Monday, March 29, 2010

Hand Me One More Candle

It's birthday time again. We all have to pass this milestone once annually. It's great when we're young, but at this age! Well, I'm still under full retirement age but that doesn't keep me from feeling...well...mature. During those early one-digit years or even into the teens, there was little fat on my body. Walked two miles to school every day, played outside until dark every night. Rode a bike, played on a volleyball team, even was in the marching band with practices most afternoons after school and then the 2-mile walk home. Seemed I didn't mind it. But now? Well, one flight of stairs is daunting, but I do it anyway. I really do need to lose some weight. I guess I can't have anymore birthday cake...tonight...

Sweets bought me an HP all in one Photosmart that when correctly installed and uninstalled and then installed two more times is guaranteed to work properly. It would print nicely from my computer. Why, it would even copy. But the scan --- oh nooooo, it didn't want to help me there. A system error flashed across it's little digital screen. I tried every solution I could think of to no avail. After a check with HP, they sent me a email "fix" which was loaded and unloaded and installed and then ...., don't get your hopes failed to correct the problem too. Those little techies make it sound like it's not their company's fault, "each computer is different"...uh huh, right. I may be older than dirt, but I didn't fall off the cabbage wagon yesterday. The shiny new contraption with all it's touch screen modern look, is still made in CHINA. Our country needs to quit this practice and get our jobs back in US where people are wanting employment. Surely a citizen of US would take better pride in his work. Oh, but the CD was probably not "written" in China. Ooops, so maybe I'm saying this technie sitting in his cubicle didn't program everything correctly. He sounded American even through his braces. So, Sweetz will haul it back and demand a replacement. Knowing my Sweetz, he will ask politely and won't get riled unless a young squirt at the Returns Desk gets more spirited than he will appreciate. Oh, but they are usually nice. I will remain optimistic.

Ouch, nearly got burnt with all those candles. Maybe when we get to ripe old age, we can start subtracting years if for no other reason than it's safer to keep us away from flames. Actually I had no candles but that's ok, probably the grocery store didn't have enough boxes. How many candles do they pack in one of those little square boxes anyway? However many, it probably wasn't enough to do the job sufficiently.

My car has more computerized things than I'd like. Anywho, there's a light that comes on automatically - and stays on - when it thinks I need an oil change. So Sweetz changed the oil and the light stayed on. So, he takes off for the owner's manual...yep, he found it...that's a reminder light to change the oil, but it has to be turned off manually. He was grinning when he came back in. Doesn't take much to satisfy a guy who enjoys tinkering with stuff.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rewards of spring

A friend at work gave me an orchid plant today. It is adorable - the tiniest blooms I've ever seen. That green thing behind it is a green Mt. Dew bottle cap I put there to show the size of these tiny flowers. It's little pot is only about 2 inches in diameter and she put it in a glass votive container to give it some "class" she said. She's given me 3 plants so far. She seems to enjoy giving; I take great joy in accepting.

Another friend gave me this "rooting" vase last year that attaches to a window with a suction cup. I usually start rootings in it, but decided to add a few cuttings from the yard to force them to bloom. And they rewarded me this week with little pink blooms. Sure does perk up my kitchen window. Hope no one notices my dirty window panes.

Then in the living room I put these branches in water a few weeks ago and yipeeee, they started blooming this week. Pink and orange blooms. What a delight to see them as I walk through the living room.

Good news. Our son, who's been out of work for 9 months, has been searching for a job. Today, he was offered an accounting position at a large hospital. I'm soooo excited. Told him that we'd take them out for dinner to celebrate one night. I couldn't be prouder of him. He has been blessed with a sweet wife and two darling sons - who just happen to be my grandsons. I'll have to ask his permission to put a couple of pictures of his family on this blog. But if I start...I may find it difficult to stop.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bad, good, better

Ahhh, I saw the nurse today about my lab results. Everything was ok, except for a couple of results which were just a few points out the range. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there was the necessary slapping of wrists to tell me to eat healthier and lose weight and begin an exercise program. All of this I know. Will I do it? Well, I know I should. I ate a brownie a bit ago. Bad bad girl. I know I should have left it alone but saw Sweetz getting one and I lost my willpower. In one flash. And in that same length of time I had eaten it. Bad bad girl. When will I be able to resist? Ok, I'll try harder tomorrow.

