31 December 2022

Happy New Year


New Year's Meme...the ?!?!?!th Year

 It’s back! The New Year’s Meme!   You could do it too, it’s a fun way to look back on your year. Although no one really wants to look back at these past two three years.  Sigh, Let’s do it anyway.

1. What did you do in 2022 that you’d never done before?

I've been thinking and thinking.  I don't believe there is anything.  Life is Groundhog Day right now

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 

Yes, I believe I did or at the very least looked each of them in the eye:

My resolutions for 2022:

1.   Just keep going

2.   Advocate for working from home forever for my 22-23 contract (done & path laid for forever)

3.   I got nothing…

My resolutions for 2023:

1.   Painting.  I have to fix everything I missed because I painted while actually going blind

2.   Debt reduction because oof, 2022 was expensive


3. Did anyone close to you give birth? 

No, we are out of that stage of life, unfortunately

4. Did anyone close to you die? 

Not close to, but people we know. 

5. What countries did you visit? 

Oh Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2023 that you lacked in 2022?

A working government free from the cast of Idiocracy.

7. What dates from 2022 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 16th – two year anniversary of the lockdown

October 18th – vision diagnosis part deux

November 7 – Election day

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 

I got, like, super organized because there has been nothing else to do. 

9. What was your biggest failure?

There has been zero opportunity for any kind of failure this year

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Eye surgeries completed

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Carpet Cleaner!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Everyone who is vaccinated, boosted, and trying their best to save civilization

(also: everyone in the medical & science field, first responders, front line workers)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

This will be my answer perhaps for eternity: The entire GOP & its brethren

14. Where did most of your money go?

Oof, new roof, two dog surgeries, two eye surgeries, racecar, new truck.

15. What did you get really excited about?

Seeing our Canadian friends after nearly three years

16. What song will always remind you of 2022?

      Wait in the Truck – Hardy & Lainey Wilson

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Gah, I don’t even know.

– thinner or fatter? Same somehow.

– richer or poorer? I can’t think about it. Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Writing.  I always wish I spent more time writing

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?


20. How did you spend Christmas? 

Eve –  At home with Kevin.  I made special dinner that I intend to be a tradition

Day –  Next door with the parents, siblings, and Niece’s family

21. Did you fall in love in 2022?

Every day.

22. What was your favorite TV program? 

Schitt’s Creek. I know I’m late to the party but I love it so.

Peaky Blinders

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 

My hatred for ignorance and those who champion it remains strong

24. What was the best book you read?

 Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles  (Recommended by my high school lit teacher)

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 


Jelly Roll  

Muscadine Bloodline

(yes, those are real people)

26. What did you want and get?

 Working from home

27. What did you want and not get?

 Gosh, I can’t think of a single thing

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

 I know we watched movies this year but there just weren’t any standouts.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

54 – nothing really, because there was almost a foot of snow on the ground.

Cake for breakfast, opened an amazing present from B.F.F. and watched Better Off Dead

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

 Democrats keeping the House.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2022?

Yoga pants and hoodies, no shoes unless walkies

32. What kept you sane?

Walkies with Lucy

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Charlotte Clymer  Some of you might say “Um, who?” She’s a journalist/writer that I just love.

Pete Buttegieg and his family

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

 Roe vs. Wade, nearly tying with the insurrection

35. Who did you miss?

 No one that I don't usually miss.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I met no new people this year

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2022.

People will continually surprise you

27 December 2022

Everybody Nap Now

The alphabet brain has been thwarting me at seemingly every step for about two months now.  I'm to the point of "Hmm, should probably do something about it" but then the next day(s) is totally fine.  Sigh. (do not take advice from me, as wise as I am and as tempting as it may be)

Yesterday my brain woke up and I was zipping along, doing my work when two hours later: blink.

No, not my brain.  Although that is always possible. The electricity.  The power went out with no warning.  It wasn't weather, it hadn't flickered, nothing.

