Saturday, April 29, 2006

Was everybody's week this weird?

- A boss's uncle dies while in surgery to have a stent placement.
- An almost-boss's uncle drops dead of a heart attack.
- A coworker's young daughter is denied coverage for an immediate stem-cell transplant to treat her cancer. She has to mortgage their home for the downpayment for the transplant surgeons and is finally able to talk the hospital down from a $90,000 bill to $81,000 and a $20,000 downpayment is dropped to $2,000.
- Missy has her baby in less time than it takes me to walk down the hall.
- My ex-boss's 90-something mother is hospitalized for a blood clot in her lung that they aren't sure they can treat.

I'm sure I'm leaving something out, but all in all, it's been an exhausting week--and I was just a spectator for most of it.

The Rebuilding Together event was a success. My company spent approximately 700 manhours last weekend at a woman's house basically redoing it from head to toe. New paint inside and out, window screens, blinds, and curtains, carpet and flooring, shower surround and fixtures, new electrical plugs and switches, ceiling fans and lights, a new refrigerator and gas stove, a new back door and custom-built stairs, new hardware and locks for the doors, mowed lawn and brush cleared from the back yard. It was exhausting (and I only worked one afternoon), but the results were amazing--it looks like a new house. The owner is thrilled, and we're all very happy with the results.

We had some pretty good rain here yesterday, and today is cloudy, dark, and drizzly--my favorite type of day. Considering the week I've had, it's nice to sit here with the windows open and listen to the rain. It's very quite this morning--it looks like lots of folks left early or they're still in bed. It's nice.

Sunday, however, it's up and out at 6 am to staff a water station for the Memorial Marathon. I've worked the Marathon three times in the past, but it was as a ham radio operator. I don't know much about the water stops other than it's a lot of waiting for a really big rush of people, but it should be fun. Hopefully it will still be cool tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

We have a baby!

Introducing Kelsey Rene, born 7:44 pm Thursday, April 27. She weighs 5 pounds, 9 ounces and is 18-3/4 inches long (a little squirt).

I'll let Missy tell the story, but she pushed ONCE--it was over in less than 20 minutes. She was a real trooper.

Miss Kelsey cried for a couple of minutes right after she was born, and when I left at 11, she hadn't made another sound. She's absolutely adorable.

Mo's on her way!

Missy's water broke at the doctor's office this morning, and she's in the hospital right now. Not a lot of progression so far, and there's a chance she'll have to have a c-section, but right now everything's good. I'm on my way back there now--hope to have more news to report soon!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Well, here we go . . .

tornado warnings, thunderstorms, and hail--oh my!

So far Maggie hasn't run for the closet. The sirens went off about an hour ago--there's some rotation and hail around El Reno. I've pulled in a lot of my plants and pulled the others back to the wall. Hopefully it will go north of us and we'll miss the worst of it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Okay, I'm going to be really calm about this:

I made the "Okie round-up" on OkieDoke!!! Wow!

I sometimes forget that other people might actually read this thing, so I apologize for getting a little worked up. Thank you, OkieDoke!

I drug my ass out of bed at 630 this morning to do laundry and get my act together before heading out around midday for my company's "Rebuilding Together" project. Rebuilding Together used to be called "Christmas in April" and is a way for members of the community to help those less fortunate. Their slogan is "Warm, Safe, and Dry," and that's what we aim to do today--help a lovely elderly woman repair her home. I volunteered for the afternoon shift and am scheduled to be cleaning and painting the bathroom and hallway. We have a full schedule planned for not just today but all weekend. Our leaders from work were able to get new carpet and flooring donated for the entire house as well as a new refrigerator and stove. We've also bought new linens, cleaning supplies, curtains, blinds--you name it, we've got it. It's going to be absolutely wonderful. Our owner knows about the flooring but she has no idea about the new appliances, so that will be a wonderful surprise.

As much as I've bitched about wishing I hadn't volunteered, I'm now actually excited to get down there. Maybe I should go a little early . . . .

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Ever have one of those days that are just terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad? That was my day today. I spent all morning getting nervous over an 11 am web conference where we would be demo-ing the new credit card system we are implementing. I've been working on this project in one way or another almost since I started this job in January, and I was extremely anxious for my boss to see what we had accomplished and what I had been working on. So the demo started, and thirty minutes into it my boss gets up, leaves the room, and never comes back. By the time we were done I was extremely upset, almost to the point of tears. So I left the office, grabbed some lunch, and went to the lake to spent some quiet time alone.

