crocker, it's cold out and I'm nesting.  Monday night I made my stuffed shells (finally) with a small twist as I wanted to see what a wee bit of pumpkin in the stuffing mix would do.  They're decent, not a ton of pumpkin flavor, perhaps I could have used a little more.
Since I then had a partial can of pumpkin I went hunting for recipes to use it, preferrably with some cream cheese, and came out with a bread mix.  Despite the cook time being a good bit longer than the recipe called for they turned out quite yummy, they being one regular loaf shape and 12 cute little pumpkin top shaped muffins.
Last night I totally should have just ate leftover stuffed shells, but I also had a container of brussel sprouts that needed to get cooked up before bad things happened to them, and an Alton recipe I had been eager to try.  I'm simplifying a wee bit but:  pecans, not a whole ton of butter, brussel sprouts, and cranberries with salt and pepper.  Frickin yum.  So today's leftover lunch is a bit eclectic, but I remain well fed.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Here I sit on the first Sunday night w/o the Walking Dead (at least til February) or a bible study group to go to.  While I want the activity I sure have no desire to leave the house as cold as it is today.  At least I can say I got a good bit of cleaning done, caught up on my java class (again), and a few more birth records for relatives located this weekend.

Last night was the work Christmas party.  I have to admit, I feel like that was a closing chapter... be it for me or on a larger scale, I cannot say, but it felt like the end of an era.  With very little sleep last night as a result... I think I'm heading to crash pretty soon.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Dear fast food workers,
You need to understand, you cannot make $15 an hour.  I know you want to, everyone does, but it is simply not feasible, at least not as a fast food worker.  Recognize that if your salary jumps as such the prices in your store will jump, and those of us NOT granted a 100% pay increase would stop coming to your store completely, meaning you would have a 100% pay cut (you'd lose your job).  If we press the minimum wage up it drives up other prices, basically putting you back at square one and dragging others that were doing a little better down (because they don't get a boost in pay to compensate for the increase in prices).
Heck that might happen anyhow.  I know if I owned one of your stores and had 10 employees at $7.25 an hour and I was forced to increase that to $15 an hour, you best believe I'll be doing my best to see what I can shift around to get by with only 5 or 6 to minimize that loss of revenue on paying my employees.  What can I do to automate or make more efficient?  What jobs can I double up?  Who can be pressed to add one more task to their to do list and alleviate it from someone else.  You can also trust that you will find a great deal more competition for the position you hold, and you best be concerned if you don't consider yourself good at math or fast in completing the tasks at hand.
You can however choose to work towards a skilled labor position that does in fact make the kind of money you're requesting.  Understand that your current position is one that many people consider to be positions for high school students, short term work, part time jobs, a starting point, not a career.  If you truly love the work that is fantastic, but I hope that there are opportunities for you to advance there such that you can assume a management role making and justifying the wages in question.
If I don't like my job or the salary they give me I can ask for more (not mandate that you pay me more even if I'm not qualified) or I can look for another job.  I'm pretty sure someone else would love to have my job at my current salary.  This is the concept of supply and demand.  If I had some awesome knowledge or unique skill set the chances of them replacing me easily are low, so I have a better chance of getting a pay raise to stick around.  Are you confident that no one else would want your job for what you currently make?  Hell, if I lost my current job and your position paid $15 an hour, that might make it onto my short list of temporary positions to keep my bills paid. You're on notice.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Today is the big day.  My access should be restored by 9:15pm.  Hopefully I'll still go to bed at a reasonable hour.  There really is a long list of things I need to do online at this point.
Last night I drug the Beff along with me to a women's dinner at Rizzo's.  I am in an eat like a fiend mode at the moment, so the meal was extra enjoyable.
This morning I was woke way too early by a chirping noise, which I quickly assumed was the smoke detector bitching about the battery.  You'd think these things would have light sensors and not have their hissy fit in the middle of the night.  So I was up to pull the battery.  Yes, yes, I also did a quick inspection in the house and down the basement stairs just to make sure.  Shortly thereafter, more chirping.  Back up to find it was actually the battery in the carbon monoxide detector.  Mind you, this thing plugs in, so why exactly does it have a battery?  Everything unplugged and battery free Saffy was happy (the chirps from those things send her into a tissy) and I returned to bed for my last hour.  This of course means the alarm scared the crap out of me this morning and I woke tired just from things being a bit off kilter.
The good news here is that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I'd hear these going off in the middle of the night!  The bad news is that it also made me think about other things such as:  should I put a smoke detector in the stair well coming up the basement too?  Then I also realized that with the current set up of my bedroom my immediate escape route in a fire with the girls is not very convenient.  Oh how quickly my mind gets drawn into processing.

Monday, December 02, 2013

I can't believe my super long weekend is over already and I'm back to it.  Without internet access I'll admit there were some moments of anxiety over the weekend.  So many things were scribbled down that I need to do as soon as I regain access.  It's rather shocking how much I rely on my access.  Heck, even getting ready to call my Aunt on Saturday, when I realized I didn't save her number in my phone.  Now what?!  So, I used a little of my data plan to get the info I needed.
That accomplished I did head back down the mountain on Saturday, primarily to go to my class reunion, but I stopped in at my Aunt's before to give her copies of the information I've found on our ancestors on dad's side.  It was interesting to see her reaction to some of it as it surprised her as well.  Hopefully Pap won't be waiting for me when my day comes asking "why did you dig that up and share it?!"
So, the class reunion... well, it was disappointing.  Only 53 people reserved for Saturday night (that includes guests) and there remained a full table and other seats sitting empty.  I sat with Jill, whom I had reconnected with earlier in the year due to a hospitalization on her part, and chatted for a while with one classmate that I went to school with from elementary up, that was nice, but other than that, there really wasn't much going on there.  I guess there was 3x as many folks there the night before, at the bar.  *rolls eyes*  I did get a shock with one of the folks who never spoke to me being pleasant, but other than that, nothing has changed in 20 years.  I really wish some of my old friends that aren't very technologically savvy had been there.
Sunday night was not only the mid-season finale for Walking Dead, but it was also the last night in my bible study, so that's kind of sad.  I really enjoyed getting together with everyone each week.