Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No, Really, I Have Nothing Better To Do With My Time...

It was a simple question.

He had requested that I check back with him. So, I did. But there are a few details. How should they be handled?


This is not rocket science but...

Sometimes that "but" is just like standing on a track with a train bearing down on you. Isn't it?

"Can we get back to you? May we reach you at home?" His office staff asks. "As soon as we talk to him, we'll have an answer for you."

"Of course." I say.

That was a minimum of four hours ago and, dear office staff, I happen to know he's in the room Right. Next. To. You. Plus I'd lay odds that he has walked back and forth in front of you at least 4 to 6 times per hour. Maybe more.

Do I expect you to drop everything to take care of me?


Unfortunately, not dealing with this in a timely manner then obligates me to be tied to the house phone for however long it takes for you to get a yes or no answer. 


Of course, I'd like to thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please let me return the favor sometime.


I insist.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Difficult Woman

Silly Sally. She just never seems to know when to stop...

Sam was busy picking on George for missing a meeting. Poor George was confused...what meeting?

 "Well," Sam says, "I told you." When further inquiry is made he changes his story to..."well, I told Sally."

So Sally, being Sally, goes up to Sam. He is entrenched amongst a group of men who have all been having some fun at George's expense. She grasps him gently, but firmly by the arm (so he couldn't get away), looks him squarely in the eye and quietly says...."you told me?"

Sam, casting a sideways look at the rest of the guys, decides to brazen it out. "Yeah, I called you two or three times yesterday."

"You called me twice. Once to arrange another meeting, the second call was to change the time of that meeting." Sally raised an eyebrow, "And in neither call was there any mention of George."

There's a small silence as Sam decides whether he wants to have this

"Well," Sam finally allows (glancing again at the guys), "I may have forgot to mention it."

"Ahhh." Sally says. Now that was cleared up she smiles sweetly, pats his arm and trots away.

The boys don't appreciate Sally.

Sally, well... Sally doesn't like to cause a scene but she's not a fan of the "pass the buck" crowd. Because when they do that in front of poor, impressionable George he gets the idea that that's acceptable behavior. And you know, that pass the buck thing tends to end up looking a lot like - lying.

And Sally is a straight shooter. She' kinda likes the man who once had a sign on his desk that proclaimed...

The Buck Stops Here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bring It!

Worked in the back yard yesterday. Weeded the vegies. Made everything all pretty. Tied up the cucumbers and tomatoes.

Found my first ripe cherry tomatoes too!


Fresh, ripe & sweet. Warmed by the sun. Makes all the planting and weeding worth it.


I was swarmed by yellow jackets, aka wasps, hornets. They'd set up residence in the rail road ties around the base of my raised garden beds. And whap! Stung right in the side by a nasty, aggressive little wasp. Fortunately I'm not allergic and of course I moved off quickly.

You know, that was right unfriendly. I was moving quietly and really not bothering them. Honey bees would never attack like that.

Hmm, what's to do?

Well, in the world of "do unto others..." I just happen to know where a couple of cans of wasp spray are. I believe that's...



And Match.

Friday, July 16, 2010

As Good As It Gets

Friend Wendy was laughing at a story I was telling her about my latest weight loss program. "That's funny," she says, "you should blog about it."

Yes, well, maybe... Seriously thinking about violently stabbing The Youngest with my fork because he stole a piece of salmon off my plate may or may not make these hallowed pages but when she mentioned this blog I did have to note that there are a couple of people who check it out occasionally and because of that, a while back, I went thru my posts and... sanitized them.

It's the old, being willing to own what one writes, thing. And while I stand by my original thoughts I did realize that some of them could be viewed as being unnecessarily harsh. I changed my format, ran some spell checks, and did a little editing, so that in case some uninvited peoples visited they wouldn't be mortally offended.

And then I looked again. Realized I just wasn't willing to budge compromise on some things and that yeah, if the wrong person read it they still might be offended just hopefully not to the point that they'd entertain thoughts of burning my house down... BUT, it was a helpful exercise in that "last word" thing I have going on. There were quite a few a couple final sentences that were modified. It gave me an opportunity to practise more charitable thoughts. But it was rather a challenge to find words that I could live with and not feel like I was caving to potential peer pressure or being all "namby pamby."