Not long after I got back to the office, the power goes out. Apparently there was a problem northwest of us, and we were in the dark for almost thirty minutes before the power came back on.

Then I had fifteen people nitpicking about one thing or the other, half of which I didn't know anything about--but everybody else did. I hate being in the dark when it seems like everyone knows exactly what's going on.

So the day finally ends, I get in the car and vamoose it home. Then Missy calls to tell me that our "NOT" favorite former State House member is now running for a judgeship, which he'll probably win, and I didn't feel much better. (BTW--we're 13 days from BABY MO!)

When we hung up, I decided to heat up a microwave dinner. I've been buying these Swanson dinners that have a brownie in them--they're not bad for the price and quick to boot. So I put it in the microwave for three and a half minutes. At that point you're supposed to take the brownie out of the plate because it's done and then finish cooking the meal. So I have my plate and my spoon, and I'm spooning it out of the dish, and what do I find?

Corn in my brownie.

Life sucks.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Don't believe in global warming?

At 4 pm today, the "time and temp" sign on the building next door to my office read--

104 Degrees

That's right--104 degrees. I think the actual "official" high was around 98.

And it's only April 17, not AUGUST 17th.

Record-breaking heat grips state

Oklahomans sweltered through record-breaking hot weather Monday as temperatures exceeded 100 degrees in a region thirsty for rain.

At 4 p.m., it was 97 degrees in Oklahoma City, 5 degrees above the record; 93 degrees in Ponca City, 1 degree above the record; 94 in Tulsa, 2 degrees above the record, and 97 in Gage in northwest Oklahoma, 2 degrees above the record. Temperatures reached 102 in Stillwater and 100 in Ada.

"We have a ridge of high pressure that has built over the Southern Plains in the upper levels of the atmosphere," National Weather Service meteorologist Ken Gallant said. "Also, we are short on rain and the ground is dry. It heats up quicker when it is dry."

Normal highs for this time of year in Oklahoma are in the 70s, Gallant said.

My poor plants are miserable--and so am I . . . .

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Sock from Hell (and Plants!)

I've been working on this sock for, what, two months? I don't seem to have the concentration to sit down for very long to work on it. A week ago I tried it on and, much as I feared, it's too small. So say hello and goodbye to the Sock from Hell, because it's being frogged today:

My enthusiasm for knitting has not been very high lately. Maybe it's Spring Fever, maybe it's because I just don't care--all I know is I'm having a really hard time sitting down and concentrating on anything lately. I'm gonna have to work on that.

Here's more pictures of this week's shopping booty (note that I haven't done anything with any of it--it's still exactly where I put it Friday 'cuz it was too windy to do anything yesterday). I figure it's about a week's work to figure out where everything goes:

(Look closely at the large container--baby lettuce! And you can't see it from here, but I have carrots coming up!)

This is a gorgeous basket--I just have to figure out what to do with it:

My pansies still look awfully pretty, so I'm giving them a few more days. The long container has herbs in it, and the plant behind that is my avocado tree, which needs a little love right now:

This is BEFORE putting out the veggie plants.

As you can see, this year's garden looks to be much like last year's--totally out of control.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Sunny and windy--

That's Spring in Oklahoma. It's been in the low 90s most of the week and is supposed to stay the same throughout the weekend, topping out on Monday with an estimated record high of 97--in April! What the hell will Summer be like?

Here's my Daisy Tree:

And here's a closeup--isn't it pretty?

At some point I've got to do something with all these plants, but I need to do laundry first.

Friday, April 14, 2006

The Easter Bunny's been here!

One of my coworkers, an old friend of mine from a previous job, left this for me on Wednesday. The plastic eggs contain my very favorite--Reese's peanut butter eggs. There are bubble gum eggs, chocolate, bunny tissues (very cute!) a fuzzy Easter egg pen, pink Peeps bunnies, and a yellow stuffed duckie. I just love it.

My company was closed today for Good Friday, and I took advantage of it to do some shopping, since today was payday, too. I took Missy to lunch--I've been wanting Chinese food--and shopped for plants. I won't bore you with the final tally ('cuz I would be embarassed, and we don't really want that), but I did pretty well. I bought four planters and soil for my tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant, and some herbs and flowers and stuff. I found another Alice duPont mandavilla plant and a hanging basket with a red geranium, green and white ivy, and white sutera, and I broke down and bought the cutest yellow daisy tree. It's over five feet high, absolutely beautiful, and I was insane to buy it. It was so bright and cheery, I just had to have it.

