29 August 2012

Tap Tap Tap...Is This On?

Oops I did it again. I fell off the planet.

I'm still just working part time but that plus physical therapy is taking everything I have to just get through the day.

Every day is a little better, don't get me wrong. The recliner, remote, and I continue our polyamorous relationship however.

I have a list of posts to write and a long weekend arriving in just one day so stay tuned.

24 August 2012


A cute six year old brought me this
The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

23 August 2012

You Know, That Thing?

We had dinner with the kids the other night.  Kevin sat with the boring old grown-ups and I sat with the kids. 

I'm always amazed at what they'll talk about.  Their minds were collectively blown over the Curiosity Rover.  C-2 claimed that he *might* have a dairy allergy to get out of finishing his potatoes.  Two of the littles have lost one of their front teeth already.  I kept emphasizing that "Your brother will be Next, not last" to lose his teeth.

Girl Little begins telling me the story of how she lost her tooth.  She was the first one and her daddy helped her.

"You know that thing that holds up balloons?" 

"The what now?"  (said by me and her older brother)

"You know, the thing that you hold on to hold up the balloon. The THING that holds it up"

"Handle?"  "Stick?" "You sure you mean balloon?"

Frustrated with us morons, she moved on.  "When my tooth was loose, Daddy took the Thing from the Balloon and put it in my mouth then POP out came my tooth!"

(she didn't say "You retards" but she thought it, the tone was certainly there.)

 (and yes, I know the "r" word is not appropriate but her tone required the use of  it)



Of course, string.  String holds up balloons....when you're six.  DUH.

22 August 2012

Put It Right

I'm still only working part-time.  My substitute has now gone on to her real life so my office is entirely mine again.  Now I am totally grateful that I had a sub but gosh, am I relieved to have my office back.

I cannot, cannot, CANNOT work in clutter.  The ADD does not enjoy.

I recognize that everyone has their ways of doing things but what is with the sticky notes, scrap paper notes, AND yellow note pad? Lists and lists of lists. Does one person need that many ways of keeping track of stuff?  This is not the Pentagon.

((there was even the accordion style sticky notes left on the desk without the dispenser.  I grabbed one, unsuccessfully, and felt like I was working at Dundler Mifflin))

I recognize that I am a little OCD with my workspace...okay, with my entire life.  It's not as bad as having the stapler labeled as "stapler" but There Are Ways of Doing Things.

I have one notebook to keep notes.  I have three binders that hold all the information one could possibly need.  My computer is likewise organized.  I like to have things set up so that if I do happen to throw myself down the stairs, everything is readily available for the poor schmoe that has to be my substitute.
Again, I do not work in the pentagon.  It's a three person staff.

Then there's the whole TAPING THINGS TO THE DESK that makes me insane.  I will be spending the next few days trying to get tape off the doggone desk.
Page protectors are one of the best things ever to me.  Use that instead of tape for the love of sweet baby jesus.

Oh, I forgot to mention computer settings.  Printer set to "preview & approve" AND to print only black.  Where the eff is my WORD taskbar?  Why are there eleventy hundred documents on the desktop?   She even changed the desktop picture.  Thank god I hide the pens I prefer. (the're just bank pens, but they're my favorite! *clutching them to my chest*)

Again, totally grateful to have someone cover for me but gah. Stop touching my stuff!

21 August 2012

Say You're Sorry

One of Kevin's cousins (one I don't particularly care for, so after twenty+ years they are still "Kevin's cousin") once made a statement that has puzzled me off and off for years.

"Don't say 'sorry", say 'I apologize'.  YOU'RE not sorry because that is a statement about you.  You're not sorry."

Did you get that?  I'm sure I still don't.

What it means is to say "I apologize for hurting your feelings" instead of "I'm sorry for hurting your feelings." She interpreted "sorry" as a state versus a feeling.  She's technically correct.  Technically.

sorry  (adj.)

1.  feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to be sorry to leave 
     one's friends; to be sorry for a remark; to be sorry for someone in trouble.
2.  regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorry situation; to come to a  
     sorry end.
3.  sorrowful, grieved, or sad: Was she sorry when her brother died?
4.  associated with sorrow; suggestive of grief or suffering; melancholy; dismal.
5.  wretched, poor, useless, or pitiful: a sorry horse.

apologize verb (used without object)

1.  to offer an apology  or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury: He  
    apologized for accusing her falsely.
2.  to make a formal defense in speech or writing.