My final analysis? If it is still too abrasive...I apologize, but unfortunately, at the moment, this good as it gets.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

You've Been Warned

Note to all spiders:

If you are on the ceiling and decide to go trekking...then let yourself down by one of your little threads and land on me?

I will not, repeat NOT, run shrieking.

I will look at you in dismay, smack you with my open hand (before you have a chance to crawl down my neck) and kill you. Then get a Kleenex, scoop up the disgusting remains and discard your carcass in the dust bin.

For better or worse that's just kinda my approach to life.

I'm good like that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Is It Time To Hyperventilate Yet?

The news reports were slowly coming in...Bombings. Kampala, Uganda. 9, 26, 64 no 74 dead. Somali insurgents. Soccer match. 1 American dead, 3  6 injured.



Paige, where are you???? Answer me now!!!!!

Then a "text" rolls in late last nite. It's her Monday morning. "Hi, just wanted to let you know that I am still alive. I think that we will just stay in for the day until some of this gets cleared up."

Nice touch, eh?  She has an international phone in her hands and instead of talking to me, because of course I'm going to throw out the option of hopping a plane and getting the heck outa Dodge, she texts.

You know, I am NOT a silly woman. Hard headed, persistent, focused, yes. Prone to fainting spells, useless dithering, feminine indecisiveness - no. Willing to explore options, of course.

And if that kid, texts me one more time, instead of talking to me, when foreigner's are being targeted in Uganda by a bunch of wild eyed, crazed Islamic Fundamentalists...

They cane children in Uganda. It may be a tradition that should be taken up by Americans. Like say, starting immediately.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Run, Forest, Run!

The DIL ran a half marathon yesterday. We all probably know people who like to run, do marathons, triathlons etc. and you're saying, so?

Well, let me tell you about this girl. The last two months, her and The Commander's lives have been non-stop go go go. It was almost the end of April before they were notified that he had been accepted into grad school which changed up their life plans dramatically. Instead of heading for South America & the Peace Corps they were now focused on The Marriott School of Business, finding a place to live, applying for new jobs & moving. They ended up buying a home instead of renting and between job interviews, signing papers for the house and starting the moving process they made countless trips (5 hours each way) between Rexburg & Provo. Keep in mind they were still employed in Rexburg and doing all this in their "spare" time. May was a busy month.

But June made May look like child's play. With a house that needed some serious cleaning & renovating before they could move in they set to with a will and at the same time the DIL started not one but two jobs. Sometimes working 60 - 75 hours a week and while working that schedule managed to finish  painting, re-carpeting plus lots of other detail work, move, unpack and still find time to train so that she could be in shape for the marathon she'd signed up for before she knew there would be days ahead of her when she was so physically exhausted she would just want to cry herself to sleep.

But she persevered.

And yesterday morning, after 13.1 miles she hit the finish line in just under two hours.

Now that's impressive.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Walmart Revisited

I don't know who started The People of Walmart emails and photos but I find some of the entries pretty entertaining. People obviously dress up, run in and have their picture taken to be posted. Some of which are awfully funny.

And then, there are the real life Walmart people. The other day I saw a woman, probably in her late twenties. She was... heavy set, loud and her personal hygiene desperately needed attention. She was hot and sweaty in spite of her very small tank top and stretch shorts. The light colored fabric of her outfit was frayed, spotted and straining across her body and accented the fact that she chose to dispense with undergarments.

And then there were the puppies.

Some Hispanic girls had a box of cute little puppies by the front door. They were trying to sell/give them away. This lady bent over to pick one up and kiss it - offering an unfortunate view of her buttocks complete with a stain where she had neglected to finish the paper work...

I was caught somewhere between being appalled and heart broken that she should be in such a situation - with not a clue of what I could do to change her circumstances.


The People of Walmart pictures are not looking so humorous now.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sweet Fifteen and 1/2

The Youngest is 15 1/2 years old. And like all parents we are faced with having "our baby" grow up and we're torn. On the one hand it's "Yeah!" And on the other...

So, we made the trek to the driving school today then headed for the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Procured the elusive driver's permit and as we left the building I tossed him the keys for his first "legal" drive in town. Now having worked with many trainees during my time w/ the Transit I'm full of phrases like, "When it is safe to do so, signal and move into the left lane." My instructions are fairly clear and given with enough forewarning that less experienced drivers are usually not doing hail Mary's. Farm Boy, on the other hand, has a tendency to get a little excited sometimes or not pay attention which leads to some yelling and close calls. I prefer not to be in the vehicle when he's the navigator.