I waited three minutes for it to power back up to no avail.  Then I texted Kevin to let him know so we can coordinate caring for the parents.  Then I phoned the power company to report it.  They already had reports and the estimated restoration time was only three hours.  While still not fun, it wasn't a big deal.

Then after talking to Kevin and doing all the stuff that is required when your power goes out and it's TWENTY-SEVEN DEGREES outside with snow on the ground, I rechecked the repair status.

They added two more hours to the estimated repair time. Great.

Kevin was on his way home to get the generator running for me, the plan was he would just return to work.  By the time he got home, the plan changed and he decided to stay.  I will admit that I was a little relieved to not have complete responsibility for the parents but I was also looking longingly at my book on the couch with my blanket.  It was now rendered useless. 

Gratitude that I have a husband who comes to the rescue in situations like this.  Gratitude.

It took him about an hour to make sure that everyone was settled and generators running.  I will take a moment to say that the brother-in-law did manage to come home and help care for his parents.  Sometimes there are miracles.

Having the parents taken care of, then Kevin was here making sure that we had everything we needed.  Then the phone rang.

On the scale of everything, this is small.  Small but sigh...still.

"Our television doesn't work" says my father-in-law.  

Kevin, remarkably, replied "Neither does ours right now" which is not like him at all. He's usually always patient.  Then he explained for probably the tenth time that our system has to be powered on and running in order for their television to work. (it's a satellite system)

He dropped what he was doing and hooked up the television. But then, he waited like fifteen minutes to let them know, which made me giggle a little bit.

I decided that if I can't read my book in peace and quiet then I was going to binge watch television off the dvr.  I set Play All and settled into the couch.

Well, it appears that what the alphabet brain needed was an NCIS binge with liberal doses of naps All Day.  All. Day.

Every time we checked the status of power restoration, it was "To be determined", which is specifically frustrating.  To add to it, the nextdoor app, the local news on social media, or anything really, was not reporting what exactly had happened.  Just that 335 people from the  county line to the next town was out of power.  This seemed newsworthy to us but apparently not. 

Finally someone posted that a truck had slid in the ice, hit a power pole, and sheared it in half.  For some reason, just knowing what had happened was a little soothing. 

Still, thirteen hours later and a run into town for dinner, our power finally clicked back to life.  Just before bedtime, of course.  Out trudges Kevin to unhook everything for the parents (again with an assist from his brother) then returned home to unhook everything for ours.

Now he's wide awake and wants to shower.  30 minutes ago we were talking about bed.  But we were still feeling the adrenaline rush of having modern day luxuries like lights and running water. (generator powers heat, television, refrigerator)   I just took it as an opportunity to do the little chores that had stacked up during the day so the alphabet brain would allow me to sleep.

And then almost eight hours of sleep!  All through the night!  Even after napping all day.  Who knew that rest helps with the alphabet brain?  I do, I totally do.  The alphabet brain doesn't allow me to "know" know that though.

Sidenote: we bought a whole house generator in October.  Upon this writing, it was early December.  Was it ready to use?  No.  Was it ready to use the next weekend?  Yes.  

24 December 2022

19 December 2022

Pandemic Christmas Party - An unposted post

I am home today for a snow day and the annual anniversary of circling the sun.  On my to-do list, other than be lazy and snack all day, is to write.  On a whim, I clicked on the drafts folder and this is what I found.  From almost exactly one year ago. 

Kevin's work held it's Christmas Staff Party last night.  We were a little surprised that they scheduled one at all actually with the pandemic and economics due to the pandemic.  It was at the same place as before, but it was clearly scaled down.

We discussed the whole not going because there is still a pandemic.  Also, simply because "staff Christmas party".   I pointed out to Kevin that because he's management, it's pretty much required that he attended.  This was not his favorite answer.

So, we brought masks, he estimated how many of them were vaccinated (most) and made a plan to exit if we were uncomfortable.  What I didn't know until afterward was that he planned to sit with "his guys" because they were already in his germ bubble and thus in my germ bubble by extension, and all vaccinated.  Our table was on the outer edge, kind of near the door.  

