31 October 2013

9 Percent

I've known this for about two months and I haven't written about it.  (take a breath, nothing bad)  I haven't written about it because I just didn't know what I thought.  I'm still a little Huh about it.

The final determination came in for my disability.  I am considered nine percent disabled.  Yep, there are charts and graphs for these sorts of things.  I fall in the nine percent category.

I was given a settlement and that was just weird for me.  A lump sum check (that went toward car repairs, yea me!)  I don't have the adequate words to describe it.   Hey, you're going to be gimpy for the rest of your life: here's a check!  Hooray?

The one thing that it did do was make me feel a little bit better about still being gimpy.  I did the math and working the time that I do works out to accurately reflect the nine percent.  I can happily let that go.

I guess the unhappy part is that I didn't get a letter in the mail that says "You're 100%!" I know that these letters probably are few and far between but I'd so much rather prefer one.

All in all, it's the end to an act of my life that I'm glad is over.  I'm grateful for the extra funds. I'm grateful that it wasn't worth.  I'm grateful that it's "only" nine percent.

28 October 2013

Factory Order

Kevin had a haircut this morning and the stylist (a friend) mentioned that she would like to see my hair color be a little darker, a medium-to-dark blonde.  Kevin was hesitant to mention this to me for fear of hurting my feelings. (so not a worry)

Kevin prefers the color that I refer to as "stripper blonde"  I don't particularly care for that color but I do wonder if that would be an interesting way to transition to gray.  Right now it's definitely light blonde with the ends lighter than the rest, as usually happens this time of year.

My hair started turning brown in my thirties and I don't like it.  I'd prefer that it just went directly to gray, seriously. The dark color is the only reason I began coloring my hair in the first place.  I did try to darken it over a few months but it took on a reddish hue that, while interesting, wasn't my cup of tea either.

I just have difficulty paying lots of money to have it professionally done.  Once began, then it feels like there's no going back and that's just not a priority for me to spend money.  Also, the time.  I'm just not interested in sitting still that long.

Anyway, this wasn't intended as a whinefest about my hair.

As Kevin and I were discussing this on the way home, he made a strange and interesting observation.  "So you came with, let's say, factory installed brown hair yet you feel that's wrong and changed it. You went against factory instructions."

How he gets ideas I have no idea but I really do love it.

I told him that I didn't come straight from the factory with brown hair but blonde hair.

"So, you have a recall. There is a recall and your hair is being corrected to brown."


23 October 2013

An Interview

I had a job interview today.  It went well but I don't think I will get an offer.  I don't have super strong Excel skills (I hate it, frankly. It's the devil) The other reason is when I mentioned that we were leaving town for almost two weeks in November there was an almost imperceptible flinch.  I completely understand the hassle of that and if it didn't involve plane tickets & ten other people, I would reschedule if I thought it was that important.

I pulled into the parking lot early, which rarely happens in my life.  I sat in the truck and just relaxed for a minute.  I laughed at myself when I realized that I was listening to Howard Stern and that *probably* not the best impression to give.

Then I spilled a little bit of water on me.

I went inside before I could inflict any more self-damage.  They weren't quite ready so I had to wait.  It's a quiet office, on a side street, in a town near my hometown. It didn't seem busy or loud.  There was only one other person there, a woman who introduced herself then told me she used to do the job.  I wasn't sure how to take that. Encouraging? Discouraging?

Finally, the other woman reappears and takes me back to a back office. There were so many turns I was beginning to worry a little bit.  We approached a meeting room and I get a glimpse of two men sitting waiting.  Difficulty level increased.  Okay then.

They stood when I entered.  Stood up.  It completely threw me off and I began to laugh.  Then I had to explain why I was laughing.  "I'm used to drag racers. You threw me off with the politeness." To my benefit, they laughed.

The interview proceeded like most interviews do. They had a list of questions and took turns asking them.  Nothing that challenging so I guess that's good.

I was excused and I thought "Cake! I'm done."

And then she said "We just have a little test for you."

Ah, eff.

The little test was creating a spreadsheet from information that they provided.  The directions she gave were vague (one of the things I said I have challenges with: people being vague, so purposeful?)  Without thinking, I mentioned that Excel wasn't my strong suit but it seemed straight-forward.

They gave me thirty minutes.  I wasn't that worried about a time limit until I realized that I didn't look at the clock when I started so I had to estimate how much time had passed. Well done me.

I got it completed and I had an issue with how I laid it out but that was mostly cosmetic and could be changed if I could have asked.  I waited for a few minutes but no one came.  I was still within the thirty minute parameter.  I had to think about what was best: waiting for someone to come get me or going out and risking appearing rushed or cocky.

I went out to where I started and both women were there.  The one that used to have the job gave me a release to sign while the other one simply called out a "Nice to meet you, thanks!"

So, I have no idea.  I'm not terribly excited about it.  It's a good (state) job but it's full time so that's going to be a challenge. But it's more money so that would accelerate retirement plans.  It's also, as I mentioned, in another county so that means lots of changes: our credit union, schedules, where to shop, etc.  I haven't worked in this town in over twenty years.  It's not like it's a huge town but it's *change*

In a twist of irony, my old job at the school is available.  I can use the ad as a entry on my resume.  This is the 3rd person in six years. Heh, heh, heh.  If my former boss wasn't still there, I would seriously consider applying there again.  But: NO.