I had lunch with my mom today. She's doing so well for her age - 88. She wants to go out to eat with us this Friday night. So, Sweetz and I will go with her to a nice restaurant way out in the country. Excellent food. The chefs have even won some coveted cooking awards. Food like I love to eat. Made from scratch. Like fish baked with lemon and herbs in parchment paper. Oh, oh, oh, talk about moist and excellent! I can eat healthy there. I think...maybe? But their desserts are to die for. I mean it, they are awesome. Well, everything served there is top notch. Wonder if they will let me take pictures? I can ask. It's in an old plantation home and one of the owners enjoys walking around and greeting all the guests like family in his bib overalls while delighting everyone with his wonderful stories of the place being haunted.

Our son called after lunch to say he got a call to return for yet a 3rd interview - this time with the CFO. He's excited and I'm proud. Hope he gets the job. We plan to celebrate when he gets an offer. He knows the pay will be less than he was making in his previous job but these days it's almost a necessity to accept le$$ in order to get a job. He said he's willing to work his way up again. Smart boy. Like his parents I'd say!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Needles and Nurses

It was a good day at work - hey who am I fooling? It was tolerable, maybe that's a better description. This morning I went to work fasting so I could have my annual wellness screening. Less and less is required of me each year so the entire experience took about 15 minutes. Since I don't work in a clinical area, I am no longer required to take the TB test, nor the FIT test. Ahhhhh, that chopped off some time.

I have tiny hidden veins - she likened them to Easter eggs hiding in tall grass. She finally chose a small needle and after some ins and outs and resticking and poking and prodding, she finally got the red goop to flow. There was little discomfort though, even after all that jabbing. I even watched some of the process -- and I NEVER do that. I can count the flower patterns in the wallpaper on the other side of the room like a pro!! But today, she was brilliant - well for me it was anyway. I sometimes have to undergo needles in both arms and then sometimes in the hand - then after several jabs everywhere there is supposed to be a vein, they send me over to the Lab Department for their best phlebotomist - who usually gets it the first time. But today, I lucked out. The nurse in the Occ Health Dept finally accomplished the undoable. Actually the nurses over there usually run when I come in - no one wants to be responsible for my vein poking. I bruise, I bleed afterward, and sport several band-aids the rest of the day, but not today. Today, one band-aid and no bruise. Yipppeeee

Tomorrow morning I am to go back to be given the lab results and have a bit of a sit-down chat with a nurse. I'm hoping everything is within normal limits, as it's been in all the past years, but the blood sugar and cholesterol results have been creeping up slowly. Found out I probably don't have to worry about the blood sugar reading, because it has to be over 169 and mine has been in the upper 90s for two years. Whew. But then there's the CHO. The good, the bad, the total, the tri's, and of course other readings have been added too. So, I'll find out about them tomorrow. If anything is out of range, I have to see another nurse who will have to "help" me get those numbers back in range.

I have been eating fairly healthy this month. Yep, just one month, started Mar 1. But I've been trying. Turkey and chicken have been the meats of the month. My dad's side of the family had high CHO so I was rewarded with those genes. Mom's is extremely low, so maybe I can stay in the middle somewhere. I'm just glad to get the arm jabbing over for the year.

Today I had lunch with a friend. Nice to get away from the stress and enjoy a nice chicken salad plate. Today was cooler than the last few days and we had some rain this morning about the time I got up. It was over by the time I headed out to work but it's chilly here tonight and the potted gardenia plant had to be brought in for the night. We're expecting to get temps about 35 tonight and that's a bit too close for comfort for our gardenia plant. I cut some branches one day recently of 2 kinds of flowering shrubs and they are here on the table. One has pink blooms just beginning to poke out and the other should reward me with orange blossoms soon. Ahhh, I do love spring. I'm getting sleepy so I'm thinking it's about time to get horizontal for 8. Ahhh, and I think I could squeeze in a few snores too.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A quiet Saturday

It was a beautiful day here in our area. Lovely sun and a few daffodils blooming around the yard. I drove to a nearby city and enjoyed being alone for the day. Sometimes it's the answer to stress and a heavy heart. There are things that happen around us that we don't understand and have no control of but keeps us from enjoying our inner happiness.

