Monday, February 27, 2023

Monday Catch-up


Sitting here this evening listening to some wicked wind roaring around the house. It sounds like a low flying plane or a train going by (though Tim's giving it some competition with his snores from the sofa). Hopefully, the Poplar tree in the backyard that is scheduled to come down in a month or so doesn't decide to drop any more big limbs. The one that came down in the fall went through the shed roof! Oh, it's also raining.
 

The weekend was supposed to begin with babysitting the grandchildren right after work on Friday. When I didn't hear from anyone, a call to our daughter found that she'd forgotten about the appointment she and her husband had. Instead, I went to pick up fish dinners for Tim and I from the fish fry at a local fire department. 'Tis the Lenten season, after all, and that means yummy fish fries at many organizations. Everyone had the same idea, I guess, because I had to wait 45 minutes in the drive-up line. It was so worth it! Our dinners included large, delicious, crunchy fish sandwiches, savory pierogies with butter and onions, and the best onion rings.

Saturday was supposed to be a day at home catching up on chores...laundry in particular. Our daughter called first thing and asked me to ride with her and the kiddos to Monroeville to shop at Home Goods and At Home. I decided to go and we had a good time shopping and had lunch at TGIFriday's. I found a lot of little things I could use and came home with a huge laundry basket/hamper (they called it a lamper) full of goodies.

At home I got my purchases put away before Tim got home from work and we headed off to Red Lobster for dinner. We had been talking about going all month and Tim really wanted to get there before Lobsterfest ended. He got his fix...the Lobster Lover's Dream, lobster fettuccine, a rock lobster tail, and a Maine lobster tail. I wasn't excited about any of the lobster combos so stuck with a combination platter of shrimp scampi, scallops, and coconut shrimp.

Sunday morning I went to church and really enjoyed Pastor Kirt's teaching on how to live as a Christian in these times. I swung by Aldi's on the way home to pick up bacon because the grandchildren came over when I got home and Pappy made them their pancakes and bacon. It's become a Sunday tradition here, but I suggested making it later in the day rather than breakfast so I could enjoy it, too. It seemed to work out better for everyone. Yay!

After pancakes the kids and I made St. Patrick's Day spinners. They were something I had done with the consumers at work that I thought would be fun for the kids, too. They enjoyed it and had something to take home to Mommy.

We had planned to do some other things and those chores were still waiting for me, but some friends of ours we hadn't seen for quite a while stopped by and surprised us. They stayed and visited the rest of the afternoon and the kids didn't go home until 7:30 so chores went out the window again. Oh well, it's people and our time with them that matters most.

It was back to work today and afterward I did the grocery shopping. The wind and rain began while I was in the store. Yuck. I was sure glad to get home and get everything inside. Supper was a comfort meal of hot chicken sandwiches, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The rest of the evening has just been relaxing and watching some TV while playing on the computer. I'm enjoying it before tomorrow and my hard day at work...the one I'm on my feet all day. I can count on being in pain by the end of the day so tomorrow night will be about trying to manage it. I am thankful, though, that I still only have to deal with it one day a week.

Now I'm off to bed. I hope you're all having a good week!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Saturday 9: Mahler: Symphony No. 8

Good morning! It's my first Saturday 9 in over a month...I'm excited and glad to be back. Thanks, as always, to Sam for the music and questions.

Saturday 9 -- Mahler: Symphony No. 8 (1968)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Mahler's No. 8 is sometimes referred to as "Symphony of a Thousand" because it was scored for a large orchestra and choral force. Do you often listen to classical music?  Not really. I enjoy it now and then, but it isn't something I tend to choose to listen to.

2) This piece has solos for each of the main vocal ranges: soprano, alto, tenor, bass. Do you know which range your voice is in?  I do not because I can't carry a tune in a bucket. My guess would be alto or maybe even tenor. 

3) Historians tell us Mahler kept fit by swimming and riding his bike along the Alpine trails. What's your favorite form of exercise?  I like to ride my exercise bike, do chair yoga, and in the summer I work out in the pool. I used to love to walk miles, do aerobics, etc., but arthritis and foot pain limit my options these days.

4) Mahler could be difficult to work with because when it came to his music, he was a stickler over even the most minor details and wouldn't give an inch. Would you rather work as part of a team or on your own?  It depends on the situation and project. I don't mind either as long as the "team" is truly a team effort. I don't like it when there is one person who either does nothing and takes the credit or who takes over everything because nobody but themselves knows anything.

5) This week's featured artist, Leonard Bernstein, said his father didn't want him to pursue music. Instead the elder Bernstein wanted his son to either join the family business (a beauty supply company) or become a rabbi. Did your family try to influence your choice of career?  Not exactly. Dad refused to let me go to the schools I wanted to attend and made me stay local. That indirectly limited my choices. The local school didn't have a program for what I really wanted to do...wildlife management.