17 October 2013


Twenty years ago there was always soda in the fridge, mostly coke.  I didn't cook much and when I did, I stuck to my redneck origins: fried food, prepared food, red meat. I hated cooking, still do, and I wasn't interested in learning how to cook anything different or new.

Then 2005 happened.  Kevin got really, really sick and a lifestyle change was required.  Not suggested but required.  Soda, sodium, red meat = all gone.  We had to watch his sugar intake but it wasn't a restriction and thankfully, still isn't. 

Gone was everything I knew how to make.  I could adapt a bit to using ground turkey but not everything is edible with it.  I had to learn new stuff.  Enter the internet.  I actually googled how to bake a chicken breast and a salmon.  Truth be known: I recently googled how to fry an egg.  I'm allergic so I never learned how.  I can scramble them though.

Now it's normal to us.  Now we feel sick when we don't eat the way we should.  Fast food is more of a treat instead of a regular thing and even now labeling it as a "treat" is a bit of stretch. 

There are two problems still.  The family still eats the old way.  Red meat, fried foods and tons of starch.  They don't understand that when we say we can't eat like that anymore that it isn't personal.  It's not a judgement.  We simply can't eat like that anymore.  It's about our well-being.  But it makes it awkward that we don't want to eat out or decline dinner because it's unhealthy for us.

Also, bonus for me: as I age food allergies are getting worse.  No eggs, honey, or apples for me.  Now we're beginning to add dairy to the mix.  This, I believe, might be the end of me.  Right now we only have milk at dinner and it's one-percent but it's *just* enough to mess with me.  Add a cheese to it and game over. 

So, not much left on the fun list of things to eat.  I'm not a fan of vegetables so it's not like I have this vast array of choices.  I'm trying to concentrate on proteins instead although increasing a peanut intake makes me a little nervous.

I did feel a little better about myself when I realized I've just about become a pescatarian. Somehow having some sort of a title to give it makes me feel a little bit better. But I tend toward eye rolling when people begin extolling vegetarianism or the paleo diet or Atkins or whatever.  Maybe this is karma.

Food is difficult. 

15 October 2013

He Makes Pies Now

Kevin's dad was gone for most of his childhood and a good part of his adulthood.  He regretted that for years and decided shortly after Kevin & I began to date that he was going to be involved in his boys lives.

He set his dream as once he retired he would be at his family's disposal. Everything he had was to be for his family.  He had plans to travel with his wife and sister & brother-in-laws but two unexpected deaths and his wife's failing health ruined those plans.

So, Plan B.  We moved them up here to live and this plan became his new dream.  Nothing makes him happier than to be helping.  Be it helping by working in our yards, fixing a stuck drawer, or giving someone a ride.  Call him at 9:00 at night from the Canadian border and he's excited to be needed. (true story)

Lately he's been cooking as Kevin's mom isn't able to do it anymore.  He can make a mean dinner, or lately applesauce and apple butter.  Yep, this 75 year old, functionally illiterate, retired long haul trucker is cooking, canning, and now baking.

He just brought us two plates of homemade apple pie for dessert after making us dinner.  I don't think I've ever seen him so happy or confident. There is very little resemblance between this man and the man almost twenty five years ago.  It's a wonderful thing.

07 October 2013

She Only Goes By Lucy Sometimes

As you've probably guessed, I often anthropomorphize animals.  I talk to the dogs like I talk to people and assign them a dialogue as well.  Why, yes, I do have an overactive imagination, why do you ask?

When we have Lucy in the cab of the truck with us, instead of riding in back like a mere dog, she always put her front paws on our legs to look out the windows. If she rides in the truck bed, she leans her front leg on the bedside like she's cruising the strip.

She has hound in her so she's constantly on the hunt, with her nose to the ground.  She loves to catch things like moths, spiders, bugs. She snatches them out of the air like a ninja.  It creeps the nephew out that she's such a cold-blooded-killer.

While getting ready to go racing, Lucy hunted and killed a whole bunch of zipties.  (those plastic slide ties)  She'd dive on one, pick it up, and with one chomp, bite it in half then spit it out like "Yeah, I did that."  The Nephew commented "She's so gangster".

That's why we call her Two Paws.  It's her rap name.

04 October 2013


Oh where to start...this is a ranty one.

We had that momentary "Ah, everything's okay" time and now a cousin is in critical care in the hospital.  When I called Kevin to tell him, he just heavily sighed and muttered "Really?" 

I had my eye exam the other day and I've hit the age to begin taking supplements to ward off Macular Degeneration that I'm conveniently scheduled for in my elderly years.  This is not big news as I've been expecting it but like Kevin in the previous paragraph, there was a little "really?"

To add insult to injury, the supplements are apparently manufactured from kittens tears because Holy Mother of God, they are expensive.  And add to it the fact that I'm medicine-hesitant and I'm just all "Can't Want To!"

One celebrity rant: will a certain teenage celebrity please put her GD tongue back in her mouth?  I don't care about any of the rest of it but that makes me insane.  She's like a toddler that did something funny that made her mommy laugh so now she does it CONSTANTLY.

I lied, one more celebrity rant:  Why are the Kardashians a thing?

I swear I am going to get t-shirts printed for every single work day that say "Your failure to plan doesn't constitute an emergency on my behalf."  I get super frustrated with people who are unable or unwilling or both to manage their own schedules.

 Okay, rant concluded.  They were just building up a bit.