I had a quick lunch at a quiet restaurant and also did a bit of window shopping. I needed to buy a birthday gift, so found something appropriate at Pier 1. Hope she likes it. Then I browsed a long time in Barnes and Noble. Wow, what a place to lose yourself and all your problems. I even found people to talk to - and lots of books to look at. I bought one by Nicholas Sparks for myself for our next camping trip since I like to have a good one on hand in case there is time for reading. Went in a "outdoor adventure store" forgot the name of it - but they had fishing supplies, clothing, camping gear, tents, backpacks, kayaks, clothing, etc. It was a fun place to look but I didn't see anything we needed for our camper.

There was a little museum which I enjoyed and then some gardens. It's a bit early for flowers but there were daffodils and pansies blooming. I met my DIL and her mother and my grandson there at the gardens. We enjoyed the gardens and it was nice to see them again and to share our time. The trees aren't ready to come out yet, although there were one or two. I did see some flowers on several bushes. When I came home Sweetz showed me our bush and there on the lower limbs, way in the back - were three buds and two flowers. He cut the biggest one and it's here on the table, real pretty. But not as pretty as the one I saw in the gardens today, but I won't tell him. Some things are best left unsaid.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is that Spring I feel?

Yep, time flies these days. Of course, that doesn't involve the working hours which seem to crawl across my brain ever so slowly. At least it's Thursday night and there is hope that I can survive another week. Tomorrow is Certified Nurses Day across USA. I've been busy trying to make the day extra special at our facility.

I'm a bit worried about this healthcare plan that is such a contentious deal in Congress. I keep thinking that if it is so wonderful, then why won't it be accepted. Too many questions and one that really bothers me is how are we to pay for it. Heard today that the state of New York will withhold income tax refunds because of their limited revenue. How can our nation take on yet another HUGE deal such as healthcare at this time? The country needs to get the unemployment under control. If people had jobs, then we would have revenue coming into state coffers. Seems we need to slow down this rush to get healthcare approved and deal with some of the more pressing matters. We have Medicaid, Medicare, and various other government programs for the uninsured. They get healthcare anyway even without insurance. Just poke your head in any emergency room; it's filled with the uninsured. Well, I will be watching the news to see how all this drama plays out.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the extra hour of daylight, not so much in the morning though. But it will lengthen too so I will try to be patient.
My oxalis (shamrock plant) is going to sleep as I sit here watching it near my laptop. It jerks as the leaves close up and keeps surprising me out of the corner of my eye. Then in the morning as the sun comes up, it will reverse that process and open. I went outside a bit ago and picked a few daffodils to brighten the table. They are so perky and are the epitome of spring in our area.

We saw another kat this week that might want to be adopted which takes a walk through our yard. One of our two present katz began it's life here as a stray. Plus we've adopted many in our 35 years here. Didn't see the little stray today so surely it found it's way home safely. We are making plans for retirement and more katz don't fit. Also, we both feel we have done our share of stray adoptions over our 42 years of marriage. And how many countless ones have we paid to be "fixed". That's ok, it was our gift to society to keep the population under control.

I ordered 3 sets of Christmas prints which arrived yesterday. I took mom's set to her last night. She was so excited - kept looking at them over and over and over again. It was worth every penny. The 3rd set is for my brother/wife which I need to mail. Wish I could see their faces when they get them. He's a Duke fan and has been quite excited with March Madness this year. Gave him several little Duke items in his Christmas stocking. Where was my camera when he opened them? Duh, I missed those shots.

We bought a TV converter box last week to use with our TV while camping. Sweetz and I decided to connect it tonight to make sure everything works. Wow, 28 channels and clear as a bell. That will be very nice to use when we're at a campground which doesn't offer cable.

Monday, March 15, 2010

How long will I trade?

It's a new work week and it started with a bang. I wonder how many people feel as I do, that the job isn't as fun as it used to be. It's harder to feel intrigued with projects while the younger staff don't seem to work well with the "old" policies and want everything modified to please them and their lifestyle. Oh well, I have a bit longer to experience the "joys" of working but definitely have the hitch itch to see other places before I have to hang up my Reeboks after the final walk on this earth.

