So were you nice to someone today?

Without any other fluff, here’s this week’s hodgepodge!

1. February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you’re so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.
I don’t know that I’ll make an effort tomorrow, but it’s a good idea.  The first I thought of was when my car broke down on the side of the road, and a girl stopped and drove me home.  I’ll never forget when she turned to me and said, “Always happy to help a chick in need” and her stopping made the difference between me completely losing it or holding it together that day.  So I’ve tried to do the same when seeing people stranded on the side of the road.

Continue reading

Year End Survey for 2012

On LiveJournal I was challenged to complete this for 2011.  It’s probably the best version of “answer-these-random-questions-about-your-life-for-strangers”, as it actually requires some thought instead of just ‘favorite color’ kind of responses, so I thought to make it an annual thing.  Since I have all of five posts on LiveJournal in three years (and the only other people I know over there have left), I’ve moved it to this little blog of mine.  Here is the survey for 2012.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
I have been staring at this question for about an hour.  I’m sure there was something, I just cannot think of it off the top of my head.  Edit:  A-ha!  I thought of something!  I experienced a derecho.  Freak storm here the end of June, lost power for a week with 100-105 degree temperatures and added a new word to the local vocabulary.  We stood in the corner office (made of glass) and watched the storm while the rest of the non-idiot thinking people we work with huddled in the middle for safety. 

2. Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I rarely make them, however I did make them for 2013.  So I guess the answer is not applicable, and yes.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Several coworkers, and my youngest cousin but we’re not close any longer.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
For the first time in a long time, no family member or someone I worked with/spouse of passed away.  Yay 2012!

5. What countries did you visit?
Can the other side of the river be counted as another country?

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Security.  Decent health insurance.  A dinner date.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2012 was not an unremarkable year, I swear, but I can’t think of anything noteworthy enough that I remembered the date for it!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Continue reading

::right now::

My apologies to Amanda Soule, who I have completely ripped this idea off of.  I’ve read her entries for years, yet today this just felt like the thing to do.

Right now, I am…

:: drinking a giant Pomegranate Aloe juice

:: hearing
the dog gnaw on his bone after he was obnoxious while I ate my dinner

:: nursing
a bruised toe that I stubbed on the ottoman

:: reminding
myself that I need to clean up, yet not really listening to myself

:: thinking
that I have so much to do, but Jeopardy is coming on

:: doing
my best not to swear at a skein of yarn made from pompoms, as it has become one giant tangle

:: keeping
my commitment to let it not get to me.  Day three and counting!

:: loving
this cold weather, and the fact that the clouds are finally moving out

:: wanting
to be able to snap my fingers and have the house clean

:: plotting
details for girls night game night on Sunday

:: feeling
very full after dinner
:: enjoying  a quiet night at home

Let the yarning begin!

So it is officially public news. My brother will have his first offspring in April of 2013. My SIL is thrilled that both my mother and I know how to play with yarn, so now I get to make lots of little fun things. Here’s the first blanket I finished–pardon the horrid photo, but I had to take a quick photo before boxing it up. Crochet with Baby’s First by Lion Brand in Honey Bee, I think that it took about 14 skeins of yarn to finish. Insane! But it’s all cotton, and it turned out almost 3.5′ square. I love the bobbles on it because it’s something for the baby to play with while on the floor as they start to reach for things, and I love the fact that it’s all cotton because with my SIL being the crazy cat lady she can throw it it the washer at any time to remove cat hair. Fun times! Next for me to make is the Noah’s Ark blanket, but that one is a surprise….

You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone

Several years ago, I went back to school.  Until that time, I did not have a computer.  I figured that since I was at work for 9-10 hours per day, sitting in front of a 17″ screen, there was no need for me to have one at home.  In order to submit my homework and participate in the online requirements, I needed to cave and buy a laptop.  So I did.

I called a friend of mine who owned his own business, working with computers and supplying them to others.  And I purchased a computer.  It worked great for what it was–a tool for my graduate degree, and (of course) a portable jukebox with all of my music.

About a year ago, I started to notice that the cord was fraying.  Plus, the unit itself would overheat drastically if I wasn’t careful and cut off.  Soon I noticed that the power source was sparking against my left leg as I worked, so I went and bought a universal adapter (at the cost of $100, natch) to use.  after about six weeks, THAT cord didn’t work so I returned it and bought another one.  Same problem–the joint didn’t hold and I had issues with the replacement AGAIN.  So I called the guy that I bought the computer from.  He came and picked it up and tried to ‘fix’ it.  Yeah, that didn’t work.  Six weeks later I finally got him to give me the hard drive back so that I can access my music and, most importantly, my contact information.