The concept has just always tripped me up.   I understand that sorry used to be common to describe someone or the state of something. I would wonder if it were a regional thing but they are a part of the family and no one else says it.

Along the same note, a friend a long long time ago mentioned not to say "I'm sorry" when one didn't hear someone, to rather say "Pardon me" or "Excuse me".
Why all the semantics around this, I am unsure.  I just thought it was a strange designation.  This post has no point, really.  I just wanted to put it out into the universe so it will stop taking residence in my head.

And if you haven't checked out Honest Toddler on the twitter or the interwebs, then I am disappointed in you.  (not really.)  He had something to say about "Sorry" the other day: http://honesttoddler.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/not-sorry/
It really has nothing to do with the above but is worth the read all the same.

17 August 2012

Heat Wave

It has been hot up in here this week.  The Pacific Northwest doesn't usually get this hot so we all kind of overload.  Like when it snows, we're so unused to it that we get a little crazy.

Our house doesn't get awful hot because I have figured it all out, like some kind of nerd.  It took a summer of a little science-y type experiment.  I wish I had paid more attention in my science classes.  But hello? science? Not so much in my brain.

I leave all the windows open as long as I can to cool the house as much as possible in the morning.  Kevin and I disagree at this point.  He'll close up the house at bedtime then be surprised that the house is stuffy.  He's a smart guy, I'm not sure where the disconnect is.

As the sun rises, I work my way around the house.  Our bathroom is like a greenhouse and gets the first sun.  I close the windows, curtains, and blinds then the door.  I've even considered putting a towel under the door but that seems obsessive. (as if this post doesn't seem obsessive)

The bedroom never gets direct sunlight, thank baby jesus.  I leave the windows open in there but shut the door.  Missy's "room" (used to be my office, damn dog) gets direct sunlight all the live long day.  Ugh.  I turn that room into a cave as soon as possible.

I don't like our laundry/mud room in the winter because it doesn't have a window, just a door, and it gets really dark.  Though during the summer it's lovely .  
The kitchen has a medium sized window that I found if I leave the window cracked open, even with direct sunlight, it helps keep the house cooler. I don't know why.  Again, should have paid attention in science.

As for the living room, I close it up like a dungeon.  I have heavy satin forest green curtains and sage colored sheers plus the blinds so it feels like a scene from Jane Austin when I open those curtains.

Then about 4:00 pm I obsessively watch the thermometer.  It's about that time that outside and inside temps even out then I rush about opening doors and windows.

I really need to get a hobby, don't I?

The dog sleeps outside, usually in about fifteen other places. Sometimes Lucky wants to snuggle and she looks at him as if to say "F&*k man, get OFF of me!"
If I let her in, she sleeps in the middle of the kitchen floor, the only time she's allowed in the kitchen.  

The downfall of this is that if I'm at home, I feel like I'm bunkered down in the house while it is lovely outside. I haven't quite figured that part out yet. 
Because this happens so rarely here and we have a tiny house, we haven't considered getting an air conditioner.  I realize, of course, that this could solve all of our problems.

But then what would I do with my time? (:-D

16 August 2012

Going to the Dogs

Missy is getting older, she's starting to move slower and sleep more.  Her hearing is fading although she still hears if Kevin has a snack, remarkably.   She's over eleven years old so we know the clock is ticking.

We've considered getting a puppy to overlap dogs and to revitalize Missy. To be honest, to also take the sting out of when Missy decides to go. Losing a dog very particularly sucks and I will do anything to make the process better.

But then we remember how much work a puppy is and we stop.  Although right now is a good time because the weather is nice.  Once winter comes then a puppy isn't possible.  Also, Missy is an alpha dog who doesn't have patience for, let's say, not-smart dogs. She has patience with kids & adults, just not people in dog form.