A friend had surgery today and she did well. Hope her recovery progresses smoothly. Many are without jobs and the future doesn't seem as rosy to them as they struggle to maintain a life without employment. Perhaps soon I can turn over my office keys to one willing to work endlessly under pressure for the corporation's pre-determined cold pay scale. Ahhhh, the joys of work. I say I'm trading my freedom for a bit of cash. But will the government tax my hard-earned dimes so I have little for the future? Sounds like they want to control my entire life from cradle to grave. And not sure where all this money will come from to pay for their promises. Oh well, for now I live in my little world and pray God keeps us all safe in His care.

While driving around this past weekend I saw this little white country church with the cross and purple cloth. I thought this scene was a beautiful reminder that Easter is nearing. Last night I made a batch of reversible green coasters. I tucked one in each of the St. Patrick's Day cards I mailed to the two Gsons today. I kept two for Sweetz and myself, then one will be given to mom and one was given to a good friend at work today. Ahhhh, now that was a rewarding evening - just me and my sewing machine.

I came home from work today exhausted and sleepy, so rewarded myself tonight with a nice nap. Ahhhhh, and it felt soooooo gooooood. Hope it doesn't keep me from having a good night's sleep tonight. In the meantime I have many blogs to read.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's nice

Today started out nice. Nice night's sleep, nice relaxing Saturday morning, nice chat with mom, nice sunrise, nice springy looking day. Mom said she'd go with me to run some errands so off we went. First stop was breakfast at a local diner. I seldom eat breakfast out, but I ended up ordering chicken salad, peas, and slaw because it sounded much healthier than greasy bacon and eggs. I'm still working on eating healthier and reducing my fat and cholesterol. My blood tests will be the end of the month, so have a goal. I don't always eat as well as I should but Rome wasn't built in a day. And neither will my healthier eating habits change in a day. Little steps will be ok.

While driving around the county this morning, I saw these cows munching grass and hay. They looked so contented and at peace. The moms had their calves around Christmas so the little ones aren't so little anymore. And the grass is turning green in a few spots. I didn't notice any green on the trees or bushes on our drive today but I'll look every day on my drives to work and back. Won't be long now. Spring officially begins the 20th and tonight is the time change. I never did like DST, sure messes up my internal clock and it takes a couple of weeks to come to terms with it. But no one asked my opinion. I've decided life is good if you concentrate on the nice things.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Time flies when you are having fun

I didn't think I would ever hear myself say that time is flying but obviously it must be because I turn around a couple of times and this blog is way behind. Hours at work can move quickly for awhile and then they drag. This week went fairly quickly except for today. Ever sooooo sloooooooow. So, the up side of this is that retirement will come quicker at this speed. And I can hardly wait.

With the economy, it doesn't look like Sweetz and I will be trading up for a nicer RV anytime soon. The predictions are for more expensive gas and our little camper seems to look better and better. The plan is to do some traveling across our country after I quit if that's possible when the times comes.

We filed our state taxes electronically but now we hear states will hold our tax refunds for months. Yeah, and I also know the fed govt can increase the deficit and print more money when it meets a financial crisis, but states have to balance their budgets just like we have to do at home. The news shows aren't promising and I ache for younger families with their lives ahead of them. Actually, it doesn't seem to be hopeful for any age group. But I try to have a positive attitude and will keep plugging away at life as long as I am able. In the meantime we have this little RV ornament hanging next to a lighthouse ornament as a reminder to keep our hope alive while the big black key just might hold the answer to the secret of how to combine an RV and a lighthouse.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


The weekend's about over, but it's been a good one, pleasant all around. Saturday, Sweetz washed the tiller and new spark plugs inserted, all the belts and gears and so forth were checked. It was oiled and gassed. Looks right at home in the garden. Vrooom.... Sweetz tilled part of the garden and the soil looks good for this part of clay country. Sweetz puts all kinds of organic enrichment in the soil but a load of some rich stinky stuff would be even better. But...we are without a truck so that will not happen. The ornamental copper frog sat perfectly still and watched all the activity in the garden. There should be some great bug picking as the weather warms.