We sat with his right-hand guy, Cody, whom I adore.  ADORE.  He's in his mid-to-late twenties and I swear could be Kevin's son.  They are very similar.  His wife is this gorgeous, willowy, awkward creature whom I also really like.  The other couple was the manager of the other division of the company and his wife, whom I don't know very well but they were fun to sit with.  Finally, one of the operators and his wife were at the table as well. 

Like last year, it was fun to watch the "staff" talk to Kevin.  He's so uncomfortable with that mantle and it just entertains me to no end.  They really like him and it shows, which makes me proud. Kevin has been at the company for 24 years - the longest employed person there including the owners son who is now the President of the company.

The owner of the company was there with his wife, I've mentioned her before.  She's like a wealthy church lady and she made the rounds to each table this year.  (Oh, everyone sat at tables and just kind of stayed put.  Not a ton of mingling)  This is where I explain that she was wine-drunk.  So, that was...uncomfortable.  This is the third year running that she out loud said she hadn't met Cody and she has, multiple times. Yikes.  And Cody, he has no filter.  "Yes, ma'am, you have. Every year at Christmas." which made me giggle and have to duck my head.  Luckily the wine kept her from fully absorbing her faux pas.

The emcee of the night is the Risk Management Officer, strangely enough. This year's outfit was reminiscent of CaddyShack.  Bright white sweater, bright green polyester pants, shiny white shoes. The last party was a suit in the pattern of wrapping paper.  I can't imagine his closet.  He is the cruise director for these events and it's a job he's meant to do.

The food was meh. This is one of multiple events that I've attended at this venue and each time I've had the same food.  Salmon with hollandaise sauce, Waldorf salad, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, rolls.  There was prime rib too but I can't express how much that is not my thing.  

The other thing I do not enjoy about this event space is the waiters are QUICK to take your plate.  Like, barely put down your fork and they're whisking it away.  I just want to ask "Do you not have enough plates? because otherwise you need to calm down."

There was only one instance - that we're aware of - of inappropriate behavior.  One of the women drivers is consistently inappropriate on all levels.  I am not a fan.  We had just settled at our table and were chatting when suddenly someone is hugging me from behind and loudly exclaiming how happy they are to see me.  

A few things to unpack here:

I hate unwanted physical touch.
Plus: loud
Plus: surprise attack
Plus: pandemic is a thing
Finally, I don't KNOW her.  I know her name, I know her behavior, but I wouldn't be able to point her out at the grocery store.  So, just so much no happening. Kevin was just reaching out and about to say something when she released me. 

After me, she hugged the other managers wife, then loudly said hello to everyone else.  I'd quickly decided that if she reached for Kevin, I was standing up to intervene. But she didn't.  She did, however, exclaim "NICE BOOBS!" to Cody's wife, who was immediately mortified.  (she had a bohemian, baby doll style, dress on with a long cardigan. She was very much appropriately dressed)  She has long pretty hair - because of course she does - and she immediately swept it forward in front of her.  GAH.  The other wives and myself both talked over Suzy Inappropriate, assuring her of how beautiful she looked.

As willowy as she is, she is also a huge eater. It's something we tease about each year.  After she finished her dinner, she told Cody that she wanted to go get some more but she was embarrassed.  I didn't hear this, we only knew because Cody was all "Just go! No one cares!" which prompted Kevin to exclaim "You're not STILL hungry?"  Before she got too embarrassed, I just asked her "Do you want me to go with you?  I'll get something so you're not alone."   

My god, her face.  The gratitude.  Other than Cody, I don't think she's had a lot of people be nice to her.  We stood and walked away from the table.  "I'll be your food wingman." I told her and she laughed and relaxed.  Then she got the HUGEST piece of prime rib, served by one of the drivers. Bless her willowy metabolism.