Both of our dogs were shelter dogs.  We really wouldn't consider anything else.  We love Lucky Dog but labs have traits that we don't enjoy...chewing, chewing, chewing. Oh and the digging.  Kevin would like a Blue Heeler and they are cool but I struggle with the idea of having a dog that is smarter than me.  We do like Australian Shepherds and Shepherds.  Girl dogs only. Big dog because we live in the country.  Kevin needs a dog that will play.  Missy Jo will gladly take the ball from Lucky, if he has it but she's not interested in the lowly game of fetch. She just doesn't want Lucky to have it.

Smart dogs can be fun but also frustrating.  I've always said I preferred a dumb dog because they will do something different every time whereas a smart dog does the same things over and over.

But as much as we can say that we want a specific kind of dog, we both know that dogs usually choose us.  With Aussie, she chose Kevin.  We were looking at another dog when Aussie came over to Kevin and leaned into him, with her chin in his hand.  It was so sweet that I teared up.  Kevin just looked over his shoulder and quietly said "We'll take her home."

Missy rope-a-doped Kevin by acting sweet & timid until about three days after he brought her home, then she turned into devil dog.  We had a conversation about turning her back in that she must have overheard because she suddenly started to behave.  Smart girl.  (that's the problem)

So, that's what we're thinking about right now.

Partners in Crime: Lucky Dawg and Missy Jo

15 August 2012

Actually Going Postal

One of my many talents (shaking my head wryly and sarcastically) is that I am very charming to the venders, repair and delivery people at my work.  I diligently work at remembering their names and being friendly.

This is not altogether altruistic.  I know that if I'm charming and friendly, they will be also nice and friendly. Everyone is happier.  I also know that they'll remember how nice we are and might go the extra mile if we ever need it.

Let's talk about our postal carriers.  The first one I remember was named Jeffrey and we loved and spoiled him. We saved Starbucks pastries for him.  Then we had Jeremy, a temporary worker, who you could set a clock to when it came to deliveries.  We liked him a lot as well, even inviting him to have pizza with us.  Then came Courtney. Courtney was pregnant with a boy, her last child, when I threw myself down the stairs and was due in July.  We like Courtney as well.

Now, we also understand that the route that my work on sucks and blows.  It's a mixture of business and residential and it's filled with college-kid-filled apartments and two transitional living programs.  And it's uphill.   So I understand that the carriers probably literally play Paper Rock Scissors to get out of taking our route.  We are patient when it's late or they don't know where they are going or whatever.

Okay, that's a lot of necessary background. That being said.  Oh, that being said.

Last week in walks Dude, as he shall be referred to.  Dude has his IPOD blaring rock music.  Dude doesn't acknowledge greetings.  Dude has a tantrum about how we handle our "return to sender" mail.  "You need to do it this way or you'll just get it back."

Ahem..."You need"?  Umm...How about "Can you please?"  or "It's easier if..." and Oh, how about the other twenty carriers that we have that have never had an issue with it.

At first, I thought he was kind of being flippant but I realized he was being a dick so I took myself out of the conversation.  His final shot was "Well, you'll just get all your mail back." as he was walking out the door.  Again, all this said over rock music being blared out of his IPOD.

I detest bad customer service.  I won't tolerate it from anyone.   I walked right over to the phone and called Dude's supervisor.  I explained what happened, made light of it when I could, indicated that he's the only one that's ever had an issue, and gosh what can we do about this?

The supervisor was horrified and apologized.  He did clarify, rightfully so, how we handle our return-to-sender mail just to make sure we were doing it correctly. And we were.  (Oh, including clearly printed labels with the YWCA logo. Above and Beyond, Mr. I Clearly Hate My Job)
The supervisor said he would talk with him and it would never happen again.

Then I forgot about it beyond stating to one of the other substitute carriers that I was happy to see him the next day.

Until today.

Dude strolled in with a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder.  He was twenty feet away from me when he began talking.  Like a defiant teenager he began with "So you called my supervisor about the other day.  I think that was uncool."

I will admit I smirked.  Smirked because clearly he never left middle school. And I was "uncool."  I responded with "Okay..."

He continued, now raising his voice. MY FAVORITE.  “I can't believe that you took the time to look up the number and call, that is just uncool. I think YOU were the one with the attitude.”


One of the interns thought he was kidding (I don't know how, but she's an intern so there's that) and kind of sassed him but he didn't acknowledge her.  