So now I have to figure out what to do with all this stuff. I hate having to pull out all my pretty pansies; they're starting to fade, but there are still a lot of blooms, and I feel horrible in getting rid of them. I may wait another week to replant--if this 90-degree heat keeps up, they won't last much longer anyway. My tomatoes aren't quite ready to be planted, but I've got to do something with the zucchini--it's going crazy and needs to be staked. I've never seen stuff grow so fast--I planted another seed on Saturday, and by Thursday I had a five-inch plant with two leaves!

I ran into an old friend at Home Depot on my second trip (I was just going for soil--honestly!). We ended up shopping for flowers together--it was fun to have someone to "ooo" and "ahhh" with over all those pretty plants. Between the two of us, we spent quite a bit of money, but we both love the stuff, so it was worth it.

I also stopped and got a haircut--I've been needing one for weeks. I hate getting a haircut; it's harder than pulling teeth to get me to go. A short stop at the grocery store, and I am DONE for the weekend. Tomorrow and Sunday I plan to figure out what to do with all these plants and veg some, too.

Later I'll post pictures of the plants and also the "sock from hell," as I've come to call it.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

We have a winner!

Image hosting by Photobucket

Thanks, boss . . . .

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring flowers, warm temps, and high winds

Gotta love spring in Oklahoma--it's over 80 degrees and so windy I could barely walk across the parking lot. Driving home was like walking across an ice rink.

Pretty flowers. . . .

Sunday, April 02, 2006

What a beautiful day

after a really stormy evening last night. We had quite the thunderstorms barrel through--our first really big Spring storm that wasn't snow (let's put it this way--if I'd been playing the "Gary England Drinking Game," I would have passed out after the first thirty minutes). I was so proud of Maggie--she barely noticed all the ruckus. She had a bit of wiggling at one point when the thunder and lightning increased a little, but she did really well. I didn't have to drug her or anything.

Today has turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. The sun is hot but the breeze is mild and cool and still has a tint of cool and rain to it. Days like these make me wish I was out on the farm again. Lately my mind has taken to wishing I could move out to my grandparents' place, up on a little hill with a pond below. I wouldn't need much, just a little place for me and Maggie and a little space for a garden. There are wild berry bushes and fruit and nut trees back into the property, and I could go looking for poke salad (for those of you who were not lucky enough to grow up in the backwoods, "poke salad" is a weed that grows wild around things like dead wood and such--it's really quite good). I'd love to go "off the grid" and power the place with solar and wind power. It would be heaven.

Then I realize that I still have to make a living, and that while I do pretty well right now, I couldn't get a job that pays as much any closer to the farm, so I'd have an hour commute both ways if I did move. And even with my present salary, I couldn't afford to build anything, so it's really only a dream.

I just need to win the damn lottery--of course, that would mean I would have to PLAY the lottery, but
still . . . .

So I read my books, play with my plants, and dream and hope for a day when it might happen--who knows . . . .

Meanwhile, my seedlings are coming along fairly well. This is one of the two 8-ball zucchini I've started:

Not the best picture, but oh well. I've put everything outside today since it's so beautiful out, very little wind and very warm. I noticed this morning that I have itty, bitty lettuce sprouting up--this weather is really good for it right now. In the next couple of weeks I need to start buying stuff to plant tomatoes and other stuff in. That means hauling all that up the stairs--YAY!

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Missy's baby shower at my old job this week. It was weird going back--the place seemed different, somehow. It was good to see everyone, and my old boss seemed genuinely glad I was there (I think he may miss me just a little bit). We're planning to get together for lunch soon, but April is a horribly busy month for him, so it will probably be May before we can do that. Missy only has about six weeks left, and I think she's getting a little anxious (yes, you are--I can tell!). But she got a lot of really cute things and some practical stuff, too, so all in all she had a good haul.

The best and funniest thing at the shower (as well as a truly sad statement about our educational system) was the cake. It was meant to say "Welcome Baby" but instead said "Weclome Babby." I guess Albertson's should make sure their job candidates can spell before they hire them for the bakery.

My market had the most beautiful red and yellow peppers this week for 69 cents apiece, and since they're usually they're more like $2 apiece, so I had to buy some. As the weather gets warmer, I want to eat better, so this was a plus for me. Last night I was cooking them with some squash and onions (basically ratatouille without the eggplant), and when I cut open the red pepper I found this:

Isn't this strange? I've never seen anything like it before.

And one last Spring photo--I took this when I went back for Missy's shower--I love tulips: