Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Frustrations

The load of stone that was delivered on Monday remains piled through the upper portion of my driveway. The neighborhood youth are using it as a bike jump while I'm at work. I really wish people would respect boundaries. As in mine, not yours. Supposedly the stones will be spread this afternoon, but I've heard that line before.

A job has been posted at my alma mater that I really want. But I feel it would be unethical of me to pursue it, given that I've only been in my new position two months. I wish I'd never seen the listing. I also wish my current position was more inspiring.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

At least I am wearing a low cut shirt.

Because that's about all I had going for me when Mr. Cutest Co-Worker Ever came by my office for our meeting. He has three master's degrees for god's sakes (he's a year younger than me!), and unfortunately I seem to turn into some sort of blubbering idiot when he's around. Or an airhead with a vocabulary of a second grader.

It's a good thing he doesn't work in my department, or people would start wondering how I got this job. But at least the scenery would be nicer.

OK, back to reality.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Bullets of Weekend Lethargy

  • I finished the book I'd been reading for over three weeks, Lady in the Palazzo, by Marlena de Blasi. It was good, although perhaps not as good as her first two (and clearly, not that fast-paced). Sometimes I think my love of travel narratives is fading as the years go by, and I seem no closer to visiting any of the places I read about. And yet, I can't seem to resist them.

  • I started reading Rilla of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery, this morning. I caught one of the Anne movies on PBS a few weeks ago, and I've been thinking a lot about her since. I would love to visit Prince Edward Island. I suppose I might be disappointed if I did not find old P.E.I. looking like it did at the turn of the century.

  • I went for a nice hike on the state land this morning. Dog makes for a nice companion, but when I point out great blue herons he doesn't return my enthusiasm. He does like to see the deer though.

  • I have felt no motivation for yard work this weekend. I just can't find the interest. I don't know why the enormity of the task is bothering me all of a sudden.

  • FF did take me to HomeDepot to get concrete and securely reinstated the mailbox to it's original position. It is somewhat lower than it had been, so I hope that will not be an issue with the mailman.

  • I saw a piece on the news last night and again this morning on how San Francisco is banning bottled water for city workers. I started drinking bottled water almost exclusively when I lived somewhere that had vile tasting well water, and it became a habit in the years since. I think it may be time to adjust this pattern. From what I've heard, tap water is every bit as healthy as bottled, and I am not opposed to the flavor of the water at my new house. There is the economic aspect to be considered on a personal level, as well as the oil consumption for manufacturing. Also, even though I recycle my bottles, not everyone does, so the environmental impact can't be overlooked.

  • Could someone please answer my phone the next time the Red Cross calls and tell them to bug off? I have 162 missed calls from them currently. The more they call, the less likely I am to donate blood. That may be petty and childish of me, but it is what it is.

  • And that about sums it up for tonight. I have other things on my mind, but I am not blogging about them for now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

And so it begins...

In the space of time between when FF got here and brought up the trash can and recycling bin and when I next looked out my front window, someone hit my mailbox and knocked it clean out of the ground. It was no more than half an hour at the most.

I am 100% convinced it was the neighbor across the street. He had been parked on the road with a huge trailer hitched to his mammoth pickup truck. I'm figuring when he backed into his driveway my mailbox took a hit.

How perfect is that? Couldn't I have one frickin' day of homeownership before something needed repair? Just one day?!

Sign here, here, and here

Closing done. I signed and initialled so many times that I barely recognized my name by the end.

It was fairly anticlimatical considering there were no keys exchanged and I already live in the house. I feel like I ought to do something special to celebrate, but my back hurts and I'm awfully tired. I think more strawberry shortcake is the best I can come up with.

Now that closing has been accomplished it's time to move on to the construction phase. I can't say that I'm anxious to start that process. I'll see if I can get FF to phone Contractor to see when he plans to start work (technically work must begin within 30 days of closing).

I'm going to have to start buying the Sunday paper so I can clip my name from the Real Estate section. I own my own home!

(Also worthy of note, this is my 200th post! Wow!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Those napkins should come with a warning.