Fast forward to dessert.  There was cheesecake with raspberry and chocolate mousse cake.  Kevin handed me cake but I wanted the cheesecake.  Because Covid, I didn't want to put the cake back down so I took both, feeling awkward.  The cheesecake was really good and I had pushed the cake away from me.  At one point, Cody's wife left then returned to the table.  She had gotten the cheesecake but wanted the cake and now it was all gone.  I just quietly slipped the cake over to her and I thought she was going to burst into tears.  

There is a driver who is a body-builder and I met him for the first time last year.  He's very attractive, as one would imagine but that body type is so not my taste.  He has an aura about him now that I didn't vibe with.  He and his longtime girlfriend broke up over this year and it shows.

The dispatcher is a hated man.  Hated. Not disliked, hated.  He's reportedly on the brink of being fired because he's hated so much.  He's a manipulative, angry, cruel guy.  So, of course his wife is Lovely.  We had spent time with them as a couple years ago, until Kevin learned about the ugly side of him.  

His wife was disappointed that we didn't sit with them at the last party; at the time she was completely unaware how much her husband is hated.  Since then, their son-in-law has recently joined the company and has told her how he is perceived at work. I was anticipating some sort of invitation from her during the evening but Kevin was steadfast that he was not going to interact with them. You gotta be a pretty bad guy for Kevin to have that kind of reaction.  He's not me.

So we awkwardly waved at their table, where only them and the son-in-law and daughter seated. Ack. After the party, she came to say hello and chatted for a minute before the daughter came and said "Dad said it's time to go."  I swear "Eff that guy" was on the lip of my tongue but I bit it back. 

The owners hired a stand-up comedian, who did about a fifteen minute set.  He was mostly funny.  He made a joke about not knowing how to change a tire then awkwardly paused.  He recovered with a "I just realized that is NOT a joke that would be funny to this crowd.  This a roomful of manly men; all the more emphasizing how not manly I am."  

The party did not have a gift exchange this year and we were so relieved not to endure that torture. Instead there were swag bags so that was a nice and much more appreciated replacement. (Yeti and Carhart swag, hooray!)  The lack of exchange made the party significantly shorter and once dinner and speeches were done, people left pretty quickly.  Also, a nice outcome.

Now I have mentioned before that I have a face that people tell me things, in all settings.  I'm mostly used to it but sometimes it just catches me by surprise. There were two of these instances during the party.  At one point, it was just Cody and I at the table.  I asked about their boys and he mentioned that he'd like another baby but his wife was not on board.  "Which is fair because she's doing all the work" he says.  Then he mentioned that they had discussed adoption and that it wasn't off the table. It ended up being a deep conversation for a staff Christmas party.  Later Kevin was incredulous, "Cody told you all THAT?"  Welcome to my world with my face, Kevin.

Then the shop steward came over to have a chat.  He is unfortunately the one who gave Kevin Covid.  I had a script in my head in preparation if the topic arose. Thankfully, it did not.  Beyond the whole idiocy about the Covid thing, he's a great guy. I actually adore him.  Usually he takes very good care of Kevin; which made the Covid transgression really difficult to deal with.

As we talked, he ended up showing me photos on his phone of his son, his horses, and places they've been.  He made recommendations about places to take Lucy. He simply said "We'll fix that." when I said I'm scared of horses.  He showed me his tattoos - because I asked (I always ask about tattoos, tell me all about them!) - then said "DO IT." when I mentioned that I want a Doctor Who tattoo on my forearm.

I'm more of an Irish Goodbye person and Kevin is a tell everyone goodbye person.  The owners had left because their child's last musical performance happened to be on the same evening.  So Kevin felt a little compelled to stay.  He even ensured that someone was driving home one of the younger guys who drank too much. Then turned to me with a sigh and a "Guess we'll have to talk about THAT on Monday." 

Finally we left, tired and a little overwhelmed. That's a lot of peopling after not doing it for two years. Overall it was really nice though and we're glad we went.