Sweetz planted my snow peas so they should be popping up soon and will be delicious if we can keep those pesky deer out of them. Talked to son and he's coming over tomorrow with a load of that smelly bovine end product for our garden!! So much for needing a truck. Vrooom... We certainly are proud of him and how thoughtful and mature he is. He's out of work at the present time but had two interviews last week which he said went well. Hopefully, soon he can be back in his truck heading down the road to a new job. Vrooom...

Mom came over Saturday and we headed out to a nearby town to get all that salty mess washed off my car. The temps go down to freezing every night so didn't want to use our hose. Sometimes we have rain which washes the salt off, but not this time. Soooo, Vrooom..Vroommm...

Sweetz wanted to finish getting all the info together this afternoon for the tax man. Not our favorite time of the year but at least anticipating retirement and the slow down that will occur, hopefully soon there will be less need of this annual record gathering. The shredder was useful today. In went the papers and out came our financial lives reduced to thin little strips. Vrooom...vrooom...vroooom

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Right Choices

We've been visiting two different churches for the past few months. Pastor Tom from Church A paid us a visit tonight. He's a nice likable guy and believes as we do. It's the smaller of the two, settled, lacks the amenities of a larger church but its size makes it easier to get to know all the members. The choir is tiny, Sunday School classes are also small but one in particular we visited has a great teacher named John. They have a good cross section of ages plus a seniors group that likes to go on day trips. We'll continue to visit both A and B and then one day hopefully we will know which one is Church R - that'll be Church Right.

Since I'm trying to eat healthier, it was really difficult to not eat the brownies I made tonight for the pastor's visit. They are undoubtedly my favorite dessert in all the whole wide world. I put the remainder in a storage container but only nibbled at a bit of crumbs left in the bottom. Whooooweee, hope I can keep up eating healthier fare from now on. It's what's right for me and I know it.

My workplace has begun to track some of our annual health checkup results which may increase my health insurance premiums if I don't keep them in line. Now, THAT'$ an incentive! Need to drop a few total cholesterol points and have been told by some nurse friends of mine to eat oatmeal for breakfast, limit red meat, no shrimp, lots of fruits and veggies, low-fat milk, etc. Well, I started about a week ago and it's going ok. I know in my head what to do, but it's easier said than done.

Sweetz has been very supportive and since he prepares supper for me during the week, he's been preparing things that I can eat. He also does the grocery shopping. Today he called me before I left work and asked me to stop on my way home and pick up a few things he had forgotten. Sure, I said. Wellll, told him when I got home that since it had been YEARS since I'd done much grocery shopping, it was quite an eye opener to see the price increa$es. Saw some families there wheeling shopping carts along the aisles and felt for them having to feed all those hungry little mouths in this economy. Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. I wish them well and hope we all choose healthy. It's the Right Choice.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Things Can Be Worse

My lands, it's snowing again!! It started about 1pm or so but since I was in a meeting until about 3:30, I didn't get to see much of it except out windows aimed at another wing of our building. Seemed innocent enough, a few flakes drifting down between the two wings. Things can be worse than a few flakes I'm thinking.

My car was piled with snow when I left for the day. Not complaining, I really don't mind cleaning the car, but it was parked in a low spot and since it had rained half the day, it was sitting in a huge 2 inch lake. It's great walking around cleaning the car with cold soaked shoes. Still things can get worse, so I managed ok. Then down the road I pass two cars which had both obviously lost control and ended up in the middle of the road. The HP were keeping the traffic moving via one lane so hey, things can get alot worse. No camera with me today so I don't have a picture of that part of my exciting day. Yeah, yeah, there's a camera on my phone, but when taking pictures, I want the feel of the Nikon in my hand. But do I want to feel the road slipping beneath my wheels while I get a great shot? See, things can get worse I keep telling myself.

I get home and the katz are lazily snoozing and barely even notice I've returned. Had to get a picture of Holly snoozing by the back door with the snow falling outside behind her. Yeah, things can get alot worse. I'm happy...I'm home. I'll worry about the morning commute in the morning. No global warming here.