We had our annual appreciation party at work today. It was catered by a famous local barbeque joint and held in our conference room. The Big Cheese attended and gave a long speech. He's my boss' boss' boss; our yearly holiday parties are attended by many hundreds of people, all of whom fall under his umbrella of power.

When he arrived (I didn't know he was coming), I couldn't help but think perhaps BBQ wasn't the best food for the occasion, no matter how tasty.

When I'd just about finished eating I noticed that my hands were quite pink. A co-worker realized and pointed out to those of us sitting nearby that the red checkered paper napkins were staining our fingers.

When my boss got up for her speech, she had a large pink goatee. But at least she's got good hygiene.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Closing Scheduled!!!

The moment we've all been waiting for is finally upon us. This Thursday, June 21 (already considered a good day in these parts) my house will officially become mine. Wha-hoo!!!

I've already spoken to my insurance agent, the mortgage company, and the lawyer's office this morning. Everything is squared away.

I've also made an appointment to get my car inspected, which is totally beside the point, but it does reveal my efficient nature this morning.

To celebrate I had a big bowl of strawberry shortcake for breakfast. I whipped up some biscuits earlier to go with the fresh picked berries. The only thing missing was some whipped cream, but I managed to enjoy it anyway.

Now I must go mow the lawn that will soon be all mine and only mine.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I should have taken a picture of the stairs.

As it turns out, I'd better hold off on the mountain climbing for now. Apparently, I am extremely out of shape. I paid a visit to a state park named after a president today where the trails all start at the bottom and you must climb up. The fact that I did not pass out is most noteworthy.

It was a lovely day with very few bugs. I enjoyed myself immensely. And after almost three hours of hiking, I am so exhausted that I really must end this post now.
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Poison Ivy Does Itch

I have never had this much poison ivy before. Don't get me wrong, I've seen much worse on other people, but dang it sure does itch. I keep hoping that there will be less of it every morning when I wake up. So far, the opposite seems to be true.

This will not make me anxious to tackle any of the remaining PI still thriving in the front garden (and let's not even think about the backyard). I can't leave it though, but I may invest in some of that special poison ivy wash before I attack it again. And I will wear long sleeves. Lesson learned.

It has been taking all of my willpower to not scratch relentlessly throughout meetings the last couple days. After an hour and a half yesterday I caved in and got some looks but too bad. I couldn't take it any longer.

Now I'll probably be even more paranoid about avoiding the PI when I'm hiking. I need to get a packet of those alcohol wipes to keep in the car to clean up both myself and the dog.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You're Fired!

Since Contractor #2 still had not submitted his insurance certificate, I had FF call and give him the old heave-ho. Contractor #1 has agreed to sub-contract the work, so hopefully I can get this portion of the mortgage wrapped up soon.

It's quite a relief to be rid of #2 because after all of this hassle with the paperwork, I was beginning to doubt whether he'd ever show up to do the job. His quality of work probably would have been lacking too.

I hope whoever does the exterior work will be careful of my plants (yes, I realize how slim the chances of that are).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Small Town Feel

It's been another mundane weekend, but I don't mind. It would've been nice to go somewhere interesting for a hike, but I did try a new route on the state land nearby. I also walked in my neighborhood twice, so I got in not just my hoped for two walks but a third as well.

I know suburbia doesn't appeal to everyone, but it suits me well for the most part. Obviously, parts of me would still love to be out among farm fields or woods, but I also enjoy the convenience of being close to all the amenities.

I like that the neighbors say hi or stop to chat about our dogs. I like seeing everyone out for walks in the evening. I like all the well-groomed lawns and gardens.

I'm not very good at the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses aspect of suburbia. I never seem to have as much money, time, or energy as the neighbors. But I do take pride in each accomplishment in the yard. Hopefully, people can see that I am trying.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

And I would highly recommend you read the rest, too.

Always a sucker for book-related memes, when I saw this one over at Beth's I just had to play. Here's what you do:

  • Find the nearest book.
  • Go to page 161.
  • Find the fifth full sentence.
  • Post it.