Since then I have been sans laptop.  I have an old desktop in the back bedroom, and that is what I have been using for my job search and correspondence for the last two months.  But it’s slow, and inconvenient. Not to mention the AC doesn’t circulate back there, and whenever the door is open the cat leaps at the chance to go destroy the chair that is in the bedroom.

It’s weird.  I had gotten into the habit of checking email, Facebook, and blogging while in front of the TV.  I miss being able to do that–I feel like I am wasting a ton of time by stopping everything to go back into the back bedroom and work.  I miss being able to pull up actors on IMDB so that I can instantaneously answer “where have I seen them before?”.  I miss being able to write on my prayer blog every day, because it is not something I take the time to do in the back room.

At the same time, I have noticed tonight that there is quite a bit I haven’t done.  For tonight, for just the night, I have swiped my laptop from work and am using it for personal reasons.  I have work to do tomorrow, but I am currently trying to do personal stuff, mostly just because I can.  I haven’t done laundry, I haven’t done dishes, I haven’t cleaned my house, I haven’t finished making a baby sweater for the same guy that sold me the laptop as they just adopted a baby girl.

But I’ve played approximately 82 rounds of Fast Money in Family Feud on Facebook (say that nine times fast), looked up tons of miscellaneous comments, and checked in on all kinds of useless celebrity gossip.  (Jessica Simpson is qualified to judge Project Runway finals?  Really?  Have you seen how she dresses???)

This just solidifies the fact that I need to get another laptop.  Quicker than planned.  And it’s going to be a Mac this time, as I cannot stand to deal with the problems IBM is giving me again.

And if the laptop has made me unproductive, just wait until tomorrow when I get my new TiVo…..

Housesitting

A man that I used to work with very generously requests that I house/dog sit frequently while he and his wife (and occasionally the step children) go away on holiday.  This year, the oldest boy is a senior in high school, so they decided to take the opportunity to go to Mexico for spring break.  I am on the last day of seven in their house, a beautiful home by the river, secluded and serene, and must admit that I am always thankful for these paid vacations as they are my refuge away while still being in town.

This particular stay, however, is a bit different.  I got here EARLY last Saturday, as the had to leave for their flight at 430am.  The golden retriever they don’t care so much about, but the ‘puppy’ (who is about 3 now?) they don’t like to leave in the crate for too long.  So I was here, we had fun, I was at church at the crack of dawn on Sunday for the sunrise service and then there were two more services before a brief break until the family dinner at 430.  (First one we’ve had since the 1980s I believe….)

Monday, however, the entire story changed.  The house interior is being painted.  The painter, a lovely man, has a house key so he could let himself in, but the last thing I wanted was to be asleep in bed when he got here so I had to get up early.  Then there was the drywall guy–they can’t do but so much work until he got here, but he didn’t show up until late afternoon.  Also the laundry girl comes on Mondays, but she had to leave and then come back because her son had a dentist appointment.

Tuesday, painters at 8am, along with the drywall guy.  And the regular housekeepers.  Only they couldn’t do but so much because the painters are all over the place, so they’re going to come back at another time.  Then there was the lawn service people–they were going to replace some of the deer fencing and shrubbery around the perimeter, but needed access to the basement so that they could get to supplies

Wednesday, painters and drywall at 8am.  (Actually, drywall dude has been showing up around 730am, painters around 815).  Then there was the HVAC person for the upstairs guest bedroom (turns out they needed a new filter and some freon, nothing major).  The lawn service people were back again to install new sprinkler systems–MWF for the grass, T/H for the shrubbery in case you were wondering. Plus the guy to build the scaffolding in the stairwell for the painters.

Thursday, painters and drywall early again, though drywall was gone fairly quickly.  Appliance people were here to fix the innards of the SubZero wine locker, had to pull the unit out and basically replace everything. Painter’s wife came by to take photos and lord love a duck she talks more than I do and would NOT shut up!

Friday, painters early, drywall coming eventually to remove scaffolding.  Had to take the dogs to the groomers at 8am as well.  Plus the housekeepers are coming back early to make sure that all can be accomplished, however upon their arrival they took one look at the painters and said ‘we’ll be back at 3 to try and finish up before the family comes home’.

You know, it’s a good thing that I have not found a day job.  This is house managing, not house sitting!  Still, it’s been a fun week away, though I have to admit my t-shirt and yoga pants make me feel under dressed–even for the hired help!