He continued to rant about my allegations   He reiterated the process for the return to sender mail.  “All I asked was…” This explanation was quite pleasant in comparison to the original one. But he undid it by continuing to rant.

He admitted that his music was on.  He claimed that it was just “his crappy little radio on his phone” and seemed incredulous that I would dare comment on it.  He did backpedal and admit that it probably was too loud then followed with: “but it’s not loud if I‘m outside, just when I came inside.”   Seriously.  Again: never left middle school.

I work in social services so I see "crazy" people every day.  I'm good at not-responding.  I didn't comment beyond "Okay", if I commented at all.  He continued to rant.  The social worker walked in to show that there was another person who was in the office. Her presence pinged off of him like he had on Wonder Woman's bracelets.  

He finally turned to leave but continued to rant.  I said "I understand that you feel that way."  Validation of the other's feelings is what you're supposed to do in a confrontation, right?  Not So Much.
He turned and advanced back to the reception desk then continued about how I have an attitude.  Again, I'm Not the one Yelling...and how he just asked....yadda yadda yadda.

Finally he ran out of steam and left.  We were left incredulous. 

I called his supervisor again this morning.  As I reiterated the story, he was laughingly horrified. I enjoyed that he laughed when I repeated that "I wasn't cool" and apparently woke up in middle school yesterday.

So now I am sending a statement and the supervisor is taking it to "the next level".  I'm not sure what that is but I find myself being the youngest child thinking: "Ooooh, he's in so much trouble!"

13 August 2012

News & Notes

I've been awol again, sorry about that.  I have found that I can either live my life or I can work.  I cannot seem to find a balance, and not even a happy one.  Either I work or I can take care of my life.  I'm really having a difficult time finding a happy medium. It feels black & white.

I do know that I can't be as unreasonably tired, sore, and grumpy as I am by the end of the day and, in triplicate, by the end of the week and expect to stay married, in the family, and have the friends I have.  There is an expiration date on patience, after all.  Reasonably so.

The final result: I'm not working full-time anytime soon. 

And that now concludes the whining portion of this post.

I retweeted a retweet that said "God, everyone is dying this year."  A-freaking-men.

If you're from the Pacific Northwest, you'll know the name Kathi Goertzen.  She passed this afternoon and the entire Western Washington area is crying.  It is simply awful.  Read about her, she was just an incredible human.


Gardening wtih Kevin always requires a chainsaw or a truck, often both.  Yesterday I went out to water the four plants that are still living and pull some weeds.  The next thing I know, Kevin is tearing the sh*t out of  a little garden area we have.  One of the fir trees we were required to plant when we built this house was dying.  The rhododendron that was originally in a now non-existent rock garden had to be trimmed back significantly.  Along side of that, we could really never get anything to grow beyond weeds.
An hour later and the tree is gone, the bricks are gone, the rhody is trimmed and the weeds have been pulled.  Kevin is going to plant grass now. Probably not the best idea as it's supposed to be in the 90's later this week.

In another part of the yard, one of the dogs had burrowed into the topsoil to have a cool place to lay.  Kevin accused Lucky Dog because that is so something that Lucky would do. (he's a black Lab, enough said)  We were pulling weeds and trimming a holly plant when here comes Missy Jo, as casual as you please. She laid down in the burrow and scrunched around to get comfortable then looked at us like "What? I do this all the time."  I just looked at Kevin and said "You owe Lucky an apology."

I'm stuck in a loop with two books right now.  One is An Irish Country Courtship which I started before I threw myself down the stairs.  It is very Irish so almost requires an American - Irish handbook.  So, that's a challenge. 
Then we also have Major Pettigrews Last Stand, which is based in England so we have the Queen's English to contend with. Gah.
They're both mildly interesting so I feel invested but not invested enough that I look forward to reading them.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that.  Probably slog on.

I also have Emily Giffin's newest, waiting.

I have found that I am the type of person that if you come to me with a problem or complaint, I will help you solve it.  Know that before you come to me because it's very frustrating for me when people do so but then don't want to do anything about it.  Yes, I know, I need to use my listening ears more but I'm an action person.

Also, I saw this on facebook:

askhole meme

I did not watch one minute of the Olympics.  I dig the Winter Olympics, not so much the summer ones.  I will just begin packing my bags for Canada now.