There was no sound except for the crackling of the cooling coals left of the Raalle's home.

These is my Words, Nancy E. Turner

Thursday, June 07, 2007

PI eradication, phase two

I took today off work in an attempt to use some of my vacation hours which will be otherwise lost come the end of the month. The weather forecast was agreeable so my plan was to go somewhere and take a hike.

We had finally received some much needed rain the last few days, so I decided to give a little tug to a piece of the poison ivy vine to see how easily it would come out of the ground. Next thing I knew I'd been pulling poison ivy for two hours, and I was covered with sweat and plant oils. I was also weak from not having eaten anything since the frozen waffles early this morning. I took a (second) shower before heading out in search of a late lunch.

Now I get to wait and see what my forearms will look like. Something tells me it won't be pretty. I'll be happy if I don't get a rash on my face or scalp. Which reminds me, I want to thank the deerfly that bit the top of my head when I was not in the position to swat or scratch. Bastard.

I did not finish, but it already looks a thousand times better. I filled up two and a half yard waste bags and threw some of the large sections of vine in the dumpster (which still hasn't been pulled).

I also returned to the garden center and bought one of the Sedums I'd been eyeing and two very small hostas.

Do I still want to go for a walk? Uh.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

False Starts

Last night was rather chilly, so I was moved to do a little crocheting. I usually reserve crocheting for the winter months, but I was bored with just watching TV. It'd been a long time since I'd done any crocheting though, what with all the home improvement this past winter. I started digging through my basket and discovered four unfinished projects, with four different colored yarns. At least three of them had been intended as scarves (basically the only thing I make).

Instead of taking up one of those, I started yet another project in yet another color. I wanted to do something small that I might have a better chance of finishing. So I settled on a dishrag. But I only did five rows before I lost interest.

Tonight is another chilly night, potentially record-breaking even. Another good night for crocheting.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Window Shopping

It doesn't look good for meeting my two walks per weekend goal. Mowing killed my Saturday by incapacitating me with a headache. Sunday found me hiking early in the morning before the worst of the heat. The bugs tried their best to eat me alive. Next time I will wear a hat and more bug spray.

Unfortunately, it rained or threatened rain all day today. I watched a lot of TV, did a very small amount of picking up, and then hit Target to kill the stir crazies. I tried out every piece of lawn furniture they sell, but limited my purchases to cleaning supplies and paper products.

Then I went window shopping at a couple garden centers. I want to plant everything that flowers. My yard needs so much work though that I know I should probably wait until I come up with a plan. My tendency to plop things in the ground all willy-nilly may not be the best solution to an already challenging situation. Plus, whatever I plant may run the risk of getting damaged by Contractor #2 when he's working on the trim and siding.

One of the things I almost bought today was a huge cluster of Sedum autumn joy. It looked so lush and I like the idea of planning for some color for the fall as well. Maybe I'll go back. One new plant can't hurt, right?

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I love everything that blooms (who doesn't?), but peonies are one of my absolute favorites. The yard at my new house came equipped with a lovely half circle of pale pick peonies. Someday in the future I'd like to plant other colors in other parts of the yard, but for now I will appreciate each of the gorgeous flowers that I have.

Every year the historical society in my village hosts a peony festival, and every year I think about going. Maybe this year?

Friday, June 01, 2007

No Closing

So clearly I didn't close on my house yesterday.

Contractor #2 dropped off his paperwork at my house sometime on Wednesday without letting me know. I would've left work immediately to race home and get it to the mortgage company. As it was, I managed to make it to the UPS store before they closed and paid their astronomical rates to fax it.

His insurance company failed to fax me his certificate though, so I was forced to call him again yesterday morning. I gave him the mortgage company's fax number and let them know to expect the fax. Have I heard from them again? No.

I wonder if they will give out comment cards when the transaction is complete. 'Cause I got me some comments.

I have some comments for the owner of the dumpster as well. How many weeks does it take after you call and before he comes and picks it up?