24 July 2017

On A Clear Day

Yesterday I decided that I would wash the exterior windows.  This is usually Kevin's chore but it was nice out and it was very overdue.  I mentioned it to Kevin and he was surprised because  I'm not usually a volunteer for these kinds of things.  And I'd spent the morning in the garden so I was setting the bar pretty high for myself.

Before starting I thought that I would look up "How to wash exterior windows",  just in case someone out there has an easier way than I had planned.

I tapped out after seeing multiple listings for microfiber cloths, vinegar and water recipes, and squeegees. I just wanted to wash the doggone windows. I wasn't competing for a spread in Better Homes and Gardens.  Instead I went with the tried and true dish soap, giant bucket, and Kevin's car wash brush.

The more difficult decision was whether or not to listen to music while I did this.  I decided no because my wireless headphones weren't charged and they're noise cancelling, which gives Kevin way too much leeway to be mischievous. Also, I had visions of tangling cords with the scrub brush handle plus a bucket of water and my phone. I didn't want to risk being a Three Stooges episode so instead I worked to the dulcid tones of my father-in-laws riding lawnmower.

It was both as easy and as difficult as I anticipated.  The windows are high and I am short so Kevin's brush on a long handle made it easy.  I was afraid I was going to have to use the ladder, afraid not because of heights but the hassle of getting up and down repeatedly.

The worse part was taking off and cleaning the screens. As I've mentioned before, I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest amongst the trees.  While pretty, trees can wreak havoc.  It's also damp here most of the year so I'll leave that description to your imagination.  It ain't easy being green, for sure.

Kevin also has what we call the Wheel Brush, which is a snub, soft bristled brush that, as you may have guessed - we use on wheels.  It worked perfectly for the screens.  One of the adorable things that the internet suggested was to let the windows and screens "air dry".  We don't treat our expensive racecar this gently, I sure wasn't going to follow this advice.

Luckily our house is small; it has only eleven windows and two doors. The doors were the most difficult because one is a storm door with a screen so figuring out the configuration of cleaning both the windows and the screen was a challenge for my brain.

Kevin's only concern was getting water in the house.  This is valid because he has met me.  I am pleased to say and much to my own surprise that the only place that water seeped in was one of our doors.  Whew.

Luckily for me, I had cleaned the interior windows not long ago but I was still anticipating needing to do it again once the outside was sparkly clean but  Nope, they looked good.  But, and there's always a but, I still had to do the window tracks.  This is probably one of the yukkiest grownup jobs there is. I envy folks who live in dry climates in this situation.

Again, the internet suggests vinegar and baking soda, q-tips, toothbrushes and microfiber cloths. I went with a wet rag and a small watering can. It wasn't the most thorough job but to quote the internet: Ain't Nobody Got Time for That.  It is probably not meeting Martha Stewart's unattainable standards but it works for me.

Once we settled down for the evening, I thought that it looked brighter outside but I wondered if it was just my perception because I knew the windows were newly cleaned.  This morning, however, seeing them with the sun shining in made the difference - wait for it - very clear. Even Kevin, still sleepy at 5:20 in the morning, said "The windows look very nice, thank you."

Now I don't have to worry about that until next year and I can tell Kevin "Remember? I did it last year!"

21 July 2017

Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Multiple Times

Breaking up is hard to do and I’ve been stressing about giving notice here at this job.  I work with a group of guys on a variety of levels.  Out of ten guys, there are only two that I’m “meh” about. The rest I have been dreading saying “Peace, I’m out”.

It’s been fun working in boy world, as I’d suspected.  Boys have no filter and little memory.  I’ve found that they are often action-oriented as well, which is how I’m wired.  Having worked in a predominately women oriented workplaces, the change is refreshing.  Not for one second disrespecting my past coworkers, most of whom are great, it’s just different.

Anyway.  I’ve lied my face off for a month about leaving so just the relief of not doing that is remarkable.  I didn’t think that it would bother me as much as it did.  I mean, I’ve been here five minutes, I don’t owe anyone anything really.

One of my favorite guys is a hipster but not in the obnoxious way; in the laid back, cool kind of way.  He’s #2 in the food chain here so he was who I told first.  He’s the kindest guy, really.  His immediate response was pleasure at the opportunity I’ve been given and said “We just want the best for you and are happy for your success. I’m sad that you’re leaving though.”  It made me a little teary.

The second person I talked to was the “boss”, who is kind of like Michael Scott from the Office.  He was fine, I caught just a flicker of annoyance and that’s okay.  I wasn’t worried about telling him.  He’s one that I’m meh about.

Then the difficulty level went up from there.  One of the guys I work with the most is kind of socially awkward and I get the impression that the person who previously had this job wasn’t very nice to him.  I mean, he was initially surprised when I was kind and helpful toward him and it broke my heart a little.  The look of disappointment on his face when I told him was tough.  I’m going to train the new person to be extra nice to him.

I don’t usually refer to someone by their ethnicity but it’s necessary in this situation. The finance guy is East Indian and he was one of the first friends I made here.  I didn’t have to tell him, someone else did.  So I got to just wait until I saw him for his reaction. 

As I was talking to socially awkward guy, I heard him approaching.  He came around the corner, stood in front of me, threw his arms out and loudly said “What.the.fuck.man!?!?!” in his East Indian accent.  It just made me laugh.  I enjoy him so much and I’ll miss talking to him.

Unfortunately, the guy I work one-on-one with was out this week so he heard through the grapevine.  Today is the first day that he’s been here.  I was worried about his disappointment but he’s been a complete smart ass about it, in the best way.  I’m now referred to as the “short-timer”, which has been funny because I’m also not tall and he really is.  He’ll start to give a task or instruction then has said “Eff it, you don’t care anymore” and laugh.

Now I have nine days to just hang out.  Any training that was remaining has now been shelved so I openly listen to podcasts and read the news for four hours.  The person replacing me doesn’t start for another week so I’m not looking forward to the next week of leisure. 

10 July 2017

Not the vacuum too!

My new job is in a different town and county.  After working up here for almost 30 years (shut up), this means I have to find new places for all.the.things.  I've decided that it's equivalent to moving. 

My favorite coffee stand is downtown, I get Lucy's pet food at a feed store, my favorite second-hand shop.  Barnes & Noble! There isn't a single new bookstore in the entire COUNTY where I'll be working.  My favorite grocery store also has stores in that county BUT IT'S NOT THE SAME.

I was talking this over with my sister-in-law then the subject changed to her wedding ring.  DAMMIT Tracy! She reminded me that I have to find a different jeweler.  (Swistle: Fairhaven Gold is still the best, hands down)

Then I was vacuuming, like you do, and I was all "Sonofabiscuiteatingdog".  The vacuum repair shop.

My credit union?  Also not in the other county.

Chiropractor?  Probably can't convince him to move.  Eyeglasses place?  Gotta find another of those too.

Instagram photos?  Not as easy in a farming community way off the coast.  Wanna see photos of strip malls and used car dealerships?  I'm your girl.  No bay photos to be had there.

This weekend I flipped into "OMG I HAVE TO DO ALL OF THIS NOW."   "All of this" being defined as taking stuff to Goodwill, dropping books off at my friends little neighborhood library, (do they even have those in that town?)  going to my favorite hardware store in the entire world.  And to add insult to injury, I found a cool consignment shop that has really cool home decor items, for the love of sweet baby jesus.

I mean, it's not like all those places are disappearing.  I can go to them during the weekend but it's not the same and you can't convince me that it is.  Sigh.

It's a really good job though...