6) Bernstein's best-known work is West Side Story. Without looking it up, can you name a song from this beloved Broadway classic?  One Hand, One Heart we had it sung at our wedding.

7) Born in Lawrence, MA, Bernstein "went home" when he performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA. Tanglewood has played host to a variety of musical artists. In 2022, Ringo Starr, Bonnie Raitt, and James Taylor all performed there (with James Taylor scheduled to return this summer, as well). What's the first concert you ever attended?  Pure Prarie League in 1980 or 1981.

8) In 1968, when Bernstein released this album, a sitcom called Mayberry R.F.D. premiered. It was a spin off of the highly successful Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968 and is still broadcast and streamed today. Were you an Andy Griffith Show fan?  I'm still an Andy Griffith Show fan!

9) Random question: When people ask for your advice, what do they usually ask you about?  It's different with different people. With our daughter it's about the kids, health, and cooking. With my mom it's about her computer or anything technical. With people at work it's crafts or other activities. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thankful Thursday

Life doesn't always afford me time to blog as I'd like these days, but better late than never when it comes to showing some gratitude for God's blessings.

Today I am thankful...

** for a sunny, 73 degree day in February. It was a beautiful taste of the Spring to come.

** for dinner after work with a coworker. She is vision impaired, doesn't drive, and her husband is recovering from surgery for bladder cancer so I've been giving her a ride home 3-5 times a week since before Christmas. It really isn't out of my way at all so I've refused her offers of gas money. I know she and her husband need every penny right now. She got her tax refund this week and insisted that if I wouldn't take money we were going out to eat, her treat. So today we did just that and had a fun time.

** Tractor Supply didn't give me a hassle about taking back the pants Tim bought a couple of days ago. The tag said one size, but the pants were another. The receipt had been thrown out. I wanted to exchange them for the right size, but they didn't have them. They gave me a gift card because of not having the receipt, but that's okay.

** I am staying healthy as sickness rips through my workplace. I know some of those who are out have Covid. I suspect others do and those who were sick before it got really bad, probably did have it. Since I had it last summer my doctor says I should still have some immunity. It would seem so as I work rather closely with some who are out.

** the crafts I choose for each day at work continue to be popular with those I work with and to please my supervisor. Yesterday's craft inspired him to give me a hug, tell me he loved having me in his department, and he won't ever let them take me away.

(Yeah, hugs from a boss might seem a little odd, but that's the kind of place I work in. Everybody's always hugging someone.)

** a shiny, new laptop. I'm still riding on that high. I can't get over how FAST it is. I hit the power button and it's up and ready in, like, 5 seconds. I click on MS Edge and, BAM!, it's instantly open. I had no idea how bad the old laptop had been for months and months before it finally died.

** our daughter's workplace is going to allow her to drop back to a casual employee so she can keep working. Her husband's new job will have him working swing shifts. Being casual is the only thing that will accommodate that and it should actually work out better for her as she will make more money per hour and can chose to accept hours or not.

** my Poodle, Daisy, continues to be healthy. She will be 11 on April 1st. The last two dogs we had left us at ages 10 and 11, so I can't help but worry just a bit. She is the one Tim does not particularly like so I tell him that means she is the one that will live to a ripe old age just to spite him.

** getting to work earlier than I can punch in pays off. Others get there early, too, but sit in their cars until it's time to start. I like getting in there early and getting things lined up and ready before the consumers start arriving. This week with the woman who is usually there to greet them and set things up out with Covid, the boss has told me to punch in early so I can help out. Sweet! And it probably doesn't hurt her impression of me to see me there and willing to work.

** Lenten fish fries are back! Yum. I know what is for supper tomorrow...and every Friday through Lent.

** and of course, I am thankful for all of you and the warm, welcome back you've given me! 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Currently...

It's 9:30 on Monday evening and rain is falling steadily. The temperature is around 40* and will stay there through the night. I will be heading to bed soon thanks to construction at work that is limiting the already tight parking situation. The sad fact is that for the next 3 weeks (the estimated length of the construction) I will have to arrive at work at least an hour early just to get a parking space. 

On the television...at the moment it's History's Greatest Mysteries on the History Channel. In general I've been jumping all over the place lately and watching a wide variety of things. I watched a really cute rom-com on Netflix Friday. It's called Your Place or Mine and stars Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher. I also binge watched Disney+'s new series National Treasure. It's based on the movies and the actors from those drop in, but it's a whole new younger cast. It was pretty good.

Reading...a variety of things. I just finished Ten Words to Live By by Jen Wilkins. It's a deep and thought provoking look at what is required to really live by the ten commandments. Today I started reading a funny cozy mystery, Muletrain to Maggody by Joan Hess.

Feeling thankful...about getting a lot of things lined up to be taken care of in the near future. We bought a new pool liner and got on the list to have it installed. We also got on the list to have the huge, messy tree that overshadows the pool cut down...hopefully before the new liner goes in.