Our BFF Mig has begun calling Kevin "Hammy" (from Over the Hedge)  Any of you who know Kevin in real life just laughed right out loud and you're welcome.
Because he totally is Hammy.

Okay, time for me to go elevate, compress, and ice.  My life is so glamorous, yo.

08 August 2012

Scene from a Marriage

We have some version of this conversation every night.

Me: "Would you like X or Y for dinner? "

Kevin: "I don't care."

Me: "C'mon. You have to have a preference. "

Kevin: "No, I don't. "

Me: "Gun to your head. What do you want? "

Kevin: "I don't ..."

Me: "GUN TO YOUR HEAD. What do you want?  I'm trying to be nice. "

Kevin : "I'm trying to be nice to You. I don't CARE."

Me: "Fine. "

I had oatmeal for dinner. He had Tuna Helper. Now that's love.

This is hot, right?

OW, ow, effing ow.
This is what happens when you over-do.  Again.

I am a slow learner.  We know this.

But we can still be mad.

(is this a haiku? I think it might be)

06 August 2012


I've been watching a show (I know, you're shocked) that is on the Weather Channel.   It's called Pyros and it's about pyrotechnician's in Quebec.

It's fireworks porn for me.  Seriously.  The show features all parts of setting up and firing a show.

Unfortunately sometimes the featured techs are like watching a goat rodeo.  If nothing else, I feel better about the job that we did.  Conversely, I also find myself yelling at the television "And WE were the ones that had an accident!?!" (click link to read)

If you happen to ever watch the show,  there are a few stark differences between what happens there and what happened in our situation.

Canada law is different than Washington State. The Canadian laws seem a little more strict in some ways. However they don't show any inspections or oversight so I'm not sure if it doesn't happen or if it just isn't shown.

We always wore safety gear during a show.  Helmets, ear protection, white coveralls (so you're visible), gloves, and if you're a lighter: Nomex hoods.  I just watched a hand-lit show and the dude had none of this.  None.  Cargo shorts.  A bandana!  He mentioned that he was burnt and I was all: DUH.

I recognize that the crew could probably watch footage of us and find twelve things that we did wrong or could do better but I just found the differences strange. They seem cavalier with the products and equipment and that scares me. We once fired a crew member, during a show, who just couldn't grasp the concept of safety.

It also gives me perspective of just how dangerous it really was, or could be.  Still, I would do it tomorrow if given the opportunity.

So, if you're ever curious what I used to do, check it out.  The audio is realistic.  The sounds of the mortars and the bursts of the fireworks are like being there, just muffled.  I've always said the best way to watch fireworks is being right under it and they do provide some footage that proves it. 


02 August 2012

What More Could I Ask For?

He came into the house singing "We're having Tacos! We're having tacos for dinner! We're having tacos. We're having tacos for dinner!" to the tune of American Bandstand:

He brought me hydrangeas from the garden to apologize for being snarky when he got home tired from work.

He sends pictures of twin baby deers at his work:

And possibly best of all: he'll hold a six year old up on the rail for a 45 minute ferry ride:

01 August 2012


One of the fun things that I've learned is that I seem to have permanent bedhead from this whole adventure.

My hair stylist pointed out that the hair at the crown of my head was frazzled.  She thought it was product use but not so much.  It's the bedrest thing.  It's been that if I'm not laying down, I'm reclined.  Then add the whole taking a shower like a grandma thing (shower bench, handheld shower thingy, no water pressure) and my hair is a mess. 

It's x-rays, and chiropractic appointments, and physical therapy.  I've been on my back more than....  I'll let you guys finish that sentence.  LOL.

This tousled look might be hot on some girls, not so much me.  If I don't pay attention, I risk looking like a giant toddler with chickenhead.

I also read that a side-effect of anesthesia is hair loss. A big fat CHECK next to that on the list as well.  I thought it was age or the meds or whatever but it says that hair loss can happen for past ninety days after anesthesia. 

Sidenote: I feel like I'm Jo March in Little Women...when she cuts her hair and the littlest one says "Oh, Jo, your one true beauty!"

So what I'm saying is that I didn't have enough going on so I have added jacked up hair as well.  And in case I haven't already made this clear: don't throw yourself down the stairs.  Very little of the after-effects are fun.