Back to the new driving permit. I'm looking at The Youngest, noting his technique, his strengths and weaknesses. And he's grinning while doing jack rabbit starts and stops and just generally giving me a somewhat rough ride. He thinks he's pretty cool and even if it's a van he's still happy with his toy...I try to quietly discuss improvements he needs to make but I know I'm rolling my eyes as he jerks, instead of glides, around a corner.

He catches that.

"Oh, don't get all bent out of shape," he says.

He just doesn't get it...

I kinda shake my head when we finally get home. Farm Boy says, "Yeah, I know. I didn't worry about turning the other two loose when they were sixteen. This one...."

Y'all might want to consider staying off the roads for the next couple of months. This one is gonna take some work.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New USPS Exercise Program

Summer has finally arrived. It's taken its time coming this year. But we're in the high 90's, heading for 100+. So on this bright, sunny day I'm working and as I drive along I see a cute little miniature pony running down the road, followed by a tottering octogenarian.

He doesn't have a chance. I pull ahead of the horse, park my van and turn the pony back toward his house. She's feeling a mite frisky. We have her between us, trying to drive her back toward her pasture.

She just isn't interested.

"Have any oats?" I ask.

"Eh, what? Can't hear you."

"Grain. Got any grain?"

He looks confused.

"Nope, don't have...his voice trails off."

I look at my watch...I'm supposed to be delivering mail. Also let's not forget that heat factor.

He stumbles after her. I'm aware that he has been feeling poorly. I notice that it is getting much harder for him to walk. He is anxious and trying too hard, he actually kind of shambles/runs at her which is scaring her. He gets close and...she's off!

Several cars go by. One man encouragingly yells, "Keep after 'em, you'll get 'em!"


If we had a little help.

Or some grain...

Finally, red in the face and panting, our little gentleman looks at me and says, "Watch her, I'm going to get some grain."

Ahhh - good idea.

I block her way so she doesn't head for the hills. Five minutes, ten? he re-emerges with a bucket. Shakes it at her. Her ears prick up, and true to her pony nature she walks right up to him.

We're done here and I really have to get back to work.

"Thanks." he says. "Thanks, for stopping. You're the only one who did, you know."

I smile & wave and head for my rig.

And the boss wonders sometimes, what it is I do out here all day...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fire Storm

Ah, the 4th of July. Old Glory, parades, BBQ, patriotism, and yes fireworks. I love fireworks. I love the 4th.


I do.

I can feel the eyebrows raising already...

But seriously, remember being little and having your very own sparklers? Or snappers, or the worms that you put a match to that just kept growing and growing and left this awesome burn mark on the driveway?  Or the firework displays over Lake Coeur D'Alene. And the amusement park on the end of the pier and later as a teen the slab dance in the park?


But back to the fireworks - good clean fun, eh?

Then there are the "guys" next door. The 4th is nothing, and I mean nothing, without their own personal arsenal of fireworks. But if it's legal it's not allowed on their property. Which hey, to each their own.


Here in our little subdivision most people's homes are situated on ~1 acre lots. And their lot and ours are deep but narrow. 120' across.

We've been here for what? 26 years? Give or take. We've always had a variety of animals. Sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, cats, dog and oh yeah...horses.

Let's not forget the horses. Those beautiful animals who just get frickin' freaked out by fireworks.

The "guy's" next door were aware horses lived here when they moved in five years ago.

So how does one go about keeping your fireworks above your own property when it's only 120' feet across and you have every illegal firework known to man on hand to light off?

Easy really, you just make it a non-issue.

You invite all your like minded friends, have another beer or ten, and let 'er rip.

And as long as they don't explode over the top of your house or your people....

It's all good.

And that cranky neighbor and her horse well...
Guess it just sucks to be me her. 'Cause there are a lot of fireworks going off in Arlene's Addition and
apparently, until someone is  killed or a house is burnt down...our local county mounties are not going to try to discern who's playing w/ legal and who's playing w/illegal fireworks. So one assumes they're taking a veryyyyyy long coffee break on the other end of the county.

Where it's a lot quieter.

I think it's part of the "don't ask, don't tell" trickle down...


Y'all have a great holiday now, hear?