Loving...my job. Things have settled into a nice groove since I was last on the blog. A rather contentious young woman left and dynamics have shifted so that I've found my place. I'm feeling confident and everyone looks to me as the craft lady. Can you imagine? Me, the uncraftiest person on earth is the craft lady! 

I do still have to struggle through one day a week on the manufacturing floor, but I've been trying all kinds of things to manage the pain. All manner of shoes, braces, inserts, etc. Recently my pcp told me it was okay to take 2 Aleve tablets twice a day when the pain is at its worst. That is helping a lot.

Of course there are the individuals I work with, as well. They are so sweet and dear. I love them all...even the annoying ones. Ha! It really is a great feeling when you find a way to get something across to them, connect with them, or make their lives better in some way.

Hopeful...our son-in-law can transition easily into the new job he accepted today. I believe the official start date is March 6. It sounds like it will be a lot better for him financially and hopefully his stress will let up (he totally hates his current job).

Looking forward to...summer. These mild days have me yearning for summer and time outside. We'll have a great spot to enjoy it, too. Besides the work on the pool and cutting down the tree, Tim plans to take the deck off the end of the house, pour a concrete pad and put a roof over it. When finished it will be a rather large outdoor space to enjoy.

Feeling...totally content and happy.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

I'm Back!

It's been a little over a month since I last posted here on the blog. My laptop had been limping along for a while before that and it finally rolled over and died. I had been taking my time looking for a new one, knowing that eventually I'd find one that met my needs and didn't break the bank. Thanks to a "Special Buy" found at Walmart this weekend (actually found at our store yesterday, but they were out so we drove to another one today) I'm back in business!

I've missed everyone!

To get back in the swing of things, here's Sunday Stealing.

1. What is the best thing about your birthday?  We don't usually make a big fuss over adult birthdays in our family so I guess I'd say spending time with family over a meal.

2. What is your favorite thing to do for your birthday?  If not having a cookout or going out to dinner with family then getting to spend the day browsing in antique shops.

3. What’s one thing you learned in the past year?  That I have a lot more arthritis in a lot more places that I realized...and I seem to be pretty susceptible to inflammatory foods. In response, I need to overhaul our diet and cut way down on carbs. Not that easy...we live in western PA and carbs are pretty much the native diet. It needs to be a major lifestyle change because I am tired of the pain.

4. What do you wish for in the next year?  Less pain, more financial stability, and more fun.

5. What’s the best thing about turning a year older?  I guess it would be that every year I am more comfortable in my own skin and that I gain more wisdom as I age. Too bad we can't have that when we're younger.

6. What was the most fun thing you did in the last year?  Just hanging out with the grandkids a lot. I wasn't working so finances were not there to go and do that much and I had covid in July and several viruses later in the year.

7. If you could understand any animal, which would it be?  Dogs. I'm a dog person and I've always had dogs. I understand them fairly well, but it would be cool to be a "dog whisperer" and really know what's on their minds.

8. What is something that used to be hard, but is now easy?  Saying "no" to things when I am already overburdened or just don't want to do a thing. I've learned I don't have to say yes to every request to be a nice person.

9. If you could only keep one thing in your room, what would it be?  I'm assuming we're talking about the room I'm currently in and that we aren't talking about living things, so the husband and dog are safe. Today I'd say the one thing would be my new laptop. 

10. Which person makes you laugh the most? Why?  One of my coworkers. He is so ridiculously funny and any time I get to work with him I end up laughing till I can't breathe.

11. If you could go back in time, when and where would you go?  I'd go back to my childhood, but only before jr. high. Life got tricky after that, but my earlier years were about as perfect as I can imagine anyone's childhood being. I felt loved, safe, secure, and had wonderful adventures with my grandmother and in the wildlife preserve we lived in.

12. If you were to bury a secret treasure, where would you bury it?  We'll be getting a new pool liner soon so maybe before the new one goes in I'd put it under the pool...unless I thought I'd need to access it any time soon.

13. What is your favorite memory?  Our wedding and reception. I loved having all my family together in one place and it wasn't long after that we started to lose some of them.

14. How have you helped others lately?  I help others every day in my job. I work with individuals who are blind, deaf, or have intellectual disabilities...some have more than one of those challenges and some also have physical disabilities. I'm also a helper at church and in my role in the family. I'm always helping our daughter out with the grandkids or helping the grandkids with something. Today I helped my mom with a computer problem.

15. If you had to repeat a day over & over, how you'd want it to go?  It would be beautiful...sunny, warm but not hot or humid, it would be filled with time spent with family and friends...maybe a cookout or day at the beach. Something like that.


Currently

We are experiencing an unexpected thunderstorm that has cooled a hot, humid day down to a comfortable 73 degrees. Tomorrow and Wednesday wil...